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Show HN: Marketplace to sell and buy side projects
59 points by sideproject on July 20, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 32 comments
Do you have side projects you created in the past, but no longer working on?

We are creating a simple marketplace for developers to sell and buy side projects.

Currently, we are finalizing the last minute details and we will be launching quite soon.

We would love to have you signed up for the early access to get feedback.

Link is here


Thank you.

Countless posts and comments here on HN strongly suggest that it's precisely the vision and passion of a founder that brings life to a startup which is itself just a hypothesis; the only reason to exist is to prove or disprove that hypothesis.

If you place stock in the notion that ideas are worthless without execution, paying money to inherit someone else's unsuccessful idea that they lost interest in will only appeal to software developers that have no ideas or inspirations of their own.

You'd have a hard time convincing me that buying someone else's codebase of unknowable quality is going to be (or feel) any definition of "better" than designing and building your own MVP. At least your code will be familiar and not constrained by another dev's [aborted] vision.

> If you place stock in the notion that ideas are worthless without execution, paying money to inherit someone else's unsuccessful idea that they lost interest in will only appeal to software developers that have no ideas or inspirations of their own.

Actually, paying $x to acquire someone else's product, try your hand at marketing it, and failing fast for yourself could be an absolute god-send for non-technical founders who waste months/years trying to outsource development or find technical cofounders to execute on a mediocre idea that has been done 100 times before. Now that I think of it, just having this marketplace and being able to see what's been attempted before will hopefully increase the quality of startups that make it to the product stage in the first place. That will be welcome: a lot of talent / energy today is wasted building things that are doomed to fail from the get-go.

We kill most of our ideas when they should be killed: as ideas. Paying $20-1000 to buy a packaged product that lets us test some of our hypotheses immediately is a nice option to have. Thumbs up from me for this reason.

I could also see brilliant developers who love building things using this as a means to connect with brilliant hustlers looking for things to sell/market. Maybe it will be a long time before any individual side project bought from here gets to itself be a major product (and maybe not!), but there's an entire spectrum in between that still adds value to the ecosystem: this could be a very interesting way for cofounders to serendipitously connect based on mutual interest, and of course it's a gold-mine for potential employers and head-hunters.

Edit: I think it's disingenuous to suggest that a side project is a "baby" and should not be abandoned, or if it is it should necessarily be open sourced. A product may be of commercial value but someone doesn't want to pursue because they have no ability to market it, or their interests changed, or they stumbled upon an even more profitable idea that is taking up all their attention, or they got a job at Google, etc etc.

This is an excellent response!

I'll just add an anecdote - in the past I've bought a friend's unsuccessful business and promptly made a decent profit from it. Sometimes a different skillset is just what a project needs.

> Paying $20-1000 to buy a packaged product that lets us test some of our hypotheses immediately is a nice option to have.

Have you seen how much people want to sell their sites/projects for though? I've seen todo-lists being offered in the past for $1000+. Which is just scary.

paying money to inherit someone else's unsuccessful idea that they lost interest in will only appeal to software developers that have no ideas or inspirations of their own.

Not sure I see that, mostly because not all side projects by developers will be pure code/apps. Quite a few developers seem to be creating e-mail newsletters but then are failing to monetize them or run them regularly long-term. I'd buy those on the right topics at the right price even if I could rip off the idea myself because there's still value there.

I think you are right in assuming that the buyer side of the market is not going to consist of developers. However, there is certainly a market here if the right people are targeted and the projects are presented as businesses in a box as opposed to abandoned side projects.

Potential buyers include MBA's who can't code, or don't have time to, and all of those many people who tell you "I have an idea I just need you to build it and we will split everything 50/50". If the grand vision was presented to them properly, they just might shell out a few thousand for it.

You should probably turn off debug mode, or whatever is causing me to see stack traces instead of a 404 page.


As a side benefit, this showed me that Symfony has a really nice trace output. I wish Codeigniter had this.

It's a project called Whoops:


It's the Laravel framework.

Switch to Kohana (which is a codeigniter fork).

Kohana 3 is a rewrite (couple years old now). Not really a CI fork anymore. Looks and works completely different.

You can see who's behind the project from the killer stack trace there.

Sounds interesting, but what's the benefit of using this over, say, Flippa? Is this more targeted towards not-necessarily-money-making projects?

Looks like the sellers and buyers are both meant to be developers:

> SideProjectors is a special community for the creative types, just like yourself, where you can find someone who can potentially take over your projects.

> Alternatively, if you are looking for interesting projects that others have paused on, SideProjectors would be a great place to discover them.

While Flippa.com is marketed to non-tech buyers.

Also, http://flippa.com is only for websites while this looks to be for any side-project, opening the door to more interesting projects.

This is something that will be exciting to developers who don't want their side projects anymore. The other side of the marketplace will be more difficult.

I think your market for that side is actually the people on google searching for "technical cofounder". They want something they can't do for themselves. It's more tangential but I think you would need to spin it in that direction.

Tech people like to build products. That's why we have side projects that we want to sell in the first place. We're probably unlikely to buy more. You need to get marketing people in there to buy them. The difficulty with that is that these people will need a functionally complete application.

I'm not a programmer but I think a site like this makes alot of sense. My last company did pretty strong revenue, well into the 7 figures annually but I wouldn't have a clue how to develop anything. I think many times programmers build products that alot of time don't have strong marketability, but that are "cool" in their eyes. A new set of eyes, a different perspective with a strong business sense might see an angle that a programmer does not for a project that is partially built. I signed up for the waiting list. Good luck!

I think this is one of those cases of building a solution for a problem that never existed.

Either that, or you need to explain the business better on your landing page.

What the heck IS a "side project"? And, furthermore, why on earth would I want to buy one?

Is a "side project" the half-cocked proof-of-concept game code I wrote over the weekend?

Is a "side project" a successful open-source project?

Is a "side project" an app?

What are we talking about here?

I'm not trying to rag on you, but I think you need to be more specific, because right now I learn nothing on your homepage that would cause me to want to sign up.

The web page is confusing. What looks exactly like search field, is in fact an e-mail address field. And when you enter something that can't be an email, no error is shown.

I had the same idea, but never had the chance to make it a real product, which proves on thing - idea is nothing and execution matters. http://www.ex-prj.com/ "They were your favorites in the past, but for some reason, you have to say 'Good-bye'. So why not just let others take care of them? Ex-Prj.com - a place to share what you spent days and nights building, and loved."

It's presumptuous to assume that because the founder of the project was unable to make it profitable that someone else couldn't. Many engineers have no sales / marketing skills at all. Also, a service might be useful for a preexisting user base. And maybe a service that is making someone $50k a year isn't worth it for one person might be perfect for someone else.

and also - how long until Side Projectors is listed on itself ;)

Interesting idea. I have an Android game that I've been working on for a while and I think it is pretty interesting but I just don't have the time to continue to polish it and market it. Maybe there's somebody out there who has the time to finish up the project and likes the idea of skipping the early development phase. There must be a lot of side projects like this.

You should really validate your email field when someone clicks the submit button...

How about a "pay me to continue with my side project" ?

A decent side-project is something you believe could be big. Why would you sell your "baby"? If it's not decent people just make it open-source.

That sounds more like a main project rather than a side project. My side projects are just things that I want to experiment with or that are based upon ideas or technologies I just wanted to screw around with at some stage. They could become my main project one day but that's not really the goal otherwise it'd be my main project already..

Maybe you lose interest/motivation after a long time of not launching or it just doesn't go anywhere and it could be valuable to another person.

Interesting idea. I might well be up for both buying and selling - I'll sign up on Monday.

I'm trying to also build a marketplace - who are you using as the payment gateway?

I'm not the OP but take a look at Balanced Payments: https://www.balancedpayments.com/

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