Help me Find a Technical Co-Founder to Build My App Idea

Simultaneously the most common, most naive, and most ridiculed question that you’ll see in any tech forum: “I have an idea for an App. How do I find a technical co-founder to build it?”

Genuinely, this is a bit like saying “I want to start an Accounting practice, but I’m not an accountant and I don’t want to learn accounting. But I have a great idea that will make accountants lots of money and I’m willing to give a non-controlling equity share to an accountant, and all they have to do is put it together”.

Now, I don’t want to be snarky here – most people asking this question just truly don’t know what they don’t know, and maybe the Accounting angle helps give perspective.

The best way I’ve seen for non-techs to find co-founders is to genuinely attempt to start building the solution themselves. If it’s too large a problem, perhaps, start on something smaller to help learn. This shows a willingness to do what it takes, which is otherwise lacking in the generic question.

Then they can connect with and leverage internet communities and meetups, events etc in their area – if this is you, find opportunities to share your eagerness, ask for help, and develop relationships, and you may find a like-minded partner who already has the skills you need. These guys see a LOT of people every month saying “I just need a technical co-founder, it’s not that hard” and they’re over it.

One exception to this, from a discussion that prompted this post, is when you can truly bring some exceptional business traction to the table. Ideas are worthless, especially if you don’t have the technical capability to know whether your App is actually straight-forward or a hidden minefield of dependencies; but talk to a competent programmer and mention your list of customers waiting to purchase or enormous industry database, and you’ll be in a stronger position to move forward.

Which brings me to my final point – business models, or more specifically please stop having ideas for Apps people! My fellow ‘top business coach‘ Ross Hanson said it best here: “Apps are Dead“. Your opportunity to create a sizable business based entirely on an App is gone (and at best it was a fractional opportunity anyway). Bigger Platform opportunities await, and really the the subscription SaaS business model is waaaaaaay better than the App business model ever was.

An App may be part of your business, but it won’t be your business. Just like a technical co-founder may help you build your entrepreneurial dream … but they won’t build it for you just because you had a great idea.

If you’re Dustin Curtis, you should follow me on Twitter here.

And please tell your friends: Sharing is Caring

Or Chess. Or we could do Beer AND Chess?

Although seriously Kerno, I have this idea…

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