Finding co-founders – Technical founder POV

First, a prelude - though I've mostly written technical articles on this blog, it's called techfounder for a reason - it was my original intention to also talk about startups from the view-point of the technical founder. I have been involved in several ventures so far in this role (currently at Binpress), each giving me more perspective on the overall picture.

I've just stumbled upon a nice article titled "Why you can('t) recruit a technical co-founder". The author makes some solid points about why it's hard to recruit / find a technical co-founder for a startup, but it seemed more common sense than deep introspection.

Idea is nothing, execution is everything

If you've started up your own venture, you know this saying is not just a cliche. Ideas, however great, will get nowhere without execution. On the other hand, solid and above execution can get very far with even below mediocre ideas.
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Software licenses for dummies

The legal aspects of selling software are, for the most part, pretty vague for most developers. During preparations for launching our software market, Binpress, I absorbed a lot of information from our very good copyright  attorney and got to understand much better the nuances of software licensing. Here are some of the lessons I learned.

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Client development – think partners, not employers

Saying there is a lot of variation in the field of web development would be a huge understatement. You have everything from anonymous freelancers to large known firms, several hundred dollar budgets to several hundred thousand dollar budgets (and more).

How much does it cost to build a website? what does building a website entails? there are no universal answers to those questions.

Client: "Enough talking, let's get down to business. What will 50$ get me?"
Brad: * looks at wrist watch *
Brad: "About 5 more minutes of my time."
Brad Colbow on Time

In fact, there is so much variation, that a recent client told us post-project completion that when he was shopping around for offers from various firms, he got offers between 2000$ and 60,000$. That's a factor of 30 between offers!

He picked us since we conveyed the best value (quality / price) of all offers, even though he had much cheaper offers (we were about midway in the range). All things being equal, all he had was his gut-feeling and our resume to guide him. That is, if we didn't engage in client development.
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Finding your web business model

The web as a commercial venue has changed and evolved much in the relatively short time since its inception. As the medium and technology evolved, more and more "real-world" business models became viable for web products.

Despite this, the application of those business models in the web arena is still very much experimental, and it's often hard for web businesses to find and implement a model that works well for them.
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Conveying value to clients

Preface: This article was written mostly half a year ago, as I was wrapping up an intense period of freelancing and sub-contracting. It is less relevant for me now, as I'm now an equal partner in a small web firm and my freelancing days are beyond me - however, I thought it might be a good read.

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