February 19, 2017

Follow-up questions for “Stephen Colbert” answered

A couple readers wrote in to ask questions about the “$55k for a week long project” success story from last week.

So, I forwarded the questions to the source of the story, “Stephen Colbert” who graciously took the time to reply.

I have inlined his answers below:

Reader 1:

Hi Jonathan, Does he/she have complete control over every aspect of the project? If so, how is that possible, especially in a “big company”? I do projects for large corporations and what should take 2 days can stretch into months due to a number of factors that I have no control over. I’m puzzled. Thanks!

Stephen Colbert:

Yes, in this case I did, and I told them we had to use MY designer, MY developer, MY server, etc. I negotiated that this was the only way I could assure success in the timeframe they needed. Of course, I was trading against a 5 year long successful client relationship, so trust was high.

Reader 2:

Hey Jonathan, Can you be more specific or give examples of something that takes 1 week to do which a client would pay $55k for? That feels outside the realm of reality. I can’t think of anything that would be worth $50k and can be done in a week outside of super specific domain knowledge in a high profit business.

Stephen Colbert:

We had built a 180k android app for the client. We pitched doing a prototype port for the web using node.js and found we could do it in only a week. Given I knew the value to the client (high) and the time to delivery (low) I pitched at $55k and they said yes, please! The context and price of previous projects was key.

Thanks for the clarifications, “Stephen”!

One follow up from me:

$55k for a week of work is not outside the realm of reality.

If you can imagine doing a 6 month project for $55k, I’m sure you can imagine that delivering the same outcome in a week would be worth the same or more.