A potential client contacted me about an extremely technically demanding software project. Seems they were earning tens of millions of dollars a year from it, but due to them hiring bad software developers, they couldn’t get it to scale. Now they wanted someone to keep developing it while they simultaneously rewrote it in a different programming language it was easier to find software developers for.
No problem. I specialize in this. After a short period of time discussing what their problems were, they were very excited because I quickly figured out the primary bottlenecks, how to fix them, and explained that it would take me a few months of work to stabilize things, given the size of their codebase.
They said “yes”, but promptly offered me part time at a junior developer’s hourly rate. I’m one of the top experts in my field. I politely said no.
They came back a year later. Seems the $100/day developer they hired from a lesser-developed nation wasn’t very good and stopped responding to their email.
They again offered me part-time at a junior developer’s hourly rate to maintain software they were making tens of millions of dollars from.
Last I checked, they pivoted their entire business in a different direction because their competition finally caught up with them.