App development · Developers

How to recruit web developpers for a very interesting project but without funds

Alexandre Coma Cofounder & COO

March 26th, 2018

Dear Cofounders community,

I am currently developing the application of my business and there is much to do. The project is very interesting and we have a very important predicted growth, but no funds for now.

In this situation, how can I recruit an app developer? How can I interest him/her in the development of the company ? Can the project be interesting enough to motivate a developer to work with us?

I would appreciate any feedback, especially feedbacks from people that were in the same situation.

Thank you all in advance !


Richard Davis Ex Equity Research Analyst, Current Founder of Gamer Hustle

Last updated on March 27th, 2018

I experienced the same issue. Depending on your development needs, the best route I found was to learn to program myself. With numerous 100 hour work weeks, I was able to develop a quality MVP. With my vast network in the domain my start up was participating in, having that MVP was paramount in receiving our initial funds and attracting the interest of potential quality CTOs and/or tech co-founders.

I would leverage every free resource possible to complete as much of your concept as possible. Having something to show is more important than anything else at this stage (I'm still in this stage!). However, I'm currently in talks with more potential investors and developers simply because I took the time to create something to prove demand. I also have a quasi-team of people who are helping with the hours they have available and will be working full-time once we complete our final launch product. Reach out to your friends, many developers love projects to work on and you'll never know who would like to contribute.

This approach is of course applicable for a web application/mobile phone application. If you're trying to create something like a disruptive all-flash array you're on your own ;).

Geoffrey Callaghan CTO

Last updated on March 28th, 2018

You would have to have a very compelling business idea. Good developers are pitched on how to work for nothing almost every day!

Steven Fried Founder, CEO, and General Counsel

March 28th, 2018

I went through the same issue and eventually decided to learn to code myself. I highly recommend it. You are in a much better position to communicate and work with more experienced coders and build the functionality your customers want. It also keeps programmers from taking advantage of your naivete. I really enjoyed it and have continued coding and developing software, but even if you just develop a rudimentary knowledge you will be in a much stronger position to build your business.

Ameen Aziz Pragmatic thinker • Passionate doer • Wearer of many hats

March 27th, 2018

Would be interested to hear more about this idea

Sean T Entrepreneurial Software Developer; Web & Mobile App Development.

March 27th, 2018

Well Alex, if you want to sell other developers on your "interesting" project without funding, you have to be willing to share the details of your project so that the developer may decide how interesting it is to them. If they too find it interesting then you may be able to get them on board to contribute. Of course, interesting is "subjective" so what may be interesting to me, may not be interesting to you and vice versa. So it all starts with you sharing more about your project/idea. You have to be willing and open to share.

What is your business about? What kind of application is it?

Every entrepreneur always thinks that their project is interesting and to them it probably is but its a matter of sharing what you are doing to see who else will find it interesting with you...

Mr. Kelly Johnson Looking for Co-founder

March 29th, 2018

Even though there are some good points already made as to why to learn code. Such as so you don’t get taken advantage of. I suggest not to learn to code for the purpose of building your own site. There are far less time consuming ways to figure out how not to get taken advantage of than to bog down your businesses progress taking a detour to learn a completely new trade that you can pay a adequately skilled person in India $8/hr. Unless of course your site would be so simply you can use an off the shelf theme, plugin or website builder service. Even then, those are ridiculously cheap to pay someone to do that will have it done in hours when it might take you days or longer. If you have zero money, your problem isn’t a website. Focus on the real problem first. People all to often lie to themselves that they are saving money by doing XYZ themselves instead of paying someone to do it. I used to be a landlord and thought this when I did all my own remodeling. I hadn’t put it together that though I could do it myself, it took me longer because I still had all my other tasks to do. Taking longer meant the vacancy was longer, which means though I didn’t have to pay the contractor, it cost more in lost rent than had I had a crew come in and finish the job in a week or two. 10 years of that and I realized I was working 100 weeks, while losing money. And had no time to put into the things that would actually get me ahead. Once I learned this lesson and stopped developing the proverbial code, success came so much faster. Sure there is some satisfaction in doing it yourself, and also many benefits as others have mentioned. But that warm fuzzy feeling and small benefits come at an extreme cost that you should not lie to yourself about. What is your time worth? If you are starting a business, I promise you your time is way more valuable than to bog yourself down to learn code.

kraig Into ICOs, fintech and saas

Last updated on April 7th, 2018

OK. How to recruit a dev with no funds. (You can mix and match these however the higher up the list the better. 2b added


1)Show sales (This could be pre-order or letters of intent Devs know they can code they want to know you can sell)

2) Show traction. Do you have an engaged community online oror offline have you gone through mockups and done customer interviews with 100 members of your target audience? Do you have a large >100,000 blog,Twitter,fb,Instagram, other social media following around your idea? Can you tell us which is the most popular country? Best day and timetime for high traction? (Devs like solving problems show them you have a problem lots of people want solved and you can reach those people.)

2b) Have CAC LTV ratio at 7 or higher. This shows your potential and know what the expenses are ( you don't just think yea servers are free)

3) Open source involvement (this is where devs who like to code for free/exposure to to do that.) Is there one that does most of your idea, can you help out the community in some way and then ask them for coding help?

4) If you need to prove your chops there are thousands of open source software you can use. Prove you can sell 100 copies of Ubuntu it is already built, showcase your selling and it will be a bit easier (Devs like people who can sell as cofounder, do this and show the community and devs will like you) open-source is crying out for more business types (any open source will do)

5)Barter. Can you offer to sell a freelancers servicesservices in exchange for coding? Free place to stay for local/nomadic coder? (Devs often say I can't pay rent for equity, can you set it up so they can? There was an article in the London metro, how a real hustler managed to get an investor to let him use an empty property in exchange for shares. So free London flat for developer, additional assets for owner without losing anything, not liklike he was using the place anyway, no eviction issues becuase it was employee accomadataccomadation. 5) Can you gain timebank hours and find someone who will accept those for coding?