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I have an idea, but have no idea how to execute it
May 12, 2011 6:20 PM   Subscribe

I have an idea for a gift registry. What are the nuts and bolts of bringing it to fruition?

I have an idea for a gift registry in a niche I don't think is filled, but I have no idea how to execute it. Lets say that honeyfund is a pretty good model, but it's not for weddings. I'm being vague because I'm paranoid about someone who actually knows how to do these things taking the idea and running with it before I can figure it out, but I could elaborate somewhat as necessary.

- I know I need a site, and I know that website has to have a mechanism for safely/securely handling money. Honeyfund is free, but I would love it if I could charge a small fee or a earn a small percentage from each transaction. How do I find someone capable and trustworthy to create such a site for me? The style would be sort of girly and honeyfund-esque.
- Marketing. How do I find someone capable and trustworthy to take on the marketing of this site.
- Managing the site after its up. How do I find someone capable and trustworthy to manage the site.
- Copyright? The idea is a gift registry in what I think is an untapped arena. Should I try anything to protect this idea so that - if it's a good idea at all?
- Anything else I'm not thinking of?

Memail me if you have a specific recommendation for someone who can do these things.
posted by semacd to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm in the beginning stages of building a similar site for a client. It makes a difference to the technology required if you are asking people to add gift items to their list or if it is pure financial contributions. They are two different mechanisms and two different business models.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:29 PM on May 12, 2011


There is no simple answer to the question of "how to find a capable, trustworthy person to do x". That is one of the greatest challenges of starting a business. Serial entrepreneurs are able to succeed repeatedly in part because they develop a cohort of trusted employees and collaborators who they bring with them from business to business. You will be starting from scratch.

Your idea may be great, and worthy of great, top-notch people. But all those great top-notch people out there won't necessarily know that from the get-go. How will you convince them? Do you have a lot of money to hire the best and the brightest? Or are you looking for partners who will work for free in return for a share of the business? Do you have a compelling story to tell?

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be able to protect portions of it through patent filings. You'd need to talk to an attorney about that. Patents are expensive -- in the range of $25,000 for something basic last I checked. That may or may not be something you want to invest in early; again, it depends a lot on the nature of the business.

Do you have any background in business? Have you ever started a business in the past? Taking a class on starting a business or reading up on the subject could be an effort well spent.

In terms of finding people and getting support to realize your vision, you may want to look for a local Entrepreneur's Club. Many business schools and universities have these. You will learn a lot from spending time with other people who are actively working to start businesses and you'll have the opportunity to hear successful entrepreneurs speak. You may also find people who you want to work with, who you feel have the capabilities and trustworthiness for you to bring on board in the creation of your registry.

Good luck with this! Starting a business is hard work, but it can also be very gratifying.
posted by alms at 7:50 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you're going to have all those people doing all the work, what are you going to do?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:47 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


@ Darlingbri - I think it would be just like honeyfund, i.e. people write up descriptions of "gifts" or "services" they would like to receive, but what they really get is cash that they use to purchase those gifts or services. Does that help?

@ Foci for Analysis - Heh. Managing the whole enterprise, I think. Handling customer support. I also thought we could include a few options - i.e. the person developing their own registry could choose option (A) which would be really easy and generic, option (B) which would require them spending time to create a bunch of person registry items with descriptions, or option (C) where we create a custom registry for them.

Are there places to hire freelance website designers and freelance marketers?
posted by semacd at 8:23 AM on May 13, 2011


semacd: @ Darlingbri - I think it would be just like honeyfund, i.e. people write up descriptions of "gifts" or "services" they would like to receive, but what they really get is cash that they use to purchase those gifts or services. Does that help?

Yes. This is actually easy enough to implement from the technology end; it's a glorified (and in fact, simplified) wishlist application with an ecommerce element instead of the more traditional affiliate element.

Are there places to hire freelance website designers and freelance marketers

Yes. You can in fact straight-up place a freelance job offering for a Honeyfund Clone without issue and take competing bids from rated contractors. (Which should answer your question about patents. In a word: no.)

However I would urge you to put on the breaks because you will not even be able to evaluate those bids with your current technical knowledge and will end up unhappy, screwed or both.

Essentially, I think you need a startup bootcamp. I have virtually no interest in working with US clients so you and I are not a good match, but if you want to drop me a memail I can spend 10 minutes on the phone with you outlining the key things you need to be looking at to get going.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:40 AM on May 13, 2011


@Darlingbri - point taken. I know just the person here in the states to walk me through startup bootcamp. I shall contact her.
posted by semacd at 10:49 AM on May 15, 2011


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