The Impossible Ask

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A phone call from a previous client always makes us happy because it’s a reminder that they value our work. Frank was happy to hear from Obi. Previously, he had partnered with Bleeding Bulb on a development job for his company.

The conversation between Frank and Obi started off casually enough, but Obi quickly started talking business. He wanted to introduce us to a new prospect. Frank asked when. Obi laughed, “Yesterday.”

They set up a meeting for the next day, but Frank already knew this wasn’t going to be an average project. Since they both resided in Washington, D.C., they met in-person.

The morning of the meeting was ominous with gray skies, and rain was just beginning to fall. Maybe this was a sign of what was to come.

Frank grabbed his signature backpack and walked to the location, a local coffee shop. Five minutes later, the two future superstars walked in. Brief introductions were made, and then everyone sat down. Obi was joined by a man named Lawrence.

The brief moment of silence was broken when Frank asked Obi about their situation. Obi and Lawrence grinned at each other, and Obi pulled out his laptop and started clicking. They needed an ecommerce store and landing page for their food and recipe delivery business Sooma Eats.

Their vision was clear, and they seemed to be on the same page, finishing each other’s sentences. Their idea was to use Shopify with custom designs and functionality. They already had mockups for the main pages. So far, so good. Frank told them that it was a great idea. He had misjudged the project from Obi’s comment about needing to meet yesterday.

The conversation abruptly shifted, however. Obi already had the information on the pricing structure for dedicated developers, so the only topic remaining was the schedule. Lawrence and Obi asked how soon Bleeding Bulb could complete the project. Frank told them that a project like this typically takes between two and three months.

Dead silence.

Confused, Frank asked when they needed it. They shook their head and told Frank how a friend was supposed to help but never followed through. They needed this launched for a competition in three weeks. They asked if Frank’s team could do it.

What?!

Frank couldn’t say anything, but wow, you guys are really pushing it. They agreed. Everyone sat in silence as Frank worked through the situation in his head.

Their passion and demeanor proved how urgent and crucial this project was to their success. On the other hand, he knew the mockups weren’t complete, and the requirements still needed to be fleshed out. And, Shopify can be tricky with certain tasks.

Frank took a deep breath and started talking about expectations and options, identifying priorities and distinguishing the must-haves from the nice-to-haves.

He needed 24 hours to digest the information and speak with his team. Frank ended by looking them in their eyes and saying that the only way this will be possible is if you are super-responsive and never miss a deadline. They thanked him and said they looked forward to hearing from him tomorrow.

Everyone packed up, shook hands, and grabbed their umbrellas. Frank’s mind was racing with thoughts and scenarios, assessing risks and probability.

After speaking with the team, Bleeding Bulb had two options — Opencart and Shopify.
Everyone agreed that it would be hard, but they were up for the challenge. It was time for the phone call.

After a recap of the requirements, Frank said that they would take on the project and told them what the team needed. He shared the team lineup and level of support required and explained their responsibility. After deciding to use Spotify, everyone was on the same page.

The next three weeks were intense with 12 to 16-hour days, but every micro-milestone was met. Sooma Eats, the affordable food delivery service, was born, and Obi and Lawrence were ecstatic.

We did it!

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