Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Business savvy

I am trying to start my own business.  From scratch.

Let me tell you if you're trying to start a business from scratch, it's not easy.  Really.  I mean, it may seem easy, but it's not.  It may seem straightforward.  But it never is.  Never.  Got it?

Our website is about to go live.  This is very exciting and is the first step to the actual DOING BUSINESS process.  My business partner and I have been discussing next steps - contacting customers that are going to PAY us for the SERVICES we render.  (No, this is not an escort business.)

So everything's pie in the sky, right?  Things are progressing, we're going to do bidness?  Well, I'm REALLY bothered by something in a bad way.

The guy we hired to do our web development is a clown.  A lazy, worthless clown.  And I don't use derogatory terms lightly.  First of all this website and database that we hired him to do was supposed to be finished in November.  Did you catch that?  6 months ago.  The only reason we haven't sued him for breach of contract is that it has seriously been "almost done" since November.  And the extenuating circumstances, you understand... I got pregnant, and my business partner had to take a full time job to pay the bills somehow.  

A couple of things happened since then.  This developer who we shall here call "Clown" (I'm going to wait until we have all our passwords etc. to publish his name on a black list all over the internet) decided that he didn't know anything about web or SQL development and that he would "hire"* a couple of developers from India to do the work.  INDIA.  We ended up with a terms of use clause that said we had to adhere to the laws of Bangalore.  Yeah.

*I put this in quotes because there is sketchy information on whether/how much these hard working gentlemen were paid.  Sneaky, snaky bastard Clown - we have no idea who got any of the money we paid him...

Well, at the end of March, we put our collective LLC foot down and told Clown that we expect the website and database to be done and since his current choice of developers was clearly not working out (they had decided to take two weeks of vacation without alerting anyone - who could blame them?  We don't even know if they were paid!) that he should find someone local to finish the work and fulfill his contractual agreement.

Clown agreed and for weeks he led us to believe that the local guy was learning the code (since the code the Indian developers were using was a little different than he was familiar with) and everything seemed normal, that the database would be connected to the website and fully functional in a matter of days after the code learning process, and everything's dandy.

Now, today, I learn that he has been blatantly LYING and MISLEADING us to believe that he hired a local guy that we can sit down with and discuss the final product, while he ACTUALLY went back to someone in India because he didn't want to have to PAY the local guy for his work. And on top of that?  The website STILL isn't live and the database still has "a couple of final touches."   AAARRRRGGGGGG!

Previously, I didn't think I could be surprised by Clown's complete lack of competence or morals.  But I find myself so disheartened and just DISAPPOINTED by this behavior I don't even know what to do with myself.  It's our own fault for choosing to work with Clown, but by the time something was seriously wrong, we had put so much time and money in this project backing out seemed almost as stupid as sticking with it. 

I feel like he should be punished for lying to us and for wasting our time with his stupidity.  But that's wishful thinking.  To boot, now we don't even have enough money to sue for breach of contract.

I should add that I put a clause in our original contract that "time is of the essence" and (because he promised us a working website/database 8 weeks after signing the contract) that a credit of $20 per day for every day after the due date would be applied to our account.  If we were to adhere to that clause, Clown would actually owe US $3400 in services.  So we don't owe him anything upon completion - that's much more than we owed him. I don't really want to use his services for anything right now.  He has proven himself lazy, unreliable, sketchy, untrustworthy, and an all around schmuck.

Sigh.  I guess I learned a valuable lesson (as my mother would say).  But I so wish there was something SPECTACULAR I could do about it right now in the moment, you know?  Any ideas?

1 comment:

Jess said...

This SUCKS. I'm so sorry! But on the other hand, that $20 per day credit was a BRILLIANT addition to the contract.