Great Big Disclaimer: If you follow this advice, some may accuse, you, me, the entire blogosphere of collusion. Here is the definition of collusion from Black's Law Dictionary:
An agreement between two or more persons to defraud a person of his rights by the forms of law, or to obtain and object forbidden by law. It implies the existence of fraud of some kind, the appointment of fraudulent means, or of lawful means for accomplishment of an unlawful purpose.
I'm not a lawyer, but this is simply an observation and not an agreement. Alright, back on topic…
Last year, Christopher Hawkins wrote a great article entitled 11 Clients You Need To Fire Right Now that every uISV and Consultant should read and take to heart. While I appreciate this contribution, I'd like to expand upon it slightly. There is a 12th Client which you need to fire…
If someone directly benefits from the misfortune of others, send them elsewhere.
There are people like loan sharks and payday loan companies (some people consider these the same) along with the stereotypical "ambulance chasing" attorneys who easily fall into this area. Then there are others like liquidation companies, bankruptcy attorneys/companies, and even debt collection companies that may fall into this area. Then there are insurance companies and the like which can often choose whether or not to fall into this category.
Are all of these people slimy or unethical? No, not at all.
Of course not… but since all of these people directly benefit from the misfortune of others, the opportunity to take advantage of the situation is there and many of their business models encourage and reward this sort of behavior. For many of these people, the temptation and pressures are simply too great not to do them. While I'm not a subscriber to the concept of Karma, I believe that people will be treated similarly to how they behave. Sure, if you want to break the terms of your contract and stick it to someone, often you can… but don't be surprised when it happens to you.
I take this a step farther and simply don't work for or with anyone I don't like or respect. This means that I turn down a project or two a month, each of which could be huge fiscally, but life is too short and CaseySoftware is entirely solvent, so there's simply no reason to go down this route.