Context: At Logology we design logos. Started as a high-end logo generator, we’ve found a way to also shake the custom logo design market. We think we can bring the same level of quality than a $2500 freelancer for a fraction of the price ($549) by automating key parts of the process.
We had a great customer who loved what we were doing, paid us $549 upfront for a custom logo and loved his proposals. But we fired him (nicely) and gave him a refund.
The reason is that we realized mid-way that he didn’t understand what he'd sign up for. He came to us for custom logo design work, and expected the same kind of service that a freelancer provides (lots of iterations and back and forth until client is happy).
The thing is that it’s not what we’re building, what we're doing is a mostly automated way to get high-end design work done, with almost no back and forth.
So it took us a few hours to figure out what to do. Should we keep working on his project, make some money and gain a happy customer (but for a different offering that we don’t think can scale at all)? Or should we cut our losses, refund him nicely and go back to making our true offering more understandable and desirable to clients?
Even though we could have easily done what he asked for, we decided to stay 100% focused on our product vision. We might disappoint him and lose a few hundred dollars, but we are saving time and energy to figure out the best way to solve this problem. Also, we keep working on what we love, and not what we left a couple of years ago (agency style work).
We're sad that we had to resort to refunding him mid-way through the project though, as we really hoped that it could work. It's just that we think our vision has the potential to bring way more happiness to people down the line, clients and designers alike. Better to take a small loss now than a big one later (having wasted time on the wrong things).
Thanks to him, we learned that we still had ways to go before our custom design offering can take off. Now, we’re back on the drawing board, but with great new insights we gathered from working with him. Next iteration here we come 🤠!