The Name of The Game

Each day I interact with people trying to game our studio.

First there is the spec work. If we only do this design project for free they will give us all of their future business. Yes I say, so let’s bundle all of this into one contract then?

Then there is the price pushing. They have a guy who can do it for half what we quoted. He never sleeps, doesn’t have “all of that overhead”, and knows development too. Yes I say, but what happens when Mom’s basement floods?

Or there is the overseas argument. They could hire a team in a far-off land to do this if they wished. Yes I say, but isn’t it strange how the project ends up being harder to manage, and costing more?

I often hear drama as a currency in exchange for our services. So-and-so’s going through a rough patch, so surely we’ll have the heart to help out for free. Yes I say, but why does someone need in a fancy website when it sounds like a hug will do?

Next is the constant, unending intentional scope creep. Sometimes this occurs unwittingly, but much more often this is stupid people thinking they’re clever. Yes I say, but did you read the contract you signed?

Here is the truth: You don’t get good results from being a bad person.

It just doesn’t work. Sure, you may make out in the short term, but people notice and react in the long term. They know that you can’t be trusted. Your opportunities diminish, so you have to game harder. The game plays you.

Be nice. Be dedicated to your craft. Be willing to help, but not quick to ask of others. And then watch as opportunity presents itself.