I absolutely love this recent post by Seth Godin on And what else will you lie about?
Seth makes the point that "Once an institution starts glibly lying, it’s a slippery slope. A reality distortion field moves from on-hold time to diesel emissions. On the other hand, consider what happens if you start by telling the truth about little things."
At Bitlancer we know what happens when you’re brutally honest with customers: they trust you, respect how you do business, and take what you tell them at face value. Straight-up honesty has been our m.o.
As one potential customer told me recently, “I can’t believe you just told us not to work with you.” Which was the truth. Bitlancer was not a good fit, mostly because we didn’t think the work they were asking us to do was actually a priority to them. That decreased the likelihood we would succeed in adding value to their team.
The Boston community isn’t all that big, and word gets around. We’re in business for the long haul, and that means we want to deliver maximum value and the best possible experience for every client.
There’s no way you can actually do that without being honest. As Seth says in his blog, once lying and dissembling becomes acceptable in your company culture, you start (for example) making excuses instead of delivering value. You start putting expedience over customer needs. You start to suck.