Check the fine print—one of the cardinal rules of business…and life.
When working with freelancers and vendors, companies and individuals need to make sure they know what they are getting into. Present ventures that seem like nothing at the time may turn out to be HUGE in the future.
For example, look at the Paul Ceglia lawsuit against Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. The lawsuit claimed Zuckerberg signed a contract in 2003 granting the New York businessman partial ownership of Facebook. At the time the lawsuit was filed, Zuckerburg was the youngest billionaire in the world. There were fears from Facebook throughout the time period that the lawsuit was legitimate. Zuckerburg had signed a contract about another company with Ceglia in 2003. Had Ceglia’s documents been authentic, he would have been granted up to 84 percent ownership of Facebook.
Thankfully for Zuckerburg, Ceglia’s key document of evidence was deemed to be fabricated. However, that does not change the moral of the story: Check, recheck and check again. That contract you signed for a minor project you overlooked might turn out to be your worst nightmare.