Taste My Muffins – Advice for Consumers and Producers

Imagine for moment that you love to make muffins. You love it so much that you decide to make some for your colleagues at work. Your co-workers respond with such incredible enthusiasm that you decide to make it a routine. Every day, you bring in a dozen muffins and every day they are devoured. Your co-workers clearly appreciate your efforts and seeing the look on their faces as they enjoy your delectable delights is all the encouragement you need to continue bringing the muffins in to work.

After doing this for a few months, you begin to notice an odd trend: some folks are starting to complain. “There’s not enough variety!” “There’s too much variety!” “I can make those better myself!” “You have no business making muffins if you haven’t gone to muffin school!”

One person even goes so far as to send you a lengthy email explaining how your muffins have not been approved by the National Muffin-Makers of America, and therefore your muffin-making skills are in question.

You start to wonder what’s going through your co-workers’ heads and whether or not this is worth the hassle.

Time passes, and in spite of the occasional complaints, your muffins are enjoyed and consumed daily. In fact, things are going so well that you were able to start acquiring paying customers who are willing to give you money for a premium product you now call Uber Muffins. But once again, that success comes at a price. Many folks who continue to enjoy your free muffins begin complaining that you are always so busy making muffins for your customers that you never have time to make free muffins anymore. The irony here is that you actually do continue to bring free muffins to work, but not as frequently as you used to.

So why would you continue making muffins in what seems to be a thoroughly thankless environment??

Because it isn’t thankless at all! For every person who says, “Your muffins are dry!”, there are ten times as many who feel your muffins are moist and delicious, even if they don’t feel compelled to give you the positive feedback you desire. You see, in this world, the vast majority of muffin lovers simply enjoy your muffins and don’t feel compelled to say anything about it. But when someone has something negative to say, they don’t hesitate to blurt it out for the world to hear. That’s just the way people work. But remember, the empty plate in the break room tells the tale.

The somewhat disappointing reality for muffin-makers is that if you give a dozen muffins away for free on a routine basis, a certain percentage of people will start to feel entitled to your muffins. The truth is, they love them. But if you ever change the flavor, vary the number, or possibly even forget to bring them in one day, their natural sense of entitlement kicks in and they won’t hesitate to make you feel like you’ve done something wrong, when in fact you simply neglected to give them their daily dose of free muffin goodness.

So if you’re a muffin-maker and you’re in it for the long haul, you will have to remind yourself routinely of the fact that most muffin-lovers have no reason to contact you. The ones that have something negative to say could very well outnumber the ones that have positive feedback, and that sucks. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that this very small sample is representative of the whole. It’s not! Most people are quite reasonable and they truly appreciate the muffins you are willing to make for them, whenever you have time to make them.

If you’re a muffin-lover, don’t miss an opportunity to let your favorite muffin-maker know how much you appreciate not only the taste of their muffins, but the fact that they are willing to put their heart and soul into delicious tasty treats and share them with you at no cost. Your feedback is what keeps that oven fired up.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, muffins can be replaced with just about anything someone produces. In my personal situation, it is in reference to the creation of free woodworking content and the path I took to get where I am now. On a daily basis, I deal with feedback from strangers around the world who make the most ridiculous assumptions and accusations based on the perceived frequency and quality of my free content. Frankly, YouTube is the source of most of this negativity but what can you expect from “the internet’s lower intestine.” Of course, there are thousands of kind and thoughtful people on YouTube and I always appreciate hearing from them, so let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I don’t even know how he’d fit down the drain, but I digress.

25 thoughts on “Taste My Muffins – Advice for Consumers and Producers

      • I hate your muffins! But you should keep making more so I can eat them every day and then I’ll be able to tell you when they’re ready for public consumption.

        P.S. the blueberry ones suck the least…so start there.

        P.P.S. I need a dozen by Friday for a special event.

  1. Marc, your muffins are moist, delectable and always hot and fresh. Your a damn fine woodworker too. Carry on and don’t change a thing. Lemon poppyseed muffins, hot out of the oven with a dab of butter, sure does sound good about now.

  2. Excellent post–and very true. Internet seems to bring out lots of folks who like to hide behind their keyboard and voice their opinions. I believe there are people that are put on this planet to complain, irritate, and complain, and really serve no other useful purpose.

    Opinions are like bungholes–everybody has one! I read these types of comments, lift whatever is useful…and blow the rest away.

    Love your work—

  3. Marc,

    I am one of those people who generally keep their mouth shut. So let me take a moment to say it, Thank you for bringing in your muffins, they are quite tasty.

    -Alex

  4. So is this what the ” hot and fresh ” neon refers to in your video intros? Is it really muffins you are talking about and not great woodworking content? I need to go back and watch them all over again, with muffins in mind….

  5. Marc –

    Not only are your muffins delicious… But think about what you have done?

    Not only are you cranking out the regular and Uber variety of muffins, just think how many people got inspired to bake muffins because of your generosity…

    I mean, there are muffins of all types and varieties. Jalapeno corn muffins. Cinnamon Strudel pull apart breakfast muffins. Savory garlic and rosemary muffins. Monkey pleasing banana nut muffins. Man, no matter what your taste, the is bound to be a muffin maker out there to tickle your fancy. How much broader is our palate, knowing how different muffin makers approach the kitchen?

    How boring would life be if we only allowed certain kinds of muffins to be made, while all others were considered ‘not worthy of trying?’ “Oh, only experts who make blueberry, chocolate chip or dried cranberry muffins should be allowed to put them out for people to taste. Those are the true ‘master’ muffins, and everyone should seek to make perfect reproductions like those.” Nah, explore the limits of what can and should go into a muffin.

    How many of these muffin bakers wouldn’t have even entered into baking if it wasn’t for your encouragement? “Oh, sure, I can make a decent muffin, but the tops don’t come out browned enough. No one would be interested in seeing the kind of muffins I can make.” Are you kidding? Some of the tastiest muffins have come from some of the most reluctant bakers who, after encouragement, are eager now to put out samples.

    How many people are turning out unleavened bricks right now, but are sharing the joy of learning new baking techniques and new ingredients, and are giving us a taste as they can? Isn’t it exciting, as fellow bakers, to watch new talented bakers come along to add to our group knowledge? Who would have ever expected maple/pecan/bacon muffins?

    Damn, I’m hungry!

    Thanks for being one of the lead bakers in the effort, Marc. Now, I have to go start another batch of tasties for everyone to enjoy!

  6. i too love your muffins marc, and they are well worth the wait, i think many people don’t seem to realize that your not an actor, but a real person, husband, and dad. i love woodworking as much as the next guy or gal, and love to share it with the world. right after i change the laundry, do the dishes and cook dinner. keep up the good work. gotta run and get the kids off the bus….

  7. I love your muffins .. wait .. that came out wrong. Not those muffins .. your wood muffins .. that’s worse. I love your muffiness .. Oh my .. You’re so muffin-lee. Oh for heaven sake! I love your Woodworking site and the Guild!

    Go Muffins .. I mean Marc!

  8. I love your muffins and all the double entendre that can go with them 🙂

    Ya know, sometimes I wish you weren’t such a nice guy and you did a video on sign making. You set up your template and start routing without showing what text is. Then, at the end you pick up the sign and say to the camera, “If you don’t like my muffins, well then,” and then reveal the words of the sign which says “$#@& you!” It’d never happen, but it’d sure make me belly laugh if it did.

    Keep makin’ that muffin magic!

  9. Do you knowThe Muffin Man ?

    The Muffin Man who lives in Drury Lane?

    Muffin Man Marc!

    Keep doing what you do, you make a fine muffin. I admire and enjoy your talent, integrity and dedication.

    Goosfraba brother,

    G

  10. Thank you Marc, I have been inspired the watch all of your video but have only dabbled into making a few small project for fear of failure. I think your observation is correct in so many fields/occupations. As an engineer if you fix a large pot hole in the street and stop the flooding and repave the road, then people complain that now the road makes that cars go too fast. No one thanks you for fixing the problems.

  11. Hey Marc,
    Just wanted to let you know that I am a new and improving woodworker, er, muffin maker because of your muffin making! I couldn’t have thought to be where I am now without your guidance and support. Though I would love to see more, I’m thankful to get what you have provided and continue to provide. Someday in the next couple years, I’ll be a guild member. Thanks!

  12. Hi Marc – Without access to woodworking schools or mentors, I’ve essentially learned most of what I know from books, magazines, and The Wood Whisperer. As many have, I devoured all of the free video content and then became a guild member to have access to even more thorough educative material. I am currently an ala-carte Guild member and I will most likely rejoin, however since my membership expired I’ve once again enjoyed the free material you continue to put out. The service you have provided for people like me speaks volumes about not only your determination but your willingness and enthusiasm to teach others. People who complain will always be around…perhaps those that attack you are too afraid to actually go out into their shop and try out the techniques you cover, as they would rather sit back and watch nonstop videos. I think the best thing I have gotten from The Wood Whisperer is that it has actually made me have less time to watch videos! I’ve learned so much from you that I now have tons of things to work on and am always eager to get back into the shop to work on something. So thanks very much for providing a service that did not exist before you came along, and thanks for tirelessly thinking of all those who are or were lost in woodworking without any guidance. Take care, Mike

  13. Hey Marc,

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — thank you for all you do. You always deliver excellent content, commentary, and responses.

    On another note, hearing people tell you how much they love your muffins just sounds kinda dirty to me. Just sayin’. 😛

  14. I love your muffins, Marc. Much like the fabled drug pushers of the 90s, you got me hooked on the free muffins and now I spend my cash on making sure I get those uber-muffins.

    …so I can work harder…so I can make more money…so I can buy more muffins…

  15. I blame you!!!! your muffins made me fat! And by that I mean before I started watching your podcast I had an empty garage I could actually park a car in (I know crazy right). Now its full of tools I didn’t even know the name of before I found your site, much less how to use them. You, Matt, and Shannon have, over the years, made me the woodworker I am today …….. THANK YOU!!!!!!

  16. Marc,

    Te llamare solo Marc, como si fueras alguien cercano, como si te conociera de años, como si fuera tu ayudante de taller.

    Quiero tener al menos un día las fuerzas que tienes tu, en los proyectos realizados.

    Quiero tener al menos un día la fuerza para dejar todo : mi trabajo actual, la vida de empleado, y creer en mis ideas como lo hiciste tu, no hay día en que visite tu web para ver si hay algún nuevo vídeo o post.

    Aún trato de comprar tu libro en español, Finishing: It ain’t over till its over (Hard Cover).

    En donde vivo las personas como tu son llamados : Emprendedores, las personas como yo: simplemente soñadores.

    Soñamos con realizar algo como lo que tu has hecho, llegar donde tu has llegado y por cierto tener un taller como el tuyo, que gran taller.

    Te sigo simplemente por que veo en ti, que todo es posible si se hace con trabajo y dedicación.

    Tus creaciones son el sueño de muchos alrededor del mundo, todos queremos sacar ese “the woodwhisperer” que llevamos dentro.

    Seguire comiendo magdalenas, por que no he aprendido como fabricarlas.

    Seguire esperando algún libro acerca de como llegaste hasta donde estas y tal vez lo lea comiendo magdalenas.

    Lamento haber escrito en español, pero no me molesta leer tus post en ingles.

    Desde el fin del mundo un saludo

    Mauricio

  17. Marc,

    I am happy to continue to pay for your premium muffins. It was originally the free muffins that proved to me that paying for the premium muffins would be worth it, and I’ve never been disappointed. Although my schedule as of late has kept me from doing much of my own muffin making, I continue to enjoy watching you make your muffins while I wait for an opportunity to get back into my own kitchen. I have all of the ingredients to bake a big split-top Roubo muffin, but I just haven’t had the time to get started on it yet. Looking foward to many more years of your premium muffins in the future.

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