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Reputation to lose

"So how do you decide which architect to choose?" I asked the chief executive officer of a software company.

"Choose the one that has the reputation to lose."

In other words, don't choose the one who has no reputation, and therefore none to lose. Choose the one who cannot afford to lose his reputation.

In that case, I should choose the architect who lives in my neighbourhood. Surely he can't afford to mess it up.

But suppose all four architects have good track record. And it's not a question of who might do a bad or worse job, but a question of selecting one who will give me the best value for money. How then should I choose?

There's only one who doesn't charge value added tax. So that's a savings of 17.5% for me right there. Although he was to the first to see me, he's also the last to deliver his quote. And I'm still waiting for his letter.

Like many people who are overwhelmed by too many choices or difficult trade-offs, I decided to call a fifth architect for a quote.

8 March 2002 Friday

Free advice from architects