Sometimes I wonder if there’s a web site out there somewhere where BAMF dreamers and schemers can go to find a list of suckers, and where on that list my name appears. It seems that it is my lot in life to be contacted, which is to say accosted, by people who believe that it’s reasonable to ask me to do all of the hard work to make their get rich quick schemes get them rich quick, and that I should be eager to accept a tiny fraction of the got riches for doing it — and happy to accept nothing at all should they never actually get rich.
I’ve got a client of whom I’ve written before who has a business that’s profitable, who occasionally calls upon me to perform some technical wizardry that’s not in his repertoire, and so knows the market value of my time because he pays it. He knows that he himself doesn’t make a habit of giving charity to commercial enterprise. In short, he is one who should be able to appreciate my perspective, which can be summarized as:
But he’s now a BAMF Dreamer. He has this get rich quick scheme, and believes that I should be eager to do all of the work to get him rich quick in exchange for a tiny fraction of the profits. I’ve guesstimated the minimum time I’d have to invest to create the software that would meet the goals he’s sketched out, and what he’s asking me for is a minimum of a $100,000 investment. And he just doesn’t see that as unreasonable because hey, if it becomes a one billion dollar company my 0.75% ownership stake would be worth $75 million. Yeah, right.
He figures, he says, that he can get one million paying customers by the end of the first year of operation. We’re all accustomed to seeing big numbers like that bandied about… but that’s one of every 127 adults between the ages of 20 and 65 in the United States. He’s going to do that with no market research, no marketing plan, no business plan at all, and without showing pitchers of nekkid people doin’ nasty things. He just figures that he’s read some articles about Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, and so a million users is really not all that many. But where’s the web site that a million users are paying to use? Show me that one and if it doesn’t have pitchers of nekkid people doin’ nasty things I’ll consider that maybe, just maybe, it’s not a wholly unreasonable number. Otherwise he’s just pissing into the wind and I’m the one getting wet.
And paying a hundred thousand dollars to get pissed on. Well hell, sign me right up for that!