[thelist] Doing a 'freebie'

Jason Elliot Burk jasonb at halstead-architects.com
Wed Sep 27 17:44:20 CDT 2000

here's my scoop (something i've learned in a very short time in my field

> I have a friend who's just about to start up her own company.  She wants a
> website (obviously) and has heavily hinted that I could do it for her.  For
> free, natch.

i equate your situation to the following model.  my architectural firm is
interested in working on a particular project in our neighborhood.  the project,
let's say a church, is mostly *decision by committee* which means from the
get-go that our fabulous ideas will be pooped on as soon as they hit the
boardroom, probably because of money and somewhat because of ignorance.  with
that already in mind, add the fact that this committee has only one real ally
(ie. your friend) and they don't have very much money to pay you.  they of
course have to get some promotional material (say a preliminary site plan, ie.
your initial *bare bones* web-site) in order to sell not only the committee
members, but also the congregation, the neighborhood, the public, the foundation
down the street that's going to donate 1/2 million dollars, etc...you do what
you can, to the degree that your work is good, but could have some other nice
features plugged in at a later date.  you do it pro-bono and spend a little of
your spare time.

in about a month 2 things will happen.  either the committee will call you and
say 1) *yes we have the funding and we want you and because you were so nice as
to provide the preliminary stuff we'll pay you handsomely because we got plenty
of money from the beautiful drawings that you initially provided* or 2) *thank
you very much for your time and we will look for you to do any additional work
that we may have, but right now we aren't ready to go forward (and in the back
of their mind perhaps they ARE looking for another person to nail to the

what do you have to lose if your *soon-to-be-rich* friend becomes so and you
happen to be the *multi-million dollar website* designer (ok so its a bit
overkill but...)?  it is always a risk, a judgment call and once you assess it
this way, you can answer the question as to whether you HAVE the time to stick
your neck out for your friend (& co.).

to use an old adage:  you have to have money to make money *OR* you have to DO
work to GET WORK.

happily obliging my 2 cents of course : )

jason b
j a s o n  e . b u r k
jasonb at halstead-architects.com
[ jdog at 020.co.uk ]
icq # | 33425254

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