w: ajleon

Treat Your Vendors Like Your Clients

The wise prince, therefore, has always avoided these arms and turned to his own; and has been willing rather to lose with them than to conquer with others, not deeming that a real victory which is gained with the arms of others.

–Niccolo Machiavelli


In the thirteenth chapter of The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli roundly discourages leaders from the use of mercenaries in an age when it was common practice in warfare. Why? I mean from the onset, it seems like a great idea if you have cash to spend. Just pay some other people from some other land, and they fight and bleed and die for you. Here’s the problem, your flag means nothing to them. Your country means nothing to them. Your project means nothing to them. Your relationship with them is purely transactional. It’s hours for dollars. And when push comes to shove, they won’t give a shit about you or your country or that last pixel on your website or the  last second deadline on a press release.

My good friend, David Baeza, always says, “treat your vendors like your clients”.  Pay people and they’ll work for you.  Care about them, and they will fight for you.   There is nothing more disgraceful than allowing relationships with those who work for you to decay into simply words on a proposal. …. and yes, you can substitute the word employee for vendor here as well.


From Stratford upon Avon

Your Fellow Misfit,


249 words



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