Guy Who Wanted To Pay Programmer With "Exposure" Gets The Response He Deserved
In some industries, people are expected to work for free so they can get "exposure" in their chosen field. This is primarily a problem amongst designers and creatives. But it appears that very few professionals are safe from the frankly outrageous proposal that you should dedicate a substantial amount of your time and energy on a project without any form of remuneration.
Unfortunately, "exposure" doesn't get the bills paid and sometimes it can feel that your skillset is just being taken advantage of. But just imagine the audacity of asking an experienced programmer to work a 40 hour week doing unpaid coding and backend work all for... exposure.
Well, Zach Zundel, a programmer from England experienced just that and after quite rightly rejecting the offer, he received a torrent of abuse from the client.
Zundel was amazed by how resentful the client was when it was actually he himself who had every right to be bitter about being approached to work hard on a project without receiving so much as a dime in a return.
Following the unfortunate encounter, Zundel decided to post screenshots of their text exchange on Twitter:
"Lmao sorry friendaloo but if you want me to write you a couple thousand lines of code you get to profit from forever it’s gonna cost you," Zundel tweeted along with the screenshots.
From the screenshots alone, it is very clear that the unnamed client was being entirely unreasonable. Especially considering it was he who reached out to Zundel in the first place.
The client presented Zundel with what he clearly thought was a revolutionary idea. Zundel agreed that it was a "neat idea" before informing him how much his services would cost.
"Wow, sounds like a neat idea," Zundel responded. "Yes, I can build it. You'd probably want a server backend and then a web application front end written separately. That way, if you wanted to go mobile in the future all the tech is already there."
"I'd charge $300 to build the backend and deploy it on the server of your choice," he added. "The web app would cost the same for building and deployment if you want fairly basic styling and design. If you want more artsy stuff, it'd be $700 for the front because I'd subcontract that out."
Without even attempting to negotiate with the person he was essentially asking to sacrifice his time for someone else's success, the client offered stocks - and even worse - exposure for his efforts.
"Don't you think 600$ is a little high???" the client argues.
Zundel's rejection of the offer was perfectly reasonable and also - unlike the client's subsequent replies - still pretty polite.
"You're asking me to do 40 hours of work, $15/hr is a bargain for someone with my experience and skill set," he replied. "You came to find me out of the blue to build your app so I think my 'exposure' is just fine. Writing code is how I support myself, I generally don't do it for free."
Zundel then insisted that if he was to take on the project, it was "going to cost $600".
Needless to say, the client was livid that his request to get someone to work entirely for free was rejected outright.
"Oh f*ck you, I'm trying to get you in on the ground floor of this business which is going to blow up," the would-be entrepreneur replied.
Things then escalated pretty quickly and the foul-mouthed client suddenly decides Zundel doesn't "understand business" and that when he is "sad and unsuccessful" he will "realise what a mistake it was to ignore this opportunity."
"Sorry, I still need to eat! Good luck out there," the programmer responds, polite as ever.
But it didn't end there - the client then threatens to sue Zundel if he tries to steal his oh-so-clever idea.
"I'm keeping this convo," Mr Work-for-free-or-else assures the Zundel.
Evidently, Zundel also kept the convo which has been retweeted almost 16k times and liked by 48k people.
When he realised his text message conversation had been posted on Twitter and gone viral, the client sent Zundel another abusive message.
What the f*ck? You tweeted our messages? I didn't agree to that," he wrote. "This violates my privacy, you better have a good lawyer. Stupid f*g"
Of course, Zundel being the awesome guy that he is, then tweeted the client's response, writing "I'm going to rot in jail".
And that's when the jokes and messages of support from followers started rolling in:
The moral of the story here is don't expect other people to put in a hell of a lot of unpaid work all so you can realise your wildest entrepreneurial dreams.