The holiday season is upon us, and with that declaration comes a story I'd like to tell.
Let's say for a moment, you are considering buying a software suite that will handle all of your business needs. There will be payroll & accounting, project management, customer service and support, R&D, and human resources. This software will expand with your business over the coming months and years, and you are guaranteed to be covered by a 10 year warranty should the software fail to meet those new needs. The stipulation, of course, is that you must wait for the code to be written as it is not a business-in-a-box solution. You're not trial testing a demo, downloading a pirated copy, or outsourcing the coding team as a one time event. No, you're investing in a turnkey solution to help you now and down the road. With much forethought, you plunk down several grand to get the process started.
Much to your chagrin, upon installing the first piece of software after months of waiting, the security protocols embedded in a specific process fail and send a domino effect down the chain, ultimately crashing the entire suite. Rightly so, core leadership is livid and investors get wind of this within hours. It's a right mess and it's all yours to own. The software can be fixed, but again, this takes time. There's no GitHub fork here; this is custom coded for your exact needs. You call the customer service agent and he explains he will create a case and send it to the correct team(s) for further review. This does not satisfy your anger and you launch into a spiel about the amount of time and financial capital wasted on a project that doesn't work.
He says he understands but... again quality takes time. If the company were to make private forks of the software, it would signal to investors and the public alike that the company doesn't trust its own software; it's merely waiting for it to break upon install or heavy usage. Then they wouldn't be able to command the prices they do for custom solutions. It could be misconstrued as mis-advertising and possibly even fraud or theft if the company were to make backups and private forks of custom solutions.
He says the company is terribly sorry and he will do everything in his authority to manage the case to the right hands and turn over with expediency, providing a rectification at no cost to your business. It sounds reasonable that this software should be pored over with a microscope, and that this would take time. You let him do his job and go to core leadership with the results of the phone call. They wanted the software within a week as investors are now quite wary, as are clients.
The above story is a a sampling of what I deal with every day. People who have bought the Lexus and when something goes wrong in that 1% margin of manufacturing error, they want a Honda solution. They want to be able to walk into a virtual showroom, grab a box, ring it up at the cashier's table, and stroll out happy. But it's clear they value quality. They value high-end products and services to meet their needs, because they understand what this says about their business. They just don't want to wait because they don't understand or value that quality can take time; it is a painstaking process to code, compile, code some more, recompile, insert all required security and assorted protocols correctly. They want multiple copies of software in case something goes wrong, but they don't want to pay for it.
This is the sum total of my days. Interacting with people who value quality because of its symbolic nature and persuasion to gain what they want from the business world. These same people, however, have the attention span and patience threshold of a toddler, and in many cases, that's a generous attribution. Folks, if you buy quality, be prepared to invest more than financial capital. Be prepared to invest a bit of time for a quality high-end product or service because ultimately that's why you're paying the price point.