If it’s just me, not backed up by any surrounding team, surely there are tradeoffs. Well, yes. Let’s consider how these tradeoffs play out in the various interface points that customers could and should expect with any vendor.
Turns out you’re going to get, on balance, better and even oftentimes faster responses to support questions. Former CA staff were exceedingly good at giving thoughtful, on point answers to questions, no doubt about it. I even made a general rule banning copy-and-paste answers, because for my tastes there’s nothing more insulting than getting as a response something that only vaguely answers your question, and thus clearly the priority was to save some support agent a few keystrokes.
But as the guy who created it, I just know the system better. I am intimately familiar with the internals, the intuition, the underlying mechanics. And for a real stumper of a question, I can cheat: I can delve into the code or the actual database to solve a mystery, and quickly.
Most questions are, to me, simple trivia that I can quickly rattle off an answer to. The genuinely hard requests usually had to be passed my way anyway.
This all works because I have, for years, engineered away repetitive support issues: fixing root causes rather than answer the same thing over and over.
For years, we proudly offered what we affectionately referred to as “Handholding Sessions”. Free of charge, one-on-one calls where we’ve been happy to hop on a screen share and give whatever assistance we could in service of folks making the most of their CA account. Same deal for demos: we’d walk through the system and show off whatever was most relevant and likely to be of interest to whomever we were talking to.
Yes, those are now limited. I’m more interested now in spending the time to make videos and other materials to serve the same purpose. If you can be bothered to watch a video instead of talking to a live person to get your bearings, your reward is a system that’s more polished and powerful.
There’s one definite upside, here: Office Hours with the Founder. Now once a week I host a live session where you can chat with me about whatever you like, ask me whatever questions you may have. It might not be your own personal session, but that means you might learn something you didn’t expect from someone else’s questions.
Oooh, this one I’m excited about. I now get to be steep myself more directly in that, allowing my own, direct street-level view inform my perception of what would make CA better. No gatekeepers, no filtering, no fragmented awareness. Coupled with my ability to have this not overwhelm, and indeed be nourishing to my creative spirit, this one’s pure upside.
All told, there are two simple facts that work in your favor:
The result is pretty nice for everyone involved. :)
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