Browse F.A.Q. Topics
How are we different from a software consultancy firm?
We get that question a lot as our end product is somewhat similar to what they would offer you. We distinguish ourselves from them based on the vision. We are not creating the product for you, we are creating it for us. Our interest is not only in creating a product you wanted, we want to create a product that is successful. We brainstorm to see how we can improve the product to make it a better market fit. We go above and beyond to make it happen. Unlike traditional software consulting models our interests are not limited to the product deployment, we are partners in the product and thus our long term interests are always aligned with that of the other co-founders.
Our development is offered at cost price (and overheads) and thus the only way we can keep our lights on for long is by creating products that make our equity valuable. Therefore, it is never our goal to just deploy a product and be done with it. As you might have noticed on our homepage banners, we “Think, Build, Release” (TBR) and then monitor how users interact with the system. The monitoring gives us feedback and then we reiterate the entire TBR process if the users are not behaving as we expected them.
What does it cost to work with Pro Start Me?
Our business model is different and hence there is no single answer to that. What you will be paying us is mostly the equity in the final product. We prefer to contribute at least as much as others involved in the idea and hence we usually take equal equity. Equity is how we can keep going at a development cost at a fraction of what it would be if we were a traditional software consultancy.
Also, it sometimes helps to remind that we are located in India and thanks to the currency conversion rates, most of our partners from the West love Indian development costs. We do add a little on top of the development cost for the overheads of running and maintaining the office space where the product teams are going to brainstorm and implement the idea.
In short, our cost model can be explained by:
Cost = Discounted Development Costs + Space Maintenance Overheads + Equity
Where do we fit?
Can we Steal Your Idea?
This is a good question and we were asked this question indirectly by only one startup so far. We would like to quote Paul Graham from his essay on startup’s beginning:
An idea for a startup, however, is only a beginning. A lot of would-be startup founders think the key to the whole process is the initial idea, and from that point all you have to do is execute. Venture capitalists know better. If you go to VC firms with a brilliant idea that you’ll tell them about if they sign a nondisclosure agreement, most will tell you to get lost. That shows how much a mere idea is worth. The market price is less than the inconvenience of signing an NDA.
We believe in what Paul says about NDAs. It unnecessarily adds a barrier to entry for our process. However, I was once talking on Reddit with someone who has experience in building products (non-tech such as plush toys) and he said the following:
There is a difference between pitching an idea and fully disclosing details of the idea (something which you ask for). Feedback is more brainstorming whereas the details your asking for should require an NDA. This is standard industry advice. I feel like more people would be willing to work with you if you allowed them to sign an NDA with you (Google’s is, I think, less than 5 pages long) and told them what you expected out of this transaction/ how your company operates.
I believe his advice comes from the industry of tangible products where an idea can be (easily) stolen as there are far few moving parts. A tech startup, however, depends on the execution and cannot be copied from a prototype. We recommend entrepreneurs not to worry about their ideas getting stolen as everyone has ideas and those ideas are always better than others. If a person decides to seriously do something about an idea, they would work on their own ideas first by human nature. But if you think you have a good reason to have an NDA signed, we do not mind signing it. Be forewarned though, it usually raises a red flag on how much you know about entrepreneurship.
What do we expect from Idea people?
A great partnership starts when all parties bring unique skills to the table. A great product (can we please dub it “unicorn” for this answers sake?) is usually made when everything was perfect. Such Unicorns cannot exist without all required skills within the core team. We bring the technical expertise and we expect our partners to bring domain expertise, business development and marketing skills to the table. While business development can be a learn as you do thing, there are no alternatives to domain expertise and marketing. Therefore, a great partner would have decent experience in the domain we are pursuing and would have enough connections in the industry to get enough people to test the idea and then potentially sell it. Above all, the entrepreneur must be after the idea because it is his/her passion.