Protect Your Ideas

Last two weeks, i received a call from my client asking about the payment for some side project that i did for them. It was weird. This would be the first time they would call me to ask about it. By the time i hang up the call after let them know that i haven't receive any single payment yet, i start to suspicious something messy is going on here. This is not, the usual pattern.

And my intuition has turned out to be right.

Few months before moving, this party called me up asking if i'm interested to do some web development for them. Looking back how our first project goes well in both payment and commitment, so i said yes and been told to send in the quotation and some mockup via email.

So i did.

I didn't hear any response and i was too busy to focus on something else, so i let it idle for two weeks. And i called them, and told that the project wasn't in green light to go. "Too many politics" was the reason, and nevertheless i didn't suspect anything. They got their own IT department who's bunch of bozos, which the leader who's know nothing than protecting their own interest which is slacking off during working. Its their little paradise, who doesn't want to get paid doing nothing right? You can always tell you're busy to bunch of people and they would relentless believe it.

Except for people who's used to working on same field. Honestly, how long it takes to perform permissions for user access? How long it takes to consider something else than Joomla?

How did i know all this? What about if my assessments were wrong?

Because i've been in meeting with them and for the first thirty minutes, they're all rambling, protecting and defending for being unable to fix small issues that been two years long. Imagine that kind of IT department at your disposal, and you think you're going to bring significant impact on public. I don't think so.

The first 30 minute, i watched and learned. After that, i begun to ask some technical questions that the leader didn't answer any of it. But fortunately the guy who tag along with him did answer it correctly. And he's looking puzzled.

When someone didn't inspire any confidence, you'll know what you get.

How did i get to meeting at first place? Well, not so long after they told its been canceled, now they said its green light back again and wanted me to come. But after that meeting, i'm less certain the project would really see the light.

My expectation didn't have to travel for too long. 2 weeks later, i called them to ask for the status and been told its got killed again, for the second time. It didn't surprised me considering the meeting went like that. I'm an outsider, i didn't have home based field advantage. What to expect?

What i didn't expect, they took the design mockup that i did for them and have it build internally. I was shocked when i see it. I still remember i draw the layout by hands in front of them and propose the solution for their problems. This is not the first time my ideas get stole, but certainly this is the impact that kinda knocked me out.

Almost everyone told me that i should take legal action against them, and i know very well i could considering i got all the evidences i need. I know who's going to lose their jobs and i know how mess this is going to reflect.

But i did not. I don't know what to do, and i don't want to anything that i'm less certain about the opposite incoming, so i decided not to do anything. I know for everything that i lost today, i would get it back tomorrow. I learned not to dwell on past too much. Its already happened, just carry on. Focus on next thing. They might stole my idea, but i'm sure i can do better in future. Because i can use my head better than them.

Given by if i wrote this post sooner, it might turned out more bitter than now. I didn't have such odd chips to carry on, there's no use to do that. Its not me, and i don't want to be someone who isn't me.

And lesson that i learned? Protect your idea. Use everything you got at your disposal. Don't talk unless they're already signed up or paid up. Money isn't everything, but you can't afford to do professional work for nothing. Living needs money.

One more thing, they build piece of shit based on my idea. How pathetic. Like my friend said, "biarkan mereka terus tidak popular".

Posted April 25, 2013

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