What’s the Reward

February 25, 2013

Before I got my current job, I was “freelancing” on the side at a start-up thing that my ex-coworker’s husband and his friends were doing, which was in addition to my concurrent full-time job at the time.  After I got my job now, things kind of died off with that whole project I was working on.  It wasn’t anything to do with me; the idea was just not developed enough, and they were trying to force it to work.  That was pretty much the last time I heard from them and that project.  But then a few months later, I get a call from one of the guys, and he’s telling me they’re working on a new app, and that they’d like me to help with this one.  We were supposed to meet that weekend or something, but that came and went, and no communication for another few months.  I eventually meet up with them, and they bring me in the loop of their new idea they’re trying to develop.
I was excited at first, but I’m slowly coming to realize that this idea isn’t going to become big.  It’s really nothing special.  It’s way too niche, and doesn’t offer anything very innovative in terms of the app alone.  Were we to tack of external services, that would make the app something more special.  But external services are way down the line.  And right now, where we are on the line, it’s not looking very promising to me.  The app is pretty basic in term of functionality, but the app is just still so lacking.  Our developer is just one guy, and is trying to make it work.  But I feel too restricted to come up with novel solutions and ideas because, quite frankly, I doubt he can implement it.  What’s more is that we don’t have a designer.  It’s become painfully clear that he isn’t one either, and neither is the other guy.  Not to gloat, but I’m better than them both, but that really isn’t saying anything.  I’m finally comfortable with admitting this:  I’m not a graphic designer or production artist.  Back on topic, the app is lacking in novel features, the features we do have are not at all useful to a large audience, and the design of the app is non-existent.  Fine.  So I’m dealing with a dud.  I’ll stick around and help.  It’s good experience, and who knows, maybe I’ll be proven wrong about this app.  But the developer guy often gives me a hard time for not using the beta app that much, and not being that involved.  He’s kind of passive aggressive about it.  I can’t help it though.  They’ve stuck me in this weird and awkward fucking place where I’m supposed to design a user experience while they’re developing this thing.  On top of it all, my wireframes are supposed to be the exact foundations for the design of the app.  And features and shit are in flux, so I don’t know what’s going to get thrown in or when, so how do I design something cohesive when nothing’s in place?  I’m really tempted to toss this project aside and just quit.  If they want to hassle me for not devoting all my energy into their project that they have yet to tell me what my eventual compensation would be, then they can go fuck themselves.  They imply that when this shit takes off, I’d have my own team, and thus probably work for them/our start-up company.  But for all I know, I won’t get shit.  I haven’t signed anything since the last project.  And the last project’s contracts state that I would not get any compensation for my work, other than to be able to say I worked on that project.  I will have to see where this goes.  If they hassle me anymore and I’m stressed out and not in the mood to hear their shit, then I’m done.

Note:
This post title is the song from the album Adam Green & Binki Shapiro.  I recommend it; it’s a fantastic album to mellow out to.

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