I’ve been writing about tech startups for nearly a year now. Endless tales of teenage tech millionaires, and billion-dollar buyouts. Stories of personal triumphs and professional successes. Ideas and innovation that are revolutionizing our world.
Needless to say, I’ve been inspired on a daily basis to get a little piece of this startup pie. My brain now constantly thinks, “Oh, that would make a great mobile app!” In fact, my friends (and now co-founders) and I decided that a hilarious photo game we used to play would also make a great mobile app. So we decided to build it. Five friends, working in different industries, and now all accidental entrepreneurs.
The app isn’t even close to being built and I’m not quitting my day job any time soon, but I have already learned an extraordinary amount of useful startup advice and tips that I thought I should share with you, fine budding entrepreneurs.
If You Don’t Have a Tech Co-Founder, Find One…. Like, Now
My co-founders and I all come from marketing, business, online media and design backgrounds (one even plays the viola for a living). All of these skills are extraordinarily helpful to have in the startup game. We’ve honed our skills to flesh out our idea, write business and marketing plans, create logos and sketch out user-experiences (and write original music for our demo video). But there has been one little thing missing throughout this process…
Oh yeah, we need to find someone to actually build the damn app.
This is easier said than done, of course. In an ideal world one of us would be a master app developer and this thing would have been launched months ago. However, the reality is that we’re scrambling to find the right programmer which is a much more tedious process than expected.
Well, for a few reasons. First, you want a developer who sees your vision and is just as excited as you are about your idea. This way you have a teammate who wants the app to succeed too, rather than a code monkey who spits it out and takes your money. Even worse, outsourcing the development of your well thought-out and pined-over idea to save a few bucks. From what I’ve heard, this can result in a sub-par product that ends up costing you a small fortune to fix.
3 Ways to find the right developer, or better yet, a tech co-founder
1. Agencies/Talent Incubators/Tech Boutiques… whatever you want to call them
Many app development agencies are becoming more like talent investors. If you’re a business co-founder and need a designer, they’ll hook you up. If all your co-founders are everything but techie, agencies will connect you with a coder. Agencies tend to look for a long-term relationship with their clients, which is extremely useful. But, it will cost you. Average agency fees can range from $10k-$100k. Check out Inaka, Casserole Labs, and WeAreHive.
2. Startup Meet-Ups
These types of networking events are popping up everywhere. It’s where co-founders can connect with other talent they’re missing to create a solid team. We’ll be participating in such a meet-up next week in NYC where it seems everyone is trying to find a developer for their “brilliant” ideas. We’ll just have to turn up the charm. And, maybe wear short skirts. Meetup.com is an excellent source to find a startup meet-up near you.
There are plenty of freelance developers waiting to code up your app idea. Seriously, they’re just sitting in their rooms playing World of Warcraft waiting for your email. Check out Guru and Headhuntable for all your freelance app dev hiring needs.
Before you get down on yourself for not growing up a coding nerd, or wanting to strangle all developers for having a God complex, remember your idea is just as valuable. Whether you manage to find a tech co-founder to join your team, or go through an agency, it’s all about finding a developer who is on board with your vision. But whatever you do, find them and get your app to market pronto (before someone else beats you to it).
Stay tuned for more startup advice from an accidental entrepreneur (yours truly), and if you’re interested in developing my app, holler.