How to find someone to build a web application/website

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How to find someone to build a web application/website

Post by Kennedy » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:17 pm

I'm looking for someone to build me a web app. The program needs to be designed to match people according to location and certain criteria, sort of like a dating website, but not really.

I've tried to search online, but it's hard to know who is reputable and who won't rip off my idea and do a version themself. Am I being paranoid? It's a novel idea. Someone suggested that I use a group from Russia or India. I like that idea because it would keep the cost down, but I'm not sure the trust factor would be there.

I also have no idea as to cost to build this and to maintain it. I have had a couple of my own blogs using wordpress. I'm assuming a web app like I described would need a professional to design it?

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Re: How to find someone to build a web application/website

Post by vitaflo » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:53 pm

It sounds like you're self-funding which in this industry can be pretty hard. Most of the people or companies who are good at this stuff will be far outside the price range of the typical "I've got a good idea" entrepreneur. I have had to turn down many clients because they had champagne dreams on a beer budget. Unfortunately the demand for web app work is so high that many companies just won't take work from "the little guy". It's usually not worth their time.

Off shoring in my experience is usually a bad idea. The quality is almost always less, and while cheaper, attempting to work with someone on the other side of the planet is never easy. Even large companies struggle with this and they have the resources to handle it. But from a cost standpoint it will be cheaper if you can handle it.

Another option is to somehow find someone young and hungry to at least build you a prototype of what you want. Say someone at a local university going through a degree program who needs work to put in a portfolio or a resume. They will be cheaper and more willing to see the project through because of this. Of course, it's hard to find these people because it's not like a local web studio with an office you can email. You also have the potential issue of someone inexperienced doing a shoddy job. As you can see there really is no "free lunch" here. As they say in our industry, "Cheap, fast or good. Pick one".

I wouldn't worry about anyone stealing your idea. In this line of work every client has some big idea they think is going to change everything. Being successful requires a lot more than just building the app. Anyone in this industry long enough knows that, and would much rather be paid than take the risk of doing the app themselves. You make way more money selling picks than mining gold. In any case, make sure you have your vendor sign an NDA and the like to protect yourself.

In any case, all of the above will ultimately depend on what you want to do, how complicated it is, whether you want to spend the time making it professional vs just putting up a prototype to see if it gains any traction, etc. You can think of it like building a building. Is it a shed? A suburban house? A skyscraper? All are buildings but you'd probably choose very different people/companies to build each one.

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Re: How to find someone to build a web application/website

Post by montanagirl » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:10 pm

The Wilkelvoss twins had a novel idea too.

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Re: How to find someone to build a web application/website

Post by Kennedy » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:54 pm

Thank you for the comments. A colleague suggested that I pick someone from Upwork. Any thoughts there? Also, I see that the various developers on that site list the computer languages (I guess that's what they are) with which they are competent. How do I know which language my project requires so I can narrow down the prospective developers to contact?

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Re: How to find someone to build a web application/website

Post by tylerherman » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:12 pm

:oops: Honestly Upwork would be a terrible idea. When you don’t know what your doing the last thing you want to do is work with someone remotely who you’ve never met in person, who may speak English as a 2nd or 3rd language.

Not trying to be an ass but as someone who works on web and native apps for a living (product design), you are going to lose whatever money you put into this. Don’t get into an industry you know nothing about. And yes, if you are asking these questions you know nothing.

When you build an app you are in the software industry, not whatever niche you’re trying to get into. If you don’t even know the difference between programming languages and why you’d chose one over the another, It’s a sign whoever agrees to work with you is simply going to be there to take your money, or they are just as clueless.

If this is your absolute purpose in life, then put the time in. Learn to program, manage developers, manage a roadmap and product lifecycle. If it’s not, I highly recommend saving your money or at least finding a partner who does know the industry and you just be the money guy.

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Re: How to find someone to build a web application/website

Post by randomguy » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:25 pm

A couple of random comments
a) Lets say your idea is revolutionary. What about it is going to be something that isn't obvious 5 mins after you release your app. Facebook wasn't the first social network. Friendster, myspace and numerous other ones were out years before hand. Execution matters

b) Your project doesn't require a language. There are dozens that all work well. You need a compenent technical staff. If you know what you are doing (i.e. have software project management experience) you have a chance of outsourcing it. If this is your first app, your in trouble

c) It will cost far more than what you expect and take a lot longer. We are talking 50k+ at the low end (i.e. you want something that looks like tinder but only needs a web app and doesn't need to scale to millions). And sticking a zero on isn't unreasonable. The one exception is if you can fit into some ready made system. I know there are a couple of dating website/app template apps out there for sale. If you can customize them to fit your needs you might be able to squeeze into the 15k range.

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Re: How to find someone to build a web application/website

Post by Sourc3 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:38 pm

I pretty much second the comments so far. I have been in software running small and very large teams for consulting businesses in the past. We would receive tens of inquiries a day on ideas and sometimes we would vet the ones that were semi-credible. Invariably, when they received a high level estimate in tens-hundreds of thousands of dollars, they would stop responding and say but so and so told me they could do it for $3000.

If you search UpWork, you will see a lot of "I want to build Uber for X for $800" type of jobs with a bunch of applicants from overseas (India, Russia, etc.). When you see someone even reply to a post like that you should know that they just want to make a quick buck by "working" on your idea for $20/hr for 40-50 hours before you realize how difficult it will be and give up yourself.

I do believe you need to educate yourself in the space before you jump on this journey. Have you learned how to prototype your idea? Take a look at web sites like to sketch out your idea. You'll be surprised how much you need to think about before you're ready to work with a development shop/developer. Once you sketch your idea end to end, spend a bit of time understanding how web/mobile development works by picking up a "for dummies" book so you can talk to people intelligently. Then, please consider a reasonable hourly rate like $60-90/hour or so and hire someone locally and get them build you your idea in small increments.

Obviously there is a lot more to it but if you go in with a plan like the one above, you'll increase the odds of actually finishing a version 1 of your product/idea.

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Re: How to find someone to build a web application/website

Post by Kennedy » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:54 pm

From the OP: All excellent comments. Thank you. This is definitely a new area for me, so you have given me a lot to think about.

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Re: How to find someone to build a web application/website

Post by trudeo » Thu May 21, 2020 12:01 am

It’s an interesting thread.

I am a software engineer. I am looking for someone who is ideally a software sales person and who has identified a need in an enterprise solution that we could address and potentially turn into a product and maybe a business. The reason why I would like to partner with a software sales person is simply because I do not have the skills the promote and sell a software. I can code, but not sell.

I believe that most of the money in software is in enterprise. I understand the attractiveness of building an app like Uber, Tinder, TikTok, etc. However, as many mentioned earlier, those apps are expensive to build. Enterprise software can also be very expensive to build, but I believe there is less risk. If a software improves an enterprise process, they are often willing to pay for it.

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Re: How to find someone to build a web application/website

Post by HawkeyePierce » Thu May 21, 2020 11:16 pm

Learn enough to build a prototype yourself, then think about hiring a firm or individual to build a more polished version.

Or be prepared to spend a fortune. The minimum price tag on a project like this at a good firm is $100k.

Mobile app development requires more than just a dev shop to throw something together. Design, UI/UX, backend development, testing. All that adds up. Plus writing the app.

If you're talking about something with the engineering requirements along the lines of a dating app (eg realtime geolocation matching) it won't be cheap.

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