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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 12 Apr 2010 (Monday) 07:30
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Saddened by this behavior from a friend. What's your take?

 
Metalstrm
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Apr 12, 2010 07:30 |  #1

The story goes like this:

I and two partners launched a studio in February and we needed a good logo. One of my partners had a designer friend who was kind enough to create a set of potential ones without asking anything in return. My two partners liked them, but I thought that we could do better.

I thought I'd contact one of my close friends, whose artistic skills are impressive to say the least, so I told my partners about my concerns and plans, and we agreed upon it. They figured it'd be better to have a bigger selection to chose from, and I figured that the chances of their not liking my friend's proposal would be next to nothing. That turned out to be a mistake.

So I called my friend up and showed him what we already had and my ideas on how he could improve on them. He seemed interested in the project and said he'd work on it and get his proposals ready within the two/three week deadline. He himself used the word 'proposals', and did not mention cost. Nevertheless, I was ready to pay my friend any reasonable amount if they turned out to be better than the logos we already had, which I had little doubt they would.

At the end of the deadline my friend's proposals were done, and he sent them over, together with a very reasonable price. And they were good, better than the logos we already had. So I was prepared to pay the necessary amount and conclude. Unfortunately, my partners preferred the other ones. Fair enough, we were two vs. one, so the decision was made in their favor.

My friend thought that we simply didn't want to pay him for his work, and I made sure I'd talk to my partners so that we'd give him something in return for his work even though his logos were not going to be used. So we talked it over and decided to pay him half the amount he had asked just as if it were a lost deposit. I thought this was fair, considering that his logos were not going to be used and that there had not been any sort of price agreement before. We were, after all, good friends, and I made that second mistake of assuming things will be alright because of friendship.

No. My friend got all pissed off and started calling me unprofessional. He wanted the full amount for his proposals. He had apparently been assuming that his work was going to be chosen and felt that paying him half was somehow deprecatory and disrespectful to his work. I have asked some other friends in the art/design business, all of whom seemed to confirm that in situations like these the full amount is not paid unless the proposals are chosen.

In the meantime, he doesn't want to meet me to talk it over and I have resorted to emailing him. I gave the half amount to his sister (who I meet more regularly since her boyfriend is another friend of mine), and it is obvious that he has made it seem like I just want to rip him off. If anything, I am feeling like the one being ripped off.

I think I'm being fair, but I wanted to know whether you guys think so as well. Specifically, how are things normally done with regards to proposals of this kind?

I also have in mind to just go find the guy, give him the amount he wants, and say a few things that are on my mind. Not to save the friendship, which is by now already dead, but so that he understands what friendship means. I never asked a penny from this person. I tried my best to help him when he had trouble with his ex, I drove him around (since he doesn't drive), I bought him drinks (and got nothing in return). But that is all extra background - what I really want to know is whether I'm being fair on this point or not.

Thanks and sorry for the long post.

NB: Business and friends don't mix very well.


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neil_r
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Apr 12, 2010 07:36 |  #2

Never "assume" anything.

Its an old saying but regularly true to ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME


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Metalstrm
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Apr 12, 2010 07:41 |  #3

neil_r wrote in post #9978933 (external link)
Never "assume" anything.

Its an old saying but regularly true to ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME

I know. The assumptions were taking place on both sides, not simply on mine. He was assuming we'd pay the full amount even if his work was not chosen, and we were assuming the other option. I would love to know whose assumption was the correct one, or the one that is generally adhered to, let's say.


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dynamitetony
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Apr 12, 2010 07:41 as a reply to  @ neil_r's post |  #4

lesson learnt the hard way

always, always confirm the deal at the beginning, before any work has started

so both parties understand what is expected .

personally , if your friend gave you price to design some logos and he designed them, then i can see why is expecting his money irrelevant of whether you used them or not


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Metalstrm
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Apr 12, 2010 07:45 |  #5

He didn't give us a price till he had designed them, Tony. He also used the word 'proposals' when referring to them, which I feel captures the essence of what they were. I don't know whether that is relevant or not, but I think so.


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TTk
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Apr 12, 2010 07:48 |  #6

dynamitetony wrote in post #9978953 (external link)
lesson learnt the hard way

always, always confirm the deal at the beginning, before any work has started

so both parties understand what is expected .

personally , if your friend gave you price to design some logos and he designed them, then i can see why is expecting his money irrelevant of whether you used them or not


+1.;)


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pip ­ boogaloo
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Apr 12, 2010 07:54 as a reply to  @ Metalstrm's post |  #7
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time is money as they say
if he is a bona-fide business i would expect to pay - regardless
if it is just a hobby of his then a suitable thank you bung would suffice.

i sort of see where he is coming from. and times are hard right now for favours to old friends.

personally i would do the right thing - pay him in full with a smile on your face, say nothing and dont pass work his way in future. and if you get future design work done again, dont give it to him or even ask for quote, but make sure he finds out you had it done and of its superb quality


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argyle
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Apr 12, 2010 07:57 as a reply to  @ Metalstrm's post |  #8

And the proposals were rejected...happens in business all the time. Just like multiple contractors, for example, bidding on a job...only one of them will get it. Your friend needs to get over it...he's the one being unreasonable and unprofessional.


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gjl711
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Apr 12, 2010 07:59 |  #9

The bigger lesson and more important in the long term... Friends and business relationships don't mix. Figure out what you value more, the friendship or the work. If it's the former, entering into a business agreement, even a well documented one, has a high probability of messing up the friendship at some point. Decisions need to be made, business decisions, an they can cause resentment as you have learned.

I've learned the hard way as well that keeping the two separate allows me to make the decision that is best for the business without loosing a friend in the process.


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Meercat007
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Apr 12, 2010 08:10 |  #10

The graphic designers I have used, usually provide me a quick low quality image that gives a me good idea of their thoughts, at this point they give me a price for the full quality equivalent and I then decide whether I want them or not. 10-15% paid if I dont want them.


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Apr 12, 2010 08:31 as a reply to  @ Meercat007's post |  #11

How many of you have worked on proposals (RFP) that were not accepted...would you as a business owner expect to be compensated for the time that was put into the proposal if you didnt win?..Not trying to sound like a di%k here but somebody show me where it is standard practice to be paid for "proposals" that dont win...

It's the cost of doing business...sometimes you win sometimes you don't;)

The sucky part is, you now have a possibly irrevocably ruined friendship:(
over something that could have been prevented with a bit more thought on both sides


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Apr 12, 2010 08:35 |  #12

I never asked a penny from this person. I tried my best to help him when he had trouble with his ex, I drove him around (since he doesn't drive), I bought him drinks (and got nothing in return). But that is all extra background - what I really want to know is whether I'm being fair on this point or not.

I think you've been more than fair &, given his history, suspect that nothing you could do would make him happy. Even full payment would probably still result in him **** that you tried to screw him.


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Apr 12, 2010 08:39 |  #13

Hard lesson to learn, but it is a good idea to treat business dealing among friends the same way you would a normal straight forward business transaction. Always insist on a written contract with all of the details of the arrangement.


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Apr 12, 2010 08:40 |  #14

I used to manage bids for IT outsourcing. Our typical budget to put together an initial bid was around £50,000 (this was several years ago). If we got rejected the loss was 100% ours, not the prospect's. If we won then the cost of the bid would be amortised over the initial contract term. Of course, those costs were invisible to the client, but nobody could pretend they weren't in there. That is the cost of doing business.




  
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Apr 12, 2010 08:49 as a reply to  @ tdodd's post |  #15

I suppose the big lesson is more clarity up front.

But unfortunately the biggest lesson here is he was a better friend of yours than (aparently) you were to him.

When I think of my best, closest friends . . . I realize that a disagreement about money (and it sounds like a minor amount in the grand scheme of things), would in no way affect our friendship. I would "eat" the loss rather than lose a friend, and he certainly isn't prepared to do that.


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Saddened by this behavior from a friend. What's your take?
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