I have got an idea which is new in concept and is based on the cellular market.
I am a programmer, an animator and I can do graphics and presentations. I am definitely NOT a business man, and for some reasons I find it hard to detach myself from the newborn startup.
I already have a functional prototype that within a month or two can be out to the public to use.
I want to know how to use my position to my advantage the best way. Should I start on my own, begin getting some profit and then do the fundraising ?
Should I immediately focus on fundraising so that I can have a better product sooner ?
The time I think is critical because I don't want to give enough time for compeition from stronger bigger compaines that can eliminate me from the surface. (I am only one person)
For example, they can offer the same thing for free, whereas I must charge money to survive.
The people I have exposed to the idea liked it a lot, and said a variety of things.
Some said I should put it in my top priority to sell the idea to a company that can get it off the ground immediately.
Some say I should start it on my own, and only once the money starts coming the investors might be more into it, and the company will be worth more.
I am really a tech/art guy. I need to know where I am standing, and what are my options. I am on a foreign ground, and I wish to learn more. It means a lot to me
What I think, you should focus more on development side and while doing this, you need to find a partner who can take care of business. I believe you would be personally more happy to be some R&D manager rather than going to meetings with clients. You also mentioned that time is important, so better to look for a partner. Define your skills, and decide which area suits you better.
Do you really want to learn business stuff or you happy with development area? Doing the same things at first stages it will be hard for you. It is better to distinguish your work. One is doing development, another sales/strategy.
First finish your product, make some presentations, will help to find investors later on if you won't find until then.
A working prototype a great start! It may however be a good time to take a step back and begin building a beta list, refine your messaging, and figure out the best market to go after. There is a step by step guide on validating your business concept you can find here: http://startupplays.com/plays/new_product_concept
If you are in the United States I'd check out http://www.kickstarter.com/. It'll not only raise some funding for you (which is more of a donation to get you started rather than giving away shares), but it could also create awareness or allow you to sell you product before it's made. Some guys took about $1million of preorders for an iPhone holder they created that slotted onto a tripod. There's a video about of their pitch and another video after they shipped somewhere (maybe on their blog) but if you can't find it let me know and I'll dig around and post a link.
It's a great site. Wish they catered for people overseas!
With a proven product with traction it will be much easier to find investors, and you'll be able to get better terms. Finding an investor is a very time consuming and stressful process, so if you don't need the money to try the product on the market, you should go that way.
Moreover, if your potential competitors could give away a copycat product for free, that would be a problem with an investor too. You can also consider the possibility of selling your product to one such potential competitor (but only after having traction).
If you are not confident in running with your idea and selling it directly then consider a joint venture. Who else is selling a product like yours to your prospects? Is there a company out there if they had your product they could sell it for you and get paid a commission? Approach them with the idea, see if they are interested.
Remember Larry & Sergey were geeks not business guys - and they wanted to sell their BackRub search idea to Yahoo who wasn't interested. So, they were forced to do their own thing and Google was born. So geeks can do it, but you may want to see if you can get someone else to sell your product for you.