Three important lessons from Dreamhost
Zeljko points us to: DreamHost Blog ? Anatomy of a(n ongoing) Disaster…
Lesson one: when things get messed up, being clear, self-critical and apologetic is really the only way to deal with customers if you expect them to give you another chance.
Lesson two: your story is all you’ve got. If you sell the “up-time” story, better over-invest in whatever it takes to be sure your story is true. If you sell organic yogurt, pay more than you need to to keep the toxins out.
Lesson three: if you think that sometime in the next ten years there’s going to be a power surplus (no brownouts in New York, cheap gas in Ohio and plenty of power for your new widgets wherever you are) I think you’re making the wrong bet.
I’d like to add…
Lesson four: play the “I’m really sorry…this is what happened…be nice to us and forgive us because we’re being transparent after the fact…” card sparingly. You can definitely get away with it once. Maybe twice. Keep going back to the well and it looks like you don’t have your @#%^ together.
If being honest, transparent and sorry are more than just words, then be honest, transparent and sorry when the crisis is happening…not days later. Put more resources into reliability and support. 5 more sites to move, and then like Seth, I can sit back and analyze what Dreamhost does without being personally affected by whatever misstep leads to the next “We’re really sorry…” post on their blog.