Selling Python Software

Alex Martelli aleax at
Tue Nov 4 16:54:30 CET 2003

Erik Max Francis wrote:

> "John J. Lee" wrote:
>> Oh, absolutely, but we're not (weren't, anyway) talking about a
>> consumer app here, but a 1000 line Python program written by a
>> consultant for a company.
> If he wrote the software for the company under the agreement that they'd
> buy it if they liked it, what's the likelihood that this is a concern at
> all?  I would hope that if he had a real concern that this was a likely
> outcome -- that they'd talk to him, wait for him to deliver a product,
> and then refuse to pay him -- that he wouldn't be dealing with them at
> all anyway.

Well, in the real world of consulting (in Southern Europe, at least),
getting your invoices actually *paid* by the companies you've done work
for isn't necessarily trivial (which may explain why I "commute" to
AB Strakt Sweden, and also telework for them... they _do_ pay their 
bills, and on time too!, besides being a great firm in other ways:-).

This has little to do with "selling software", necessarily -- services
are of course more problematic still, but even if you sell durable
goods that might in theory be repossessed for non-payment, the amount
of trouble, cost and impact on cash-flow can be problematic.  Francis
Fukuyama's "Trust: human nature and the reconstitution of social
order" is highly recommended reading on the underlying problems --
but unless one wants to emigrate, even being fully aware of them
doesn't necessarily take one much closer to avoiding them:-).


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