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by • December 3, 2011 • UncategorizedComments (9)407

A short-term, long-term, and bad approach to starting up without programmers

It’s pretty common to have a great project idea and no resources to build the thing — whether you’re strapped for time, cash, or coding talent.

The worst plan is to do nothing and let the idea become irrelevant. Instead, you should find a way to either benefit from giving it away or create enough non-product momentum that an excited team materialises around you. Here’s a quick talk through (5m) of my thoughts on the latter two options (plus a couple common traps regarding product development and freelancers).

Happy Saturday!

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9 Responses to A short-term, long-term, and bad approach to starting up without programmers

  1. Joe H says:

    Yeah I almost fell into a couple of traps before I met up with my development team. Luckily for me it did work out. I agree to let your potential partners help in design. Don’t be so connected to your own baby that you can’t let people help you make it better. Another lesson hard learned by me. :) Great post as usual Rob. :)

  2. T says:

    I think the idea of building traction and finding interesting customers is definately the way to go but also the hardest (but heh, who said this would be easy?). Other than networking at events, do you have any ideas of ways to find a partner to work on the idea, or is that kind of the only way?

    • robfitz says:

      Start with customers, not partners. The partners will materialise once the target market is excited.

      The difference between saying “10 people are super excited and would buy this if we built it” and “help me build this so we can find out if anyone is excited to buy it” is enormous.

      You don’t need to have built anything before accomplishing the former (customer pull).

  3. kelley boyd says:

    Well framed – it really is simple. Net/net: managing relationships and expectations is THE job of everybody at a startup.

  4. Mat Cegiela says:

    Great post Rob, I was just messing around with wireframes and a friend of mine who codes finally said, look, just learn some css and build it for real, then get help with the back end. Good advice as the time spent learning will pay off many times over.

    I also like that you’re posting in video form. Though the camera angle is a bit “Hitchcock” :) Thanks for the valuable info and a good source in general.

  5. cathy says:

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  6. [...] think it partly depends on time scales. I personally believe everyone should learn enough programming to put up a basic website, but it’s probably not going to pay off for your current business. [...]

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