Tag Archives: law

Dealing with customers

Written Contract

Written Contract

Dealing with customers is always a hard topic. This blog post will not summarise some of my experience before working for my current company. Communication with customers require both art and discipline to make sure that nothing could possibly go wrong. Here is a quick list of errors I have been making throughout my working life. :

Not thinking through each of the small details the customers may want to add later.

For example, if the customers want his websites to work on mobile device, it would be wrong to assume that he meant iPhone. 

- Don’t have a specific, fixed requirement document.

It could go wrong if both sides did not agree on a specific set of requirement before the project starts. I think I may need to understand more about Agile development

- Agree on a verbal basic: this is one of the hard lesson that I learnt when working outsourcing. Everything needs to be at least written and agreed on the email and not just chat or voice call.

Not thinking through small details

This is what is hard with software estimation when all the devils are in the details. When customers say they want their app to work on iphone, they really think of all iphone versions, and they probably assume that it works on android as well unless you tell them. It is good to be clear upfront and think through all cases.

Another example is that customer do not understand how important security is, and they just want it to work. But while they are testing, they may find the security issue and blame us all for bad practice of coding and testing.

Don’t have a specific, fixed requirement document.

Customers may want us to change the graphics 2 to 3 times and that are lots of back and froth emails and demonstration with the client. It will also extend the deadline of the project as we may need to wait for them most of the time.

Agree on a verbal basic

Everything should be at least in a written form. This was the key lesson I learnt during the early days of doing business. Everything needs to be agreed again over email. Even if you trust someone, or have a good memory, it is important to remind both of us what we said. It could be as simple as the client wanted to change the graphics and then later on, they completely forgot. It would be troublesome if clients wanted to change the requirement, then to extend deadline and the budget but they regretted it later. A written document would be helpful, or at least an email. I am not a lawyer but I found this book (22 Legal Mistakes you don’t need to make) helpful for new people.

When you write something down and let the other side read through it once, you can confirm that both sides share the same idea and clear all the miscommunication. This proves to be effective when you work on project requirement.

What is your tip? Please share it in the comment.

 

Quick thoughts about Patent

Patent Suing

Patent Suing

 

Apple sues Samsung, Yahoo sues Facebook, Facebook countersues Yahoo. Oracle v.s Google. Microsoft v.s Google. That’s too much of suing in last year and this year. I sometimes wonder about this situation, some law court does for clear cases, some are stupid and some are totally crap.

 

 

 

 

I agree with some ideas here and here about patent infringement:

He’s confusing four very different things here. First of all, he calls it “stealing”, but nothing is lost from the victim in the case of using the same idea. In fact, you can break this law without even knowing that someone else thought of the idea first. This is one of the biggest problems with patents; there is no good safe way to find out if any idea you come up with is patented or not. Most other crimes require intent, patent infringement does not.

It is actually weird for Yahoo to sue Facebook over some patent like this:

Only two of the 10 patents at issue are directly related to social networking technology. Most focus on online advertising, including methods for preventing “click fraud,” as well as privacy and technology for customizing the information users see on a Web page.

“If what Yahoo is saying is literally true, then it seems like a lot of companies would be liable,” said Shubha Ghosh, a professor who specializes in intellectual property at The University of Wisconsin Law School. But he added, much would depend on whether a judge defines the patents broadly or narrowly.

And as you can see, some patent infringement happens without an intent. That is crazy.

Some patents infringment should be sued. If Samsung lawyers cannot distinguish between a Samsung device and an Apple device, then well, Samsung does something very wrong.

Apple says Samsung’s blatantly ripped off its device designs. Not true, Samsung replies!Too bad its lawyer blew that argument harder than a hydrogen bomb blowjob: they couldn’t tell the difference between a Galaxy Tab and iPad. In court.

Law may need changing to adapt some new situations. And we are into the patent war, lawyers, it is your time now!

http://notch.tumblr.com/post/27897241780/even-experts-get-it-wrong