That time your client was so smoothly turning into your BFF, you didn’t realize he had made up all his investors (with Jess McCarter)
In our eleventh take at Client Horror Stories, we have Jess McCarter sharing with us a story that started with a way longer meeting than necessary. One of those meetings where they discussed the solution to all the world’s problems. And that was the start of many, many meetings like that.
Jess’ tale takes us back 15 years when he was still a young start-up founder trying to climb his way in the custom software industry. He landed a massive client on the East Coast with a very ambitious idea that was way ahead of its time idea. Jess’ team was blinded by the lights of this huge contract with an ambitious client. Previously they had worked only on small contracts with a fixed scope. But, of course, the team wanted a client with a vast open-ended project. It was an incredibly bright future, or so it seemed. Unfortunately, because due diligence ended up a very low priority, disaster lurked just around the corner.
With today’s story, we learn a couple of lessons on managing clients, especially when we don’t have so much experience yet, and when we actually believe in our client’s project. And with that comes along one of our highlighted quotes of the day: “The only thing worse than no contract is a bad contract.” And with that line, Jess pretty much summarizes everything there is to know about encountering the client version of the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
Reaching the very end of this tale, we learn that not every lousy client is a bad person and that working hard and being honest really pays off. Even if it’s a couple of years later.