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What would YOU do?


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I may have a unique situation but I'd like some objective advice.

The long and the short of it is this:

a) I'm a small-sized developer.

??? I created a database solution that works well in meeting a niche need for a sales process in the construction industry.

c) I have a local client who has been using it for 4 years successfully, without complaint.

d) This client represents lines for a LARGE international manufacturer of construction products.

e) This manufacturer has been searching for a similar solution it can implement for ALL of its Reps across its various product lines and divisions

f) They are VERY interested in MY product (thought I am bidding against a competitor)

g) BUT, they have already said they want to PURCHASE the solution outright and have it implemented to work through the web for consistent user access and management monitoring capabilities.

h) This deal is potentially worth (at least) many tens of thousands of dollars, if not a hundred or more!

i) I'm a small-sized developer

Get the dilemma?

The competitor I have apparently has already agreed to do the project for them and sell the program outright to the corporation. This is oral information from the VP of IT for the corporation - I frankly have no reason to disbelieve, but still. He said they do not want an annual license kind of arrangement, etc.

But, I really have no precise clue how to approach this so that I don't undersell my product nor overshoot their budget for the project.

Is it too much to ask for some advice on this scenario?

MEGA thanks in advance!

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How about 1) Sell it to them, 2) get yourself a fat salary and signing bonus to come aboard to implement, manage, and do further development on it since you'll clearly know more about it than anyone, & 3) keep your own consulting biz on the side if you want to develop for some more mom and pop operations that look like they could grow.

As for the price point, I think that that's more than any of us could tell you without knowing a whole lot more than you'd probably want to spill on the internet.

Hope this helps,


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You should also maintain the intellectual property (IP) rights to your solution. You can provide them the solution and source code, along with the rights to modify it as they see fit and distribute it within their company (or even outside their company), but prohibit them from reselling it to other organizations. Or, you could allow them to resell your solution but and collect royalties from their sales. Maintaing the IP rights is crucial so that you can legally continue to sell your solution to other companies.

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Mariano is absolutely right. I have been down this very pathway. If you let the IP rights slip away there can and will be all sorts of non-compete issues and the like.

You have to decide what it is worth to you and what you would do with it if you keep it outright.

Make certain that any contracts are reviewed by counsel. The royalty route is good, but beware that you may have no way to know how many copies are distributed.

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  • 2 months later...


Think positive. You call yourself a small time developer (twice!). But sounds like you are sitting on a golden project that can help you grow. Most of us would love to be able to move from 'small time' to the 'big time' or at least the medium time.

And especially do it in FMP and show the IT world FMP is a real tool, not a toy!

If you think of yourself as small, you will be small. Think of yourself as big, the possibilities are endless.


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