Write this application for big $$

virus1

macrumors 65816
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Jun 24, 2004
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Hello, all. I have an ingenious application idea that would sell very well. I cannot disclose this to you all, because of the risk one might take it. However, if you were to write some, or most of the application, we could figure out a way for you to get paid. You would write it, and get a big cut of the profits ($5,000-$15,000). The problem is you won't get it upfront because I have no money. We could sign an agreement for it, and be on our way. An experienced developer could write it in approx. 1 month. Post ideas to get this app made, or comments on anything. PM me if you are interested in the offer.

-Virus
 

feakbeak

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2003
925
1
Michigan
virus1 said:
Hello, all. I have an ingenious application idea that would sell very well. I cannot disclose this to you all, because of the risk one might take it. However, if you were to write some, or most of the application, we could figure out a way for you to get paid. You would write it, and get a big cut of the profits ($5,000-$15,000). The problem is you won't get it upfront because I have no money. We could sign an agreement for it, and be on our way. An experienced developer could write it in approx. 1 month. Post ideas to get this app made, or comments on anything. PM me if you are interested in the offer.

-Virus
If you know enough to estimate the programming time, why aren't you programming it? You didn't even specify what languages or skill set your project would need.

If you really want to get a software idea off the ground as a profitable business you need more than development, you also need to do sales and marketing. I realize my post is blunt, but I'm not trying to be rude. If you seriously want to start a business off of this idea you should get some capital and do it right. Professional programmers are not going to work for free in the hopes of some profit down the line. Also, $5000-15000 is not a big cut of profit, that's nothing. If someone really liked your idea and you were offering 25+% of the profits then maybe you might get some interest. As it stands you are asking one programmer to create this wonder project for you to make money and you're only offering $5000 - think about it?

I'm a professional programmer and I've been offered to work for "equity" in a "great idea" before. I passed then and although I haven't heard your idea, I am passing now.

If you are serious you could try to obtain a patent for your idea so that you could market it without fear of having stolen. However, patents for software usually require detailed implementation details and competitors can often still write very similar software provided they implement it differently. Oh yeah, patents also cost several thousand dollars.

Best of luck to you, but I don't think you'll be getting many offers. If people wanted to program for free they'd work on open source projects.
 

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
5,805
1,702
Western US
I accept!! In fact, I've already coded your project and it's looking really good. Unfortunately, I cannot show it to you until I'm paid. But I know you're going to love it! :)
 

virus1

macrumors 65816
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Jun 24, 2004
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feakbeak said:
If you know enough to estimate the programming time, why aren't you programming it?
Because of this project, i have been trying to learn how to program for about 3 months, but i am having troubles grasping it, but i can safely guess at least
You didn't even specify what languages or skill set your project would need.
yup.. sorry. obj- c with cocoa experience
If you really want to get a software idea off the ground as a profitable business you need more than development, you also need to do sales and marketing.
Yup.. I agree, but i already have that covered
I realize my post is blunt, but I'm not trying to be rude.
i forgive you
If you seriously want to start a business off of this idea you should get some capital and do it right. Professional programmers are not going to work for free in the hopes of some profit down the line.
Who said anything about professional? I was hoping some hobbyist would look at this and say, this sounds fun.. maybe i can make some money off it too.
Also, $5000-15000 is not a big cut of profit, that's nothing.
Not for a hobbyist
If someone really liked your idea and you were offering 25+% of the profits then maybe you might get some interest.
OK. If you get a pro to do the entire thing for me. I'd hire you if u'd show some manners
As it stands you are asking one programmer to create this wonder project for you to make money and you're only offering $5000 - think about it?
I told you it would only take a month, and for a hobbyist, $15000 is pretty damn good.
I'm a professional programmer and I've been offered to work for "equity" in a "great idea" before. I passed then and although I haven't heard your idea, I am passing now.
good for you.. I would want somone with a little better attitude anyways..
If you are serious you could try to obtain a patent for your idea so that you could market it without fear of having stolen.
I mentioned i had no money..
However, patents for software usually require detailed implementation details and competitors can often still write very similar software provided they implement it differently. Oh yeah, patents also cost several thousand dollars.
Gee, thanks, einstein..
Best of luck to you,
Dont say it if you dont mean it
but I don't think you'll be getting many offers. If people wanted to program for free they'd work on open source projects.
now where did we get this free part from..

*sigh* another one bites the dust.. lets keep going..
 

feakbeak

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2003
925
1
Michigan
I honestly didn't mean to come off as harsh as I might have. I thought you were seeking a professional of some sort, not a hobbyist. I am perplexed by your proposition. You seem to be interested in producing software for profit - a business. Yet, you are looking to recruit a hobbyist - to me this doesn't make much sense. As a programmer, the coding I do for work is required. I do it to get my paycheck, and therefore I am motivated even when I don't feel like working on a particular project. When I code as a hobbyist though there is little or no pressure. I only work on those things when I feel so inclined. That's what makes those projects more enjoyable - because I can pick and choose to work on what interests me and there is no money on the line to get a product or bug fix out the door.

In retrospect I could have phrased it better, but I just can't see a hobbyist wanting to work on a project that will obviously have deadlines, business contraints and all the associated pressures without having significant financial reward for their efforts.
 

virus1

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Jun 24, 2004
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feakbeak said:
I honestly didn't mean to come off as harsh as I might have. I thought you were seeking a professional of some sort, not a hobbyist. I am perplexed by your proposition. You seem to be interested in producing software for profit - a business. Yet, you are looking to recruit a hobbyist - to me this doesn't make much sense. As a programmer, the coding I do for work is required. I do it to get my paycheck, and therefore I am motivated even when I don't feel like working on a particular project. When I code as a hobbyist though there is little or no pressure. I only work on those things when I feel so inclined. That's what makes those projects more enjoyable - because I can pick and choose to work on what interests me and there is no money on the line to get a product or bug fix out the door.

In retrospect I could have phrased it better, but I just can't see a hobbyist wanting to work on a project that will obviously have deadlines, business contraints and all the associated pressures without having significant financial rewards for their efforts.
i would love to hire a pro, but my pocketbook simply does not support it. because i cannot hire a pro, i will not get the luxury of setting deadlines, putting severe buisness restraints on the developer, or put so much pressure on them. because of the money, however, i will be able to persuade them to do the project, and work with them effectively.

I am interested in a buisness, but the only development help i need would be the initial development. my hopes is the money i have provided will lure the hobbiests to work on this project. some may look at this as a buisness opritunity, because the money offer is very negotiable, as is the entire deal.
 

Blackjack75

macrumors newbie
May 6, 2005
19
0
Great idea, let someone else take the risk!

If the idea is really great I think you should publish a detailed specification of what the application would do exactly and in what way. Once that is published and you are the sole creator of the idea I think it'd be hard for someone to just ripp-off the idea and go away with it. Maybe that would motivate some programmer who could enjoy writing your project, during his free time.

A project's values is in it's fine-tuning of details, concept and overall quality. Itunes is "just another mp3 player" yet it was and is still a success. Something like "my idea is for a program that would resize windows automatically" doesn't have much value unless the idea is REALLY going to revolutionize the world. Taking the time to write the product, test it, enhance it is where the biggest investment/risk is taken.

I have also been offered (several times) to work for a percentage of a hypothetically enormous sum. Eventually in my youth I did accept such projects... but the truth is that this kind of work is just not evenly shared. If you don't take any risk yourself then your motivation to avoid a failure of the project is rather small. When you have paid either hard cash or hard worktime for it then you can be certain you'll do your best to be sure the risk wasn't worthless because YOU took the risk, not someone else.

Either you work as a team: someone doing the commercial deals, another the graphics/marketing, another the code and so on, and if there is revenue it is shared according to the amount of work of each participant... or you have an idea that belongs to you for a product that will belong to you and at this point you are asking a programmer to lend you time because you don't trust your project enough to ask a bank to lend you the money to pay the time of such a programmer.

So what risk are you taking? Losing your idea? Is is so revolutionnary that you could patent it? You have really invented somethings that has never been done before?

Experience, sadly, has shown me that what happens usually in this kind of situation is that, even if the product is nice, once the product is finished sales are close to zero because there is no sales forces and the idea is just nice but not enough for customers to appear automatically from nowhere. And the programmer gladly takes his 25% of nothing after having worked several months. The contractor only "risked" to have 75% of zero but actually had much much less work to do.

So again, when doing it as a hobby, it's fine to take the risk to win absolutely nothing, but most people would prefer to work on their own hobbies rather than those of other peoples...
 

feakbeak

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2003
925
1
Michigan
Good post Blackjack75, I think you and I are in complete agreement - only your post was rather eloquent and my post just seemed bitter and harsh. I shouldn't have been so negative towards you virus1. It is just that after going through these types of situations, I believe Blackjack75 and I have a better perspective. The offer I had to work for equity turned out disastrous and I am glad I did not stay with the company to work for equity. I was a salaried employee for them, but they ran out of capital and could not pay me any longer, but still wanted my services.

Here is my advice to you. First, thoroughly go over the design of your idea from a functional and user perspective. Hash it over with some trusted friends, mock up a GUI for it, get the design concepts really solid before you ever approach actual development. This is something that is rarely done well, even in the professional development arena. Once you have determined you have a solid, viable product you should then do one of two things. If you really think this can be a commercial success get a business loan for capital and try to execute this project quickly to get an impressive, stable product out the door in short order to start your revenue stream so that you can sustain maintenance development and expansion of your product. If you have doubts that this product would be a success try to start a project with hobbyists - if you have a creative idea you will have to voice it to attract interest. If you go this route, you shouldn't treat it as a business - just let programmers work on this idea with you in their spare time and offer it as shareware, if it is really popular you might make some decent money in terms of supplemental income. You could also forget about making money and do this is an open-source project just for the satisfaction of bringing your idea to fruition.

You can't ride the fence on this one though. You need to decide to do this as a business or do it as a leisure project because most of the time anything in between is a disaster.
 

virus1

macrumors 65816
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Jun 24, 2004
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Blackjack75 said:
If the idea is really great I think you should publish a detailed specification of what the application would do exactly and in what way. Once that is published and you are the sole creator of the idea I think it'd be hard for someone to just ripp-off the idea and go away with it. Maybe that would motivate some programmer who could enjoy writing your project, during his free time.
The problem is, there is nothing stopping people from just taking my idea, because although i am sure the idea has been thought of, i think there is a reason it hasn't been made. if ur really interested and think you could help, pm me and i might tell u.
A project's values is in it's fine-tuning of details, concept and overall quality. Itunes is "just another mp3 player" yet it was and is still a success. Something like "my idea is for a program that would resize windows automatically" doesn't have much value unless the idea is REALLY going to revolutionize the world. Taking the time to write the product, test it, enhance it is where the biggest investment/risk is taken.
Of course..
I have also been offered (several times) to work for a percentage of a hypothetically enormous sum. Eventually in my youth I did accept such projects... but the truth is that this kind of work is just not evenly shared. If you don't take any risk yourself then your motivation to avoid a failure of the project is rather small. When you have paid either hard cash or hard worktime for it then you can be certain you'll do your best to be sure the risk wasn't worthless because YOU took the risk, not someone else.

Either you work as a team: someone doing the commercial deals, another the graphics/marketing, another the code and so on, and if there is revenue it is shared according to the amount of work of each participant... or you have an idea that belongs to you for a product that will belong to you and at this point you are asking a programmer to lend you time because you don't trust your project enough to ask a bank to lend you the money to pay the time of such a programmer.

So what risk are you taking? Losing your idea? Is is so revolutionnary that you could patent it? You have really invented somethings that has never been done before?
Unfourtunately, that is what i am risking. If nobody else will help me make it, i will have to learn the programming language and write it in my spare time by myself, because i really believe in this idea, and i know it will prosper
Experience, sadly, has shown me that what happens usually in this kind of situation is that, even if the product is nice, once the product is finished sales are close to zero because there is no sales forces and the idea is just nice but not enough for customers to appear automatically from nowhere. And the programmer gladly takes his 25% of nothing after having worked several months. The contractor only "risked" to have 75% of zero but actually had much much less work to do.
With this idea, it ends up as a win-win situation, which is part of why it is so special
So again, when doing it as a hobby, it's fine to take the risk to win absolutely nothing, but most people would prefer to work on their own hobbies rather than those of other peoples...
which is, of course the biggest problem. the thing i think will fix that is the money offered.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,510
27
London
As a professional programmer I have to say they people, especially non-programmers (and that includes people trying to learn, more so if they cannot grasp it) are particularly bad at estimating time to complete a project. If you say it will take a month and are looking for people who program as a hobby how much time per day do you expect them to put in? 2 hours? If you say 8 hours a day, 5 days a week that's not a hobby!

Without even seeing your idea I am willing to bet that it would take a single programmer at least 6 months to get it to a polished salable state. You need the code, artwork (icons and so on), documentation (including complete on-line help in at least English) and full testing.

6 months for $15000 is very poor pay indeed. If you want a realisic estimate then feel free to PM me with your idea. I'm not going to steal it, I already have 3 launched Obj-C/Cocoa projects and 3 or 4 more on the go that I don't have enough time for!
 

sigamy

macrumors 65816
Mar 7, 2003
1,300
2
NJ USA
You may want to try elance http://www.elance.com/ or search Google for similar types of resources.

Back in the dot com boom, elance was a place where you could post small jobs like "design a web site for my dental practice". Then developers would bid on your project. They would include samples of their work and you could select the developer you wanted to hire.

It seems that elance is a bit more corporate now, but it may be worth a shot.
 

superbovine

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2003
2,872
0
sigamy said:
You may want to try elance http://www.elance.com/ or search Google for similar types of resources.

Back in the dot com boom, elance was a place where you could post small jobs like "design a web site for my dental practice". Then developers would bid on your project. They would include samples of their work and you could select the developer you wanted to hire.

It seems that elance is a bit more corporate now, but it may be worth a shot.
http://www.rentacoder.com/RentACoder/default.asp has more people than elance i believe.
 

superbovine

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2003
2,872
0
virus1 said:
The problem is, there is nothing stopping people from just taking my idea, because although i am sure the idea has been thought of, i think there is a reason it hasn't been made. if ur really interested and think you could help, pm me and i might tell u. Of course..Unfourtunately, that is what i am risking. If nobody else will help me make it, i will have to learn the programming language and write it in my spare time by myself, because i really believe in this idea, and i know it will prosperWith this idea, it ends up as a win-win situation, which is part of why it is so specialwhich is, of course the biggest problem. the thing i think will fix that is the money offered.
get a NDA.
 

virus1

macrumors 65816
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Jun 24, 2004
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robbieduncan said:
As a professional programmer I have to say they people, especially non-programmers (and that includes people trying to learn, more so if they cannot grasp it) are particularly bad at estimating time to complete a project. If you say it will take a month and are looking for people who program as a hobby how much time per day do you expect them to put in? 2 hours? If you say 8 hours a day, 5 days a week that's not a hobby!

Without even seeing your idea I am willing to bet that it would take a single programmer at least 6 months to get it to a polished salable state. You need the code, artwork (icons and so on), documentation (including complete on-line help in at least English) and full testing.

6 months for $15000 is very poor pay indeed. If you want a realisic estimate then feel free to PM me with your idea. I'm not going to steal it, I already have 3 launched Obj-C/Cocoa projects and 3 or 4 more on the go that I don't have enough time for!
a pro i know says it would take him one week full time, so i figure multyply by 4, and it would account for part time. and this project is a special case
 

Fukui

macrumors 68000
Jul 19, 2002
1,615
6
I suggest you read This and expecialy take the Functional Spec part and take it to heart.
Before you write one line of code, spec spec spec!
You have to map out where you are gonna go before you go.

P.S To pay someone to write a software for a one-time charge and you get to keep all the profits is maybe not a nice thing to do IMO.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
virus1 said:
a pro i know says it would take him one week full time, so i figure multyply by 4, and it would account for part time. and this project is a special case
Just out of curiosity, if it'd take him a week full time, why wouldn't he work three weekends for the $5K-$15K? I suspect that there are issues with your idea. Note also that (if in fact it takes just a week to write) if your idea is fantastic, a week and a half after it launches a better one will appear on the scene.

Best of luck, though.
 

virus1

macrumors 65816
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Jun 24, 2004
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jsw said:
Just out of curiosity, if it'd take him a week full time, why wouldn't he work three weekends for the $5K-$15K? I suspect that there are issues with your idea. Note also that (if in fact it takes just a week to write) if your idea is fantastic, a week and a half after it launches a better one will appear on the scene.

Best of luck, though.
my plan works differently, so in the end, a lot more work will be put into the project.
 

crap freakboy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
867
0
nar in Gainsborough, me duck
HiRez said:
I accept!! In fact, I've already coded your project and it's looking really good. Unfortunately, I cannot show it to you until I'm paid. But I know you're going to love it! :)

lol

thanks for that, made my bad day better.

Saying that though, investing personal time on an idea that may make money in the long run is not to be sniffed at in my opinion. Graphic designers have to invest vast amounts of time doing 'pitch' work with no certainty of it making them money.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Well Virus1 (now that's a handle that doesn't inspire confidence in this particular thread) I think your business plan is seriously flawed.

You are essentially asking for someone to work for you for free, as you admit you don't have any money. Then at an unspecificed time in the future, after an unspecified amount of marketing and advertising by yourself (and the person has no particular reason to trust your business acumen or sales ability), the person may get $5,000 or $15,000.

If you never sell any units, the programmer will get nothing. Presumably if you sell the company to Adobe or Microsoft for $1M, the programmer will not get $500K, either.

Here's what we know about this project:

Virus1 has an idea, although he won't say what field it is in, let alone what makes it unique and saleable.

Virus1 is not particularly skilled at marketing commuication (as evidenced by the examples in this thread)

Virus1 has not been able to convince a professional programmer that the idea is good enough to take on "on spec" (since the programmer is sensibly insisting on being paid for their week's worth of work)

Virus1 has not been able to sell any financiers, established companies, venture capitalists or relatives and friends on the idea of underwriting the investment.


I think you need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a business plan that does not contain the phase "someone programs it for free" and "lots of people somehow buy it".

Include in this business plan how you are going to communicate effectively about the project (including the use of Non Disclosure Agreements) while protecting your inellectual property.

Include a specific and time-based marketing plan including who is going to do the marketing, to whom, how, who are the buyers, where the funding for the advertising, shipping, travel, marketing materials etc, is going to come from, and sales projections: how many units are planned to be sold, by what dates.

You need to estimate all of your expenses, including mundane things like business license, taxes, overheads, phone bills, postage, printing on the advertising material and product packaging, costs for bank and charge card setup and service charges/fees, allowance for bad debts, returns, all of that.

That will tell you how many you have to sell before it starts returning a profit.

Then, you have to raise that amount of money before you start. This initial capitalization is what you need to get the project off the ground. Your completed business plan plus your NDA presentation of the idea should be strong enough to get some speculative money from friends or family, and to someone to commit to your project.

If you can't raise $5000 from friends and family on the strength of your idea and business plan, then bin it. In that case you don't have any basis for asking someone to donate a month's worth of programming to you for a product that you will own all the rights to. As it is, your thread title is inaccurate to downright deceptive.


The other thing you could do is say "I've got a great idea for a shareware program, and if someone wants to develop it with me for fun, then if we ever make any money on it, we'll split the proceeds 50:50"
 

James Philp

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2005
1,494
0
Oxford/London
CanadaRAM said:
If you can't raise $5000 from friends and family on the strength of your idea and business plan, then bin it.
Personally, I'd never ask friends and family to speculate money on me. Things get very nasty if things go wrong.
I'd go to a bank first.
If it's a secure business plan, and you have good credit (and collateral) they will most likely lend you the cash.
 

virus1

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 24, 2004
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thank you very much mr ram. i have the idea in my head, a really good ui.. but somone just took up my offer, using my shakey buisness model i might add. so the deal is probably off. if more people are willing to help, they can continue to pm me. thanks for all your support everyone, and thanks for nothing mr. mean ram.

btw: virus1 is just a name. my name eric means honerable ruler. i don't think that really applies to me. ram, how ever means godlike. and that certianly doesn't match you.
 

njmac

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,759
2
I hope when the project is done you will come back here and post what this is all about. I'm always interested in what ideas people have come up with.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
virus1 said:
thank you very much mr ram. i have the idea in my head, a really good ui.. but somone just took up my offer, using my shakey buisness model i might add. so the deal is probably off. if more people are willing to help, they can continue to pm me. thanks for all your support everyone, and thanks for nothing mr. mean ram.

btw: virus1 is just a name. my name eric means honerable ruler. i don't think that really applies to me. ram, how ever means godlike. and that certianly doesn't match you.
Great, a gratuitous personal slur to go with the other highly professional posts you have made here.

Forgive my not associating "Virus1" with "honorable ruler". My comment was that the name Virus1 asking for programmers to work on a secret software project brings up unwanted associations.

And BTW, whether you like me personally or not, if you DON'T have a reasonable business plan when you start doing real business, your project will crash and burn. That's bourne out by thousands upon thousands of failed start-up companies.