The Web: Is It Really About Money?


October 20, 2006

At the Summit, I heard Avinash Kaushik speak (or as Dylan says, How can you go to the Summit and not hear Eric Peterson and Avinash and Sam Decker?) And as usual, Avinash was wonderful, soon he will have groupies following him around. But I didn’t agree with one thing he said. I wish he were right – making more money for the company and more money for your boss is the road to success. Unfortunately, I feel like all anyone cares about is ego. (To be fair, he did touch on this.)

Customers say, “I don’t care what the right thing to do is, I want to do a better job of what my competitor is doing.” Or they say, at my last company we did it this way [five years ago, a million years in Internet time.] Or they say, my wife/husband doesn’t like it. It’s true, as Avi says, that the person with the largest income gets to decide, but my real issue here is, not only do they get to decide, but they too often decide based on what makes them feel important, not on what makes them and the company more money.

As a consultant, this is a hard place to be. (It is probably even harder as an employee!) I always feel ethically obligated to point out once to the customer that if we do it our way, they will make more money. Then when they say, “I don’t care,” I can say, “OK, we will do it your way.” But sometimes I wonder what they are paying for, doing it their way or achieving success.

I guess it is all in the definition of “success.”

ps, I promise that I will do Regular Expressions Part VIII soon.