I emailed her back later that day and thanked her for sharing her product and company story, and underscored that my feedback was offered with only the best intentions (to help). She quickly replied that my comments were valuable and to the point, and they surfaced shortcomings that were preventing her team from realizing their vision. And then she asked if she could follow up with me during her next New York trip to provide an update and collect more feedback. I enthusiastically replied "Of course!"
I can be a tough critic, so I admire this CMO for her thick skin and receptivity to my unvarnished response. It opened the door for improvement and ongoing collaboration. Which brings me to the point of this story: Too often, people don't provide honest feedback because they're worried the person receiving it will react defensively. Worse, they don't provide any feedback because they're afraid the person receiving it will be offended. Those are bad outcomes.
The best outcome is provision of feedback, followed by embracement and improvement. That's why it's important to remember that constructive feedback is a gift, even if sometimes harsh. And exchanging it takes courage from both the giver and the receiver. Any hesitation on one side can ruin it for both.