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Circus strongman RFPs May 20, 2008

Posted by Michael Kowalski in work.
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In case you’re lucky enough not to know: RFP = Request for proposal,  a document sent out to potential suppliers to solicit proposals for some new project.

We have a general policy at Kitsite of not entering into competitive tendering situations; a dumb and time-consuming kind of lottery. But I end up reading a fair number of RFPs anyway, just in case, and sometimes the project looks too interesting to pass up.  

Often these RFPs are overspecified. They’re really long, dozens of pages full of fussy details. You could have written the code in the time it took to put together the damn proposal. Once we had one that was so bad that I suggested we hire a circus strongman to come into the pitch meeting with us and tear the thing apart with his bare hands. We bottled on that idea in the end, but whenever I see one of those kinds of documents I think of circus strongmen.

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