Joel, sometimes @jayroh

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I’ve got an idea. I need a programmer. It’s easy!

16 Apr 2008

There’s a really great post at this blog about how the writer, a developer named Ethan, was approached by some acquaintances with regard to a big idea they needed help in implementing. The usual banter ensues, in which Ethan discusses the terms by which he expects to be compensated. Whether in equity or at an hourly rate of payment.

The response from his pitch-man?

Hey, so, we aren’t really prepared to pay. I mean there isn’t that much to it, it’s just a PHP website with a MySql database, I was hoping you could just throw it together as a favor. Oh well, thanks anyway

The rest of his post echoes pretty much exactly how I would feel in this situation. “There isn’t that much to it”. That line destroys me. To anyone that might ever make that assumption – take a moment to step back, and really think about what you’re saying. It blows my mind to think that there are people out there that are so quick to make the leap that “there isn’t much to” someone’s craft.

“Dear Mr. Architect – can you design this house for me for free? I mean, there isn’t much to it, it’s just a house with a foundation and some walls”.

On another semi-related note. If you’re looking for someone to jump in on an entrepreneurial venture – the challenge you should expect to be faced with is to find that one special, talented individual that might share the same passion as you on this particular topic. From my perspective – that’s the key. Passion. Unless it’s for pay, it’s hard for some to get truly amped to knock out the creative, or code, for your new project. I’ve tried the same approach – “Work with me on this! We’ll rule the world“. It’s too nebulous a proposition for most, unless they know they’re going to LOVE this thing you’re creating.

My conclusion – work my ass off for a little extra money to invest in the paid services of my friends to help me where the help is needed. I just can’t ever expect to get something knocked out of the park by someone who’s going on my word – “This is going to be HUGE!”. If my name was short for something like … Joelstradamus … then maybe I’d be more eager to prognosticate on the magnitude of my many “next pet project”s.

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Joel Oliveira

Hi, I'm Joel.

I'm a software engineer in Boston. You can follow me on twitter at @jayroh. I usually tweet about beer, bulldogs, writing code, and sometimes building shubox and thredded.

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