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 ? time, I think, is critical because I don't want to give enough time for compeition from stronger bigger companies 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.
So, if I start my thing alone (thus, exposing it to the public and stronger bigger competitors as well), but start alone, gain users and reputation, make the product useful and functional. Will that make my company more valuable than if I just start it with an investment right now ?
What I hold now in my hands is the preemption for the idea + The product itself. This might mean a good grip of the market for a while at least. (I am not sure this thing is patentable).
Having an investor will make that grip stronger and better for sure, but I fear having that investor too early, now when the idea is not in the field will make my company worth less for the investor. (I want my share, and I have no idea on how much to ask for, or what, or what my options are)
any suggestions are welcome.
Which comes first the chicken or the egg? Really there is no one right play.
Given your skillset (not a business man) your likely to be able to develop something good before you are able to convince anyone else to give you money for it.
I wouldn't wait for profitablity, that could take ages, but I would get the "minimum marketable features" going so that people you present to can understand what you are pitching and have more comfort that you can do it.
More importantly you will also have a much better idea about your product by then ... now how your selling it, how your going to make money from it and what it really is.
In the backgorund you should spend 1 night per fortnight / month going to startup meetups and attending events, meeting people, watching other people pitch their ideas, trying your own pitch out on others ... this will give you a big head start when it comes time for you to do it for real. It will also get you a lot of valuable contacts and may even allow you to find the investor.
So, my answer is, start building it with 90% of your effort and start looking for investors with 10%, once you get to a good working starting point change your percentage based on where you find yourself at that point.