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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

The Problem with Ideas

I think most would agree that ideas are just a multiplier of execution, and that just having an idea for a new startup isn't sufficient to actually get started or be successful. Neither does it make you an entrepreneur.

I have however recently come across quite a prevalent problem with this: if you're the non-technical ideas / business guy within the startup realm, you are most probably struggling to get your projects out there due to your lack of technical skills (and thus your ability to actually build anything).

So sure, there are a couple of ways around this:

  • Find a technical co-founder. Even if you manage to figure out the question of equity distribution, quality technical co-founders seem to be few & far between.
  • Outsource the work to a top-notch developer. This is expensive, because quality development talent is in high demand, which means you will have to put a considerable amount of cash into a startup just to get it to Alpha or Beta.
  • Outsource the work to any other developer that you can afford. There's probably a reason you can afford these: they either don't have the skills / experience, have a bad reputation or are likely to drop you before ever getting close to Alpha or Beta.

This is probably one of the biggest reasons that I failed in setting up a side-project beyond WooThemes. And this exact challenges have come up in so many conversations that I've had with talented individuals that have great ideas for startups.

How do you get around this?

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