If you do want to work with me there are some rules
The project will be a dynamic one and has some momentum (to ensure it lands sometime before I die) and has been cleared with the relevant authorities (ok, your committee, your community, your boss, your husband, whoever is really in charge). It has a defined start and end (unless you just want to pay me to sit around and do nothing, which is fine too really).
Talk to me
Project communications are dynamic, or I might just forget that you exist or think you have died.
Full payment or a clear regular payment plan
I need the money today, not in several months time. Charles Booth poverty map is interesting in this regard, because it says a lot about the social and economic history (of London) and the juxtaposition of the relatively wealthy and the destitute and poor. Fine streets became poor streets within a generation. I currently live in a fine house, but if history repeats itself, I could easily become destitute and end up in debtor’s prison, even though some may think I live in a very fine house, with a plaque outside, I am still paying for it and it is expensive to look after national treasures (even if on the B-list).
Your time and commitment and a start date
Many projects seem to be terribly urgent, should have been completed yesterday, bla bla, but suddenly the project stalls because you’ve neglected to tell me that you have booked a long overdue sabbatical and there is no internet in your mountain bothy …
IT IS WORTH BEING UPFRONT THAT MANY PROJECTS FALTER BECAUSE
THE COMMISSIONER DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME
Make time …
OR A CLUE
Find out about stuff (but please don’t ask a lawyer) or simply ask me & take my word for it … there are lots of experts out there who will give you an opinion for free. But beware that some advice comes with a health warning – be prejudiced – against certain solutions (like opensource); are irrelevant (they apply to corporate situations where the risks are perhaps much higher); are disproportionate (might apply to multimillion pound projects)
HAS UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
I suffer from this, expect everyone else to be perfect, reliable and on time, and perfectly pleasant to me at all times, even when I am being unreasonable
A RISIBLY SMALL BUDGET
I understand this too, so …
[risibly small budgets] generally mean that you get what you are given a boiler plate solution
HOPE YOU APPRECIATE THE PLAIN SMALL PRINT … one more thing
If I give you a proposal with an exit clause, you can exit at any contractual break point, e.g. we jointly conclude the project is not feasible. I like to think that uncertainty in project development is a constant and that for larger projects there should be enough wriggle room for the commissioner to hit the pause button or the the stop button.
BUT IF YOU COMMIT TO A PROJECT VERBALLY, however small, AND I START IT (PERHAPS EVEN FINISHED IT BECAUSE YOU TOOK YOU SO DAMN LONG TO DECIDE), THEN I EXPECT YOU TO HONOUR YOUR WORD ...