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

Alex Beamish talexb at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 07:47:19 PST 2012

Interesting answers all, thank you.

I'm going to think some more about this. I feel quite competent (assuming I
have the time) to come up with an API and a database schema to address this
application -- but I'd rather have someone else deal with the outter skin,
whether that's the web application (which I could manage) or the actual
HTML/CSS (which I could also do, but then again, I'm a left-brained guy,
and my web page design reflects that).

In fact, I have a smaller project that I've been contemplating for a few
months, and I may go ahead and start work on that and see how it turns out.
If I manage OK, then plunging into this larger project might be a
worthwhile venture.

Looking forward to seeing some of you at the Christmas event!



On Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 9:48 AM, Stuart Watt <stuart at morungos.com> wrote:

> Good question, Alex. Like Olaf, I've avoided this, but for me too it's
> also resulted in a a few successes, mostly with friends who would
> participate equally-ish (not necessarily as coders, but e.g., as UX and
> content providers), and share the contribution. That's probably the safest
> bet for work on spec, as without that, the sunk costs are very unequal.
> Anyway, here are a few things I'd be keen to know.
> 1. What are you trying build? Is this a prototype, good enough to get
> funding? Or is it intended to be a scalable system? How many users do they
> expect this version to handle, before the whole thing is re-engineered.
> Which it will be, several times. The reason I ask is that a lot of early
> design decisions, not least whether a standard-ish SQL server will suffice,
> depend entirely on this. That defines a lot of coding decisions. Also, if
> they want a complete system in spec, you're essentially sunk. They are
> always fifty times more effort than you would think, most of which is
> support, admin, deployment, and so on.
> 2. What's the external integration? On one large-scale site I developed,
> we spent longer integrating with Paypal automated payments that we did on
> almost the whole of the rest of the system. If this is needed from day one,
> you need to know about it. Mostly so you can walk away if you're the only
> one contributing risk, but dividing the return.
> 3. Who is doing user experience design and/or visual design? Anybody? If
> you have a very good generalist, you might stand a chance, but without it,
> you probably need to plan early acceptance testing. That is a useful
> purpose behind a mockup.
> 4. What is the business plan? If the plan is "doing in Instagram", i.e.,
> get a bunch of users with no revenue model and intend to sell out as soon
> as you get a decent offer, I'd walk away. Too much risk. If there really is
> a revenue model, you stand a chance of getting better people on board, and
> the risk is much less.
> 5. If it all goes belly-up (fails to achieve an acceptable funding
> system), who gets the code. (Sounds awkward, but I've seen more serious
> disputes over code than anything else in my career).
> In effect, if it's wire framing something up, it could be good. I've done
> it. It usually doesn't take more than a few days, so the sunk cost is not
> so high, and I usually ensure that I try something new so that I learn
> something in the process. In effect, I make it "self-training time" as
> well. If they're after a full site from the get go, you need funding. But
> the first can lead to the second, and it is possible to build long-lasting
> and successful collaborations this way.
> All the best
> Stuart
> 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.
> >
> > Alex
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > toronto-pm mailing list
> > toronto-pm at pm.org
> > http://mail.pm.org/mailman/listinfo/toronto-pm

Alex Beamish
Toronto, Ontario
aka talexb
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