Stay On Schedule With The Whisky Rule

Missed a meeting or flaked out on a friend? Start abiding by the whisky rule, and you'll owe someone a bottle of the good stuff next time. Entrepreneur Ned Dwyer explains.

Image remixed from Alexey Lysenko

The Whisky Rule is pretty simple. If you cancel a meeting with less than 10 minutes notice, or if you miss it completely, then you owe your counterpart a bottle of whisky.

Everyone's time is important, but sometimes mistakes happen. Rather than any sense of ill will being generated, the mistake should be settled. The party who was left waiting should be compensated in some small way for their time.

I've been using the whisky rule for a couple of years. I'm generally pretty punctual and keep a close eye on my calendar, but from time to time I'll slip up and completely forget a meeting or get stuck doing something else. In those situations, I'm more than happy to sling a bottle of whisky to my counterpart as an apology and a sort of olive branch, hoping they'll forgive me and we can make it up the next time we meet.

Likewise, if someone cancels on me or just doesn't show up, I don't get too hot and bothered by it. Instead, I let them know about the whisky rule — if they really want to meet up again they should come bearing a Laphroaig or some obscure small-batch Japanese whisky.

It keeps things honest.

So far, the whisky rule has worked out pretty well for me. I've been given about four bottles of whisky and I've given six away. I just bought a desk calendar, and I hope to make up those two extra bottles and get beyond the break-even of the whisky rule.

The Whisky Rule [MyNameIsNed]

Ned Dwyer is the founder of Tweaky, the marketplace for customising your website.


    'Likewise, if someone cancels on me or just doesn’t show up, I don’t get too hot and bothered by it. Instead, I let them know about the whisky rule — if they really want to meet up again they should come bearing a Laphroaig or some obscure small-batch Japanese whisky.'

    Sounds like exactly the kind of person I try and avoid at all costs, thanks for the warning. Stuff happens, sometimes this stuff is out of one's control, sometimes this stuff prevents one doing the things they planned to. This is a system for people who don't actually care about people and need to punish themselves in order to force themselves to keep their word. If I agree to meet someone I make every reasonable effort to realise that end, if I fail to make that end it's never because I simply couldn't be bothered or didn't take reasonable steps to ensure I'd make the meeting, it's because something out of my control prevented my making said meeting, of course I'll favour the other party with a sorry, but I'm imparting my sympathies that I was unable to make our arranged meet, not apologising for any wrongdoing, because there was none to apologise for.

    The idea that someone should bear ill will to anyone for something outside that person's control is absurd, if someone told me that I should bring some kind of material token of monetary value to flatter them with if I really wanted to meet them I'd have trouble stopping myself from laughing before I hung up on them for good. Chucking a whiskey someone's way as a thoughtful gesture of goodwill is lovely, making it a rule that using money is the only way to show someone you feel bad you failed to meet an engagement is asinine.

      Neil, I think you need to get off your high horse and take a chill pill...

        Funny, that's exactly what I think about this whole concept, I'm just not adverse to typing out a detailed reasoning of why I think that.

    haha, Laphroaig is obviously for those with more established businesses, would you accept Teacher's or Famous Grouse?

    Great rule. Will implement asap. I agree with ace leo though, might have to go with a bootstrappers version - 18 year old single malts will have to wait.

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