I'm lucky to have a friend who really knows how to bring people together. He is the brains behind everything our group of friends does, whether it's a Christmas dinner, a summer picnic, or a trip somewhere. We know that he makes sure it happens.
Every summer he organizes a water activity. Because he cares, he contacts multiple companies, asking about activities and prices, looking for the best offer.
This year wasn't any different; he sent emails to many companies, telling them all the activities we did before; asking for ideas and prices. He expected to get what he usually gets, which is a variety of viable options that we can choose from. Sometimes the prices are high, or the activities aren't exciting. The responses are always very polite, and contain an attached document, or a link, with all information we need to make our decision.
However, this year, he got a very interesting response. One he wasn't expecting at all.
"You did rafting in Rio Minho in the summer? That was a boat ride. Lol."
I think most people will agree that this is unacceptable, and he gave himself two days to cool down before answering it. As expected, they apologized, but it was already too late to make it right. I'm sure this was a mistake, one that doesn't represent the type of service they provide. They lost a potentially good client, but I'm confident they won't do it again.
Looking back at our own company, we know we made loads of mistakes: poorly defined contracts; working for three months without payment because we trusted the client's good nature; selling features instead of solving problems; partnering with people that don't share our commitment and vision; failing to communicate clearly with the client. The list goes on and on. We were figuring it out, and the mistakes we made taught us a valuable lesson:
It's hard to build a business.
There's still a long way for us to go, but this stuck. Our experience allows us to engage with our clients on a different level. We understand better than ever the risks a client takes when creating a new product, and we can appreciate their courage and determination.
We never cut back when it comes to building a relationship with our clients. We start by telling them our story, hoping it will ease their insecurities and motivate them to move forward knowing they can never make a difference without breaking some stuff now and then. We may have a big office now, and expensive computers, but we remember how it all started.
If you're interested in reading more about how we deal with clients, Joāo wrote a very cool blog post recently.
Back to work
Besides our usual work, this week we moved to the new office, and the internship program started. Here is a picture of us building tables and chairs.
Last but not least, the usual, interesting content that we gather from all over the internet. This time without descriptions, let me know if you want them back.