I'm developing a web-application for an active shooter defense training company. They go to organizations all around the country and teach them how to be best prepared for a horrible unexpected event. They want to take their training program online to reach more people.

I have a friend that is helping me develop this application. We've agreed to a share of income deal. Any income I make, he'll receive 10% of up to 100k per year. I'm getting a contract written up for this, but I'm not sure how to objectively evaluate his work effort.

I'm concerned that if there wasn't some objective way to measure his work, he could be paid for little to no work. This application also wouldn't be generating income until around Q4 2019 or Q1 2020. I wouldn't want there to be weeks at a time that he didn't contribute anything to the project and still have the deal legally.

How could I objectively measure his work-done to ensure he has contributed for the share of income contract?

  • 2
    He has already done free work for you for some time, will you take that into consideration? Also, in any project there are slow weeks and fast weeks, in which the load of work is quite different. That is also something you should consider. Also, if you make a plan to measure this person's work-done, you should do for everybody else involved to be fair (even you?)
    – DarkCygnus
    Feb 5, 2019 at 17:59
  • can you estimate how much time he spent on the project? Feb 5, 2019 at 18:01
  • 1
    @Corey wasn't me, but pass-by downvoters are not rare on TWP (on the whole SE network I would say), so don't worry much about it as long as you don't get rude, abusive or non-constructive comments
    – DarkCygnus
    Feb 5, 2019 at 18:12
  • 1
    @DarkCygnus I appreciate the advice. Always irritating, but so true.
    – Corey P
    Feb 5, 2019 at 18:15
  • 1
    One very wise manager of mine said "Any programmer can double their measurement according to any metrics, without any change in productivity".
    – gnasher729
    Feb 5, 2019 at 22:24

2 Answers 2


Any income I make, he'll receive 10% of up to 100k per year.

Then make sure he works 10% the time you work.

You would ask, what if he is not as productive as I am, then you should make a different kind of contract, by now you should know his capabilities, then establish and propose an hour rate and how many hours he can work on your project. If you fix a sum no matter how much or how he works you have no way to prove he deserves it or not

  • 5
    I'd expect less than 10% of the time you work. The poster's friend's upside is capped at 10k a year. The poster's upside is not. The poster should pay a premium for that-- working 20x as many hours as the friend, for example. Or remove the 100k cap and ask the friend to work 10% of the time the poster works. Feb 5, 2019 at 18:25
  • @JustinCave What do you mean by "poster"?
    – Corey P
    Feb 5, 2019 at 18:38
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    @Corey - You are the poster in this instance (the person that posted the question). Feb 5, 2019 at 19:04

If you don't trust him enough to pay him, then don't have him work for you.

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    This isn't a trust issue. It's how to legally approach it. We're good friends, but for both of us I want proper protection.
    – Corey P
    Feb 5, 2019 at 20:20
  • 3
    @Corey I don't see where you are looking for any protections for him Feb 5, 2019 at 22:04

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