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scrottie (4167)

scrottie
  scott@slowass.net
http://slowass.net/

My email address is scott@slowass.net. Spam me harder! *moan*

Journal of scrottie (4167)

Saturday May 20, 2006
04:05 PM

Do not communicate with clients

[ #29661 ]

If you give sugar coated explainations to clients, they'll think they know what's going on well enough to second guess you at every turn.

If you give detailed technical explanations to clients, they'll resent you for making them feel dumb and blame you for the complexity inherent in the project. Their fragile self-esteem, unable to live in a world where such a critical task is beyond their understanding, will demand that it not be complex, and they will seek out someone who comforts their wounded ego and assures them that it's easy, they'll take care of it without any nasty technical stuff, and lie to them.

Tell clients that things take time, and they won't pick priorities, but will instead flood you with requests and then dwell on everything that's undone, making any task you get done insignificant.

Fire up badly written, stylisticly conflicting, insecure PHP applications that only vaguely accomplish what they requested and do nothing to solve the actual business problem and you're their darling child up until the point where you can no longer con them and have to flee with the client's money safely tucked away in the bank. Remember that "single signon" is still a top request among idiots -- they want their 20 different crappy IM, BB, blog, feedback, opt-in, etc applications all linked together. Meanwhile, people just want information, not "community" from commercial sites, and most certainly not yet another login. Remember, clients define value in terms of the sheer number of features (as seen elsewhere) that they get -- why do you think these "does it all" hosting packages are so popular? Oh, look, it comes with search, search engine submission, a bulletin board, formmail.cgi, unlimited domains -- I always wanted unlimited domains, honey?

Be available and they'll call you drunk at 10pm when you're trying to spend some time with your core homies.

Be unavailable and they'll talk to venders, spammers, hucksters, sales people, and the Jehova's Witness before they'll defer any technical decisions to you.

Put things nicely when addressing them and you'll repeat the same things over, and over, and over, and over again.

Become less available, terse, emphathatic, or insistant and they'll become hostile, beligerant, or hurt (and it's hard to predict which will cause which).

So, you ask, what's the solution? Well, duh. Obviously. Go work for an evil mega-national corporation where you're just a faceless stooge, sometimes emiting product, generally not, but collectively doing so often enough that their anticompetitive, market-locking techniques, exclusive rights, patents, sales force, and freedom from actually ever paying taxes (in the 1970's, 70% of taxes came from corporations; now, less than 20% does, and that's almost entirely small businesses) keeps brainless fuckwads dumb enough to try and deal direct to small/medium business from ever getting a drop of the blood they suck out of the small/medium businesses.

Comments? Email me.

-scott