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Mark Stringer's Blog

This is Really Funny - But

This is really funny: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell but you probably wouldn't be laughing the 9th or 10th time it happened to you. And if it happens to you 20 or 30 times, there's a good chance that you won't be in business.

Moaning very humorously about the problems that you have with your clients is great (unless perhaps your clients see it). But what are you going to do then. If you continue to get your ass kicked in exactly the same way time and time again then who's fault is it still?

It's your job to come up with solutions to the problems that arise again and again in your job.


OK, to get further into this and start to solve this problem rather than moan about it, we need to explore three important concepts:

  1. The Principle of Requisite Variety
  2. The way people behave at the delicatessen counter in Waitrose
  3. Value Dynamics

The Principle of Requisite Variety
This might sound complicated but it isn't. It basically says that if you want to control something, you have to have as many "moves" as the thing that you're trying to control. Think of it in Bruce Lee terms (as I often do). If you want to control the bad guys (win the fight) you have to have at least as many moves as the bad guys. If you've got more moves than the bad guys, then you'll probably win. If all you've got is that jumping up and down on a wooden pole move you learned from Karate Kid, you're probably not going to win many fights. Some moves you might try:
  • Ignore it. See if it goes away.
  • Do it, but do it so bad that even they won't like it
  • Tell them, flat out that in your professional judgement that that wouldn't be a good thing to do
  • If all else fails, if you really don't want to do this, fire them as a client
  • (perhaps the smarter move) Get rid of such foolishness with pricing. Have a pricing structure that goes like this:
    • Initial design £1000 for 2 days
    • Amendemendments to initial design £1000 pounds for 2 days
    • Fucking about and adding kittens £100 pounds per minute

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