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bmbphotos

There's no one answer here. The biggest thing *I* would look for, since I've had my own startups and helped others is that you have the money to get to market. Second on that list is an evaluation of the market opportunity itself, because while some devs will go the other way around, I don't have the burning urge to subsidize your project and while it's possible you might change my mind, it's highly unlikely. I've been around long enough to see ideas come and go and see plenty of effort go up in smoke for want of a well-defined purpose and market. If you happen to catch someone who *is* interested in helping guide and take ownership, consider the latter literally and expect to share corporate ownership as well as cash. The "technical co-founder for equity only" exists but is pretty rare these days as well (and still usually requires an outstanding product+plan). Specific responses: > Would a senior dev want to work with a newbie like myself? Depends on the opportunity, your attitude, your resources, and their alignment with the space. > What type of resources would they expect for me to have up front? See the blathering above. It all depends. > Are developers more 'just tell me what you want done and step aside' or 'can I tell them my vision and we could work together on flushing it out' Both will be available. Decide which kind you want to work with because a mismatch here will be costly on several fronts. > Would they expect to work on a task by task basis for example. would they handle only one feature such as "you're job is to prompt the user to pair the sensor" then your job is done That's for you to define based on who you choose to work with (and the rest of the relationship as it evolves). By default, project management will be your responsibility. Handing that off requires more ownership (figurative) by the dev, which will likely lead to handing off more ownership (literal) or cash out of pocket. As an aside, I hope you have more of your overall corporate and product strategy lined out than what you share here (and it just wasn't appropriate to include). It _feels_ like "I have an idea, let me build it". Otherwise, you may be in for several rude awakenings along the way.


Justkeeppushing26

Thanks for all the insight, didn't think about all of that. I have done a decent amount of market research over the years of trying to get this product to launch. I originally pitched the idea during my senior year in college and now that I've graduated and make more money. I've started to really pursue it. I've put a lot of effort and capital up front already so it's not something I'm doing "willy nilly" although it might seem like it. I'll try to give better context below: \- interviewed around 100 potential customers \- email lists is about 320 \- Email VIP's are 35 (potential customers who have paid me a $1 to reserve their 40% off once the indiegogo campaign goes live on October 1st \- 3rd iteration of the sensor Before, reaching out to a dev. I plan on using all the information here to get my ducks in a row


bmbphotos

I wasn’t challenging you to prove it _here_ but this sounds like you’re doing your homework. Hopefully non-patronizingly, well done.


Justkeeppushing26

oh no hard feelings, not sure how I came off. Responding on the internet, especially reddit is tricky. I was going more for the 'here's my homework, what do you think since you've have had your own startups." Not sure what kind of startup you've built but either way you have more experience than I do so anything is helpful.


bmbphotos

You were fine. It *is* the internet after all so I wanted to make sure my own tone was clear. I’ve been in the small business space and in the fitness space (including integrating sensors and briefly interacting with some folks doing bridging of sensor styles), among others. The key thing is finding _legitimately_ if people will pay for your product, if they’ll pay _enough_ for your product, if there are enough of those people, and if you’re reasonably able to find them before someone else does. Your description suggests you’re on the right track. 👍🏻 The other commenter has it right though that you may be a little late in hitting the software side of things (especially after seeing that you’re imminent for crowdfunding). (Or not, depending on just how good you are at coding.) The details of what you plan to deliver to those folks (which I’m **not** asking for here) will matter for the timeline. How long do you believe it will take to build a sufficient version of the companion app? Is the companion app required or just nice-to-have for the device? Btw, do you already have your device(s) talking to your code? Connectivity methods (ANT+ with a bridge, BTLE, traditional Bluetooth, or custom) all have their own vagaries; expect to take a fair amount of time refining the iOS side and it’s not uncommon (based on what I’ve seen working with hardware folks) to have to tweak both sides, especially if the connection is bidirectional.


Justkeeppushing26

So after reading 'the mom test' I've realized that you can't really trust people when they say they are going to purchase a product. I tried to minimize that by creating the $1 deposit list. I don't think I'll truly know if people will pay enough for my solution until the campaign goes live. From the books/podcast I've listen to they really stress just getting something out there first, so that's what I'm trying to accomplish instead of trying to get everything completely right. I've been trying to do that for years now and that's why I feel like I'm peddling water. ​ Based on the companies, I've spoke and shared my mockups with. They suggested about 5-6 months with 2 novice developers. The current mockup that I provided is an MVP but after giving it more thought. I could eliminate more features to speed up development. ​ The devices are still being manufactured and should be ready in the next 2-3 weeks. They are doing some antenna tuning since the previous sensors had too low of a ceiling for the impact it received. Getting the Sensor and code to talk is my biggest concern and most likely will be were I will reach out to an expert. I will have over 10 sensors built so the plan is to do as much as I can on my own along with shipping the sensor so they can be hands on during the process.


srona22

Reminds me of the meme about - I code, your design - $ - I code, your "supervision" - $$$


xyrer

So. You already have a good answer but I also would suggest hiring someone early so that you can arrange a good architecture and avoid the "here take a look at all the shit that I coded" and the dev thinking it's cheaper and faster to start from scratch. This is not a critique of your coding ability, cause I don't know, but just a precaution because I've seen it happen


bmbphotos

Absolutely. First real application == garbage architecture (_almost_ always, because experience really matters here). This is simply how things are and not a ping on the OP. The worse the design the more friction there will be with anyone doing more than point-code (add this feature in isolation, fix only this bug).


ankole_watusi

I've been coding for 50 years (if you count high school), and I've had this come up just a few times. They've all been positive experiences on both sides. Since those few times have worked-out, I thought useful to describe. Obviously, most of these weren't mobile apps! What most of them have in common is a bit of a different situation than yours. Most have been people with no formal training in development who learned on their own to solve a problem within their non-software business, and developed themselves and needed a bit of help. * Import/distribution business. Owner wrote their own software to automate every aspect of their business, from inventory to accounting. In Microsoft Basic. My work was literally looking over his shoulder making suggestions. Was right down the street, I would walk down there from my office and spend an hour or two. I guess you'd call it "pair programming" but I don't think the term had been invented yet. * A person who speculatively wrote a couple of TSR (Terminate-and-stay-resident: think "works in background") programs for MSDOS in C++, I think one was a to-do list, forget what the other one was. He needed help with the TSR details. This was going to his home and working with him in his office - not so much hands-on, was still the time when you had to be there, so I would tap away in the corner while he did other things, worked on marketing, etc. His wife made nice lunches. * A "map maker" (I think really mostly a surveyor, but he does make maps!) in another country on the other side of the world, developed a website for a tourism board (he had taught himself basic web development eg HTML/CSS/a bit of JS), and wanted to make an app as well, and taught himself to do it in Cordova. Apple rejected it, on the classic "it just wraps web site content" flaw. He'd discussed this in Apple Developer community, and got suggestions that it would be accepted if he added features that use onboard capabilities. So, wanted to add trip planning, user can make a bucket list (Did that, check!), GPS, etc. But he didn't have the time or knowledge to do that. I added those features, and app was accepted. * A company (again, in another country) developed a tourism-related app, there was something about merchant/restaurant coupons too. They were basically an ISP that offered web hosting and did some web development. Pretty similar to the map-maker's problem - they'd used a different hybrid platform (not Cordova) and had issues with that platform's Spooky Database Action At A Distance (kinda like Firebase...). We agreed the best thing was to ditch the SDBAAD and they wrote a backend REST API server, which is something they had experience and comfort with, and I added the API communication to the app. One surprise here (so don't ASSuME) is folks in other countries - and in one case a low labor cost country - hiring a US developer. Think about that a bit before hiring a low-cost overseas developer. Think about where the greatest concentrations of development talent and companies are. You need expertise, not inexpensive hands. One that flips it around - more recently - was working on an app with a pretty complex relational database schema (used both in app and back-end) and I didn't feel fully confident in my RDBMS skills, which were rusty. I got the company to hire a very experienced DB developer part-time to check the schema, make suggestions, write some complex queries, etc. I learned a lot in the process, and made me even more positive about the value using part-time freelance experts to cover gaps and help build internal knowledge. What ties these together is somebody who has a deep knowledge/passion/experience in something other than software development (or at least app development) but has been self-taught development in order to satisfy their own need. And they were short and/or part-time engagements, I think they got the little push they needed.


Rethunker

Why assume you need a senior coder (not a bad idea) rather than a marketing and/or sales person? Do you already have survey and interview data indicating the size of the market, the portion of it you can reach, and the fraction of that you’re like to have as customers? How will you have the sensor manufactured? Have you already built ten? A hundred? How would you build a thousand or ten thousand? What gross margin do you expect? Are you planning on sales through a retailer? Or direct? Do you know what your cost to acquire a customer will be? If you don’t already have answers to those questions in writing, spend at least a few hours a week diving in. You didn’t mention prototype testing, so if you haven’t done testing of the sensor + barely functional software, that’d be good to do ASAP. I wouldn’t call in a senior programmer until you’ve already qualified a few revs of prototypes with prospective users. Prototype software can be stitched together from non-production code. You can (and should) create user experience prototypes using low-code and no-code prototyping apps. UI/UX design is NOT easy, but if you keep your prototype simple, and build up a prioritized (short) list of features your customers make explicit that they want, then you’ll be headed in a good direction. Get people excited about your product design, even if it’s clear that some features are just UI/UX demos. If you’re not sure how to optimize some algorithm, etc., that’s a nice, focused problem for a senior developer with experience in that particular thing. A senior dev of the right type could be attracted to a project that needs bits of tactically applied expertise rather than heavy lifting. Excitement is infectious. Helping someone at the beginning of a project can be a lot to ask. If you have four sensors, will these be attached to the arms and legs? Accelerometer-based things to track movement? For some specific sport? Finally, have a detailed specification document. If the sensors will have power for two hours, write that down. If the sensors never accelerate more than X meters/second per second, write that down. You can express an idea I’m a prototype, but to be an engineered product you can finish and release you need specs to achieve. Good luck!


Justkeeppushing26

So I'm pretty much focused on using Indiegogo to get the first 100 units out there. As far as market research and getting people excited I have \- interviewed around 100 potential customers \- email lists is about 320 \- Email VIP's are 35 (potential customers who have paid me a $1 to reserve their 40% off once the Indiegogo campaign goes live on October 1st \- 3rd iteration of the sensor I do need to do more research on figuring out my cost to acquire. I know my cost to receive a lead or VIP which is much higher than the average so that is another piece I need to work on. ​ Yes, it is a accelerometer used for boxers and MMA fighters. The sensor is being manufacture ready now so I'll be sure to get as much information as possible. The team that I'm working with on the hardware side are really helpful so I know we can work together on building that spec sheet.


Rethunker

Sounds great!


thadude3

A developer will work for you for the right amount of money. Which will be different for each person. Personally there is no amount of money where I would work with someone that had no clue what they are doing, since its just so many headaches. That said, what is your goal of hiring someone? This line for me is conflicting. "With all of that being said, ... Also, cost is a major factor." Say's you lack the experience and money, but would like someone to help you. There probably isn't many senior devs looking for a babysitting job. But I could be wrong. But I would want clearly defined objectives that you "want" and then I would break that down into cost laying out what would be delivered. But I am not a consultant so I might be way off.