Jacques Mattheij

Technology, Coding and Business

We do get out of bed for less than 10000 dollars per day

I just read some bozo’s claim that programmers don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 / day and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Of course we get out of bed for less than 10,000 dollars per day, and I’m pretty sure that the author would be right there lining up for $5K per day, no questions asked. And probably substantially less than that, just to be able to finance another year of freewheeling travel in a few days of hard work.

And so would you, and almost everybody else that hasn’t ‘made’ it yet. To draw conclusions that are generally applicable from a top-of-the-line catwalk model that has to make all her money before her looks fade and that already has her reputation made is simply silly. Linda Evangelista is a brand unto herself. That’s why she’s worth the big bucks, not because she’s a good looking girl (I know prettier ones!) and not because she’s that great to work with. It’s simply because she moves product. Most of us provide a service, we are not ‘brands’.

A good way to compare the ‘value’ of people that have already ‘made’ it is to look at the prices of speakers for dinner engagements and such and you’ll see that the $10,000 isn’t that far off the mark once you’ve made it. It’s all about brand, it’s nothing to do with ‘winning’, ‘positivism’ or any other buzzword, it’s simply reality.

The modeling world is interesting in that being contracted by a certain agency and pushed in to certain markets is what can turn a girl that never made more than 200 Euros per month picked off the street in the Czech republic in to a $10K+ per gig model overnight. In fashion, there is no formula, there is no rationality. But don’t be too jealous, modeling is crazy hard work, the demands on your person are insane and the number of models that end up suicidal or on drugs is huge. I wouldn’t trade my skills and knowledge for being a model any day.

Sure, having ‘principles’ about what constitutes an amount of money that you’re willing to get out of bed for is great, and I’d encourage everybody to find their ‘number’. But if you’ve never made $10,000 per day (I have, but not recently :)), you probably can’t imagine saying ‘no’ to an amount of money like that and given the fact that even millionaire after-dinner speechers get out of bed and ‘prostitute’ themselves for amounts considerably less than that convinces me that it’s mostly about brand and not so much about the actual amount.

Once you’ve ‘made’ it in the tech scene, when you’re a part of that small group of people that no longer needs to work for a living your fees will skyrocket, until then don’t delude yourself, a couple of grand per day is a lot of money. Money talks, bullshit walks. Try explaining to your wife that you said ‘no’ to $3,000 / day, we’ll see how that goes down.

For the record, my fee is 8,000 Euros / day, and I’ll happily take any job that matches my skills for that amount, as long as it takes. Of course I’m not booking that 365 days in the year, I could only wish for that. I’d encourage everybody that gives this sort of advice to list their fees publicly so that there is some proof they actually live their own advice. And there isn’t any advertising on this blog either.


For those that are wondering if I read the whole thing, yes I did, the major point that stands out for me is that the author by his own words is definitely not in a position to refuse free money, and I suspect that not having advertising on the blog is because it isn’t worth it, not because of some higher ethical standard or fear of cheapening his ‘brand’ in so far as he’s got one.

Faking success isn’t going to make you successful, and if the author really does have traffic enough to make it economically feasible to have ads on his site then I’d encourage him to do so, it won’t make me think less of him. What bugs me most about posts like these is their ‘I’m telling you how to do it’ attitude without an actual track record on the part of the person doing the telling proving that their method works.

Not having ads on your blog does not relate in any way to a top-notch model setting her price, even if you try real hard. Acting like a brand won’t make you one, tricks like that don’t fool anybody. In fact, I think I’ll add some ads to this blog just to make the point that if you can’t afford to leave money on the table you probably shouldn’t.

‘nough said.