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'How much($)to charge for development?'
1996\12\10@024651 by Hamilton Feltman

picon face
       I've just finished a programmable, MIDI receiving, keypad scanning, 3
(seven segment) display switchbox. You can use the "up" or "down" key to
select a preset (1 - 128), and "store" any of 8 different switches on or
off. Each switch has its own button and LED to display the status.  It's
similar to the "Midi Octapus," but uses a PIC.
       My question is what is the proper amount of MONEY for a device such as
this?  Or any device?  Being new not to engineering but to the business
side of things I'm really in need some comments or thoughts. Do you charge
by hour or project?  Or importance?  Any "rough figures" would be
appreciated.

       -Hamilton


-i've been working on my ascii art sig
http://www.crl.com/~hamilton    spam_OUThamiltonTakeThisOuTspamcrl.com
\_\  _ __ o \ \_ _  _      __  _ \    __  _   __
\ \(_\\\\ \ \ \ \_\\ ) @  \__ \  \ . \__ \_\ \\\

1996\12\10@090357 by dfr

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Hamilton Feltman wrote:

>         My question is what is the proper amount of MONEY for a device such as
> this?  Or any device?  Being new not to engineering but to the business
> side of things I'm really in need some comments or thoughts. Do you charge
> by hour or project?  Or importance?  Any "rough figures" would be
> appreciated.
>         -Hamilton

The short answer to "how much to charge?" is "what the market will
bear!". How do you determine how much that is? You research your
competition and charge accordingly. Find out about all competitors..
Price, features, ease of ordering, after sale support, etc. If your
product will be perceived by customers as being of greater value (new
features, combination of features, order line, nationalism, color, etc.)
then you can charge more. What you charge has NOTHING to do with
development cost! This cost only determines IF you do the project!

In fact, one does the research first and then determines if one will
make enough money from the product over it's life (typically 5-7 years
for electronic products, but different for different industries).
Development costs represent only about 1/3 of the cost of launching a
product. The other 2/3s include marketing, inventory, ramp-up, and
administration. Marketing can be very expensive if there isn't an easy
way to reach your potential customers. Is there a music enthusiast's
magazine thats not too expensive for you to advertize in? I'd start with
advertising in the same places where "Midi octapus" does (if its the
sales leader for this kind of product) and price accordingly.

Hope this helps.
Regards, Dana Frank Raymond

1996\12\10@131900 by Chuck McManis

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>        My question is what is the proper amount of MONEY for a device such as
> this?  Or any device?  Being new not to engineering but to the business
> side of things I'm really in need some comments or thoughts. Do you charge
> by hour or project?  Or importance?  Any "rough figures" would be
> appreciated.

The proper amount of money is "cost of parts + cost of assembly + cost of
overhead + amortized development cost+profit". There are two numbers you really
need to know before you can accurately price your product, how many
per year you expect to sell, and how many total you expect to sell.

So let's PIC a few numbers :-)
       Cost of parts + assembly        say $5.00 (USD)

Annual budget for FrobotzEngineering
       rent+phone+salary+medical+dental+vacation       say $120,000

Total Expected market for the FRB-1     say 24,000 units @2,000 per month.

Cost to develop the FRB-1 in say one year or $120,000.

Now amortized cost will be $120,000 / 24,000 units or $5.

Now the cost of overhead (for one year of sales) is $120,000 / 24,000 units/year
or $5.

"Profit" (spent on advertising, new product development, and
physical plant (ie new or better test equipment) $5.

Look's like you'll have to sell it for $5 + $5 +$5 + $5 = $20.

That's if you can sell 24,000 units. If you can only sell 2,400 units
this becomes
       $5 + $50 + $50 + $5 = $110

If you want to advertise, add that in to your overhead (it helps unit sales
but increases costs)

But this is only if you want to run a business, you can give away
your development costs and living costs (or have someone else
pay them, like some 9 to 5 job for some company) which will
lower the price, but don't kid yourself that you are being 'fair',
your just giving away your time.

--Chuck

1996\12\10@180138 by John Magrane

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One of the biggest misconceptions is that there is or needs to be some
magical relationship between cost (what it takes to develop, make and
sell) a product and price (what you can get for it in the market).
Pricing a product is very difficult and involves assessing market demand
for the product, competition and other factors. The only necessary
relationship between price and cost is that price must be > cost to make
money.

To be successful, work the process from the back end. Determine what you
can sell a product for and then see if you can actually make it for that
amount plus profit.

John

1996\12\10@225543 by Hamilton Feltman

picon face
At 10:15 AM 12/10/96 -0800, you wrote:
>>        My question is what is the proper amount of MONEY for a device
such as
>> this?  Or any device?  Being new not to engineering but to the business
>> side of things I'm really in need some comments or thoughts. Do you charge
>> by hour or project?  Or importance?  Any "rough figures" would be
>> appreciated.
>
>The proper amount of money is "cost of parts + cost of assembly + cost of
>overhead + amortized development cost+profit". There are two numbers you
really
>need to know before you can accurately price your product, how many
>per year you expect to sell, and how many total you expect to sell.
>

       My first post was not to clear.  'I' don't want to start a business!
(yet). I just want to know a price For DEVOLOPMENT of a device (Schematics,
prototype, and board layout).   There has got to be a somewhat round figure
for the engineering skills to build projects for "Another Company."  What
do you charge them? Of course there are many variables, just needed a
starting point. Sorry if this thread is getting out of line.

       -Hamilton

1996\12\10@234644 by Ben L Wirz

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Hamilton,


       Depending on the size of the company, it's reputation, and the
type of project, a engineering man hour can go for $20 to $200+ US.  Many
independent small time guys get around $30/Hour if they are pretty
experienced.  This is from my expereinces, others will tell you
different I'm sure.

       It's also often true with independant guys that you will pay for
1 hour and get 2 hours of work if it's not something they are an expert
on.  I.E. they won't charge you for their learning curve.  But again this
varies with the person you are dealing with.

Ben,

Ben Wirz                For Microchip PIC Products including the Simm Stick
                       development system and the Easy PIC'n Book, as well
Wirz Electronics        as Motor Control, Polaroid Sonar Units, and more
.....blw2KILLspamspam@spam@cec.wustl.edu      Hobbyist Robotic & Electronic Supplies, visit:
                       http://cec.wustl.edu/~blw2/

On Tue, 10 Dec 1996, Hamilton Feltman wrote:

{Quote hidden}

1996\12\11@040554 by fastfwd

face
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Hamilton Feltman wrote:

> I just want to know a price For DEVOLOPMENT of a device
> (Schematics, prototype, and board layout).   There has got to be a
> somewhat round figure for the engineering skills to build projects
> for "Another Company."  What do you charge them? Of course there
> are many variables, just needed a starting point.

and Ben L Wirz <PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU> replied:

> Depending on the size of the company, it's reputation, and the type
> of project, a engineering man hour can go for $20 to $200+ US.
> Many independent small time guys get around $30/Hour if they are
> pretty experienced.
> ....
> It's also often true with independant guys that you will pay for 1
> hour and get 2 hours of work if it's not something they are an
> expert on.  I.E. they won't charge you for their learning curve.

Hamilton:

What Ben says is true; the range is HUGE.

Most guys in this area (Southern California) charge around $60/hour;
I charge significantly more.

There are two things you need to determine:  The minimum that you
MUST charge in order to make it worthwhile ("worthwhile", in this
case, means "as much as you could make doing anything else that you
enjoy equally well"), and the maximum that you CAN charge while
keeping a straight face.

I'll pretty much ignore the first issue... Only YOU can determine
the minimum that you need to make.  Just keep in mind that, as an
independent contractor, you're going to have a LOT of expenses that
you don't have as an employee.

The second issue is worth some discussion:

1.  In general, if you can handle only one small part of the
   product-development process (writing the firmware, for instance,
   or designing and laying-out the circuit but NOT actuially
   building PC boards), you can't charge as much as if you can
   handle the ENTIRE process.

2.  On the other hand, if your particular specialty is pretty rare
   (even if it's just a small part of the whole process), you can
   charge more than someone who has a more-common talent.  Hotshot
   antenna-design guys, for example, make a TON of money.

3.  If you can MANAGE a project, rather than just follow directions,
   you can charge A LOT.  "Dilbert" cartoons to the contrary, a
   good manager is worth his weight in gold.

4.  There's nothing wrong with adjusting your rate in proportion to
   the product's value to the client.  I have three rates, for
   example, for software development:  The highest is for software
   that the client will sell in source-code form, the next is for
   software (or firmware) that the client will sell as part of a
   mass-produced product, and the lowest rate is for software that
   the client will use only in-house.

   I also have a "charity" rate that just barely covers my
   expenses... If I write code for a friend, the fact that I'm
   charging him SOMETHING ensures that we STAY friends.

5.  As Ben mentioned, many consultants (including me, by the way)
   don't charge -- or don't charge MUCH -- for time spent climbing
   the learning curve.  If you expect to have a lot of these
   unbillable hours, your rate needs to compensate.

6.  Most employees aren't aware of their ACTUAL cost to their
   employer.  In many cases, your salary isn't even HALF of what
   your employer pays for your work.  If a potential client is
   trying to decide between hiring a full-time guy and outsourcing
   his development to you, your rate can be pretty high before it
   becomes unattractive to him.

7.  I know I said I wouldn't go into the minimum-rate calculation,
   but you do need to take into account the amount of liability
   that you'll be taking on.

   I'm not talking just about legal liability here -- although that
   IS an issue, and some clients may require you to carry "errors
   and omissions" insurance (very expensive, by the way) -- but
   about the smaller kinds of liability... The support issues, etc.

   My standard contract guarantees free software bug-fixes forever,
   for instance.  Lots of people tell me this is stupid, but I don't
   mind... I think the guarantee's important, and besides, it
   doesn't get used very often.  When it DOES get used, though, even
   a very minor fix can end up costing me a lot of money.

   Just this week, I spent as much as I charge for two hours of my
   time on short-term equipment rental and FedEx shipping in order
   to make a 10-minute fix to a program for which I'd billed only
   ten hours in the first place... And this doesn't take into
   account the hour that I spent on the phone with the client.

   Not only did I have to "give back" 20% of the money I made on
   the job, but the half day that I spent in order to make that
   ten-minute fix generated no revenue AND pushed all my other
   projects back by half a day.

   You need to anticipate this sort of thing (even if your
   contracts aren't as generous as mine) and set your rates
   accordingly.

Finally, there's one thing that a lot of people don't seem to
understand when they make the transition from employee to
consultant:

There's a big difference between what they've been doing in their
garage and what a client who's paying good money expects from them.

When you design and build something yourself -- a "MIDI Octopus"
clone, say -- you can afford to take all sorts of shortcuts.  Your
code needn't be thoroughly documented or tested, your PC board can be
drawn in Microsoft Paint, your BOM need only show Radio Shack part
numbers, you can ignore UL and FCC regulations, etc.

When you build a REAL product for a REAL company, however, things
are different... You'll need to have Gerber files, drill tapes,
silkscreens, assembly drawings, etc.; your code will probably have
to be written to a higher standard; you'll need to find REAL sources
(and maybe second sources) for all the parts; your PCB design must
conform to the client's design rules; you may need to get all the
relevant regulatory approvals; you must provide SOLID documentation;
etc.

As Fred Brooks said in "The Mythical Man-Month", the difference
between a "Program" and a "Programming Systems Product" is enormous.
He was talking about computer software specifically, but the lesson
applies to engineered products in general.

To paraphrase Brooks, a "Program", which is what is commonly produced
by a guy in his garage, is complete and ready to be used by its
author on his system.  To transform that program into a "Programming
Systems Product", which is the only thing that large software
companies want to ship, the program must be generalized, documented,
formalized, tested both alone and with the other system components
with which it will interact, etc.

Brooks estimates that a Programming System Product costs nine times
as much as a Program.  I think his estimate is low.

There's a reason we consultants charge so much; what we do is HARD
WORK.

There's a LOT more to say on this subject, but I'll stop here... I'm
sure that there are any number of "So you want to start your own
service business" books available at your bookstore; read one.

-Andy

=== Andrew Warren - .....fastfwdKILLspamspam.....ix.netcom.com                 ===
=== Fast Forward Engineering - Vista, California          ===
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1996\12\11@122904 by James Musselman

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> > I just want to know a price For DEVOLOPMENT of a device
> > (Schematics, prototype, and board layout).

>
>
> 4.  There's nothing wrong with adjusting your rate in proportion to
>     the product's value to the client.  I have three rates, for
>     example, for software development:

What happens when the "high rate" client finds out about the other rates?

>     My standard contract guarantees free software bug-fixes forever,
>     for instance.  Lots of people tell me this is stupid, but I don't
>     mind... I think the guarantee's important, and besides, it
>     doesn't get used very often.  When it DOES get used, though, even
>     a very minor fix can end up costing me a lot of money.
>

It sounds like you don't write very complex programs, or maybe you are the
first programmer to achieve perfection,  or how do you define
a bug?  Do you work for companies that never change their minds?


> When you build a REAL product for a REAL company, however, things
> are different... You'll need to have Gerber files, drill tapes,
> silkscreens, assembly drawings, etc.; your code will probably have
> to be written to a higher standard; you'll need to find REAL sources
> (and maybe second sources) for all the parts;
> etc.

You're very optimistic about most companies being so capable!!

>
> -Andy
>
> === Andrew Warren - EraseMEfastfwdspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTix.netcom.com                 ===
> === Fast Forward Engineering - Vista, California          ===
> ===                                                       ===
> === Did the information in this post help you?  Consider  ===
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1996\12\11@123114 by Chuck McManis

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Hamilton wrote:

>          My first post was not to clear.  'I' don't want to start a business!
> (yet). I just want to know a price For DEVOLOPMENT of a device (Schematics,
> prototype, and board layout).   There has got to be a somewhat round figure
> for the engineering skills to build projects for "Another Company."  What
> do you charge them? Of course there are many variables, just needed a
> starting point. Sorry if this thread is getting out of line.


This is a much easier question, its called your consulting rate. In the San
Francisco
bay area its between $50 and $175 per hour and I'd guess that single PIC circuit
would be expected to take somewhere between 4 and 16 hours to develop,
depending on the complexity of the peripheral circuitry. This rate is usually
"plus expenses", typical hardware design these days is design it, send it out
to be layed out, send it out to AP or whereever to have a couple of boards built
up, bring up the boards, correct any errors. Iterate the layout/board process
one
more time to make sure the production boards are in fact ready, then sign off
on the device. (ie release it to manufacturing)

It can take more time if there are packaging issues (you have to design a box
for it)
or if you're responsible for sheparding the device through agency (ie FCC or UL)
approval.

--Chuck

1996\12\11@135644 by James Musselman

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----------
> Hamilton wrote:
>
> >          My first post was not to clear.  'I' don't want to start a
business!
> > (yet). I just want to know a price For DEVOLOPMENT of a device
(Schematics,
> > prototype, and board layout).
>
> This is a much easier question, its called your consulting rate. In the
San
>  Francisco
> bay area its between $50 and $175 per hour and I'd guess that single PIC
circuit
> would be expected to take somewhere between 4 and 16 hours to develop,
> depending on the complexity of the peripheral circuitry.

4-16 hours??? to develop a circuit that actually does something?  don't you
mean
more like 4 months?

1996\12\11@141119 by Bradley, Larry

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Shouldn't snipe at Andy that way ... I work the same way. I do database
programming (some large business systems) as a sideline. I've two
long-term clients. I don't charge for the learning curve (at least not
directly), and I don't charge for bug fixes. And I'm not perfect, by a
long shot. If something  breaks (i.e. the program works the way the user
wants, but sometimes, or even all the time, does something unexpected),
that's a bug, and I fix it. Clients change their minds all the time ...
and they pay for it. If I send him something that works they way I
thought he wanted it, and he says Nope, that's not what I wanted, then
he gets what he wanted at no additional cost provided I believe it was
MY mistake, as opposed to him changing his mind part way through.

Most software developers know when they've screwed up, and when the
client has screwed up. And sometimes when the client screws up, you
rewrite the code and don't charge, 'cause building a long-term
relationship with a cliient can be long-term profitable, even if it is
short-term less profitable.

Having a detailed specification of what the customer wants, signed off
by both the customer and you is the best solution, but frequently not
possible, 'cause he doesn't KNOW what he wants. In a lot of cases, the
final application is the result of a lot of trial an error on both
sides. My clients are happy to work with me that way, because that way
they get what they really need, rather than what they thought they
wanted at the start. I charge by the hour, I don't use a fixed-price
arrangement, and on the surface, the cut-and-try process sounds more
expensive to the client. But in my experience it isn't.

Larry

{Quote hidden}

1996\12\11@154407 by fastfwd

face
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"AW" = Andrew Warren
"JM" = James Musselman

AW > 4.  There's nothing wrong with adjusting your rate in proportion
AW > to the product's value to the client.  I have three rates, for
AW > example, for software development:

JM > What happens when the "high rate" client finds out about the
JM > other rates?

   James:

   It's easy to miss subtle nuances in e-mail, so rather than
   getting upset by what I (probably mistakenly) see as an
   implication that I'm gouging certain clients, let me clarify:

       1.  I don't have high-rate "CLIENTS"; I have high-rate
       PRODUCTS. If a client wants to build and sell a million
       electronic gadgets, each of which contains my software, I
       charge him a certain rate for that work.  If he then
       discovers that he needs some software for a test-fixture in
       his factory, I'll often charge him a different rate.

       2.  My pricing structure is no secret; most of my clients
       are aware of it.  As I said, THERE'S NOTHING WRONG with
       having a different rate for different products.

AW > My standard contract guarantees free software bug-fixes
AW > forever, for instance.  Lots of people tell me this is stupid,
AW > but I don't mind... I think the guarantee's important, and
AW > besides, it doesn't get used very often.

JM > It sounds like you don't write very complex programs, or maybe
JM > you are the first programmer to achieve perfection, or how do
JM > you define a bug?  Do you work for companies that never change
JM > their minds?

   Sigh... Again, I'll assume that I'm reading too much into your
   questions, so I'll just take them at face value.

   From paragraph 5c of my contract, which relates to the "free
   bug-fixes forever" warranty:

       i.  Definition. A "defect", for the purposes of this
       provision, is any element of the Product which does not
       substantially comply with the specifications referenced in
       Paragraph 1.

   Clients change their minds ALL THE TIME; changes to the spec,
   however, are not bugs.

   As for your "you don't write very complex programs, or maybe you
   are the first programmer to achieve perfection" comment...
   When's the last time you found a software bug in your VCR, your
   car's ignition controller, etc.?

   As one of the more-clever software-tools companies once said in
   their print ads, "40 million VCRs can't be wrong".  I closed my
   last message with a long description of the difference between a
   garage-built "program" and a professional "program product"; the
   difference between them, and the largest reason for the cost
   difference between them, is the TESTING.

AW > When you build a REAL product for a REAL company, however,
AW > thingsare different... You'll need to have Gerber files,
AW > drill tapes, silkscreens, assembly drawings, etc.; your code
AW > will probably have to be written to a higher standard; you'll
AW > need to find REAL sources (and maybe second sources) for all
AW > the parts; etc.

JM > You're very optimistic about most companies being so capable!!

   You're right; they're often NOT capable of doing all that...
   Which is why they hire me.

   -Andy

=== Andrew Warren - @spam@fastfwdKILLspamspamix.netcom.com                 ===
=== Fast Forward Engineering - Vista, California          ===
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1996\12\11@163541 by Robert Lunn

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>Most software developers know when they've screwed up, and when the
>client has screwed up. And sometimes when the client screws up, you
>rewrite the code and don't charge, 'cause building a long-term
>relationship with a cliient can be long-term profitable, even if it is
>short-term less profitable.

       There's a saying:

       "The customer is always right, ESPECIALLY when they're wrong."

       One of the distinctions to keep in mind in this discussion is
       that between a contractor and a contracting business.

       Andy Warren runs a business.  His clients, naturally, expect
       that business to be run in a business-like way.  This is
       because they want Andy to be there in the long term, and they
       know what it takes for a business to survive.

       Many programmers and engineers do contract work.  Their methods
       and procedures are often much more casual.  (I'm not saying
       they should be, only that they are.)  Forging a long-term
       relationship with a client is usually not the focus; finding
       challenging and well-paying projects usually is.

___Bob

1996\12\11@170105 by Robert Lunn

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>    Not only did I have to "give back" 20% of the money I made on
>    the job, but the half day that I spent in order to make that
>    ten-minute fix generated no revenue AND pushed all my other
>    projects back by half a day.

       Yep, the biggest cost of anything can be 'other things
       not done'.

___Bob

1996\12\11@182147 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
   >This is a much easier question, its called your consulting rate. In
   >the San Francisco bay area its between $50 and $175 per hour and I'd
   >guess that single PIC circuit would be expected to take somewhere
   >between 4 and 16 hours to develop, depending on the complexity of the
   >peripheral circuitry.

   4-16 hours??? to develop a circuit that actually does something?
   don't you mean more like 4 months?

Um, people rarely hire consultants who need to diddle around for four
months to make a circuit and software to do what they need (unless its a
project that would normally take them 6 months!)  To deserve $175/hour you
ought to have a veritable library of circuits and software templates that
you can build stuff out of "pretty damn fast".  I can imagine any number of
"quick, we need one of these" sorts of circuits based around a Stamp-1, an
rs232 level shifter, and an I2C peripheral of some kind that could be
stamped (heh) out in four hours and be worth $700 to someone.  Of course,
going that route the second one will cost close to $700 too, and pretty
soon it'll pay to spend $1400 plus expenses to get a dozen of them put on
custom circuit boards instead of kludged together in a prototype area.

Keep in mind the reasons that companies will hire a consultant in the
first place.  They want things:

FASTER: either "it'll take Chris a month to come up to speed on
       microcontrollers to the point where it will take him two days
       to do this" or "we don't have anyone who can do this, nor anyone
       who has time to learn to do this, and it will take us two months
       to find someone to hire, plus time for them to get oriented before
       they start doing real work..."
CHEAPER: "Sam could do this, but I'm not going to have a $60/hour PhD in
       physics who's doing work worth $200/hour to the company play with
       PICs when I can get Andy to do it."  Or "hiring an employee to do
       this will cost too much overhead, and we won't have anything for
       them to do afterward (but we'll still be paying the salary!)"
BETTER: "last time we tried to do this internally it took two months to
       iron out all the bugs.  This time we should just hire an expert!"

BillW

1996\12\11@190340 by myke predko

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Bob Lunn wrote:
>        "The customer is always right, ESPECIALLY when they're wrong."

Actually, I think a better saying is: "The customer may not always be right,
but they're always the customer."

myke

Today, the commercial sector is advancing computer and communication
technology at a breakneck pace.  In 1992, optical fiber was being installed
within the continental U.S. at rates approaching the speed of sound (if
computed as total miles of fiber divided by the number of seconds in the year).

Aviation Week and Space Technology, October 28, 1996

1996\12\11@194948 by Eduardo J. Martinez Velez

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part 0 344 bytes
----------------------------
Thanks for all - Mil gracias
----------------------------
Eduardo Jorge Mart’nez VŽlez
a   Asesoria
&   &
 s   Sistematizacion
INET: KILLspamejmvKILLspamspamsatlink.com
 RemoveME73070.3653TakeThisOuTspamcompuserve.com
CServe: 73070,3653
2000-Rosario-SF-Argentina
TelFax: (54)(41)254561
Tel: (54)(41)8804
----------------------------

1996\12\12@030614 by Werner Terreblanche

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>        I write this from Argentine, where things tend to go worst.
>        IMHO, a project from scratch, needs at least 2 months, from
>        analysis to = production, even in the simplest case.

I agree that going through the whole process of finally getting a
product into production is a slow process, but just getting working
prototypes is much faster.   I develop automatic test equipment which
is usually based around PIC or 8051 microcontrollers.   Usually my
clients need only one or two sets of such equipment, but they do
require PCB's to made for it, the system to be built into a box and
complete documentation to be provided.   I usually take about the
following avarage time to complete such a project:

   Prototyping  - 16 hours
   PCB layout  - 16 hours
   Component procurement - 8 hours
   Software development - 16 hours
   Building and testing - 16 hours
   Documentation - 8 hours
  Consultation with client - 8 hours

Taking everything into account, I'm usually able to deliver the
finished product within 10-14 days from order, provided that all the
components needed are available off-the-shelf.  Sometimes waiting for
components on order can seriously affect these time schedules.
Complex mechanical fixtures can also affect these time scales.

Oh, and out here our  clients start frowning heavily when you charge more
than about $25 an hour.  I usually charge less than that if the job
start exceeding 50 hours.   :(


>        Currently, I am developing, and almost at production step,
>        with the =smallest control I think can justify the use of a PIC.
>        From the first time, with manuals in hand (remember that's my
>        first =experience with PIC's), untill now, I have spended 3 months, and
the =
>        last was 16 to 20 hs a day.

That is understandable, because as you said yourself... that was
after all the first time you developed anything using PICs.  I bet
your next project will take less than half that time and the one
after that even less.

> Does everyone put hand to work and develop with more speed?
>        Please, = call me. I have a Job for you.

<G> Ok, taking my current tariff rate into account,  I accept.  When
is the next plane out there?  :)

Rgds
Werner
--
Werner Terreblanche
spamBeGonewterrebspamBeGonespamplessey.co.za (work)  OR  TakeThisOuTwernerEraseMEspamspam_OUTaztec.co.za  (home)
Plessey SA, PO Box 30451, Tokai 7966, Cape Town, South Africa

Check out my Variometer Kit on:
 www.aztec.co.za/users/werner/variokit.htm
-------------------------------------------------------------

1996\12\12@044452 by fastfwd

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Robert Lunn <RemoveMEPICLISTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:

> One of the distinctions to keep in mind in this discussion is that
> between a contractor and a contracting business.

   Hmm... I guess the distinction mirrors the one I mentioned
   earlier, between a "Program" and a "Programming Systems Product".

> Andy Warren runs a business.  His clients, naturally, expect that
> business to be run in a business-like way.  This is because they
> want Andy to be there in the long term, and they know what it takes
> for a business to survive.
>
> Many programmers and engineers do contract work.  Their methods and
> procedures are often much more casual.

   Robert is, of course, absolutely correct.

   I should have made this distinction myself, in the original
   message I posted... My apologies to anyone who was overwhelmed by
   my description of a consultant's job.

   Hamilton seemed interested in just getting a survey of what
   people were charging, rather than in reading a long dissertation
   on (or discussion of) the perils and pitfalls of running a
   consulting business, so...

   Around here, experienced engineers who do contract work (usually
   moonlighting from their day job) get between $30 and $60 per
   hour.

   The $30 guys get a lot more work than the $60 guys... It's hard
   for many clients to justify paying $60/hour to someone who can
   only work evenings and weekends, especially since they know he
   might just quit halfway through their project, since he always
   has his day job to fall back on.

   -Andy

=== Andrew Warren - fastfwdEraseMEspam.....ix.netcom.com                 ===
=== Fast Forward Engineering - Vista, California          ===
===                                                       ===
=== Custodian of the PICLIST Fund -- For more info, see:  ===
=== http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/2499/fund.html ===

1996\12\12@095149 by Walter Banks

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General comment for this thread.

There are only two reasons that companies hire consultants. There is
either a labor shortage or the consultant has speciallized knowledge.

Even at high rates making a living as a consultant is a tough business.
Exciting, interesting work but at the end of the day (project)
serious fatigue will set in.

Walter Banks.

1996\12\12@142032 by mike

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In message  <EraseME199612120944.BAA29393spamdfw-ix9.ix.netcom.com> RemoveMEfastfwdEraseMEspamEraseMEix.netcom.com
writes:
>     Around here, experienced engineers who do contract work (usually
>     moonlighting from their day job) get between $30 and $60 per
>     hour.
>
>     The $30 guys get a lot more work than the $60 guys... It's hard
>     for many clients to justify paying $60/hour to someone who can
>     only work evenings and weekends, especially since they know he
>     might just quit halfway through their project, since he always
>     has his day job to fall back on.
>
>     -Andy
>

How often are people able to negotiate royalties as part of
their contract remuneration?

I know that some contracts aren't suitable, but I know that some
are. I am negotiating a contract for some PIC coding which
will go into production batches of 1000 several times a year.

I would happily exchange 50% of my (small) fee for 50c per unit. My
client however is not interested :-(

Do any of you guys get paid on a royalty basis for this type of
work?



Regards,



Mike Watson

1996\12\12@170349 by Robert Lunn

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>Do any of you guys get paid on a royalty basis for this type of
>work?

       Yes.

       In fact, I find many small companies are enthusiastic about
       this type of arrangement because they feel it 'locks in' the
       contractor on a long-term basis.  By giving you a stake in
       the commercial success of the product, you naturally become
       more interested in ensuring its commercial viability.

       However, Andy's second law of contracting applies in spades.
       ONLY enter such arrangements with with _nice_ people (by which
       I mean people you can _trust_).

___Bob

1996\12\13@122043 by Dennis Long

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At 08:53 AM 12/13/96 +1100, you wrote:

Do any of you sign nondisclosure agreements and agree not to compete before
you bid the development of a project?
Dennis A. Long
Indiana University Opera Theater
RemoveMEdlongspam_OUTspamKILLspamindiana.edu
================================
Suspend your disbelief.

1996\12\13@133910 by Walter Banks

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Dennis Long wrote:
>
> At 08:53 AM 12/13/96 +1100, you wrote:
>
> Do any of you sign nondisclosure agreements and agree not to compete before
> you bid the development of a project?

NDA's are both common and reasonable. I generally sign NDA's
during contract negotiations.  So that I can better understand the
problem at hand.

1) Is it specific.
2) If the information becomes public and I didn't put there
then I will have the same rights as anyone getting the
information from a public source.

Ther reason for this is I do not to be put at a disadvange
if the information in a NDA becomes public.

Non-competes are tough to write and very tough to enforce. Better
to write tighter contracts covering the work and confidential
informations.

Walter Banks

1996\12\31@215353 by Eric Smith

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Bob Lunn wrote:
> "The customer is always right, ESPECIALLY when they're wrong."

myke predko <RemoveMEmykeTakeThisOuTspamspamPASSPORT.CA> wrote:
> Actually, I think a better saying is: "The customer may not always be right,
> but they're always the customer."

... unless you forget that they are right!

Eric

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