It’s good business to learn from people who suck: #42 of 55 things I’ve learned

Every time something annoys me, I take it as a learning experience. For example, Darling Daughter Number Three has been remiss at getting back to me lately, with the lament,

“But I’m SO busy!”

I understand she just finished filming a TV show and has people line up for hours to get her autograph, etc.



On the other hand, if she gets in a bind, I’m always the first person she calls. As I grumbled to The Invisible Developer, “We make time for things that are important to us.”  I realized that I was just as guilty.

What is important to me is getting everything lined up for our game demo in Las Vegas on Friday. It’s just a small get-together game demo but it’s the first one we’ve done so I want it to go off perfectly. Finishing the second game, revising the first game, getting contracts out to the people we are hiring are all important to me.

It occurred to me that other things are important to the clients we already have, like their quarterly reports, progress on meeting in-kind match requirements. To other members of our staff, their travel arrangements for various meetings are important, getting their business cards ordered, getting put on the payroll – all of which I have  to review and approve. So, I’ve been trying to make a sincere effort to devote more attention to those other responsibilities that matter to other people, reminding myself that those PEOPLE are important to me and helping each other is, by definition, a two-way street.

Last week, I tried to contact a vendor about an order we had that they completely screwed up – as in, objects showed up broken into a large number of pieces that are supposed to come in one piece – and no one was in their office after 5:30 pm. There wasn’t even a voice mail option to leave a message! This made me wonder about our customer service. If people contact me directly, I get right on it or see that someone else does. However, we did a survey of our Kickstarter backers asking if they’d had a problem installing the game. Very few did and most of them tweeted about it or in some way attracted my attention and I contacted them. I asked if we had followed up with each person who mentioned on the Kickstarter survey having a problem. It turned out we did not – so, if you received an email this week, that’s because we went back and followed up with each person.

You know that rule about

“Do Unto Others as You’d Have Them Do to You”

(Yes, I know that text color is purple, not gold, but gold wouldn’t really show up, now would it?)

Whenever someone is a jerk to me or some business pisses me off, I try to ask myself,

“Do I ever do that? Could our customers/ employees/ vendors ever feel that way about me or our company?”

and if the answer is, “Yes” (more often than I’d like to admit), then I try to fix it. The worse they are, the more ways I can see that we DON’T want to be like them. In that way, even if you are a complete ass and your company sucks, maybe we benefited from dealing with you.
Learn math. Save lives. Learn culture. Kill animals. (Relax, it’s a game.)

7 Generation Games Logo with feathers

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One Comment

  1. Completely agree. At the opposite, those like me who tend to put the needs/priorities of others before mine, children or team members, suffer from chronic stress due to deadlines rarely held. I find it so difficult to find a balance between our and others needs/priorities !

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