Subject: Re: Pricing "open source" consulting
From: (David N. Welton)
Date: 07 Mar 2004 08:52:05 +0100

Ian Lance Taylor <> writes:

> (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?

Well, something that, as you say below, works well for both parties.

> It sounds like any other sort of management consulting.

Which isn't something I've got experience with.  I'm a programmer with
a reasonable amount of experience in the free software world, so
that's where I'm coming from.  I'm quite interested in the
opportunity, though.

> 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.

Sure, I can figure out hourly fees, that's not a problem.  I was just
curious if there were other pricing models that are common for this
kind of work.

> 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.

Certainly riskier for me and harder to put a price tag on.

> 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.

Sure, of course.

Thank you for our time and thoughts,
David N. Welton
Free Software:
   Apache Tcl: