[tpm] So I've got an idea for a web site ..

Olaf Alders olaf.alders at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 06:25:46 PST 2012

On 2012-12-18, at 7:21 AM, Alex Beamish wrote:

> Good day, Perlmongers,
> A friend of mine who's a successful businessman approached me recently with an idea for a web site. He didn't say it was going to be the next Facebook, but he did mention that the concept drew on ideas from a few popular web sites, and that it would have elements of each of them. He's looking for someone to either do the work (labourer-for-hire) or to partner with him and build the web-site for sweat equity.
> We discussed the construction of a web application (web pages, business logic, data store), and I explained you probably need either a generalist working by themselves, or an architect to design it, and a project manager who would hire the various specialists and co-ordinate the work. The problem, of course, is doing that much work on spec.
> I'd be interested in hearing your views.

I think spec work is almost always a bad idea.  You really need to have everybody invested in the product and money is a great way to do that.  The people who build the product invest their time.  The people who aren't putting the time put in the money to pay the people who are.  If you don't value your time with a dollar amount, your business partner won't either and the outcome will be predictable.  However, I think some hybrid approach could work where you take some % of your pay in dollars and the rest in equity, but working just for equity is not a recipe for success. 

I have gone into business with friends 100% on spec in the past and it did end up paying out quite well once the product got up and running, but that's likely the exception rather than the norm.  Knowing what I know now, I certainly wouldn't do it again.

Olaf Alders
olaf.alders at gmail.com


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