Is anyone involved able to comment?
Sorry for the radio silence. I was intending on keeping the blog updated with anecdotes from the experiment, but ended up not doing so. I've received a few emails from people mentioning that I'm throwing away the opportunity of turning the initial spike of interest into a long-standing readership/audience but the truth is that was never what I was after; I was genuinely keen on finding some cool new projects to work on.
The experiment is going so-so. If you remember I green-lighted 5 projects.
- 1 was aborted before start through mutual agreement after further market research
- 2 were aborted because the devs did not manage to complete the MVP. Lack of motivation mainly. If I've learnt anything so far it's that lack of follow-through is still a major issue, and the promise of a little money and a partner to work with does not squash the problem as much as I thought it would. I suspect not being physically in the same space has a lot to do with it.
That leaves 2, one of which is live and the other is about a month away still (slow progress)
So it's unclear whether this structure works. Going to depend on the last 2. Even then, the sample size has been quite small so the results will not be conclusive. Guess will need to try a second round at some point!
If you wind up with several companies that are judged as likely to be successful, what will you do? You can't reasonably split multiple companies 50/50 with others, because you won't be able to give adequate time. Getting a business off the ground is just the very first step. You're practically dooming businesses to failure if you can't fully commit to them because you are splitting time between multiple companies.
On the other hand, it wouldn't be fair to bet on one of the companies and then reject working on others, even if they might be viable businesses.
Please do. I loved the idea when I first read about it. And as you said, 5 is a small sample size to draw any conclusions from.
Maybe your experience from the first batch will help you choose better motivated developers to work with next time.
The web app launched about a month ago and is currently running with some beta users testing it out.
I got paid for my development work and we are currently working on advertising the app with the advertising budget we set aside.
I'm sure if things go well we will do a write up about the experience and post it at some point.
It usually won't be texts to all of their clients, but to groups of 10-20 based on their tags and groupings in our system.
Due to the specific arrangement we had, I (understandably) didn't get paid anything, although the idea is still on hold to be resurrected when I'm more able - although this may be as a solo project then.
The concept and semi-anonymous funder are certainly legit and I'm interested to see how the other projects from this develop.
I should probably re-shoot the demo video. It is seriously dated.
Based on the number of "seeking technical cofounder" emails I get every week, ideas are not the problem. Successful companies are built on execution.
And do you really think every idea that people have is published and talked about immediately upon them having it? Many don't so they can line things up and have a competitive advantage. Like you said, execution is the most important part - though the idea still is valuable - and if someone else executes first on an idea then they can beat out the originator of the idea. An easy example: Facebook, Mark Z. who was hired by the brothers, who had the idea to be exclusive to only people with a Harvard email address - which in evidence / documentation he even stated he wanted to beat them to the punch (because "people don't need two of these platforms" - rough quote, I don't remember the exact words).