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You're valuing a designer, marketer and programmer at $50K/yr each?

At this level, yes. Go for 0 years experience but lots of passion and a basic skill set. Give them a shot on it. You don't want pros for a project like this, they're better used elsewhere, just a small team to keep the lights on and try to grow it.

My usual strategy works well here: Hire in @min wage, with a huge bonus linked to new subs.

So, like a 100th Monkey strategy?

You probably need someone experienced to semi-supervise the project. A bunch of newbies might end up exploring more than being efficient and productive.

I know what you are saying, and I strongly agree. But in comparison to chopping $75k off of you're bottom line then I think you are going to struggle to find a way to be less efficient.

Depending on the size of the company it might just make a great graduate / junior dev recruitment program. Take them on with a probationary period and watch how well they do with the sideline gig. If they turn the code to spaghetti within months then you probably don't want them working on the core business. The last one through the mill becomes supervisor for the next one.

The only potential issue with this strategy is damaging the brand name of the consulting company. I'm not entirely convinced that this is really an issue.

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