Monday, November 19, 2007

Headaches, now or later

I spoke with my programmers for about an hour just now. Sheesh. The good news is, we really do agree in principle on the framework for a relationship.
  • I provide them with algorithms and specifications and design requests.
  • They give me feedback.
  • I provide updates.
  • We talk once a week.
    • They provide me with source code and discussion of what they've done, how many hours, etc.
    • I issue them a check for the previous week's work.
  • My intellectual property is protected.
  • Any methods they develop that are applicable to other clients (but which doesn't infringe on my IP) is protected as theirs.
The plan is to get the initial work done in about 12 weeks. We'll reassess then. Looks like we won't get started on the coding however until December, if all goes well. But, getting them to accept that the document they gave me for review and discussion doesn't really serve the meat of that relationship, was painful. We've agreed to talk again in a couple weeks. Meantime, they'll come up with a fresh agreement.

I suggested that they scrap the document they drafted up. Make it plain and clear. We can specify (as we did verbally) what it is we're interested in ensuring and protecting, and what we expect of our relationship. Then, when it looks good to us, I'll run it by my attorney (I invited them to participate in that discussion, whether by email or telephone), to make sure the document we agree to serves those purposes.

[SIGH] It seems at times far more complicated than it really needs to be. But I suppose it's better to have headaches at the outset, then for the real migraines to emerge after time. It's like any good relationship: the trick is not avoiding fights at all costs, but always coming back to the table. I thought of simply walking away, I did. But then, it doesn't seem that what we've been arguing about is really the crux of our work together. So, for now, I'll keep lines of communication open. And hope, hope, hope, that soon the core of our discussions will be the work itself.

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