1. A person or organization using the services of a lawyer or other professional person or company.
2. A person receiving sexual services in return for money
customer, patron, buyer, john, trick
During a Pacific Helm board meeting, our co-founder Louie, pulled me aside and asked me a stupid question.
"Why do we call all the people we work with ’clients’?"
"I don’t know. We’ve always called them that."
It wasn’t something I’ve thought about for some time because it’s a useless problem to think about that doesn’t do much to solve the challenges we face as a business. But let’s talk about it anyway. The term “client” made its appearance in business since the dawn of business (prostitution). It was solidified in professional culture as a person who pays to receive a service, such as a ten-dollar blowjob. It’s strange to me that blowjobs are only ten dollars. Think about all the other things that cost ten dollars; a Square card reader, a bad haircut, a banana. What was I talking about again?
Right: clients. Client is kind of a weird word when you think about it. Client. Cli-ent. Cllllient. Cliiiiiient. C-lie-nt. Client. It doesn’t even sound like a word anymore! Isn’t it weird how that happens? Anyway yeah. Why would we use such a weird word to refer to the people who are bankrolling our lives? It’s impersonal, it’s reductive, it’s stale.
At Pacific Helm we’re removing the term “clients” from our vocabulary and replacing it with “friends” and the more specific “friends with monetary benefits”. Clients are something a whore does for money. Or candy. The word “friends with monetary benefits” sets a high bar for the mutual relationship we have with our
clients that is free of any potential sexual connotation. Unless you want there to be.
To everyone in the technology industry: I encourage you to reconsider the word “client”. If I ever say the word “client” again, immediately charge me $140*. Why? Because I am rich. Haha. As if you didn’t already know that.
*Terms and conditions may apply. Valid only for the first 5 recipients or until I change my mind. Please submit invoice to firstname.lastname@example.org.