Being an “Idea guy” sucks

I’ve had a bunch of ideas for possible “game changing” web based businesses in the past couple of years. I figured that if I told others about these ideas, that I would eventually bump into a super talented programmer who would drop everything to work on my idea with me. Unfortunately, that never happened. And I am apparently not the first one to ever run into this problem. Just take a peek at this question on Quora:

Quora: Where can I find a rockstar developer to bring my idea to life?

As you can see from the responses in the thread, most techies could care less to about working on your “super awesome idea”. In fact, asking this question can be downright offensive for a couple of reasons:

1. Coming up with an idea takes 10 seconds. Writing the code for it takes weeks/months/years.

Does that sounds like an even distribution of work load to you? Me neither.

2. Developers hear about “the next big thing” from idea guys all the time.

Chances are that the developer you are pitching your idea to has been hit up many times before with ideas just as stupid as yours. They understand that ideas are a dime a dozen and that people are simply trying to use them for their skills.

3. They are often busy working on other things

Most developers have a day job that eats up most of their time. If they do like to write code in their spare time, they often like to write programs that they think are cool. They don’t go asking others “Hey! What stuff should I build?”. They like to tinker with their own projects.  Have you ever asked someone else what hobbies you should try to get interested in? If you did, you probably didn’t go very far with their suggestions because it wasn’t something that you were passionate about.

4. Asking someone else to build something shows that you are not very committed.

If you were really committed, you would try to put something together yourself to actually show how you think it should look/work/function. Even if you don’t have the skills, you should be so driven by your idea that it would make you go down the path of teaching yourself some skills to get the process started.

By now, you should realize that getting some “technical resource” is not the way to get started in your new tech company (unless of course you are sitting on a pile of money and you can just pay someone to build it for you). You need to take some initiative. This is why I am going to take a page out of Dennis Crowley’s book and suck it up and try to teach myself how to do some programming so I can actually start putting some of my ideas into action. I plan on writing more about my path from useless “idea guy” to slightly less useless “idea+shitty programmer guy” so you can follow me along while I attempt to take over the world.

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3 Responses to Being an “Idea guy” sucks

  1. Keep up on the ideas, they are what make programming great. I got a late start programming, started at 26, for similar reasons. I worked someplace as a business analyst and I had an idea of a program to build so I started learning and even went back to college (Bellevue University) to finish the degree I never finished first time around. You are right on about many developers, myself included. Now that I have the knowledge to build my project I realized how it was not “fun” so never built it.

    Also, I think sometimes it is easy for developers to get bothered with some routine aspects of programming, so many will not want to work on projects unless they find them challenging. I find myself sometimes only wanting to work on projects I find technically or intellectually challenging.

    Good luck with learning programming. Any language you have set to learn?

  2. Derek Homann says:

    @Jason- Thanks for the comment. In terms of programming languages, I just got done with some basic HTML/CSS books and I am moving onto Javascript and jQuery next. Then probably php and mySQL since there is a lot of documentation out there on them and they are used quite a bit (even though I know there are a lot sexier languages to learn).

  3. joe says:

    Lol. You speak the truth. All I am is an idea guy.

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