Help finding Programmer
December 11, 2008 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Where/how can I find a good Cold Fusion programmer to work on a project in exchange for equity?
posted by tnoetz01 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I doubt you could find someone to work just for equity, although lots of people work for (relatively) lower wages in exchange for stock options.

startuply is a job site specific to startups, which I found on this mashable list of 18 startup job sites (but many entries on the list were startup sections on regular job sites like
posted by delmoi at 2:20 PM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

MeFi jobs?
posted by spilon at 2:27 PM on December 11, 2008

As a developer myself, someone asking me to do web programming for equity always sounds like some version of "Please take all of the risk here, and if it takes off we can both be rich!"

In order to get something like this, you're probably going to need to partner up with someone you know.

Even if [you think] you have a phenomenal idea if that's all you're bringing to the table, you're not going to be an impressive potential partner. Granted, depending on the idea you could easily have more to contribute, but most web developers of any skill or experience have been approached countless times with "great" ideas that just required them to do all of the work and then share the profits. (Most of them also have a ton of "great" ideas themselves, if only they could find the time to make them happen)

You're better off, if you're serious about the idea, paying for the development and owning the company. The developers will take you more seriously and you'll have a better idea of how good an idea it is... putting a price on things has a way of bringing otherwise murky costs and benefits into focus.
posted by toomuchpete at 2:30 PM on December 11, 2008

What toomuchpete said. Most good developers are going to assume that if you're asking them to work for equity, you're a) trying to rip them off, b) very inexperienced, c) overly optimistic about your business chances, or d) all of the above.
posted by ook at 3:50 PM on December 11, 2008

And they may be harder to "control" (direction, timescales, quality, penalties, etc.) if you're not paying them ...

But to answer your actual question - same place you'll find a for-pay programmer - just explain to them that the pay is not pay. etc.
posted by Xhris at 5:38 PM on December 11, 2008

Anecdotally, every time I've had someone ask me to help develop a product in exchange for equity, I've pressed the person for a rough estimate of how much equity we're talking, and it's always been between 60-75 percent biz-dev, and 25-40 percent developer. For projects that essentially boil down to 'I had this great idea, now can you build me a web app while I go think about how we're going to market it once it's built.'

This has the twin effect of asking the developer to assume all the risk in a project that's very likely to never make a nickel, AND demonstrating that you wildly underestimate both the amount of time required for a project and the value of the developer's time relative to your own. Please don't do this. If you advertise for an equity-only developer on Craigslist, you will only get responses from 14-year-old JavaScript hacks; if you ask your coder friends for help, you will insult them.

How about waiting for Startup Weekend to make a stop near you, and pitching your idea there?
posted by Mayor West at 4:15 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

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