The Full Story

The Founder
That would be me. I’m a business guy. I used to have a pretty decent corporate job until I felt like it was time to move on. I now spend some of my time getting paid to help small businesses with a variety of strategic issues, and the rest of the time I do the same thing for cash strapped startups for little or no pay and just for the love of it.

More on my business history here:

Outside of work I kitesurf, stand-up paddle surf, play golf (poorly), do a bit of online gaming, follow the Richmond Football Club and very occasionally go fly fishing. Oh, and I’m lucky enough to have the world’s smartest and most beautiful two year old daughter.

I’m 43 but you’d never know it… unless you looked at me, then you’d have a pretty good idea.

The Idea
Without giving too much anything away, it’s a productivity app. It’ll be web and mobile. It’ll be simple and beautiful, but also powerful. Our priority will be our users and it will be of great use to them on a daily basis, but it will also be something we’ll be proud to show off on Hacker News.

The response I usually get is that it is so simple that it seems like it must already exist. But it doesn’t. Yet it should. So we’re going to form the team to build it. Make sense?

It’s at the wireframe stage with some volunteer work being put in to keep things moving while we build the team. I’m committing over $100k, and we have outside angel investors ready to join. We are looking for one or two more investors, but only for the value they can add (experience and contacts) rather than the money. This should get us through the first 12 months.

I don’t expect anyone to join without knowing more, but nobody needs to know more unless we feel like we’d work really well together. But I will say that enough people have seen the pitch and the wireframes to know what people think… and they really, really like it.

Here is some real feedback from people who were asked to give criticism:

Damn you and your good ideas!! I’m trying to [insert problem here] and wishing your [insert idea here] was actually up and running!! So frustrating!! …SW

I think it’s a cracking idea and definitely has legs …SP

Just build it already! …(half of YBF)

Stop stuffing around and go back to a real job …Mum

The Team
My goal is a team of four:

  • CEO/CFO/Marketing/Sales – FILLED (by me)
  • Back-end developer – VACANT
  • Front-end developer – VACANT

(Note the lack of words like “ninja” and “rockstar”. It was tempting, but I controlled myself.)

I’d be willing to start with two tech people plus myself if they had the right skills between them, but not one. I’m building a team, not a partnership.

Ideally we’ll all be working four days a week, and having three day weekends. That’s not because I’m lazy, it’s because I think you can get as much done in four good days than five or six overworked days. I also think the whole world should operate that way and this business will be part of my contribution to changing the world! But seriously, if we get the right people then we’ll all be thinking about our startup in our time off and the creative ideas we come up with will make the work we do when we’re at “the office” that much more awesome.

One of the team will take on the CTO role. Hopefully it will be obvious who it should be, but if not we’ll toss a coin. Only kidding, we won’t toss a coin – it’ll be a cage match to the death near death.

The Ideal Team Member
Technical skills are important, but making sure everyone in the team likes each other is equally as important.

I once read that you shouldn’t hire someone that you wouldn’t enjoy sitting next to on a long haul flight, and that rule will apply here. If we don’t all feel like we’d enjoy 14 hours sitting 6 inches away from each other then we won’t be doing this.

If you’re only available three days a week for now that’s fine, but the goal would be to get that up to four days relatively quickly. At a stretch we could possibly start with two days a week but, again, not for very long. (One day a week would be ridiculous so don’t even ask).

You’ll be happy working for demand a moderate salary and a generous equity allocation. I’m looking for people that really want to be part of this, not just employees looking for a nice place to work for a short time. (If your family commitments mean you need a little extra cash in exchange for a little less equity then we should be able to accommodate that – I understand people need to eat!)

You must be living in Melbourne for now, but be willing hoping to move to Silicon Valley if it comes to that.

And no offers of paid consulting or contract development work please – that may come soon, but for now the priority is building the core team.

The Technology
I’ve got some ideas and been given suggestions by some great advisors, but if you’re the right person to fill the role you’ll know far better than me what stack we should use. It’ll be a SQL database and probably something like RoR or Python using a cool framework, but the final decision will be yours.
The Bounty!
Do you know someone who might be interested? You can either send them to this site, or submit their details yourself using the button below. If you send them to the site and they put their own name forward they can still record your name as the person who referred them.

Recommend Someone

Are you interested yourself? Great, we have a button for that, too!

Suggest Yourself

I thought hard about whether to offer the prize for submitting your own name. In the end I decided I would because finding the right people is worth it. Having said that, if you’re right for this role you’ll very likely prefer that the money be put into our startup and you’ll take a few extra shares instead.

NOTE: Without wanting to get bogged down in fine print, I hope you will understand when I say that the prize will be paid three months after the person starts work, and only if it is the intention at that time that they remain with the team beyond that point. Also, if two people submit the same name then I will give it to the one that gets in first, unless they’re very close in timing then I’ll split the money. Finally, this prize is being offered to help me find people I don’t already know so please understand if it turns out that I already do know them. In other words, as long as we’re all reasonable about this we’ll all be happy!