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April 7, 2010

Don’t throw common sense out the window

Filed under: Website Development, Your Business — Mike Jaltuch @ 11:21 pm

A famous definition of the word ‘insanity’, simply stated it is, repeating the same thing but expecting different results.

In business, I see many people doing this exact thing with respect to their web projects. Unfortunately due to the low barriers to entry in this industry there are many sub-par developers out there more than willing to take your money when given the chance. However, if you work with a company or individual and they don’t perform well, shame on them. If you use the same criteria when selecting your second vendor and it produces the same results then shame on you.

I recently received a call from someone wanting a web application. During our conversation I discovered he had already gone through four developers in the past 18 months and still has nothing to show for his time and money. In discussing the high level aspects of his project I soon determined it was roughly a 150-200 hour project.

He agreed as the other developers told him it would take 1-2 months. The strange part is that he was looking to spend around $1,500 for the project.

This is the point I became lost. He said this was the amount he agreed to pay all his previous developers so therefore expected to find another one, hopefully better, and it should cost the same.

This is a perfect example of doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. I’m not sure how he thought an experienced developer was going to work on a semi advanced database project for less per hour than a high-school kid will make working at McDonalds.

Needless to say, it was a very short conversation.

Next time you have a failure, and it will happen for everyone at some point, make sure to take a step back and learn from your mistakes. Look at something from all sides by putting yourself in the other persons shoes. What could you have done better or differently? What could the other side have done better? Are you to share in any of the blame? If so, think about how to change for the better in your next attempt.

Just remember, in your next attempt, don’t do the exact same thing and expect it to magically work.