Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

Armin Vit, a graphic designer, described his experiences hiring out work on his home, and how he had opportunities to offer the same kinds of objection that his clients have offered: “We, of course, hated these clients too. Mocking us with their DIY, cheapskate attitude. Hated them. All of them. … Fast-forward to September 2005 and Bryony and I have become these clients. All of them.”

I can echo the experience of becoming a client. Over the last few years, we at Oasis Digital have hired out various chunks of work to subcontractors: local subcontractors, those around the country, and in a few cases, those around the world (including a few on rentacoder.com). This has been an enormously educational and enlightening experience – I personally have a much greater understanding and appreciation for what it’s like to be a client. It’s not as easy as it looks, so to speak. I believe these experience will greatly help me understand how to deliver better for our clients.

It is an experience I recommend heartily – if your main work is as a provider of services (technical or otherwise), get some expering in hiring the same kinds of services you normally provide, even if you have to make up a “fake” project. This experience will be worth far more than what it costs.