I laughed when I saw this picture the first time. And I laughed when I saw it again today. It was in an article on consultants over at HorsePigCow.
As I read through the article and thought about the picture, I started to also think about this article by David Armano. David encourages us all to get out into the world and mingle ... walk and talk with the people we design and create for. And then it struck me ... the thing that was missing from the picture was the customers. Here was a picture of a park, but there was no one there ... no kids, parents or even dogs.
Of course, it is easy to think that your CLIENT is always right ... they are the ones paying the bills after all. But what happens when you create your work ... a consultant's report, a website, an ad campaign (whatever it is) and no-one buys, watches or engages with it? What if you imagine, design, manufacture and install the BEST swing in the world but it is in a park that no one visits? It is important to keep your focus on your CLIENT'S customers ... because long after the project closes people will remember (and perhaps continue using) your work. And then no one will remember the brief, the challenges or the implementation.
They will only know how YOUR work affects their life now. Is it easy? Nooo! Is it worthwhile? It is if you want to proudly stand by your work.
Stand up for the customers. It might hurt at first, but it is good pain. Go on ... you know its true.