Great idea, cant afford coder

12 replies
Hello, so I am in this situation right now, where I have a really great idea for a website, but I cant afford coder to build it up. Its like a small marketplace website for a specific niche with few unique functions and addons.

Any ideas what I could do in this situation?
#afford #coder #great #idea
  • Profile picture of the author AidanKay
    You can either learn coding yourself, do side work to earn cash (article writing seems to be the most common, but, whatever your strength is) or open a partnership with a coder on a trade system; the coder can earn a percentage of your future sales (think affiliate), or you can trade your side service (the writing, SEO whatever it is) for the coding.
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    • Profile picture of the author e730000
      Originally Posted by AidanKay View Post

      You can either learn coding yourself, do side work to earn cash (article writing seems to be the most common, but, whatever your strength is) or open a partnership with a coder on a trade system; the coder can earn a percentage of your future sales (think affiliate), or you can trade your side service (the writing, SEO whatever it is) for the coding.
      Learning php myself would probably take years if I am right, and by that time I would really like the project already running.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi E,

    A few options: get a part time job to build up your cash flow. Ask someone for money; pay it back after you work your offline job for a bit, or simply pay it back after earning through your website. Offer other arrangements for coding, including offering credit for the work, giving coder credits, etc. Think of other ideas, brainstorming in a quiet room.

    DO NOT let the money excuse hold you back. It killed me for years, giving in to it. Now I blog from Bali, and other tropical paradises on earth, because I thought and planned my way through these mental blocks.

    You can do it! Keep on getting hungrier to be free than you fear making uncomfortable choices, and your coding and idea will be up and running, in no time.


    Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author Slade556
    have you thought about using a free script to begin with? Or something not very expensive, like some eCommerce platform, until you get the money to pay someone to code it for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author e730000
      Originally Posted by Slade556 View Post

      have you thought about using a free script to begin with? Or something not very expensive, like some eCommerce platform, until you get the money to pay someone to code it for you.
      Yes, I have found a pretty cheap script here: PHP Scripts - Buy, Sell Marketplace Ver 1.1.1 | CodeCanyon

      But still doesnt have few functions that Id really like to have..
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  • Profile picture of the author derrickkwa
    Learning php (or Ruby on Rails or any other platform) yourself won't take years. Mastering it will, but learning enough to get a working prototype can be done relatively quickly.
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    • Profile picture of the author kilgore
      I think people have a tendency to get over-excited about ideas. Unfortunately, good ideas -- even great ideas -- aren't really worth all that much in business. It's the implementation that counts.

      The problem I see here is that it's not really clear what you're bringing to the table besides the idea. Hiring a team of coders would be an option, except you're not bringing any money to the table.

      And while finding a technical partner sounds good on paper, I think you're going to have a lot of trouble attracting anyone of any talent unless you can demonstrate that just as you need something from them (their coding ability), you have something they need too (e.g., prior track record of success, marketing ability, unique access to potential buyers, etc.). Otherwise the relationship sounds like, "You come up with the idea, your programmer does all the work., you split the profits." But if I'm a good programmer (and in fact I really am I good programmer -- my background is in web development), that arrangement isn't going to seem very fair. Unless you'd be willing to take something take a split where I got 99% and you got 1% -- which is all an idea is really worth.

      So I guess my take is that you need to do some soul searching. Is this an idea that you can actually contribute to in a meaningful way (either with work or money) or is this just an idea you have where you'll mostly be a spectator? If the former, finding a partner might work for you, but if the latter, you might want to move to an idea that you actually have a chance to help make happen.
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      • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
        Originally Posted by kilgore View Post

        I think people have a tendency to get over-excited about ideas. Unfortunately, good ideas -- even great ideas -- aren't really worth all that much in business. It's the implementation that counts.
        Spot on. I get contacted about once per week by someone with a great idea that just needs me to "partner" with them and we will all be rich.

        Of course generally their great idea has already been done is some derivative or another about 1,000 times lol

        They are convinced that all that is needed is some technical stuff.
        It gets really interesting when I start asking about their business plan, their ad budgets, competition analysis etc...

        As for advice, if I had a choice of saving some money to pay a coder or partnering with one, I would save the money. The reasoning would be that finding a great partner is as difficult as finding a great wife or husband lol Also you have much better luck at attracting quality partners with a more established business than you do just an idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Gordon
    To build on the kilgore's spot-on answer, this is a real test for you.

    How much do you believe in your idea?

    No traditional lender will likely fund you. But if this project is burning a hole inside of you, it is time to be creative and beg, borrow or steal to get the resources to find a developer to help you.

    If you are bootstrapping, you can find really inexpensive programming talent through the freelancing sites. Most likely not a good long-term solution, but that may be enough to get your concept off the ground.

    Six and a half years ago, I was in your exact place. I had what I thought was a really good idea, targeted to a specific market. But I didn't have a nickel to spare.

    I scraped together $250 and found a programmer on elance to make it happen.

    Today, that company is going strong, bringing in $40k+ per month and employing a full-time developer. It was scary as hell taking that first step, but nobody was going to do it for me.

    Make sure this is the one, then find the resources to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    Contact a college or university computer science department and get a student to write your program for the experience. Offer to pay him/her a small, nominal sum just to ensure you have the rights to the completed work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    There are coders that advertise in the JV section from time to time but like Kilgore said you need some great skill and or some money to pitch in or they will not be interested. You can always place you own ad in there with more details and see whom you attract if anyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author kk075
    I'll go a different route- what are you really good at in life?

    For my first few niche sites, I didn't have any money but I was a solid writer. So I put an ad on Craigslist saying something like, "Would a web developer be interested in building me a simple site in exchange for me writing all their site's core content? I'm a professional copywriter with 6 years of web experience."

    From that two sentence ad, I found five people who took me up on my offer within a week. So if you can fix engines, cut lawns, or ANYTHING that someone else needs, put an ad up and see what happens. All it costs you is two minutes of your time and the absolute worst thing that can happen is nobody responds. That's not a bad trade-off for what you can gain.
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