|I'm an engineer at a small non-tech company. I noticed that our process could be improved if we automated X. Two months ago, I cut down to part-time, so that I could work on validating this, with the intent of turning it into a SaaS business if it looked promising. I learned from talking with other companies that while this is a small problem, many companies have it and would be willing to pay for an off the shelf solution.|
I was planning on doing more research, when our PM mentioned to me that we would be building this tool in-house. Apparently one of our clients offered us $50,000 to build the tool, because the automation improvement would save them quite a bit of money. This tool is not related to our core business, and I don't believe my company would build it in-house, if this client hadn't offer us $50,000.Nobody at the company is aware that I am working on this problem, but I need to determine how to proceed before the team starts on building this tool.
My current plan is to chat with the PM, and tell him/her I would like to build it and eventually sell it to the company at $XXX/mo. This arrangement would benefit my company, because they could have a lot of influence over the solution I build, but would only have to pay me $XXX/mo once the solution is complete. At that point, they could take the $50,000 from their client, and pocket the savings. The arrangement would benefit me because I would have a first customer before I start building, and it would help me launch my company/service.
Are there any problems with going this route? Is there a better way to handle this situation? On the legal side of things, is there anything I should be looking into? I would talk to a lawyer if my company agrees to this arrangement, since I'd like to figure out a way to prevent my company from saying 6 months from now that they own this service that I built. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks HN!