6 Replies - 1016 Views - Last Post: 31 January 2012 - 07:52 AM

#1 ninechances  Icon User is offline

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Outsourcing Application

Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:35 PM

A while back I had full schedule in college and wanted to get an application done fairly quickly so I researched some companies that will develop applications on multiple platforms. I filled out a miniscule quote form and received a reply from them a few days later asking me for full details on the application. I'm assuming this meant providing them with graphic assets and the logic of the program and I'm sure other things. It seemed very fishy to me even though they had a very reputable client list. Is it advisable to pursue a company who wants that much information without some kind of confidentiality agreement? Any good/bad experiences? Any good references? Thanks in advance.

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Replies To: Outsourcing Application

#2 Hyper_Eye  Icon User is offline

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Re: Outsourcing Application

Posted 24 January 2012 - 02:04 PM

If you are concerned that you have a unique idea that could be stolen then you should always make sure an NDA is in place before discussing the details of your idea with anyone. The NDA should be singed by hand and faxed or mailed back to you.
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#3 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Outsourcing Application

Posted 24 January 2012 - 02:08 PM

Moved to Corner Cubicle
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#4 The Architect 2.0  Icon User is offline

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Re: Outsourcing Application

Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:18 AM

make sure your NDA isn't just for the person signing. everyone that will touch the code/project documentation will probably need to sign one, otherwise, i BELIEVE that wouldn't be liable to you(just their employer). talk to a lawyer to doublecheck of course....
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#5 nooblet  Icon User is offline

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Re: Outsourcing Application

Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:06 AM

I'm going to go against everyone else here regarding the NDA. They're pretty much useless in this context. Even if someone stole your idea, its highly unlikely you're going to drag it out to court and spend all that money trying to litigate about it, and most people know this. Real life isn't like Facebook and its many lawsuits. Majority of Silicon Valley is highly against flat out NDAs (no one respectable will even bother with you and instantly think you're a n00b the moment you even bring it up). Books have been written about this as well. NDAs these days are more or less "peace of mind" for the person issuing it but in reality don't really mean much in the context of protecting your idea. Under other context, they do matter, but certainly not this.

As many others before me have said, no one cares to jack your idea. Some of the most respectable entrepreneurs have even blatantly said (and I agree) try getting someone to actually steal your idea. Very unlikely. Most people are interested in their own stuff 99.99% of the time. It is very amateur to be concerned about that if this is the main reason you're concerned. And in all honesty, most contractors do need to know the details of the project to give an accurate quote. You can't expect someone to give you a quote that is remotely anything close to actual figures (aka a number that actually means something) without actually knowing enough details to determine what the work entails. Details don't necessarily mean you need to give them a step by step schematic of what you want them to build but it certainly isn't some vague high level explanation of what you want it to do.

Lets take Facebook as an example again. Easy enough to tell them you want a social networking site so people can create profiles, add friends, etc... But when you dive into the specific details of every feature and function you want, you will start to realize there may be a lot or a little to do for each specific part. If you want a real quote (assuming flat rate here), most respectable companies will need enough information to assess how much work will be involved. The only exception here would be if they are billing you hourly which doesn't seem to be the case.

Having said all that, you can still do an NDA and most contracting companies do engage in that but in all honesty, its not a big deal.
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#6 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: Outsourcing Application

Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:35 PM

In addition, do yourself a favor and do some Googling of their company name. If they've made a habit of stealing ideas and doing them as their own, someone will have bitched about it on a forum somewhere...and Google will likely have a record of it.

And here I go offending probably about half the planet: try and keep the firm you're considering retaining in the same country you're in. That would mean that an NDA (if you use one) is more easily enforceable. In particular, I'd avoid overseas firms (read: India, Bangladesh, China, etc). This is only personal experience talking but I've been involved in overseeing or being involved with two instances of an employer outsourcing work like that only to discover their code product being hawked by the same or related firm a short time later on the internet. I've done probably 5-6 contract jobs over the years wherein I was called in to finish a project that the overseas contractor didn't bother to finish or that botched it horribly and the contract mentioned they needed to make changes because they discovered their IP was being peddled around on the internet now. In one case with a former employer, the theft was really obvious as their product contained code that I had actually written (because it had HTML comments in there that I could see on a view source and contained my initials).

For whatever reason, when someone offers to do work for you for like $5/hr when a domestic local professional would be charging $30/hr...yeah it's a great deal but how will the $5 guy make up for the money he's not charging you (but should be)?

Good luck!
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#7 CTphpnwb  Icon User is online

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Re: Outsourcing Application

Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:52 AM

My two cents on the rate:
Auto repair typically costs more than $55/hour so I'd be suspicious of a programmer who thought less of their own skills. Remember that they're not just working for you, they're running a business. Anyone charging $30 or less is likely not going to be in the business long, and you don't want the middle of your project to be the point where they give up and take a job in another field.
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