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  • Jul 12th, 2017 7:01 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Jul 1, 2017
13 posts
4 upvotes

The Leap

Hello all,

I'm in a huge predicament - common to a lot of people I hear.

I have the idea(s), I have 'some' funding (personal savings), the business plan (monetization), and the skills/motivation to see the idea(s) through.

What's holding me back is that 'tangible prototype'; that platform; the feature that everything is based on. I'm stuck and I have no idea what to do here; I'm losing sleep because the more time that goes by without anything being done about it, means someone else will eventually figure it out/do it - or, it becomes redundant.

The area in particular is IT - Application / interface development. I am not a programmer (accountant by trade); and everything (in theory) is linked to web-based applications and mobile applications.

What do I do?
10 replies
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 1, 2017
13 posts
4 upvotes
ichpen wrote:
Jul 4th, 2017 9:17 am
Fund a prototype?
My concern is improvements / continual work. Everything always needs improvements, etc. I fear that whatever I pay for will eventually need something done to it almost daily; this means, it can become a huge liability to own without any guarantee that it will actually turn a profit.

It's this risk of out-of-pocket investment in something I cannot control/manage myself due to the very nature of the service being rooted in API.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 18, 2002
6770 posts
514 upvotes
Toronto
HelloWorld3 wrote:
Jul 4th, 2017 9:50 am
My concern is improvements / continual work. Everything always needs improvements, etc. I fear that whatever I pay for will eventually need something done to it almost daily; this means, it can become a huge liability to own without any guarantee that it will actually turn a profit.

It's this risk of out-of-pocket investment in something I cannot control/manage myself due to the very nature of the service being rooted in API.
I hate sounding like a cliche but no risk no reward. You can do things to mitigate the risk such as having a tight workflow and project management schedule. As with any and all forms of development you start with a viable prototype to see if the idea has stickiness and phase out the development as needed. All apps and services today go through continuous improvements, it's the nature of the beast. I can tell you that managing your scope and phasing out your deliverables will reduce your exposure to major financial loss but as with any venture there will always be a risk if it doesn't work out.

If you're losing sleep over this you're obviously somewhat passionate about the idea so by all means go for it.

A prototype should not represent a huge investment and will be your showpiece to secure additional investment if that's the direction you want to go in. There are also other avenues of financial and business divestiture including equity deals, partnerships, incubators, crowd funds and business grants and loans. You don't have to take it ALL on your shoulders.
Last edited by ichpen on Jul 4th, 2017 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 1, 2017
13 posts
4 upvotes
ichpen wrote:
Jul 4th, 2017 9:56 am
I hate sounding like a cliche but no risk no reward. You can do things to mitigate the risk such as having a tight workflow and project management schedule. As with any and all forms of development you start with a viable prototype to see if the idea has stickiness and phase out the development as needed. All apps and services today go through continuous improvements, it's the nature of the beast. I can tell you that managing your scope and phasing out your deliverables will reduce your exposure to major financial loss but as with any venture there will always be a risk if it doesn't work out.

If you're losing sleep over this you're obviously somewhat passionate about the idea so by all means go for it.
I agree 100% about risk/reward. I've never done this before; that being said, I spent the last year trying to learn development in the areas I need - I find I cannot commit the time to learn and/or I realize that I am just not going to be at that level to build/maintain what I need anytime soon (the amount of coding to learn is ridiculous - and it never ends, nor does getting stuck on something not working, then troubleshooting, etc.). So, going down this road of electing a a developer feels a lot like project management. My next thought is to build a team (of partners) to share the risk with.

How do you go about doing this:
- Sell the idea
- Not lose the idea from theft during any kind of pitching/briefing
- find the right people
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 18, 2002
6770 posts
514 upvotes
Toronto
HelloWorld3 wrote:
Jul 4th, 2017 10:00 am
I've never done this before; that being said, I spent the last year trying to learn development in the areas I need - I find I cannot commit the time to learn and/or I am just not going to be at that level to build/maintain what I need. So, going down this road of electing a a developer feels a lot like project management. My next thought is to build a team (of partners) to share the risk with.

How do you go about doing this:
- Sell the idea
- Not lose the idea from theft during any kind of pitching/briefing
- find the right people
I updated my earlier post about prototypes.

Firstly in my experience ideas are a dime a dozen, you don't sell the idea you sell the product (tangible or intangible) even if it's a prototype with a business plan behind it.

You cannot fully protect yourself from IP theft but you can mitigate it. Keep development local where possible and where the laws of the land apply. Get NDAs prepped, trademark/patent where feasible (an application is usually sufficient again if feasible). At the end of the day if you're first out of the gate with a well executed product, marketing plan and monetization/longevity strategy the IP issue becomes more moot.

Finding right people is the million dollar question. PM me with details I may be able to help or guide you in the right direction at the very least.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
3528 posts
1435 upvotes
Edmonton
I did some work for someone in a similar situation to you... He had an idea, but lacked the technical expertise to deliver a prototype that could be used to sell the vision.

In our case, I signed an NDA, and then worked on an hourly rate to build the prototype. This was awhile ago, and I believe I declined the opportunity to "invest" my time in the company in exchange for a partnership. He handled the sales side of things, BA, and everything else. He brought in other people with technical expertise as necessary (graphics designers, network specialists, etc).

In the end, I think I came out of it ahead of the game, as my fees were covered up front. He never did end up making a go of it, as other technologies made it obsolete quicker than expected. Let me know if you have any questions I can help with.

C
Newbie
User avatar
Jun 18, 2017
86 posts
25 upvotes
Vancouver
It depends where you are too, and what specifically you want (e.g. phone app, web-based database thinger, executable software). If you're in a big hub like Vancouver/Toronto there's lots of developer "meetups" and the like that might be good for trawling for talent.

Most developers worth the time of day aren't going to jump on for sweat equity unfortunately. I've done 5 or 6 of these things and only 1 is still around (and apparently is funded) but I got out when I got paid. You could argue I should have stuck with that "1", but then I'd be on the hook for the other 5 if that makes sense.
That's my name...
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
13690 posts
4257 upvotes
HelloWorld3 wrote:
Jul 4th, 2017 9:50 am
My concern is improvements / continual work. Everything always needs improvements, etc. I fear that whatever I pay for will eventually need something done to it almost daily; this means, it can become a huge liability to own without any guarantee that it will actually turn a profit.

It's this risk of out-of-pocket investment in something I cannot control/manage myself due to the very nature of the service being rooted in API.
You need to find someone who has passion for your idea, if they do not have any passion for your idea they are just cashing a paycheque. That means you there's a bug at 1:30am on Christmas Eve, you're letting it sit until someone wakes up. Find someone with passion about your product and it'll be worked on right away. It's the same reason that a good IT person with your IT has to find a good business person to market / sell their idea.

My recommendation would be to look up business incubators in your area and talk to them about bringing your idea forward. They often take a cut of your business but can provide you with the framework you need for success (not that you will succeed, there is obviously much more to it). They can provide you with the honesty you may need about where you are at and what it takes to get where you want to be.
Newbie
Jun 19, 2017
62 posts
22 upvotes
Partner with someone who can help you with what you're missing

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