You’re a genius! Yes you are!
You’ve thought of a brilliant idea for a contemporary twist on a Social Network / Web portal / Multimedia outlet / Subscribe-able forum that connects people to one another and enables them to share content, upload media and join groups with other like-minded individuals. We know that users will be queueing up to use this ingenious creation, advertisers will be desperate to pimp their products on it and you’re going to be rich!
RICH, I TELLS YA!
What’s that? You’re short on cash so if we “Lay the ground work” you’ll pay us once you see a return? Well that seems fair enough. I wouldn’t want to see you struggling financially because you’re taking a risk on an idea you’ve had!
SO yes, of course we’ll be more than happy to provide free services* including a few services which we do not actually offer normally to ensure that you get the head start that this momentous project deserves. We’ll design your logos, create your brand, manage the web and mobile app development, create the on-page content and tend to the technical elements of your website / app. We’ll promote your project, pay for online advertising and ensure you are the market leader whilst all you need to do is sit back, enjoy your cup of tea and watch the cash flow in. You deserve it. You’re a genius.
*We will not be working with you.
We’re Not a F***ing Charity (*Flipping)
You need to talk to your bank manager. Start up businesses cost a stack of money and if you don’t have the cash lying around then you’ll have to take out a loan to get the project rolling.
If you went to a garage selling commercial vehicles and told them you have a great idea for a business providing deliveries or a service that requires a van and expect to drive away having parted with no cash on the understanding that you’ll pay the garage owner once you start making money then you’ll be disappointed. You’ll need to get a deposit and work your backside off to get that business working.
Online, things are not so different. With the exception that you will most likely need experienced and reliable consultants to work with who specialise in all the necessary areas to make your project reality. In addition to the time it will take them, there’s the fact that they are trained and experienced in the necessary field. Even if it only takes a few hours, they certainly will not be working for free unless they are a registered charity. Even then, you’re probably going to get what you’ve (not) paid for: a lacklustre effort, thrown together between actual paid for work and commitments in their real life. It will not be free.
If you have a great idea then you need to commit time, money and effort to make it happen. Just be prepared for the fact that it may not take off. You may fail. You may lose money. You need to take the risk. Don’t be surprised that no one else wants to take all the risk on your behalf: It is after all, your idea, your chance to become a super risk megastar and ultimately it is up to you to put your money / time / experience / risk where your mouth is.
Is it Just Us?
Our industry seems to have a high count of the kind of enquiries that involve zero risk to potential “clients” and a momentous workload for the agency. I’m fairly sure there is not a functioning business out there that provides a free service based on rough ideas for a ‘quite good app or website’ that does exactly what Facebook or Twitter do already… But better… And they are established… And they have enormous teams and budgets behind them.
For the purposes of perspective G+ is owned by Google and it is still a graveyard (Unless you work for Google or ask them for stats). It does everything that we normally get told a client wants (In their musings) but it has Google behind it and a budget… Oh and dedicated teams of developers and marketers… And it still struggles. Social media is at saturation point and yet people still think they can essentially re-brand a market leader and make a ton of money because it’s easy.
IF SOMETHING WAS THIS EASY THEN EVERYONE WOULD BE DOING IT!
People have good ideas every day. The trouble is, If someone else with a budget has already had that idea then it is not a viable business. If you find someone with the technical skills to make the idea a reality, the time to do it for free and the ability to help promote it on your behalf then I say good luck!
… But it won’t be us.