I would have thought after 10 years of the web becoming a legitimate business tool that by now it would be reasonably easy for web developers and clients to find each other and make happy ever after. Turns out it may actually be getting harder.
I read a short post on Matt Mullenweg’s blog today titled Disconnect. It’s so short, I’ll quote the whole piece:
bq. One thing I’ve found in the past year is there is sometimes a huge disconnect between people who make noise on blogs, or might have impressive blogs themselves, and productivity in the real world. It’s unfortunate, because it makes it that much harder to find good folks.
I really do feel for clients who get suckered in by a sales pitch. With Web 2.0, the web is both an increasingly technical place as well increasingly extrovert place. I must admit I also have tried to engage aka sell people into getting involved in the web more proactively with their businesses. But blogging is an opportunity to actually tell your truth, warts and roses all.
I’ve learned that no matter how much potential I see, it’s really irrelevant if the client isn’t interested. I’ve learned that no matter how brilliant I think we may be, plenty of people don’t want state of the art, they just want average.
So I am using this blog, my public speaking, and our show Beach Walks with Rox to put forth my opinions as well as my enthusiasm, to own my bias, to show the downsides as well as the upsides of working with us, or other developers. To help people find the right fit, considering price, skill, attitude, creativity, friendliness, etc. As you all know, someone may be very smart, but a PITA to work with, and vice versa – really nice but somewhat incompetent at the end of the day.
People preach a lot of rules. “You have to have a web site.” “You have to update it regularly.” While I agree you can benefit from doing those things, I also don’t believe in pressuring people.
I’d rather tell people, “The web, especially Web 2.0, is not for everyone.” I’d rather “make ‘em beg” than force feed ‘em medicine for an condition that to them, is asymptomatic. I’d rather attract people to us who really want to leverage our extensive skill set than proselytize those who are not yet believers. This goes against many tenets of basic selling. And my little monkey mind frequently tries to convince me that if I only were a better salesperson, I could convert more of the masses.
Why? I hate it when people come to my door pushing their religion. That’s really the same thing as people pushing their top 10 ways to be a success. What’s the solution? More discussion and more research. The better we get to know each other, the easier it is to grok who’s on the same page as you are.