Once a year without fail it seems that we’ll all witness an indie crash and burn.  Some are more spectacular than others, the burn seeming as bright as the sun itself.    I had a couple of people ask me how to spot when an indie company is heading into crash and burn territory so I jotted a few things down.  Should an indie owe you money and you get to #3, please file a paypal dispute and get your money  back!  Don’t delay, you’ll only lose your monies.

Generally goes something like this:

1. For some reason an indie company will get really popular suddenly (like a good review on a couple of prominent blogs) and have a flood of orders.

2. TAT will get longer and longer but company owner will stay on top of communication.

3. Packages will go ‘missing’ or orders will be lost OR TAT gets longer due to (pick one):
a. owner got sick or kids are sick
b. childhood pet dies
c. husband was deployed
d. aliens invade the Earth

4. People will start freaking out about TAT and there will be rumbles of Paypal disputes. The owner will make a post acknowledging the excessively long TAT but will *promise* to get all orders out or issue refunds if customers want them.

5. Orders won’t go out and communication with owner ceases. Emails go unanswered, pages are deleted, fan page get flooded with posts inquiring about orders. Posts may or may not be deleted.

6. Someone creates a blog called ‘XXXXX Customer Complaints’ or something of the like and then no one hears from indie owner again.

*Please feel free to insert flouncing or wordy and dramatic promises from indie owner where ever you like in the scenario.*