Long story short: Brian agreed to pay roughly $5000 for the product, in installments. But a contractual loophole of Garrett’s own devising inadvertently allowed Brian to simply stop paying, and allow ownership to revert back to Garrett. Brian essentially claims that Garrett got more money out of the deal than he could have otherwise, and Garrett essentially claims that Brian was kind of a prick about the whole deal.
You be the judge. Also be sure to check out the extensive debate on the (now buried, it seems) digg entry. Here both Brian and Garrett have a chance to let their feelings be known in the public debate. My summary? Liberals will agree with Garrett and conservatives will agree with Brian. (“Have a heart” vs. “Tough shit, kid.”)
But what really interests me…
I find the drama of this story a bit engaging. It’s always at least a little bit interesting to watch a car crash, even if you can sort of tell that people are getting hurt. But what I can’t believe is that a relatively mature product like this sells for only $5000. And Garrett was including 50 hours of consulting with the deal. By my reckoning that means he was essentially selling 50 hours of work and throwing in the business for free.
But this got me thinking. Will anybody sell me their product for $5000? I am a good buyer. Make me an offer, and if I like what you’ve got, I’ll pay cold hard cash for it. No installment crap. If you won’t sell for $5000, how much will it take? Send me a private email detailing the terms of your offer (not legally binding), and I will let you know if I’m interested. I promise not to divulge any specific details to the public about your offer. I just want to know what my options are. If you’re a desperate shareware developers looking to get away from a particular product, maybe we can help each other out.
After a week or so, I’ll post a followup consisting only of statistical information such as average offering price, number of total offers, etc. And I’ll let you know if I ended up with any new products in the pipe.
Let’s make a deal!
Update January 5: I’m sure you’re probably curious whether this is garnering any results. So here’s a little update: as of this writing I’ve received at least 15 legitimate, reasonable offers comprising mostly Mac software titles, but also a web site, and a Palm-platform product. There have also been, needless to say, a few good jokes.
The viability of the serious offers, in my estimation, sort of run the gamut. But there’s definitely some interesting stuff in there. The range so far is from $2,000 to $20,000, with some quite interesting stuff in the lower end. I have to confess that if I make an acquisition I will probably be bargain-hunting. Some of the pricier offers would still be a great deal to a more monied investor, but are probably too rich for my blood right now.
Update: The product I acquired is MacXword from Advenio, LLC. The product was rebranded and released on March 21 as Black Ink! For more information about the process I went through and the offers I received, see my Acquisition Roundup post.