Friday, April 27, 2012

Clear Communication

When you are doing any business deal it's really important to be on the same page. Don't make any assumptions about how the other party sees the deal.  Be direct and upfront about how you interpret the terms so that there are no misunderstandings.  It's not "cool" to sneak some shitty term into a contract.

The reason I bring this up is the very first deal I was involved in.  This was at the beginning of Radix where we hooked up with an existing company.  The idea is that they would bring in some artists and also help with cashflow.  They were also supplying some (pathetic) equipment and space to work (drafty).

So my understanding is that they were going to pay us $20 a hour plus we would both own the project and split the proceeds.  This is before I even got the concept of game IP or the long term value that it could have. 

Anyway they worked in this old building with dodgy wiring and crap heating.  They gave us one computer and a whiteboard to share amongst us.  The "pay" would be deferred until we actually made money somehow.  Basically it was a total waste of time.

But at the time I didn't see it.  One of the other guys was like "wtf are we doing" and refused to participate anymore.  It really took that for the rest of us to look at the deal and realize we had no fucking idea what we were really doing there.

Now I was the guy that initially hooked us up with these guys.  I had met them through the local BBS scene and their main programmer was a good friend of mine.  His business partner on the other hand was this slick car salesman like guy who ran the business.  Somehow I also noticed my friend (who did the work) never had any money but this guy had a new car, nicely furnished new place etc.  They split up a while later and he got a real job (at I think Cognos).

So we all sit down and write up an actual contract that we think represents the deal that we've already negotiated.  We walk in and tell these guys we need to meet and talk about the details and present them with the contract.  The biz guy starts reading the first page and is like, "ok, ok, ok" etc.  So he looks up and says, "No problem guys this looks fine."

Then Dan says, "What about the second page?" which is where all the meat was.

So car guy looks up and goes, "Second page?" in a bewildered voice, flips the page and starts going, "No! No! No! No! No! Completely unacceptable!"  He looks up at me and tells me it's my fault.

That was the last time we were over there. Dan ended up hooking us up with some other guys who actually knew games and they helped us ship Radix.  More on that later...

1 comment:

  1. This is what every business should keep in mind. This is especially true with accounting Philippines. Transparent and updated should be the description of each accounting processes for efficient business decision-making.