Re: Payment by percent ownership

Subject: Re: Payment by percent ownership
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 16:01:16 -0500

I think you need to determine the exact language being spoken in this exchange.
What does it mean to "do more than merely document the product"? Does it mean that there are other duties to take on, or does it mean something like "add value to the product"?

You also need to do some hard math, and forget the potential millions for now. Think in terms of a reasonable present value for the product. How much money are people investing in the project? How much time will you be spending on it as a percentage of total person/hours for the project? What kind of marketing is being prepared, and how much money is going into that marketing?

In a way, you are buying a lottery ticket. What's the payoff, how likely is it to win, and how much are you willing to spend? Keep in mind that most new products fail.

Also keep in mind the excitement of the project - it sounds like something you want to be involved in. And the team - is this a chance to work with a great team, have some major fun, make some war stories to bore people with for the rest of your life?

In my programming career, I worked partly for ownership on more than one occasion. I would do it again, under the right circumstances, but I am not posting this from a tropical island while sipping a mixture of fruit, finely ground ice, and alcohol.

Think about those things, and come up with a package that provides you with an acceptable combination of cash, lottery tickets, and fun in exchange for your efforts. Make an offer. Aim high, particularly on the lottery tickets.

One final note: even if I could afford to, I would be very unlikely to work in a situation where there I wasn't getting paid at least a little money at least once a month. Money paid now represents a certain level of seriousness and respect that no amount of product ownership or other potential future income can replace. The old "bird in the hand".

mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com
nax -at- execpc -dot- com

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