Home » My customer wants me to record a video of how I develop his software product

My customer wants me to record a video of how I develop his software product


(Or, the flip-side of my previous advice…)

You stop giving protestations, and say yes.

“Yes, I would be happy to write a new contract for these additional deliverables. Project-complete tutelege in my proprietary tradecraft is valued at (value of my projected income for the next $N years). There will also be a licensing fee $Y, for physical file ownership rights. If you would like to also own the video’s content, I’ll get back to you shortly with an additional fee for copyright release.”

Lest you think that preposterous: seriously, what price makes it worthwhile to risk your business?

  • A competitor could use that video to criticize, mimic, or undercut your practices.
  • The client could edit it to make you look dishonest.
  • You’ve sacrificed the potential to monetize your business through video tutorials if he chooses to post excerpts of this one for free (or heck, what if he sold them?).

Value of a work product is not equal to the value of (work product + expertise + work processes)

An employer gets to own and direct all of these. A client only gets to ask “Do you offer__, and if so what do you charge for it?”

So, yep, these are reasonable terms for accommodating an unreasonable request.

BUT unless he accepts those terms and without further howling, I still say a flat “no” is the most persuasive you can possibly be that what he wants is infeasible.

You don’t explain; not further, not at all. You just say no.

This is your business, and your choices about how to conduct it are not up for discussion. The terms of any contract are up for discussion; before signing, that is.

He’s giving you multiple big red flags that this contract will be a miserable experience, that it will continue to be so even after you’ve billed for it, and that he will have nothing but mistrustful things to say to others about your work. Smile, because you’re fortunate that he’s communicated this before you’re stuck with the jerk.

Thank him graciously for his time, return his deposit, and kick him to the curb.

Really, he’s never going to be persuaded of your professionalism no matter what you tell him.

I wouldn’t deal with this guy, period. It sounds like simply doesn’t understand that much of the job is thought. If you supplied him with the video he’s going to nitpick all the time you spend ignoring him (thinking about the situation.)

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