Client Management For Nice People: Jaw-dropping client experiences (and how they changed us.)
Client Horror Stories

Transcription of Nick Janetakis’ episode (That time you were hired to remotely create a Shopify store, yet ended up setting up your client’s store, in a mall, at midnight)

Transcription of Nick Janetakis’ episode (That time you were hired to remotely create a Shopify store, yet ended up setting up your client’s store, in a mall, at midnight)

This transcription belongs to Episode #27: Nick Janetakis’ Interview with Our Beloved Host, Morgan Friedman. Please watch the complete episode here!


Morgan (Host): Client horror stories, everyone. Welcome to the latest episode of client horror stories. I’m very excited today to have as my guest Nick, and I hope I pronounced this right, Janetakis 

Interviewee (Nick): You got it. 

Morgan (Host): Okay. I’m going home! (laughs) Nick, the general style of the podcasts is we just jump right into this story. We’ve spoken a few times before and you’ve given me some glimpses of your story. Let’s jump right in. Here’s my water.

Interviewee (Nick): Okay. So this was back in about 2013, Maybe 2014. I was with one of my friends who happens to be a general contractor in like the literal sense of like, he puts tiling down, he builds office spaces and stuff like that. He’s a good friend of mine. He needed some help moving one of those really big glass displays that you would typically see in any type of store that might be selling some merchandise. 

So, I hopped along in his truck, went to some office space, and turns out in that office space, the business owner was there and we were kind of just talking about whatever contractor goes off to work. I don’t want to like to bug him. 

So I’m talking to the business owner. And he brought up that he’s just starting this business here, which happens to be a vape shop, which by the way, I’m not into that stuff at all. I just happen to be there. But he had a side business of selling ugly sports teams sweaters, so are you familiar with them?

Morgan (Host): I’m familiar with the Ugly Christmas Sweater thing but I didn’t know there’s ugly sports teams sweater.

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah, so this one was specific to college sports, but same exact concept. Just really, really nasty looking sweaters. Well, nasty in every perspective. But he mentioned that he was selling all of these sweaters and other merchandise, and he was selling them physically. So you know, we’re talking 2013 or so back then walls were still a thing. So seasonally, like in November in December, he would get a kiosk in a mall and sell these things and he wanted to start branching off to selling these online for the first time. So prior to this, he was doing this for you know, maybe 10 years or so on his own and with no online. And so we got to talk and he’s like, “Oh, you develop web applications.”

Morgan (Host): Was the ugly sports teams sweater his full-time job? Or like little side projects?

Interviewee (Nick): Just a seasonal side project. So his main job was the vape shop that he was starting.

Morgan (Host): I want to interject with a warning sign or yellow flag number one. In my experience, when someone is doing something as a side project, they’re almost always approaching it a lot less seriously than when it’s their main thing. And because they put in there maybe “Oh my god, I need to do this with a client.” Side projects or whatever, they usually are like slow response, they don’t care and they don’t think that seriously. That alone has so many issues, which is why I’ve personally have a rule for the last few years. I don’t work with anyone unless it’s the thing that they’re doing.

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah, that is very sound advice. But this was an interesting scenario because for him since it was very seasonal, just going on for November-December. It was very lax throughout the year, but then it was like a major crazy crunch time in December. 

But yeah, but he’s also like managing his real business at the same time. So it was very hard to juggle all of that. But this was his first take on wanting to go online to sell these. We got to talking and I kind of mentioned that I was  into web development and all this other stuff. 

One thing led to another and I decided to take the job with him. To help him create a website to sell these ugly sweaters. And I ended up using Shopify for that one. Are you familiar with that platform? 

Morgan (Host): Yeah, I know Shopify.

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah, and that was my first time ever messing around with that platform. But you know, we didn’t just like strike the deal, right? There like handshake done within like 30 seconds. So, you know, I told him I would do it and stuff. But I talked to my friend first, the general contractor who basically introduced me to him. And, you know, the business owner was a friend of that guy. So it was like a friend of a friend. So I felt like that’s already like warning flag number one too. It’s like, you have to be very careful when you’re working for either direct friends or friends or friends or families or friends and stuff like that. Because yeah.

Morgan (Host): That’s a good point. Well, I’ll accept the following. But definitely a warning sign. A younger version of myself would have thought the exact opposite. I would’ve thought, “No. That’s not a warning sign. It’s actually greenland ahead. Oh, someone I trust really trust him. So like it has to be great.” Only now do I see so many emotional entanglements that it’s never worth it.

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah, because it’s like as soon as you go down that road, if you ever do something that makes them upset or something wrong or like you don’t bend to their every whim, then suddenly a jeopardizes your friendship with the guy who introduced you. It just becomes like a rat’s nest of emotional things. But you know, since it was a friend of a friend I gave him like a special discount price which also is a mistake number 85 for this project.

Morgan (Host): We’re counting off the yellow flags. It’s interesting. In leadership, like a whole new color wheel where a whole bunch of yellow turns into a red. So…

Interviewee (Nick): Don’t worry, we’re gonna hit like, what is that like when they measure the snow? It starts like green and blue and yellow and then red. And then you get into like purple and magenta. And it’s like, you’re dead. Like we’re gonna get there. Don’t worry. (laughs)

Morgan (Host): (laughs) This count is another like, then it’s like as soon as this happens on your side, you’re like, it’s kind of worth my time. It’s just barely worth my time to do it, but not really. When  people ask for discounts versus it’s a way of thinking where they can never get enough discount. So no matter what you’re dealing with, he still thinks he’s being overcharged. So it just puts you in a lose-lose situation.

Interviewee (Nick): Absolutely. And it definitely messes with your mind too. Because if you happen to get other work at the same time. So just for a little bit of context around what I do, it’s like, at the time just pure contract work, so I had jobs coming in, jobs leaving. But if something really, really good comes up for let’s say, five times the rate that I was charging this guy, it suddenly feels like, “Oh, what am I doing with this guy?” Like, why not just take the way better job you know.

But yeah. So I agreed to do this job for substantially less than my normal fees. And it was also sort of interesting because I was learning Shopify for the first time. And that would be my first time using Shopify. But, you know, I’ve had many, many, many years of just general web development experience. I figured, like, how hard is it really going to be. 

I log into the admin, take pictures of photos, upload the photos, attach prices and variants and sizes and things and really, that wasn’t too bad at all, like complexity-wise setting up that, but it did take quite a lot of hours. 

And, like you say, when those warning signs pop up, they tend to just continue so yeah. It wasn’t just like, “Oh, take like 30 pictures of the sweaters and we’re done.” Like, it ended up just being like, all of these like, I probably took something like 200 photos of everything and had to write product descriptions, and it ended up taking basically a lot longer than what I anticipated for it to actually put it all together. But—

Morgan (Host): Interesting. Question on that, is sometimes things just taking much more time than you expect just because you don’t realize you have to account for time to do product descriptions, and so on. Have you changed your process to, let’s say, estimate better, or how you build in order to account for that?

Interviewee (Nick): Oh, yeah, absolutely. So normally, I mean, what I’m doing right now, like, literally today, it’s usually not similar things where I’m like writing product descriptions, but I know exactly what you mean. Yes, it’s very good idea to come up with an estimate and then like, add 50% to it or even double that estimate in time, because it gives you some leeway. 

And because if you’re developing something, chances are something is going to come up that you didn’t account for in your estimate. And I found at least it’s much better to say, Okay, this is probably going to take like, 80 hours to do, but if you end up finishing it in 60. Suddenly, you’re like a hero. It’s like well, you got it done, like whatever that is like 20% faster or something like that. So then the client is like, really into that. 

So I would definitely, what does that one phrase? Yeah. Over deliver under promise or the other way around, you know? Under promise over deliver, there we go.

Morgan (Host): Exactly. Okay. Makes sense. Now, back to the story.

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah, so things are going on. And so it’s a go to that wheel of colors. The other flag was— And by the way, I should set this up to like he actually lived— Well, his office space is very close to where it was. So we’re talking like a 15 minute walking distance. And I’m someone who actually likes to walk a lot, just get exercise and just generally like it. 

So I ended up going there quite often because he was one of those folks who just didn’t like to use the internet to communicate, like barely had an email address and stuff like that, which is interesting considering when it is totally an online business. But yeah, so it turns out like I ended up having to go to his office space quite often. I probably went there— it’s hard to say like, this has happened like 2013- 2014, how many exact times they went there, but easily like 15 or 20 times without—

Morgan (Host): So actually, there are a few yellow flags that are subtle from that and worth pointing out for all younger versions of ourselves listening to this. One flag is the other person physically living too close. We’re talking a few minutes about like, the dangers of or the risk of working with friends, but there’s just as physical proximity as similar like friends, family or closest people that are physically close to you. It’s just him talking because he’s so natural. Just stop by. While at the same time, the other side of the road has a different service. So you always want the forced boundary of like, physical lab or like driving minutes between each— it’s another one that I didn’t used to appreciate. That much not too close, but not too far. 

Other warning flags from that I want to call attention to is the power of precedents. Like okay comes over once, whatever. Comes over twice, like for the third time, it’s a pattern. So like, as soon as you notice the pattern that this precedent has been set, then it’s being repeated, like then it’s very easy for that to snowball into a thing of you just stopping by. So paying attention to these sorts of precedence is also is also useful.

Interviewee (Nick): Absolutely. Yeah. And there’s definitely more related things where how that escalated to other things of Oh, come, you know, this other physical place and we’ll do some stuff, but we’ll get into that for sure. 

But yeah, a lot of these times when I was going there, it wasn’t even to do… Like I wasn’t sitting there with a laptop like coding the site. It was more just like getting ideas of what he wants to put on the site and taking some photographs of the sweaters. Generally, just any questions I had , any questions he had, lots of back and forth like that. 

But then, yeah, those things end up taking quite a lot of time, right? Because, okay, let’s say I walk there for 15 minutes, fine. I’m not going to count that as, like, build time, even though kind of is because you’re going there for that purpose. But yeah, I was there usually for we’re talking two hours, maybe at a time, and he was one of those guys who he will always give you some type of-— Yeah.

Morgan (Host): Oh, yeah. I just wanted to call your attention because that was actually a super important point that you made. There’s all this time that’s not billable, but you actually spent like 15 minutes to 15 minutes from in an eight-hour workday. Like that’s 1/16 of your work time already for this. Even though it’s not billable. So your billable rate needs to account for Okay, we will be going back and forth.

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah, every now I’m very, very fortunate to have a remote job where my commute is like sidestepping three feet over to a different desk and so much better. (laughs) I mean, than, like a 45-minute drive.

Morgan (Host): One of the few benefits of the new world order that we’re now living under.

Interviewee (Nick): So yeah, no, I was there for probably two hours at least each visit. But I think yeah, he was one of those guys who, every time he would ask you to do something, like he was a really nice guy. Like, that’s the weird thing, not that weird thing, but he has that vibe of like, you just want to be friends with him. And it’s like, oh, well yeah, no problem. Like yeah, we’ll get lunch, or my wife just click this like, Do you want some of that? Like it was always like, Oh, come here to talk business. 

But then you’ll get like this little reward or something like a free lunch or something, but it really, in my opinion, it’s not fair. You know, it’s like there are warning signs of like you not being taken advantage of on purpose because I don’t think that was as intense, but there are things to definitely look out for in that regard. Just because that’s how some folks are. Have you experienced that also in the past?

Morgan (Host): Yes, definitely. That’s another word just chalking up all the yellow flags. A lot of these client-horror stories are confusing. It’s like one huge red flag. What’s interesting about this is it seems like so far, at least not a big thing. It’s just a collection of all these yellow flags. 

So with that one, I definitely know that where they always like, offer you like oh, we’ll go out to lunch like they really want to take you out to lunch, but they really want to like pick my brain. But instead of paying me for an hour, we’ll just have a fun lunch together. And that’s a version of the same. 

But what makes that particularly interesting is, you hinted at it, but it’s really worth calling attention to, is that usually doesn’t happen from a bad spot. Where it’s not like, How can I get his services for free? Let me take him to lunch. It’s like for friends, like we like each other. We like hanging out, and it happened to me. 

Advice for what I know lots about again and again and again again. So it’s kind of like we’re just hanging out as friends. He’s my friend who would be doing that anyway. And there’s this very thin line for when it turns into like you thanking someone by giving them something to being an implicit part of a deal, only if there’s a deal. Now let’s see what the terms of the deal is. Was all my time for lunch really worth it?

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah, no, it’s funny that you bring up the friendship thing too. At the time, I wouldn’t consider him like close friends, but we were definitely in that winter of like, okay, he’s fun to hang around with, like, isn’t that friend category? And even like, little fun things were happening there too at the time, because he was running that vape shop. 

And, we’re talking like a couple months after it was actually the contractor finished the work like it was actually a full blown store, people were coming in. And yeah, there were just like fun times where like one of his distributors were calling on the phone and he didn’t want to pick it up. So he just asked me to pick it up and like I know nothing about this business at all. So like I just picked it up like I introduced myself as like Ulrich Von Liechtenstein like out of nowhere like that just came out of the blue. (laughs) 

And for anyone out there who doesn’t know that reference to the name, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it’s like the movie A Knight’s Tale. It’s like one of my favorite movies, but I had just watched it, I guess, prior to working with him. Anyways, yeah, that’s where that name came from. 

And then you know, I’m trying to like answer questions about like different liquids and vapes and like whatever I don’t know anything about just like looking at shelves and like pointing to him like this one, that one and people are laughing like we had like a good time, basically. So, in some way, I didn’t mind going there because it was like a friendly atmosphere. But yeah, that’s also like, gotta be careful working with friends, for sure. 

But in terms of like other like potential things that maybe went wrong throughout that process, as those flags continue to accumulate, it wasn’t just like, Oh, can you come here for an hour to discuss this thing? 

Once really hit like the seasonal time, like in November, he would get these tons and tons and tons of shipments. And to give you some context of scale, he would sell about $100,000 worth of merchandise in those two months. Now, the profit margins were insane like 10% or something like that, like pretty good amount of money for the effort put in. 

But with that translated to though, is these tons of boxes of just sweaters and other merchandise and stuff like that, to the point where he’s like, Oh, can you help me package these up and move them from my garage to a storage unit and stuff like that. So I now suddenly went from like, developing a Shopify website to becoming like a hired gun to like move boxes. 

It’s a little bit outside the scope of what we agreed on. But we were still like semi-friends and kinda so I was like, Okay, no problem. And then before you know it at like, 7 pm on a Thursday or whatever, I’m moving boxes for like two hours.

Morgan (Host): Yeah. It’s interesting. In software, as you know, we often talk about scope creep, where the client wants to build this, but then they slowly add more and more things. And this is like client work or project bracelets, it’s not even in the software as a website. It’s like, oh, yeah, your job description does not include moving boxes, but now it does, actually removed.

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah. And the weird thing is, is like, in my own mind, I almost talked myself into being like, Oh, that’s not too bad. It’s like moving back is like cool, like, at least I get some exercise. Like, what harm is that? But again, it’s like, just piling on some stuff. And it even got even crazier. 

Once I started to set up the kiosk in the mall. So like a kiosk was kind of just like a little shop in the middle of the mall somewhere, right? Just a stand essentially. But you can’t like set that stuff up during business hours. 

So what we ended up doing was, like, at literally midnight, we transferred like dozens and dozens of boxes from a storage unit into the mall and then set up the kiosk and stuff we’re talking from like, 11:30 midnight, all the way to like six o’clock in the morning. Somehow I agreed to do that because what’s wrong with me? I don’t know. (laughs)

Morgan (Host): Also, because like you’re just starting out, you’re younger, you were friends at first, you’re like, cool, cool, cool, cool. That’s fine. And then because you’re smart, you realize that okay, this isn’t the job description, but that’s fine. You enjoy it. Like you want your clients to succeed, and you’ll do what needs to be done. I’ll do the dirty work boxes. Was there a moment or something that happened really where you realized this is too much? And, or, how did it go?

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah, so I don’t know if there was like a distinct moment where like Morgan Freeman voice comes in your own mind where like, “At this moment,he knew he really screwed up” like (laughs) but I guess it was just more—

Morgan (Host): Good angel, bad angel.

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah, there wasn’t a distinct point. I think it was just like just tiny little things where I would second guess those things usually at nighttime. Like right before when you’re trying to fall asleep, you kind of replay your day. And then you just think to yourself like, Dude, what are you doing? Why are you doing all of that? You’re already doing this for way less like? 

Yeah, so it was that eventually and the project did get completed in the end, and I was definitely happy when it was all over. But in the weird way, though, like I have no, I guess regrets over that. Like, I don’t resent that time doing that, but at the same time, like I definitely don’t make those mistakes again. 

And also like just going back to like, after that one night of setting all that stuff up in the mall. A couple days later, he invited me over to dinner. His wife cooked a nice meal and it was all cool and everything. But yeah, again, it was just like a lot of mixing of business and friendship. Here’s like a big ask but then here’s something as compensation, like a free lunch but dinner instead or something like that.

Morgan (Host): So it’s interesting. They’re in my extremes but there’s something like two different business modes. What we could call to really, really simplify isn’t accurate at zillion exceptions. You could call it the first rule mode versus third rule mode or, let’s say, the developed world versus the developing world. 

Because I think those are the phases for people in puberty. I spent a lot of my career building things in the first developed world and in the third developing world, so I see a difference. And what’s interesting to me is, in the first world, we have approached everything is formal legal paperwork and documentation. 

While in this third world, developing world, it’s not only is there so much less to that but the exact opposite of that is focus on relationships. Where like everything is relationships first. Want to hire someone? Of course, you hire a cousin. With the people you’re working with, it’s more like a group of friends or family, and you happen to do stuff on the set. 

And one of the reasons why developing countries’ productivity is much, much lower than that in the developed countries, as well. Because hey, if it’s just lots of people hanging out. Like your family hanging out, it’s a very different thing. Okay, how do we achieve this? How do we do this? How do we get this time? It’s a very different way of thinking. 

What’s interesting about your case is, well, we can think about those as the two extreme versions of the extremes in the real world. Almost everyone is somewhere in the middle between these two. And there’s this mixing of the professional and personal in all different ways. 

So like, I find it interesting that when this is all done, he invited you to dinner, on the one hand, he realized you did much more than he was paying me for. So, he wanted to compensate you somehow. On the other hand, from this more developing world relationship mentality. Wow. He’s helpful. I really liked him. He’s fun talking to as well. He’s been great. Like let’s let’s bring him over as well. And let’s add him on socials as well.

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah. And, I don’t want to like out his ethnicity, but let’s just say that his parents immigrated here from a different country. So there was definitely that, not like third world type of thing, but, friendliness and family, I guess, which was just a big thing that was a part of him. 

And also speaking about contracts. Yeah, there was no contract on this one. No writing at all. It was mainly like, Okay, here’s, what we’re gonna do. Here’s a deliverable. Okay, cool. There’s the price. Okay, there’s money. Nice. Okay. it’ll be done when we’re ready. So it was super informal in that regard. 

And that kind of work. I guess, to some extent, but moving forward now. Because I hate the idea of, oh, here’s a 70-page contract that you need to read in, sign in 42 different spots. But there is a balance. It’s definitely a good idea to have at least a one or two-page list of at least what you plan to deliver with a reasonable estimate of time. And then feel just like basic information about that.

Morgan (Host): Because formality has a cost. There’s this time cost of just spending much more time doing that, which needs less time for actually being productive. There’s for some privileges and emotional cost for people whose personalities are less formal personalities, when you’re getting really formal that like, extreme. 

One extreme version of being really formal is lawyers like that. That’s exactly what exactly the lawyers’ job is. I don’t want to deal with this formality. I’ll just pay you to do that. And sometimes, projects are just so small. It’s not even more like you’ll spend more on the lawyers than you will on the project itself. 

Which is why dealing with really small projects just requires a different balance of these factors and being much more sensitive about these issues that we’re discussing in this whole podcast. Because I think it’s okay to be less formal and more developing third world-ish on these things and more or less prejudiced. 

It’s okay to be that way if you’re really on top of all the yellow flags and whatnot and making sure these boundaries don’t cross enters this line here and talking about it. Until you realize, formality is about, in a way, to compensate for not being on top of every little yellow flag that could come out.

Interviewee (Nick): That’s very well put in and absolutely makes a lot of sense. Like just for context of here, this whole entire project when I’m in was, I ended up charging 1500 bucks, and I don’t know exactly how many hours it took like down to the minute or hour, but he definitely got the better end of that deal because yeah.

Oh, this was another red flag I should have just maybe it started with the amount earlier in this talk here. Like as soon as I gave him my initial amount, he was like, well, could you do this instead? Like immediately went into haggle mode.

Morgan (Host): That’s another developing third world characteristic as all of my experience. Its very related to the discount point you made before. What’s interesting on haggle mode is… by the way I love the phrase haggle mode. I think I’m going to start using it. 

What’s interesting about haggle mode is I have known one person too many who haggle just to have like it just works for them. So like they actually don’t care about the $200 they would say. It doesn’t matter. 

It’s just like the way you have fun playing whatever your favorite video game is. They have fun playing. They have fun. What words should I say? It’s like a game. Like how can I get him to say that 10 cents. Just rubs me the wrong way personally.

Interviewee (Nick): Yeah, me too, for sure. But I totally get it. I’m sure there is a gaming aspect to that because they feel like oh, they win because they got a better deal or something. But I mean, generally, I don’t know if this is like off-topic for this podcast, but the more you end up charging, the better the clients end up being, at least that’s what I’ve gained over time as experience.

Because a lot of folks like who don’t mind paying out a very very reasonable Silicon Valley level rates or whatever. They trust you to do the work. Like they’ll just be like, Oh, that’s how much you want. Okay, cool. And then, I just find those clients don’t lurch over your shoulder, looking at every single microsecond that you put towards the project. 

They kind of just let you do your thing, and you give them updates. And it just ends up being more relaxed. Because this guy, there was other red flags too where like, I’d put up the site and do something. And he’d be like, Oh, can you change this? What about that? What about that? What about that? And I made those changes. Some of them were questionable ideas, but yeah.

Morgan (Host): Yeah, so this gets them to the general yellow flag of micromanaging as well, where as soon as they’re like, oh, wait, this little yellow should be a shade different. Suddenly it’s like okay, we’ll have a zillion back and forth until his emotional wins are satisfied. And guess what? His emotional will never be satisfied. They can’t be, by definition, because it’s emotional.

Interviewee (Nick): Right. Yeah, yeah. Didn’t Google at one point way in the early days spend $40 million, trying to get the perfect shade of blue or something like that. Like they spent in marketing, trying to determine what shade of blue is better and we’re talking the most tiny little shades.

Morgan (Host): Wow, I never heard that fact before. I think I’m going to use the phrase haggle mode. I’m also going to quote you on that. Quote that Google spent, I look at the numbers something like 40 million, triying to find the exact right shade of blue. That’s the job that I want to have. I want someone to give me $40 million to feel— “No, no.This is too close to the American flag.” So it applies this, but if you’re a little bit to this, it’s a bit one place that seemed blue and you want to apply the wide open ocean. (laughs)

Interviewee (Nick): Would be very nice just to look at some hex code of a blue color and change like an F to an E and get paid like 600k. Nice. (laughs)

Morgan (Host): (laughs) Exactly. This would be a fun website to make every hexadecimal version and just come up with the subtle applications of these.

Interviewee (Nick): So I think straight away— sorry.

Morgan (Host): No, no. We’re just wrapping up. So straight away, are there any other yellow flags? Things that happened? Lessons from this? Ways you’ve changed because of this experience? Because we got so many lessons from your talk and it’s great. Any concluding ones? or anything to nail to the head?

Interviewee (Nick): Trying to wonder, is anyone keeping track at home? How many flags were thrown? Did we reach the purple magenta level of flags? (laughs) Like I’m trying to rewind to all of them like what did I learn? 

But yeah, I mean, high level takeaways is one— you should be respectful of yourself when it comes down to how you value yourself, right? Like if you have a specific rate in mind, whether or not it’s per hour, per project, or however you want to do it, you should stick to that rate. 

Because it’s a very weird, like, you’re already coming into it, not at a loss or whatever, if you succumb to their haggle mode, but it’s just like, I don’t know. It starts things off on the wrong foot, right? 

Like you wouldn’t go to the doctor’s office with no insurance or something. And they’re gonna be like, Oh, well, it’s gonna cost you $500 to this. You’re not gonna be like, Well, what about like, 275? Would you be able to do that? This doesn’t really happen in other trades that frequently, I guess. We’re not gonna go to the grocery store and just like haggle your bill. I mean, it just wouldn’t work. So why do it here? 

So yeah, I would stick to your guns with terms of rates. But also at the same time, it’s super dependent on how available you are. The busier you are, the more that you’ll be inclined to charge more because you’re busy. And like if things are really going slow, maybe you’ll want to go for a lower rate. So there’s always balancing that. 

And then, I mean, I didn’t really learn much about just like contracts and stuff. But in this case,, I didn’t really write that much custom code, since it was like developing the Shopify application. But if you are in a position where you are developing code, I would definitely definitely pay a lot of attention to how that code is going to be owned by the person you’re writing that for. So it’s like do they own IP now to the code? Where do you license that code to them? So I think that’s very important. 

So it allows you to basically reuse general code that you’ve written from one client for another client. I think that’s a very important thing. Because you don’t want to get in a spot where you develop something that’s generic, but then suddenly, the contract says that you can’t use that somewhere else because then you’re dead. What are you gonna do? like you can’t work on another project for the rest of your life? So be careful with that.

Morgan (Host): Totally, totally. Yeah. Love it. These are very, very good lessons. We got a lot of yellow flags here, and it makes me want to build like a yellow flag detector. Like a website or add it on the homepage, put in, we’ll have flags or your clients. You can check it off. It changes color to the check at some point.

Interviewee (Nick): That’s actually not a bad idea. Ideally, you can make the yellow flags like the problem and then right next to it have the solution or something like that. And that becomes like an information site.

Morgan (Host): Come back in three months, maybe this will be in a page in our stories site. That would be funny. 

Interviewee (Nick): Done (laughs)

Morgan (Host): (laughs) Thank you, everyone, who made it to the end. I hope everyone enjoyed the tangents. This was fun for me, also. And also a couple of new yellow flags have come up which weren’t from the previous episodes that came out. This was great. I’ll make Jeff tacos our reference. It’s been great getting to know you. And also, this is a fun episode. Thank you, everyone!

Interviewee (Nick): Yup! Thanks a lot for having me. It was definitely fun.


This transcription belongs to Episode #27, please watch the complete episode here!