|Nipped in the Bud|
Donald Starkey Designs
By George L. Petrie — February 2003
Donald Starkey offered another take on the vanishing client syndrome. Some years ago, he was approached by an overseas client to design what would have been the largest motoryacht in the world, some 150 meters (about 492 feet) overall. Following measuring some discreet initial inquiries, Starkey determined that the client was credible, and therefore he set to work on the project. Over the course of the following 18 months there were numerous phone calls, faxes, and e-mails. Designs, drawings, and specifications were prepared, forwarded to the client, reviewed, and approved. But there was never a face-to-face meeting with the client, who maintained that he was heavily engaged in business dealings and wanted Starkey to manage the entire project.
Finally, after a year and a half, the design you see here was agreed upon, and contracts were to be signed. Starkey was to be given power of attorney to represent the owner in all dealings related to the project. At last they would meet to close the deal. The date was set, and the day before the meeting the client sent an e-mail confirming his plans and advising he would be calling for directions to Starkey's office. But he never called and never showed up, and that's the last time the client was ever heard from. Strange.
Donald Starkey Designs Phone: (44) 208-569-9921.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.