Hey Everyone, I currently have an idea for a start up that I have been working on for about a year. I have done a lot of market research, validation, and I have a launch page setup that people have gone to and signed up for my mailing list. I am currently in high school so I am on summer break right now and would really like to get something going on my time off. I do have money saved up to hire freelance web developers if i have to. What would you recommend I do next? Learn to code myself, hire a freelancer web developer, work on finding a tech co founder, or any other suggestions. Thanks!
If you have time, I suggest that you learn coding yourself. That saves you money but takes a great amount of time to do.
And if your interested, I'm a coder myself. You can give me a call and we'll discuss the details of your idea.
Alex from Groove talks about this in one of his posts on being a non-technical founder: http://groovehq.com/blog/non-technical-founder
I would say first off, make sure that you can drive the start-up without being able to code. ie: are you great at sales, product vision, user-experience, writing, marketing etc.?
Next, hire a freelance developer to make you a prototype cheaply. It won't be a real product yet, but just an MVP to get feedback from your target audience. Make sure the design is great, but it can be duct tape and bubble gum in the code. This will show investors that you can validate the market need, people are interested in what you've made.
Combine that with a great pitch deck and you may be able to raise $250K-1M from angels to hire a great full stack developer as your CTO and start building a team.
I've been there myself and currently run a funded SaaS startup. If you want to chat more book a call.
PS: It's really easy for other people to tell you to learn to code yourself. But not everyone is great at math logic, and asking someone to "just learn" is like asking someone to "just learn to play guitar". If you're not wired that way, it's impossible to expect you can just wish yourself to be able to do it. Besides, a couple months of Treehouse or Linda.com courses aren't going to give you the ability to code a web product that users are willing to pay for. Real engineers take years of training, practice and constant reading/learning to keep their skills sharp.
Find a technical cofounder. Although it's possible to find good contractors, it takes a lot of experience to select the right ones and manage the process, something a first time entrepreneur almost always doesn't do well.
Learning to code yourself will keep you busy all summer and the remainder of the year and "learning to code" and making good technical decisions and doing everything required to maintain a techical operation are vastly different.
Find someone else who is young and passionate like yourself who has technical expertise and pair up with him or her.
Happy to answer other questions you have
Congrats on submerging yourself and beginning the entrepreneur journey. There are really four ways that you could proceed;
1. Hire freelance web developers
2. Offshore the work
3. Hire someone for sweat equity (in my opinion, the best equity)
4. Learn to code yourself
In my opinion, you seem like a young, passionate, entrepreneur, and even though you may have a great idea right now, you will continue to have great ideas. Take advantage of your age and learn to code. There are hundreds of websites out there where you can learn from, but my favorites are codeacademy, code.org, and Khan Academy. If the matter is truly urgent, then sweat equity would be the next best option. Good luck, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
What are you best at ?
Focus on that and outsource the rest .
Are you a Math Whiz Kid?
Learn to program. Hire a few marketeers.
Are you are brilliant marketeer?
Then hire a firm and Run the marketing side of the business.
Are you a finance mastermind?
The leave the marketing and development to a proffeisonal.
In the end your product quality matters and you can't be the best at everything. Focus on one field . Hire amazing talent for the rest.
I run http://ELGroupInternational.com and have worked with various entrepreneurs in the Valley and from around the world.
I am happy to say evey single startup we built has been funded.
Feel free to email me if you wish at Evan@EvanLuthra.com .
I get this answer quite often. Here are some thoughts I put together in a blog post…
Got an idea? Start coding!
Good luck :)