Subject: Re: Pricing "open source" consulting
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 06 Mar 2004 09:03:23 -0500

davidw@dedasys.com (David N. Welton) writes:

> By "open source" consulting, I mean assisting a client who needs to
> interact better with the open source community after a rocky start.
> 
> Any ideas on a fair pricing model for that kind of work?

Fair for whom?

It sounds like any other sort of management consulting.  The price
more or less depends upon the reputation of the consultant, the
pocketbook of the client, and how important the project is to the
client.

It would probably be easiest to pitch as an hourly fee.  What the fee
should be depends upon the business environment where you are doing
the work.  Since you're in Italy and I'm not, I have no idea what's
appropriate.  In the U.S. I think a consultant would get from $100 to
$200 per hour, or for a startup would be paid in equity.

For a specific project it is possible to charge for completion of the
project.  There is no pricing model for that though--you figure out
what it is worth to the client, and charge that, provided it is enough
for you to make a profit.

I'm not sure just what you were after when you said ``fair,'' but
remember: if at the end of the project the client is happy and you are
happy, then the price was fair.  Even if you managed to get paid $1000
per hour of actual work, if the client is happy, then the price was
fair.  Even if you lost money on the project, if you learned a lot and
enjoyed it, and are happy at the end, then the price was fair.

Ian