At MarsBased, we want to make your life easier and reduce the friction of long & tedious negotiations, producing long spec documents no one will read, and endless contracts with unintelligible clauses. We like it simple.

That's why we only work under time & materials contracts. That is, we bill by the hour. Keep reading to find out more.

Forecast

Once you've contacted us, we will meet for coffee if you're in town, or else through videocall, to get to know each other.

We will explain how we work, using agile methodologies, our tech stack, the kind of projects we work on, and why time & materials is better for the both of us.

Adarsh
Adarsh PanditManaging Partner at Cylinder Digital

Every time I’ve talked to MarsBased about a new project, we have productive, honest discussions and they’ve been able to start working on it almost immediately, hitting the ground running, providing results from day one. Most of all, I appreciate how professionalism and great communication is an integral part of their work culture.

In a nutshell, time & materials is better because:

  • We will not waste time defining a project that will change from day one.
  • Likewise, we will be able to be more flexible with changes from your side.
  • We will not be constrained by a fixed time nor budget if other unforeseen restrictions arise.
  • All time we would spend on legalese & discussion, we spend it producing code instead.
  • We offer more favourable rates, the longer the project is.

There's a really good article covering this in deeper detail. Read it if you're interested in Why Fixed Bids Are Bad For Clients, Too by thoughtbot.

As a development agency, we participate in all kinds of projects, but we typically engage in a project length of a minimum of two months, in projects based on a Ruby on Rails & Angular tech stack.

We use a standard services contract which you can find here, and here's our NDA template. If you should not like them, we will use yours. Once we agree on everything, we sign all our documents using HelloSign.

We oftentimes are asked if we take equity in the projects. The short answer is no, we don't take equity. We have a flat rate for all our development profiles in the company and we offer discounts based on project length and volume of hours.

Having many types of clients from many different countries allows us to be flexible on payments, but by default we charge 50% of the monthly fee upfront, and 50% at the end of the month.

Depending on how big & complex is the project, and how many people are involved in it, we will agree on a weekly dedication. The minimum dedication we work with is 20 hours per week of a developer, because we believe that less than that is highly inefficient. No developer can work productively in more than two projects simultaneously.

Thus, if we agree on a weekly dedication of 80h (two full-time developers), we will invoice for 160 hours at the beginning of the first month (two weeks of work), and 320 in each successive invoice (the second half of the first month, 160 hours, and the first half of the following one).

Two final considerations: the intellectual property and code of the project are yours from the very beginning, and once we're halfway through the project, we set up a call to review our work so far and to give each other feedback.