I have a great idea for a web site but I have no money and I am not a developer where can I go and find a developer?


This was my dilemma for over three years... I finally figured out the solution, but it took a paradigm shifting event for it to happen. I am sure a lot of folks feel this pain what would you do? How would go about getting your site up in running in 2 months? Just curious...


asked Jan 31 '10 at 20:55
14 points
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  • In all honesty, stop now, you're not ready to go into business... If you have no money, nor technical skills, what exactly do you bring to organization? motivation? idea? alot of developers are already filled with great ideas, especially the good ones... Go and study, Go make money, or do something besides "thinking it up". – Itai Sagi 12 years ago

7 Answers


If you're trying to found a technology-based startup and are not technical, you need to get a technical co-founder. I would broaden this by saying that if you're trying to found a startup (regardless of the type and regardless of your skill set) you need to get a co-founder. I agree with a post by Paul Graham of Y Combinator fame:

Paul Graham's Startup Mistakes: See Mistake 1 Starting a business requires a tremendous amount of networking...you might as well start networking now in search of a co-founder.

answered Feb 2 '10 at 08:32
Fractal Guy
254 points


You have done the easy part... believe it or not many people can come up with great ideas but only a few actually execute them and succeed. If you have enough motivation and believe in your idea, you should start looking for ways to find a partner with the technical skills or save money and invest it in your idea, hire a developer and start with something not very complex so you don't end up spending a lot of money.

Good luck!

answered Feb 1 '10 at 12:23
4,815 points
  • Ricardo, you are sooo right! Idea's are worth nothing until executed! And yes! "only a few actually execute them and succeed" -- why is that? And can we help fix and innovate that so more can? I think so. Thus Foundup.com. Looking for the "partner" is the right idea but it can be done in a better and easier way! – Foundup 14 years ago


That's a bit like saying, "I want to get married in 2 months, and I'm not dating anyone and don't have any money, what do I do?".

I don't know about you, but I hate being stuck anywhere because I have to rely on someone else. Don't get me wrong, it's awesome to have partners, and I have one. And you should have partners that are much better than you in certain things. But when it comes to a situation like this, where you need someone or else your dream is dead, that's a place I refuse to find myself in.

Go take a class in building a web application. Or by a book and just start chugging through it. It might be painful, but the learning experience will be awesome. Besides, the learning process will hopefully lead you to start attending things like meetups in your community of other developers. Or you'll meet some other developers who are learning but more passionate about development in a class, that could make great developers.

answered Feb 1 '10 at 23:24
Nathan Kontny
1,865 points
  • this doesn't get my kill idea built. thanks for answering. – Foundup 14 years ago


I would find a technical person in your local area. Posts ads on Craiglist or check out some local usergroup or meetup. I don't believe in remote partnerships to build a business. So you pretty much have to decide first on doing it local or virtual.

answered Feb 5 '10 at 10:07
384 points
  • good ideas... I went virtual and most my team is in India. The fact I'm in Japan want an issue. And where I live in rural Japan there are no English speaking technical people. – Foundup 14 years ago


Find a partner who's a developer, and be prepared to give up a significant amount of equity.

Note, it doesn't have to take a lot of money to get a website up and running - depending on what you need, you can get a site for as little as $200 (running off a template) or $2,000 (but if you have a lot of custom components, the price could easily skyrocket from there).

Have you actually priced out what it would cost for development?

answered Feb 1 '10 at 01:51
4,692 points
  • You heard the adage... don't put all your eggs in one dev partner?... this was the approach I initially took and after 3 months I still couldn't find the right one... I was looking for my "Joel" founder of myonepage.com -- I found a better solution. – Foundup 14 years ago
  • What was your better solution? I agree with that adage, though, as a developer - a second developer helps ensure you don't try something completely crazy from a technical perspective. – Elie 14 years ago


Firstly, post a job on one of the freelance websites such as:

http://www.vworker.com Get a feel for the bids coming in. If you cannot afford the development then you need to get a business plan together to explain to someone how it will make money. You can pitch this idea to potential investors here:


answered Aug 31 '12 at 09:44
11 points


I blogged a while ago on speculative web development (from the developer's perspective).

The gist is that what is typically offered to web developers on speculative projects (no pay, less than 10% equity, complete responsibility for the project and its costs) is not attractive to anyone who can do math.

The answer, of course, is to be atypical. Find a technical founder, or at least be ready to offer a non-founder a balance of equity and pay that he/she can actually live with.

Make sure you can at least pay for your domain, a good VPS, and a secure backup solution (those should total about $55/month during development) and whatever stock art and other resources are needed. Be ready to be educated by your tech partner on the things you can do to help bring the product to market. There will be data entry, copy writing, etc. involved and it should not fall on the tech: if it does, what are you there for?

answered Nov 11 '10 at 08:53
Hedge Mage
1,438 points
  • Not to mention that most people who come up with those offers have nothing substantial to bring to the table, alas if they had good angel and VC connections, but if they would, they prolly wouldn't have needed to give equity for some developer's work. – Itai Sagi 12 years ago

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