I love me some good magic ever so often, Two weeks prior to this post I watched this amazing couple create clothes and almost anything out of thin air, I was in the middle of a Kenyan stand off, negotiating to be paid over Future Intellectual Property and I was about to do a Columbian Appeal(not appear for the next meeting).
Then luckily came across the magic show, what do we pay magicians for? Entertainment, that’s because even as kids, we are all perceptive enough to know that they really have not created the thing we see they have just tricked us into seeing it appear before our eyes.
I then came to understand why as a developer and creative, some clients referred to me as a magician, from their perspective, I was not creating their idea just making it appear, that makes them only willing to pay not for the creation value but the entertainment value of making the idea real.
Most creative or development cycles go through tedious and unmoving changes, so, of course know one finds entertainment value in the process, very rarely will a client say “what an experience I have had building this software or creating this brand, they usually just love it or not”
But the law is on our side, the value of an idea legally is 0. You cannot copyright it, trademark it or sell it. Implementing the idea into a designed brand, software is what provides the value that then you can have a copyright, patent behind it. This is where our value comes in.
Back to the Kenyan standoff, I asked the client that regardless of a joint venture, our development cost would drop by 50% and our 50% must be paid, even in instalments before the joint venture can get to own the IP. Our value comes in making an idea a legal or economic reality.
Try and not think about an elephant? That is the power of an idea, now, you have an elephant in your head. So think of a cute, big eared and pink elephant. If that is the brief, you will design and layout the pink elephant put in in a savannah background and then use code to make it do somersaults and entertain the public.
Our creation value must be quantified, even in partnerships, we must always treat it as a separate cost to be covered. We are not magicians, what we do as creatives, developers is not magic, we create real things out of ideas. Ideas might be a dime a dozen, an implementation, a creatives perspective or developers code is unique, even if we copied layouts or used opensource as a base.
whether its being called a magician or building elephant projects, know your worth, charge for your creation and bill for it.
The Kenyan standoff was for an app that could manage the user and business sides of a carwash.