Clients Who Don’t Appreciate Technology


Those who don’t appreciate technology, in the end fail both themselves and you. Try not to work for them.


ver last few years I have learned something as a technology professional which I thought I should write about here, as it might help many readers.

What I have learned is that those clients who don’t understand and/or appreciate technology, are not only extremely hard to impossible to work with, but they also fail themselves and you in the end.

Recently I was exploring background of the successful people in the technology industry, and I noticed that all of them had some sort of background in the technology industry itself, which explains why it is important to have true understanding of the technology industry itself to be successful in it.

Technology is hard to develop, its not an easy task. It takes countless hours of R&D, development, testing, calibration, re-testing, more R&D, more development, before a product is finally ready for production.

And software engineering and development is no exception.

A good piece of software takes a very long time in development, whether its a website, a mobile app, a desktop application or an embedded system. For example, a good website programmed from scratch can take up to three months to complete, with a team consisting of developers, designers, experts of database, networking and server systems. This adds up to the cost. So a good website can easily cost in tens of thousands of dollars.

But, for a lot of clients, who want to build a great website and be on top of search lists, they expect this practice to be something not more than $9.99 per month and they fail to understand why would it cost e.g. $20,000 in initial development plus $300 per month in monthly running costs, and further $1,000 monthly in advertisement.

And I am not referring to free plug-n-play type one-size-fit-all solutions based on WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. Though they also incur some serious cost if properly and beautifully customized to suit a client’s requirement.

Many clients also refer to online freelance websites where developers from certain third world countries offer their services for peanuts, while promising to accomplish tasks which they don’t even understand what they mean.

Developing good technology is time consuming and hard work, and it costs money. 

This all makes it very difficult for a genuine developer to put forward his/her case for a genuine and good quality original work.

My observation for this problem is as follows:

  • From a client’s point of view, a website is just a website. He doesn’t know that it is a default set of web pages or plugins which come standard after signing up with a hosting company. Client doesn’t know that it is based on WordPress or something similar, which in turn is a software evolved over many years. So when he/she wants to hire a developer for a custom solution who asks for a few months and tens of thousands of dollars of development cost, client fails to understand why.
  • Native and non-native apps is another culprit in the mobile app development industry. Non-native apps are basically web pages which present themselves as an app. Majority of the so called app developers, who promise to make apps for cheap, basically just make do this non-native development work. So when a native app developer proposed a bigger cost and time, client fails to understand why.

So now it becomes some extra and hard work for a developer to educate the client why custom and good quality software development actually costs good money too.

The result is, client keeps wasting money in small quantities while not achieving his/her goal, and getting frustrated on it, and not understanding where the problem is. Problem is there in not understanding how the technology works.

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