Earlier this week I signed up a client for my “At Your Service” product (a one-day consulting action on any cleantech business concept for $1000 plus travel reimbursement), but I could see in advance that it wasn’t going to work out, so I returned his money.
He has an idea that I’m 99+% confident won’t work with any cost-effectiveness at all. He thinks I’m wrong, which I suppose I could be, conceivably. But in order to prove this point one way or the other he’d have to build a prototype and test it, which he can’t afford. So we’re reduced to this unending conversation: my explaining why I can’t imagine that this thing can work, and his explaining how I haven’t fully understood his idea and that he’s sure it will perform beautifully.
To explain it to my wife, I gave her this analogy: imagine that he believes that the chandelier in my office is held to the ceiling by angels. There is no reason to believe that’s true, but I can’t prove it’s false. I don’t want to take his money to talk about it for a day, and I certainly don’t want to do it for free.