Where do I find developers who are willing to work in exchange for equity?

Ryan Pitt

Ryan Pitt, Author - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRyanPitt/

Répondu il y a 24w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 57 et de vues de réponses 32.3k

Looks like this is an old question, but I’m going to answer it now for anyone who reads it in the future to dispel the naysayers that claim developers won’t work for equity. The truth is that they’re more likely to do so for at least the following reasons.

  1. A larger percentage of them are out of work despite demand greatly outweighing supply. I don’t necessarily mean they have lost their jobs. I mean that of all the professions in the world, developers, who can be quite talented before graduating high school, psychologically are geared towards working on their computers alone often times in their home. They are people with amazing skills and they have their own ideas . that they pursue instead of taking jobs at the few large corporations that pay them what they are worth. Google and Facebook might pay a great developer half a million bucks, but who the hell cares when you don’t need a developer of that caliber.
  2. Which leads to my second point. You may know very little about software development, programming, or maybe you do, but you appear to need to hire a programmer and I’m going to assume that’s because you don’t have the skills, not a manpower issue. Well, not all programming is difficult. In fact, the majority of it is easy. If you have a novel idea for a startup, something that’s never been done before, unless it requires cutting edge algorithmic AI development of something that’s currently not being done anywhere else, then you’ll probably learn that the job is just an amount of time and effort, not brains. Of course, I realize that, especially with a startup, you don’t want to join forces with someone who is ultimately unimpressive to investors, or who won’t annotate your code as well as a more experienced developer, but you’re goal is to make your idea come true. The first goal is to figure out if it’s possible, and from there it gets a little . hazy as to what extent you need to build prototypes, prove profitability, etc. Obviously, do not merely accept anyone . who agrees to help you. And for the love of god, put things in writing in the beginning that all work and intellectual property is assigned to a company that you start. I counsel so many “best friends” who back out on each other two years into a venture or who screw eachother over. It’s dark. In that regard, if you choose the a programmer with bad intentions, it’s very easy for them to develop a product in such a way that it’s useless without them, they can steal it and prove that you failed to perform certain actions requisite in such situations to maintain your share of the product. If they’re truly evil, they can simply set a kill switch to erase everything they did for you in the event that you have a falling out. And guess what. Courts aren’t on your side in that situation unless the programmer is using the product in a competitive manner.
  3. See a lawyer before you start working with anyone. I couldn’t care less if you have ten dolllars in the bank. Go to a lawyers office, explain the situtatino and he or she will probably be kind enough to point you to a school that has a pro bono small business team that will help you set things up properly. I’m utterly baffled by clients who work for even a few months together without putting agreements into place, not to mention learning as much as you can about business structure, valuation, etc., none of which you’ll have time for, prior to hiring any help and giving them equity or you’ll have absolutely no idea what exactly you’re giving them. I’ve seen disturbing people work for free for entrepreneuers that don’t even understand how to apportion equity in and LLC, Corp, etc. Then investors come in, are deeply disturbed by the lack of business savvy and people get screwed. Think shares. Not percentages.
  4. I’m rambling, but to put it simply, large corporations hire programmers out of high school, and gradeschool kids can out program a lot of middle aged folks. They’re also energetic, easy to convince (WHICH IS ALL YOU HAVE TO DO - INSPIRE SOMEONE TO BELIEVE IN YOUR IDEA - AND SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO THEM AND ANYONE ELSE WHO GIVES YOU FEEDBACK ON IT WHEN YOU DO ATTEMPT TO SELL THE IDEA - FEEDBACK IS INVALUABLE).
  5. I’m not sure why I numbered this response, because the numbers don’t correspond with distinct thoughts or provide much organization.
  6. Main point, the people who responded why would a programmer work for you for free when he could get paid, must have been in bad moods, or be remarkably dense. I know programmers on disability leave who could help with an equity gig part time and would love it because they’re miserable and feeling useless. Plus, the average programmer still doesn’t make jack shit. A programmer at a well known company may fit into a slotted position and make six figures but rarely 7. If you think about it, 90% off programmers are a bit pigeon holed as they likely took a position for company that had them focus on building some obscure tool that will never see the light of day. The majority of programmers working in the united states are not multidisciniplinary, are familiar with the tools their company forced them to use, and have trouble finding other work when they’re let go because hey, 10 years of updating an internal application specific to that business written originally by someone years before they came aboard in some bizarre language, aren’t usually learning to program in multiple languages on the side while testing the millions of tools popping up every day. Christ, it’s hard enough just to keep up . with what AWS and Google offer from day to day let alone to know how to use it.
  7. Now, this is important. The people I just described can be of different types but two are worth mentioning. There are those that just did their job and hoped not to get fired, and there are those who knew it sucked and constantly tried to build their skill sets. Those same people, whoever they are, need to have an entrepreneurial spirit and and understand that working at a startup is 24/7. It’s not sitting at a cubicle with six layers of management watching over you and attending training sessions on how to motivate their employees. You should be able to tell immediately if someone has the entreprenurial spirit and you should also be able to tell rather quickly whether they think your idea is worth learning more about or pure idiocy. I’m still rambling.
  8. Another point. Read a book on grunts, which is an entire ecosystem of programmers and tech people that have no desire to work for corporations so they work for companies that pay on a grunt investment basis. There’s a good book about it. Essentially, the founder assigns the grunt a reasonable hourly wage, and has that person tally his time as he works, and in the event that the company is successful, the founder does some mad calculations with all that data to distribute equity fairly when an investment round requires it. These people will literally work on your project just because they like you or think they can learn something new, etc.
  9. I could go on and I might, but what’s extremely disturbing is seeing someone like yourself who’s considering something entrepreneurial, whether or not your idea sucks, taking the initiative to ask people with some experience for help and they respond in such a way that makes you feel like entrepreneurship sucks when it’s the most rewarding type of work there is, not always monetarily though.
  10. Just to add a little emphasis to my opinion or rather, to substantiate it a bit, I have a master in computer science but work as an attorney advising startups on every aspect of their business and strategy. When they ask me to work for equity, I tell them to burn in hell, kidding, I politely decline for my own reasons. I sure as hell would not decline if someone approached me and asked me to draft a patent for equity if they had a sure thing and I’d get involved to make sure that other aspects of their business where in proper shape. I can program in a few languages, have passed certs for cybersecurity, etc., and I even started a couple companies myself based on novel uses of natural language processing, but I knew jack shit about it when I started. Not many people seemed interested, and it didn’t seem at first that what were then the cutting edge NLP techniques could accomplish what I wanted. But all it took was research and stumbling onto books on point, attempting the programming myself just to see how out of my league I was, and then a few months later they were apps that have helped thousands of depressed people.
  11. I’m virtually never on Quora lately and I write under a friends account when I do because he’s not in a profession that scrutinizes your online behavior. But if you respond with questions, I’ll answer them when I can.
  12. Keep up the good fight and if one idea doesn’t pan out, don’t stop searching for others. Oh, I don’t go back and reread what I write. Apologize for spelling errors or the like.
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Sanjay Parekh

Sanjay Parekh, FPGA and Digital Hardware Engineer designing imaging systems for scientific instruments.

Répondu il y a 182w

While this is difficult, it is your first test as an entrepreneur -
An entrepreneur creates something of value that can be sold. In that respect you have to be able to sell your vision to developers. It is tough but it also makes you that much more prepared to succeed. Some ideas that I can think of on where to look.
1. Old colleagues, college friends, professors, etc. Get the word out to people who know you as dependable and trustworthy.
2. Meet ups where you can sell your ideas.
3. Professional organizations e.g. Founderdating.com

If you discover your developer some other way do share it back here.

Bon chance.
Meilleures salutations,

Karin Schroeck-Singh

Karin Schroeck-Singh, German Translator at Hire Karin (2018-present)

Mise à jour il y a 89w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 100 et de vues de réponses 146.6k

Developers are highly sought after and working for free in exchange for equity is not something everyone would be prepared to do. I could think of two scenarios:

  1. A wealthy person who doesn’t depend on money or
  2. A university student (who once graduation is over, might decide to start their own business!)

Some strategies (but with no guarantee of success!) are listed here:

  • Approach only those people who you know and trust (if there are any at all in the tech industry).
  • Attend meet up events where you will be given the opportunity to share your idea (and hiring needs) with enthusiasm.
  • Establish a great professional online presence in various forms and get noticed. Use every possible social media platform that you can think of. Make sure if people google you, that you have a digital footprint. Spread about the fact that you are looking for developers in emails, tweets, updates, etc. And that regularly, add pictures and videos to it.
  • There are some online sources that you might want to check out.
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Think about it: Do you want to find someone in your local area or can the person work remotely too?

Bonne chance!!!

Where do I find developers who are willing to work in exchange for equity?

Colin Vincent

Colin Vincent, Co-Founder of Equity Directory

Répondu il y a 142w

This is a great question.. And exactly why I founded Equity Directory - we are an invite-only network of entrepreneurs and startup talent exchanging work for equity.


Where do I find developers who are willing to work in exchange for equity?

Wallace B. McClure

Wallace B. McClure, 3 startups completed, 2 successful, consulting, software development

Répondu il y a 182w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 2.7k et de vues de réponses 1.8m

Get in line behind everyone else that has the next great idea.

seriously, to make something like this work, you have to have you [email protected] together. Why should a developer invest their time in your app idea? Developers are the most critical investors.

Yi Xiang

Yi Xiang, Yet another freelance web developer

Répondu il y a 133w


You're asking a developer to take a very big personal risk because he will need to:

  • Give up a good salary, and work for free instead.
  • Use his savings to cover all his living expenses.
  • Convince everyone in his life that this isn't insane.

So other than the hard work he will put in, he is losing several thousands of dollars per month, risking himself yelled by his partner, or being unable to pay the mortgage, or if younger, sleeping in the streets.

All for a piece of paper that has a slim chance of turning into a lot of money after 5 years?

Thanks, but no thanks.

Lottery seems to be a better idea.

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