When attending a local meetup for entrepreneur in Munich few months ago, I discussed a problem I faced at that time regarding developer availability to help me build the project I was working on. The topic was, how founders managed to get good resources with limited budget. You know that it is hard to be a single player who must do and develop everything from scratch, there are parts of development area where you’re not so good but you want the best quality produced out of it.
They give me 3 answer, two are common strategies for founders. First, find somebody who has similar interest on the vision of your project and he / she has skill which is a complementary to your existing skillset. Let say you’re very good with hardcore development such as backend stack, and you’re very weak on design or front-end stack, then find somebody to be your partner to develop code on front-end part.
Secondly, depend on how limited your budget is, there are various marketplace for developer such as upwork.com (was odesk.com). There are chances that you can find a good developer with low price from that marketplaces. Some developer are newcomer, they are potentially have good quality but lack of experience on product development. So if you give them the tasks, they can accomplish the task very well although they never had experience accomplishing similar task before. But in this scenario you must prepared yourself and spend more time for interviewing lot of people in order to find a suitable candidate. You must also know how to identify parameters to clasify which one is good and which one is not such as giving specific task for test during interview. You can also be more flexible taking benefit from such marketplace i.e create specific design for logo / image, so the applicant only work on that specific task, not the complete front-end work. In the end, when you want to go for marketplace, it will require lot of non-technical stuff to spend on your valuable time in order to find suitable candidate.
The third strategy is to opensource your project and find a good model for it. Martin Mickos from Hewlett Packard wrote a good article on turning opensource project into a business. There are various reason people contribute on opensource project, they could be a developer working on similar project and used our product in their business / company, if they find a bug they will report back to us or maybe fix the issue and submitting the patch. Some people also contribute on opensource project for fun, and yes, they are good and passionate developer who love to contribute on opensource project in their spare time. The owner of opensource project will lead the project’s direction and roadmap, powered by opensource community. Martin already describe two broad opensource business model, so you can choose which one is more suitable for your project or product. There are lot of successful project / company following this strategy. In most of cases, you will spend more time on technical stuff such as verify bugs, or deciding how to move forward with new features based on various input / patch given by community.