From: Winfield Hill
Subject: Re: Contract Dispute questions.
Date: 19 Nov 2002 17:42:11 -0800
Organization: Rowland Institute
X-Newsreader: Direct Read News 4.11
> I engaged a electrical engineering contractor in the Fall of 2000 to
> prototype an invention project with a small LCD type screen display.
[ snip sad story ]
Your story sounds to me like classic software engineering trouble.
One engineer to create a specialized hardware platform and to also
write the software, which is a recipe for disaster. :-( Well, it
sounds like you were happy with his initial prototype, the question
is what happened after that? My guess is that the prototype didn't
implement all the software functionality you sought, and he ran into
trouble trying to implement it. There's little doubt the problem
isn't insufficient memory space, even if the over-extended fellow
used that as an excuse, but instead simply inadequate software
expertise and implementation.
Let's assume that you have a solid hardware platform. Your best
bet now and your fastest time-to-market, which is what counts, is
to find a new programmer and to enlist the help of your hardware
engineer in bringing the new fellow up to speed and writing solid
code for your design. Forget a lawsuit, that'll drive you into
deeper trouble. $20k is not much money for a complex project, and
is not necessarily out of line for refined producible hardware, so
another $10 to 20k to get the engineering finished is in order.
After that you'll have much larger expenditures for the production
runup and for marketing, etc., not to mention staffing for sales.