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Tagged with “podcast” (15)

  1. HODINKEE Radio | Jason Fried | Episode 13

    Episode Summary

    This week we’re talking to Jason Fried— co-founder of Basecamp and New York Times best-selling author. Jason has a mostly cerebral approach to watches. He was first drawn in as a kid, but it was coming to understand them as complex feats of design and analog companions that turned him into a real watch lover. Hearing him talk about watches, you wonder how anyone in their right mind could resist this strange little hobby we all enjoy so much. We also get into Jason’s new book new book, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work.” Enjoy.

    Episode Notes

    This week we’re talking to Jason Fried— co-founder of Basecamp and New York Times best-selling author. Jason has a mostly cerebral approach to watches. He was first drawn in as a kid, but it was coming to understand them as complex feats of design and analog companions that turned him into a real watch lover. Hearing him talk about watches, you wonder how anyone in their right mind could resist this strange little hobby we all enjoy so much. We also get into Jason’s new book new book, “It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work.” Enjoy.

    Show Notes

    (4:39) An Elusive MIH Watch Up For Grabs

    (10:11) Talking Watches With Dan White

    (31:20) It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work

    (31:25) Rework

    (31:30) Remote

    About the Show

    HODINKEE Radio is a weekly podcast brought to you by HODINKEE—the world’s preeminent resource for vintage and modern wristwatch enthusiasts. While, sure, this is a watch podcast, it’s not just a podcast about watches. It’s a podcast about people. Join host Stephen Pulvirent and the rest of the HODINKEE editors for conversations with a rotating cast of writers, actors, creative directors, musicians, watch dealers, entrepreneurs, chefs, designers, and more.

    —Huffduffed by masnick

  2. Castro 3 Wrap Up - Supertop Podcast

    Oisin and Padraig discuss wrapping up Castro 3 development and explain what current Castro users can expect from 3.0.


    How Ulysses pulled off a controversial pivot to subscription - SaaS Open Mic by ChartMogul

    What we need from Apple to make standalone Apple Watch podcast apps –

    This episode was shared using Castro, a podcast app for iPhone.

    —Huffduffed by masnick

  3. Castro 3’s Business Model - Supertop Podcast

    Oisín & Pádraig discuss the different options for Castro 3’s business model and the reasons behind the model they’ve chosen.

    Castro for Nintendo Switch

    Tweet referencing email address to ask for access to Switch development kit

    YouTube video for Castro 2


    Doom Clock

    Our episode about it

    Under The Radar

    We Sold Tokens and Top Hat

    We Sold Unread

    Auto-renewing Subscriptions

    Phil Schiller says upgrade pricing is a model of the past

    iOS Dev Weekly

    The Case For App Patronage

    We reference Curtis Herbert’s talk at Release Notes 2017

    Padraig’s question about subscriptions on Twitter

    Joe Cieplinski’s response

    Marco Arment’s response

    This episode was shared using Castro, a podcast app for iPhone.

    —Huffduffed by masnick

  4. Casey Neistat and Matt Hackett on Live Video’s Struggle for Interestingness

    Matt Hackett and Casey Neistat are the cofounders of Beme, which was acquired by CNN last year. You might already know Casey from his YouTube channel which now has over 8M subscribers. And before Beme, Matt was a Hacker-in-Residence betaworks and the VP of Engineering at Tumblr.

    —Huffduffed by masnick

  5. Don’t Start a Blog, Start a Cult – Mr. Money Mustache

    Pete Adeney, more commonly known as Mr. Money Mustache, retired at 30 after working as a software engineer for about ten years. He blogs at about how he saved money, where he invested it, and how he achieved

    —Huffduffed by masnick

  6. Update: CRISPR - Radiolab

    In 2012, scientists had a realization: hidden inside one of the world’s smallest organisms, was one of the world’s most …

    —Huffduffed by masnick

  7. Ep. 26 - Going Solo with Apple Expert David Sparks - The Law Entrepreneur

    Listen to this episode (0:45:36)


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    Another Call to Action

    One More Call to Action

    Become a Law Entrepreneur!

    If you have enjoyed this podcast, please consider joining our mailing list!

    Neil chats with David Sparks, Apple expert and host of The Mac Power Users podcast, which was the first podcast I started listening to and since has been an influence for me to start The Law Entrepreneur in the first place. David is also a solo practitioner which will dominate most of the conversation today, and he operates a small and comfortable firm in Southern California.


    If you’ve enjoyed the podcast, please head to iTunes and leave a rating & review for the show! It only takes a moment, and really helps me to reach new listeners. You can also head to the website at for more information on the podcast and my legal services.

    About the author, NeilLinks: TwitterFacebook

    —Huffduffed by masnick

  8. Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 12: Salary Negotiation with Josh Doody | Kalzumeus Software

    Several years ago I wrote a blog post on salary negotiation for engineers.

    This probably created more value than anything else I’ve ever written — I have a folder in Gmail with thank-you messages from people, and my running total is something north of $2.3 million in added salary per year, mostly in $15k to $25k chunks.

    A buddy of mine, Josh Doody, has decided to thoroughly own this area, and published a book (Amazon link) on the topic.

    I rather enjoyed the book, and thought I would have him on the podcast to talk about the topic in more detail.

    [Patrick notes: As always, the below transcript occasionally has my thoughts inserted in this format.]

    What you’ll learn in this podcast:

    How to avoid the “What is your desired salary?” question

    How to trade off across multiple axes when doing a salary negotiation (salary, vacation days, equity, etc)

    How to get raises after being hired

    A brief announcement: Keith Perhac and I have parted ways with regards to the podcast, amicably, largely due to scheduling issues.

    Both he and I have been quite busy with business and life, and we’ve moved to different countries, so we’ll be running our podcasts independently in the future.

    We’re still great friends and will probably appear on each others’ programs occasionally.

    MP3 Download (~49 minutes, ~42MB): right click here and select Save As.

    Podcast format: either subscribe to in your podcast reader of choice or you can search for Kalzumeus Podcast in iTunes, Overcast, or another aggregator of your choice.

    Podcast: Play in new window

    | Download

    Salary Negotiation with Josh Doody

    Patrick McKenzie: Hideho everybody. My name is Patrick McKenzie, but I’m known as Patio11 on the Internet. This is the 12th episode of the Kalzumeus Podcast.

    Things are going to be changing a little bit. Keith Perhac and I have been co-hosting this podcast for the last couple of years, but we’ve moved in different directions in our personal and professional lives. Both of us have young daughters. We’re now living in different countries. It’s difficult for us to make the time to do this on a weekly basis as you might notice because we’ve only done 12 episodes in something like four years now.

    We’re going to be podcasting independently. We’ll probably still be guests on each other’s programs in the future as is now, I guess, just the “me” podcast for the moment. I’ll have a variety of guests on.

    Today, I’ve brought Josh Doody. John is a buddy of mine. We came up in the MicroConf community together. We play poker occasionally in Vegas. Josh is actually good at it. I’m not.

    Josh has written a book called “Fearless Salary Negotiation” [Patrick notes: if you prefer Amazon it’s here]

    That’s what we’re going to be talking about today. Salary negotiation pitfalls before getting hired and after getting hired, specific mostly to software people, because if you’re listening in this podcast, you’re probably a software person, but widely applicable to folks from all walks of life.

    Josh, thanks for coming on the podcast.

    Josh Doody: Thanks for having me Patrick, it’s great to be here, can’t wait to chat.

    (Not) Answering The Dreaded Salary Question

    Patrick: Thanks so much for talking to me today, Josh, about this. One of the things that I hear a lot from people when we’re discussing the question about their job searches, specifically how the job search that relates to their final salary offer. Somewhere early in the process, they get asked a very terrifying question, you want to talk a little bit about that?

    Josh: Yeah, I call it the dreaded salary question. It’s something that when you hear it, it will immediately sound very familiar, but the question is something like, “Where are you right now in terms of salary and what are you hoping for if you make this change?”

    I think that particular question catches a lot of people off guard and makes them very nervous. They don’t know how to respond to it and also I think they feel like it’s a gatekeeper question.

    They’re thinking, “I’m interviewing right now and I want to keep interviewing, and I want to do well in the interview, so I should just tell them the answer to this question, so we can move on.” I think you and I both agree that’s a pretty big mistake.

    Patrick: The reason this question is dangerous, for those of you who haven’t experienced it before, or aren’t familiar with this line of conversation is that if you actually give a number in response to this question, that’s going to immediately cap your negotiator range.

    If you say for example, “My current salary is 90,” then they know that anything above 90 is an improvement to you, and it would be too grave for you to say that. Even if they would have been willing to pay, let’s say 110 to the right candidate for this position, they’re probably going to offer you 95 and then walk it up to 98, 100.

    Then you lose out on $10,000 right off the bat, plus the benefits that are tied to salary, say your 401K matching, plus the compounded growth of that salary over your next three years with the company, plus the anchor to your next salary, and every other salary for the rest of your career.

    This question doesn’t sound like, “Hey, I’m trying to cheat you out of $100,000” but they’re trying to cheat you out of $100,000 when they ask this, and they know this. Every hiring officer knows this. This is covered in books, literally, you can you buy them on Amazon, but they’re going to ask it anyhow, with a smile on their face, just to see.

    A lot of people, even a lot of very smart, smart engineers, folks who do hiring for a living even, will just straight up answer this question, and then face palm, but then it’s too late. How do we get out of answering this question?

    Josh: That’s a good question. I think you did a great job, by the way, of summarizing why you don’t want to disclose it because you’re forced to, more or less, throw a number out, and guess that you’re in their range, and you’re probably not. How do you answer it? First of all, I am not a proponent of lying on these questions.

    I think some people want to know, you know, “Should I just name a really high salary?” or something like that, and I think that’s not the way to go. The best way is to be honest. I mentioned, when I summarized the question, that there are really two components, your current salary, and then your desired salary.

    I think the best way to answer the current salary part is to say something, like that you’re not comfortable sharing that information, and you prefer to focus on the value that you can add to the company, and not what you’re paid at your current job. I think that’s a very honest answer, I think it helps you demonstrate that you want to add value to the company that you’re talking to, and that’s a good sign, and it’s a good signal to send to them.

    In terms of the desired salary part of it, I prefer to focus on, again, the value that you can add. My kind of pat answer to this that I like to suggest is, “I want this move to be a big step forward for me in terms of both responsibility, and compensation,” and I think you’re signaling a lot of good things there. “I want to do more than I was doing before, I want to get paid more than I was doing before, and I want this to be a big step forward,” by not giving that juicy nugget of information, which is your desired salary.

    Patrick: I like both of these tacks for answers, both because they avoid the tactical trap of giving a number, and calculating your negotiating range, but they also advance you in the negotiation in a way that might not be totally obvious. In both interviews and negotiations, everything that you say is bits of evidence that the company is going to use for the decision to give you an offer, and to craft that offer to you, so you want these bits of evidence that you’re giving someone to resound in your favor, across all sort of axes.

    Obviously, just like when you’re answering interview questions in a technical interview, you want to say, “Yes, I know my stuff cold, stuff that I don’t know I can learn easily, yada, yada,” and when you’re answering these softer questions, you want to come across like a competent, confident professional that will be easy to work with.

    Often, the people that you are going to be having this conversation with are either business people or have this self-conception of themselves as business people as opposed to, say, techies. The ability to look someone in the eye and negotiate confidently is something that they associate with high performers, with people that they want to be working with. It’s probably something they see in their self-image.

    If you perform wishy-washy in the negotiation, they count it as a strike against you. If you whine about it like, “Aw man, I don’t know,” then they might count that against you.

    If you can say, “Look, I’m not comfortable with giving that information,” or, “Let’s circle back to that later,” or something which demonstrates you’re in control of this part of the interview, even when you’re not, they will read that as better than you might expect.

    One of my favorite ways to get around the, “What’s your current salary?” question is, “I’ve been entrusted with a variety of information by my current firm. I intend to keep their confidences on that sort of thing. They consider their salary compensation private.

    I think you can appreciate this because after I start working with you, I’m also going to be entrusted with confidences of your firm, and I intend to keep those confidences in the exact same way.”

    It’s almost impossible for that statement to be actually be a lie. With Josh, always give true answers to questions but give tactically optimal true answers. It’s highly likely that your current firm considers compensation to be a very, very private thing, so just say that and add a quick, professional refusal.

    Then, you’ve got to stick to the refusal when they poke you on it, and they’re going to poke you on it. Josh, what do you say when they say, “Yeah, but, I need a number to go forward.”?

    Josh: I think, by the way, everything you just said is fantastic. If they keep pressing you, you can continue to stonewall. One answer that I like to give, especially on the desired salary side is something like, “It sounds like you’re trying to qualify me for a range, and if that’s the case, then I’m happy to let you know if your range is in the ballpark.”

    You’re still not committing to the range, but you’re basically giving them an out if they are trying to qualify you for a range. You can say, “Basically, why don’t you tell me the range?” You’re trying to gather information while withholding information. I think that’s the bigger picture here. You alluded to this.

    You only have so many pieces of information at your disposal when you begin a negotiation with a new company, really maybe two or three. One of them is current salary, one of them is desired salary, maybe another one might be how desperate you are to take the job.

    On the other hand, they have an infinite, almost, amount of information relevant to what you have including what they’re willing to pay the position, which you generally don’t have a clue about.

    If they continue to press, it may be effective to say, “Well, if you’re trying to qualify me for a range, why don’t you tell me the range, and I’ll tell you if I’m in the ballpark?” You’re still not committing, but you are saying, “I’ll entertain your range, and I’ll let you know if you’re way out of bounds,” which could be good information for you, as well.

    Patrick: If they refuse to answer with the range question, that’s something that regards in your favor, as well, although you don’t get a bit of useful information. It gives you a socially acceptable out to say, “OK, no. We’ll both keep our cards close to our vest. That’s fine.” That’s probably not the first thing I would say about that.

    I might say, “We’re both in this industry. We probably have a range of numbers that would work for us depending on the specifics of the offer, but I think the most important thing at this stage is to make sure we’re a great fit for each other.

    Clearly, your company only hires people who are capable of performing at the highest levels, and I only want to go into a position which will be a meaningful step up in my career and where I can do work that really matters, so let’s make sure that we’re the right fit for each other.

    If we’re the right fit, we can figure out a way to make the numbers, the vacation time, the package work. If we’re not the right fit, then we shouldn’t spend time worrying about the numbers, because we’ll never go forward with this anyhow.”

    It’s a good way to kick the can down the road to a later meeting.

    Josh: Yeah, I agree. It’s also a great way, again, to emphasize the value that you believe that you bring to the table for the company. It’s another opportunity to ring that bell while still not giving them the information that they’re asking for, so I like that answer a lot, too, quite a bit.

    Patrick: This is another reason, by the way, to kick this can down the road. You often get asked the salary question very, very early in the process. In some cases, before you’ve had the opportunity to demonstrate much value at all. It’s highly disadvantageous for you to be coming out of the blue and saying, “I want 150, and you don’t know me from Adam.”

    If you’re in a position where you have to say a number, you want to be saying that from a position of relative strength where they know about your accomplishments, they’ve seen your performance in the interview, they’re already thinking, “Yes, I definitely want to hire this person if we can come to a deal.”

    Then when you say a number, that’s a number that can be worked with rather than naming a number which they might perceive as high, which would cause them to mentally check out from the conversation earlier, or even there’s high numbers and there’s high numbers.

    Someone prior to having a good understanding of what your level of skill is, they might think that they’re unwilling to pay 150, but if they were aware of how good you are, they might be totally willing to pay 150.

    If they think they’re unwilling to pay it and they don’t have any information to, to use a poker term, level you about where you are on the skill ladder for them, you might never get the chance to demonstrate how good you are. They will just select you out of the process early to save everyone some time.

    You definitely don’t want to be getting into a deep conversation about salary, benefits, etc. until you’re at a point in the negotiation with them where they’re sure they want you if they can come to a deal.

    I describe that as “yes if” rather than “no buts.” Yes, we’ll hire you, if we can come to a deal, rather than no, we don’t want to hire you, but we might be able to hire you if you’re really, really cheap. You never want to be coming in under that set of circumstances.

    Josh: Yeah, I totally agree. I love the idea of thinking of it as kicking the can down the road as you continue to provide more information to the company that you’re talking to in terms of demonstrating competency and ability to them and the value that you’ll bring. Obviously, the longer you have to do that before they make their offer, the better.

    That’s my overarching interview strategy is that you just continue to pound them with how much value you can bring to them and how you’re uniquely qualified to do the things that they need you to do, which then, in their eyes, raises your value to their firm. Obviously, the longer you have to do that, then the more value you can demonstrate.

    I also like that you emphasized there, again, there’s still an honesty component here. I always emphasize that you should be honest.

    I think it’s an honest thing to say, we nibbled around it here, “I don’t know what a good number is, because I have no idea how you value my skill set, and how you pay other people at your firm, and what sort of value I necessarily add in a monetary sense to your firm. I just don’t know.”

    In a way, like you said earlier, this is a signal that I know that it would be foolish for me to guess at that value. It’s not wise for me to guess, and I can shoot myself in the foot, so I’m just going to defer and allow you to make that judgment for me and tell me about what you expect the value I’ll bring is.

    We’ll wait as long as we can so I can continue showing you how valuable I’ll be as an asset to your firm if we get to that part of the process.

    Patrick: You can explicitly say things like, I don’t know if I would use the exact words, “You have me at a disadvantage here,” but I like the tact that Josh just took which says that, “Look, you’ve had this conversation with many of the people who currently work for your firm.

    You know what the numbers look like internally, what your general expectations are, what your ranges are for various levels of seniority, you know what the firm’s needs are, and you know what the hiring market looks like in your area. You know all this much better than I do.

    I’m just an engineer. I focus on doing very, very good work and let chips fall where they may on the money side of things, because I’m not in the business.

    So, I trust you to give me an offer which will be consistent with your standard practices and with compensation in the industry. I expect you to quote a number which will be fair to both of us, and then we’ll negotiate honestly on it, but I don’t feel the need to dictate to you what you should be paying your employees, because obviously I don’t have that information in front of me.”

    Then, of course, you are going to negotiate once you actually get to the point of talking about the offers.

    Let’s speed this conversation along, conversation interviewing process. You’ve been screened. You’ve passed through the screening. You’ve had your interview. You’re at “yes if.” They’ve said, “We like you. We would like you to work at our firm. Let’s talk offer.” Where do we go from here?

    Josh: At this point, you have spent a good deal of effort throughout the interview demonstrating your value as a candidate, so you’re also waiting for them to make the first offer.

    We’ve been talking about kicking the can down the road in terms of talking about desired salary, deferring to their expertise and experience with evaluating the monetary value that you’ll bring to the company, so you’re waiting for them to make you an offer.

    Just before they make you that offer, I think it’s very important to step back and think about what you what I call your minimum acceptable salary is. In other words, what’s the line in the sand for me that I must make either directly as the offer comes across or in the course of the negotiation in order to accept this position for this firm?

    You can do that by evaluating your market value — there’s a ton of great data out there online — and estimating your value to this firm and this region with your skill set and experience, with your background.

    Try to determine what it is for you taking in even subjective factors like do I want to move to that location, what’s the cost of living there, how much of a commute will I have, how much of a drain will this be on my personal life? All those things get wrapped up into this minimum acceptable salary number.

    Before you even hear their offer, you should have this number written down somewhere. If it’s 70,000 or 100,000 or 150,000, you write that down and you have that line in the sand. That sets up your negotiation to be a lot more successful.

    Patrick: I really like the idea of explicitly writing this down. I would literally write out on an index card and keep it in my pocket. Obviously, I’m never going to show them the index card, but partly it’s imminent strategy.

    Partly, the psychology of this conversation is ruinous for a lot of people, particularly a lot of people who act like engineers. It’s a very, very high stakes conversation for you. It’s high stress. In the moment, you might say yes to things that you’re not truly happy with just to get out of this high stress situation where you find your mouth talks before you can even rein it in.

    My sister, who literally is a recruiting manager, found herself given a number, and it went south before she could even call it back. This is her only job. You want to prepare for the fact that I know I’m going to be under stress in this situation. I’m going to pre-commit by literally writing the words, “I will not say yes to any offer under X.” Right there in your pocket.

    I want you to write a second thing right under that. “No matter what their offer is, I will negotiate upwards.” I think this is important. If your line in the sand is like I need $110,000 and they come in with, “We think that we could see a way to paying you $125,000.” You don’t say yes. You say, “$125,000 is a very interesting number, and I think we’re close.”

    Then, you negotiate upwards from 125. Do you want to riff a little bit on why this is so important?

    Josh: There’s an obvious reason it’s important, which goes back to what we talked about earlier, which is, you don’t know the maximum number they’re willing to pay.

    My whole negotiation strategy that I write about in my book and everywhere else that I write is that you don’t know what the max they’re willing to pay is, so your task is to determine that number, to find that number, and you do that by negotiating.

    First, you don’t give them any anchors to use when they’re setting your offer amount. They make you an offer. Then, you negotiate above that offer. Your whole goal is to essentially make them a little bit uncomfortable, push them right up to the tippy-top of their comfort zone so that you know that they’re giving you the best possible salary that they can give.

    The only way that you can do that is by negotiating. Obviously, even if your minimum acceptable is 110, they offer you 125, this goes back to why you don’t guess. Obviously, you’re pretty far out of line in terms of what you thought that they would pay you or what you think your value is. You’ve misestimated your value.

    It’s time to negotiate, and you’re 100 percent right that once you get that offer, your next move is always to negotiate.

    Negotiating Non-Salary Components of an Offer

    Patrick: We’ve been talking about salary like it’s a single scale or number, but there’s actually multiple components to an offer. Many of them are interesting.

    Typically, the salary one is going to be the number that has the most amount of leverage for you personally. It’s the easiest thing to get them to negotiate, because paying money is easy and scalable. That’s why we do it. Some other parts of the offer are less easy to change on a per-candidate basis for the firm.

    You should consider any number that they put in an offer letter, whether that’s salary, whether that’s vacation days, whether that’s number of shares in the company, exercise window, yada, yada, in principle, every number is negotiable. They’re all variables. You can trade off a little on one number to get you to happier on another number.

    This is probably the first thing you should say after they say, “We’re at the absolute top of our range on salary. I can’t give you a single dollar more.” You say, “I understand that. Let’s bracket the question of salary for the moment.” I like that phrasing, because it doesn’t say I accept the salary number.

    Just tabling that for a second, let’s talk about number of vacation days. You were offering me 14. 14 is very generous, but blah, blah, blah, I like traveling, I want to have a little bit of leeway. Could you see a way to offer 20?

    If they say yes, great, you just got six extra vacation days for nothing.

    If they say, “Well, this is company policy. Everybody gets 14,” it’s like, “If we don’t have flexibility on vacation days, where do you suggest that we have flexibility?” They might come up with something which is not too useful for you like, “We will flexibly offer you anything you want to eat from our selections of lunches available,” which you say, “That’s nice. Try again.” [laughs]

    They might come back with something like, “We could potentially up your equity grant.” This is important for many of the people here who are working for start-ups and negotiating equity grants. It’s just a very deep topic. We’ll link you to a post or two about the specifics of this, because they’re mind-bending if you haven’t done it before.

    [Patrick notes: This topic is a little off the beaten path for me, so I’m going to point you at VentureHacks which has done it better.]

    The thing I would suggest for negotiating equity grants is, A, make sure it’s in writing in, like, the form of an offer letter, and don’t negotiate that live. Almost certainly need to have an Excel model in front of you to be able to properly value equity grants.

    That’s something, by the way, that you can do with any components of this. Rough out the offer and then get it in writing, which they’ll force you to do anyhow in the form of a formal written offer letter. Say, “After I have your formal offer in hand, I will take a day or two to think on it and then give you my answer.”

    You don’t need to give them any reason for why you need to think on it, but it’s almost always to your benefit to take some time, get out of a high pressure situation, and then come back with an answer that you’ve slept on and are happy with.

    Josh: I totally agree with that. To put a finer point on some of the things you said, for me, I always emphasize that base salary is the most important thing. It should probably be the most important thing to you when you’re negotiating starting salary. I could think of exceptions, but for the most part, I think that’s a good rule of thumb.

    Then, you just prioritize the other things that you think might be available. Your tactic is really great, starting with something that’s important to you. If they shoot it down, then asking them what’s available, what levers are available to pull. I think it’s important to start with some sort of priority in your mind so you can try to get the best thing.

    My general rule of thumb is if they say no or compromise on the last thing you suggested, then there’s room for you to continue negotiating. If you said, “I’d be more comfortable at 120,000,” they said, “Deal,” then you’re probably done.

    If you said, “I’d be more comfortable at 120,” and they say, “Well, we can go as high as 115,” then, just like you said, that’s an opportunity for you to say, “I was hoping for 120. You said we can come up to 115. Can you do 115 and an extra week of vacation?” or, “Can you do 115 and whatever?”

    Then, you start walking down that list until you get a yes or you run out of things to ask about. Then you know that you’re at 115 with the set of benefits that are available that can’t be moved. I think that’s a great strategy just to walk down that list.

    Patrick: It might be worth talking about here one of the classic things in negotiation is worrying about your BATNA, your best alternative to negotiated agreement. This is something that business folks do all the time. In the event that this doesn’t go through, what’s the worst-case scenario for us?

    In general, you don’t want your BATNA to be unemployment. [laughs] It will make this negotiation much better, both for salary and for everything else out of this process, if you have multiple irons in the fire.

    [Patrick notes: BATNA means “best alternative to a negotiated agreement.”

    It is a very useful word to learn and keep in your mind when negotiating.

    Basically: what happens if you walk away at this point?

    You take your best course of action available without this negotiation happening.

    For example, if you’re a consultant, your BATNA to someone asking to chip 25% off your rate is possibly either “You don’t bill anything for two weeks” if you have no pipeline or “You bill two weeks at full rate” if you have decent pipeline.

    If you’re in that second category, you should almost certainly not accede to their request.

    If you’re in the first, you probably shouldn’t either, but you might be tempted because your easily available options are not wonderful.

    This is one of those concepts that you cannot “unhear” after learning it.

    The MBAs occasionally have useful technology to steal git clone and appropriate for our own purposes.]

    How To Use Other Offers To Your Advantage

    Patrick: If you’re actually searching for a job with multiple companies at once and ideally you have another offering in-hand already. How do you play this differently if I have an offer in-hand already?

    Josh: To pat myself on the back a little bit here, this is one thing I really like about my strategy is that it all goes back to your minimum acceptable salary. That number will change based on objective measures like your market value, as far as you can measure it, and other things but also subjective measures like, “Is this your only opportunity or do you have other opportunities?”

    If you have other opportunities and you have a sense of what the value of those opportunities might be, then you might adjust your minimum to be higher. If you have two offers in-hand, then your minimum for either will probably be a little bit higher knowing that your fallback is most likely the other opportunity.

    The simple method that I use is I don’t suggest adjusting your minimum once you’ve set it.

    However, if you are in a situation where you’re getting multiple offers or you have other opportunities that are coming and going, then you might be adjusting your minimum just based on the probability that you’re going to land another gig, or that you’re going to have a better gig, or that this opportunity that’s in front of you doesn’t necessarily have to be the one that you get.

    My general strategy is, continue to monitor your minimum acceptable salary and account for the fact that you’ve got other opportunities. There are a lot more nuances that you get into when you’re mostly juggling timelines. You’ll get I’m waiting to hear on this offer and they want to know by Tuesday. What do I do?

    That’s, I think, a little bit different conversation than what you were asking about. Adjust your minimum to account for the fact that you’ve got other offers, and make sure that you’re being honest with that minimum.

    Patrick: Should I explicitly say to my counterparty at the company, “I have a competing offer here.” Should I tell them what the competing offer is? Should I tell them who made the competing offer?

    Josh: I think that’s a matter of personal taste. I’d be curious to know what you think about that. In general, I think that the less information you reveal, the better, unless you’re positive that it’s going to have some sort of benefit.

    Back to something that we talked about earlier when we were talking about the dreaded salary question is one reason that you may not name your currently salary is you’re trying to keep information between you and a counterparty, which would be your current employer or, in the case of another offer that’s on the table, that other employer.

    I do think that probably your first instinct should be I’m going to demonstrate to this firm that I’m talking to that I’m going to keep our offer between me and the firm, if possible, and to demonstrate that, I’ll not tell them the details of another offer.

    You might run a blur filter over it and say, “I’m not going to tell you who the firm is, but I have another offer, a strong offer, that I’m very interested in, so we need to work on your offer for me to continue negotiating,” or something like that.

    Patrick: I like that lens. I wouldn’t lead with the fact that I have another offer. I’d probably keep that under your vest until you get to the point where they’ve given you an offer which isn’t competitive or which you’re not fully happy with.

    At that point, you say, “I think we’re close here. It’s important for me to let you know that while I would really love to work for your company, I’m fairly decent at what I do, and I’m obviously searching for a lot of offers in parallel. There’s another offer on the table from a peer organization.”

    That’s as specific as I would be: “a peer company.”

    Start-ups don’t feel that they have to match offers against finance firms, and finance firms don’t feel that they necessarily care how they compare with Google, so you just say “a peer organization.” That’s as specific as you have to be.

    A peer company has put an offer on the table which I felt was very fair, and I don’t want to have to make the decision to work for that company just based on numbers. I would love to work for you so much, so do you have any slack on your offer?

    Then, see what they can do.

    If they ask you, “What is that offer?” say, “Just like I won’t be sending them a write-up of our conversation, I’m not going to tell you the specifics of the conversation I had with them, but trust me, I’m an honest professional.” If they don’t believe you’re an honest professional, then get out of this conversation, because you definitely don’t want to be working there.

    This is, again, demonstrating competent, confident professional. You’re going to want to ask me some things that I do not want to answer, and that’s OK. We’re going to move on from that. If you attempt to brow-beat me about that, then I’m not going to wilt on this question, because this is what I do for a living.

    A lot of engineers will read this as intransigence, a word I’ve only ever seen in print. They’ll think you don’t lose points if you don’t immediately roll over. This is the opposite of how business people think. I think that people who roll over immediately are less trustworthy in their eyes than people who don’t. Don’t roll over immediately in the face of opposition.

    Josh: You’re dead on there about the signals that you’re sending. We talked about this a little earlier with the dreaded salary question, too. It’s sort of a double whammy if you just close that information.

    Not only have you given away a few of the bits of information that you had that were unique that the company doesn’t have, but you’ve also sent a signal to them that you may not be the most savvy businessperson or the most savvy negotiator. You may not be someone who can be depended on to be left alone to your own devices because pressure gets to you and that sort of thing.

    Even if it’s not an explicit evaluation that they’re doing of these things, it could be a subconscious thing. It could literally affect the offer they make you if they just think that you’re a weaker candidate because you’re too easy to push around.

    There’s a lot riding on staying strong, setting boundaries, and sticking to the rules that you lay out during the negotiation to signal to them that you’re a serious candidate, and that you understand business, and you understand what you’re doing, and that you’re not going to roll over for them.

    Patrick: I had an incident which put this in a sharp relief back during my consulting career. I was in negotiation with a prospective consulting client for a deal which was in the bag. He loved me. We had worked together informally for a bunch of years.

    Then we got to the number question, and I said, “My rate is X, but because I like you, I’ll give you half X.” He told me, years later, “Yeah, I almost exited the conversation at that point.” He was face-palming internally.

    I was like, “Of course you did, because I’m sending the signal very strongly that either I’m lying about my rate generally being X,” which I wasn’t, I was being totally honest about it, “or that I’m a terrible, terrible businessman to be in business with.”

    I was just willing to give him 50 percent, negotiating against myself for 50 percent, which is an absurd discount, without even any hint of pushback from him on the number that I had said. I’m signaling all the sorts of the wrong things during that.

    We eventually got the engagement done at half of my rate, and it was successful, but it got the engagement off on the wrong foot and cost me a whole heck of a lot of money without meaningfully improving anything about that relationship. Don’t do that to yourself.

    Josh: Yeah, you signaled either that you are lying about your rate or that you don’t believe your own rate. Either way, it’s not good. Either way, you’re sending the wrong signal to them about how much of a professional you are and the quality of your work.

    Negotiating A Raise While Staying At A Company

    Patrick: We’ve talked a little bit about how to negotiate the salary before you’re hired. A lot of engineers ask me, “How do I negotiate a salary once I’m hired? I feel like I haven’t gotten a raise in a while, or market conditions have changed, or I’ve gotten better at my job, I’ve been given more responsibilities. I think I’m worth more. How would I go about getting that?”

    Josh: This is a really common concern, and it’s quite a lot different than what I call a starting-salary negotiation when you’re changing firms. When you’re in the firm, things look quite a bit different. You mentioned earlier, for example, your BATNA.

    You are not typically in a situation where you’re going to draw a line in the sand and say, “I’m leaving if I don’t get this,” so it’s a much more collaborative conversation where I think it’s even more imperative that you demonstrate value and quantify that value to your manager and to whoever else needs to approve the raise that you’re seeking.

    My general strategy is, first of all, you hit the nail on the head with things have changed since my salary was set, so I need to estimate what my current value is to this firm. You do that, again, by doing a market value estimation, using the tools that are out there, talking to peers and colleagues, even people that work at the same firm, figure out what they’re making.

    Little sidebar, people are uncomfortable talking about salary. I think we all know this. A nice tactic that I like to use when you’re trying to figure out what somebody makes is to ask them a hypothetical about someone just like them working at a company just like theirs.

    People are surprisingly willing to say, “Hypothetically, somebody with my skill set and experience at my firm if they were hired tomorrow would probably make about X,” and it’s usually going to turn out that X is really close to their salary.

    That’s a nice little workaround there to figure out pretty precise estimates of people’s salaries without actually asking them outright what their salary is.

    You aggregate this data and get a sense of I think my value, my market value and my value to this specific firm, based on my experience here, and the responsibilities that I’ve taken on, and all that good stuff is some number. That’s your target salary. I think it’s good to have a target salary in mind.

    From a manager’s perspective, if you imagine what it’s like to sit on the other side of the table, vague requests are very hard to satisfy and specific requests are very easy to evaluate and usually satisfy.

    If you go to your manager and say, “I would like a raise because I need to make my car payment. I just bought a Ferrari.” Your manager, first of all, doesn’t have a lot of incentive to cooperate with you because he probably doesn’t care that you bought a car, and you buying a Ferrari doesn’t add value to the firm.

    However, if you go to your manager and say, “I would like a raise because these conditions have changed. It’s been this long since my salary was set, and I think my value is closer to this other number,” then you have a conversation that can be very productive. Your manager has very specific, tangible things to evaluate and give you feedback on.

    I think you should start by figuring out what your target salary is. Then, it’s important to catalog all the things that you mentioned earlier in terms of what are the things that are different now than they were when we set my current salary.

    Am I leading a team and I wasn’t leading a team before? Have I learned new technology? Am I managing more projects? Am I managing a bigger portfolio? Am I doing more sophisticated reporting that demonstrates what my team is up to? All these things that you could be doing, I call them your accomplishments.

    You want to specifically catalog what are the things that you’re doing that are adding additional value since your last salary was set. You also want to get social proof. I call it accolades. What have other people said about you?

    This is usually somewhere in your inbox. You could search for things like “thank you” or “awesome!” and look for proof or feedback from clients and colleagues that demonstrate that you’re doing a great job, you’re going above and beyond.

    This way, even if your manager hasn’t been paying attention or hasn’t had time to really think about what you’re doing, you can say, “These other people have been paying attention, and they think I’m doing pretty great.”

    That all bundles up into a nice, tidy package that you can then present to your manager saying something along the lines of, “It’s been 18 months’ salary was adjusted. I’ve done some research. I think my value to the firm is probably closer to this other number.

    Here’s all the stuff that I’ve been doing since my salary was last set to add value to the firm, to continue to take on responsibility. Here are a few things other people have said about me. Can we talk about getting a raise to X for me now?”

    Then, you’ve turned it loose into the wild by proposing that to your manager.

    Patrick: I also like to have this conversation be partly retrospective and partly prospective about your future value to the company. You’re going to be earning the new salary over the course of weeks, months, potentially a year or two in the future.

    You’re not talking about your last, say, 12 months of accomplishments to talk about what got done within the last 12 months and you’re going to compensate me in the future for what I did in the last 12 months. Those salary checks have been cut. You’re even with regards to the last 12 months.

    What you want to say is, “The last 12 months proves that I’m on a growth trajectory. I will be producing even more value in the future. Ideally, the amount of value that I’m producing is already accelerating. Given that I’m going to go on to do great things in the next 12 months, let’s talk about how to properly compensate me in the moment for those great things that will be happening.”

    This is one reason, by the way, where it’s good to time this conversation, if you can, after you’ve delivered a major project, for example.

    Say, “We got this done, but I’m not going to rest on my laurels. My next big thing that I want to deliver for the company is X, Y, or Z, and while I’m delivering that great value, which is demonstrated by the great value that we’re in the nice, warm afterglow of at the moment, let’s talk about making this a mutually rewarding outcome.”

    Josh: I totally agree. I think that’s a great tactic too is to essentially demonstrate to your manager that you’re going to continue adding value and probably going to continue acquiring new skills and taking on more responsibility at about the same rate you have for the past 12 months, so this is an investment on both of your parts. I think that’s a great tactic.

    One other thing you can do to maximize your chances of getting that raise through are I actually like to put that request in writing. So, everything that you said verbally in your manager, summarize it in a nice, tidy email and send it over after you’ve had a verbal conversation in a one-on-one or a face-to-face meeting.

    The reason for that is a lot of times, even if your manager agrees with you, the next step will be they’ll have to go to their manager or somebody else and start the approval process for a raise. Typically, you’re not doing this to get a one-percent raise. You’re doing this to get an extraordinary raise.

    It usually will require an approval process that could be grueling. It could be four, five, six people deep.

    Giving them your written case, summarizing all that effort that you put into building your case, in an email gives your manager something that they can circulate so that now everybody who hears about the raise request that you’ve made also gets to see that accompanied by your case in writing.

    Obviously, you’re going to do a better job of making your case than anybody else. That’s one more layer to the process that I like to emphasize.

    Patrick: Plus, this makes it easier for your manager rather than forcing them to make the case and giving them additional work, which would be the lower priority for them than the work they actually get scored on. [laughs] It wraps it up nicely in a bow for them. Again, giving people the image of you as competent, professional.

    It’s easy for just talk with your manager to be read as just talk, or maybe they don’t read it that way but they treat it as just talk. It’s like, “Yeah, Josh was grousing a little bit about his salary, but everybody grouses about their salary occasionally.” Professionals, when they want something done, they put it in writing. That’s a core professional skill.

    When you put something in writing, in a well-written, formal request, you’re saying, “This is a request. You can say no to it. You can say yes to it. Because we’re professionals, when I put a formal request in writing, you are expected to act on it rather than just not acting for the next two weeks and seeing what happens.”

    You can follow up a week later. Again, follow up verbally first, but then with email. “Boss, I’m just inquiring on the status of my raise request. Is there any additional information that you need to help make the determination to grant my request?”

    I would approach it from the perspective of you’re not asking for the moon and stars here. You’ve earned this. It’s very obvious that it’s in the company’s mutual interest to keep you happy. You’ve calculated a number that will make you happy.

    Enter the negotiation from the perspective of ”I assume that the company is going to say yes to this if I figure out the right words to say for you. Tell me what the right words are.”

    Josh: That’s exactly right. I think everything you’ve said there is spot on. You want to make your best case but also present a professional front. You have to follow up. I think following up is something important that is overlooked.

    You don’t verbally request, and then send an email, and then just forget about it and hope the raise happens. You’re probably going to need to ask again in your next one-on-one. You’re probably going to need to follow up on that email a week or two later. You might have to do that several times. As you mentioned, Patrick, there are specific job responsibilities that your manager has that are probably more important to the company and to him than your raise.

    You’ve got to stay on the radar and keep on it and keep demonstrating that you’re engaged and that you would like a response.

    Patrick: The potentially uncomfortable question comes up: what if you’ve topped out a firm, you’re at the very top of the ranges? The firm might not be keeping pace with salaries in the industry. Perhaps they’re at the limit of their actual ability to pay with their business model when compared to, say, the Googles of the world that are spinning money every day.

    When we do make the decision that we need to have other offers on the table? Do we communicate that internally? How do we think about whether we want to jump?

    Josh: It’s a great question, and it’s something that even in my book, it’s the unhappy coda to the raise and promotion process. Like I said, this is not the same as a salary negotiation where you’re evaluating your BATNA and you’re just going to walk away. You may actually have to walk away, even if it’s delayed.

    If they say, “We’re not able to accommodate your raise request,” then I think the first thing you want to do is figure out why. You mentioned the term “topped out.” I actually take that term a couple of ways. The first way is the way I think you attended it which is the firm simply cannot afford to pay you more money for the role that you’re in for whatever reason.

    It may be that they’re not plush with cash, or maybe they’re stretched for whatever reasons, the financials aren’t great. Maybe the role that you’re in is a valuable role elsewhere, but maybe not for your particular firm to the level of value that you’ve estimated. I call that being other-valued as opposed to over or undervalued.

    It’s also possible that you’ve topped out in terms of the salary available to you in your current position, so you may actually be having the wrong conversation. You may have asked for a raise, and it turns out that giving you a raise would bump you into the top of the pay range available for the job that you’re in.

    You, in fact, may be better off, then, trying to discern from your manager whether your raise is not the right request but you need a promotion, which will often come with a raise.

    That’s the first thing to determine is why am I not able to get this raise? Is it because the firm cannot afford to give me a raise, or is it because my salary is more or less maxed out in my current pay range?

    Patrick: Thinking about it from the firm’s perspective, the reason they have salary ranges for particular positions is they’re not just buying your time. They’re buying 30 units, which the firm considers more or less isomorphic to you at the moment, and the expectation of having these conversations hundreds of times with people who are in a position similar to you.

    If having the conversation with you requires them adjusting their salary ranges, they get tremendous leverage with regards to that… in a bad way. [Patrick notes: It is positive for you when you create leverage which multiplies your effect across all of the firm’s clients, projects, or revenue.

    It is not so positive when the fact of having you at the firm increases costs across their entire engineering employee base.]

    They might think, “Oh man, this is committing us not to giving this particular person $10,000 extra this one time, but rather paying 10,000 times the number of people we have in this position times the total number of employee years we expect to pay for this position from now to infinity.”

    That’s a tremendous amount of disincentive for them to bump up their ranges just to make you happy. If “all you’re talking about” is just getting a promotion, you mean we don’t have to pay more for every other software engineer II for forever? We just have to put one person into the software engineer III bucket? Easy to do.

    Josh: Exactly. It’s a much easier transaction often. Sometimes the benefit of that promotion, in that case, is that you’ll also get a raise built in. Sometimes it’s a lock-step raise and sometimes you’ll also get to negotiate for that raise in the same way that you did before.

    It could also open up quite a bit more room for you next time you pursue a raise without going into the minutia of a pay raise or salary grades. Moving up into a new pay grade often means that your ceiling has just also moved up in terms of available salary. That’s a move that you want to pursue.

    Usually your manager will be able to tell you. Sometimes they’ll think they have told you this. You might need to ask for clarification, but it is important to know, were you unable to give me a raise because the firm cannot afford to pay me more or because I’m in the wrong job? Then you have a much better picture of what your next step should be.

    Patrick: Also an important thing: they might not say it in as many words, but it is possible that they might decline a raise because they do not have the same view of your accomplishments that you have of your accomplishments. It happens all the time.

    There’s a variety of actions forward that you take if you get that signal.

    One option is doing the same amount of work and making sure that value is surfaced better within the company. If you’re doing great work and you’re in a position where great work is not being rewarded, then that should be a big, flaming signal that you should get into a position where great work is rewarded.

    This is partly projection, because I spent six years in a variety of traditionally managed Japanese organizations, which are not set up to reward great performance, to put it mildly. Don’t work for people who don’t appreciate what you bring to the table.

    That is a trap you get into, and it is highly unlikely that you will successfully change the company culture to suddenly start rewarding performance. Rather, get yourself to a position and to a company that feels like great work is something that’s worth paying for.

    Josh: You just used the “culture” word. You end up quickly in this squishy area where it really depends on who your manager is and what the company culture is.

    Some managers are very open. You’ll go to them and say, “I’d like a raise to this number. Here are the reasons that I think I deserve this raise.”

    They’ll say, “I understand that you feel that way. However, here are the things that I’m seeing from my perspective. Here are the KPIs [Patrick notes: key performance indicators, which is MBA speak for “metrics you’re held accountable for”] that I’m measuring, the goals that I had for you, and here’s why you’ve fallen short so far. You haven’t earned the raise that you’ve asked for.”

    That’s a good manager. A better manager is, “And here’s a plan that you and I can work out together to set a target time frame and responsibility bar that you need to achieve in order to get the raise that you’ve asked for.”

    So that’s on the table. It’s not on the table right now, but here’s what you need to accomplish and here’s about how long I think that it will take us to get there to get you that raise.

    On the other side of the coin is the sort of manager that just won’t engage. They’re too busy doing other things or they don’t want to ruffle feathers. A lot of managers simply don’t want to stick their neck out for people.

    Detecting that can be frustrating but is also an important signal, like you said, to understand that it doesn’t matter what I do, how much value that I think I’m bringing or I am bringing, it can’t be rewarded at this firm for whatever reason and I might need to look for alternatives.

    Patrick: If you hammer out a plan with your manager, again, be the competent, confident professional and follow up on that conversation via email.

    Hey, Bob, thanks for having the conversation with me earlier today. I understand that you feel now is not the right time to grant my formal request for a raise, but I like the plan that we discussed where we have committed to revisiting this question in six months contingent on me achieving the KPIs X, Y, and Z, that we will reopen this discussion with an eye towards granting me the raise of Y.

    Put it on paper or email, whichever. Even just announcing in writing, making sure we’ve captured that whole identity agreements. Bob might not be with the firm in six months, and you don’t want to be starting this conversation entirely again over with the person who replaces Bob.

    Also, it is highly likely that Bob considers your salary less salient to him than, say, Bob’s salary or anything else that Bob is working about.

    Bob might have totally forgotten this conversation in six months, so be able to have something to point to him like, “Hey, remember this conversation that we had last July, a whole lifetime ago? Well, I’ve kept up my end of the bargain.

    With probability approaching the sun rising tomorrow, because you are a competent professional yourself, you are going to keep up your end of the bargain.”

    Josh: Exactly. You would want to bring it up maybe not every one-on-one. If you meet with your manager once a week for a one-on-one, you might want to bring it up once every three or four weeks.

    Say, “Hey, by the way, I’m still working on this plan we put together. As far as I can tell, I’m on track. What do you think? Here’s what I’ve accomplished since we set the goals,” and that kind of thing.

    Keep it a front of mind thing for you, because now you’ve actually got a concrete set of things that you can do to demonstrate that you’re ready for that raise. Also for your manager so that there are no surprises when you show up out of the blue and say, “Here’s all the stuff I did. I’m ready for my raise.” It’s easier to take it incrementally.

    Patrick: When you deliver on a huge project over the interval or when you hit one of your KPIs, you’ll tell your boss about this. In the email that you send out grabbing credit for it, remember to forward that email on to your manager with a quick note like, “Hey, Bob, first one out of three, knocked it out of the park. Still working on Y and Z, I’ll send you an update when it’s ready.”

    “Hey, Bob, X and Y are done. Just Z left to go.” No surprises. I think that’s a pretty good place to leave us off for this conversation, unless you have anything else you want to add.

    Josh: I feel good about it. I think we covered a lot of ground. I like that we got into raises at the end, so I feel like we hit a lot of the highlights and gave a pretty good overview of the before you’re at a firm to when you’re there and to what you can do to continue pursuing salary increases as you go. I think it was good.

    Patrick: Thanks very much for taking the time to chat with me today, Josh. If any of you have questions on this or any other topic, my inbox is always open. I’m [Patrick notes: patrick at the domain you’re reading this transcript on]. Josh, if folks want to reach you, what’s the best way to do that?

    Josh: The easiest and fastest way to get in touch with me is probably just to reach out on Twitter. I’m @JoshDoody on Twitter. You can find my blog and other things I’ve written at

    I’ve also set up a special offer for Kalzumeus podcast listeners today over at Throughout the podcast, Patrick, you and I talked about estimating your market value and then leveraging that market value to request a raise later on.

    I’ve got a great offer with a couple of guides on how to estimate your market value, how to request that raise, and even an email template that you can send to your manager with your written request after you’ve made it. That’s, and that’s a free offer that you can go download.

    Patrick: Thanks very much for taking time to chat with me today, Josh. Folks, I really recommend his book. I’ve read it cover to cover. It’s exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a full book devoted to this question, which I think is really, really worth your time considering the amount of leverage you’ll get out of the salary negotiation question.

    I would encourage you to read that in whatever form and definitely subscribe to Josh’s list. He’s got great stuff coming about this all the time. Thanks so much for talking with us today, and we’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a new episode.

    [Patrick notes: Yeah really — recording one later today, as a matter of fact.]

    Links from the episode:

    Fearless Salary Negotiation: book and Amazon link

    Give Josh your email address and he’ll give you a freebie here (you should totally have one of these for any podcast appearances or conference presentations you do, by the way — it works like gangbusters specifically because it gives the people who got the most value out of your expertise the easy and accessible option to hear more from you)

    Josh Doody’s site and Twitter: @JoshDoody


    Tagged with podcasts

    —Huffduffed by masnick

  9. Podcast E103 – Interview with David Sparks | Kitchen Sink WordPress

    Adam: This is the Kitchen Sink WP Podcast: Episode 103. (music)

    Why, hello there, this is Adam Silver, host of the Kitchen Sink WP podcast. Thanks for being here, let’s get started. Upcoming events, I made a mistake last episode, I was a week off. I don’t know what I was thinking. There were no word camps last weekend, to my knowledge, but there … No word camps this weekend, my mistake. There are no work camps this weekend, there are word camps next weekend, the week of February 20, 19th through 21.

    They are WordCamp Norway, like I said, WordCamp Miami and WordCamp Prague. I am not going to be able to make any of those, I really wanted to go to Miami, it is a nice, large WordCamp, it is pretty awesome. I think there is like 700 people going, 800 people. I know a lot of people who will be there, but, nonetheless, I won’t be able to be there, like I said. My father will be 85, my son will be 11, so I will be home for that. If you are in the area, there are still tickets, I believe, so check that out and go to either WordCamp Norway, WordCamp Miami or WordCamp Prague.

    Segment one, in the news, moving right along here, there is a new WordPress IOS app, it was updated to version 5.9, that is the IOS app, not the actual WordPress version itself, so just the IOS app. Now there is no desktop required, you can actually create a new, dot-com site within the actual app, which is really cool. Another updated feature is that you can search and filter themes within that browser, so also very nice. If you are using the IOS app, check that out.

    Also on the developer-esque type news things, the WP REST API version 2.0 beta twelve came out. I looked at this briefly and it is way over my head. No, it is interesting. It is actually way over my head to some extent. I am not going to lie, I am not a full blown developer, so the new beta 12 came out, if you are into the developer REST API arena, I will put a link into the show notes on that on It is on the make side of things, so check that out as well.

    Alright, moving right along. Meat and potatoes, this week’s show, my interview with David Sparks. Actually, before I do that, I want to talk about my sponsor for this week’s show. This weeks show is hosted by A2 Hosting. Now, I am not alone when it comes to living and learning.

    Truth be told, I went cheap way back in the day, like really cheap way back in the day, when Is started WordPress in looking for a host. I learned my lesson because I kept getting these emails “site down”, from my uptime monitor. Site down all the time. In the last six, nine, twelve months, on a daily basis.

    I went ahead and switched. I recently moved Kitchen Sink WP to A2 Hosting and I have not gotten a single down email since. On top of that, the site loads wickedly fast. I expected it, I didn’t know how much faster, so I did some tests.

    Prior to me moving it over from a cheap web host, I was getting approximately 5.9 to 6 seconds load time. It is down to 2.8 seconds and that is not even using the custom A2 plugin that they have optimized to make it work. I didn’t even put that on yet because I am still making some tweaks.

    I will be doing these tweaks and doing some modifications to the site. I am working on a redesign and I will share what I find over the next couple of weeks as well. Thanks to A2 hosting for sponsoring and being wickedly awesome. Also, I had them … They went ahead and donated a year of hosted to a lucky listener, so you need to register for that. Go to for the details and you can enter and we will pick that out in a month, so check that out. Again, for the details and you can enter to win a year of hosting.

    Now, onto my interview with David Sparks. David is an attorney, he is awesome. He is a co-host of MAC power users and I just really wanted to bring him on to talk about contracts and legalese for what we do here in the WordPress space because I see a lot of what is going on out there on Facebook and private groups I am a part of, so I thought it would be interesting to have him on the show. Take a listen to the interview and I will be back with the tip and tool of the week after that. Here you go.

    Today I am joined by David Sparks. David Sparks is a hopeless geek, a podcaster and an author who writes about finding the best tools, hardware and workflows using Apple products to get work done. In his free time he is also a business lawyer. I love that, so welcome to the show David Sparks.

    David: Thanks, it is a pleasure to be here.

    Adam: I know you from Mac power users, you are one of the co-hosts of that show with Katie Floyd and, like I told you before, we have hit record. I have been listening for the past four or five months and a couple many years ago and I am a big Apple guy, big Mac guy and my audience knows that.

    I didn’t bring you on the show to talk about Apple products specifically, or really at all, I brought you on the show because what we talked about before. You are a practicing attorney.

    David: Yeah.

    Adam: I see a lot of … I have been viewing a lot of things on Facebook groups and other groups I am a part of about contracts in the solopreneur freelance WordPress development world. I am not a lawyer, although my father is, like I told you. He doesn’t have the current knowledge of what we go through as freelance and entrepreneurs that you do know about so that is why I wanted to bring you on and ask you questions. You said yes and you would come on and answer some questions and get them by the actual legalese and have them done right.

    David: Yeah, it is really tough because people working in software development, word development, WordPress, website stuff, you are in a very weird position. Whereas the computer industry has infantilized everybody except people on the inside and it is so difficult to understand this stuff that to very sophisticated business people and doctors and lawyers, all of these people out there who are very smart, have no idea what you guys do. As a result, you get granted the title of wizard with your job and the problem with peddling magic is that when it works it works and when it doesn’t work it doesn’t work and they don’t have any clue why that happened.

    It could be that somebody in the office downloaded some porn and infected the whole system which blew up your server and yet it is your fault because you are the wizard. It is a very difficult position to be in and I represent a lot of people who do this stuff and every one of them has at least one war story. Probably where something went wrong with the client and it was not their fault at all and yet the client threatened to sue them and all of these terrible things.

    If you are in an industry where you very much need strong contracts, very proactive contracts, that protect yourself because not every client, but there will be some clients, where that language is going to save your bacon.

    Adam: Right, the question I have for you … I have couple of questions, like I said, I want to be respectful of your time. First off, when should a soloprenuer freelancer have a relationship with an attorney? Before starting a business, immediately after, when they form an LLC, that kind of stuff? Should they do that kind of stuff? In your opinion, when should somebody … Obviously, not when it is too late, not when you are being sued, that is too late.

    David:Yeah, definitely not then.

    Adam: At one point in the business model is it time to say “You know what? I should know an attorney.”

    David: I think the trick is, and this really depends on every circumstance, there are so many factors. The thing is when you start taking on contracts that are big enough that when something went wrong, it would cost you more than a month or two earnings to fix it. If you have something to go wrong and it takes you a month of income to fix it, you can probably survive that. If it takes you years of income to fix it, you are, I think the legal term is screwed.

    You really want … Once you start getting into contracts that are of a decent size, you should get a relationship with somebody. Even just … You mentioned earlier do you do an LLC, that is really a question you should really talk to an attorney about because there are different business formats and an LLC and corporation have very different benefits and some of them are contrary. You should know this stuff before you just jump into it. You should do it right.

    I just had a case where we were able to make the person behind the company individually liable because they set it up on Legal Zoom, I think, or somewhere and they didn’t do it right. They didn’t do the right filings so it didn’t protect them. Whenever you start getting into those things, you should be looking into an attorney.

    I also think whenever you start doing decent sized contracts, you should look into an attorney. Once you get that set up, then the relationship becomes very dormant. A lot of my clients will spend some time at the beginning of our relationship just kind of cleaning up the corporation, getting the right contract in place, then I might not hear from them for a year or two because they just trudge along with a good contract. You would rather much do that at the beginning than in the end.

    Adam:In your mind, in your opinion, what is a decent sized contract? Is that a personal choice, $2,000, $5,000 and $10,000 and up?

    David: Well, like I said, it depends on how much you can afford to lose.

    Adam: Got it.

    David: Frankly, when you think about it, one of the ways people come after developers and web guys is they don’t just say “You screwed up and I paid you $5,000, so I want my $5,000 back.” They will say “You screwed up and as a result my website was down for two weeks and I lost $150,000 of revenue because of it and I want you to pay me that.” You want to … The contracts I write for my clients, a lot of the times we have, and this is something out there that you should talk to your lawyers about if you are doing this, it is called a “Limitation of Liability Clause”.

    It is absolutely key for developers and web guys because you do not want that call about $150,000 in lost revenue. You want to say “No, look at my contract. It says the most I can possibly owe you is three months of income. Or three months of fees or $10,000”, or some number. You want to have a limitation of liability clause in your contract.

    Adam:Actually, that was one of the questions that one of my colleagues sent in, wanting to know the importance of having E&O insurance, would that be in that category there?

    David: Oh, yeah.

    Adam: Okay.

    David: Oh, yeah.

    Adam: Back before I did web development work, my audience knows I was a professional photography work and did some videography work out of Colorado and I had E&O insurance because of that reason. I didn’t want my camera to jam and not be able to shoot the event or the wedding and be sued “Hey, you messed up.” Or “You lost our images.” It was cheap too, is it still relatively inexpensive?

    David: Well, it depends on what you do. Talk to a good insurance broker and they will get you some quotes.

    Adam: Yeah.

    David:It is not that much.

    Adam: I think I paid for … My basic overall insurance and that, I think I paid $300 to $400 a year for a million dollar liability, that kind of thing.

    David: Yeah.

    Adam: Now we know it is important to have an attorney set up the company correctly as well. What is the difference, if you could explain, because I don’t know what is the legally right way to do it. A retainer vs. deposit for work started,

    David:Yeah, it depends. You can define those terms however you want.


    David:You are talking about when you get a new client and you get a deposit or a retainer?


    David:Generally, the thought is the retainer is something that you bill against, so if you get a retainer, $5,000 and you are billing $100 an hour, you just do the math. If you finish the project before you use it all up, you return whatever is left.


    David:Some people call it a deposit and it depends how the contract is written. Really, in most cases, you are billing against that amount. It is rare that a developer can say “Yeah, if you just want my time, you are going to give me a $1000 to get in the door.” If you are really high end and in demand, I guess you can maybe get away with that, but it is not very often.

    Adam:Right, okay. It kind come comes back then … It circles back around then … I know retainers … Lawyers work off of retainers, “Here is a deposit to start the work”. My father does the same thing, he has been a lawyer for 45 years, like I mentioned earlier, he gets a retainer before he does anything because he doesn’t want to chase money down the line. He can’t spend his time and then not get paid for it. Can a deposit be legally … Can they both refundable? Can someone say “Oh, I gave you a deposit, but I want to cancel the job”?

    David:Well, you should have a contract when you get a deposit, or a retainer, and that is what governs it. You can write clauses into the contract that say “Okay, you are going to give us a $5,000 retainer and we are going to bill against if you terminate us before we use up half of it. We keep $2,500 as a termination fee.” All this stuff is negotiable.

    One of the nice things is you are in a commercial relationship, as opposed to a consumer relationship. Businesses is doing businesses where the other is commercial and the courts stay out of the way so if you guys make an agreement that you get to keep a certain amount, then you get to keep a certain amount, but it is up to you to have done that in advance. If you don’t have any agreement to the contrary, you are going to have to return whatever you didn’t use.

    Adam: Right, yeah. That is the ethical, not just legal, it is also the ethical thing to do.

    David: Yeah, exactly.

    Adam: Some people aren’t. It is unfortunate, some … In every industry you are always going to have people like “Oh, we did more work”, and they didn’t.

    David: Well, I want to talk a minute about getting paid because, for me, that is really important for you guys. It is tough if you don’t get paid, especially with the amounts of these jobs. I don’t know for certain, but I would guess that there is very few people doing WordPress development jobs that are like north of $100,000. Most of them are probably under that.

    Adam: There is about, I would say, half a dozen, maybe 10, companies that do the enterprise level work in the industry.

    David: Yeah, so for a lot of indies out there, you are doing job that might be a $5,000 job or a $20,000 job and if they stiff you and you don’t get paid, then you got to go talk to a lawyer for sure. The problem with that is lawyers are expensive and litigation is like a bonfire of $100 bills. I don’t know how to put it.

    I was a litigator for many, many years and everything in it is super expensive, so the trick is you don’t want to have to go to courts to get paid. Then you go and you sue them, and let’s say you win, if they don’t have the money, you still don’t get paid. You want to put as many teeth as possible in your contract to avoid that. If you got a contract, and you should have one, you need to have clauses in there like, an attorney fee clause, “If you don’t pay me and I sue you, you have to pay my attorney fees”, and that is a huge bludgeon.

    If I write a letter on behalf of a client to a company that doesn’t pay my developer client, I say “Look, you haven’t paid and there is an easy way and a hard way. You can either pay now and you owe $7,000. Or you can pay later and my fees and you are going to owe $27,000. What do you want to do.” You put a clause like that in there and it give you teeth.

    Another thing you do is you put a clause in there that says interest, that allows for interest. Not only if they don’t pay you and your attorney fees, you are going to collect interest on the money. You should also put a clause in there, especially if you are working outside of your home base, a lot of developers work all over the place, is to put local jurisdiction. Make them have to come to court where you live.

    Adam: Where you live, right.

    David: Rather than you having to go across the country to sue them.

    Adam: Okay.

    David: Those are another three things. Put it on your list, talk to your lawyer and get that in your contract. Those three things. If you take one thing out of this whole podcast and you put those three things in, you are in better shape than you were.

    Adam: Yeah, absolutely. It makes total sense, it really does. You don’t want to have to use a contract, but you need to have it there just in case.

    David: You are going to have a crazy guy at some point.

    Adam: Of course. I have had one. One in 15 or 20 years. I shot a wedding back in my photography days and they didn’t like the end result. My contract says, Creative Control was my company name, and they owned the footage and, long story short, they had no case because I had a decent contract.

    David: Another common issue for developers is that customers, in addition to thinking of wizards, they also have no idea of what it is that they want. You will go in with mockups and wire frames and they will say “Oh, yeah. I love it” and they will sign the bottom of it and you will spend hours and hours creating it. They will say “Oh, you know what? I don’t really like that, I want to do it differently”, and in their mind differently will take you five minutes when actually it would take you five days.

    Adam: Right.

    David: You need to document the whole process. You need to write into the contract about extra work and changeovers. You just want to have the ability, if they change their mind, you can point to the contract and say. “That is fine and dandy, but you are paying me for what I have done before and you are also going to pay me for the new stuff I am going to do.”

    Adam: Right. Actually, that leads to the next question I had of one of my colleague, Alex, asked. Could it make sense, or would it make sense, to dictate how the work is used? For example, you are going to build a website, in this case to sell goods, but then they take the site and use it to a platform that makes a lot more money, using the same functionality.

    I guess in this case you are pricing it to do this job and then the person who hired you is going to use it to something else and make some more, but you might have priced it higher because they are going to make some more. Does that make sense?

    David: Yeah, sure. If someone reverse engineers your website, or they turn it into a cookie cutter …


    David:  you can limit it. That gets complicated as possible and I say the way we usually do it is I try to attach intellectual property to the design and say “We are going to give you a license to use the design and you can use it for this website, but none other.”  That gets complicated and it kind of … I wouldn’t do that with every case.

    Adam: Right.

    David: To a certain extent, you are being paid to deliver a website and if they want to go do something else to it, that is fine. We definitely would want to put in there that if you use it for some other purpose, that we are not going to be liable for whatever goes wrong with it.

    Adam: Right.

    David: You can … If you are concerned about that, there is a way to address it, but it is way more complicated than we can cover here today.

    Adam: Of course. This one came up a lot and, literally, I asked a whole bunch of people. There is a lot of same themes and one of the themes is that WordPress is Open Source and “free”, and some companies want to own the code, if they will, they prefer, in-house, to own the code.

    I remember actually … I know of a story where, I think, Disney was hiring or looking at one of the enterprise companies to build a site, but they wanted to own the code, but the site was going to be in WordPress. You can’t own the code … There is that conflict of knowledge because that WordPress part is free, but some of the functions are built on top of WordPress. Can it be parted out, in theory, contractually?

    David:                      It is difficult. WordPress is a mess, as you guys know. I don’t mean as a development platform, it is just as the rights are concerned.

    Adam: Right.

    David: Generally, I recommend that you be really upfront with them that this is based on an Open Source platform and that nobody owns it. I would say that we can own the design that we do, if you are doing custom design work.

    Adam: Yeah.

    David: That that is our intellectual property.

    Adam:  Okay, and then lastly …

    David: It is a simplistic answer to a complex question.

    Adam: It is. I think … The people I asked about, I told them I was interviewing an attorney, they were like “Oh, great!” Obviously, it is going to be case dependent each time.

    David: Yeah. In fact, I am supposed to say something like “You need to talk to a lawyer, don’t rely on everything I say here. Blah, blah, blah. Don’t come sue me.” A lot of it is common sense stuff, but you should talk to a lawyer. If you are in this business, you should have somebody at your back.

    Adam: On that same topic, on the open source and the proprietary issues. I guess, legally, or how to word it? Legally, if the themes are in the repositories, the WordPress repository, if I go out and pick a theme that does something with Gravity Forms, or if I buy Gravity Forms, I can re-brand it as my own and start selling it myself. I can put it somewhere else.

    It has happened, people have tried this. They buy it, change the name, change it from WP something to something WP and then they sell it for half the price. Is there a legal recourse in that?

    David: Yeah. Well, the people who own that, that you bought it from, probably have license that you signed when you bought it and you are probably violating that license at that point.

    Adam: Even though … Yeah, I guess the licensing there might be purchasing, or using it in that case, is something to do with some of the art and the graphics and some of the interactivity on the interface.

    David: Yeah, I would have to look at the license to tell you that. I would bet you a nickel that if you went and read when you purchase those forms, that you are agreeing that you will not resell them.

    Adam: Right, interesting. You are right, it is a tough place we are all in these days and I think the biggest, in my opinion, in my experience honestly, people are afraid … Like you are afraid to go to the dentist and I think people are afraid of even reaching out and talking to a lawyer in a proactive way.

    David: It is hard because lawyers … I left my firm last year and went solo and part of the reason was everything in the law business is around the billable hour. When I first started 23 years ago, they said “Well, if you think about the case when you are in the shower, you should bill for it.” I am thinking “What a crock.”

    Honestly, it is hard, but there are good lawyers out there. I would recommend, and this is my personal bias, but I will share it anyway. I think small developers are better suited by smaller lawyers. That if you go to big law firms, you are just going to become …

    Adam: A number.

    David: Grist for the mill, that some young attorney is going to get assigned your case and that guy is just worried about hitting his billable hours and he is going to find ways to charge you and not give you very good service. Find someone solo or a small firm, find someone with experience in it.

    A lot of the work I do, and I am not here trying to pimp myself, but the way I do it is I charge flat fees for most of my development representation stuff. The reason it do that is because I found over the years when people pay you by the hour and you talk to them on the phone, they are always looking at their watch and they are not telling you what their real problem and their hangup is.

    I want you to feel comfortable talking to me, so I will tell people “For X dollars I will make your contract for you”, once I kind of have an idea of what it is and then everybody knows going in what it is going to cost. Find a lawyer like that.

    Adam: Same thing comes to fruition, and I have said this many times on my own show, about value pricing vs. hourly. It is the same thing in web development. Sure, we all kind of think about how long will this take, what parts are going to get by whom, but you say “this is going to cost you $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 period” and just work off of that vs. trying to figure out per hour because, again, same thing. I think developers do the exact same thing. “Am I thinking about it, am I doing a mockup right now, do I charge for this piece, do I install a plugin and charge them for the plugin?”

    David: There are lawyers like me out there and, no matter where you are at, I am sure you can find them. You might have to sniff around a little bit, but they are out there and they can make the process collaborative as opposed to a root canal.

    Adam: Correct.

    David: It is great, I feel like I am in there with my clients. I love representing these small guys, David vs. Goliath, I kind of get off on it, so my clients make contracts with very large, well known companies and it is good because they are aware … I kind of educate them as we go through the process together and, after a while, they become very adept at this as well. I have met a lot dumb lawyers, I haven’t met very many dumb computer programmers. That is just an observation.

    Adam: Interesting, that is the quote of the show right there.

    David: Yeah.

    Adam: Lastly, when you say you work on a, last question for you, that you work on a flat fee and I think this makes it easier from your perspective as an attorney to say “Okay, this contract is done.” How do you say, in a year … If I have you do a contract for me and I come back in six months or a year and I have you do an update or some modifications, is that a new flat fee to do that?

    David: Yeah, you are going to have to pay me again. It just depends, honestly. I had a client who changed their company name, so I just fixed it for them.


    David: If you come back and say “Oh, I got this new issue and I need to you address it.”, We will figure it out.

    Adam: The reason I asked that question is someone has asked me, at one point, “What is the best way to contractually define a completion of, let’s say, a web project.” When do you get paid vs. the work being done?

    David: That should be in your contract and there should be a hand-off date where you say “Here are the keys, it is now yours.”

    Adam: Right, if you want that is separate.

    David: That, to me, that … The additional maintenance a year later where they come back and say “Hey, I need you to do this and this.”, that should be obvious that you are not doing that for free. To me, the bigger concern is just the keeping track of plugin maintenance, software updates. Unless you are getting paid to do that, you should not be on the hook for every website you ever developed.

    If a plugin goes bad that you have to go back to fifty different companies and say “Okay, we are going to do this now”, or you shouldn’t have to do that for free, in my opinion, so you should address that in your contract. “If I hand it off to you and you have a guy that is taking care of it, then that is his job. If you want me to continue to maintain it, you are going to pay me X dollars a month”, or some financial gain for you to have to worry about that.

    Adam: Right, and to have then sign off of that specific line item as well.

    David: Yeah.

    Adam: Absolutely, I do that. A lot of people, colleagues of mine, we do that, but a lot of times we feel like “Oh, I will just take care of it, it is a quick little thing”, but the quick little thing is a can of worms sometimes.

    David: It doesn’t scale.

    Adam: Right.

    David: A quick little thing is fine with one website, but if you do it and you have 200 websites, you just blew your whole week.

    Adam: Right, absolutely. Couldn’t agree …

    David: You got to put bread on the table, you can’t do everything, so you just have to plan for it. I think most … We all know that there is good customers and bad customers and I think one of the goals that you should have is to attract good customers and to repel bad customers, because one bad customer, no matter how much money they pay you, is not worth it. I think you put in there, from the beginning … I am going to give you one of my magic secrets of being a lawyer, right now.

    Adam: Awesome.

    David: It took me 20 years to learn this. Everybody, you are getting 20 years of experience. When you are in business, the most important thing to remember when talking about contracts and business relationships is the “F” word. I am talking about fairness.

    Adam: (laughs)

    David: That is a well practiced delivery right there.

    Adam: Yes.

    David: Really, you want to be fair to your customers, but you also want customers to be fair to you and most good customers want to be fair to you. When you are talking about the contract you say “Look, I want to give you an awesome website. I need to get paid for that because I am going to be putting my heart and soul into it. Also, I want to, if you would like me to, I want to continue to maintain it for you, but I can’t do that for free, that wouldn’t be fair to me, because it is going to take a lot of my time.” Like I wouldn’t ask you to make your widgets for me for free for the next five years.

    Adam: Right.

    David: If you use the fairness, if you just slide the fairness word into the conversation, then, most often, people will be like “Okay, that makes sense.” It just works, it is like magic.

    Adam: Interesting.

    David:  If you are in a … If the fairness word does not apply to what you are asking, then you will know, with your own kind of moral compass, that maybe you got a problem, but think about the “F” word as you are getting into contractual relationship. If both people make money, if both people profit from the relationship, then it is going to be a good relationship, they are going refer other friends to you, you are going to be happy with the work you are doing and you are going to be getting paid fairly. As dumb as that sounds, that really is a … It should be a central point around which you think about all of these issues.

    Adam: Right.

    David: You don’t want a contract that is going to be unfair.

    Adam: Right, it does nothing for anybody in that case.

    David: Yeah, I have had clients ask me to do that before. They write a contract that is just completely biased in their favor and it can be done. It is usually not the consultant who wants it, it is usually the people you are dealing with who have some in-house counsel that want to write a contract that is going to poop all over the consultant.

    Adam: Right.

    David: The problem is nobody is going to be happy. That relationship is not going to end well. Ever.

    Adam: Yeah, it is a lot to take in, it is a lot to deal with and it is a part of running a business and I think a lot of developers forget that aspect of it.

    David:  Can I … Let me mention one more thing about that because a lot of times you are going to be going into big companies and they are going to be throwing a contract at you. Be careful of what I call the “Dummy Contract.” A lot of companies have these contracts and if you read it and it says “If anything goes wrong, you are entirely responsible and you have to pay millions of dollars to us and you have to pay our lawyers and you owe us your soul for the next 30 years.”

    It just goes on and on and on and I call them the Dummy Contracts because they just expect dummies to just sign them. If you push back on those contracts, often you will find that they will immediately capitulate, because even they know that the terms are ridiculous, but they will say “Well, we tried.”

    Adam: Yeah.

    David:Frankly, probably four out of five or nine out of ten people who get that contract are going to be so happy that they got work that they are just going to sign it anyway and not even know how much trouble they are in.

    Adam: Yeah, it happened … We all make those mistakes. You start off, you are like you want the work, you want the work and that is when people, developers, give away work for free or so cheap that it kind of brings down an industry. It is a whole separate conversation.

    David: Yeah, but when you push back on a contract, when you bring a professional contract to the table, I think, to a certain degree, it increases your value because it shows that you are sophisticated and not a chump.

    Adam: Yeah. Well, I do appreciate your time. I believe my audience will appreciate it as well. Very, very, very nice of you to take the time out of your Saturday morning to talk to us. Where could people … Not to … I didn’t bring you on … If you want to say where you are located and if you are looking to find …

    David: Sure.

    Adam: You are more than welcome to, I am okay with that. Where can people follow you online, either the legal side of your life or even if they are interested in Macintosh stuff?

    David:  The nerd side of my life is at I write books and I do podcasts and I am just a nerd like you guys. I love the stuff. The legal side is and I am a business attorney in California. I do have clients out of state, it just kind of depends on the things. I also know attorneys out of state, so I guess if you are really looking for somebody wherever you are at, give me a call and we can talk.

    Adam: Awesome.

    David: My point here isn’t to hire me is that you should definitely get somebody at your back.

    Adam: Absolutely.

    David: Those people you are dealing with, they will often have legions of people at their back.

    Adam: Right. It is not just any attorney, it is really going to be an attorney who knows what is going on in the current climate, what we deal with. Truth be told, I talked to my dad this morning, mentioning that I am speaking to you from my podcast, and my dad can’t do what you can do. He just doesn’t have the knowledge base.

    David: Sure, there is lots of different kinds of lawyers. There is divorce attorneys, DUI attorneys, it just depends what you do, but find a good business attorney. Someone who has got a fee structure that you understand. Even if you have taken some notes during the show, talk about some of the principles I talked about here so that they can help you grab something.

    Adam: Right, right. Again, Mr. David Sparks, thank you for your time. I do appreciate it and that is it. Thanks.

    David: Thanks a lot, my pleasure being on here.

    Adam: Well, that was an awesome interview with David Sparks. We had talked a little bit before and another 10, 15 minutes afterwards. I really do appreciate his time. Very, very generous of him. If you are in the Southern California area, or even anywhere, like he said, reach out. He didn’t want to sell his services and I am not here to necessarily pitch for him, but he is a nice guy. I would trust him in a heartbeat and I very well may have him review one of my contracts in the near future if I need that. Check him out. Thanks again, Mr. David Sparks, and cool. Just let me know if you have any feedback on that.

    Okay, segment three, tip and tool of the week. This week I want to mention It is and what this lets you do is let’s you see what is available for a domain. I have some ideas all the time for domains and it lets you put in an idea for a name and it lets you see what is around for Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, all the different social media areas what might be around and might be available. Just a central place to check that out.

    It is, it is free and check it out. Okay, that is that. Thanks for listening this week, if you have any questions, send them via email at or use the speech button function of the website. Thanks for listening and go out and do some awesome things at WordPress this week and we will talk to you next week. Bye-bye.


    Tagged with podcast

    —Huffduffed by masnick

  10. 5by5 | Better Know a Jackal #43: mutewinter

    An interview with Jeremy Mack, creator of the original Showbot. Covering his life and career. Including Beatport,, soul-sucking government work, Showbot, board games, and gardening.

    —Huffduffed by masnick

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