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Subject:Re: Royalties instead of hourly pay? From:Philomena Hoopes <PHILA -at- MAIL -dot- VIPS -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 2 Feb 1999 16:56:24 -0500
Beth, out of my experience, I'll second Sheldon's advice: have a very clear
contract specifying exactly what your prospective client and you will
receive from the deal...and don't ignore your own interests out of
Several years ago I took a full-time job with a private company that hoped
to bring a very old software product back into the market as an entirely
different type of package, full of glitz and glitter. It looked like an
interesting job, and a fun product, and I agreed to provide all sorts of
extra-mile services in addition to documentation.
Well, it turned out that I was expected to document the software while using
it as my word-processing and publishing tool, while it was in the very early
stages of development. That was the first discovery. A total lack of specs,
flow charts, and development strategies was the second. The company
president's proclivity to wonderful ideas in the shower, resulting in
scrapped or entirely revamped features...well, are you getting my drift?
When the time came to develop the online Help system, the required software
was a half-developed test program, an offshoot of the primary product, and
I was constantly staying till all hours to meet product delivery schedules
that never came off. Constantly wrangling with the president and developers
to get some advance picture of what was coming, then scrapping everything
I'd written when whole modules of the program were discarded or revamped.
Constantly writing the documentation from a marketing standpoint to give an
inflated impression at demonstrations that invariably bombed when the
product didn't behave as promised.
The company excelled in promises and potential, I have to grant them that.
It was in the delivery that they fell short. That extended into the area of
paychecks, as well: on payday, we would all rush to our respective banks,
knowing that the last ones to deposit their checks were entirely likely to
see them bounce. To allay our anger, the president would promise "something
good" about to happen in the next two weeks. Guess what: nothing ever came
From the vantage point of my current position, I've glanced back every so
often. I'm not entirely sure whether the company is still in business or
not, but the product was certainly never released.
Be careful, Beth, and ask a lot of hard questions before you commit. I
wouldn't wish that experience on anyone.
Phila -at- vips -dot- com <mailto:Phila -at- vips -dot- com>
VIPS Healthcare Information Solutions, Inc.