How *not* to score a business partner

Some time ago I sub­scribed to the local RSS feed for ‘com­puter gigs’ on Craigslist. I was hop­ing that this might lead to some side money but so far most of the stuff adver­tised has been data-en­try posi­tions or word­press theme updates. Stuff that would be a waste of my time, in other words. Any­way, after fol­low­ing the feed some time, I came across some rather inter­est­ing stuff.

In the world of tech­ni­cal star­tups and the like, there is the com­mon nui­sance of the ‘idea guy.’ This is a fel­low who wants to start a busi­ness and has an idea for one, but has none of the pre­req­ui­site skills. He goes around court­ing pro­gram­mers look­ing for a part­ner who will build his prod­uct for him, while he goes to net­work­ing par­ties and schmoozes with investors and in return he will gen­er­ously give his part­ner a stake in the com­pa­ny. These guys are idiots and most self respect­ing pro­gram­mers know to avoid them because they bring absolutely noth­ing to the table; ideas area a dime a dozen and most pro­gram­mers already have a few that they fan­ta­size about con­stantly anyway.1

Appar­ent­ly, idea guys love to look for part­ners on Craigslist:

xxxxx.Com Seeks Busi­ness Partner…..

I am the owner of pre­mium e-com­merce domain name xxxxx.­Com (and xxxxx.­Com)! I’ve owned the domains for quite some time and just have not got­ten around to devel­op­ing it into some­thing awe­some which it clearly has the poten­tial. I am look­ing for a busi­ness savvy busi­ness part­ner (with pro­gram­ming expe­ri­ence pre­ferred) to develop xxxxx.­Com into a rev­enue gen­er­at­ing site! The pos­si­bil­i­ties of what the site could be turned into are quite end­less. I am not sure whether to do a niche site or a bet­ter alter­na­tive to Craigslist.

Any­how, I am look­ing for top-notch tal­ent and some­one who can see the big pic­ture here. Would love to hear what you could bring to the ta­ble and what you could see xxxxx.­Com becom­ing. Pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence with start ups, busi­ness­es, would be help­ful. I look for­ward to hear­ing from you soon! Thanks for your time!

it’s NOT ok to con­tact this poster with ser­vices or other com­mer­cial inter­ests Compensation: Part own­er­ship of xxxxx.­Com

(I’ve changed the domain name in order to pro­tect the guilty.)

Actu­al­ly, this guy is not tech­ni­cally an ‘idea guy’ because he does­n’t even have an idea. He just has a domain name and expects some­one else to build a busi­ness with it. Seri­ous­ly, he does­n’t even seem to have any host­ing. That’s like hav­ing a really nice name picked out for a farm and ask­ing for a farmer to go half­sies on a farm with him for the priv­i­lege of using said name. A word to the wise, if your domain name is worth any­thing, some­one who is already start­ing a busi­ness will ask to buy it from you. The typ­i­cal price will maybe be a hun­dred bucks. You’re not going to weasel your way into half a busi­ness with only a domain name because any good busi­ness can just find anoth­er. The name is not the make or break part of a busi­ness.

A search engine that is brand new. Is that you??? I have no idea how to do that.

Hi my name is xxxxx and Im look­ing to cre­ate a search web­site sim­i­lar to google, a search engine. I need peo­ple that can help me cre­ate that for me.

In a nut­shell i will be mak­ing a search site. I need some­one that is com­puter savvy and capa­ble of doing this for me because i dont have any clue how to. So in a nut­shell if this is you then you can cre­ate the domain and show my how to han­dle the domain.


Mak­ing it from scratch.

All inquiries respond to my email account

(The name is changed this time, but not the domain because it’s obvi­ously fake.)

Here’s another fel­low. He wants to recre­ate Google. Actu­ally no, scratch that. He wants some­body else to recre­ate Google for him. What does he bring to the table? Noth­ing real­ly. He does­n’t even know how to cre­ate a domain name or put up a web­site. I feel sorry for him because he prob­a­bly has no idea how dif­fi­cult the task is that he’s set out for him­self. Look­ing at his writ­ing style, I sus­pect that he might even still be in high­school. I had mercy on him and sent him some advice:

Hey xxxxx,

To get a domain name, you need to go to a reg­is­trar like, and type the domain you want into the search box. If it’s avail­able, you can own it for about $15 bucks a year. You’ll still need web host­ing, which you can get from Dreamhost.­com, or rackspace.­com and you’ll need to point the domain at the host.

All that is pretty easy but I really sug­gest you read a book or two before you try to start the next Google. Google is com­pany with thou­sands of employ­ees, most of whom have PhDs or other advanced degrees. If you can’t even reg­is­ter a domain name, you won’t stand a chance against them. You’re also not going to get a pro­gram­mer to do it for you, because they can just do it them­selves.

These might be some good places to start:

Good Luck!

  • Drew

As for the domain name guy? I offered twenty bucks for the domain.

  1. Just to be clear, I’m not just talking about technical skills. If someone needs a programmer to help him build a project, but actually has some business accumin, marketing talent, accounting skills, etc, then at least has some of the necessary skills. An ‘idea guy’ generally has nothing but a vague vision, which will probably have to change anyway to make a workable product, to back him up, and he thinks that’s enough to guarantee himself partial ownership of a company. 

Last update: 26/09/2013

blog comments powered by Disqus