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08-09-2012, 03:33 AM #1
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- Aug 2012
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startup/patner thoughts, opinions, experiences?.....any veterans wanna weigh in?
I have tons of ideas (don't we all?) and not enough time, skills or resources to properly process any of the big or good ones all by myself. So I thought I would see how people are connecting with others that compliment those missing elements. I read a lot of posts where people are looking to barter work with promises of profit sharing, or ownership in the proposed websites or companies. Thing is you see very few responses to these posts.
So I am wondering a few things and hoping to get a good dialog going. My thoughts are that most of the really talented web developers already have decent paying jobs or means to support themselves. So there is little interest in investing time and energy into something that is not guaranteed. So here are a few questions to get people talking. Feel free to expand upon these questions if people with similar interests or people with related experiences want to share.
Have you ever partnered with someone to try and start a brand new web business? If so, success or disaster? And why?
You are a talented developer versed in many technologies.....what would it take to make it worth your while to put in an extra 10-20 hours a week without a guarantee of compensation to see if you can launch the next big idea? % of profit sharing? % of ownership? Something else?
What type of web business would you want to hear more details about a possible partnership? What's hot, and why?
What kind of person with an idea would you partner with? What traits, resources or whatever would make you feel comfortable you could work as a team?
08-09-2012, 06:04 PM #2
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- Dec 2005
- Utah, USA, Northwestern hemisphere, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Alpha Quadrant
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For some insight into the point of view of a web developer being "hit up" for partnerships etc, you should give this article a read. The author is a comic strip artist and writer, but there are enough parallels between the two industries to relates his story to software development as well.
http://www.povonline.com/cols/COL209.htm (part 2 is the good stuff)
If after reading this your paradigm hasn't been sufficiently shifted, here's the bottom line:
1. It is not reasonable to expect a web developer to assume most or all the risk of a start-up.
2. Web developers with free time are probably working on their own great ideas, or working as a freelancer for money.
3. An actual well-planned good idea can be funded by angel investors, who will then pay for the web developer to make the idea become reality.
4. Most unfinanced entrepeneurs who post requests for free coding haven't worked their idea through the pragmatic grinder-- the idea is completely undeveloped, undocumented, untested, and unproven. There is usually zero research done to see if there is any market for the idea, and usually less than zero effort put into planning the marketing of the idea. They just think the idea is so awesome that if they can only get a web developer to spend 3,000 hours to build it, people will magically buy into the product and everyone will get rich beyond their wildest dreams.
5. And finally, money talks, BS walks
Last edited by Fumigator; 08-09-2012 at 06:17 PM.
08-09-2012, 07:44 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Winona, MN - The land of 10,000 lakes
- Thanked 45 Times in 42 Posts
I'd echo most of Fumigator's response and add a few of my own.
First and foremost, if you're going to go into a partnership, it needs to be 50-50. Neither party can have complete control. 51-49 gives one person complete control. This is usually where I stop talking to someone who wants to work together. If you can't go 50-50 or put me in charge, then you don't trust me enough for me to trust you.
Second, finances. I need to see your business bank account, I need to be listed as an owner on that account. I want to see every dollar earned and spent and not have to take your word for it. True partners won't have a problem with this. I'm not asking for your personal bank account info. I'm simply stating that you need to have this entity 100% separate from everything else, and I need to see where the money is going (I've been burned a few times by people who claimed no money was coming in, only to find out later, they were earning about $3500 / month, and didn't want to share.)
Finally, everyone brings sweat equity to the table. You may not be a programmer, but if that's the case, I expect you to be a marketing expert, or designer, or something. The best partnerships succeed when everyone have the same amount of sweat equity into the project, because all parties stand to loose their time if it doesn't succeed. Note on this topic - the idea has $0 equity.
Every partnership I've worked on that went bad had one or more of the three issues above. To make a partnership work, you both have to risk the same, give the same, and receive the same from the project.