Nuclear Throne’s Vlambeer: “If The Customer Was Always Right I Wouldn’t Have A Job”

When I meet Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail, it’s in the middle of the annual Develop conference in Brighton. He’s a striking figure in a sea that’s half middle-aged businessmen and half wide-eyed, unshaven young developers in t-shirts: improbably tall, wearing a leather jacket on a hot summer’s day, hair everywhere, and a mile-a-minute patter that conveys extreme confidence without evident arrogance. He’s nearing the end of Ramadan, which means he hasn’t eaten during the day for several weeks, but has the energy and enthusiasm of someone about to climb Everest. Like his company’s offbeat action games and his often highly outspoken social media style or not, it is little surprise that this guy became so successful – though of course the raw, joyful appeal of games including Nuclear Throne, Super Crate Box, Luftrausers and Ridiculous Fishing went a long way towards that.

But would the confidence and conviction that he has when he wades headlong into the gaming issues of the day or, as he does in his keynote Develop speech the next day, declare that listening to one’s customers is not necessarily the best policy, be there if he didn’t already have the safety net of that success? In the unedited transcript below, we talk about that, about his feelings towards his own customers, indie ‘luck’, why games want rockstars, Ubisoft’s women characters controversy and why he doesn’t feel he can tell anyone else how to be successful.


Photo by Dan Griliopoulos/Develop Conference

RPS: What are you planning for your talk tomorrow?

Rami I don’t tend to write my talks, I just tend to do talks. And I realised today that I’ve heard a lot of talks but I don’t often hear people talk about customers. You have to manage expections, you have to take care of community but be strict with them and nobody really tells you how. So I wanted to give some examples of that. Half of my talk I wanted to be ‘fuck yeah customers’ and half of it be like ‘fuck customers.’ And I want to be in the middle, because in the end that’s why we’re independent. We don’t want to make what people want .We just want to make what we want to make.

It’s a thing that pisses me off infinitely is when game developers go like ‘yeah, I want to make the game that I want to play.’ It’s such a weird thing, because you’r the only one who won’t be able to play it. If you’re making the game you want to play you’re doing something terribly wrong or you have a severe misunderstanding of how game development works. 

RPS: Yeah, I’m not sure how you reconcile that with wincing at everything that didn’t work out how you wanted.

Rami:  Yeah, you’re like ‘this is broken’ or you know everything that’s going to happen. So when people make a big narrative game and are like “this is the game I want to play” I’m “that’s so saaad. I feel so sorry for you.”

RPS: ‘The only story that works for you is your own story’

Rami: Exactly. So we don’t do that. We make the games we want to make. Part of that is also not listening to consumers or customers. But we’re also very known through Nuclear Throne for listening to our customers, but I think we very clearly setup expectations of what we would listen to and how we would do that. We’ve just, as an industry, been so poor at teaching consumers, customers how this industry works.

So Nuclear Throne is made in Gamemaker and people still come to us every now and then and say ‘why isn’t there a build on PlayStation?’ We say ‘well, we’re working on that, but it’s not done yet. It’s gonna take a lot of time.’ They’re like ‘well can’t you just click a button in Unity?’ We’re “no, it’s Gamemaker” and they’re “why don’t you make it Unity then?” That kind of moment is terrifying to me, because when people make a movie nobody knows exactly what goes into the movie but there’s an understanding that it takes time to shoot, it takes time to edit, it takes time to get ready, it takes time to distribute, there’s marketing campaigns… There’s this well-defined roles: a director, a producer… Sure, not everybody knows what a director does versus what a producer does, but you’ve got the actors, the public facing parts of movies, and people know that. Ask somebody ten years ago what Cliff Bleszinski’s role was and nobody would be able to tell you.

RPS: One of my colleagues (Adam) the other day was saying that what games don’t have that movies do is this ability to send a whole different bunch of people forwards to promote their thing. The actors promote it, maybe the director does a bit, but games send the people who have been behind the scenes and they end up representing the whole project.

 Rami: Yeah, and we could do that. With Nuclear Throne, whenever we do a group talk it’s always the team. It’s our musician, it’s our programmer, it’s me, the guy who does the promo art… We get the team out there because we want to show people ‘hey, this is how a videogame gets made.’ We don’t do that. That creates a lot of weird tension and weird expectation. You see it everywhere. You see it on Kickstarter, you see it on forums, you see it with sales… It sort of goes through everywhere. It seems like such a big issue, but I’ve never heard a talk about it. So I thought maybe I’ll talk about that this time. I need to figure out if I can do a good talk about that, given I’ve got sixteen hours of preparation time.

 I’ve thought the issue through, and I’ve been discussing this with people around the world for two or three years, so I know what my feelings are, I just need to figure out if I can communicate it clearly. This is good exercise.

Here’s how the aforementioned talk came out.

RPS: It’s a weird conference for that. This conference is about making money, and making money as quickly as possible then pulling it out and going on to the next thing. 

Rami: It’s a very interesting part of investor culture, that kind of attitude. But I think there are enough people here who are not here for that. I saw part of the blowback to Randy Pitchford’s talk this morning. It’s interesting because he did point at some of the things I want to talk about, which is going to make it extra interesting for me to do my talk tomorrow. The point is it doesn’t really matter to me whether that’s what people want to hear. That’s exactly what my talk is about. It doesn’t necessarily matter. Someone needs to say this, say ‘listen, it’s fine for us to appreciate our customers, it’s good for us to celebrate our customers, it’s good for us to listen, to be open, to be talk, but there’s also a line.’ There’s a point where we need to be ‘no, that is wrong. You’re just wrong. Your understanding of this is false, and it’s false for these reasons.’ We’re scared of that because we’ve traditionally been very pandering to those audiences, but I think it’s time for us to treat them like adults.

RPS: You’re in an enviable situation in terms of doing that because you argued against GamerGate and took a strong side in other controversies – you told potential customers not to act a certain way and you survived it. So you already know you can survive pushing back. That might not be true for everyone.

Rami: Yeah, and the weird thing is we did already that. We’ve done that  before with Nuclear Throne, when things started people are asking us ‘it’s early access, if we give you feedback then you’ll listen to it?’ And we were “hell no, this is our videogame. If you think that you’re twelve dollars buys you a share in the development of this proejct then you’ve got it all wrong and I’ll happily refund you your money.’ And we’ve done it a couple a times, when people were ‘well, if I don’t have influence on this project then why would I….” You don’t have influence in this project. We’re making this game.

Photo by Tommy Rousse, used under CC-BY license.

RPS: But again, you’re making that decision from a position of already being successful. You can probably afford to take a big hit on this game if that style backfired.

Rami: Yes and no. As the studio grows your responsibilities grow as well. Plus, yyou know, being more visible, any faux pas is a lot more visible too. We’ve always tried to treat the people who play our games as if they are game developers, as if they are aspiring game developers like we were back in the days. We explain to people this is how things are, these are the technical situations that we’re dealing with.

Luftrausers has a broken trophy [on PlayStation], has had it for the past year, and every time someone comes to us we apologise for that because, yes, that is a fuck-up, but then we also tell them ‘listen, we are two-guy studio, we are focused 100% on Nuclear Throne right now, we don’t have the time to fix it. We promise as soon as Nuclear Throne is done, first thing we’re going to find out how this happened and how we can fix it.” And we have problems with Super Crate Box, we have problems with Ridiculous Fishing, we have problems with a bunch of our games, but we just keep explaining ‘this is the issue.’ But someone on Reddit will get impatient, they’ll send an angry threat, and I’ll just jump in there and do the same explanation again. “Yes, we fucked up, but what you’re asking now is not a thing that is possible given the situation right now.” And it turns out a lot of people just appreciate that.

RPS: Is it not something where you could pay someone to go fix it for you?

Rami: I think you could, but I think it’s a situation where it’s somebody who actually works on the game means a lot for people. I think part of our industry yearns for the rockstars. Part of our consumer base still years for the equivalent of a Peter Jackson or an Orlando Bloom. The big stars, and the indie stars. 

RPS: You believe customers want to define the games they play by the people who make them?

Rami: By people, yeah. We’ve been so big on defining our products by technology, by the project itself, by the protagonist, by the world, but not by the people. I think part of that backfires in spectacular ways because now it turns out that people make videogames. And a lot of people are very shocked by that, that you can’t just shout and people and send them death threats because they changed the numbers on a Call of Duty gun. It’s terrifying that our industry hasn’t figured that out yet. 

On page two – “this industry wants to be perfect”, and the response to women characters in Assassin’s Creed and Deus Ex’s mechanical apartheid.

77 Comments

  1. Sam says:

    If the customer was always right, the universe would have collapsed in a writhing mass of incompatible truths.
    Therefore we a priori know that so long as we’re in a position to say anything at all, we can say that the customer is not always right. Which is a far better place to build a philosophy from than Descartes silly little idea.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      If you work in the service industry, you learn very, very quickly that “the customer is always right” is absolutely false.

      • jecomans says:

        When I managed a restaurant back in the day, the mantra was, ‘The customer is probably wrong, but try to accommodate them anyway, because their bill pays your salary’.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          You, final poster of this thread, are my favourite person here for understanding subtext.

        • Uhbas says:

          I have always understood the thing you just said is the true meaning of the phrase “the customer is always right”

  2. Tazer says:

    I liked the interview, but I don’t necessarily agree with his attitude. Good for him for having an opinion though.

  3. ChiefOfBeef says:

    Like the Assassins Creed motto “Nothing is true, everything is permitted”, Ismail simply doesn’t understand the meaning of “the customer is always right”. It’s not about what the customer wants but what they will pay for. Anyone can make a game but if they want to keep making games as they like, with as much time as they like- their ambitions are in the hands of their customers, not their own.

    Unless you’re a wealthy trust-funded privilege checker with no sense of irony and daddy pays the bills.

    • draglikepull says:

      “The customer is always right” is an approach to customer service, no one actually believes it’s true. It’s mostly relevant to retail, where the idea is that it’s usually better for the company to simply take a small financial hit in a dispute with a customer than to risk the PR fallout of a customer telling everyone they know that you’re a big meanie. What it really means is “Don’t argue with the customer” not “Give the customer anything they demand.”

      • ChiefOfBeef says:

        Well then your take on it has no relevance here- mine is a response to Ismail’s, which focuses on the relationship he has with the customer.

      • frymaster says:

        ex McEmployee here. In fact, that’s exact how it’s phrase – “Do not argue or match wits with the customer”. The implication being, they don’t have many wits to match, but demonstrating that to them isn’t going to help in the long run

    • Underwhelmed says:

      One problem with listening to “customers” when working on a gaming project (or virtually any other directed at a mass audience rather than an individual), is that the people that demand the largest amount of your ear, are virtually never the largest part of the customer base. You don’t get a representative sample of your customers through social media, because it isn’t a random sample. The people that apply are their own population, and may have very different tastes or expectations compared to the larger pool that doesn’t respond.

      Another, and a much larger problem, is regardless of data gathering issues, you still can’t and shouldn’t generalize customer relation strategies from individual/small group policies, to large scale general population interactions.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      He’s clearly talking about the modern definition of the phrase that is about what the customer demands, not what the customer will pay for. Which is the definition that an overwhelming number of people subscribe to.

    • Bradamantium says:

      This whole interview is about reorienting customer demands to customer awareness of how game development works, how their suggestions matter (or don’t), and how it’s not as simple as giving everyone what they want. Nowhere does that imply that Rami Ismail genuinely believes “the customer is always right” is an unquestionably true, supreme physical law of the universe.

    • metric day says:

      Assassin’s Creed motto? Pfft. What, is that game taking credit for Hassan Sabbah’s last words now?

  4. Geebs says:

    “He’s nearing the end of Ramadan, which means he hasn’t eaten for days”

    Erm…..you mean, “hasn’t eaten during the day”

    • Alec Meer says:

      Aye, sorry, I garbled that while rushing to get this piece finished – ta for pointing out, fixed now.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Lol. This.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      There’s more typos elsewhere, to the point where I suspect that last ‘accountancy’ is meant to be something like accountability.

      • kalzekdor says:

        There are a fair number of typos in the article, but I’m fairly certain that accountancy is what was meant. I.e, learning to manage the financial books of a small business can be a harrowing experience at first. I know from experience.

  5. Tasloi says:

    The gaming industry’s close relationship with customers can bring tremendous value but also significant costs at times. All true. At times you can’t help but wonder whether taking a step back from that wouldn’t be more beneficial to the industry. But after taking a closer look at many of the people heavily preaching this aswell, i’m instantly skeptical.

  6. SuicideKing says:

    QA and AssCreed Unity don’t belong in the same sentence! :P

  7. rafacarrascosa says:

    Alec, are you experimenting with unusually long sentences? I’m playing ‘where’s the verb?’ with your article and it beats Wally on some places.

  8. Mezmorki says:

    “You believe customers want to define the games they play by the people who make them?”

    This has already happened in the board gaming hobby world. Pretty much every hobby game is released with the name of the designer right on the front of the box near the title – in the same way that an author’s name is on the front of their novel.

    Sid Meier was one of the few designers to have his name attached to the games he designed, except that wasn’t really the full story because his name got added to a lot of games he didn’t design too.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      I have a theory with books: If the author’s name is displayed more prominently than the actual title of the book, it is probably an awful book.

      • Josh04 says:

        There’s some popular saying about books and covers, if only I could remember it…

      • iainl says:

        Triply so, if the author’s name displayed prominently is actually the co-author’s name, or even less.

  9. PancakeWizard says:

    This is the guy that said ‘You don’t have to like games to be a developer’ right? I mean, he’s technically right when you’re talking about huge studios who for example have separate art departments and all you’re doing all day is painting the next piece of concept art, but in general it certainly helps to enjoy the medium you’re developing for and for an indie, I’d say it’s essential if you want to be remembered beyond ‘wow what is this pointless, badly written thing?’ (Hi Sunset!).

    I doubt any game that’s remembered fondly or as a masterpiece was made by people who disliked playing games.

    • Clavus says:

      I don’t think that reasoning holds up. Tale of Tales might not have made the most engaging games, but they definitely made interesting games that a lot of other designers were inspired by. Rami is saying that developers like that should not be pestered out of the industry just because their work doesn’t have mass appeal or years of experience behind it. You shouldn’t have to be a gamer to be a game creator. Those kind of people make games because almost nothing in the existing game space interests them, so I applaud any efforts to bring something new to the industry, even if it fails.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      It definitely doesn’t hurt to have people with that attitude making games. If all games developers love games then there’s a danger they all think games are already great and shouldn’t be hacked to death and turned into something different. Ties in with not listening to your customers too much. You wouldn’t find a respected songwriter admitting they got feedback from their fans after every album and made sure the next one met their desires (more cowbells please!). If we ever want to see a Dark Souls again then we need games designers acting like artists and ignoring the wishes of the crowd, and having a little contempt for the medium they work in.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        ” If all games developers love games then there’s a danger they all think games are already great and shouldn’t be hacked to death and turned into something different. “

        Respectfully, that’s rubbish. Gamers clearly love gaming but would you say they are uncritical? The opposite is true. I’d say the more an enthusiast you are, the more critical you become. That applies to making anything from movies, to go games to wine. If you dislike games, and choose to make games, it basically means you’re making it in a bubble.

        • Distec says:

          Very true. I think it’s evident that there is a lot of love for games and gaming, but we also really like to bitch about things too! I don’t get the impression that there’s a lot of defense for the status quo. While there may be plenty of gamers who are fine with playing what they know, there is also an enthusiast side that is always demanding more. It’s also part of the reason why pre-release trailers and advertizing often imply so much more than they can actually offer. There are players who are dying for something like “Radiant AI” to become fully realized, and they are often the first ones to point out how shit it is in practice.

          There are plenty of “different” games that have come out and enjoyed critical and commercial success. But “different” and “interesting” are not synonyms for “good”, which is clearly the issue that indie developers like Tale of Tales had to grapple with.

          • PancakeWizard says:

            I agree with you, I guess I just think the genuine criticism should be fairly easy to spot vs. just people bitching.

            eg. Pillars of Eternity: lack of companion AI =genuine criticism (getting fixed, yay!), ‘transphobic’ limerick = people bitching.

            I mean Blizzard are goddamn masters at ignoring white noise if you look at WoW forums.

        • Stellar Duck says:

          “Gamers clearly love gaming but would you say they are uncritical? ”

          Absolutely. Just look at the movement of dipshits who have been trying to stifle criticism of their precious games for the last year.

          • steviebops says:

            If that’s what you STILL believe, then it’s a bit sad.

          • Distec says:

            1) Does that movement in any make up all gamers? That’s the only way that statement checks out.

            2) There has been a lot of really stupid criticism leveled at certain titles and games in general in the last year. Rejecting all the crap about misogyny and “problematic” content does not mean you are uncritical.

      • Sarfrin says:

        Oh, come on, that’s silly. I can understand people wanting to make a particular game or type of game that doesn’t exist already, but if you don’t like any games at all why would it even occur to you to try? To innovate in a medium you generally have to have some liking for at least some of it in the first place.

    • InnerPartisan says:

      “This is the guy that said ‘You don’t have to like games to be a developer’ right?”
      No.

    • thelastpointer says:

      Actually, you don’t have to like games. You can like programming, or modelling, creating particle effects, doing motion captured stunts, doing financial plans, marketing campaigns, enjoy yourself in HR, a billion other things, and still make games.
      In fact, one of the most dangerous idea recently is that a game dev needs to like games, and games only, while totally — and deliberately — ignoring financial, marketing, PR, and dozens of other professions (and often also labeling said professions as “evil” and “the sole reason” for failed or bad games).
      This is an idea in the indie circle that needs to be dropped. I think that there’s less of this thinking in AAA, but they are “evil” anyways (working for money, jeez), so who cares.

  10. Synesthesia says:

    Vlambeer is the shit. So fun, honest games. Anyone here tried nuclear throne? How is it?

    Also here’s a good talk with him and leigh alexander from some time ago.
    link to boingboing.net

    • RobF says:

      It’s really, really good.

      And screenshakey.

      • iregisteredtoonlypostthis says:

        And really, really locked to 30fps.

          • iregisteredtoonlypostthis says:

            Yeah. What kind of gamer would expect to get playable fps in a game he paid for? I mean avarage 12yo gamer is happy with his pad no matter what fps he gets, why the rest cry about fps? Human eye cant even see over 24fps anyway. “:DDD:DD:D:”

          • RobF says:

            It’s perfectly playable. Stop being an idiot.

          • Underwhelmed says:

            I find it hilarious, that every time FPS is brought up, even in jest, some little FPS police twerp will show up and chime in about important the whole issue is.

          • GWOP says:

            @iregisteredtoonlypostthis: You think 30FPS for a sprite-based 2D game is unplayable? Just stop with the faux-rage.

          • geisler says:

            It’s far from unplayable, but objectively, even for a game like this, it is pretty important. Not as much for the visual aspect, but for the input response. It’s true that as you play the game you just naturally get accustomed to input lag of low fps capped games, but that’s not an excuse to not make the game AT LEAST match the refresh rate of most monitors (60hz and thus 60fps), for optimal input.

  11. Hobbes says:

    The customer isn’t always right. But the customer isn’t always wrong either. If a lot of your customers are asking the same question – which is “Why did you make the initial design choice to build Nuclear Throne in Gamemaker and not Unity because y’know, it would have made things like a Playstation build feasible” – maybe you should be thinking about this kind of thing a bit earlier.

    Nuclear throne is a brilliant game, but I can’t help but wonder if the choice of engine means they’ve built a rod for their own back if they ever want to put it out onto other platforms. However, I do have some issues with one or two of Vlambeers side projects such as Dodistribute(), which is basically the Games Media version of “Klout” and needs to die in chemical fire before it becomes a thing.

    • RobF says:

      That’s not really what Rami is getting at. There isn’t an automatic button in either Gamemaker or Unity that makes a Playstation 4 port *work*. There is a way with both Unity *and* Gamemaker to export to Playstation 4 but that’s an entirely different matter from making sure it works, making it cert compliant (which can lose you months out of your life) and making it a good console experience etc…

      What he’s getting at there is that the customer often doesn’t understand the amount of work involved in stuff like making a port happen, they just hear that Unity (or whatever) can punt out an export and assume it’s that simple.

      • Hobbes says:

        Well, no, but then you need to have spent a while understanding the tools, and spending time around developers in order to actually understand these kinds of problems to get a vaguely informed idea about the kinds of issues that can crop up. Certification is soul destroying, as is hunting down the kind of horrible elusive bugs that you know are happening, but can’t easily replicate, even though there’s reliable reports from different sources about the same damn thing.

        Mind, Unity’s toolset for multiplatform output does -seem- to be a damn sight more capable than a lot of other dev platforms that I’ve seen, which I can only hope is the start of good things, because one thing there’s been a severe lack of is an easy way to port titles developed for one platform and to get reliable performance elsewhere. Unity does take some of the guesswork out of that.

        • RobF says:

          Just for the record, the console exports on Gamemaker are fantastic. Can’t really say more than that though, obviously.

  12. Baines says:

    I can’t help but notice that he didn’t address the reason behind the question “Is it not something where you could pay someone to go fix it for you?” He just said that he thought you could, and then went off on some tangent about rockstars.

    No. People want games to work. Given the choice between waiting three years for Vlambeer to finally fix something and waiting two weeks for someone hired by Vlambeer to fix it, most people affected by the issue would probably perform the latter (at least as long as the hired person doesn’t botch the job.)

    That’s what happened with Super Crate Box on Steam. It was made with a version of Gamemaker that wasn’t compatible with Windows 8, and is unplayable due to crashing issues on Windows 8 and 8.1. Three years later, and the game still hasn’t been fixed (and the Steam forum is still filled with complaint threads about the game crashing.). Eventually, a user took it upon himself to make a patched version of the game, but it understandably doesn’t support the added Steam features. No one complained that someone other than Vlambeer fixed the game, and it wasn’t even a complete fix.

    • Baines says:

      Prefer the latter, not perform.

      I guess RPS is never going to re-enable the ability edit comments?

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Maybe they could hire someone to re-enable it.

      • Sam says:

        Boring factual answer: Comment editing was deliberately disabled because it was somehow causing a huge load on their servers.

        That does leave plenty of room for hiring someone to fix up what I imagine is a slightly messy WordPress. Or to go bankrupt by creating their own system from scratch.

    • alms says:

      That seemed odd, he could have just used the standard replies “you need someone who’s familiar with the code” or “we don’t feel comfortable hiring someone else just to do that work”. Maybe he doesn’t like standard replies even when they make sense.

      • Vlambeer says:

        The honest answer is that I misheard the question, and it’s quite funny to figure that out by reading the interview. It was kind of noisy in Brighton, and my belly was rumbling.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    Great interview! I love that Randy Pitchford just up and randomly appears in the middle of it.

    • andromedius says:

      Yeah, he was probably slicing a vertical demo before having some pizza.

  14. BlacKHeaDSg1 says:

    And for how long is he developing NT ? That’s right … too long. 1 developer finish Banished long before he ever will and it is 3D game.

    • ElVaquero says:

      thanks for proving his points perfectly!!!

      • pepperfez says:

        To be fair, it’ll probably be quite some time before Vlambeer produces Banished.

  15. heretic says:

    Great interview Alec!

  16. Hart says:

    Anybody played Darkest Dungeon on EA yet? Every time I finish playing that game, I have my ballpoint pen and barely-withheld anger ready to go, furiously scrawling a negative P.S at the end of the EA review I did for it. Then I stop, and ask myself: is what I dislike about the game an intended, well thought out mechanic that is part of what gives the game it’s ‘flavour,’ or is it an oversight of the devs; something truly imbalanced or flawed by design? In the case of Darkest, it’s usually the former, and by the time I pick it up again I’m happy I restrained my pen for nudie doodles or half-baked to-do lists and not gamer-tantrums. Put simply, Red Hook has a vision for their game, and know when to bend and when not to.

    Then there’s the other extreme, i.e Starbound. You could argue all day whether they listened to consumers too much, or not enough, but the best way to describe it is a game without a game plan; it’s been asking you for money for three years, but when you ask what it wants to be when it grows up, it shrugs. Developers with clear visions of what they want to make always make the best games.

  17. GoateeGamer says:

    This guy is like alternate reality Derek Smart. They both fire venom at their own customers with the rage of someone with a destroyed life.

    The distinction is, if Smart says something, you can strip out the hate and you still have a thin layer of industry insight. Not just personal opinions on consumerism.

    • RobF says:

      Did you even watch the talk? There isn’t a single piece of venom in the entire thing.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      What venom? He mostly seems to be saying that developers should not blindly follow their customer’s wishes and always say yes. That’s not necessarily bad for the customers in the end, as well. Listening to customers (too much) can make a developers’ job more difficult. On the other hand, he also talks about being honest towards customers.

      I think that is far more healthy than pr-spinning trying to make everything look rosy.

    • pepperfez says:

      If you’re seeing venom and rage from Rami Ismail, you definitely need to recalibrate your evaluation of tone.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      You seem to be taking this personally.

  18. TheAdmiral says:

    I kinda feel like this whole thing is almost a “glass half full or empty” test. I’m a pessimist by nature, so, I mostly got the “fuck customers” feel and less of the “fuck yeah customers” sense. Am I alone on this? Because this whole thing is actually pretty depressing and I’m trying to figure out exactly why. But, I will admit I’m actually having some difficulty following the jist of it. I kinda feel like I need a synopsis.