I am looking to start a web / app platform to help manage consumer finance, think a cross between a Yelp and FB for everything money related. I need a few developers to help code out a prototype.
I used to run a service called LaunchLane.com that helped people with ideas get to launch and beyond. So my first question would be, what is the prototype for? Is it to get feedback on the concept, to show potential investors, actually build an MVP for users to start using and testing?
There are many forms of “prototypes”, you can quickly get a really nicely created click through prototype with only wireframes or design and using Invision https://www.invisionapp.com/
If you want to build a working application then it will take a bit more time and specifically more time on your part to think about all the functional specifications for your MVP.
Also another question is have you managed a development project before. As this may determine if you should also look for a project/product manager with developers or look for a dev shop that will manage the team.
If you are comfortable with managing the project, I always recommend having your functionality specifications with wireframes as detailed as possible. This will help when getting developer quotes on how much it would cost. I use UpWork.com for finding developers for small quick builds.
Another thing to think about is, are you looking for the developer/s to be part of your founding team? As this will be a longer process and other things you’ll want to think about is equity vs payment. If you can build an MVP and prove your idea and get initial traction this usually helps with developers you want to bring on. With my technical background I get a constant messages with people saying they have a ground breaking idea. You may also want to spend a bit more time finding the right team fit.
If you put a job ad up on freelancer type sites, you are sure to get a handful of responses so its more about knowing what to look for to select the right developer. This is another reason why I mention potentially hiring a Project/Product manager who has worked on a web app project before and hired / built the team for it may make the process easier.
There could also be a combination of having your MVP and also having click through prototypes for future vision functionality.
Thanks for this question though, its got my brain thinking about helping people get ideas off the ground again, I think I'll write a medium post about this topic so follow me on Medium
Hope this helps.
Jeronimo makes a good point. When you say prototype are you referring to an MVP or a non-functional but clickable version of your product?
As someone who has brought many commercial products to market, I recommend taking a step back and understanding exactly which underlying assumptions you can test early on and how to test them in the cheapest and easiest way. Ultimately, you will have to build your tech, but the more you can understand your target user before you do that, the more time, money, and headache you can save yourself.
As you conceptualize what your product should look like, I would be happy to chat and lend my input. My team at Remedy Point Solutions helps seed through series B companies build products by focusing on 4 areas: technical leadership, product vision, software development, and venture strategy. We typically work with early stage startups with some traction, but I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have in getting to that stage.
Honestly, I would just try and build it yourself.
For a year, I tried finding someone. Right now I'm about to launch the first version. I had to learn Swift(Apple's Programming language for Apple Products) and it wasn't that hard.
The main goal of a prototype is for proof of concept. One of the hardest thing to to is to find a potential customers without investing a lot of money and resources.
I've often instructed entrepreneurs who came to me with ideas to create their own screen mockups about their business concepts using tools like Invision or Marvel. By doing this it helps them learn and forces them think hard about their business ideas. As the result of this many have changed their ideas before a single line of code is written.
My point is that there are many different ways to validate ideas. I'll be glad to give you inputs or advice if I can help.
You can find coders just about anywhere. I used Upwork, but first I learned to code myself. You don't have to learn much (I really got into it and did a lot of my project myself) but know enough so that you can evaluate if the person with whom you're working is doing a good job. There are very good coders out there but there are some who will take advantage if you rely on them too heavily.
There are tons of marketplaces you can find your next developer to build up your prototype.
In any case, you make sure to review their past performance, and on what kind of project they worked on.
Make sure to have a list of requirements for your prototype beforehand.
Remember that developers need to have clear goals, and you should be the one to give them that.
That means you must define what exactly you are expecting.
PS: do not go with the cheaper options. That could cost you big. :)
I have built a number of platforms for fintech. I actually built and managed an original robo advisor. actually I have some experience with maintaining the type of product you describe. The only product in the mainstream is guideline.
It's always great to find out the best way to build the app or platform i.e figure out the best languages and frameworks that would work best. For example if you are going to build a product using the angular and ionic framework, go to the meetups and online slack channels for angular and ionic.
This is by far the best way to build a development team since you'll be able to network a lot of expert developers.
Lastly, the easiest way to find developers would be to work with a web and mobile development company.
Hope that helps!