Question for web developers

  • Thread starter helofrind
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  • #1
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So I have no background in web development. I can build a blog or an online store via wordpress. but lets say I want to build a "sort of" social network. I would not even no where to start. Would it be a dumb question to ask a pro for partnership if I handle the marketing and funding? If I was to ask you ask you as a developer what would your response be?

This might be a really dumb question I just had an idea for a website that could possibly bring in quite a bit of revenue.
 

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  • #2
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If I was to ask you ask you as a developer what would your response be?
My response would be "cash up front". (Possibly also "If I were to ask you...")
 
  • #3
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My response would be "cash up front". (Possibly also "If I were to ask you...")
Even if I'm asking for a partnership which means you would be getting 50% of whatever revenue it brings in? and I handle all the funding and marketing? This would not be a for hire position, so no one would be getting paid during the development stage, nor should they quit their day job. I understand someones skilled labor and time deserves respectable amount of compensation, but I would think the incentive should come from the business revnue itself as long as both partners or team is doing there duty.
 
  • #4
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I've been involved in a venture like this and I can tell you it did not end well. It was during the time of the advent of PC-DOS applications. This guy had an idea of a calculator for estimating costs for house repairs. It would factor in the various books and tables of the times used by insurance appraisers. He had a highschool student writing a version in BASIC but wanted a more professional package. Through a mutual friend who was also a programmer, I was asked to evaluate what the highschool student had done and provide a UI design for an improved more comprehensive product. The agreement was to split things three ways 30%, 30%, 30% for each of us with an extra 10% going to whoever brought in the revenue.

We agreed to meet and I showed him what I'd come up with only to discover that he still had the highschool student developing it under his direction. When we pressed with why he said he didn't like the split of revenue as it was his idea and that whatever I brought to the table was just better programming. I immediately stopped work on it as I realized he wasn't serious and was actually borrowing what I wrote to further his design and that he didn't understand the true nature of product development. In the end, I think the program got superceded by bigger companies doing the same thing.

Often when we come up with a great idea someone has thought of it before and is probably ahead of you in development unless of course you are on or aware of the bleeding edge of whats going on.

Look at the Facebook fiasco where Zuckerberg was in partnership with others but then culled them out when he felt they were contributing less than he was. He still took their ideas but after that he didn't need them. Sometimes someones idea may not be the one that wins but the one that spawns the one that wins. In Zuckerberg's case, the other partners ideas contributed to the pool from which the winning ideas came from.
 
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That is a good point, maybe contracts and some legal terms should be placed. That is crappy people can be like that.
 
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  • #6
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Point 1: 93% of startups fail. And they all thought they had a product that would be a hit. This isn't even a startup yet. The odds of your programmer seeing any cash would be between 7% and zero.

Point 2: If your 50% is to secure funding, why can't you use this funding to pay your programmer? If you can't secure funding, why do you get to keep 50%?
 
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That is a good point, maybe contracts and some legal terms should be placed. That is crappy people can be like that.
You're missing the point of my story though. It would never have worked because the principal guy thought of it as his idea and that anything added to it was secondary. He didn't realize that while you can draw the picture of a house, it takes an architect, a carpenter, and electrician and all the people who design the custom parts to come together to make it happen.
 
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  • #8
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You're missing the point of my story though. It would never have worked because the principal guy thought of it as his idea and that anything added to it was secondary. He didn't realize that while you can draw the picture of a house, it takes an architect, a carpenter, and electrician and all the people who design the custom parts to come together to make it happen.
I see what your saying, and I wouldnt have the mindset to discredit someones skill or undervalue the need of the programmer. My field is in electronics, if someone came to me and said they had an idea for an electronic device and they needed me to build the circuit with the incentive compensation where they offered funding and share in the business, then I would be so irate if he devalued my purpose. Even though without my skills that guy with an idea is just an idea, I wouldn't mind if I had the opportunity to design and develope the device with equal shares in the business as long as he is paying for it all. If he decided to opt out of the split of revnue agreement like your your guy did. I would stop and pack up all my work and hit the road to.

Point 1: 93% of startups fail. And they all thought they had a product that would be a hit. This isn't even a startup yet. The odds of your programmer seeing any cash would be between 7% and zero.

Point 2: If your 50% is to secure funding, why can't you use this funding to pay your programmer? If you can't secure funding, why do you get to keep 50%?
I get what your saying here. Why should he waist his time and effort to develop something at such a high risk with no compensation recieved? Is that what your saying?
other than paying a programmer, doesn't it cost money to develop the site? I wouldn't be making money either because during the developing stage I would be investing. after the site goes live, I would be busy marketing the site and doing my share of the work. Wouldnt the programmer understand the work he is puting in is being paid for, and that if revenue starts rolling in he gets part of that share. If the whole operation fails the only thing he would be out of is waisted time and effort, and from the beginning it would be his decision to decide if his invested time would be worth it.

If I was paying the programmer and any other investments, there would be no way I would be giving up 50%. Now if a programmer is all I had to pay for I would agree with you.
 
  • #9
phinds
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Now if a programmer is all I had to pay for I would agree with you.
Then go to FreeLancer.com and hire someone to do it. You'll be amazed at how cheaply you can get decent work done (3rd world programmers). Biggest problem is to spec out exactly what it is you want them to do and monitor progress. I'd suggest progress payments instead of lump sum at the end. Neat thing is if they don't meet your specs you don't have to pay.
 
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  • #10
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I'm not sure what you intend to do with your site, but chances are that the base has already been built. Look for "social network script" on your favorite search engine. Some are free, some can be bought with limited support for a few hundred dollars and some are available for a monthly fee but with better support. Some will even offer customization services for your needs. You can also find private web developers that are specialized with the customization and maintenance of one of these scripts.
 
  • #11
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Then go to FreeLancer.com and hire someone to do it. You'll be amazed at how cheaply you can get decent work done (3rd world programmers). Biggest problem is to spec out exactly what it is you want them to do and monitor progress. I'd suggest progress payments instead of lump sum at the end. Neat thing is if they don't meet your specs you don't have to pay.
Thanks, Ill check it out. Wouldn't I have the issue of someone running off with the idea though?
 
  • #12
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I'm not sure what you intend to do with your site, but chances are that the base has already been built. Look for "social network script" on your favorite search engine. Some are free, some can be bought with limited support for a few hundred dollars and some are available for a monthly fee but with better support. Some will even offer customization services for your needs. You can also find private web developers that are specialized with the customization and maintenance of one of these scripts.
Great advice man, thanks.
 
  • #13
phinds
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Thanks, Ill check it out. Wouldn't I have the issue of someone running off with the idea though?
Social network type apps are a dime a dozen. I seriously doubt that a programmer would have any interest in taking your particular idea and running with it.
 
  • #14
I was a software developer for 30 years. Never a month went by without somebody wanting me to write software for an interest in the "deal". My answered was "you need me but I don't need you. If I thought it would work I would just do it myself"
 

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