“How do you define what’s a bug?”

Sent by Jonathan Stark on March 13th, 2017

A couple days ago, I shared 4 types of guarantees that you could offer to your clients.

In terms of generating follow-up questions, #4 was head-and-shoulders above the rest.

Here it is again for reference:

#4. For a software project, you might offer a “bug-free” guarantee, like: “If at any point in the future a bug is discovered in the code, just let us know and we will fix it free of charge.”

This one freaked all y’all out 😀

I got many questions that essentially all boiled down to:

“But how would you define what is and what isn’t a bug?!”

Or maybe more to the point:

“But what if a bug is not my fault?!”

In most cases, I wouldn’t try to distinguish between bugs that were my fault vs not my fault.

I’d just fix all bugs regardless of cause. 

Now I hear you wondering:

Q: How do you not go out of business? 

A: Because I charge far more than the going rate. (You could fix a lot of bugs for free if you were charging double your normal rate for a project, right?)

Q: How can you charge far more the going rate? 

A: Because I offer an amazing amount of peace of mind which dramatically differentiates me from my competitors. 

Additional bonuses that come with fixing bugs that weren’t your fault:

Things you can do to make sure the client doesn’t abuse the guarantee:

Please reply with more follow-up questions if you have them. I’d like to refine this line of thinking to the point where it doesn’t scare the bejeebus out of people anymore 😀

Thanks!

—J


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