|I develop and maintain a website / research platform for a former colleague. I introduced some novel ideas into their research platform, a year or so ago, utilising some common machine learning models. They are very happy with the work.|
They paid me for this work at an hourly rate. I have been quite generous partly because I consider my former colleague to be a friend and also because I felt I would learn something useful. I feel they now have an excellent system that is robust and for an incredibly cheap price.
They would now like to market the whole platform as SaaS. My former colleague has a very good reputation within their industry and plans to sell the platform to other businesses in the same field.
They've offered to form a Joint Venture with me for the new setup. I would be responsible for developing and managing the platform and they would be responsible for marketing it.
I'm quite aware of the extra effort involved converting the existing code base into a SaaS and the additional overhead of maintaining the product for multiple customers. It's a lot of work.
I also have a day job and a family life. The day job is well paid and family life can be quite demanding.
I see the benefits of the JV. I will gain 50% of the Intellectual Property that I have already developed. My former colleague/friend has a good chance of successfully marketing the suite and perhaps I might quit my day job sooner than planned.
I also can't help seeing asymmetry in the effort, that is writing code + testing, live support, systems setup etc vs selling the system (which unfortunately I envisage as having the occasional lunch/calling up old friends & perhaps asking for favours). I might be overplaying this part.
I was wondering if anyone here had any thoughts? Perhaps others have had similar experiences with success or maybe it didn't work out?