I sat comfortably in a local Nashville coffee shop, sipping my dark chocolate mocha and reading a fantasy novel that my wife recommended – this was what Saturdays were made for. Two men descended upon the table next to me, speaking more loudly to each other than was manageable for my reading concentration abilities. They were discussing business – web design business.
I was quickly able to discern their arrangement. One of them was a “web designer” who boasted of his ability to get cheap web templates from foreign sources, modify them, and “slap them together in Dreamweaver”. He even said he could perform SEO by adding simple H1 tags. The other guy had a hard time following along with these simple web terms, but he seemed to be the actual “business owner”. He talked about how this new client of theirs was “loaded” and that they could probably squeeze a $12,000 website project out of her. I became indignant. Not only had they been a boisterous interruption to my book reading experience, they had revealed themselves to be the very thing I hate most about my business.
You see – I’ve done $12,000 websites, $1,000 websites, $30,000 websites. I know what it takes to plan, design, program, populate, host and manage all of them. I’ve been at this a long time (14 year, actually). It irks me to no end when these type of opportunists flood the market, spouting off industry buzz words, promising the world to their clients and then exceed the budget, overcharging them for the work and under-delivering with the final product. I’ve lost count of the number of times a client has called me after deciding to work with “someone cheaper” only to have paid more than what I quoted AND been left without a finished website, needing me to help fix it.
For every talented, knowledgeable, experienced web designer/developer out there, there are multiple business vultures. They know the terms (design, HTML, Flash, SEO, social media, web standards) and they’re sly enough to pitch them to prospective clients – but they continuously fail to deliver with the value those words represent. They make a quick buck at the price of devaluing and over-saturating a legitimate market.
I sat, amazed by the unethical, lazy and flippant way these two gentlemen planned their business scheme – but they were also the ones who interrupted my latte-sipping-book-reading-lazy-Saturday, so they were already on my bad side.