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[flagged] Build Your Idea for Free (reliablebits.io)
41 points by mjcarp 78 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments

"We’ll be your co-founder and will take equity in the business."

Why would you agree to this before you saw a term sheet, or even how much equity they'll want. What happens if you see the terms and don't agree, after they've selected you or after they've built your product?

It's an interesting idea, but crowdfunding seems to be a better alternative. Even better yet, build a MVP prototype first, validate it, and then get funding.

Also, I am leery of a place that will select based on the input in a single HTML form textbox.

Lastly, the idea is only a small part of success. Execution is a much bigger part of what will make or break a startup. So if they do all the execution, and you provide the idea, they may wind up asking for a 60/40 split in their favor, or even more.

Another thought is that this may be geared to non-tech founders, or founders with little-to-no web engineering experience.

Selection to move onto a next round of interviews is based on the HTML text box, think of this much like an online job application essentially.

"Another thought is that this may be geared to non-tech founders, or founders with little-to-no web engineering experience." -- Certainly a subset that we would accept with open arms.

Equity would be essentially based on the amount of time and money we put into the execution, even though a 60/40 split is extraordinarily high and not very conceivable in this scenario.

The form is to schedule phone calls and meetings.

You're right - execution is everything. We CAN help with it but the founder owns the idea and the execution. We take responsibility for all things tech and product.

Design, build, update, maintain. Your engineering department. For free.

The equity % depends on how complicated the product is to build and maintain.

In line with what you would assign to a tech co-founder I think...

"We will ... build for FREE."

"We ... will take equity in the business."

Well, which is it?

Hi! Free refers to you (the founder) not needing to put down any funds or savings to build your idea.

I get that. My point is that it's disingenuous to call it "free" in the headline when it's clearly not free in the way you would normally use the word in that context.

Noted. Will keep that in mind

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but whenever I see a website where the creators aren't upfront about who they are, my scam senses are tingling.

Submit your best ideas to the harvesting machine. You're only lucky if your idea was a bad one and wasted their time to read it.

so you're saying if your idea is good they'll take it?


coz just knowing an idea is all you need to build a successful business around it?

no. I don't want the idea. I want the founders. I want partners. the people make the business. not the ideas.

@ddevjani? Nobody’s saying the idea is all you need, but the idea could be easily stolen and implemented by somebody else without any compensation for whoever submits that form. Does one have any proof? Were they seen by anyone? It feels a bit dubios to me. And by good idea I’m talking about the type of idea that when pictured in ones mind it lights up the proverbial lightbulb.

We will be selecting two ideas in 2019 to build for FREE.

Fill out the form and let us know all about your idea. We will then review your application and will reach out to schedule a call.

First, your idea must be a software business. Secondly, your business model must generate revenue through means other than advertising; we love marketplaces and SaaS business models.

We’ll be your co-founder and will take equity in the business.

Those are terrible terms.

If they made this offer for custom electronics or plastic parts or something, and they had a factory, it would make more sense. The manufacturer makes money by making the thing, so the business model is that the founder owns the design and the manufacturer bangs out parts for sale. If they were offering free tooling and an initial production run in exchange for exclusive manufacturing rights for N years, that would be an OK deal.

Wait so it’s free, but they take equity? How does that make sense?

The free part is about BUILDING the idea, so you don't have to pay anybody to have it done (basically 0 risk and effort). If the idea works, they will get equity, if it doesn't, you didn't lose anything.

It's a mix between a tech cofounder and an investor, and for me, it makes a lot of sense.

Think of free as meaning a "free pass," you get to make a business without failure meaning debt that will follow you around. If the business fails, you walk away with the only thing lost being time

Without that title/page, this feels like a regular local-business web dev shop. Is this just a marketing tactic aimed at non-technical people?

part of that sounds right. Our founder is an engineer-turned-PM and have a team of engineers + designers + PMs. He runs the design + engineering dept. for other startups.

but alas, this is not a marketing tactic for the agency business. Think about it - people coming in through here are literally coming because they do not have the funds to make their idea a reality.

This is him wanting to create a resource that he wished he had back when he was starting out.

He just wants to work with excellent doers / founders. who have an idea, know their market, while we can build the product. They own it and scale it, run it the way they want to run it.

Whats to stop them from just stealing the idea?

Nothing, but ideas are worthless on their own.

They can be at most a multiplier. But what really matters is the execution.

For instance, "Rockets should be reusable" is an "idea" that even kids can have. Achieving that is the interesting part. Many tried.

"rockets should be reusable" is a trivial idea.

Most ideas are trivial, or very hard to protect, even while building a business.

But what about patentable ideas ?

What about fully formed ideas coming from professors, backed by deep research ?

What about an idea(deeply researched) that with relatively easy implementation could get a lot of press, high SEO and some defensibility ?

> Most ideas are trivial, or very hard to protect, even while building a business.

Exactly, because they are worthless.

The exact details of how SpaceX achieves re-usability are very much patentable. The idea that initially was on Mr. Musk head isn't and wasn't.

> But what about patentable ideas ?

They do not exist. In order to patent something, you have to be able to describe your "invention". Which means you have executed it to some extent, insofar as you are able to at least produce a design. But the mere fact that you can patent an idea doesn't make it useful. The patent office abounds with patents which never amounted to anything.

> What about fully formed ideas coming from professors, backed by deep research

These are no longer ideas, are they? Someone had an idea, pursued it, with _the help of a team_ and produced something of value. THAT can be stolen. The initial idea that spurred the research cannot.

> What about an idea(deeply researched) that with relatively easy implementation could get a lot of press, high SEO and some defensibility

Then you don't need that much funding, do you? If it is easy to implement, you go ahead and implement it, and _NOW_ it has some value, if your implementation is any good. Still, you need to produce something for it to have value.

They are advantageously positioned to be able to fund a team to execute an idea, theirs or otherwise.

> They are advantageously positioned to be able to fund a team to execute an idea, theirs or otherwise.

So they could unethically become a competitor. Big deal.If the idea is not originally theirs and they do not have the founder on board, then they will end up building something different. For better or worse.

This looks like it needs a "Show HN" tag. A founder knew to show up and a contributing developer posted it (twice)

Seriously? haven't we seen enough of these things rip people off/fall down/leave them stranded to know not to do this any more?

If you're considering doing this, don't. Just don't. It will end in tears. It always ends in tears.

Hi! you're right about one thing - I have seen a LOT of people get ripped off when trying to build their product.

my dad got fleeced as well.

kinda why I wanted to create something that provides a real chance to people who def have great ideas and the experience to know exactly what the solution needs to look like.

but are just stuck because they can't convince an engineer to become their technical co-founder to start it with them

and do not have tens of thousands in $ savings to throw at their ideas.

that's where I / we come in.

I can build it. you can run it.

No. It just doesn't work like this.

The idea is worthless until it meets customer feedback. We know this.

So the idea gets built, and the first customer arrives, and they say "hey wouldn't it be great if it did this instead?". And if the non-technical founder is worth their salt, they'll engage with the customer and find out what the customer actually needs, and then come back to the technical side of things and say "we need to change most of this".

And then what do you do? Because if you're not in the game with the founder, skin and all, then you need to charge them another ton of cash to make those changes.

I've worked in agencies and app development shops, and the business model just doesn't work for "helping make ideas come alive". Which is why non-tech founders get fleeced - someone has to pay the devs at the end of the day, whether the idea succeeds or not. No such thing as a free lunch.

You need someone on the actual founding team who knows how to build the product.

And tbh, if you're a non-technical founder who can't persuade or fund an engineer to build your idea, then maybe your idea isn't that great.

Hmm...interesting idea.

Why did they so blatantly rip off the Gin Lane website [https://www.ginlane.com/work]? Not a great look for a creative agency.

All the way down to the squiggly hamburger menu icon...

The menu icon looks very similar to Facebook's Libracoin [1] logo.

[1]: https://libra.org/en-US/

More info about the founder https://medium.com/@ddevjani

I like the idea. Good luck!

PS - I noticed a typo in the first paragraph, should read "Yes, you got that right"

Too bad it doesn’t include physical product ideas (which come out of special software).

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