We are a team of 4 individuals (1 idea guy, 2 developers, 1 finance) working together to create a online communication platform website. Since the idea comes from me I formed a team of people who would be interested but since I don't have the skill-set it is hard to manage and have any expectations. Things are progressing too slow (no $ involved until we launch, on a very limited budget) and the window of opportunity is closing. I need to find a way to motivate the team b/c we all know its a great idea but for me to lead w/o the knowledge is becoming harder and harder. How do I build the traction and keep away from being in a standstill?
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It seems your problem is that you have an idea, but no cash, little motivation skills, and no skills to get the job done yourself. In that scenario you are asking your employees to code something for you, probably for less pay than they could earn elesewehre, or for a lottery ticket of an opportunity. Chances are, like most "idea only" people that you have someone given yourself the most equity in the scenario?
The reason I am being so much of an ass is that you and others need to understand that an idea does not mean much. Ask Xerox how much their UI idea was worth until Gates and Jobs each ripped it off. Unless you have the balls, ability to be a leader and motivate, capital and skills, then your idea is not worth much.
Everytime someone rips off your idea and angel gets its wings. It would benefit you to do the following: 1. Save some cash, learn a little, and hire cheap labor developers with your own money. or 2. Learn years of development and build out your own ideas.
The fact is, unless if you have the capital, skills, teams, and personality to make your idea a real product, its best kept as an idea and not a stroke session for others you try to involve into it!
Draw out a map on how the website should be, let your developers do the job. Stay away from it, but just monitor the end product from time to time.
Turn yourself (idea guy) and the finance guy to a sales/marketing guy. Market your website from social network, blogs, or outbound. You need traction.
Launch fast, don't try to always perfect the website. Get traction as soon as possible. I seriously don't think you need a finance guy at this point.
The hardest part about writing code isn't writing the code. The hard part is being willing to sit down for 8 hours and actually do it.
Some tips on a small budget:
1) Since you can't afford to pay them, buy lunch instead. Talk often about how much money you're all going to make.
2) If tasks aren't getting done, hold meetings about the task at hand with the express purpose of getting the team to actually WORK during the meeting. You'd be amazed how much you can get done in a 2 hour "meeting".
3) Help your programmers by breaking the tasks into small chunks. If you can make requests that they can do in a single sitting, say from 6PM to 9PM in a single day, and have something that actually works at the end, you'll get better results.
What is their impression of 'too slow'? Do they agree with you but feel there is nothing they can do about it. You may have to adjust the scope of the website.
If you want to handle developers, give the developers a chance to succeed.
Do they really believe in this product? Are you beyond the idea stage and have some proof that there is an interest?
Thanks for the responses. So from what I understand right now is that when it comes to my developers, I need for them to have a NEED to do this. Without a NEED ($, or really being driven by the idea itself) they have no motivation to commit themselves fully.
The impression of 'too slow' is that we have created a partial foundation, but the developers are lolly-gagging when it really comes to being committed souls. Which means they either don't see that idea going anywhere, don't have the time, or aren't motivated. At this point I need to find individuals who are in 'love' with the idea, who are willing to go above and beyond, or are willing to do it for X dollars (possibly outsourcing then pay someone to manage it).
As of now I am learning the ins and outs of the technology, so I can communicate effectively. I just need to get it up and running b/c then I am confident that my developers will see the value behind the opportunity.
One thing I have been doing is attending networking events. This has been increasingly helpful and I plan to make it a large part of the business, with the connections I have gathered.
Please feel free to share any other thoughts, ideas, words of the wise that you may have.