If you have no money to hire/keep a good developer, don’t startup. Only one good thing can happen. You can loose weight. I lost 7 Kgs in last 15 days due to 20 hours of work, no money to eat healthy, and I walk a lot as I can’t afford gas for my car.

  • Your post makes no sense. I’m guessing that English is not your first language. Anyways, lots of successful founders have started web based businesses without technical skills themselves or having a technical co-founder. If you gain initial traction from a basic website, then you can hire a developer to build it out better.

    • Please tell me one successful founder who built a web app with having no technical skills. I’ve heard this enough. A web app can’t be built from fresh air. Sorry dude, I disagree.

      Now about my language. Yes, English is not my native language. But didn’t I communicate? You responded too 🙂

      • I’m the one you’re responding to. The founder of NastyGal did for one. She started off on Ebay and then when she had built a following for her products, she made her own website.

        Also, the founder of Zappos threw up a simple website to test his idea to see if it would work and got his shoes from Foot Locker; so someone would order a shoe and he’d go to Foot Locker and buy it then ship it to them.

        He wanted to see if people would actually buy shoes online and by conducting that simple experiment, he was able to confirm that yes people would.

        Also, the founders of Instagram were not technically skilled either. They did what they could on their own and asked for help from technical friends by offering them free pizza and other gifts in return for helping them code the app.

        Anyways, the point is that if you’re not even going to try because you lack technical skills, then you were never meant to be a founder to begin with. Just quit and get a desk job.

        • My friend, first of all let me tell you this. I’m building my startup and it is getting launched in next few weeks. I hired a company who is specialised in building MVPs. The point here is the uncertainty of maintaining the app till you get few customers. You need a tech guy who can support. And I’ve worked with my friends (techies) in the past for building MVPs. 2 days they work, then…

          Let’s not talk about Zappos and Instagram stories. The founders are among the most talented people on earth. I’m an normal individual, trying to create something meaningful. The resources are scarce, but only passion stays. That’s why I’m responding to you now (4:00am now) and I’ve not slept. I’m working and thought take a break at SA.

          Much success to you and I apologise if I was too direct and harsh. 🙂

          • Well, you clearly don’t like hearing positive advice so I’ll let you continue to mope about your lack of technical skills. You know what? Yes, you will fail so don’t bother trying.

            Just give up and stop bothering people because you’re a fraud.

            • My friend, it’s easy to give advice. You have nothing to loose. If you are a non-tech guy, please quit your job and start building a web app on your own. Then you will stop preaching.

              And thanks for your verdict – “You know what? Yes, you will fail so don’t bother trying”. I shall reveal my anonymity after few months and let’s have a coffee together then. 🙂

              • Haha I plus oned the above reader’s comment and I am a non-tech founder who managed to find and hire a technical team. We’re only saying this for your own good, if you don’t want to take advice, then don’t ask for it

                • Did anywhere I mention that I’m looking for an advice? Give it to people who are asking for it. It’s not necessary to fo it with everyone. 🙂

          • You mentioned friends who bailed. Perhaps you were a bit too demanding? I’ve met many non technical founders who try to do technical startups and they’re often very demanding since they don’t know what’s possible and what’s not.

            If you get people to help you and they say “dude, feature X is too hard”, instead of insisting that it be part of the app, say “ok can you propose something else then”.

            So are you trying to code it yourself now since you say you’ve barely slept?

            I’ve built many MVPs with guys on Elance. Yeah they can deliver some crappy shit if you’re not careful, so instead of asking your technical friends to code for you, ask them to lead the devs on Elance. Unfortunately its not free, but hey, software isn’t magic.

            • Oh BTW Kevin Rose hired some guy on Craigslist to build Digg, so there. Kevin made a few mil from an insider round stock sale, but everyone else got jack shit including the original programmer who built Digg who then joined the company when it took off.

            • No my friend. I’ve hired 2 developers to code for me. I do testing throughout. I have to manage product, marketing, etc. So much to do for a one person to startup.

              Elance is an option, but again like you said, you get only crappy code if you don’t pay attention. How can a non-tech person like me assess the quality of the code. No one can fool me (i’m decent product guy and hence), but the actual code is like Greek and Latin to me.

              So hired these whom I know personally, but paying them so that they get serious to deliver it on time.

              • What I meant is if you have friends who don’t mind “helping” you out, instead of asking them to code which they might be hesitant to take on without pay, tell them to vet the elance devs and their deliverables. But it looks like you’ve already hired some real devs…

                • Yup. Initially, I tried the same. But I didn’t get quality developers. Wasted almost 20 days on Elance and finally hired services from a product development company. It works!

          • Dana from StartupsAnonymous here. I’m a non-tech founder that started Startups Anonymous without someone technical. Built up interest in the product than went and found someone that could make it better.

            It’s totally doable.

            • Yeah but this is the equivalent of building a bridge with 10 toothpicks, he’s talking about building the golden gate bridge – real web products that have a chance to be monetized and millions of users, not a shitty anonymous QA service targeted towards the smallest niche of people on the face of the earth.

              • Glad to see at least one in this forum believes in building a web app which is worth people to pay for. It’s hard to build decent a web app, especially for a non-tech person like me. All should know the web app I’m building is using RoR, PostgreSQL, and Angular.js. If you think you can (as a non-tech person) to handle this, I wish to see that 🙂

                Now if one argues why are you doing all this when you can do this with a wordpress blog, I can only empathize with him/her.

  • You don’t have to work on it full time..

    Some startups are just vapourware and turn into actual companies when people subscribe to their idea by signing up. Not that that’s an ethical, if you’re crazy about your idea just go for it, do it part time if you must – if it’s going to work just get going!

    • Dude, did you try starting something on your own part time? Do you think it is easy to build something by hiding somewhere? Give me a break and stop the crap.

      If you have to reach the base of a 10,000 feet mountain, you have to jump from a cliff dude, trusting your skills to alight smoothly. Don’t tell me that you can climb down peacefully, without hurting yourself. A lifetime won’t be good enough for that.

      So be realistic and stop listening to the “moonlight” crap.

      • Are you the OP? Man that’s pretty damn rude. I can empathize though since I’m the one that posted the Boomtrain post LOL. Founders of struggling bootstrapped startups often develop a sense of bitterness after a while… and we use forum’s like this to vent.

        Honestly though I consult on the side (I’m not the guy you’re replying to), and it helps pay some of the bills but its true, its hella hard.

        • Sorry man if I sounded rude. I’ve tried this moonlighting business for 3-4 years. Trust me, it never works. We hear the success stories of fraction of people who moonlighted. But there are 1000’s who failed.

          Those who were successful had the right product, right time, and was discovered by the right set of people. I would say, they were little fortunate. But that’s not the case with majority.

          That’s why I said, this moonlight business is not the best and the success possibility is minuscule.

          Apologise again. Let’s be friends 🙂

  • wow, so much I can’t. I come from a medical background and I am creating a fashion ecommerce app. I know nothing about fashion and nothing about programming yet we are finally out of alpha and on to beta testing. All I can say with the issue of scarce funds is to be resourceful. Everyone i know who has a startup is coming from nothing. We either outsource to india, vietnam, phillipines, learn to code it ourselves, or give up equity. you do what you gotta do to survive. Make sure to have a tight revenue model so you can gain back your investment when you launch.

    Good luck!

  • Very interesting warning, but it’s true in many cases. Of course, it’s very hard to start something digital with no skills in it and no money to hire someone who has them. Anyway, every startupper surly knows that there are plenty of risks and it’s not going to be easy for sure. I can note that it’s not very expensive to build a website, especially if you hire a remote developer. Of course, it’s not very secure to hire a freelancer cause you can’t be sure about the outcome and to outsourcing is a bit expensive. So, the only way how to hire web developers for startup to build a high-quality website without spending a lot of money is outstaffing and the best country here is Ukraine due to the low cost and the high level of professionalism among developers. After you have a decent website, you can attract customers much more easily. After all, every decent business has a website nowadays.

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