Be mindful of the balance of power David 07 Nov 2005

14 comments Latest by Richard

Kathy Sierra on When clients (and bosses) go bad…:

I’ve seen too many startups begin with the promise of freedom, passion, and good intentions—only to end up exchanging one kind of “prison” (working for demanding bosses) for another—working for overly demanding clients. I’ve seen some companies become slaves to the client’s whims because we had “too many eggs in one basket”, allowing clients to exploit the fact that you need THEM much more than they need YOU.

14 comments (comments are closed)

Reinier 07 Nov 05

Remarkable, this afternoon I have been discussing exactly this phenomenon with one of my new co-workers. We have recently joined forces and a lot of discussion during the coffeebreaks is about learning how we should work as opposed to how we work at the moment.

Reinier 07 Nov 05

Remarkable, this afternoon I have been discussing exactly this phenomenon with one of my new co-workers. We have recently joined forces and a lot of discussion during the coffeebreaks is about learning how we should work as opposed to how we work at the moment.

Don Schenck 07 Nov 05

This issue is so deeply rooted, it deserves an entire thread of discussion beyond just “working a lot”. Our entire culture … hmmm …

Brad 07 Nov 05

For the first time in a long time I had a job interview (recently) where I felt that they needed me more than I needed them. Rightly or wrongly, it gave me a huge advantage during the discussions. It’s amazing how much more clear you can think and how articulate you can be when you don’t feel any pressure other than the pressure you intentionally put on yourself.

pwb 08 Nov 05

you need THEM much more than they need YOU.

If your product or service isn’t valuable enough to disqualify the above statement, you should be doing something else.

brad 08 Nov 05

Well, I think at the startup phase you often have to endure this sort of thing unless you’re lucky enough to have good clients. Once you’re established you can pick and choose and call more of the shots, but at the beginning you may have to take whatever’s availalable so you can eat and pay rent. The problem is that killing yourself for your clients can become habit-forming; you might forget to stop doing it once you no longer have to.

Written at 3:16 am after I woke up thinking about work.

robert 08 Nov 05

pwb: Outside of a monopoly your point is (always) wrong, because they are on the money side of the game.

JF 08 Nov 05

Well, I think at the startup phase you often have to endure this sort of thing unless you’re lucky enough to have good clients.

Having good clients isn’t luck.

Jonny Roader 08 Nov 05

“Having good clients isn’t luck.”

Sometimes it is!

Rabbit 08 Nov 05

Sometimes it is!

Sometimes it happens to be that way, yes.

I think what Jason is saying is that if you actively seek good, like-minded clients (people), you will find them.

I’m sure this has been discussed in plenty before on a previous comment thread.

pwb 08 Nov 05

Robert, what are you talking about? People pay for things they need. If you’re not providing something that someone needs, you have a problem. It’s a two way street.

BusmasterJones 08 Nov 05

The problem is that killing yourself for your clients can become habit-forming; you might forget to stop doing it once you no longer have to.

Amen! I know a company that hasn’t realized after 25 years that it is no longer a garage operation, but rather a multimillion dollar company with a track record and clout. Since it hasn’t awaken to this fact yet, every project, every install, every client hiccup is an all hands on deck emergency. The “whatever it takes” mentality has become a crutch to not plan. Over the top client support that saps employees has been a result of failing to have a strategy. In the end, employees are paying dearly for these management failures.