Comments on: Sell Me Your Product Mac & Technology Writings by Daniel Jalkut Sun, 16 Mar 2014 19:39:31 +0000 hourly 1 By: Joe Mon, 08 Jan 2007 03:57:21 +0000 I guess its a case of being once bitten, twice shy for both of you actually.

The contract that Garret drafted will not seem ambiguous in this case to you because you’ve already been bitten before, but since you had one bad experience before with contracts, place yourself in his shoes for awhile and think back to what you were thinking before you had your own bad experience.

By: Mark Mon, 08 Jan 2007 01:43:54 +0000 Regarding “loophole” and “defaulting” and the like: the section in the contract about how the end the relationship is one of the most important parts. I’ve drafted a lot of contracts (but I’m not a lawyer!) and had one bad experience where this section was not clear; now I really pay a lot of attention to it.

But it certainly didn’t sound like the contract was ambiguous in this particular case. I think “loophole” is an overstatement, and it wasn’t a “default” if he stopped payment under the terms of the contract.

By: Seth Dillingham Sun, 07 Jan 2007 02:56:57 +0000 I totally agree with Sengan, and that was my reaction also. It seems that all Garrett has done is pile a new bad decision on top of a bad experience.

(And yes, I would have been interested in a deal like Sengan describes, too.)

By: ToeCheese Sat, 06 Jan 2007 17:10:24 +0000 The facts are that Ball got out of his contract by defaulting on it. Instead of affecting his credit score, Mr. Garrett dropped a couple of points off of Mr. Ball’s Moral Score. Moral Score counts for a lot more in an environment like this.

After all of this, which developer that reads this blog will ever go into a contract that has a monthly payment plan with MacZOT?

By: Ivan Sat, 06 Jan 2007 16:29:58 +0000 Jeez, Mark. $5k is justified by $300/month or $3600/year, assuming no additional costs or expenditures, ergo $3600/year of pure profit? I hope you don’t buy any stocks that trade at a higher price/earnings ratio than 1.38, since that’s what that comes out to.

By: Joe Sat, 06 Jan 2007 14:52:54 +0000 Mark, I disagree with you regarding a few points.

Although a contract is of course, legally binding, and both sides are to strictly adhere to it, in this scenario, I think it is a case of Ball following the letter of the contract, rather than the spirit of the contract.

I also believe Mr. Ball has more to lose than Garrett by his public airing of his deals with him. Ball would forever be known as the guy that signs contracts with full intentions of breaking them. Or perhaps he’ll be known as the person who after finding that a particular deal is going sour, instead of sucking it up as bad judgement, he’ll pour over the contract, scrutinizing every line looking for a technicality to back out of the deal.

I have no idea how he’ll attract the business of small, independent developers in the future with this out in the public. Most small independent developers simply do not have the neccessary resources to hire a lawyer to go through every single small detail in a contract and rely on good, honest people to deal with.

He’ll probably have more luck dealing with big corporations, and in this case, the big corp will probably hire an extremely good lawyer specializing in contract law, and if they wish, they might even want to play the game back at him and exploit a technicality to weasel out of a deal. All’s fair right?

As for Mr. Garrett, he’ll be known as a bad contract writer, or a person who doesn’t know how to work with contracts or lawyers – big deal.

Should Garret have kept his business dealings with Ball out of the public eye?

I find that having businesses held accountable for their actions in public is a Good Thing, and not a bad thing IMHO. The kind of companies that are afraid of dealing with people like Garrett are exactly the kind of companies that Garret’s trying not to deal with anyway, so its not a loss for him. Honest companies with fotrthcoming negotiators should have no qualms about dealing with Garrett, afterall, what are you afraid of?

There’s a Chinese saying that seems to be particular appropriate here, my rough translation – “If you don’t do any deeds that you may regret in the day, you won’t be afraid of strangers knocking at your door at night”.

By: Mark Sat, 06 Jan 2007 09:19:01 +0000 To look at it from Ball’s side for a moment, the software is worth whatever income potential it has for him, no more, no less. It’s irrelevant how much time it took, or how great it is, or how talented the programmer is. Products and businesses are usually valued at the net present value of the cash flow for the near term future, or if you don’t have a financial calculator handy, a multiple of the projected monthly income.

I think a $5,000 price would be justified if Ball could get maybe $300 in income per month out of it, assuming no future expenses or significant support costs. Apparently Ball, who probably knows his business, decided the incremental extra sales he could get from his plan to bundle were insufficient.

He probably avoided Garrett while he was in the process of reaching this conclusion because it was, well, unconfortable, and he wanted to decide for sure before breaking the news. Maybe he could have handled it better.

A couple points for Garrett; (1) a contract is a contract, my friend; if it backfired on you, that’s life, but it works both ways; and (2) publicly airing this matter is really bad karma; I would think twice, and three times, and ten times before blogging something like this; you should have sucked it up and gone on; everybody you ever try to do business with in the future will have it in the back of his mind that things could go south for whatever reason and they’d be tarred in public and forever Googleable.

By: sengan Sat, 06 Jan 2007 06:46:49 +0000 I’m surprised Garrett immediately made it freeware. I guess he was fed up… Another option would have been to shop around for other developers who would like a mature products with users and see if they’d split royalties with him… That way he’d know it was being maintained, he’d get some money and it would not require a large upfront investment… I would have been interested in that sort of deal.

By: fontti-intoilija Sat, 06 Jan 2007 01:21:19 +0000 Daniel, thanks for your offer. I could sell you two of my mature, relatively bug free and popular products for, say $2500, each.

One of the products is called and it is guaranteed to make the user both feel good and anthromorphisize the computer.

The second product is called and it includes an elegant interface and helps the user to manage his or her finances when abroad.

Just contact me and we’ve got a deal ;)

By: Daniel Jalkut Fri, 05 Jan 2007 23:35:22 +0000 eth0: Thanks for stopping by.