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Posted by Morris Dovey on April 15, 2006, 1:51 pm
Rob Dekker (in uMZ%f.10968$L1.8344@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com) said:

| Interesting how different the software world works.
| We often invest thousands of dollars and countless hours on
| requirement
| specifications, integration reports and even training sessions and
| we loose
| all that if the sale does not go through. And often it does not.
| Competitors are doing the same thing, and the customer in the end
| decides.
| Consider yourself lucky that you can charge for pre-sales work.....


Be careful of comparing apples and oranges here. In the software world
you're designing for an already completely defined environment (CPU,
operating system, and perhaps selected third-party adjuncts) - and can
draw on an extensive commercial experience base evolved over a

I can't even begin to tell you how much I'd like to schedule a
conference room for a peer design review of my next product.

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

Posted by DJ on April 16, 2006, 3:16 pm

Rob Dekker wrote:

Dude, I wouldn't trade worlds with you for anything. Your world is a
nasty little cutthroat place in my experience, thanks to the internet
and places like rentacoder.com.

It's a perception thing, I think. For us tradespeople, we do, and no
offense intended, what is percieved as "real work". When I leave a
site, there's mechanical stuff installed, the smell of solder and flux
in the air, pumps whirring, panels glinting in the sun, and when a
coder is done, there's at best, a CD and a manual. Looks like no "real
work" was done, with the common perception that it's something "any 14
year old could do". Now, I know for a fact that is not true. I know how
hard software guys work, my cousin set up a sucessful software business
a few years before I became a contractor.

Thing is, too, society is structured to pay us for the littlest thing.
Call a plumber to jiggle the handle on your toilet, and see if he
leaves your house without a check in hand. Pull your truck into a
garage for an inspection and see what they charge to pop the hood and
poke around a bit ;-).


Posted by Mike on April 17, 2006, 1:32 pm

Follow-up:  It appears that the charge for an evaluation is typical and
not inordinately expensive.  I am looking for a simple domestic hot
water installation right now.  Someone else emailed off-line and
indicated that they had had some interaction with the company I had
contacted and were was dissatisfied.  In a nutshell, the problem was
that this particular company is apparently, by their own admission, too
busy right now.  I suspect that perhaps it's a sellers market and
quality has at times taken a hit?  I feel uncomfortable with my
knowledge about deciding who is a good installer and who is going to
take advantage of me.  So, new question: how do I find a reputable
installer who is going to take care of my needs, do a good job, and not
take advantage of my lack of expertise?



Posted by DJ on April 18, 2006, 6:56 pm
Mike wrote:

Ask for industry certification, association certification, and
references. A good reputable installer will be happy to give them,
because the first two took time and money to get, and the third is

But you're right. We're right busy folk right now, and we're entering
into "take a number" territory...


Posted by Mike on April 19, 2006, 6:32 pm
 Thanks much for the suggestion.  That is probably applicable to almost
any work, but I'll be sure to ask.  I appreciate the help.


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