business relationships

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i’ve been thinking a lot about business relationships lately.  i am often troubled by simple common practices in business.  For example, a potential client is often fearful of saying how much money they wish to spend.  The problem with this is that there is never one solution.  When a client wants a system built, their description is far from detailed.  i view my job as translating what the client is trying to articulate into a real working system.  But that system can have many variations within it.  there are too many details.  lately, i’ve been very preoccupied with the future of the system or better yet, the data.  i’m tired of building static websites which need to be completely redone when the site is “upgraded”.  so in the last projects i have worked on, i’ve tried really hard to think of the systems i have built as structures or foundations; essentially a system which you can build upon.  it’s a hard thing to sell, but i feel so strongly about this, that i am going to do my best to not build a system in any other way.

this approach forces both myself and the client to think of the future, which is a very good thing to do.  the future, of course, can and will change.  but when you design towards the future (not for the future), you open yourself up to new possibilities.  No longer are you constrained by simply what you know.  Instead, you have the hope of seeing something in a different light.  For example, the idea that the client would say, i can only spend $15,000 on my computer system over the next two years.  where does that place us?  For me, that is the way all businesses should begin.  There is no reason to be coy.  A business relationship should not be about me courting the client.  That is too simple an image.