Just add water: architecture startups!


Able to stomach it in my youth/naivete, but not so much now…
May 8, 2014, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Startup

I recently encountered an old client from a former office and it felt like a jolt of Mountain Dew — y’know when you’ve drank too much caffeine ‘cos it was at the moment feeling like a really good idea but ended up making you feel absolutely sick to your stomach from the rush of caffeine and sugar?  yeh…that feeling.  (sorry– the analogy brought me to my undergraduate years).

This client was super demanding, needed attention 24/7 (literally… you’d get phone calls on Sunday nights because he had an “epiphany”. He’d write 3-page, single spaced, dense emails of highly detailed, yet totally incoherent manifestos.  Most of the time, I felt like we were one step away from getting fired or sued — for what? I never knew or could predict.   It was either that or we were the greatest thing since sliced bread.  (Somehow this was a fine line that I couldn’t figure out, even after 1.5yrs on that job!) The flip side was that he was extremely wealthy– paid us hourly for our design fees, the schedule wasn’t really a pressing issue, and the project itself that conceptually was interesting, though insanely difficult to build.  At the very least, the project was something that photographed well.

This run in made me start to think about my own practice and marketing– if he came to me now as a sole practicitioner/small business, would I take him as a client? Is this the type of client/project I would be able to handle?  or want?   Are there different criteria that you use as a sole practictioner/small business from the marketing of your former offices? What makes it different?

 

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