i'm considering starting a new venture with a friend. basically, he has access to data. i would build essentially a reporting application around this data. we could then resell this application to many different people for a flat fee. we might be able to make a couple sales a year, and they would be in the neighborhood of a couple grand each.
just a developer
That sounds like a good plan. If you structured it, e.g., as "I get 75% of the first $10,000, and then 25% for profits above $10,000," then you're effectively getting paid a bonus to complete the programming quickly, while he's getting a bonus for additional sales. That provides a good incentive to each of you.
I wouldn't approach it with an "I do all the up front work" attitude. You're dead in the water without a decent salesman, and he'll be what keeps you from starving while you're starting up. I know from hard experience that software sales is non-trivial. People who are otherwise very good salesmen have trouble selling software and software services. If he can really sell it, he's worth quite a bit. I'd approach it with a 50/50 split, because no matter how brilliant your code is it's useless to you as a revenue stream without him to sell it.
I have to say I agree with Clay.
Steve Jones (UK)
I'd go for fifty/fifty. It absolves any discussion of fairness, for an arbitarily 'fair' standard. Plus you'll get a better cut if it all goes very well.
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