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Development of an idea: Should you hire or not?

You have a great idea. But you don't know programming. You have two choices: hire a developer or learn programming.

Hiring a developer has risk of idea being stolen. What if a developer realizes what exactly it is all about.

19 Replies

Pauljames Dimitriu
3
0
Pauljames Dimitriu Entrepreneur
Engineer at SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific
Sometimes, it may behoove you to find a developer who shares your vision of your product and may want to build it with you. No matter what you do, you will have to give up a little of your idea so it can be properly implemented.
Eric Lentz
2
1
Eric Lentz Entrepreneur
Business Improvement Through Software Application Development
You should search founderdating for some similar questions. This has been discussed a lot and there are a lot of good answers. What you need to recognize though is that developers are very creative people, as apparently you are. Ideas are very easy to come by. What is not easy to come by is implementation, marketing and the sheer force that is required to move an idea uphill enough to get traction and make money. It is not easy.

There is at least 20 years of the Internet and developers writing great software, marketing it and making money. The Internet is flooded with offerings. If a developer tries to take your idea and run with it, the odds of him/her being successful are perhaps less than yours because if they are any good at programming, that's their first love, not bringing products to market. Chances are, they will lose interest, move on to another shinny object and give up on your idea. After all, it was your idea, not theirs and programmers tend to love their ideas far above that of other people's.

Anyway, my advice: Don't hire. Outsource and get the bare minimum to launch something useful that you think you can market. That's called a MVP (Minimum Viable Product). You will learn from marketing this and that will enable you to bring something to market that people want or you will find out that your idea isn't as good as you thought.

If you have a budget and want help, reach out to me. I help people like you and I have a bunch of my own ideas. I guarantee you, I don't want yours. I'm way too busy going after my own dreams and working for my clients; people like you.

Good luck!
Martin Omansky
0
0
Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
You can protect yourself and your IP with legal paperwork, but there are many other issues involved. Best bet is to talk to an IP attorney before you do anything else. Sent from my iPhone
Slava Khristich
0
1
Slava Khristich Entrepreneur
Partner & CTO
In 20+ years doing development I've not see any cases where developer would still someone else idea no matter how sexsy it may sounds. Developers are usually bright enough to come up with their own ideas and not to spend hours, months and years on someone's "maybe" idea, plus they would need that expertise which got you to the point of that idea in the first place.
Yes, you can learn development and should, but it would mean years and by that time your idea maybe old. So hire trusted developer or get recommendations. There is also intellectual laws to protect your IP.
Michael Hartzell
1
1
Entrepreneur, Addicted to "Yes" - When Everyone Wins
Shamin,

You are cautious about this for the same reason as a landscaper.

The landscaper hires "great people". Who learn the customers needs and wants.

One day the employee quits and then approaches the customers with a better offer. The customers like the new offer - they already know the employee.

The original landscaper loses an outstanding employee and customers. "Character" matters more than expertise. Hopefully the landscaper learns to hire differently and manage the business better.

This happens over and over in many industries.

Which is why "co-founder" has become a popular word. (aka partner)
But how long does it take to know the real character of a person?
With little contact, it might take years.

I know of two gentlemen who "partnered" for several years.
One got angry at the other. "you owe me" he said.
He went into all of the accounts and removed permission for the other partner to access them. (online and offline)
The 2nd partner was locked out.
They both had admin rights and once one remove the other, "policy" happened.

We won't know who was right, or wrong or who owed who.

We do know they both went through life and business changing event and they both lost credibility.

Apple has a fun way of doing things. They divvy up the work in small chunks - where no one knows the whole. But again, you need a project manager for tech who "gets it".

Time to make new friends with very high character folks - and be willing to go "all in" after a a period of time. (not weeks or months).

OR - if you have life and death high trust in someone who vouches for your new "co-founder" who know programming, they you have a head start.

Stephanie Wagner
3
0
Stephanie Wagner Entrepreneur
Founder at Agile Bloom, LLC
You could have them sign an NDA if you are that worried.

The developer will probably be more concerned about what is in it for them. Can you pay them and give them a fair amount of equity? If you can't pay them, you'll probably have to give them enough equity to basically make them a co-founder.

Also, you'll have to show what you can offer to the table. You want the developer to trust you as much as you want to trust them. Are you able to follow through with the idea and handle all the non-technical aspects of making the idea a successful company? Sales, marketing, etc.
Donald V Steward
1
0
Donald V Steward Entrepreneur
Owner, Problematics LLC
Eric: True, 'Ideas are easy to come by.' But good, unique ideas can make all the difference in the world, and they may not be easy to come by.
Tom DiClemente
3
0
Tom DiClemente Advisor
Management Consulting | Interim CEO/COO | Coach
Consider this - if you cannot trust a developer that has the skills you need and good references, how are you ever going to trust everyone else you will need to hire to reach your goals. Many on the team will be exposed to your IP including those reserved as trade secrets.

Also consider, if you don't know programming, how will you be able to learn to program without causing serious delays. Sure, you can learn basic programming but that is no where close to creating a commercially viable app. And the basics don't necessarily qualify you to develop a clean, streamlined app without vulnerabilities.

Contract out the development. Make sure you have a detailed statement of work, a contract including indemnifications by the programmer, and NDAs with anyone who will work with your IP.

Many, many entrepreneurs have taken this route very successfully.
Joseph Wang
2
0
Joseph Wang Entrepreneur
Chief Science Officer at Bitquant Research Laboratories
If it's an idea that can be stolen by a programmer, then it wasn't a very good idea to begin with.
Rod Abbamonte
2
0
Rod Abbamonte Advisor
Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute
The best is to see working together a CEO and CTO as Co Founders.
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