I often get phone calls from potential clients who are looking to find a Web site developer to work on a project in exchange for a share of the revenues. This is one of my most frustrating phone calls because my advice is almost never acted on. Maybe some commenters below can add some weight (or alternative approaches) which might make this advice more effective. Let’s delve in:
Let’s say you have an idea to build a site that sells a product. The product is the best product ever and you know that if you get it in front of the right people, they will buy it. The only major expense you have is making a Web site. You have little money to invest in this project but you know you want to do it and you know it will be successful. The best idea you can think of would be to find someone to make the Web site for you without charging you for time and expenses, and instead, they will share in any profits that you make. You know that when your product is successful, you will have to pay them more money than you would have if you paid at the beginning, but it is the price to pay to get your project off the ground. Sounds like a Win-Win, right?
In fact, it is not a win-win. It is almost always a lose-lose, unfortunately. The flaw is your business actually needs two separate things: an investor and someone to make the Web site you need. The skill sets for each person is different:
|Investor||Web site developer|
|Has money to spend||Is a great Web site developer|
|Trusts you and is willing to let you run the business your way||Is willing to follow your directions, but has a lot of experience to share with you|
|Believes in your idea||Understands your idea|
The chances of finding one person who is all of those things is very small. In fact, almost all great Web site developers won’t be willing to take the risk that your business won’t be successful. Your best bet is to divide and conquer: find a great investor (more on this coming in my next post) and then find a great Web site developer.
What do you think of this advice?