Carsonified Puts Web App on eBay and Plays Hard Ball with Developers

Carsonified Puts Web App on eBay and Plays Hard Ball with Developers

carsonifiedCarsonified, creators of the chain of Web Expo’s “The Future of…” have placed Amigo the Newsletter Ad service – one of its oldest yet currently crumbling services – for sale on Ebay.

The company, lead by Ryan Carson, recently sold Dropsend, probably it’s most popular application, and also laid off three of it’s staff in a battle to maintain costs.

This time round it’s Amigo, a well designed app with a sensible business model but a lack of time/attention spent on it. The app has, according to Carson, “failed pretty badly”.

The idea behind Amigo was to allow advertisers to place ads on various newsletters and Carsonified would then share the revenue earned with the newsletter publishers. As I said, sensible and potentially a nice little earner. Carson elaborated on the failure in a blog post, “We were naive and we thought we could run it in our free time. You can build a web app in your free time, but you sure as hell can’t market it, grow it, maintain it and promote it.”

All is not lost however and Carsonified are putting there efforts into a brand new app called Truvay. Few details regarding the goals of the web app have been released, however oddly enough the development schedule and financials have been.

Revealed on the Carsonified blog, Truvay is to be developed primarily by ex-Carsonified employee Elliott Kember. Kember will build their new app for free, then receive 10% of monthly revenues and if launched on time (3pm April 20th) – this percentage will increase to 15%.

carson_ryan_07When the site hits $25,000 monthly revenue (excluding VAT), Elliott’s take will increase to 25%. If the app is sold, Elliott will receive 10% of the cash price, after lawyer and accountancy costs.

Now, although I have a great deal of respect for Ryan and the Carsonified team and I genuinely appreciated reading the financials and procedure behind the development of the app – something doesn’t sit right. Firstly, revealing financials isn’t something which I personally feel the world is entitled to read about, however, as they’ve done so, we are entitled to a little further scrutiny.

Am I the only one that feels Elliott is being hard done by? A maximum of 25% (!?) for the amount of time Elliot is likely to invest in the project and let’s face it, designing aside, he appears to be running the entire project. Even at 25%, he will have to ensure the application is earning $25,000 per MONTH before he enjoys that percentage. Yes of course it’s possible to earn $25,000/month but unless this idea is really special, and I mean REALLY special, $25,000/month is not going to arrive fast.

Above all however, if the app is sold, Elliott will receive a measly 10% of the (cash) sale price – after sales costs. What would happen if Carsonified decided to fire Elliot from the project a month after the apps launch? Would Elliot only be entitled to that first month’s profit? And in all honesty, what is Carsonified really contributing to account for a minimum of 75% of the apps earning and virtually 90% of the sale price?

…Elliot, have a word.

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