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Platform Building & Design - Get onside with a Developer?

Roughneck

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Hi everyone,

I am currently researching an idea that I had come up with a little while back. It's not anything new here in Australia but I have found the market to have very few competing companies within the same market place - and of those that are, only a very small number actually have well designed and performing websites. Their marketing as well has a lot of be desired. I think there is good opportunity here without considering the fact the sector is expected to experience large consistent growth over the oncoming years. It's a good source of reoccurring revenue and if designed correctly, the website should be able to facilitate the business transactions without having to be involved. Completely user to user.

My main issue at the moment is the sheer cost of building this platform. I am not too bad with computers but by no means a programmer or web developer. In fact I have started to learn programming through Udemy which has been really good, very time consuming, but it got me thinking whether I should start looking into other options to build the site. I have been in contact with a company to cost up the system, they have come up with some great ideas and they produce quality products. I have a meeting with them shortly to go over the final details and have a completed quote for the build but initial expectations are in the 50k - 70k AUD range with that rising dependent on features I want to be inclusive.

Has anyone been in a similar situation and decided to partner with a developer (50/50) to bring their project off the ground and keep their costs reduced? I was thinking about whether I should find a developer, launch the platform and continue to develop into the final product I envision. At the same time, without forking out 50-70k, I can act, assess and adjust depending on what the market does.

Wouldn't have a clue where to find a developer that might be willing to do this - thinking someone young. Maybe find uni grads?

Thoughts?
 

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r6203

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I'm a developer myself and I wouldn't agree on a 50/50 split (because I've got absolutely no control over the rest of the business).
I think, you're going to have a hard time finding a developer working with you on that basis.
 
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Roughneck

Roughneck

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I'm a developer myself and I wouldn't agree on a 50/50 split (because I've got absolutely no control over the rest of the business).
I think, you're going to have a hard time finding a developer working with you on that basis.
Ok, I see where your coming from. Finding a developer willing to work on the project while I still retain control over the business may be hard. I might still go out and have a shot at talking to a couple - thinking of advertising through a local university might be a way to get fresh talent?

Otherwise I either:
a) Suck it up. Research more and make sure I am confident in what this business idea will bring to the market and commit to the 50k or...
b) Take the time to develop my own skills to bring this product to market
 

NMdad

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A few thoughts:
  • Before committing any time & money to the project, lower your risk by first validating the idea. For example, if you can get 4-5 clients on board to fund the development. Having paying customers--and knowing how to get more of them--shows you the way forward. If no one is willing to pay real money, then you might avoid wasting time & money on an idea that won't work.
  • It IS feasible to find developers to partner who will agree to 50% or less. I'm working on a project now with an 80/20 split (I have the 80%) and my business partner (who's a software engineer) has a 20% interest. And I only started working with him AFTER I had a couple clients who were willing to pay to get the idea developed.
  • You might want to take a look at GOLD! - Ask Me Anything About SaaS ( I'm building my 7th ). Jason has built 7 SAAS businesses, some/most of which he partnered with other developers.
 

LittleWolfie

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Hi everyone,

I am currently researching an idea that I had come up with a little while back. It's not anything new here in Australia but I have found the market to have very few competing companies within the same market place - and of those that are, only a very small number actually have well designed and performing websites. Their marketing as well has a lot of be desired. I think there is good opportunity here without considering the fact the sector is expected to experience large consistent growth over the oncoming years. It's a good source of reoccurring revenue and if designed correctly, the website should be able to facilitate the business transactions without having to be involved. Completely user to user.

My main issue at the moment is the sheer cost of building this platform. I am not too bad with computers but by no means a programmer or web developer. In fact I have started to learn programming through Udemy which has been really good, very time consuming, but it got me thinking whether I should start looking into other options to build the site. I have been in contact with a company to cost up the system, they have come up with some great ideas and they produce quality products. I have a meeting with them shortly to go over the final details and have a completed quote for the build but initial expectations are in the 50k - 70k AUD range with that rising dependent on features I want to be inclusive.

Has anyone been in a similar situation and decided to partner with a developer (50/50) to bring their project off the ground and keep their costs reduced? I was thinking about whether I should find a developer, launch the platform and continue to develop into the final product I envision. At the same time, without forking out 50-70k, I can act, assess and adjust depending on what the market does.

Wouldn't have a clue where to find a developer that might be willing to do this - thinking someone young. Maybe find uni grads?

Thoughts?
Good luck. Everyone and his mother wants developers to work for equity.

It is feasible, especially if you offer cash + equity but most people will probably just look at the cash. I'd suggest offering less equity,so you get people comfortable with minority shares.

I echo the earlier sentiment of trying to get a few customers first to prove the model and help fund the development.

Also outsourcers will never suggest this since it goes against their business model.

Consider descoping the model.

Can you offer just one part of the product as the MVP?

Can you offer a slower or poorer quality model initally. Then after getting revenue slowly improve?

You can do a lot these days with things like bubble and zaiper to quickly get something up then you can improve it.

I'd suggest you want a developer who is going to bw continually available. You will have reccuring income ,so you want recurring work. You might well have a high level of technical debt initally.
 
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Roughneck

Roughneck

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 14, 2018
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A few thoughts:
  • Before committing any time & money to the project, lower your risk by first validating the idea. For example, if you can get 4-5 clients on board to fund the development. Having paying customers--and knowing how to get more of them--shows you the way forward. If no one is willing to pay real money, then you might avoid wasting time & money on an idea that won't work.
  • It IS feasible to find developers to partner who will agree to 50% or less. I'm working on a project now with an 80/20 split (I have the 80%) and my business partner (who's a software engineer) has a 20% interest. And I only started working with him AFTER I had a couple clients who were willing to pay to get the idea developed.
  • You might want to take a look at GOLD! - Ask Me Anything About SaaS ( I'm building my 7th ). Jason has built 7 SAAS businesses, some/most of which he partnered with other developers.
Thanks for the link. I've been having a good read, some good information in that thread.

I've confirmed that there is a need in the marketplace with a couple of big players really taking majority of the potential clients.

Good luck. Everyone and his mother wants developers to work for equity.

It is feasible, especially if you offer cash + equity but most people will probably just look at the cash. I'd suggest offering less equity,so you get people comfortable with minority shares.

I echo the earlier sentiment of trying to get a few customers first to prove the model and help fund the development.

Also outsourcers will never suggest this since it goes against their business model.

Consider descoping the model.

Can you offer just one part of the product as the MVP?

Can you offer a slower or poorer quality model initally. Then after getting revenue slowly improve?

You can do a lot these days with things like bubble and zaiper to quickly get something up then you can improve it.

I'd suggest you want a developer who is going to bw continually available. You will have reccuring income ,so you want recurring work. You might well have a high level of technical debt initally.
I'll have a look at my product and see if there is potential to downscale it, simplify and still have a good product.

There are many features I've wanted to add to have over the competition. Maybe need to sit down and look at if these features will be worth the outlay initially.
 

srodrigo

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And this is why it's useful to learn how to code to be able to put a rough prototype and test the market (unless you have other ways to test it). Developing software is time consuming (a.k.a. costs lots of money), and developers are fed up of "yet another visionare with the next billion idea" trying to make them build their ideas for free.
 
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