Whiplash. Concussed we struggle on or the business is dead. Is this survival of the fittest mentality a dance or a strategy? Is there gold at the end of this rainbow?
If You Were Faced With Some Of These Moments, What Would You Do...
After approving hours to spend on a project, a client who has been reliable in the past, starts to hedge on paying. A phone call and a good demo later, they tell you the cheque for a few thousand dollars is in the mail. You pay your developers for the work they've done. When the clients cheque arrives, it's made out for 1 penny.
Your latest technology platform works so much better than past versions that you find yourself reconsidering your entire business model. You can do bigger things now with less overhead. A growing margin has caught your attention and is stimulating your imagination.
After building a cloud tool to gather information at a 1 day event you find out your sysops didn't turn on the backups (which is policy with all projects) and a rare computer glitch wipes out all the collected data.
You meet very talented developers that seem to get what you are trying to do. They are smart and motivated; most of all thick skinned. It becomes clear that in order to keep them interested in your enterprise you will have to consider cultural incentives like a trendy office or at least a drink machine.
A serious person with a good reputation in a trusted business community meets with you and a developer to discuss a project. All seems to go well and a follow up is arranged. A follow up that doesn't materialize. After some months the potential client pops up again and seems to go through the same motions as before. A coffee, a meeting, and a follow up.
After 6 months of hard development work at bottom dollar in return for revenue share on a project that was estimated to take about a year, the client starts getting very angry, very quickly and the stink of desperation begins to disrupt what few meetings you can get them to show up for. Your developers are getting frustrated at the disrespect.
It takes a good poker-player to know when to lay down his hand. - Col. Wm. C. Hunter, Dollars and Sense, 1906
Business can be very unforgiving to all involved. If you aren't making more than you are spending then you can't operate. Sadly, it is so easy for others to misinterpret the negativity of necessity for the cruelty of the misanthrope. It ain't easy making green, but when all your revenue is based on your own creations at least its most satisfying.
Sharing that profitable opportunity with others is a privileged path to immortality. Be a producer.