Magento consultant with over 6 years experience, AWS-certified, all-round tech guy & cat person
@Horace Nelson's answer is absolutely spot-on!
In my opinion, this is what you should take from all the answers on this question.
A product manager / owner who can actually understand a prototype? That's pure gold. Go agile, immerse yourself in the tech culture via weekly meet-up groups and industry blogs, and you're there.
HI! Sounds like you have a lot of work ahead of you.
I would say write it in the language you are most familiar with. If you feel comfortable in Java, then it's a great choice. NodeJS is also a very popular choice for API servers, and Python has two great, slim tools in Flask and Eve: http://flask.pocoo.org/ and http://python-eve.org/.
Also, PHP 7 just came out and it's been thoroughly vetted; even if it's not battle-tested yet, it's way faster than previous versions and worth the investment if you are familiar with php.
As for storage, it really depends on your data structure, but SQL fits most apps really well, and there is good support for it in cloud hosting.
For hosting, I would look at AWS and Google. AWS offers more robust storage options with RDS and DynamoDB, but I bet Google is catching up fast. Both are very good options and offer great scalability, but are more complex to setup than a pair of VPSes.
If you're in the market for a VPS, Linode has a managed Load Balancer service that's easy to setup and you can get a good HA setup for webservers with minimal effort.
I guess the storage part depends very much on your data. Feel free to ring me up, I'd be happy to explore this further.
Thank you for your input, as always the Clarity community is outstanding.
To clarify, the product is not built yet, but I've proven it's viable and they think it's valuable. So they are ready to help build and scale it as a new company, in which I would get shares.
I understand that ultimately it is a negociation and cash is valued more, so I'll take it from there. Seeing as they're willing to pay my salary, I don't expect to get more than 20-25%
Hi! I don't have experience in your field, but I just wanted to say congrats for the idea, and for your business in general: it sounds like you're doing good!
It sounds like you have two problems to overcome: money and the actual shop.
Money-wise, if you think 6k/month would cover salary, rent, utilities and other expenses, then you're already winning: like you said, you'd provide a better service to your customers, and that is very valuable on its own. Not to mention opening another line of business, which helps long-term.
Of course, you should factor in the initial investment in static assets; but I expect asset turnover to be quite good for you: you'll be able to maintain a steady flow of orders, so you're safe in assuming that your initial investment in lasers, etc will pay off.
So, all that remains is to find a good jeweller, right?
Sorry for my rant :) and best of luck!
I'd like to second the WordPress suggestions, and add Drupal on the list as well as a viable alternative. They are both easy platforms to work with.
A better alternative is to find someone that can code it from scratch. My feeling is that this type of service is very hard to differentiate, since there are so many solutions out there, and you'll need a lot of flexibility, which only a pure custom solution will deliver.
A hybrid approach may work best: build something fast with the help of a seasoned WordPress developer, try to get some traction, and then switch to a custom solution once you're confident you can grow the service.
Hope that helps!
I don't have much experience in the space, but a few things crossed my mind, so I wanted to share them.
First off, I don't think GoDaddy offers great hosting services - maybe an idea would be to find a better hosting company that provides better services. This does beg the question: what is your target audience.
If you find a few niches that need consulting on hosting services, you might be able to bring more value by presenting different offers: cheap and fast at GoDaddy, or faster, more reliable and secure somewhere else. You could then pepper some other services on top, such as a CDN (look into CloudFlare) and SSL - which you can configure as part of a premium package.
Another idea would be to market a specific app, such as Wordpress for X. Get pre-configured Wordpress accounts, install cool plugins and a great theme (even paid) for Photography for example, and offer it up as a package. Two things: (1) this is getting more into web development than strictly hosting but it might work better, and 2) you might choose other, more targeted niche software, rather than Wordpress; in the blogging space there are a few new products, such as Medium and Ghost - maybe there's a hosted alternative that provides better value to some people than Wordpress ever will.
Just my 2 cents, hope it helps!
I can help out with advice on the technical aspects. Not sure what low-mid budget means for you, but I can tell right off the bat that something like SAP or Salesforce will be overkill.
At the base of your tech stack will be the eCommerce platform - i.e. the website - and your back-office - OMS/fulfilment app. For the former, I would opt for a lead developer that can choose the platforms and make sure they can work together. I think getting a small team of 2-3 devs to work closely with merch/sales and content/marketing would save you money and lay a solid groundwork.
I can recommend Magento as a solid platform. There's plenty of features to use it standalone, and there are a lot of very good small agencies and a few solid hosting providers. You can even get away with using the free Magento if you get a good team behind it.
Need more details from you to get a better understanding of your needs but that should be a good start.