An open letter to Baltimore hackers:
Because I put myself out there as a Baltimore-based startup person, I am regularly approached by entrepreneurs in this region who have ideas for software projects, mostly web apps, that they need someone to build. Most of these ideas sound awesome to me, and the people seem very compelling leaders (they all create what Eric Ries calls the "reality distortion forcefield "). I'd love to work on all of the ideas, but I'm busy with my own startup. Just in the past four weeks, I've talked to people who want to build:
- a niche massive, multiplayer game
- a workflow management system for the entertainment industry
- a web news site CMS
- iPhone games
But some of these inquiries are from people who can't afford or aren't ready for the full-court press that SLS can provide. The projects are more prototypal and better-suited to a freelancer or moonlighter. That brings me to a dilemma.
I know many good programmers in different disciplines, especially through the Beehive. But I don't always know their tolerance for risk, willingness to work for equity, etc. I wonder if that's a consequence of being in a tech economy dominated by service providers and government contractors -- do talented creators get used to high hourly rates, and thus become unavailable to people who need their help to build disruptive, exciting products with a lean startup mentality?
If you are interested in this kind of work -- and I really encourage you to give it a try -- please leave a comment on this page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, because I'd like to have better answers the next time someone asks me to help them build an idea. I just need to know your specialties and what contact information I should use.