You know there is a problem when a company selling you a service treats you with superiority and disdain. Somewhere in the sale cycle, someone hates the fact that they should be at the client service and not the opposite.
Take software solution companies, for example. They usually work in a vacuum creating some software solution that they decide is very cool and once finished, look around to see if there is a market for it. There’s usually a market for everything. Once they find the market, they approach the “non software” people in a attempt to sell it. Because they usually fall on non technical people who have no clue on how difficult it has been to design and implement what they are trying to sell, they are quickly branded as “idiots”, “retards”, or “useless”. Nevertheless, the software company still needs to make money to cover the costs of creating and maintaining there operation. So they reluctantly continue selling their product/services to the “incompetent idiots” that are not understanding the genius behind the applications they are buying.
The software companies stay very very close to their software peers in order to compensate and gather as much praises from them. After all, a praises from a peer is so much better than one from your clients. They couldn’t care less what their customers say about their products and what improvement they would like to see, as they see them as inferior that are only there to pay their bills. Like monkeys trying to explain to you how to operate your car. They come to really disdain this relationship whereby they have to take money from “idiots”. All they want is to be recognized as the new Google, get millions in funding and be admired by other programmers.
There is no love in a application creator/client relationship. We have seen it and we still see it in the photo industry. Since going digital, and especially after the billions spend by Yahoo for Flickr, a little flock of software companies, mostly start ups, have knocked on the doors of this market. And reluctantly did so. From database management to image recognition, they have found and develop some interesting tools for this market. However, they disdain the fact that they have to rely on poorly technology educated photo people to make a living.
What are the signs of such companies ? Well, first and foremost, very poor communications skills. Do not return emails or phone calls or take a very, very long time doing so. Would you answer quickly to someone you despise ? They certainly don’t.
Poor or in existent sales team. Usually handled by an entry level person that has absolutely no power. He/she is obviously at the bottom of the pole at this company, and while usually very nice and understanding, a complete waste of time to communicate with.
No training or well thought out documentation. You either get it, like they do, or you are a complete moron that wouldn’t even understand a step by step instruction, so why bother ?
They want you to come to them. Since their creation is so genius, you should be begging to use it, not the opposite.
Finally, and probably the most important, they turn their creation into a “Solution”. Although they have develop an application that they thought was challenging enough to do, they will come to you as if they have found a cure to your problems. They will take the high road and declare: “we are here to save photography”. They take a superior stand to any seasoned professional and explain with a condescending air of ultimate superiority that they know what is wrong with the Photography business and that their software/app/service is THE solution. All like little messiah, they have a greater purpose than selling their companies services. They are here to save you from yourselves.
Let’s be realist. They are all in it to make money. Lots and lots of money. Nothing more and nothing less. They hide there real intention behind a mask of fake benevolence. Most have this annoying unsaid little scheme that if they can corner the market, they can turn around, raise prices, and get a choking stronghold on this universe. In the mean time they rack millions in investors money with this promise.
While technology is certainly a tool for growth, it is also full of the worst snake oil sellers one can ever meet. Their efforts are not as pure as they say. All of them are trying to make a profit , and as large as possible. So next time they ring at your door, think about their business model. How do they intend to get rich on your back. Sure, everyone deserves to be paid. But, is it worth it for your business ?.How tied up will you find yourself if they succeed in cornering the market ? Who will benefit the most ? You, or them ?
Most importantly, if they then do not respond promptly to your emails ( remember, these guys are on their computers/ smartphones 24/7 ), then you know that they could care less about you. And it’s time to move on.