Rule #5: You get no leeway for being a Maker.
Hmmm, so part of Rule #5 says “The customer is always right. Even if they’re being a jerk” which causes me some concern, and here’s why. When I first published the code and instructions for my button I was more than happy to answer questions on the blog post, and even via email, because I’m all about being open, and sharing, and helping other people make awesome things… that’s just who I am. But… I’m also a business, and yes, I do need to make money, and yes, I do try to make customers happy, but I do realize I can’t do it at the expense of the company itself. If this whole endeavor goes down the tubes and makes my life a living heck I’d like to think I could walk away from it. (People who know me are now laughing, knowing that I’m terrible at quitting and tend to keep things going way too long on occasion.)
All that said, I don’t expect any leeway for being a maker, but I guess I am hoping for some leeway because I’m just one guy trying to help people out by providing a product they want. I’ll go above and beyond to help customers if things don’t work right, and I hope they’d be understanding of the fact I’m just a small business trying to make simple things, and not some huge corporation trying to make a million dollars. Maybe that’s my expectation because that’s how I look at things. I do tend to give makers leeway because I usually believe that they are in business doing what they are doing more for the love of it than for the money, and I value that, and want to see them succeed, and if it means I give a little leeway, than so be it.
So going back to “The customer is always right. Even if they’re being a jerk” line… I try really hard not to be a jerk customer, and I just hope other people do the same thing.
(See all the posts in this series: Begin, Stock, Buy Smart, Basic Rules, No Leeway, Be Open, Community, Manufacturability, Marketing, Shipping, Lessons Learned, The Real Costs.)