A quick quandry about jobs January 13, 2009 8:17 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for someone to partner with on a project, and I would like to post it to jobs. Is it kosher to post something to jobs that is not immediately compensated, but would be paid if success was achieved?
posted by JonnyRotten to Etiquette/Policy at 8:17 AM (63 comments total)

Is Skull Island involved at any stage?
posted by Jofus at 8:34 AM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ehhh, a Kong reference I'm missing?

Alas, no, no skull island.
posted by JonnyRotten at 8:38 AM on January 13, 2009


so long as it's not a dating web site with a 1-day prototype.
posted by onalark at 8:38 AM on January 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


that way lies amway
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:38 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, that dating website post is rather ambitious.

Not amway or anything similar.
posted by JonnyRotten at 8:52 AM on January 13, 2009


My basic feeling is that jobs is for jobs, paid positions or gigs. There's not really a "help me out with my business plan" model at work and the loose way you've framed it doesn't even make it clear whether you need someone to work for you or if you're more like looking for investors. While the former might be okay the latter definitely isn't.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:56 AM on January 13, 2009


Looking for someone to work with me.
In my opinion its a two person project, that will hopefully yield profit after launch.

But I cannot outright promise payment or a salary, so until launch it will just be a project for myself and whoever wants to partner with me.
posted by JonnyRotten at 8:59 AM on January 13, 2009


Payment in backrubs.
posted by waraw at 9:02 AM on January 13, 2009


I guess here are some more details:

I have a project I have been working on, I know where my strengths and weaknesses lay, and I am looking for someone to compliment them for this venture.

Not just a "I need someone to make my project for me" thing.

Waraw, hopefully payment in dollars once they start to accumulate. Not these kind though.
posted by JonnyRotten at 9:05 AM on January 13, 2009


If your idea is bacon delivered via HTTP, you are too late because my patent is pending.
posted by DU at 9:08 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just come up with some kind of compensation as the salary, then post. i.e., "You will receive one (1) free sandwich a week for performing these duties."
posted by odinsdream at 9:11 AM on January 13, 2009


Can I post a "job" where I "hire" someone to build singalong.com completely from the ground up with no other direction or assistance from me and to make it wildly profitable and then my "employee" will get to keep .05% of the profit for the first year and I get everything else?
posted by ND¢ at 9:14 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I guess you could ND¢, but thats not my call.

though that is not at all close to what I would like to post.
posted by JonnyRotten at 9:18 AM on January 13, 2009


Is the alternate compensation, as suggested by odinsdream a legitimate precedent?

Could I offer a plate of cookies per week, plus 50% or potential profits?
posted by JonnyRotten at 9:20 AM on January 13, 2009


Now I'm completely curious about this project. Completely. Not because of the cookies, but because JonnyRotten has the persistence of the inspired.
posted by batmonkey at 9:23 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I suddenly feel all hippy-dippy granola, but I don't think "job" should be confined to for-money activiies. I guess it's because I've been doing paid work and free theatre for so long, they blend in my head. The fact that I get paid for one and not for the other seems like a relatively minor issue -- not important in how I classify the activities. I consider one of my "jobs" to be directing plays.

When applying for a job, I would certainly want to know what, if any, sort of compensation there would be. But if I heard that the compensation would be the job itself, that wouldn't make me think, "Well, then it's not a job."

Naturally, I respect Matt & co.'s right to define "job" however they like.
posted by grumblebee at 9:25 AM on January 13, 2009


I don't see that there's anything wrong with posting it. Salary, or even lack of salary, is something that's between the poster and anyone who's interested and I'd presume that we're all grown up enough to work that stuff out for ourselves.
posted by mandal at 9:28 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


A tech entrepreneur hoping to establish a startup needs two of the following things to even consider beginning a venture: startup capital and access to capital (friends, family, fools) AND/OR technical mastery of the chosen field AND/OR superior business skills.

After working with tech startups on a local and then state-wide level for the past five years or so, I have often been approached by people looking for help bootstrapping their business. If a potential client did not possess two of the above qualities, I would not help them get access to information and services. I got a lot of people who had an idea but no technical skills, no business skills, and no money.

Which of the above do you possess? Although it seems counterintuitive, startup money should be the easiest box to check off. And you can pay a technical person or business development person with that funding, and then it would be eligible for "Jobs".

If you don't have any money saved up, use your technical skills to refine your product, and use your business skills to sell yourself and your idea to access "friends, family, fool" money to help pay staff or a consultant.

If you have no money and no technical skills but have business skills, you may be out of luck with this venture.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:30 AM on January 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Batmonkey, I take that as a compliment of the highest order.

This is a project I am throughly in love with, and completely convinced it could be something pretty big.
It's really an un-marketed genre for the most part, and would be hella cool besides the fact if it never made a dime.

I wish I had some friends that could handle the portions I am looking for, because I rather take a good friend or family member along for this ride.
But I don't. Nor do I live in an area that has any kind of tech community, because that would be option 2.

So now I am turning to the only online community I would trust finding someone to work on this project with.

But anyways. Inspired? Yes. I really hope so. This project has existed in my brain for far too long and it needs to become real.

Batmonkey, feel free to Mefi-mail me if you are a web-programmer and looking for a project. Otherwise, feel free to wait until I get a bit more consensus in this post, and I will post it in jobs tonight.

Unless I'm suggested not to here, that is.
posted by JonnyRotten at 9:33 AM on January 13, 2009


Not intending to sound snarky here, but I think you need to develop your project enough on your own so that this wouldn't be a question. Ex. build it enough so that you can reasonably expect to profit, and by announcing it and finding someone, you would move toward that goal and be successful, barring any unforseen circumstances. A 'help me out and we'll see if this turns into something' is not a solid, confidence-inspiring business/project model anyway.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:36 AM on January 13, 2009


if it involves counter-intelligence, i am your man...
ummm wait
posted by clavdivs at 10:02 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


iamkimiam, sound advice, and I appreciate it.

I don't want it to sound like I am coming to the table with just an idea.
I have layout, database design, mockups, design documents, and many other things completed.
posted by JonnyRotten at 10:02 AM on January 13, 2009


I'm definitely not a programmer (well, beyond skeleton HTML), so I'll wait...but on tenterhooks.

It really does seem like there should be a place here to solicit collaborative arrangements, because not all effort without pay is worthless. Aside from skills polishing, it generates project knowledge, portfolio pieces, and that most valuable business asset: networking.

And being able to do that within this particular community ensures a rich pool of people one has a better chance of knowing enough about to decide if a working relationship will...work. Unlike Craigslist, which would be the next option for most folks in the poster's position. Completed projects would be jewels in the glittering MetaFilter diadem of positive influence on productive use of online community.
posted by batmonkey at 10:04 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I got a lot of people who had an idea but no technical skills, no business skills, and no money.

I don't even work with startups, and I've seen this a lot too. Ideas are worth absolutely nothing by themselves, you have to have skills/money/experience/connections/luck on your side as well.

If someone has the skills to build this website for you, then they have the skills to work on any number of websites where they would get paid a sizable salary. Think about how many hours you are asking this person to work for this project, and then think about how much she would make an hour as a freelance web developer doing the same thing. Getting rich investors to invest thousands of dollars in your project is hard, but so is convincing someone to do thousands of dollars worth of work for your project.

In order for them to work for you for free, you have to bring something significant to the table. Other than your idea, what do you have? You don't have money, so do you have experience in marketing, finding investors, designing web content, etc.? If not, why would the developer want to work with you, when he probably has his own ideas for projects that he would rather work on?

Usually the only way you'll be able to make that kind of commitment without paying them is to find someone as passionate about your project as you are, which is not easy to do.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:06 AM on January 13, 2009


I have layout, database design, mockups, design documents, and many other things completed.

On non-preview you're more prepared than I assumed, but it would still be a tough sell to a good developer.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:15 AM on January 13, 2009


quandary
posted by Liver at 10:20 AM on January 13, 2009


What is the problem with posting it? Are we gonna run out of electrons or pixels or something? As long as it's made abundantly clear what the terms and conditions are, or what grumblebee and mandal said.
posted by fixedgear at 10:23 AM on January 13, 2009


I might add that you get what you pay for.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:26 AM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


If it's to re-form the Sex Pisols, I'm in.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:42 AM on January 13, 2009


Eh, If I was that Johnny Rotten, I would just pay people to do my bidding.
posted by JonnyRotten at 10:45 AM on January 13, 2009


"paid if success was achieved" sounds sketchy. Who determines "success"? "Profit sharing" is the stardard way to do this. That's not sketchy, has been offered on MeFi Jobs before, and should be fair to offer again.

Not really answering your question, but my 2 cents as a developer:

What you're proposing is a difficult sell to good developers, as others have pointed out. A developer could complete this project without you, whereas you couldn't complete it without them. If you think your idea is completely original, well, you're wrong. They probably couldn't do it as well without you, but you shouldn't approach this as if you're hiring a developer so much as selling a project. Also, cookies never hurt.
posted by scottreynen at 10:46 AM on January 13, 2009


What is the problem with posting it?

The argument against is, as I see it, is by keeping the focus narrow, it doesn't welcome things like Craigslist posts that say, for example:

"I am in process of writing and publishing my frist book. I need an experience editor who willing to do it for free. Since I don't have much money. It about helping people to understand about pit bulls and others breeds how they can make great pet etc and common myths about them. Thanks. "

JonnyRotten -- my personal opinion is that you'd be better off posting an AskMe question to the effect of "where can I find a partner to do X for my project?" More people will see it than will look in Jobs, for one thing.
posted by camcgee at 10:46 AM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Eh, If I was that Johnny Rotten, I would just pay people to do my bidding.

You'd probably just try to butter them up.
posted by waraw at 10:51 AM on January 13, 2009


I'd do it for cookies and/or sandwiches, whatever it is.
posted by booknerd at 10:57 AM on January 13, 2009


Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:01 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


In order for them to work for you for free, you have to bring something significant to the table. Other than your idea, what do you have?

Can't you read? HE HAS COOKIES.

But if they have raisins in them, I'm out.
posted by desjardins at 11:07 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do you need someone to rub their balls on things? Because if so, I'd be happy to embark on this profit sharing adventure.
posted by klangklangston at 11:26 AM on January 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


What is the problem with posting it? Are we gonna run out of electrons or pixels or something?

My counter-question would be: why does it have to be here? Why not Craigslist? Oh, because Craigslist is glutted with weird non-jobs, random spammy seeming marketing things and a lot of other cruft which can be seriously frustrating for someone who is looking for a real all day five day a week type of job. We don't want MeFi jobs to become that, we want it to be a place where MeFites can go to look for a job and not have to wade through "might not pay but it's good experience!" or "clean my house!" sorts of things which is why there are guidelines about what a job is and what a job isn't. I'm happy to have other people chime in about what they think, but I don't think opening up Jobs to be a place for collaborative projects will ultimately make it more useful.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:29 AM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Jessamyn, I respect that. That is why I asked, rather then just posting it and waiting for the flag.

I actually the reason I didn't want to post it to craigslist is not because of the glut of similar posts, but because I would hope to get a better crop of interested people here.

Are there guidelines about what a job is and isn't? If so, I am guessing I missed that.
posted by JonnyRotten at 11:47 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Given the immense difficulty involved, should I post the vacant position as my girlfriend in Jobs or Projects? I've certainly done my side of the collaborative effort enough...I'll try Music first I guess.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:48 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dear Cortex, I never thought this sort of thing would happen to me
posted by waraw at 12:01 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


klang, whatever they're paying you to rub your balls on my stuff, I'll double it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:11 PM on January 13, 2009


My counter-question would be: why does it have to be here? Why not Craigslist? Oh, because Craigslist is glutted with weird non-jobs, random spammy seeming marketing things and a lot of other cruft which can be seriously frustrating for someone who is looking for a real all day five day a week type of job.

Or, maybe, because he's a reasonably long-standing and paid up member of this community and has a feel for the place. And he had the good grace to actually ask before posting. The spam association seems a bit below the belt.

****

It's a community site, but do we actually have a collaborative section? I genuinely don't know if this is something I've missed.
posted by mandal at 12:15 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Actually mandal, my other account has been active since 2001, not that it matters.

I think a collaborative section, or tag for jobs would be awesome.

I know there have been points in years past where I was looking for a project, and would have been glad to help with someone's project.

Something between jobs-dot and projects-dot?

I'm not looking to get something for nothing. I don't want someone to do my work for me. I want someone to come into my project, bring some passion and skills for things I lack, and lack the time to learn to the extent needed. And in exchange I'm offering a partnership and splitting the profits.

I guess to me, this sits somewhere other then the "I'm looking for a 9-5" group. But alot of the jobs on jobs don't sit in that same section, IMHO.
posted by JonnyRotten at 12:35 PM on January 13, 2009


why does it have to be here? Why not Craigslist?
Isn't that true for every kind of job? That you can put it on Monster, or any other job board?

which can be seriously frustrating for someone who is looking for a real all day five day a week type of job.
But if Mefi Jobs was designed for people looking for real all day jobs, why are there so many very simple projects and why are volunteer jobs allowed? I am biased, because I am developing a web application as well and am also in need of a partner though I have no idea how to find one, but I think the kind of work JonnyRotten has to offer is much more interesting for Mefi than "retouch my photo" or "please write me a letter", which are two of the three jobs that are posted this month.

The job categories now are "full-time, contract and volunteer" I don't think adding "collaborative" would be bad for the site. Sure, there may be crappy jobs, but it is not like they are not on the site right now, and it is also not like the site is getting overrun with "plz build me a facebook clone for 500$ in two weeks" jobs now, even though you do see that on other job sites, so I don't think adding a collaborative job type would attract the spammy jobs you are worried about. I am actually surprised you see collaborative jobs as spammy. I think the "looking for experienced web programmer, must have extensive database knowledge, pays 10$ hour" kind of posts that you see on many freelance sites are more irritating and more prevalent.
posted by davar at 12:49 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's a community site, but do we actually have a collaborative section? I genuinely don't know if this is something I've missed.

Most group collaborative stuff, like CD exchanges, writing collaborations, meetups, etc. get posted to MetaTalk. I think it actually would be kind of neat to put all of that stuff in a new section where collaboration is actively encouraged.

I know the mods have always been against a craigslist-ish section because those things are better done at existing sites, but I think it would be a good thing for stuff like the CD swap to get more exposure and to be an explicit part of the site. With the current system, collaborative stuff tends to stall out when the threads drop off the main MetaTalk page, and featuring them prominently might help with that. Even a new sidebar in MetaTalk along the lines of the meetup sidebar would help.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:52 PM on January 13, 2009


Actually mandal, my other account has been active since 2001, not that it matters.

Actually, you're not supposed to have two active accounts. What's the other one?
posted by languagehat at 1:06 PM on January 13, 2009


I don't know why we should get all uppity about this since mathowie still pays all his employees with the gift cards he gets as birthday presents from his aunt.
posted by mullacc at 1:36 PM on January 13, 2009


Thanks burnmp3s.

I guess if there isn't one, I'd like one as well.

***

#49.
posted by mandal at 1:38 PM on January 13, 2009


Actually, you're not supposed to have two active accounts.

Are you sure about that? Jessamyn suggested a sockpuppet account to me for some anonymous Askmes that weren't making it. I wanted anonymous because some members of the community make assumptions about people based on their profile and the mods didn't think that was a good enough reason for anonymousity.
posted by b33j at 1:46 PM on January 13, 2009


Yeah, I messaged languagehat through mefimail so as to avoid a derailment of this otherwise productive talk.
posted by JonnyRotten at 2:07 PM on January 13, 2009


"klang, whatever they're paying you to rub your balls on my stuff, I'll double it."

Usually, I just get to keep the stuff.

You have my address, mod. I'll document thoroughly.
posted by klangklangston at 2:23 PM on January 13, 2009


(So, yeah, just send me two of anything you want ball rubbed and that way I don't even have to keep using the ball-rubbed stuff. I mean, ew.)
posted by klangklangston at 2:23 PM on January 13, 2009


JohnnyRotten, you can also try Odesk, as they have collaborative efforts like this posted there (at least if I understand what you are proposing, they do).
posted by misha at 2:32 PM on January 13, 2009


davar, I liked your idea of adding another category called 'collaborative' and if someone is looking for a REAL Job, they can filter the non-paying jobs out. As JonnyRotten said, the calibur of people here (compared to the rest of the internet) is pretty high.

I hope I'm not the only one here who didn't realize until now that "Jobs" was only for "Paid Jobs or Gigs". I had simply always assumed we were a mature enough bunch here that safeguarding against 'noisy' job postings wouldn't be necessary (especially as davar notes, it's not a terribly active board anyway)
posted by johnstein at 5:29 PM on January 13, 2009


Does this project have anything to do with rectal exams?
posted by gman at 7:37 PM on January 13, 2009


Since we're talking about jobs, I emailed about two in the past week and they never responded. Insert a sad face here.
seriously, I'm GREAT at creepy photo retouching!
posted by Brainy at 6:47 AM on January 14, 2009


A MefiJobs post that may someday lead to being paid seems better than a MefiJobs post that wants $40 just to apply.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 7:05 AM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, I posted it last night, so we will see if it gets any responses / or flagged to death.

Thanks for the input guys and gals.
posted by JonnyRotten at 7:52 AM on January 14, 2009


Can you point me to any renal exam p0rn?
posted by KokuRyu at 9:46 AM on January 14, 2009


Kidney exams?
posted by JonnyRotten at 10:00 AM on January 14, 2009


No knees, no kids. Take it to /b/.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:12 AM on January 14, 2009


Is it kosher to post something to jobs that is not immediately compensated, but would be paid if success was achieved?

Somehow I missed the real question. As the resident Jew here, I'm going to suggest you speak to a Rabbi about this.
posted by gman at 4:13 AM on January 15, 2009


« Older Northern Colorado Meetup?   |   First They Came for the AskMe Questions About... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments