I had quit an IT contracting gig that wasn't working out, and I got an e-mail from a former co-worker saying she had a business opportunity for me with a friend of hers, and she wondered whether I was interested. I met up with her friend, and at first it seemed promising. I've long been interested in educational issues, and she had been working for years on helping to diagnose children's learning problems with arithmetic. She pointed me to a web site she wanted to work on. It contained a couple animations (I don't remember whether they were animated gifs or Flash), but mostly it was a collection of static web pages with form submissions that posed problems to students, collecting their answers in multiple choice forms. She also talked about how she had had "developer problems," where there was a dispute about how much the developer was to be paid for their work, and they denied her access to the source code for the site, and she was up front about having some financial problems in her own work. That made me go, "Hmm" a little bit... She seemed like a perfectly nice lady, who would have been a pleasure to work with, though, so I wasn't ready to turn her down just from hearing this. I had demonstrated my willingness to be flexible in getting paid with my previous gig, and so long as I wasn't getting stiffed, I wasn't overjoyed with it, but I could live with it.
I liked the idea of helping out with this from an educational standpoint, but I said, "I work on applications." I asked, "Do you see this expanding into an application?" The first thing she talked about me doing was working on a set of static web pages, but she vaguely hinted that it would turn into an application eventually. We corresponded some more afterwards, but eventually I lost touch with her. I think she got the clue before I did that we weren't a good match, and I think in retrospect I was better off for not going forward with her project, even though it would have been "closer" than the alternatives to what I would've liked to have been doing at the time.
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