I'm a software developer/development manager with more than 18 years of hands on experience. For a year now a wonderful idea has fermented in my head. All the research I've indicates there is no comparable service anywhere on the net.
Fate played its cards and I was laid off along with many others from the financial industry. This triggered a strong desire to take a risk and implement my idea - launching a new web 2.0 SaaS company.
I have heard many different opinions on the path I should take. Basically it drills down to the following schools:
"Marketing first": Create screen mockups, killer presentation (showing revenue streams), provisional patent application, and do whatever you can to get meetings with angels and VCs - trying to raise capital - even before a single line of code is written.
"Semi-Bootstrap": You must have a working launch/beta in order for VCs to be remotely interested in your work, naturally this also includes everything listed in the "marketing first" item: presentation, business plan etc.
"Run luke, run!": Don't worry about VCs or angels now as no one will invest in an idea from a "smalltime" person such as yourself who founded his first startup and has no previous success to boast. Implement your idea, launch it, and support it with your own money until you build a name for yourself, even at the price of remaining remaining small and unfunded for a while. You must however protect your idea with patents. If you're successful, angels and VCs will follow later and you'll have more leverage when negotiating with them.
I'd like to hear your opinion. In the mean time, I'm going with "semi-bootstrap".