A couple of years ago, we had the honor to hear Peter Vesterbacka speak at SXSW. Peter is the creator of Angry Birds—you know, the little-known app that is arguably the most successful mobile app the world has ever seen.

Vesterbacka attributes a lot of the game’s popularity to the fact that they constantly listen to their fans. Which includes listening to a 5-year old named Ethan, who one day wrote to the company about a level suggestion. After receiving his note and diagram sketch, the creators sent it over to a design programmer who executed the idea, and now, Ethan is considered one of the youngest game designers in the industry.

In addition to Angry Birds, companies like Yahoo, Nascar, and Best Buy also know the value of listening to their fans, and turning customer feedback into action. Instead of paying lip service to their customers, and only making changes to their businesses based on their own vision—these companies are allowing their customers to have a say in how their businesses operate. Which is helping each brand thrive.

Still not inspired to listen better? Perhaps these quotes will help:

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” -Winston Churchill
“Listen to many, speak to a few.” -William Shakespeare
“The art of conversation lies in listening.” -Malcolm Forbes
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” -Ernest Hemingway
“Just shut up, and listen, people!” -Homer Simpson

And definitely listen to your rowdiest fans.

It’s true, sports fans. We strongly considered parting ways with our infamous Browns jersey, especially after getting a large rock thrown through our office window by a disgruntled Browns fan one Sunday afternoon. But we thought we’d better ask Browns Nation first in a poll: keep the jersey, destroy it, or donate it? Click below to see the results. SPOILER ALERT: lasers are involved.

Reverse the QB Curse