Monday, October 20, 2008


As some regular readers will know, your humble Devil is working on a product in his day-job. Said product is not a particularly original product (it's a content management system, if you must know) but the way in which it operates (and particularly the user interface) is, I think, something rather special.

I have been working with one of our developers on this project, partly because he knows code that I don't and partly because he was so excited when I outlined what I had planned. However, we have not disclosed to anyone else anything but the most sketchy of details (our meetings and development have been, so far, in our private time—although our redevelopment does have management blessing).

We are now getting to the stage where we need to talk about it to other people in a little more detail, in order to run our ideas by them and get their feedback. But this, of course, has problems of its own, especially since we would need to pitch our ideas to friends who know coding in order for them to understand what we are trying to do.

Via Daring Fireball, Rands In Repose may have the answer...
The concept of getting Phil to sign an NDA over a beer while we shoot the shit about my random drive-to-work idea makes no sense. Phil’s a friend.

But I want Phil to know that what I want to chat about is more than our average conversation. I want slightly more than a smidge of ceremony before I spill the beans about my bright idea and I call this ceremony the FriendDA.

The FriendDA is a non-binding, warm blanket agreement that offers absolutely no legal protection. I’d suggest if the idea of legal protection is even crossing your mind that the FriendDA is totally inappropriate for your current needs.

Take a look.

Ideally, the understanding you want to get to with the FriendDA requires only a simple question. The moment you’re about to pitch Phil on the idea you ask, “FriendDA?”

Phil takes a sip of beer and nods.

And you’re off.

The FriendDA is a nice idea and I might well employ it, I think.

All that I need to do now is to work out whether it would be appropriate to prepare a proper NDA for the clients to whom we will be pitching the product in mid-November—provided that we have actually got a working demo by then: it's looking tight! It's time to start bringing the development into the working day...


LH said...

If I were you I would go for a proper belt and braces confidentiality agreements/NDA no matter who I was discussing the project with. I would worry about mates as much as companies. It is amazing how many times I have seen supposed friends shaft each other. If you have spent a lot of time and money on this work make sure it is protected.

The Moai said...

Have you considered filing a patent application? I deal with this sort of issue every day, so email me via the Nameless One, I'm happy to advise.

The Moai

Anonymous said...

Does the world need another CMS? Everyone and his dog seems to have one and yet they are still being written for resale. I can understand a custom CMS for a major project (No. 10 anyone), but a generic one.