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So, is this just an article advocating outsourcing? Because I don't know how else you could hire a programmer for a month for a couple thousand dollars



So, is this just an article advocating outsourcing? Because I don't know how else you could hire a programmer for a month for a couple thousand dollars

I think the implication is that if you can't afford to hire someone to code for you, you aren't going to succeed at running a startup.

Why? Because you should be good, really good, at something, whether that's your current day job, being able to sell your plan to others - friends, family, acquaintances, bank managers... - or having the self-belief and determination to fund the entire venture on credit cards.

Although that last one might be... risky ;)


Good point, i just think the author is a bit off on how much it would actually cost to hire someone


For a simple prototype, you shouldn't need more than a few thousand, and you should be able to cajole a decent freelancer in building you something for that amount.

If you can't afford that amount, then either learn to code yourself, or pick a different idea that is actually within your reach.

If the MVP for your idea would cost $100k to build, and you don't have $100k, pick a different idea.

There are so many ideas out there, you need to pick ideas you can actually implement with the means at your disposal.


Is "cajoling" the path to victory? Perhaps you mean something different, but this reminds me of a common, sad type of Craigslist post. Frequently you see ads posted by people with ideas for software who think they ought to be able to get somebody to be their code monkey for $25/hr or so. Many of them are completely clueless as to why they get crappy software and must spend so much time replacing people who quit. Most frequently they seem to blame the situation on bad developers.

Going rates aside, one thing many people (including freelancers!) do not realize is that paying somebody $30/hr gross for a 2-month contract is not even remotely equivalent to a permanent salaried position that works out to $30/hr. Contracts frequently include billable hours and there's tons of negotiation for jobs that fall through. There's generally less security and there are fewer benefits. I've also noticed that there tends to be more time pressure on a lot of the little contracts.

I think it's reasonable to multiply hourly rates by a factor of 2 or so for contract jobs. This is why you have a market with $90,000 salaries and $100-150/hr contract rates. If you try to get somebody for $3000-4000 per month you'll either be lucky and get a student or something or you will get the sort of person who couldn't find anything else. If you do get lucky, your freelancer will not stick around very long because they will find much better opportunities.


Agreed. This is definitely true, unless your product is so trivial that it can be done in a few days, it will take some investment from them.

As far as prototyping, well not sure exactly what is meant by this as it could mean hiring a designer who knows some javascript to hack together some pages that act and feel like a real app but that is just a hollow shell. In this case, sure you can get this done somewhat cheaply but it can only then be a bridge to getting funding as its still going to take an investment to build the actual application.


I would like to point the basic misunderstanding what MVP means.

MVP does not means cheap.

MVP means "Minimum Viable Product". It is very hard to make viable part on cheap using only contractors. You might end up with "Minimum Crappy Product".

Building of MVP requires a lot of interaction with early adopters and evangelists and that is where contractors really cannot help you. Unfortunately, they require the exact guidance.

Some might say that MVP for some SocialNetwork ver. 245 might be cheap to make - but I think MVP in that space if does not have something very unique it needs to have very very nice interface which you cannot get for couple of thousand dollars.


Perhaps a real world example of who has done this and has actually MADE money???


I know several people personally who are non-technical, and have successfully built and sold technology businesses. Sure, they had to put money in them, but they did "succeed". The point is, those startups were within their reach, because they had the funds and management knowledge to make them happen.

I am not at liberty to disclose who those companies are, however. Some, I've signed NDAs with, and others I haven't asked them if I could disclose that they used subcontractors.

Worth adding that I was the first to be surprised that they managed it. I don't believe in outsourcing your core business processes. However, whether or not I believe it, they did it.

I'm not actually advocating this as a standard model, btw. I think if you're not technical, you should start a business that doesn't require lots of technical knowledge. There are plenty of those opportunities out there.

Groupon is an example of a huge technology business that didn't require all that much technical skill to get off the ground.


Aren't all freelancers outsourced? Do you mean offshoring?


yeah, sorry, thats what I meant.. I don't know if he meant just part-time or what, but no decent programmer in the U.S. would work for a couple thousand a month full-time on a project.




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