It's always amusing to read posts like this. I have a degree in Math / Computer Science and have been working as a software developer since 1979. If I had a dollar for everybody who approached me saying, "Hey, I've got this great idea! If you'd like to partner with me and program it for me, I'll give you have of the profits!", then I'd be pretty rich by now.
The other thing that I get an even bigger chuckle out of is the people who do this and then don't want to describe exactly what they want because they're afraid I'll steal their idea.
At the risk of over-generalizing, programmers come in two flavors: "coders" and "creative innovators".
The "coders" work to pay the rent, put food on the table, and build a stable financial future for themselves and their families. They want a paycheck. They may think your idea is interesting, but don't expect them to jump on board and scream "Show me the money!" to keep you motivated. I would venture to say that 90% of the people you find on oDesk, Freelancer, RentACoder, and similar sites fall into this category. They see their skills as a way to trade time for money, and aren't interested in working for free. They won't steal your ideas simply because they are too risk-averse, and have no stomach for building a business. (Nor do they have the slightest idea where to start.) That said, I'm sad to say that there are unscrupulous outsourcing firms in certain Asian countries that will charge you a pretty penny to build your software, then turn around and tweak it a little and resell it as a "white-label" solution to whomever they can. So be advised ... never give more than 50% of your programming to any single outsourcing company overseas. Split it into two or three pieces in such a way that none of them knows the whole picture and cannot figure it out from the pieces they're given.
The "creative innovators" are people like me who have far more ideas floating around in our heads than we could implement in five lifetimes. Why would I work for free for you with a very low likelihood of ever earning a penny when I've got dozens of my own ideas I can spend my free time working on with what I perceive as a far better chance of making me money someday? We won't steal your ideas because we think ours are far better!
Speaking from my own experience, the most dangerous character in any startup is the guy who's paying the bills. I've worked at half a dozen startups, and every single one was either driven into the ground by the investors, or barely survived such an attempt. So offering me straight equity for something that's extremely unlikely to ever pay off is tilting at windmills.
Here's the scenario you need to overcome: given, say, $20,000 and/or 1000 hours of time to invest, would I prefer to: (a) invest in implementing YOUR idea, over which I have zero control and a very low likelihood of ever earning a penny; or (b) invest it in MY OWN idea over which I have 100% control and what seems like a far better chance of making a return on that investment someday?
That is the most fundamental equation you need to overcome when you're talking to a software developer about joining your team. Because either they're only interested in working for cash, or they're going to think you're nuts if you believe they'll be as passionate about your idea as they'd be if it was their own idea.
If you look at startups that involve software, what typically happens is there are some friends who started kicking around an idea and decided to pursue it, and one or more of them is a software developer. They didn't hire someone as a partner, and they didn't go around begging someone to join the team for straight equity.
The startups I've worked for paid me to work for them. I also got stock. And in exactly ONE instance did that stock ever translate into further cash. Once. Out of more than a dozen. With a history like that, there's no way in hell I'd ever work for straight equity when I have no control over the product definition or direction of the company. And nobody with half a brain on their head would either. At least, not unless it was equity in our own companies, implementing our own ideas.
That's not to say it's impossible to find a kid earning $100k+ who's got some extra time on his hands and might throw you a bone by cutting some code for you. But in the back of his mind, he's just doing it for the fun of it, and isn't really expecting anything much to come of it. And if some kind of diversion comes along (like a pretty girl, a nice vacation, or his boss needs him to go into crunch-mode for a month) you won't hear from him for a while.
THE SOLUTION: raise some capital and hire someone local. Period. End of story.
PS: I once worked for a guy who's a leading researcher in the field of genetics and genomics. When he was trying to hire me, I asked him, "I don't have the first clue about genetics or genomics. Why do you want to hire me?" His response was instructive: "I've found it's much easier to teach a programmer about genetics and genomics than to teach a biologist how to program."