I was listening to episode 57 of the Ruby Freelancers Show yesterday and, while some of the advice was fairly good, one of the panelists said something really counter-intuitive.
Eric Davis remarked that fixed vs. hourly is merely semantics since customers are essentially trying to map the project’s cost to their budget to ensure there is a cap on their spend.
If you really think about it, if you have a fixed bid contract that’s, say, 6 months and you’re bidding $60,000, you’re actually just saying ‘That’s still a variable rate’. The unit of time is 6 months and the cost per unit of time is $60,000.
The premise that the goal of a fixed bid is to map the project’s cost to a budget misses the primary reason for fixed bids: fixing the cost to a specific outcome.
In an hourly arrangement, when you use up the allotted hours, the project stops whether the code compiles or not. Same with a 6 month, $60,000 contract. After 6 months, we stop working. With an actual fixed bid contract, a customer will almost always want to specify something like: “I get X product with Y features completed and bug free for $10,000.”
The bottom line: fixed bid == fixed payment + fixed deliverable
Rule #1: Don’t Be A Profiteering Asshole
It’s one thing to send a user their password in a plan text email. It’s quite another to send that email to the wrong email address!
My email address does not have a dot in it. Looks like their email library strips out periods before sending. Yikes.
The Bare Minimum You Must Do If You Ever Want My Help with Your Computer Ever Again -
Rich Armstrong of Fog Creek put together this neat and helpful security checklist that you can send to friends and family to help them prevent identity theft, viruses, malware, and even scarier threats.
Next time Aunt Ruth asks for help with her Bonzi Buddy, walk her through this checklist.
Breaking Down Amazon's Mega Dropdown -
Fantastic advertising for Game of Thrones in the New York Times (the dragon shadow is printed on the paper over regular articles). More
My friend Ben directed an original Sci-Fi series for IGN called Project S.E.R.A. Pretty badass, I must say. http://bit.ly/projectSERA
(Warning: extreme violence.)