Apologies in advance for another rant about the state of the iPhone contractor market. I answered one too many e-mails today and I kind of snapped. So I have decided to leverage my soap box and take it out on you, dear reader.
On any given day in every major city in America, roughly 10 versions of the following ad are posted to Craigslist. Taken word-for-word from actual ads. My snide commentary in the (parentheticals).
Wanted: iPhone Developer
Great opportunity for a recent graduate looking for projects to highlight on your resume (we have no money…)
This can potentially lead to a part-time position. (Oooh, potentially!)
Strong skills and experience in the following: Titanium, ObjC, Java, AJAX, jQuery, MySQL, PhoneGap, SOAP, .NET, XML (Believe it or not, these were listed in a single advertisement.)
Must be LOCAL to [city], we are looking for interns that can contribute a minimum of 10 hours per week helping us build our business. (slave labor)
If you’ve seen the story of Facebook movie “Social Networking” it is kind of the same plan.
Send a detailed resume and previous work for our CEO to review.
Compensation: Unpaid. Inquiries will NOT be taken seriously if you think this is a paying gig from the start…But we can offer possible future employment, shared office space (if you have your own startup also!), great advice, great future recommendations and food/coffee! (Not even equity…?)
So here’s what I can’t figure out, after receiving thousands of these e-mails, replying to hundreds, and (quite unintentionally) meeting dozens of these people in person. Why do they do it?
Yes, she literally just Googled “how do you make an app?”, saw that it was hard, and is now reporting this to us.
Even after years of fielding these types of inquiries, I still haven’t got within a mile of a convincing set of explanations about who these people are or what ends up happening to them. Imagine if someone e-mailed you with a strange business proposition 4x a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. After thousands of e-mails, hundreds of phone calls, and dozens of meetings, you still don’t know who they are or why they keep calling you. You grow to understand your spam folder a lot better than your ham folder. It’s a very surreal experience.
In that spirit, I’ve written an ad from my side of the table. I will keep you posted if any qualified candidates respond.
Wanted: iPhone Client
Looking for a rich guy who wants to add an iPhone project to his portfolio.
Compensation (for me): Excessive
Delivery: No actual product delivered, but this may lead to future opportunities! I can also recommend you as a client to other iPhone developers who will be equally enthusiastic about taking your money.
You must have experience in: Sarbanes-Oxley, Cash-Based Accounting, P&L Statements, Collatoralized Debt Obligation, Full-ratchet dilution, clear and convincing evidence (better than all those other so-called evidentiary standards, we want to use this one in our legal proceedings), supernumerary witnesses, third-party beneficiaries, click-through rate, viral marketing, locksmith
Preferred: Passionate about the avocado industry, ability to rip telephone books in half
Must commit at least 10 hours a week, most of which will be doing differential integration by hand over the complex plane. (My best guess at the personal hell of a business guy…) Must be willing to meet on-site in the middle-of-nowhere greater area.
If this goes well, it can potentially lead to a part-time position.
If you have seen the movie “Ocean’s 11” it is kind of the same plan.
SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY. Send your resume and a list of previous non-projects, together with a longwinded letter begging me to pick you, to our Laughing Executive Officer.