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A golden opportunity, or not  

Peter Robinett makes a pretty solid case for why even (or especially) when reaching out to cool, startup-friendly developers, "ideas people" won't necessarily encounter that much success in recruiting them to work on their startup:

  • Ideas are easy, execution is hard.
  • People approaching developers often dramatically underestimate the amount of development work, or the complexity of it.
  • Proposing a revenue share means the developer has to take as much risk as the idea guy (for very low pay, given the point above), and trust that the business will receive the right amount of marketing/sales follow-through.
  • There's an opportunity cost to working on someone else's idea instead of for paying clients.
  • The idea being proposed is often very unrealistic (and the developer, having worked on a number of such ideas, can tell).
  • Developers have their own ideas to work in anyway.

These points will seem blindingly obvious if you're a developer yourself, or if you have some experience in the field, but to new startup founders, this is not so obvious.

More from the library:
Look for opportunities rather than ideas
Creating a great case study
Formula for elevator pitches