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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
I'm an experienced internet startup exec (former tech) ready to help bring a new product idea to life. It's a novel and simple product concept that's easy to build and sell, with a solid business model behind it. But unfortunately I don't have the bandwidth to get fully immersed in another startup company.
Are there any Bay Area (CA) developers / designer who want to launch their own startup? It will require a full-time or nearly full-time commitment without pay- not looking for contractors. The goal is to build and launch in 90 days and seek funding thru y combinator or angels. In exchange for my limited participation in helping the team build and launch this company, I'm looking for a small equity stake.
Is anyone interested? Or any ideas on where to post this kind of opportunity?
Feel free to email me!
"It will require a full-time or nearly full-time commitment without pay- not looking for contractors. "
Ha, you're joking. Wait, no, you're serious? No one in their right might would (or should) take you up on an awful offer like that. Nothing you promise in advance is worth anything.
It's an insult to developers everywhere to hear BS like this. I sincerely hope no one takes you up on this. A developer's time is ALWAYS worth money in situations like this.
Jon, that sounds great. I am ready to sign up.
Monday, January 25, 2010
You know, believe it or not, I would be interested.
However this leaves you open to sharing your ideas with a developer later to find out he is not interested in your idea because it does not seem valuable to him/her.
If its an idea that I believe in as a developer, I would put the time and effort in without pay, no problems there, however, I would want 75+% share.
Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is key.
>Ha, you're joking. Wait, no, you're serious? No one in their right
>might would (or should) take you up on an awful offer like that.
I wish you guys would take the time to read my entire post- those remarks aren't fair. First, what's so awful about my offer to help developers start a company? I'm not asking you to work for my company- I stated very clearly that I only wanted a "small equity stake" in exchange for my involvement. The company will be owned and controlled by the developers. I'm only offering to serve as a catalyst, as a long-term advisor to a company run by the tech entrepreneurs who build the product.
If this were 'my' company, yes, it would only be fair for me to offer salaries. But that's not what I proposed. I don't have the bandwidth to manage another startup. I want to help tech entrepreneurs build a company as their company. As a tech entrepreneur myself, I'm not trying to use and abuse other developers.
Yes, I'm willing to share the idea on a one to one basis. There's no doubt in my mind this idea will get funding from combinator or another incubator. I believe that's the best path for new entrepreneurs to build a product, network with other founders and investors in a startup ecosystem, and launch their product with a clear path to a follow-up round of financing.
> Y Combinator says they rarely invest more than $20k. You're an
> experienced startup exec and can't even cough up $20k for an
> idea you believe in?
Just about anyone can raise $20k, even if that amounts to going through friends and family. If you can't grasp both the real and intangible benefits that come from an association with y combinator or a comparable incubator, then you should ignore this thread. The cash investment from y-combinator is only a small part of the value. Ask a Y entrepreneur if you don't find this statement believable.
In all fairness, this is the kind of thing a lot of us would like 'dropped into our lap'. I know it's interested to me (but I'm half a country a way).
Jon has an idea, we've all spoken at length about the worth of an idea. He also doesn't want anyone to pay him for the idea, instead he wants an equity stake. These are the deals (from the other side) that WE are all supposed to be avoiding because it's how 'the suits' screw us.
Contact him, find out what his idea is. Note, you probably don't want to sign an NDA (remember, VC/Angels won't waste their time if they have to sign one) because ideas are worth nothing.
If it's interesting and seems worthwhile (maybe only the former) then sign up. Give him the little equity stake - this is the hardest part, I don't want to pay an attorney before I've seen some hope of money.
Now, develop it. If it works, good. If not, you're out your time, exactly the same as if you had come up with the idea yourself. (OK, maybe you have to pay an attorney, so you're out that money too). Don't the prepaid legal plans provide some provisions for this kind of help?
@OP: While the responses are somewhat less than civil (in some cases, quite polite in others) I think you need to consider that you've posted anon on a message board with other anon posters, so it's not unexpected.
Examine the optics of your proposal:
(1) you have an idea
(2) you want someone else to do all the initial development work
(3) you want it done very quickly (90 days)
(4) you want others to fund it (dev to self-fund development; incubator to fund next stage)
(5) you offer vague mentorship services of a unknown quality
(6) you want a share in the potential upside
Your idea, if not executed, is worthless and since you've stated you're not going to be doing this yourself its value is zero.
You haven't given any sort of details or told a story to which a potential developer could connect on an emotional level. An entrepreneur should recognize this is critical for adoption.
We know nothing about you aside from some vague background claims. Even on a far-less powerful logical basis we can't evaluate the worth of your proposal.
So the best you can hope for is for someone to take a flyer on what you've offered, which is similar to playing the library. Why don't you do something similar to Derek Sivers where he proposed an idea on his blog with some details (and a lot of unknowns) and then threw it open for discussion:
If you personally have value to add to the execution of your idea then you'll naturally play a part in it's development. If all you have is the idea, then you'll get cut out and someone else will execute without you. That's the way it's going to go down regardless of how closely you hold your idea...
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
"playing the library" s/b "playing the lottery". The pay-off is roughly equivalent.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
BOSers are, collectively, the best out there. You must already know this if you came here with your idea. Most people in this board are approached on weelky bases by someone they know with the standard proposal: "You do software? Great! I have the best idea which will make us (me) rich! You just have to do all the work that I have drawn on the back of this envelope and just send me 90% of the profits!".
Today (yes, today, less than two hours ago) it's the gentleman who wants me to do talking-manga-for-the-iPhone. Last week the screen-writing software, the week before, the Chinese cookbook software and a while ago it was the guy with the remote control brakes for his kids bike.
The common line is: Geek works, idea man has idea.
So you must forgive us here at BOS if we concentrate on our own ideas (see our blog for examples). We get enough bosses in the dayjob...
On the other hand, If you have MONEY ....
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
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