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  1. #26
    Steve Benjamins tnrstudios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pergesu
    I'm very interested to know what might be unethical about submitting a competing bid.
    I am not saying there is anything unethical about submitting a competing bid, instead I was commenting on Srirangan's post and was basically saying that I think its important not to define ethics by how the economy dictates them to us. Instead ethics should rise from how you believe you should be doing business.

    In other words I wouldnt say something is ethical just because it coincides with the spirit of free competition, it is ethical upon other grounds.

  2. #27
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    I don't know how we ended up with two threads about this but I have merged them into one thread.

  3. #28
    Commander Awesome DevonWright's Avatar
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    Contact the company and ask them to shop around to ensure that they're getting their money's worth. And remind them that "you get what you pay for".

    Ensure that they also check out web design companie's previous clients and portfolio.

    Hopefully they'll get sent to a great local company...and then you can contact the company and say "I sent them to you" and you can start a good relationship with that company. That'd be a great "in" with them.
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  4. #29
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pergesu
    I'm very interested to know what might be unethical about submitting a competing bid.
    Ethics become involved usually when it involves a friend/family member and how you found out about the project.

    For example, if a friend of mine that runs a design business calls me and informs me how excited he is about this new proposal he just sent to XYZ Company. It's a big project involving X, Y and Z and will bring in $XX,XXX if he lands it. Would it be ethical for me to contact XYZ Company and send it in a competing bid?

    Personally I think that is unethical to do so. Because he informed me about this project as a friend telling another friend about it, he isn't providing me with a lead that I should act upon.

    Now if I found out that XYZ Company was looking for bids myself or from someone else but, before submitting the proposal, found out my friend was also submitting one, then I wouldn't feel that it is as much of an ethical issue. You researched and found the Client yourself, just because someone you know is submitting one doesn't mean that you cannot, that is the nature of competing businesses. It's the times when you only know about the client's project because your friend told you ... those are the tricky ethical situations.

    I'd rather not swoop in under my friend's nose to submit a bid and win a project that wasn't mine to start with. Some people would be fine with it ... but that's why they call it ethics.
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  5. #30
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    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.
    I'm glad you agree with my previous post. In my opinion, you have three options.

    1) Go for it yourself. Lose a friend, gain a few bucks.

    2) Let him go for it, and watch him crash and burn whilst you use his burning eCorpse for heat because you can't pay the heating bills.

    3) Put a bid in, and hire him for this job to work alongside you. You will assume control of the project, but he'll be working alongside you and doing your bidding. Plan the project out together and get it done.

    I think 3 is the best bet, but it could have some major Pro's and Con's.

    Pro:
    - You earn moolah for the work you do
    - Your friend earns moolah for work you both do
    - Your friend gains experience
    - Your friend may enlist your help again for another project, meaning more opportunities
    - You may take the project up yourself after if he can't cut it, meaning you have a new client to work for without needing to do the work of finding them.

    Con:
    - The project may crash and burn because he can't hack it
    - You may fall out anyway
    - Split money
    - Working with friends can be annoying at times

    There are more than likely loads more, but I'm tired and it's all I can come up with at the moment.

  6. #31
    SitePoint Guru redhillccwebmas's Avatar
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    Ultimate, This is a great idea in theory, however I don't mean to sound big-headed but I am at a greater level of experience than he is - and he is also very difficult to work with as I know from previous experience.

    Great opinions though

  7. #32
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redhillccwebmas
    Ultimate, This is a great idea in theory, however I don't mean to sound big-headed but I am at a greater level of experience than he is - and he is also very difficult to work with as I know from previous experience.

    Great opinions though
    I've worked with many people who I've found incompetent, lazy, hard to work with, and outright bossy. Thankfully, you have the choice to do it on your own, even though there is an ethics issue.

    Personally, I don't see a problem with having him tag along and help you with it. It will build his experience, and most of all, yours when it comes to working with other people. I can honestly say that, even though I hated working with some people, it's made me a lot better with the choices I make.

    However, if he is as bad as you think he is, then I just wouldn't bid for it. In making this thread you've shown that it's a worry in your head. To answer the question outright I'd say that ethically there is no problem whatsoever with it. Competition makes the world go round. As far as the friends thing goes, you may have a small problem.

    One more question though. If you bid on your own for this project, how would he ever know you did unless you told him?

  8. #33
    SitePoint Wizard davidjmedlock's Avatar
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    Is it in the best interest of the company that you're bidding for to use your college buddy for their work? Think about it: If he can't deliver as they need him to, and with only a few months experience he won't be able to at all, then they will have wasted precious time and money in addition to experiencing a tremendous amount of frustration with the entire project. They'll end up putting it out for bids again.

    So, why not save them the trouble? If you want to keep things cool with your buddy, get a contract (IN WRITING!) with him for him to help with the work. You can mentor him and he may make a valuable employee eventually...

  9. #34
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    What about buying websites, revamping them and then re-selling the websites?

  10. #35
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidjmedlock
    Is it in the best interest of the company that you're bidding for to use your college buddy for their work? Think about it: If he can't deliver as they need him to, and with only a few months experience he won't be able to at all, then they will have wasted precious time and money in addition to experiencing a tremendous amount of frustration with the entire project. They'll end up putting it out for bids again.

    So, why not save them the trouble? If you want to keep things cool with your buddy, get a contract (IN WRITING!) with him for him to help with the work. You can mentor him and he may make a valuable employee eventually...
    Well, by using that logic, the only option left is to do it all alone. Either he fails, fails with you, or you succeed.

    A contract is best though. I can't really say much on the subject because I don't know what this guy is like, skills wise. Just because he's been at it a few times doesn't mean he isn't good. I've known some people to pick up XHTML from the bat and create great websites within a few months.

  11. #36
    SitePoint Guru redhillccwebmas's Avatar
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    I know for a fact that he only uses Frontpage and doesn't know any of the underlying code behind a site - this would serve as a disadvantage with that the project is

  12. #37
    SitePoint Enthusiast Net-Margin's Avatar
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    If you want the job then there is nothing stopping you going from it, sure your friend is trying to get the job but competition is good and will make you work better. All you need to do is contact the company with a business plan and show them a portfolio of your work and give them reasons why they should pick you. I wouldn't mention the other party involved as that would be rather harsh, just ask questions if it comes up.

    As you say you are better in many ways and your friend uses Frontpage to code and doesn't know about eCommer Solutions then you will get the job if you prove to have better knowledge in the area in which they want to develop a site and eCommerce.

    I don't think you need to worry about your friend as you say you don't really know or like him and you probably could do with the money (Since we all want money) then why not get some and have something to add to your portfolio at the end of the day.

    I also like the idea of working with him as you could help him see some things and the disadvantages of using a WYSIWYG editor such as Frontpage and could help him convert to hand-written XHTML or use a much better interface such as Adobe Dreamweaver, then you don't have the guilty concience as you both earn some money and get to add something to your portfolio.

    At the end of the day it all depends on you but will you or won't you regret it at the end of the day if you turn this job down, but also will you regret making your friend out of a job. It's up to you.

  13. #38
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    The key question is: how did you find out of the proposal?
    If he told you, than yes, imho that's confidential info and you cannot use it to out-bid (or better-bid) him.

  14. #39
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    Try and have things prepared for the company to see, recent work etc, rough plans.

    Chances are if he has been doing web designing for a few months the only thing he would have is a few lines in paint.

  15. #40
    Non-Member lostseed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Si
    Put it this way - do friends pay the bills? Also, how much do bad web designers annoy you?
    Well said :P
    I would only draw the line depending on how good of friends you are, and since you question it - it doesn't sound like you are that close. But somehow you know all about the communication which may mean you know him well or talk to him a lot?

    What did he go to college for? To learn frontpage??

    Quote Originally Posted by frox
    The key question is: how did you find out of the proposal?
    If he told you, than yes, imho that's confidential info and you cannot use it to out-bid (or better-bid) him.
    Yeah and that too is what I ment :P

  16. #41
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    you could also talk to your friend about it and try to split it up, maybe let him do easier work that will take more time while you implement the solutions...

  17. #42
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy linkin99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frox
    The key question is: how did you find out of the proposal?
    If he told you, than yes, imho that's confidential info and you cannot use it to out-bid (or better-bid) him.
    If he did tell you about it, and you feel that he won't be able to complete the job to this company's satisfaction, you could offer to help him (for a percentage or whatever you may decide upon) on this project for things that he can't do himself. Through it all, you can educate him why you do certain things that he may not have learned yet. Networking in this business is a plus. It usually is in any business. I agree with draco5 in that in the long run, he may appreciate the fact that you provide value to him as you can do things he can't, whereby he may bring you business himself on things he cannot do, yet.

  18. #43
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by redhillccwebmas
    I know for a fact that he only uses Frontpage and doesn't know any of the underlying code behind a site - this would serve as a disadvantage with that the project is
    Fine. If he doesn't know jack about code then you're in a good position to offer your superior services and let him deal with the sales end of things.

    You've got more experience and probably a portfolio to back yourself up so why not approach him and offer your services. Give him your terms and timeline. If he doesn't go for it, there are plenty of other fish in the sea to go after.

    I wouldn't fixate on that one just because you could have approached it. You didn't, he did. Leave it at that and move on. Lots of work to be had.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  19. #44
    Jeremy Maddock WealthStream's Avatar
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    My advice would be to offer your services just as you would to any other client. Try to sell your own ability, but don't get caught up in a rivalry with the other guy or even go out of your way to mention him.

    Just go for it and let the best man win.
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    My Blog - Business, tech, and politics from a webmaster's perspective

  20. #45
    SitePoint Addict D-Block's Avatar
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    It's simple my man, it's obvisious you don't really mind if this guy looses the job, you have stated this yourself already and it looks like you were just waiting for someone to support your idea, many have supported your idea of offering the clients your services, it is what you wanted and what you needed. Now go ahead and get that local-companies money.

    2006 is all about Survival of the fittest. Heck If I knew what local company was looking for this service, I would have applied and stolen it from both of you.

  21. #46
    SitePoint Guru LinhGB's Avatar
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    And now for something completely different... Your so-called friend, no matter how incompetent at the actual tech work he is, is pretty good when it comes to getting business. He only has a few months of worthless experience (Frontpage? haha) yet he somehow managed to persuade that company and got the business from them (if I understand your posts correctly). That's damn impressive, IMO (unless that company is way too stupid). I think the best solution, as someone suggested earlier, is to offer to cooperate with him on this project. Win-win. Don't make enemy unless you can't avoid it.

    Edit: just read that he's a ******* to work with. Fair game then.
    "I disapprove of what I say,
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  22. #47
    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    Something else everyone seems to have missed, no matter how good your bid is, he's going to undercut you by mega-bucks - all newbs go in too cheap. It depends entirely on the company but if they're not savvy, pound to a penny they'll go with the cheaper quote.

    I would talk to him about it, ask whether he really thinks he can cope with it and let him know that I'm available for subcontracting if he wants it. Note, not "available for help" otherwise you just end up doing piles of work for free. But it sounds to me like you think you can't work with him so all you can really do is watch him crash and burn.

    So, in that case I'd let him get the contract and get started, then send in a purely speculative enquiry to the company, along with examples of work etc. then at least they have someone to come to when it all goes wrong and you haven't specifically bid against him.

  23. #48
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by redhillccwebmas
    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,...
    I would suggest when you hear about a company needing your services, you go and see them immediately. Offer your servces and let them know when you can start and when you can finish. That's the best way to secure jobs. 10 or 15 years from now when you have established yourself as the goto developer in town, you can wait for them to approach you but until then, you have to make some sales as your 'friend' did.

    You're asking about ethics here and reading between the lines I get the sneaking suspicion that your 'friend' was the one who told you that he had approached the company for the contract. I only say that because you haven't indicated where you got the info and haven't answered when UNIT7285 asked about it.

    If this is the case (and it may not be) there is nothing anyone here can say that will turn this into an ethical decision. Simply put, it would be wrong. Also, if the info was supplied by your 'friend', there my be grounds for your 'friend' to put you in hot water for interfering with his business. That's a super long-shot but small claims suits based on this type of situation are not unheard of.

    That is of course if you were told by this 'friend' about the pending job.

    If you weren't told by this 'friend' and you don't have a pre-existing working relationship with him then you should be able to compete. The timing still strikes me a bit odd that you would only really become motivated to put in a bid after finding out somehow that this 'friend' is in the running.

    I'm sure you'll make the right decision.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  24. #49
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    Why not confront your "friend"? Instead of going behind his back and straight to the client with a proposal. The "their crap I'm better" attitude won't get you any where. Confront your friend about his lack of ethics and skills. Empower him to become a better web developer, perhaps work with him... make sure your "friend" knows that if he won't do a good job you'll offer them a better service.
    a new day, a new beginning
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  25. #50
    SitePoint Member Artimesia's Avatar
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    Here is my humble opinion and it isn't meant to offer any judgments on anyone else’s view of this situation……as you don't say how you found out about the job I have offered two differing views.

    This is only fair competition if both parties find out about a project from an open and similar source. Say a job board or a newspaper ad. Then to bid on a project is certainly anyone’s right and something everyone is free to do and should do. I am sure any company posts a project hoping for just this scenario.....to have many designers from which to choose. That makes it a level playing field.

    However, if someone discovers a project because another person tells them about its particulars, trusting that they would understand their enthusiasm over gaining that opportunity, that was probably told to that person in confidence and with trust. I think I would then see it as someone using inside, confidential knowledge to out-bid or oust another. To step on their chance for advancement for my own gain. For me this would be about taking advantage of another's hard earned place in the bidding process and using the other's leg-work to jump into their place the queue.

    I don't think fair play is ever based on the other person skills, friendliness, likeability, or any other factor. I think it is based on a core foundation of what our personal truth is about how we wish to walk through this corporate world.

    I think that if a company contacts my competitor they must already like their work and my judgments on their skills, or lack thereof, are between those two sides and I have no place in the mix.

    I know I would not hire a person/firm who submitted a quote on a project at my work if I knew they had gotten the information purely from another submitter to that project.

    May I respectfully say, that neither of you may get this job....it may go to a designer even better than either of you.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    Cheers;


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