Is my role as non technical guy valuable enough in this case?


How do I approach this situation? I m a non-technical guy, but I want to set up a very basic search engine which would search for data from a MYSQL database of data collected by us.The data is limited to a certain field.

I realise that a huge majority of the work required for something like this is technical. So, how do I go about trying to execute this idea? I know ideas are worthless without having the ability to execute it.

I am willing to provide the entire capital and cover all costs, and handle the business aspect of the business (the business would require a certain amount of offline work to develop and grow). Would someone be willing to partner up with me in such a scenario? If so, would I have to give the other person majority stake, or does my capital infusion and business development work help balance that out? Also, the site would obviously need constant work on it to keep it updated and running well.

Getting Started Co-Founder Technical Non Technical Search Engines

asked Sep 26 '11 at 18:30
16 points

3 Answers


You mention that you will provide all capital to cover costs. That puts you in a strong position to get what you need and I see you have two choices:

  • use capital to buy technical resource to implement your idea, this could be by employing someone at the market rate or by contracting the work to a developer/agency. As you mention that there will be ongoing work you are more likely to look to an employee/partner scenario. If you are paying market rate for a developer you need only offer a small amount of shares (if you choose to do so)
  • find a partner that will work for a reduced wage in exchange for a share of the company. The amount you share would be dependent on the reduction in pay, the amount of work they do of the total work required to launch your business and the amount of engagement/partnership you want from them.

If you are supplying the capital and have very much needed expertise in actually getting people to use your service (marketing etc), there is no way you should be handing over the majority of the company.

answered Sep 26 '11 at 20:37
Lloyd S
1,292 points
  • Thanks for the reply! Similar to what i ve said below, should I instead hire a developer to do all the initial work and get the service up and running, and then look for a tech founder? That should put me in a much stronger position. The reason i m thinking i would need a tech founder is because end of the day the "service" is entirely online, so with my lack of in-depth knowledge I would need someone to constantly work on that aspect! – User13528 12 years ago
  • One question though, should I split up the work for the site between different developers to prevent any one of them "copying" the service? How hard is to coordinate something like that? – User13528 12 years ago
  • It sounds like you would benefit from a technical cofounder, as a person with funds and ability to market said idea you would be attractive to a developer/technical cofounder. You shouldn't split the work unless you are able to combine it. It really would be worth some of your time to get a basic understanding of the technical side a good start would be to build a basic site in PHP/MYSql, there are loads of books that walk you through the process and will really help you communicate with however codes the site for you. – Lloyd S 12 years ago


If you are providing all the capital then it's your business and you can do what you want. Now depending on how technical the solution is you get to choose the way forwards. It may be completely feasible to hire a developer at market rates to do the work you need. In which case you won't have to hand over any of your business.

The reasons for handing over a share of your business could be:

  • you want a senior techie guy that you otherwise cannot afford
  • you want a partner/co-founder in the business to help make decisions

If neither of those resonates then you're probably better off just hiring a developer to do the work for you. He/she isn't going to care too much if you are techy or not - they just get paid to do what you want.

answered Sep 26 '11 at 20:52
2,333 points
  • Thanks for the reply! The reason I am looking for a co-founder is because end of the day the "service" is entirely online. So, I would need the website to be developed entirely by someone else, and it would require constant work on. If i were to divide it, I would say 80% is the online work, and 20% is offline. – User13528 12 years ago
  • Or should I instead hire a developer to do all the initial work and get my site up and running, and then looking for a partner to maintain and improve it? That way i think I would be in a stronger position to negotiate. What do you think? – User13528 12 years ago
  • Actually, let me correct that, I would say its 65% online and 35% offline. – User13528 12 years ago
  • if you can afford it, keep 100% ownership and hire developers to do the minimum amount of work necessary to demonstrate that this idea will work. Then when you've hit that milestone, move on with bigger and better plans. – Edralph 12 years ago

answered Sep 26 '11 at 19:50
1,194 points
  • I am already aware of these other sites where one can find tech co-founders. But, what I wanted to know is the position I would be in to negotiate before I start talking with potential co-founders? – User13528 12 years ago
  • In general, if you start a company with another guy, consider a nice, simple 50/50 split. There are many reasons for this. Give this a read: - it's full of good stuff. – John 12 years ago

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