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Outsourcing to a web developer

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Anything related to sourcing or importing products.

norml

PARKED
Jun 29, 2011
5
0
Hello Fastlaners,

I’ve come up with an idea, here’s a basic overview of what the site will do without getting too specific.

A social media platform which allows content creators (influencers) to post content and receive payment from their followers through a Monthly subscription or pay per view system in a certain niche.

I contacted a friend of a friend who works as a software engineer in NYC and he said this will be very time consuming and expensive to create. His recommendation was to outsource to Dominican Republic or India.

I’ve heard several stories of people getting burned from outsourcing web development work. My question is has anyone done this with good results? Can you recommend someone overseas? I have some coding experience, not on this level. I’d rather pay someone to make the website in a few months rather then learn the code and take over a year to finish.
Thanks in advance!
 
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Einfamilienhaus

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Before you start thinking how to solve the problem with the developer, you should first think which value the creators and followers have from your platform. Because they are many such platforms already existing.
 

Jon L

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I run a development company with developers in Pakistan. Here's what you're getting yourself into, cost wise:

Development costs of anywhere between $5k and $20k per month, depending on the level of experience needed. For your project, its probably $10k/month

Timeframe of 3 months, give or take.

I could go into the technical details of what is required, but the basics are: Don't host the videos themselves. Use Vimeo, or something like that. Building out a video hosting service is VERY expensive. Building the connections to advertising, user system where people can upload videos, payment system where automatic payments can be made ... that's what you need to build first.

The big deal for you is not the technical side, its the business side. If you outsource this, make sure you find someone that will build a system that fits your business needs, not just technical requirements. If you don't know what I mean here, ask me.

For the business side you'll need:
  • a feature set that is compelling - some sort of secret sauce that is different from places like OnlyFans, Patreon, etc.
  • Advertising and messaging that is spot-on. (You probably need to hire this out)
  • A marketing system that brings people in for less money than what the clients pay you.
  • etc.
This is not a simple project. (Its pretty straightforward technically, but the business side is difficult)
 
Last edited:

lwg8tr0514

Contributor
Sep 2, 2020
10
44
Pittsburgh, PA
Is this a site where surgically enhanced girls show their naughty bits? I did see a space where there is a real need. It's yes sexual in nature. There are only 2 big players in the let's say ethical non-monogamy space...aka swinging. Places where you enroll in a subscription and you can post photos and a profile and message other couples for dating\hookups\nonsex stuff. GF and I did it for a while and the site we used was terrible. It's 2003 technology, not mobile friendly and looked and acted very one off. I checked and they are not much better today. They have get this .....45000 paid subscribers at 9.99 a month. You do the math. It's a serious project but with the right technology and a competent marketing strategy, could really take off.
 
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Ocean Man

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Does this solve a need or provide value? Off the top of my head I think about Patreon and OnlyFans. What will you do that makes it worth it for content makers to make the switch to your platform?
 

Private Witt

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You're gonna loath this project after you start getting this developed and than when go to market your gonna wanna hang yourself as getting influencers and consumers to migrate to unknown platforms is a nightmare.

I'd suggest spending 59.99 a month on a prebuilt social network and just customize it with their team and see what happens on the influencer side.
 

Johnny boy

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This sounds kinda like a bad idea except for its worse than that.

Instead.

Forget this exact business model and go into something similar but easier to make. You need to test your market before dumping all of your limited resources into this.

Making something like this is not a poor mans game. It will just be a waste of time since it's so difficult to deliver any type of proof of concept. I would never try to create this type of thing without hiring expert developers in the united states.

There's 50 other ideas that would provide value to influencers and content creators. Set up a business model that solves a problem in that niche that is attainable for someone just starting out. I call it the "kissing your step-sister" business model. It's not what you want exactly, but it's in the ballpark.

For example, if I had $3,000 to my name, I would not get into the quantum computing industry. Nor would I get into the aerospace industry. You see my point?

If you need to hire Indian programmers for a whole-a$$ SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM, then you are in the wrong game at the moment.
 
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rpeck90

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Nov 26, 2016
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Hello Fastlaners,

I’ve come up with an idea, here’s a basic overview of what the site will do without getting too specific.

A social media platform which allows content creators (influencers) to post content and receive payment from their followers through a Monthly subscription or pay per view system in a certain niche.

I contacted a friend of a friend who works as a software engineer in NYC and he said this will be very time consuming and expensive to create. His recommendation was to outsource to Dominican Republic or India.

I’ve heard several stories of people getting burned from outsourcing web development work. My question is has anyone done this with good results? Can you recommend someone overseas? I have some coding experience, not on this level. I’d rather pay someone to make the website in a few months rather then learn the code and take over a year to finish.
Thanks in advance!

Bad idea on several levels.

Firstly, "social media" platforms are not profitable. Twitter and Facebook make bank because they have economies of scale. To build what you want into a sustainable business, you need to be at the right place and right time. Believe me, I've been involved with projects like it before and they all failed.

Secondly, what you're talking about is like Onlyfans. In other words, you're looking to "clone" Onlyfans but for a different niche. In that case, ask yourself if you could achieve the same level of parity with your users that OF has (IE who's going to be PAYING to keep the servers online). If not, don't do it.

Thirdly, the way to make money is to provide something that people cannot get anywhere else. The more valuable (or at least perceptively valuable) the thing, the higher people will (typically) pay for it. With everyone jumping on the "Internet" / "Online" bandwagon, especially now, is the content your creators are going to put up going to actually be valuable, or just another bunch of worthless noise? If the latter, don't do it.

Fourthly, Indian and Pakistani developers are to be avoided. The best developers (for the price) reside in Ukraine. I used the following company before (I even went to see them) and can vouch for their expertise: Custom Software Development Company | Anadea Inc. If you want to do it properly, you hire someone like that: -

f059fe194568412ecc1037eeb58fe2bd.jpg


I've also dealt with ThoughtBot in Sweden, although I'm not sure of their costs (wasn't paying the bills that time): -

9bc52dbcabe9d688a18059bb034946b1.jpg


Finally, I am absolutely convinced of the idea of the "grind" - which is the number of opportunities you receive is almost directly proportional to the amount of times you (at least attempt) to become successful. If you have money to do something like this, the experience gained from reaching out to software development companies, getting quotes, finding out about the technology, may be worth $5k or whatever it ends up costing you.

My point is that, as a business, it's a bad idea. But in order to gain some level of experience, it should give you the means to grow... which, itself, may end up leading you to a more feasible idea.
 

GatsbyMag

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Jun 20, 2016
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Is this a site where surgically enhanced girls show their naughty bits? I did see a space where there is a real need. It's yes sexual in nature. There are only 2 big players in the let's say ethical non-monogamy space...aka swinging. Places where you enroll in a subscription and you can post photos and a profile and message other couples for dating\hookups\nonsex stuff. GF and I did it for a while and the site we used was terrible. It's 2003 technology, not mobile friendly and looked and acted very one off. I checked and they are not much better today. They have get this .....45000 paid subscribers at 9.99 a month. You do the math. It's a serious project but with the right technology and a competent marketing strategy, could really take off.

What's the name of the website?
 

VicFountain

Silver Contributor
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Jun 22, 2018
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You ain't going to start a profitable social media with third world country developers. There are millions of websites like this already, which are at the bottom of the iceberg. Some people think in terms of MVP, but the truth is, if you ain't solving a problem (providing something unique and valuable) people will hardly move into another platform.

The reason most businesses fail is because instead of creating something unique, they do more of what already exists. Why? Because they think selfishly instead of actually looking objectively at the situation and wondering whether another social media with the same functions is needed. You can always make something better, but better is hard to define. What is better?

Think objectively about the situation. When you are involved in a project, you can't clearly see whether you are solving a problem in the marketplace or not, cause you are emotionally involved in it.

So many times I started something only to figure out nobody wanted what I offered, and yet, I thought it was super valuable. I was always thinking in terms of "I" and I got nothing from it.

Ask what the market desires, and give them the final product.
 
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Last edited:

norml

PARKED
Jun 29, 2011
5
0
You ain't going to start a profitable social media with third world country developers. There are millions of websites like this already, which are at the bottom of the iceberg. Some people think in terms of MVP, but the truth is, if you ain't solving a problem (providing something unique and valuable) people will hardly move into another platform.

The reason most businesses fail is because instead of creating something unique, they do more of what already exists. Why? Because they think selfishly instead of actually looking objectively at the situation and wondering whether another social media with the same functions is needed. You can always make something better, but better is hard to define. What is better?

Think objectively about the situation. When you are involved in a project, you can't clearly see whether you are solving a problem in the marketplace or not, cause you are emotionally involved in it.

So many times I started something only to figure out nobody wanted what I offered, and yet, I thought it was super valuable. I was always thinking in terms of "I" and I got nothing from it.

Ask what the market desires, and give them the final product.

That was a poor explanation of this project. It’s not really a social network per say. Without giving too much detail the site would operate like only fans or Patreon in the aspect of a subscription based service. It’s a niche market and has 2 competitors who did a poor job executing the need for this service. The one company has raised millions after launch and is estimated to be worth 40 million dollars. I believe that I can launch a better website. I’m not looking to go cheap but I also don’t want to spend 100k for a developer in the US.
Thank you everyone for the input
 

norml

PARKED
Jun 29, 2011
5
0
I should add that I have researched in the industry and experts in that field have said there is a real need for this service. What makes it even better is that more people will sign up for this post covid. It would be free for all to sign up and I would take a 10-20% cut of what the influencers are charging for a subscription or pay per view.
 

FBA-N-SEO

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Jul 16, 2020
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1) I'd suggest learning about SCRUM and think in terms of what is the smallest deliverable possible you can give to your developers. Big requirement docs ALWAYS result in disaster if you aren't an experienced programmer yourself or have tons of experience outsourcing programming.

2) Start w/ the eastern block. Ukraine, Belarus, etc. They might not be the most rock bottom prices but they are the closest to the U.S. culturally and you will communicate with them a lot better. Sending things over to India / wherever requires a unique skillset.

GL.
 
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Shafir

New Contributor
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Aug 25, 2018
6
10
Germany
My experience on sourcing out to web developers:

I am working with very inexpensive developers from India and Pakistan. For small projects it works out well and is pretty cheap. Larger projects can be very complicated because of:
  • very slow internet in Pakistan
  • children running around and crying during your phone call
  • language barrier (don't use metaphors, talk straight always)
  • you need to tell them exactly what to do (every detail)
  • you have to know what is possible through coding and what not
Why do I work with them anyway? Because it is cheap and a great way to test ideas for a small amount of money. I pay 600 $ instead of 3000 $. As soon as my business idea has proven and the money comes in, I will switch to more experienced programmers - I am looking forward to this day. :D
 

whyphilip

New Contributor
Jun 25, 2020
14
13
US
Full disclosure: I'm a consulting CTO, so helping founders/companies bring software products to market is what I do. But I'm not here to sell you.

Others didn't say this specifically, but the concern is that B2C marketplaces have perhaps the highest failure rates because it's on you to create demand for both the creators and the consumers. A big part of your budget will be on reaching out to creators to start with, then helping them build an audience. A lot of money for marketing and advertising, so you'd want solid funding (especially if you think $100K is way too much money for a complex product built from scratch).

Regarding offshoring, anyone who says "developers from this country are bad but those in this country are good" don't know how to hire developers. There are exceptional developers in every country. But it is true that unless you're an experienced engineering manager (with a CS background, obviously), identifying them will be akin to guessing.

The alternative is hiring an agency. Perhaps you can find one that has successfully built something very similar. The trick is getting the same developers, and they may be busy or have left.

I would also recommend taking a few days to do a very thorough search of open source projects that are similar to your idea. See if it's feasible to hire the creators to customize it to your needs.
 

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