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View Poll Results: Please take a second and rate this idea just purely based on your initial reaction..

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14. You may not vote on this poll
  • Great! Sign me up, I want to be on the ground floor.

    1 7.14%
  • Ehh.. I might be interested after I see a few more names on the list.

    4 28.57%
  • No way! I get paid for my work, count me out.

    8 57.14%
  • Indifferent, I'm a true swing voter.

    1 7.14%
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
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    Post Looking for Project Suggestions

    I have been toying with an idea for the past year or so, and I have recently began to poll some different sites in order to see what sort of support I might be able to find. If some of you would be kind enough to give me some well thought suggestions I would apprecaite it, or something in the form of kind critisizm would even be useful.. Also, this dissertation will be short and to the point, if anyone is interested in more details you can either reply here or send me an email and I will be glad to fill in the blanks.

    I am looking to form a team of a few web designers/programmers, a graphic artist, and a couple of c++ programmers. This idea starts out very simple, this team would begin developing a website (all hosting provided by me) to be used as a centralized workplace for the team on future projects. It would include items such as project management systems, task lists, project timeline support, communication systems, etc. So the initial project would be to set up a collaboration workplace for future use. Off the top of my head I would allot about 4-6 months of work on this project for myself, so with a few more programmers and and artist it would maybe take 2-3 months.

    After this website is fully developed on a hosted server I will personally purchase a dedicated server account to allow us the most use of the web. Each and every programmer will be given a free subdomain off of the main site, or if you have your own domain name I will even be willing to host it as long as you are actively working on projects with the group. All details aside, I want to make this a little as a volunteer assignment as possible.. Any kickback I can possibly come up with for the team I would be glad to do..

    The next stage is to begin producing some finely tuned web applications in order to get the team in sync and test out all of the website functionality. The programs would start small and simple, and progress as the team becomes more adept at developing in this environment. Eventually an outside frontend would be created in order to market some of these devices.

    Now this is where a bunch of math comes in that I am not going to go into here.. But basically, even though this would be a volunteer effort on the teams part, I want to give back a portion of the profit to anyone working on a project that sells. So even though this woudln't be an offer for employment, there is a possibility to maybe make a few bucks through paypal at some point in the future.

    After a year or so, and hopefully a few bucks richer, we would begin to move toward application developement with a strong link to the web (almost every application anymore uses the web for something).

    My long term goal for this, if everything worked well and the team did some good work, would be to eventually make a decent name for ourselves and make a break into either gaming or high end application developement. This is what I like to call my 5 year goal..

    One of my favorite parts of the idea is that even if nobody gets rich.. (Which I do NOT expect in reality), it might be nice to at least be able to attach your name to a project or two that some people actually use.. I fully intend every project to come with a full "Credits" list with either your real name or an assumed team name, so that we can all get due credit.. Maybe even a little blurb on a resume or something..

    There you have it, about a year of planning in a 2 minute blurb. Tear it apart, add to it, let me know what you think. And more importantly let me know if you are interested in helping out.. In a way this is a two fold project, the first part, to find a great group of people and make some cool things happen, and the second part is a sociological experiment to see how well programmers can come together and collaborate on large scale projects without meeting one another.

    Ready.. Set.. Reply!
    Last edited by edwa5823; Nov 11, 2004 at 10:38.

  2. #2
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    Just a quick update, to help explain my project I've put together a website to help demonstrate. If anyone is interested then please visit my Developer Website. It is currently hosted on the back end of a dead site I was working on for a small business. There is a forum set up there also to facilitate communications.

    Thanks,

    Edwa5823

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member sandeepshinde's Avatar
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    Hi
    Edwa5823

    I went through your post and found it intresting i would be very glad to know you and work with you. For Furthur Contacts you can contact me at san_20july@yahoo.com.

  4. #4
    simple tester McGruff's Avatar
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    On my own forums, I always advise people not to get involved with things like this. Call me a cynic but lots of work in return for promises of "a portion" of future profits - which may or may not exist - doesn't sound like much of a deal. He's got nothing to offer except what might be created out of your own effort. If you are interested, the very least you should demand is to be made a full partner with a full share of profits - and make sure you get a proper, signed, contract.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member sandeepshinde's Avatar
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    You may be correct but I am a Open Source Developer and enjoy doing all these kind of work irrespective of the returns
    But thanx for your advice Mc...
    Regards,

    Sandeep Shinde

  6. #6
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    McGruff,

    I appreciate your point of view.. And to be honest, if I were on the other side of my post, I would probably be skeptical myself.

    My problem is this; I have always been a solo programmer, and for me to undertake projects of the scale I am thinking to do, I would spend years mired in the process, and by the time I finished it would be obsolete. I am trying this as a way of getting a better product out faster..

    The compensation schedule I am offering is in no way shape or form to be used as a recruiting tool.. I simply want to pay back the hard work that the other people would normally put in free of charge (open source devs).

    The reasons that I am not offering even partnership are fairly simple. First off, right now there is nothing to partner.. Iím trying to build something that might be worth it sometime in the future, but as of the moment this is just an idea on paper. Second, I canít sign a contract on something that may not take off, because then I am opening myself up personally for problems. I have not asked anyone for any money or supplies aside from their experience doing something that I can only guess that they enjoy doing. I program because I enjoy it.

    Now, 5 years down the road, if I incorporate and start paying taxes as a business or such, then the dynamic would change. Right now I am just trying to help a group of guys get together and make some cool programs, and maybe make a few bucks in the long run.

    This is in no way a flame, but it is a defense of a sort. Itís the internet, there are con artists all over, which makes this all the more difficult for me.. I have to say that I appreciate the folks who <U>have</U> already signed up and are actively coding on our site. We plan to open a public site soon with tutorials and such as we get time.

    Sandeepshinde, Thanks for your interest, and your willingness to help despite cynical views.. =)

  7. #7
    simple tester McGruff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwa5823
    Now, 5 years down the road, if I incorporate and start paying taxes as a business or such, then the dynamic would change.
    Yes: and on your terms. Any potentially marketable software which might be developed will depend upon the efforts of others. The correct time to sort out the spoils is right now at the start.

    It is reasonable to insist on a full partnership since programmers would be taking a full part in developing the marketable potential of the project. There is nothing else you have to offer in return for their efforts.

  8. #8
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    Not to perpetuate an arguement, because I really don't care to argue, I think that my offer is fair. Now I don't know if you have gone to our site, gone to the forum, and looked at my post on the details; but it goes into a lot more detail than my post on here does.

    On top of that, I have said multiple times that this is not an offer for employment, it is a chance for people to learn more about programing, work on a project that may (or may not) get some attention, and maybe make a few bucks for the effort. I have also said that the numbers I set out are very much fluid and *will* change.. If you have an opinion on my setup, either good or bad, then it would be better expressed on my forum by way of giving another example of how to split the *spoils*.

    The only thing I am really interested in is my fair share of any sale (as a developer myself) and any amount that I have had to spend by way of overhead for the project/application. So basically speaking of pure profit (revenue - cost - overhead) I would only want my fair share.. I just threw out figures as a way of starting the conversation..

    Please, if you have a better idea, post it so that we can discuss the idea among the team and come up with the proper solution.

    Thank you again for your suggestion, even if we differ in our approach.

    Edwa5823

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast til's Avatar
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    sounds interesting, i could help out (fluent in flash, php, professional webdesigner and a bit of C++, C#, java) but im not entirely sure what you want to actually do.... i got the bit about web applications but i think you need to be more specific

  10. #10
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    til,

    We just got hosting and our domain set up yesterday, and we are in the process of getting a block based site engine up and running ove the next few days. The best way to go about this is if you would come to our [URL=http://agmillerstudios.com/v-web/bulletin/bb/index.php[/URL] and jump into some of the chats, you can help us get a direction down as far as development.

    Our first project, before we go into any application, is to get our platform set up and operational. This will include creating useful modules and applications for team use. After that we will go into a planning stage for marketable apps, then begin production. It sounds like you would have some experience to contribute to the group in planning as well as implimentation. You are more than welcome to jump in with suggestions and questions.

    You can also email me at edwa5823 [at] devplusplus.com and I'll be glad to help you out if you have any further questions!

    Thanks for your interest,

    edwa5823

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru augathra's Avatar
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    Would you list a few types of projects you would you do once everything is setup please?

    Thanks

  12. #12
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    Well, without going into a great amount of detail, and understanding that we haven't really started to research into projects as a team yet.

    One idea that we have tossed around is a real-estate/property management system (properly hosted). One of the devs that I'm already working with has started this project on his own, and is looking at making it a group project for implementation.

    Another area we have talked about is the transportation industy. Building a system to track small to medium sized companies domestic and international shipment information on a container/trailer level. This would include brokerage information, port information, vessel information, etc.

    These of course are some of the large scale future projects. In the begining we will probably toss around some ideas for smaller, more manageable projects in order to become more productive as a group.

    One item that we are working to create now, along with our modular platform engine, is a CVS (concurrent versioning system) for our own proprietary use as a group. (anyone with CGI experience you are welcome to come help me with this LOL)

    As you can see we are pretty much looking for areas where we feel a product will be marketable, either from lack of exploration, or lack of proper existing applications.

    Anyhow, that is a start. If anyone out there has an idea for something that we could work on, drop by the forum and make a suggestion.

  13. #13
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    A couple of points:

    First, I think it's very hard to build a motivated group based only on promises and expectations. My main question would be: How do you guarantee that those initially involved actually stay and continue to be involved in your project? Imagine this scenario: A highly skilled programmer (let's call him "Bob") on your team gets asked by a company to get paid to develop some applications for them. How likely is it that he continues with the same amount of time in your project? I'd say when you weigh the odds against each other, these are the opportunities Bob may chose from:

    A: Work for the company, and get paid on a determined date.
    B: Work for the project, and get eventually paid in a distant, undetermined future.

    From my point of view, it's highly unlikely that someone would chose B as an option. We all have only a finite amount of time to spend. You may call me a cynic or a merceneray or what not, but my loyalty and dedication to a project often is tied proportionally to the amount of money I get paid from my efforts.

    This point however, makes it difficult to you as a project admin to plan schedules and milestones. You can't guarantee that someone will still be there after some months. Perhaps they drop out completely and get replaced by another one, who may or may not be up to par with his abilities. I would expect a high turnover rate on such a project, or long cycles of development.

    Second, I think the idea that getting your name on an open source project isn't that motivating at all. Besides, your competetion in that arena his huge. If I'd want to impress people by showing them my involvement with an open source project, I would do the following: Learn C, get familiar with the PHP code base, engage in their internal newsgroups, propose some bugfixes, and once they are accepted - tadaa, their's your name in the changelog of the next PHP release. Rinse and repeat.

    Third, I think your process is wrongly ordered. Skip that whole "building a project management/collaboration platform". You don't need it. You don't have to manage a team of hundred developers. Just install a CVS server, set up a wiki/forum, a bug tracking system, the rest can be done with text files and emails. There's enough prepackaged open source software to help you at this point. And now you can focus on your real products. The danger I see with your approach is that your focus could linger too long on your own infrastructure, and that would bind valuable resources.

    So rather than worry about the collaboration thingy, think and develop your product ideas. Flesh out ideas, and do market research. Is there a demand? What would a potential customer pay? What would you like him to pay? Is there any competition? What are their prices? How do you differentiate your product from them? etc. I also think it's much, much easier to "recruit" skilled team members when your product idea is sufficiently specified and sound.

    I can only hope that you view my post as "kind" criticism. You may also gather from it that I'm not interested in joining now. Last but not least, let me say that all of what I wrote above is based on personal experience. Not as a project initiator, but as someone who was on such a "team". The whole project went nowhere at all, but as it had no goal, it could'nt have never reached any. So, count me as someone who's skeptical about such requests as yours.

  14. #14
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    I can suggest that you start to develop a basic framework, or use one already developed such as WACT or Mojavi.

    Then begin to develop one by one the required applications, making them open source. Whilst doing this you can have people contribute to these applications in time.

    This is how PEAR began in the beginning I believe? Excepting people to do work for you on the premise of getting results (hard cash) later is a bit vague in my view, as I can't see any professional settle on these terms.

    I wouldn't but that is more down to a lack of constructive time rather than doing something for nothing. If I could, I proberly would help if I knew or belived it was worthwhile doing it.

    But that's not the case just now on what your proposing

  15. #15
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    Well, I did ask for kind critisism, and actually I view the last two posts more as kind advise. I apprecaite your point of view, and it sounds like you have both been in similar situations. You bring up a couple of good points that I am going to take back the my team and run by them.. We are working on a CVS right now, but I am starting to wonder if re-inventing the wheel is really that great of an idea.

    I feel like the suggestion of getting to project building sooner rather than later may be a better approach. This way everyone feels like we have something under our belt rather than a long winded promise to make something work. I think we'll do some discussion on this subject and see how the group feels. So thank you for bringing up some pros and cons for me, I believe it will help.

    Edwa5823


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