Entry by Jennifer Allan

The Inflatable Programmer


Several months ago I was desperately trying to find a programmer to do several things for me... 1) take over and complete a project another programmer had started; 2) be available for future projects, both minor and major; and 3) be available In Case of Emergency for my various websites.

I spoke with several programmers from around the world (one guy from India called me at 11:30 pm and wondered why I wasn't in the mood to talk to him!), but one gentleman in particular stands out in my memory.

I explained to him what I was looking for and he chuckled and said "Oh, you're looking for an inflatable programmer!" I had no idea what that meant, so I laughed nervously and tried to pretend I had a clue. He caught onto my confusion and explained that an inflatable programmer was someone who could make himself available to the client on short notice, without any real ongoing commitment from the client; just be there when the client needs him.

I started to say "YES, that's exactly what I want!" but before I could get those words out of my mouth, he continued, explaining that "it doesn't work that way" and that if I was hoping to find someone to work under that arrangement, I'd likely be disappointed. In other words... "I ain't interested in your business."

Wow - I was stunned. I didn't think what I was asking for was all that unreasonable and it's how I've worked with programmers (and other service providers) in the past.

But what struck me was that here was bona-fide customer with a reasonable expectation and desire for a service and compensation arrangement, but he was turning down my business because it didn't fit into his paradigm of How Things Are Done. He even belittled me for assuming that I could have what I wanted (OMG! What has the world come to? A customer who wants thing her way?) when clearly what I was asking for was unreasonable and inappropriate.

Now, I don't know much about the business of programming, but it seems to me that what I wanted was something that a lot of small business owners might want as well. And be willing to pay for. And if there's business to be had that doesn't fit all neatly and tidily into your current business model, doesn't it seem like a good idea to see if you can make it work for you and capture that business? 

Do you see where I'm going with this, related to real estate consulting? 


What's good for the Goose Not Good for the Gander

No? Please elaborate?

When we are in our own indstries we are blinded by our own history and beliefs.  Its eye opening and jaw dropping that when we venture out into other industries and ask for exactly what we want in our own, we are ostonished that it can't be that way.  Real Estate is it's own "Boy in the Bubble"

Got it... so you are agreeing with me, then? I couldn't tell ;-]

It really IS bizarre how "special" we real estate folks think we are on so many levels.. that what works in other industries (and doesn't!) just doesn't apply to us!

I absolutly agree with you.  My "Philly" sometimes gets in my way of the explanation. 

This page contains a single entry by Jennifer Allan published on January 30, 2012 7:54 AM.

Owning the Financial Crisis was the previous entry in this blog.

Dual real estate revolutions gaining velocity is the next entry in this blog.

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