SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 91
  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru redhillccwebmas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    989
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Is it an ethically correct thing to do or not?...

    Hi there,

    I know a guy who I used to go to college with (who I am not particularly friends with), who runs a very small 'website design' company - he is not at all experienced and has only been designing websites for a couple of months. He has contacted a local company about designing a new website for them ( he asked them - they didn't ask him) - I too knew through the grapevine that they were wanting to have a new site built, but thought nothing about contacting them at the time, but I am now in a position to offer them my services.

    My 'friend' has contacted this company in regards to redesignign their site and deliver them an ecommerce solution too - I know for a fact that my 'friend' still uses Frontpage and has no knowledge of where to start with eCommerce solutions/baskets etc. I think the communication between him and the company is only talk at the mo with no firm deal.

    Now the dilemma is that I feel I can deliver a much better solution to this company's problem and deliver a much more proffesional service; been designing sites for 3 years now. Would it be fair game if I contacted this company offering them my services too (possibly already created a site template or similar)?

    What do people think of this idea? Is it a good or bad idea to do? TBO I don't really mind if it ruins the relationship between me and the guy from my old college.

  2. #2
    Visit docquesting.com docquesting's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Georgia USA
    Posts
    1,264
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey your doing them a fav after all you dont want anyone getting ripped off by crap site design coding ect. I think this would be better in Gen Dev as well.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict rosem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    302
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think it's fair to do as long as you win over the client by showing them what YOU CAN DO, and not saying what the other guy CAN'T DO. Acutally, I wouldn't even mention the other guy.

    Next time though, if you know a company is in the need of a website, I would get on the ball a little earlier to avoid this problem

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sounds like you have some kind of relationship and your not quite sure whether to classify him as a friend or not. If you had plans to contact the company I can't see anything wrong with it but if there is a friendship and your main reason for contacting the company is because you heard he did then maybe you could let him know that you had already been working on ideas for that client. If he's a good marketer he may have other work thats over his head and you can source for him. Who knows?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard cmuench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    At my computer
    Posts
    2,251
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well I think it would be okay as long as he didn't tell you that he just put a bid in. If you feel that you could do a good job then go and submit a proposal to the company. You don't have anything to loose.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru redhillccwebmas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    989
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some really good advice here guys - thanks

  7. #7
    Also available in Large Si's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Walsall, UK
    Posts
    1,911
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Put it this way - do friends pay the bills? Also, how much do bad web designers annoy you?

    If you're not particularly great friends with this guy and find it insulting that he is offering "professional" services to a company when you know you could be doing a much better job, just put together a short proposal, reinforcing it with some example pieces of work you've done and see what they say. If they mention that they've already been approached by another "local business", ask the company some questions about your "friends" proposal that will make him look unprofessional and a bad business decision for the company.

    It's dirty play but it depends how much you want the job.
    Si
    Are you a Photoshop Jedi Master? Prove it!

    Is funky house your bag? You'll love this!

    Voice
    , eyes, ears, body and hands.


  8. #8
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    One of the things that keeps business on its toes is competition. I don't see anything wrong with contacting this company as long as you follow rosem's advice about showing your expertise without dissing your competitor.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist Unit7285's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    514
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by redhillccwebmas
    Would it be fair game if I contacted this company offering them my services too
    How did you find out he had approached them with a proposal? I ask this because you seem to be aware of the details ('he asked them'; 'ecommerce solution too', etc). If you found out because he told you all about it himself then it would seem fairly spiteful and underhand to take advantage of this. The reputation as a sly and untrustworthy opportunist that you'd acquire if this was the case doesn't sound like a good idea.

    I get the feeling you know it's not really the right thing to do - and certainly not the decent thing - or you wouldn't have asked! It might not actually be 'wrong' but be careful - what goes around comes around. It really does. Karma, etc...

    Why get involved in an iffy situation? There are plenty of other fish in the sea that won't leave a nasty taste.

    Paul

  10. #10
    SitePoint Guru rashidr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    643
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It is better to search for another company. I am sure there are lot of work you will get

  11. #11
    Steve Benjamins tnrstudios's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    367
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I say go for it; its the spirit of free competition and in the end it can only teach your friend a valuable lesson. I would say the way in which you go about it could create some ethical issues though; so I would go about being very open with your customer and perhaps your friend to.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Southwest Florida
    Posts
    393
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I see no problems with it whatsoever. As tnrstudios said, it's the spirit of free competition. Your friend (acquaintance?) is in competition with the whole world -- he might as well get used to it. He doesn't get "dibs" on a potential client simply by virtue of being first to contact them.

    Agree that openness about it is probably your best bet. Don't try to hide anything from your friend or from the company.

  13. #13
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Posts
    2,160
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here's an idea. Why not tell your friend what you're telling us, and offer to work on it together?

  14. #14
    Beer drinker Srirangan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Beerland!
    Posts
    776
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's business. Do it. Make them your best proposal. Let them make their choice.
    Online Startups Insight for new entrepreneurs

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot Kaystarmaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    183
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ULTiMATE
    Here's an idea. Why not tell your friend what you're telling us, and offer to work on it together?
    I think that would be the best ethical decision. just offer to work together. offer your expertise together with his enthousiasm, he'll learn something, you get to outsource some, so less work, more money (i doubt his tarifs are higher than yours) and there are no harsh feelings.
    Kilian Valkhof | KilianValkhof.com - Soon... | I love my job!

  16. #16
    SitePoint Guru rashidr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    643
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaystarmaker
    I think that would be the best ethical decision. just offer to work together. offer your expertise together with his enthousiasm, he'll learn something, you get to outsource some, so less work, more money (i doubt his tarifs are higher than yours) and there are no harsh feelings.

  17. #17
    Beer drinker Srirangan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Beerland!
    Posts
    776
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ethics? Are you ethically obliged not to compete? Isn't this a capitalistic world? You just happen to be offering something better for the client that is legal. You aren't breaking any No-Compete agreement.. :S
    Online Startups Insight for new entrepreneurs

  18. #18
    Steve Benjamins tnrstudios's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    367
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Srirangan
    Ethics? Are you ethically obliged not to compete? Isn't this a capitalistic world? You just happen to be offering something better for the client that is legal. You aren't breaking any No-Compete agreement.. :S
    I think its important to realize that although its a capitilistic world, that does not mean you need to allow the spirit of free market dictate your ethics to you. I would hope your ethics transcend your "obligation" to competition.

    I think I would the idea of approaching your friend to do a joint project is a good one. But if that does not work or your friend is stubborn, then I would go after the project with complete transparency.

  19. #19
    Beer drinker Srirangan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Beerland!
    Posts
    776
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm sorry but I don't think I'm ethically bound to nbot compete against those competing against me.

    Is he a friend? The use of quotes made it clear that he wasn't.
    Online Startups Insight for new entrepreneurs

  20. #20
    Beer drinker Srirangan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Beerland!
    Posts
    776
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I live here in India. A country of 1 billion people. If I'm not shrewd and a little bit ruthless in my business, I can't survive.
    Online Startups Insight for new entrepreneurs

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard Dean C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    2,906
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's a dog eat dog world out there. If it looks like a good and fun project, then go for it

  22. #22
    SitePoint Zealot meganerd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    127
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tnrstudios
    I think its important to realize that although its a capitilistic world, that does not mean you need to allow the spirit of free market dictate your ethics to you. I would hope your ethics transcend your "obligation" to competition.

    I think I would the idea of approaching your friend to do a joint project is a good one. But if that does not work or your friend is stubborn, then I would go after the project with complete transparency.
    I full agree with you.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grand Junction, CO
    Posts
    292
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tnrstudios
    I think its important to realize that although its a capitilistic world, that does not mean you need to allow the spirit of free market dictate your ethics to you. I would hope your ethics transcend your "obligation" to competition.
    I'm very interested to know what might be unethical about submitting a competing bid.

  24. #24
    The Mind's I ® silver trophy Dark Tranquility's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    KSA - UAE
    Posts
    9,457
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    If I had to take a decision instead of you, I would let him have a go and try his luck if it won't work out then you are free to offer your services to that company!
    Just my opinion

  25. #25
    SitePoint Addict Adam A Flynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    251
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd say go for it. You go in knowing that you risk loosing a friend, but, you've already stated that you don't care much about it. But, I would say that you have every right to submit a proposal, especially if you know you can provide a better solution.

    Also, if he is going to be unable to provide something adequate to this client (i.e. a FrontPage designer claiming they can set up an e-Commerce system) and this client is going to throw money at something that won't deliver, I would say that, ethically, it's tough to just let them go with him if you know he can't deliver. I wouldn't jump up and down and say "He can't do this! He can't do this!", but, put in a proposal and, if they go with you, you know that you may have saved them from getting a poorly done website.

    Bottom line, I would say do it as long as you recognise and are willing to face the consequences of your friend never speaking to you again.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •