Re: Contracting moral dilemma

Subject: Re: Contracting moral dilemma
From: Pete Kloppenburg <pkloppen -at- CERTICOM -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 1997 11:33:28 -0500

David anguishes thusly:
> I have successfully bid on a fixed-price contract. I signed the contract
> yesterday, and will receive the first payment today.

Wow! You're already ahead of the game. You must be some kind of

> My potential dilemma is: what if I spend a lot less hours on the project
> than I calculated for my bid? It is a fixed bid, but I still based it on
> how many hours I thought it would take. If I go over the amount of time I
> estimated, I certainly wouldn't expect to be paid more...but should I
> return whatever portion that I didn't work for?

Nooo. It's a fixed bid, they signed the contract, they obviously
are willing to pay that money for that task to be done. This
happens all the time in business: you pays your money and you
takes your chances.

As you said, you wouldn't attempt to charge more if it took you longer
than you expected. Basically, I say treat contract writing as though
it were any other kind of cut-throat business: charge as much as
you can get away with. If they're willing to pay it, I say you should
be willing to take it. If you limit yourself to $X per hour, and give
money back to people when you don't work what you thought
you would, you'll never get the big bucks.

If this were a contract billed on an hourly basis, I would say of
course you don't charge for more hours than you work. But this
is a different situation entirely.


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