• Subject: Re: Legacy code. Was:Dates
  • From: "Chris Rehm" <Mr.AS400@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 07:39:16 -0700

>If I invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in my own training it's not
>in the anticipation of giving necessarily a better service, but a more
>valuable one. It would not make sense to do it unless I expected that

What makes it "more valuable" if it isn't "better"? If all you wish to do
is to charge more, I suggest you make a large initial training investment
and just become a lawyer.

>over some future period R2 would be greater than R1+C+L, where R2 is
>projected revenue after training, R1 is projected revenue without the
>training, C is the cost of the training, and L is loss of revenue while
>training. Note that this takes into account the idea that your rates
>will slip if you don't keep up with new developments.

True, but a short sighted view of the economic picture. Why would your
rates slip if you didn't keep up? How about because you aren't worth as
much to your clients? Why? Because you are not providing what they
want/need to stay competitive or improve market position. 

Your model simply views you. Certainly in a flush market it is possible to
simply react to market trends and "sell what the customer is buying". But
when market trends change it would be better to be ahead of the crest than
behind it. 

In your example, it seems that you should simply scan the press to see
what is the highest paid service, check the econo model and call the trade
school. However, without determining if those high paid skills are really
what your customer needs, couldn't you end up with a new skill set and
nobody to sell them too? 

On the other hand, if you look to your customers and determine what skills
would give them the most cost effective and valuable solution, you might
miss out on some of the good "trendy" money, but I think you will have a
much more solid income. Your customers should also find themselves in a
better position to continue providing you with revenue.

However, it could be that some of your customers are too short sighted to
implement what you see as more cost effective technologies. Sometimes you
have to evaluate your customer base and make a change. We then translate
the question "can I make more money" into "Is there a customer base that
will find this new skill set more valuable than my current one and can I
get these customers?" Again, the answers come by evaluating the customer

>There's only one reason to be in business, and that's to make money.
>Sordid, maybe, but true.

Absolutely. One reason I have always enjoyed doing business with IBM is
that they never made any pretense otherwise. They wanted my money. To get
it, they were willing to do whatever it took, including providing the best
possible technical solution to my needs. The don't always get it right,
but they don't ever stop chasing the cash.

I think the secret is to learn that if you really want the cash, you need
to get the customer to want to give it to you. One way to do that is to
provide a service that is worth more to him than that cash is. So, pay
attention to what your customer wants/needs.

>Dave Kahn - TCO, Tengiz, Kazakstan

Chris Rehm
You have to ask yourself, "How often can I afford to be unexpectedly out of 
Get an AS/400.
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