I was approached by a guy recently who wanted me to be involved in his startup. He asked me to meet him, he bought me dinner, talked about funding and market potential, etc, then invited me to see the technology.
I told him my rate and he laughed and said it was more than his lead developer, but we moved along happily. At this stage, I knew he wouldn't be able to afford my rate, but I'm happy to drop a little for an interesting project.
At his invitation I came round the next week. He had some pretty interesting tech, and I went away thinking it might potentially be a thing. We agreed to discuss rates by email.
He emailed the next day offering a package that was very significantly below what I could accept. I emailed back with a counter offer. He emailed me back, angrily accusing me of wasting his time.
I'm curious if I handled this poorly. Should we have been more upfront about rates from the start? Or should I have otherwise done something different?