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Indicative production quote for website

Discussion in 'Talking technology' started by Syd_Mick, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Syd_Mick

    Syd_Mick New Member

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    Hi All,

    I am in a position at the moment where i am looking to start seriously pitching a web-based start up idea to investors. How i intend to do this, after researching and attending web-based business start up seminars, is to 'go it alone' by offering a small equity share to launch partners who are prepared to invest funds (which i will use for web site production).

    Obviously i need to have all of my ducks in a row when i meet with these people so I need to ensure i have an accurate idea of how much i intend to spend on web production.

    I am not a techy by any means, but have an idea around what i want the site to look like and what sorts of functionality i'd like to included. I need to ensure that v1 of the site can be expanded and built on also as the idea evolves.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Michael
  2. John Debrincat

    John Debrincat Well-Known Member

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    Hello Michael,

    The basic problem that you will have is that it is almost impossible to give any indicative costs to build a website without knowing the requirements. You need to produce an initial scope of work and requirements. This can be the basis for providing back effort and therefore cost.

    You can use something like PowerPoint if you are non-technical to produce some basic work flow for the website. Just simple box diagrams would be a start.

    If you can produce a wish list of functions and rate them as 1 - 5 for priority meaning "nice to have" to "essential".

    My recommendation is not to say I want a website like facebook or twitter etc.

    Anyway good luck

    John
  3. iaindooley

    iaindooley Member

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    Hi Mick, I'd recommend finding a technical co-founder rather than trying to outsource development. You'll either end up with a sub-par product or an incredibly expensive one.

    Cheers,
    Iain

    EDIT: incidentally you may want to check out http://www.startmate.com.au/ which is like an Australian version of Y-Combinator, or http://www.pollenizer.com/
  4. John Debrincat

    John Debrincat Well-Known Member

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    There is a classic quote that I like in situations like this it's straight out of Alice in Wonderland - "if you don't know where you are going then any road will get you there...".

    Like I said you need to put your thoughts together and if you want to try something different then go find some mind-mapping software like freemind. You can get ripped-off by a co-founder, a web developer or the milkman if you don't know what you want.

    John
  5. BrettM33

    BrettM33 Well-Known Member

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    Without knowing the needs to the site I highly doubt that "one person" would be able to put together a professional well functioning site by themselves.

    I'm not saying that he couldn't so some of it, but only up to a point of his expertise.... you would end up having to outsource other portions of it.

    Best to just let the one place handle it all as they'll likely know what they're doing. ;)
  6. JohnSheppard

    JohnSheppard Active Member

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    lol

    Thw first meeting should go something like this;

    Potential Client: Hi, I wanna website, I want it to do this this this...
    Professional Developer: Dude, that's gonna cost the big bucks.
    Amateur Developer: No wuccas mate. Be ready in 6 months.
  7. iaindooley

    iaindooley Member

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    I think the founders of Reddit, Instapaper and DuckDuckGo just to name a few may disagree with you there :) All of them were initially launched by 1 man development teams (although Reddit was a 2 man team with Alex Ohanian doing the "sales" side of things.

    DuckDuckGo.com is like 3 years in and the guy still hasn't hired anyone.

    Cheers,
    Iain
  8. John Debrincat

    John Debrincat Well-Known Member

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    You will find that all these were technically capable people who knew what they wanted and were also capable of developing and launching it. If you go back and look at the OPs original question you will find that in this case it is not the situation.

    John
  9. David Jardine

    David Jardine New Member

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    I agree with the powerpoint suggestion for visual layout and presentation. To gather your thoughts though I would recommend mind mapping software. There are free versions online if you don't have one already, and I think Microsoft Visio has a basic one included.

    I recommend you do these steps before looking towards any pricing.

    1. Brainstorm absolutely everything your site is going to do. Use mindmap software so you can make connections, or get a big piece of paper. Draw bubbles for every idea, and draw lines between them to connect 'like' ideas. Do this freeform, they dont have to be associative.

    2. When you believe you have exhausted every idea in your head, grab another marker or choose another colour, and start grouping ideas together that belong together. Assign them numbers.

    3. Grab a new sheet of paper, write down in one list all the things that 'go together' in groups from 1 through to whatever number you get up to. Make sure everything is captured into some kind of group.

    4. Now arrange the groups in order of importance. Then list each item in each group in order of importance. You should end up with one long sequence.

    5. Now go through your sequence and identify each point that the end user of the site will actually take an action, like click a button or input information. These will form the basis of your Requirements.

    6. Use powerpoint to create a series of slides with your lists in groups, one per slide to start. Make as many slides as you need but keep everything in it's groups.

    This should be enough to give most prospective investors a good idea of what you want to do and how your site works. A good development team will be able to work with it too, although if you can I recommend going one step more, which is to create a Workflow diagram. Thats one of the charts with circles and diamonds and boxes to show which areas or decisions, actions and outcomes. That can get pretty complicated though so you may want help with it.

    Scoping can be real hard to do if you only have a concept in your head. The trick is to get everything OUT of your head so you can begin to work with the informaiton and build it into a flow of work with boundaries and priorities.

    Hope it helps.

    DJ
  10. iaindooley

    iaindooley Member

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    Hence my suggestion he find a technical co-founder ...
  11. Syd_Mick

    Syd_Mick New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    All very good advice. agree that finding a technical co founder would be ideal, but the difficulty here is in finding someone you know and trust - not to mention know and trust their work!

    Any suggestions?
  12. iaindooley

    iaindooley Member

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    Hi Mick,

    You can get involved with communities like Hacker News (tread carefully, though - they're an unforgiving bunch :). It's mostly SF based but there are a few aussies that hang around there.

    Also checkout meetups.com for local meetings of technical entrepreneurs, and http://www.pollenizer.com/ and http://startmate.com.au for burgeoning similar communities here in oz (admittedly there's nothing quite so good as Hacker News/Y-Combinator over here yet, though).

    Above all else: READ! I just typed in "how to find a technical co-founder" into Google and got this article:

    http://answers.onstartups.com/questions/35/how-do-i-find-a-technical-co-founder

    There is a wealth of information online written by both technical and non-technical types. Try to get a feel for what technical people felt that they were gaining by partnering with non-technical people. Technical people (especially good ones) generally get a lot of folks coming to them with their idea for "the next big thing" so it can be difficult to be considered as signal amongst the noise.

    Check out this interview with Steve Huffman on Mixergy:

    http://mixergy.com/steve-huffman-reddit-interview/

    EDIT: looks like Andrew Warner has decided to charge for his content now (guess the ad revenues just weren't cutting it :) I don't personally have a premium membership with Mixergy and I'm not certain I'll get one - but then again I've already seen that video :) anyway, up to you.

    Steve co-founded Reddit with Alex Ohanian. Alex isn't a technical guy so he just did business stuff - he's also a really successful guy so you should following him on Twitter and reading whatever he has to say.

    You're lucky in that the industry you want to get involved with has a very vocal online community interested in sharing stories of success and failure.

    Best of luck,
    Iain
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
    Syd_Mick likes this.
  13. BrettM33

    BrettM33 Well-Known Member

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    All three of those sites are very low graphic wise. What I'm trying to say is having someone that is apparently going to "take care of" all the technical side of things isn't a good idea..... several experienced people in their fields > jack of all trades.

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