Monday, October 31, 2005

The downside of running your own company

This is an interesting blog entry by one of the leading authorities on .NETCF development - Chris Tacke.

Here he is talking about how one client has played them down for $ 12,500. Wow! The client has taken thier goodwill for a ride. And he is trying to counter this by creating bad press for the client. Here is what he's got to say in his blog entry called The downside of running your own company

Are you looking for mobile software for a Pest Control or Pest Management business? Something that your field technicians can use while in the field to quickly update the status of traps, bait, etc.? How about an application that synchronizes back to an enterprise server so your pest management data can be stored globally for quick reporting as well as updating the technician's daily schedule and routing? Well I suggest you choose anything other than the ePM Solution from Eye-On Solutions of 4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, Maryland (headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA). Josh Roberts, the President of Eye-On Solutions, LLC had the application developed and is selling it, yet paid nothing for it - essentially stealing it from OpenNETCF Consulting, a company who also developed the SDF.

Choose any of their competitors you'd like. Start at the IPMRC for general information or purchase from Insight Direct, PestPAC or anyone else in Pest Control Magazine. I just ask that you do not purchase any product or service from Eye-On Solutions. Thank you.

I posted that snippet here because this is a very real danger that independent software contractors face. We take up to do projects for clients and along the way, you assume that you have a trusted relationship going on, so you release all the source code to the client, hoping they will accept it and release the payments, and they make a run with your work!

I guess the only way to avoid such situations is to work through 3rd party intemediataries and by placing the contract amount in an escrow. This way you are assured of the money if you finish the job properly. The downsize is probably you will have to foot the escrow charges. But I guess that is the cost of doing business.

I have worked through several escrows. But after a while and you build up the trust you can work directly with the client. But even then, I prefer to work on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule, where I release work done in iterations and get paid for that, minimizing the risk of not getting paid at the end.

Good Luck Chris. I hope that you manage to get your money!

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