in Business

Do You Provide Value?

I’ve met a whole lot of people in my years running a web design / development business and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are very subtle differences between someone who provides value and someone who does not. I’m talking about the people who do the work (designers and developers) although this principal follows easily to people who manage teams or sell projects.

I’ve had the unfortunate experience to have hired many people who don’t provide value.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

Value is so subtle that I haven’t been able to put my finger on what it is for months. You see, it’s not obvious what the difference is because these people have all produced stuff and delivered to an extent.

And it isn’t about one time. It’s about patterns. You can’t tell if someone provides value unless you have known that person for at least a half a year. Probably longer. Although you can usually have an inkling either way early on. People can have failures in life and business and still have a long term track record of providing value.

So I’ve been working on characteristics of someone who provides value. Here’s what I have so far. People who provide value…

  1. Constantly give you the feeling that you’re getting more than you’re paying for
  2. Keep producing over and over and over again
  3. Know it’s not about the money
  4. Actually worry about the long term quality of their product
  5. Get the job done even if they have to go outside of their comfort zone
  6. Don’t skip important phases in a process just because someone else was supposed to do them – they do them anyways
  7. Have dreams and know how to follow them — they stick to it

Over the years after experiencing what it is like to hire a person who doesn’t provide value I’ve had to teach myself the signs to watch for when hiring people (especially independent contractors).

People don’t change, much. – Chris Tingom

You see, I’ve made the mistake of hiring bad people twice. Even over and over again (see above where I state that these people are difficult to spot). It’s probably that I’m dense, too.

The point that I’m trying to make is that change is good and always try your hardest to provide value.

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  1. Nice article, but I thought I would point out that the Donald said “People don’t change much. They really don’t.” on an episode of the Apprentice a few months ago.

    🙂

  2. You can identify the wrong type of people by asking questions at the interview about the qualities you outlined. Though a question “Will you work for free?” may scare anyone, you can phrase it more palatably, so that it will sift through the junk.

    Providing value is about focusing on the customer and delivering what is good for them (sometimes they even don’t want this, though). When it comes to managers and bosses, they too can focus on providing value to their employers and customers, too.

Webmentions

  • Stephen Labuda / Do You Provide Value December 28, 2006

    […] Thomas at Brainfuel recently posted about the characteristics of someone who provides value. He outlines the things that he thinks determines whether someone in his industry (web design) provides value or not. It is an extremely valuable exercise. In the comments section of this post, tell everyone about your industry and what characteristics show that someone in your industry provides value. Thanks for the inspiration Thomas. […]

  • BrainFuel » 8 Years, 8 Observations, and 8 Goals December 28, 2006

    […] Do you provide value? […]

  • Notes December 28, 2006

    Do You Provide Value

    Thomas at Brainfuel recently posted about the characteristics of someone who provides value. He outlines the things that he thinks determines whether someone in his industry (web design) provides value or not. It is an extremely valuable exercise. In the