Very off topic.. Website start up plans.. need advice!

Guys, this is very off topic from the usual postings, but I’m hoping that with all the various backgrounds and knowledge viewing these posts, some one may have some insights to contribute.

Without going into specific details… the other day I came up with a brilliant idea for a service website that can change the way daily business interactions amongst everyday people takes place. It can easily reach scales similar to facebook, craigslist, and ebay.

I sent this idea out to a small trusted group of friends… one of them did some research and found that this exact, same idea was already being implemented by someone else. In fact, during this past March 2010, this competitor won a startup award and received $1M in venture capital funding to get the website started. The website is still in its initial phase and hasn’t gained a following yet.

Well, that doesn’t discourage me from pursuing this idea, because it’s only proof that it will work. And it’s a location-specific website. Meaning, that it can be used in every city, in every state, in every country. And the competitor is only focusing on their own region right now. My area is untouched and ripe for my taking.

But, the problem is… I have no idea how to implement a startup website. I know all the functions the website would need, the layout of the website, but my key missing ingredient right now is a website programmer who would understand the costs and maintenance associated with the functions that the website would require. So right now I’m fishing for ideas and contacts to meet with a programmer who will work with me to get this website up and running.

Anyone have advice or insight on how I can better proceed with this?

Sounds like you have a potential moneymaker on your hands, go for it!!
A few questions NJbird dog:

Are you trying to finish your site before the other guys? Or are you more focused on quality and building the site your way? Look at how myspace got outdone by facebook and find out why.

Also, you mentioned programmer, as in 1. Putting ALL your eggs in 1 basket is kinda risky. If you get a great programmer, but he’s a jerk and demands more pay etc before releasing the code, you could be in trouble. So be sure to have a contract and written agreement with this person. The venture capital idea is a great route, since making a quality startup website with CUSTOM features takes a lot of time. The more money you have, the bigger and better the team you can have to build it.

Depending on the size and features of the site, you might be able to get by with 1 programmer, if he’s a guru, and that will cost you quite a bit. Gurus do top notch work in a relatively short amount of time. Ask yourself how much traffic you expect this website to get, how long the folks will be on your site, etc so you’ll know what technologies to use to accomplish your goals. You’ll have to think about the data you’ll be collecting and how you’ll use it. Think about advertising on your site as additional revenue and who are the companies that’ll be interested in your site members.

There are MANY variables at play here, but the bottom line is that you need to be DEEPLY involved in choosing what’s best for your site. Do your research and don’t just accept anyone’s ideas because they are more technical than you. Research what they said yourself and make sure you agree before moving forward. There are lots of ways to build a website, but find out what approach is the best for YOU.

So start putting details together and come up with a solid plan with exactly what you need, then it’ll be easy to go from there.


Go to Post a listing explaining what you are looking for and programmers will bid on your job. You might as well post for a designer as well because you will someone to design the site.

Based on what you posted it sounds like you are going to be up against competition that already has a working site in place with deep pockets. To compete against that you are going to need to someone familiar with product/website launches. If you want to do it yourself I would suggest you checkout “Product Launch Formula” by Jeff Walker. It is expensive but totally worth it.

Don’t be afraid to compete against a bigger more well funded company when it comes to the web. Facebook started out as a school project while MySpace was owned by NewsCorp. Where is MySpace now?

Don’t forget about us people that gave you free advice once your website goes viral and you are a billionaire. You can pay us back by renting out a Virgin Galactic shuttle and taking us for a quick trip into space. :biggrin