Don’t ever doubt the power of a great idea. The problem is, a lot of us have great ideas, smart minds, and tons of motivation, but we don’t have the right skillset or knowledge to make these ideas a reality (i.e: web designing, programming, etc). On top of that, a lot of us don’t know the right people either (hardworking and trustworthy programmers & web developers).
But whether you believe you have an idea for the next big web app or you just want to make something to earn some money on the side, I commend you for being passionate enough about your ideas to seek out a way to build it. This drive has probably led you here. That’s the right place to be.
Let’s just say that I was once an aspiring ‘entrepreneur’ trying to make it big. I’m the type of person whose brain is always turning with new ideas and possibilities. What pushed me over the edge was a spark of inspiration that led me to start my adventure in the startup world. I wanted the freedom. I wanted the money. But most of all, I wanted to finally create the ideas that kept me awake at night.
I had so many thoughts in my mind: making my site go viral, becoming successful, financial freedom…but in the midst of all of these dreams, there was a problem. A big problem. I had no clue how to code and I failed miserably when I attempted to learn. Simply put, I knew where my passions were and I realized quickly that it wasn’t in coding
My next big problem was that I didn’t have any programmers in my network or circle of friends. My line of work at the time was completely unrelated to programming and web development, so I literally didn’t know a single person who could help me bring this site to life. I also didn’t have enough money to shell out for a freelancer, nor did I want to hire one.
Well, whereas most people would call it quits at this point and dismiss their ideas as nothing but dreams, I decided to push forward. I needed to find a way to get someone to help me on this project. The big hurdle: they would have to help me because they liked the idea and saw value in it and me, not because I was paying them (I didn’t have any money to give them).
I quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to pay my programmers with cash, but I still wanted to build my project. What I had to do was convince programmers to work for EQUITY, rather than cash. Equity is percentage or stake in the company. This means that I promise the programmer a certain percentage of my company (which was valueless at the time), instead of paying them cash upfront. If your convincing skills are good enough and if you’ve got a good enough idea, programmers will jump on this opportunity.
This is a good sign, it means they believe enough in you and your company to work for a future reward once the company gets enough money. Smart, eh? But I still didn’t know any programmers to convince!
So what did I do? I tried a series of methods to find and recruit programmers to work on my projects for equity rather than cash. I learned and I studied. I learned where the smart people hung out, I studied what they responded receptively too, and I began to understand that they were just as hungry as I was to build a legitimate business.
Attracting the tech guys was not easy. I experimented in a lot of different ways, and needless to say, many of them blew up in my face.
One of my first approaches was cold-emailing programmers and web developers on forums, message boards, and other places I found them. I pitched my idea, and 99% of them gave me the same answer, “Sounds cool, but I’m busy”.
I tried friends of friends, but most of those tech guys had day jobs and were satisfied with the comfort of 9 to 5 schedules.
Frustrated by all of these failures, I vented my anger in writing. I wrote on my blog about how I wasn’t a coder and will never be a coder. I explained my idea, and explained how I doubted it could ever become a reality because I didn’t have the money or skills to make it.
The blog post took off. It caught people’s attention–they hadn’t read anything like it in the past. People started spreading it everywhere. From tech hangouts to business message boards. It was controversial–some people praised my determination and others frowned upon my desperation. It was new–a well organized essay about how a guy wants to succeed online but can’t find a tech guy to work with. It was different, and people liked that.
What came out of it was even more surprising. I placed my email in the ‘about’ section of my blog, and I remember waking up in the morning to dozens of emails from talented programmers all around the world who wanted to work on my project with me for equity(stake in the company). I was shocked; no longer was I the one who was seeking out programmers, programmers we’re seeking me out!
Through this one experiment, I found all of the tech guys I was looking for and more. But of course, a part of me thought: “maybe I was just lucky…”.
So I tried it again. I wrote another interesting article that went viral and people were contacting me once again. I coached a friend who was looking for a programmer to try this technique. It worked again.
And then I realized I had learned one of the most valuable skills ever: how to get talented web developers to WANT to work with you because they love your ideas. The key is to create valuable content. The valuable content can be an article, a video, anything.
You want to create valuable content (like an interesting article), and somewhere in your article, you want to mention that you’re working on a project and you’re looking for a partner.
Then, you want the article to spread to places tech guys hang out. When tech guys read your article, many of them will see that your building a cool project and need help. They will then approach you because they want to work on it with you!
They will know you are a smart and determined person because you are already creating content that people are spreading all over the internet. Why wouldn’t they want to partner with you?
What’s cool is that I’ve done this so many times that I’ve developed and perfected a whole system that always yields results. The system includes everything from:
- What to look for and what to avoid in a tech partner
- Tips on how to write good and valuable material that people will want to spread
- How to share your website/app idea without revealing too much information
- How to tell the bad tech guys from the good
- How to convince tech guys to work for equity rather than cash.
- And much more
EDIT (July 2011): Alright, so I used to have my email here so that people could contact me if they had any questions or needed some coaching to get this method right . I’ve gotten so many emails that I’ve decided to compile my experiences and detailed strategies in to one, unfiltered report that explains the system I’ve developed. This report was originally going to be a few pages long, but as I wrote I did not want to hold anything back, so this 5-page project grew in to a 42-page monster of a guide with pure insight and realness to get you the tech guy you need to get your online business/startup built.
So if you’re interested in finding a technical partner to turn your idea in to a reality, you might want to check out “The Complete Guide” I’ve created