Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Negotiating after the fact

Dang it.

I've got a client who wants me to give away a design. This person got so frustrated during our conversation they hung up on me.

I think this might be a signal (because of how this client came to me, and how we began our work together) that it is time for me to focus in and specialize. I've been resisting this, because I know I appreciate working with people who are able to fulfill all my needs for a given project... but the world is certainly moving towards greater specialization. I can see where it could be more efficient. And I could control the beginning of my relationships better, and head off this sort of collision.

Dang it, I hate when agreement becomes argument.

One thing that is tough for many clients to understand is that I own my designs. I didn't set up the industry that way. But that's how it is, and that's how the IRS views it. Even if I give away me design, it's a piece of real property and I will owe taxes on it if it passes out of my control.

I listened to an architect today. He described how the process of designing a space results in ideas that are his, and he owns them. The drawings are used to communicate with a builder how to create those spaces, but the drawings are not the product: the ideas are. I was impressed to hear something graphic designers have to explain to their clients is something he has to explain, too, but it makes perfect sense.

Anyway, I'm all hepped on stress chemicals after that phone call, and I don't like it. I haven't done any yoga for a month it seems, so perhaps I'll take some time off right now and be good to myself.


daisyduke said...

something there should always be time good to you~

yep, it's me.... said...

wow - what a place , I want to live here at this site

Robert van de Walle said...

Texas would miss you!

I'd be thrilled if you could live at this site. Sass it up some! I'm not sure if I'd ever get any work done, though...

Red Hot Sexy Papa said...

I hate that kind of clients. I have those too. This industry suck biggies...

Robert van de Walle said...

Oh, I don't know about that. I have found that if I loose focus, and start saying yes to whatever work comes my way, that it exhibits a downward trend.

That's the main reason I am learning to pursue strategic clients in this first part of 2006.

lecram sinun said...

As a playwright the question of interllectual property does continue to rage... and probably will for a long time. I am constantly amazed how so many people assume that "everything" is or should be free.

Robert van de Walle said...

My friend Joe has decided to release some old software into the public domain. It's called Color MacCheese, and it was the world's first under $50 paint program for the Macintosh.

His idea is that the protection laws have gotten out of hand and are actually slowing down the pace of discovery and improvement.

I saw exactly this effect with Burt Rutan and his neighbors, XCOR. Burt wanted to run SS1 with an XCOR rocket, but XCOR was under some sort of IP-related contract that kept them from participating in the program.

XCOR's engines are far more reliable and mature than the hybrid motors Burt ended up using.

So, free after a time makes sense to me.