This is a guest post by Andree Huk of www.co-found.me, which describes itself as “speed dating for developers and entrepreneurs.”
We have been thinking hard lately as to how www.co-found.me may be able to evolve over time. The very first session in February of this year became reality because of a real basic need. A need which was, in fact, a very personal one.
Actually, we have tapped a gap in the market, bringing developers and entrepreneurs together within an environment of mutual respect, making clear what the goal is and what people should aim for. This is very crucial, as it puts people at ease. Nobody likes getting screwed.
To put this into context, developers hate “suits.” I am not talking specifically about entrepreneurs (though the line may be blurry), who tend to talk developers into something “meaningful” without exposing them to the bigger picture or involving them holistically. Ultimately developers do a job for small bucks or one which is easy to code and does not take long. This is especially true in Germany, where many developers like to work just for a salary. What is the incentive for a developer who can easily charge a few hundred bucks a day for consultancy or freelance work?
Entrepreneurs, not necessarily “suits,” don’t like sharing their ideas with too many people, though they know ideas are, as the saying goes, a dime a dozen. Technical people probably don’t even care, as they did not come up with the idea in the first place. Plus, it may not even be sexy, cool or all that interesting.
Secondly, without a proper product vision, nothing of value can be accomplished in any case. Entrepreneurs know very well that they are still heavily dependent on technical expertise to turn their ideas into reality. However, the value entrepreneurs bring to the table is their vision for the product, having a big enough market and enough paying customers, not to mention the ability to sell a product and/or vision and putting on a tie and chatting up the money.
And so, to get back to the initial goal of providing a mutual and respectful environment with the sole aim of bringing ideas and capabilities together, there are clearly people on both sides of the table who have plenty of ideas all year round.
In fact, their idea pool is so enormous they may even have a hard time getting started in the first place, or sticking to one single idea that has the most potential. But you never know which idea will stick as you go down the road, and the further you go having made your choice, the more the rejected ideas seem sexier and more appealing. It could result in falling into the trap of constantly swapping projects.
On the other hand, entrepreneurs and developers that have great capabilities can lack the ideation talents that can give them the confidence to commit to something new and unique. You may ask what good an entrepreneur is without ideas, but generally speaking, in a German context, people tend to be better at execution than coming up with novel billion-euro ideas. And that’s certainly a valid approach whether people like it not. There is a significant difference between ideas for a product or start-up and those that solve start-up or business problems further down the road. From a skills or capabilities perspective, that may seem like a subtle difference, especially when trying to put people into these distinct camps, but that is exactly where co-found.me comes into play.