Payment by percent ownership

Subject: Payment by percent ownership
From: Beth Kane <Beth -dot- Kane -at- VENTANA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 13:21:41 -0700

I have a situation I've never seen discussed here in my seven years of
Techwr-l membership. I'm about to take on a moonlighting job that I'm really
excited about, documenting an outdoors-oriented software program. The
owner/engineer thinks it has terrific market potential and has mentioned the
possibility of paying me not hourly, not by the job, not exactly by royalty
either, but by giving me a percentage of ownership in the product.

I'm so interested in this product I would almost document it for free. It
would be fun, and I think the product can make millions.

We are now discussing how I should be compensated and I have to give him
some kind of answer. He has asked me what percent I would expect, but he has
also said that he doesn't think I should have any ownership unless I do more
than "merely" document the product. I don't know what else I could do when I
have to maintain my full-time job. I do have plenty of knowledge from years
of experience with this outdoor-oriented subject, so in addition to "merely"
documenting, I'm also a ready-made subject matter expert and would add my
own ideas to those he already has.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this odd situation?
Obviously, I'd rather take a chance to make a million bucks than to get a
thousand bucks for hourly pay. But I don't know just how to propose going
about getting a share. This is a privately held company, a new venture.

Beth Kane in Tucson
kane -at- ventana -dot- com

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