That's worth a few orders of magnitude more than a lot of work, but there are plenty of companies with revenues in the millions or tens of millions with very specialized IT needs. They might be unable to hire for them or unwilling to spend 6 months interviewing and training when they could hire an expert to parachute in now. That expert might well charge a project rate that works out to a bit of money, but crucially, anchor it to business value rather than things which have a cheap, non-expansive dynamic range like "price per hour."
If you are very good at building the systems that facilitiate trades, you should be paid well, but you will be paid for building stable, reliable systems and not for predicting one off gotchas. That is impossible to do consistently.
No amount of money can prevent the one off events. You can only hedge. As a result, is $1000/hr worth a hedge? Likely not.
Now, is a guy worth $1000/hr if there's a crisis, he can come it and make it better and we are talking millions of dollars. Likely so.
All of these things to say: no, he's not worth $1000 on any given hour, but might be on a very particular hour.
Plenty of course. But the odds that such person exists outside their organization is nil. The world's top programming expert would take more than 45 minutes to assess the issue. (I'm assuming that cutting off power wasn't an option.)
Or you may be able to deal with wide range of IT problems that includes that area, but then there's a question of credibility—whether that particular area would seem like something you can deal with to company management, considering that you've never done exactly that thing before. In this case it seems that you either need strong reputation for dealing with different problems successfully, or some leads inside the company. (Either way is possible, of course, but apparently not as easy as it may seem on the first sight.)
All that said, please keep in mind:
1. Gravity still exists, financially and otherwise. Reality too.
2. Strong teams still win. "Pay me $1000/hr with $10,000 NDA bonus or I'll be in my trailer" might get press, but the assumptions and arrogance behind it won't make meaning over the mid or long terms.
3. CheddarApp is just ok. As a card carrying yearly CheddarApp subscriber, I can say that I've used it for a week and meh. I'm hoping he gets enough press to get enough people to put $20 on the table to build out that spartan feature set.
4. Employers can pay what they want. In the end, if someone thinks they can get ROI on $1000 an hour, why not. God bless America, right?
I'm all for bringing up programmers' hourly rates but I think I'd want to have a little bigger feather in my cap than another to-do app before I tried a ploy like this.
However, the $10,000 fee (or at least some significant fee) for signing an NDA bonus is fairly reasonable. Most NDAs are usually unnecessary, inappropriately scoped, and force the person signing it to take on a substantial legal liability - I wish more people would refuse to sign them or require compensation for doing so.
No. He didn't justify anything. He's limiting the type of clients that talk to him.
Point: "This rate is designed to weed out less serious clients. [...] If anyone hires me to write code for $1000/hr, they are wasting their money."
You don't hire these guys to build your project, just to point you in the right direction. The real question is "does this particular guy have $1000/hour advice to offer". His customers ultimately decide this.
woman is strolling through a local park, when she happens upon Pablo Picasso sitting on a bench. Struck by her good fortune, she summons the courage to speak to him.
“Excuse me. You’re Pablo Picasso right?”
The man smiles.
“Would it be possible to have you sketch my portrait? I’ll pay.”
Picasso accepts the offer.
He considers the woman carefully for a few moments and then takes out a pen and paper. He quickly sketches a single line on the page.
He takes one last look at the page and hands it to the woman.
“That’s incredible!” She says. “You’ve managed to capture my essence in a single stroke of the pen.”
“That will be $5,000,” Picasso replies.
“$5,000? But it only took you seconds to draw it!”
“Actually, my dear, it took me my whole life.”
About a year ago I was locked out of my house and had to call an emergency locksmith - the cost was around $150. He turned up and inserted a piece of rigid plastic into the gap between door and frame, opening the lock. The process took 5 seconds, and I immediately realized that, given the knowledge that this would work, I could have opened the door myself using a credit card. But I didn't possess that knowledge, and the value of gaining access to my home was worth what I paid. I had paid not for hours worked, but for experience.
From that perspective, the ban makes sense, kind of. If the police catch a burglar with locksmithing tools, then he's automatically a criminal, even if they can't prove he broke into anybody's houses. What if he's not a burglar? Well, law-abiding citizens by definition wouldn't have those tools, unless they have the appropriate certification, which the police can of course check.
It serves as a convenient filter to lower the bar to being able to arrest burglars. Of course, there's the question of whether there are legitimate reasons for non-certified people to have these tools, and whether the tradeoff is worth it (I'd certainly lean toward "no" there, since it seems like a big restriction of freedom for a minor gain), but on its face the prohibition is not completely absurd.
Ok, granted, I saw this and until I visited the US I didn't believe it would work (it wouldn't in most doors I've seen). But in the US, we tried, it opened every locked door in the house.
So yeah, the lesson to be learned from this is next time to at least try some hair brained ideas before calling someone. :)
"I prefer not to sign NDAs. If this is a requirement for you, there is a $10,000 fee to sign your NDA. You will need to sign my consulting agreement. It has confidentially agreement included."
He then has a very simple work-for-hire contract that includes an NDA.
There's something appealing about this approach, because reading arcane contracts while a project is still being spec'ed is quite annoying. So instead he shifts the burden to the client. But, obviously, many clients won't swallow that.
I'm curious if he can make this work.
In most legal systems, confidentiality is part of hiring someone. You often sign an NDA nevertheless but its value is mostly declarational.
I assume you're talking about European systems, in which case it's not true, at least not to a significant extent. And when you hire a contractor it's even less defined - a contractor can freely talk about what kind of work he did for a company, right down into quite specific detail, without a proper NDA or clause to that extent in the contract.
He is invincible, hence the rate.
As she left for a short vacation, she left a note for one of her employees to drop the price to half of what it already was, and at least try to make a little bit of money back. But the employee misread the note and accidentally doubled the price of the turquoise. By the time the store owner got back, the rocks had sold out, at DOUBLE the price.
The store owner contacted the author of the book, a psychologist (I forget why) and he explained the reasoned this may have happened. Most of her customers were affluent and wealthy tourists who had been under the subconscious impression that you get what you pay for. When they saw high-priced stones, they knew that they were getting quality stones, at least that's what they had been led to believe through years of dealings.
This is why this guy's experiment will work and is a great idea. He is probably no more skilled than many of the hackers on here, but he stands out with his exorbitant price tag and some companies figure, 'hey, you get what you pay for.' This is especially true in the business world. So regardless of the fact he may not be worth it, or may not possess superior abilities, if he is getting the money which I hypothesize he will, more power to him.
The fact that people here on HN are reacting negatively to the rate reflects what I think is a cultural flaw in the developer community: programmers seem very reluctant to demand real money for their services. I rarely hear people complain that programmers are too expensive, even during this current boom. Given that people complain about everyone's rates: doctors, lawyers, plumbers, etc, that's almost a sure sign that programmers charge too little and expect too little.
Software is where the money is these days. Google, etc, have double the revenues per employee of any major investment bank. Yet, the culture on Wall Street is such that the investment banks (which are public companies too), pay out ~50% of revenues in compensation. There is no reason software development should be any different.
Most software development projects are months/years long and there are huge context switching costs when trying to swap a new developer in for an old one so you tend to get stuck with the same contractor for the duration which means you're committing to paying someone $1000/hr for months/years. This is quite different than finance/legal where maybe you just need some expert's time for literally like an hour.
There are some situations like the one he referenced where you're just doing 3 hours of optimization or whatever to an existing codebase but projects like that are few and far between (and I'm guessing the person paying for them will often be disappointed... I'm sure Sam is a great programmer, but 3 hours isn't much time to devote to making really substantial optimizations to an existing codebase nor to train another programmer how to do them him/herself).
I don't think $1000/hr is a fuck you rate for expert assistance of that sort. I don't know if I would consider him an expert worthy of hiring at that rate but I could see others doing it.
Here's a case where I could see $1k/hr making a big difference (granted I think the customer only paid $200/hr for this but it would have been work $1k/hr if necessay). We had a stored procedure that was performing really badly, and needed some advice on what to do better. I spoke with a database expert for approx an hour and he explained what was probably happening and gave me some pointers to fixing it. If I was trying to fix it on my own, it would have been a week's effort at least because the problem was not in a single statement but poor performance as an emergent property of several hundred or thousand statements running in a specific order and throwing off caching.
Now, it's not uncommon at all for the staff folks who are on the ground 40+ hours a week to be billed out at anywhere from 200-600/hour. But >$1k? Very rare.
Seriously though, that's pretty stellar if he can pull if off, and someone that's knowledgeable and creative enough is certainly worth it to get things going in the right direction.
This, to me, is more surprising than the rate.
People are willing to pay the high rates because you bring a wide range of knowledge about how other companies have done things, your level of technical skills is usually secondary.
The dirty little secret of consulting is that at a high level everyone is obsessed with NDAs and the like, even to the point of not letting you claim we've worked for them in any capacity, however once they've got you there they want you to name names. When it comes down to making a choice between several options, the option that company X chose is seen as the "safer" one.
Edit: after re-reading, I wanted to be clear that I wasn't suggesting that consultants do (or should) divulge this information; my emphasis should have been more on the experience vs. skills part.
It's not your "wide range of knowledge" but rather the risk profile of your employer. Some RFP's demand that the consultancy have 10k+ employees, 20+ years in business, and so on. Some of these requirements are government mandated, some process mandated, etc.
In other words, if you, with all your knowledge, were to strike out on your own, you would find yourself quite unable to bill at $400/hour, even if you were to be hired by the very same clients (which is not going to happen because they are paying the higher rate specifically so that they can get the low risk profile as per above).
In my experience, $400/hour at a large consultancy translates into ~$150/hour as a sole consultant, wide as your knowledge may be.
I don't think he understands what the word all means. Just me 2cents.
"The guy who makes this app charges $1000/hr, he must be amazing!"
Other successfull players still took these lesseons at these very high rates simply because these top players were the only ones able to help them improve their games and this was worth thousands to them, as they already were making alot of money.
The method -randomObject (NSArray+SSToolkitAdditions) is supposed to return a random object but when he is generating a random number he is generating non-uniform random numbers.
In general his category methods are not prefixed. This will definitely break something sooner or later.
He is not using the designated initializer or NSDate - although it would make sense in -dateValue (NSNumber-SSToolkitAdditions)
He is drawing patterns in -drawRect: where he could simply set the background image to a pattern color.
He is not using the shortcut functions for handling CGRects.
He has a file containing utility drawing functions (SSDrawingUtilities). This file contains functions like CGRectSetWidth, CGRectSetOrigin and so on which pollute the CG namespace which is owned by Apple...
You mean because of the modulo operator, presumably, and yes, the technically correct way to do it is to retry if the raw random number is larger than N*floor(UINT32_MAX/N). Still, that's a pretty minor bug considering what a minor deviation from uniformity it causes.
>In general his category methods are not prefixed. This will definitely break something sooner or later.
Yeah, this is a common mistake for people making "additions" frameworks, and it just strikes me as egotistical. When I was doing ObjC development, I'd even prefix my own private category methods, because hey, you never know.
Yes, because of the modulo operator and this is not a minor thing in my opinion. Especially with small arrays his implementation will return the the 0th or 1st element much much more often than other elements.
I think the correct way would be to use arc4random_uniform(...).
> Yeah, this is a common mistake for people making "additions" frameworks, and it just strikes me as egotistical. When I was doing ObjC development, I'd even prefix my own private category methods, because hey, you never know.
Yes. He even did create about 30 functions which use the CG-prefix.
>Especially with small arrays his implementation will return the the 0th or 1st element much much more often than other elements.
Much, much more often? Correct me if my reasoning is wrong, but for a, say, 6 element array, this bug would make a difference less than 0.0000001% of the time ((UINT32_MAX%6)/UINT32_MAX). For a 3 element array, it would make a difference about 0.000000023% of the time. Maybe you mean by small "less than 100 elements", in which case the worst case is 96 elements, where it happens a whopping 0.0000015% of the time.
Indeed, the problem is only pronounced for large arrays, because that's when there's an opportunity for UINT32_MAX%N to be large (since A%B < B). There is no case where the 0th and 1st element are significantly skewed ahead of everything else. The bias is characterized by the last few elements of the array being selected significantly less often, but the "significantly" part only kicks in for very big arrays.
In fact, the first array length for which you will even see a difference 0.01% of the time would be 430,142 elements [ed: this holds up even adjusting UINT32_MAX to the correct value]. Considering that this is a framework intended to be used for iOS development, I think once your NSArray has grown that large, you might have more important fish to fry than worrying about a small bias in your randomization.
Btw: I would like to talk to you in private. How can I contact you?
There are thousands upon thousands of people who make more than this annually.
I think one of the things that keep people self-limiting is looking at their income per hour. I have long stopped looking at my income per hour and focus on what I want to make annually.
I'm not defending that scoffing, mind you, as playing around with frameworks is good initiative...but anyone who's been burned by a consultant/vendor who recommended a bazooka to kill a mosquito will be wary.
> This is my new blog in Rails 3.1. I moved my blog to Jekyll a few months ago and really missed playing with a Rails app, so I'm moving it back and starting from scratch.
I'm dead serious. Bring it on.
I charge per day at a high rate, but have a discount for interestingness (since my goal isn't really money per se).
Something like what Paul Rand did when designing the NeXT logo. He charged $100k flat to "solve the problem" of creating a logo.
Fixed fees only work well when the client has a discrete problem that needs addressing, but in my experience those are the best projects anyway. Imagine a team of people struggling with some hard problem for 6 months and then you (because you're a specialist) solve it in 10 hours. Those are the absolute most fun things to do. Hero Projects.
This will allow you to create high syrup capacity waffles from an array of lower-quality waffles.
No, no... WaffleCloud(tm). As a mobile service. Syncs with your whipped cream on-demand.
The reality is that perhaps this guy and his todo app might score some work at that rate or he might not, it's his prerogative to decide what he wants to charge.
I might look at someone elses folio today and when they tell me they want $500 a day I'd look at their work and think good luck.
There's a massive difference between saying what you charge and what you actually charge on the invoice at the end of the day.
I was writing about what you as a contractor could potentially do, independent of Sam.
Edit: I did a Google image search on it. Here's the stock photo page: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-58442602/stock-photo-male-pr.... "computer hacker in black shirt working at laptops" -- I wonder what the annual salary of black-shirted computer hacker is. BLS doesn't seem to have stats on that one.
Here he is looking manic: http://www.123rf.com/photo_7515672_computer-hacker-in-black-...
come on bro...
It doesn't pretend to be something else or more, so the 'glorified' here is meaningless.
That said, it doesn't matter what Cheddar is. He asks for that pay for iOS consulting in general, not for recreating his own app.
Work like this would tend to be ad-hoc, not 9-5, and the work he's received so far (in his example) would seem more like what an architect might charge to make a drawing or two.
So the price seems entirely fair if the skills really are specialist enough to demand it.
not in a million years...
For most freelancers though, they need to fill a lot more hours.
Actually, USD 1000 per hour is special enough to merit an article in the WSJ about it: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870407130457616... . I certainly wouldn't say that 'many' lawyers bill those amounts.
Going out and trying to get work is massively annoying. So is context-switching. Plus paying your own benefits, dealing with non-paying customers, legal fees (yes, you need a lawyer if you're going to freelance) and having a complete lack of job security. I don't envy freelancers when I look at what they have to put up with. With all this, a typical hourly rate (and this is generally considered fair) is 1/800 of salary.
He also has an existing project that he's working on full time, and that he'd presumably be taking time away from to work on the consulting gig. When you're already working full-time, it makes sense to tack a factor of 3 on to your hourly rate, on the supposition that leisure time is worth (when you work full time and have little of it) 3 times as much as regular work time.
Given all this, a reasonable consulting rate might be 1/250 of annual salary, so he's rating himself as being at the same level ($250k/year) as a mid-career Wall Street quant. I don't think that's unreasonable.
After all, you're not dependent of those consultancy funds, but if you find someone who's willing to pay the requested amount, it's win-win. You're basically put in a unique situation where you're able to experiment with that and you might end up with a few interesting contacts as well by doing so.
Lawyers who handle multimillion dollar deals can justify $1000/hour. Security specialists can justify $1000/hour. Some guy who makes a mediocre todo list application can't.
Its really not about how much he asks; its about how many people can answer it. He tries to go against the current and assume 1 gig at $1,000/hr is better than 5 gigs at $200. It makes sense. I would love to see people paying for my work 5x more than average, I think I would be more excited too.
Also the guy doesnt seem cocky. He mentioned twice that this is too much to pay anyways.
Get a plumber around. Chances are he'll charge you more for fixing your toilet than you will to build him a website. Both are equally easy jobs using off-the-shelf components.
As an experiment, I had someone ask me recently for an hourly quote to do some work. I didn't really feel like it, so I quoted double the normal rate. They didn't even blink.
If you're not a corporate consultant getting charged out at $400+ per hour, you're probably undercharging.
To be clear, I'm talking about consultant type work here, not 'code me a CRUD app on an hourly rate'.
The reality is he's in a position to not need work, and is able to afford turning down 95% of potential employers. Good.
While I don't doubt that there are security projects that work out to more than $1000/hr, top-tier security people do not as a rule bill anything like that.
For what it's worth: neither do top-tier BigLaw lawyers.
I've personally never seen >$450 for security, except for people who have huge expenses bundled in doing the work, so it's not really labor. $100-200 is more normal for long engagements, $200-300 for shorter. (the most I ever billed was $350/hr x 4hrs).
The funny thing is paying high rates for someone actually good for a few days is certainly cheaper than staffing up a huge project with a bunch of $35-55/hr idiots, but there are companies who just won't pay even $250/hr for people actually doing the work, so they end up doing this.
You're right, even BigLaw lawyers generally don't charge 4 figures an hour. But M&A is a special beast. When you're dealing with a hundred million dollar transaction, the legal and accounting fees are rounding errors.
(Hopefully this doesn't sound argumentative; I believe you. Just supplying a data point. Overall point: $1k/hr is very very high.)
Right now, the mobile dev market might actually allow a rate like this.
And he/she doesn't have to justify that rate to everyone. If people hire him/her at that rate, it's justified.
a bit off topic.. but I found this he/she thing really annoying.
Then use singular they. See http://motivatedgrammar.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/singular-th... for verification that this is acceptable English.
The generic he actually has an interesting history. In Old English, the word wifman (-> woman) is a masculine noun and wif (-> wife) is neuter. This is because man though meaning basically "human" is a masculine noun so any compound of -man is also masculine. If one wants to specify a male man in Old English one either uses wer (counterpart to wif, survives in werewolf, which is why I joke that all werewolves are by definition male) or wapman which is the counterpart of wifman.
This led to an interesting problem. If you are talking about a specific woman and have perfect gender agreement, then "he" has to be used to refer to "woman." That makes things hard to read and so Old English has a rule which is that you ignore the grammatical gender of the word when you refer to a specific person. If we applied this to modern English we'd have amazing constructs like:
"I went to the store and the woman at the cash register told me that I needed to give her an extra $5."
"Any woman thinking about getting married should make sure that he has some level of financial independence first."
The first is specific while the second is generic. He in the second refers to "any woman" not her prospective spouse!
Similarly "My wife says she isn't up to coming to the party this weekend" but "A wife today still finds it has to do a majority of the housework."
I don't like mixing numbers though. If "they" is an acceptable singular why isn't "it's" an acceptable possessive?
My own style is to use he as super-generic (i.e. bordering on the proverbial), "one" as personal, shared person perspective generic ("one" in this case doesn't differentiate between first and third person, and has some aspects of second person imperative thrown in), and "he or she" as highly descriptive generic.
It works very well. I use "one" most often, "he or she" rarely, and "he" only occasionally. What I hate doing however is having to explain that by "man" I mean it in its original sense. That's why I prefer to say salesman over salesperson, etc. -man never carried with it gender assumptions. If it did, we wouldn't have the root in the word "woman." Now -wif did. Which is one reason why referring to an "alewife" as a female bartender is somewhat archaic.
That's because the meaning has changed, and also the sexism of the term is better understood. If you're American, do you also use the term 'negro' to refer to black people? It's a neutral and descriptive term in medical parlance, but it's a clear case of a word having more impact than its roots back in the day.
So trying to shoehorn in an out-of-date definition is changing the modern meaning of the word, just the same as repurposing 'they'. In truth, I think you're just being stubborn about wanting to use sexist language, since you don't seem to have too much of a problem with using all the borrowed words and grammar we've gained since the 'alewife' days.
The first thing to accomplish a goal is believing it.
(also, there will almost always be someone ready to pay any amount you ask, the best approach is an equation that maximize income/clients and minimize hours)
Personally, I think the $1000/hr isn't too much, especially if someone is getting branding advice from you.