I feel like I have a great website/app idea

I feel like I have a great app/website idea, but know nothing about coding/development. Is there a reputable company to pitch my idea to in hopes they buy it off me, or give me some type of equity & take over?

Pretty much is there a “Shark Tank” for a broke man that has nothing proprietary, but just a crazy app idea that he believes would be a huge success? Haha

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  1. Two options: earn enough money to hire someone to build your idea, or learn how to make it yourself. Software developers, designers, copywriters et. al. get offers for equity every single day. Not to be harsh, but the idea isn’t worth anything without it being built, and if right now you bring nothing to the table but an idea, thus putting all the risk on the developer. Nobody in their right mind will do that.

  2. I think it’s been said a million times but why do you think your idea doesn’t exist? Because you haven’t seen it anywhere else?

    Would people pay for whatever service it offers?

    If it is such a fantastic idea, someone with money should ofnalrwsdy built it – even if it’s not exactly what you have, it’d be similar.

    If no comparable app exists, I would question the ideas value.

    You need to learn how to code and create a dummy mvp for user feedback. Until then you don’t really have anything you can sell to investors.

  3. App developer here

    **tl; dr: No, not really**

    Longer explanation:

    Ideas are pretty much not worth very much when it comes to development/new technology. Everyone thinks, “Oh, I have this great idea, it’ll become the next Facebook/Google/Instagram/etc” – that’s not even how those companies got started. They all got started with *execution* (well, Google sorta did have a really great idea too, but I’ll cover that below).

    That’s not how it works at all. Most simple ideas (and by simple, I mean any idea that doesn’t require very specific technical/domain knowledge – like finance, math, science, etc – Google was based on a dissertation, so it fits in here) that are also good ideas have pretty much been thought up by someone else as well. In fact, I believe the number I saw from Y-Combinator was that you should generally expect that if you have a good idea, there are 4-5 competitors also in the market with you.

    What does this mean for you?

    If your idea is good, and not super technical, then other people have it too. And even if nobody did have it, nobody is going to pay you for the right to develop an idea – why would they? You can’t patent or otherwise own ideas by themselves.

    Why? I’ll highlight this because it is important: **because implementation is the only thing that matters**

    You ever heard the whole, “10% inspiration, 90% perspiration” quote? Yeah. That’s basically true when it comes to bringing a product to market.

    > pitch my idea to in hopes they buy it off me, or give me some type of equity & take over?

    If it’s relevant to their business, they’ve almost certainly thought of it. And no company is going to just sit down with you (unless you’re sophisticated in their target market somehow) and discuss an idea – especially if you propose, as I expect you would, that the discussion be under an NDA. These things just don’t happen. You have to bring **something** to the table for anyone to care – and an idea in and of itself is just not it.

    A good link – mostly about NDAs, but applicable about the value of ideas in general: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stellafayman/2014/02/06/should-developers-sign-an-nda-before-hearing-your-idea/#4bb1c2d35728

    Besides, you *probably* don’t want a novel idea. Novel typically means untested. I don’t go for a product idea **unless** there are at least 2-3 competitors in the space. My app idea, which I’ve been working on for about six months, as I have time, has already been done by at least three companies. I am pretty sure I can do it better – I am far more technical than most of the competitors (and definitely more technical than my main competitor)

    So, if you don’t want to code it into existence yourself, you have a few options. All of them are you delivering value to the creation of the product:

    You spend your money on it and someone like me makes it.


    You figure out what your value to the project is, besides the idea, get REALLY good at that and be completely legit. Business connections in the industry, marketing the idea (product testing and compiling a list of early potential users that are very warm leads), etc, etc – SOMETHING valuable to a company, that you can use to entice someone to work along with you for revenue share.

    Basically you need to think of what value you’re offering a product. An idea, unless it is highly technical (and you are an expert in that technical domain) is **never** good enough. There is no room in a technology product for an ideas guy that does nothing else. Development is **hard**. It takes **time**. A lot of time. Like, months and months and months to make a good product. It takes extremely granular details about how a product must work. By the time a technical product launches, the developer knows far more about how it all works than the client or non-technical cofounder does.

    Let me give an example:

    With my product, it requires a decent amount of software development knowledge, but it also requires a decent amount of linguistics knowledge.

    I could have posted on r/INAT or r/linguistics asking people if they wanted to contribute. I might actually get some traction – besides the idea, I’ve done market testing, validation, Oppo research and a substantial portion of the development. I’m not, because I want to keep more equity (so instead I studied linguistics for about three weeks straight to get the knowledge I needed), but you get the idea – you need to actually provide value to your potential cofounders. Or cash. Cash always works.

    But ideas? They’re not really valuable by themselves.

  4. I’ve done some UI/UX work for both Hewlett Packard (not on my website) and Microsoft… I’d help you mock up an interface (for points on your business)… I’m really fast and efficient with my time. PM me if you want to talk NDA’s or ideas. Can make anything digitally in 3D or 2D: [https://www.chrisdarmon.com/Microsoft-OneML](https://www.chrisdarmon.com/Microsoft-OneML) (would consider this a fun side project, helping you if your idea was good)

  5. What skills do you have? Why would a developer want to work with you? Giving someone equity isn’t as generous as you imagine. You’re asking them to be tied to you as a business partner, when most developers could be earning a lot of money and getting equity from established companies with cofounders with expertise in marketing & sales as well as access to investment money.

    Ask not what a developer can do for you, but what you can do for your team. The promise to hustle and have ideas is an abundant commodity. Why would someone want you as their captain on a ship you haven’t build, and don’t have resources to build?

    Genuinely, just asking this question shows you’re quite naive about business, and how start ups work. I’d strongly recommend working with someone who could mentor you, before presuming you’re ready to be a tech startup CEO.

  6. Comments are spot on regarding having skin in the game, and investing in product development before it can be monetized. At least, a landing page with a sign up form could be minimally required. Crowdfunding sites are an option too, depending on the idea.

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