Crippled CEO Blog #131:
Once upon a time, on one of our e-commerce sites, we had a couple instances where people were using stolen credit cards to place orders and ship them to wherever.
After the third or so time this happened, the manager in charge of that department decided it was a serious problem and serious measures had to be taken.
He installed a top-of-the-line, bulletproof, expensive security service that monitored the website for fraudulent activities.
He changed a setting on the website so that customers couldn’t have a different billing address from their shipping address. If they wanted to do this, they had to call the office and go through this complicated ordeal to place their order.
He implemented a policy that orders over a certain dollar amount needed to be called, checked, and verified.
The result: no more counterfeit orders.
Also, all kinds of problems and expenses, not to mention the lost sales from people who couldn’t be bothered to jump through the hoops to place their legitimate order.
When I hired my first ever office manager, whenever she printed out a work order to go out into the warehouse, I made her give me the work order and the email so I could double check it. The order wasn’t allowed to move on until I literally signed off on it. I started doing this after she made her first mistake.
The result? I occasionally caught some little errors, but most of the time, everything was perfect, and not only was I spending a lot of time checking these every day, the bottleneck of orders waiting on me caused delays.
Sometimes, the cost of preventing problems or mistakes is more than the cost of just fixing them. It feels smarter and more responsible to implement all of these safeguards, but it is easy to go to far. As my company continues to grow, I’m often on the lookout for these types of things that build unnecessary bureaucracy, done with good intentions in the name of prudence.
The twin brother of this is bosses who won’t let employees do things because they want to make sure they don’t get screwed up. And again, this sounds like it might be smart, but it is also very possible that the cost of fixing the mistake, if it even occurs, is less than the boss’s time doing that particular task, combined with the lost opportunity cost — what thing would he have done with that time instead?
I don’t have homeowner’s insurance because I believe that the cost of insurance is more than the cost of whatever repairs I might have to make if something happens. I am currently in the middle of paying to remodel a bathroom that got destroyed due to a flood from a broken waterline, so I might be wrong about this one, but I do think, long-term, I will end up coming out ahead. We will see.
Wearing a condom is a reasonable precaution if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy. Chopping off your lance of love — your womb raider, your bald-header-sailor, your tonsil tickler, your tan banana, your lap rocket, Russell the one-eyed muscle, Rumpleforeskin, Prince Everhard of the Netherlands, your heat seeking moisture missile, the membrum virile! (Ahem — sorry about that) — that might be a smidge excessive.
Sometimes being safe is worse than being sorry. And then you’ll be sorry for being safe. It takes some skill to figure out where the line is, but it is easier to spot if you’re actively looking for it.
PS: I have a YouTube channel now! This is the link to my first YouTube video: https://youtu.be/PQbHlG9W34Y
If you could go like that video and subscribe, I would be the happiest cripple on the planet. You will also be the first to know about the new, life-changing video that I will be posting every week.
(Do you know who wasn’t worried about safety at al last night? Your mom. She is so crazy. I had to get stitches in my wedding wrecker. Your mom also gets a text from me every Sunday with a link to the latest blog post. Send a text to 561-726-1567 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to the blog as soon as it’s up.)