I never thought I would say something like this to a fella who wanted to work with me, but here I was. Needless to say, the negotiation stopped dead in its tracks (ba-dum-ts).
I actually did see an 8 car crash on the highway not too long ago, while me and my partner were getting to his office. For reasons you will soon find ironic, it was to finalize a software development contract.
Our driver was from Kazakhstan, a very straightforward and direct fella. When he saw the crash, he just whistled and half-mumbled:
So that’s what I explained to that fella I was meeting as well. I’m not a crisis management guy, emergency resuscitations aren’t the thing I do.
He basically said (though not in these words) “Alex, I got all this funding, then squandered it all on cheap-ass developers who had no goddamn clue what they were doing and never gave me deliverables I could sell. I’m now deep in the red and my shareholders are asking for money, how do I explain to them that I’ll just need to find additional sources of income and they’ll have to wait? Maybe get some to reinvest?”
When I asked why he went with those developers, he said “I know their COO, we studied together”
The poor schmuck didn’t keep his distance.
And even had the guts to try and bring in more cars into that wreck.
He was so deep in his amazing project that it never occurred to him to have a plan B for this whole “development” thing. And when push came to shove, it was too late and he was already committed without looking into alternatives.
I don’t think he understood that he was asking me to lie on his behalf. He genuinely thought he could pull through.
But when I asked how he felt about honestly telling the mistakes with the development company to the shareholders, he was terrified and immediately vetoed that. So I knew he will continue not keeping his distance in the future, leading to more wrecks like this even if this one is avoided. Might even have me in the car when it inevitably crashes.
I’ll pass on sharing your living hell, thank you very much. I even have a book about this.
Not gonna tell you folk to not be that guy, you’re unlikely to ever be on this extreme end of the spectrum. But we all fail to keep our distance sometimes and go with whoever is comfy versus someone we’re actually getting results working with. Even though tailgating works out sometimes, it’s generally not a good practice.
TL;DR: This was a very roundabout way of saying do your research, folks.