Where to find a suitable developer for a specific online query system

Ryk

Active Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
40
I am looking for referrals/options to Cape Town (and surrounds) based service providers that would be able do develop (and maintain) an online query system.

The system will be based on existing (3rd party) geo-coding API. After every successful geo-code result, the system needs to request query replies from underlying spatial database attributes, for the specific geographic location/address and may also need to include web map results at a later stage (future development).

The system development needs to include a pre-paid facility whereby end-users will be able to purchase credits, to be utilised for making queries to the system.

The service provider will be asked to consider (but not necessarily agree to) sharing in the revenue generated by the system, instead of an once-off development fee. Details to be made available to interested parties on request.
 

retromodcoza

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Mar 4, 2006
Messages
275
The service provider will be asked to consider (but not necessarily agree to) sharing in the revenue generated by the system, instead of an once-off development fee. Details to be made available to interested parties on request.
This sounds like (and open to correction here) :

1. You are not sure if there is enough available money to hire a competent developer to complete the project.
2. You are trying to offload the risk onto the developers so that you don't have to carry it. And , this without offering any equity in the business (only revenue share).

Some questions about this :

1. Does the person who is paying for/driving the development have any prior experience with software development?
2. What is the source of funding? Is it debt or equity? Does it come from an individual or investors?
3. Is this developer going to be managed by someone else that is technical?

From your approach and the wording of your post , I'm not sure if you grasp the complexity , difficulty and cost of what you're about to do. Lets make some assumptions and take a real world calculation given what you are trying to accomplish above.

Lets take a mid to upper level dev (so that they make business friendly suggestions on direction , architecture and feature set). Lets say they have a little experience working with external APIs and payment systems. Anything more junior and your project won't get done , or it won't work. You may think it will , and get promises that it will , but trust me , it won't.

R60,000 per month x 4 months = R240,000 + incidentals of about R20,000 = R260,000 to accomplish most , but not all of whats outlined in your post. Does this sound ridiculous?

If it does , and you're thinking "Ive also found someone to do it for less" then be wary. This is not an industry where you can "cheap it for now" until you have revenue later. You may need to review whether the business case for what you're trying to do exists given the costs.

There are no bargains in software anymore. Developers are in demand , and there are 2 developers for every 3 jobs in CPT. When devs are getting equity + salary in the starup world , why would anyone develop the solution for the risk of revenue share? I would be suspicious of any dev who agrees to that deal.

Without more info it would be difficult to direct you to anyone - but bear in mind here that the guys you want aren't going to come to you.
 

Ryk

Active Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
40
This sounds like (and open to correction here) :

1. You are not sure if there is enough available money to hire a competent developer to complete the project.
2. You are trying to offload the risk onto the developers so that you don't have to carry it. And , this without offering any equity in the business (only revenue share).

Some questions about this :

1. Does the person who is paying for/driving the development have any prior experience with software development?
2. What is the source of funding? Is it debt or equity? Does it come from an individual or investors?
3. Is this developer going to be managed by someone else that is technical?

From your approach and the wording of your post , I'm not sure if you grasp the complexity , difficulty and cost of what you're about to do. Lets make some assumptions and take a real world calculation given what you are trying to accomplish above.

Lets take a mid to upper level dev (so that they make business friendly suggestions on direction , architecture and feature set). Lets say they have a little experience working with external APIs and payment systems. Anything more junior and your project won't get done , or it won't work. You may think it will , and get promises that it will , but trust me , it won't.

R60,000 per month x 4 months = R240,000 + incidentals of about R20,000 = R260,000 to accomplish most , but not all of whats outlined in your post. Does this sound ridiculous?

If it does , and you're thinking "Ive also found someone to do it for less" then be wary. This is not an industry where you can "cheap it for now" until you have revenue later. You may need to review whether the business case for what you're trying to do exists given the costs.

There are no bargains in software anymore. Developers are in demand , and there are 2 developers for every 3 jobs in CPT. When devs are getting equity + salary in the starup world , why would anyone develop the solution for the risk of revenue share? I would be suspicious of any dev who agrees to that deal.

Without more info it would be difficult to direct you to anyone - but bear in mind here that the guys you want aren't going to come to you.
Thank you for your feedback, it gives much food for thought. I am feeling my way through this and your opinion is sure to influence where my planning goes from here.

The crux of the matter (at this stage) is however still where to look for (and find) a capable and suitable service provider, with whom to discuss different financing models.
 

retromodcoza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
275
I know someone who's extremely competent who works for 4i.

I know he wouldn't work there unless the shop was solid. Try and talk to them and see what they come up with.

Its in Century City
 
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ronald911

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2007
Messages
1,513
Entry level developers listen up:

As a developer you will get pitched to do development for "equity" and "partnership" a lot. It's 2019 and everyone got an idea that they believe will be the next big thing - it's a good thing - they will of course need a developer.

A lot of the time they will not have a budget and in turn want their thing to be developed in turn for equity.

Big red flag, always say no.

Considering 95%+ of startups fail, it's a giant risk to spend months developing something for someone else without compensation and hope it turns profitable ( < 5%).

I'm emphasising the for someone else case as I believe a bootstrapped side project you work on in your free time for yourself serves a different purpose as to building someone else's idea from scratch.

An idea is worth nothing if it hasn't been built yet.
 

Spacerat

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Messages
886
Entry level developers listen up:

As a developer you will get pitched to do development for "equity" and "partnership" a lot. It's 2019 and everyone got an idea that they believe will be the next big thing - it's a good thing - they will of course need a developer.

A lot of the time they will not have a budget and in turn want their thing to be developed in turn for equity.

Big red flag, always say no.

Considering 95%+ of startups fail, it's a giant risk to spend months developing something for someone else without compensation and hope it turns profitable ( < 5%).

I'm emphasising the for someone else case as I believe a bootstrapped side project you work on in your free time for yourself serves a different purpose as to building someone else's idea from scratch.

An idea is worth nothing if it hasn't been built yet.

Slow clap.... Very true and needs to be said over and over
 

Freddl

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Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
268
This could be a very simple development depending on who authors the spatial data and which spatial database will be used.

My guess is that the OP wants to use ArcGIS online or ArcGIS Enterprise Portal which requires more specialised knowledge and accordingly more expensive developers. I doubt that someone in the GIS community would be prepared to develop something and 'share in the profits'.
 

John_Phoenix

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Jul 8, 2017
Messages
463
Friends of mine got pitched this exact idea about 2 weeks ago... Quoted half a bar, and got the job... 4IR in fool swing I guess.

GIS data is a breeze, it's the proximity algo and server costs you should be worried about...
 

Daruk

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
40,185
I am looking for referrals/options to Cape Town (and surrounds) based service providers that would be able do develop (and maintain) an online query system.

The system will be based on existing (3rd party) geo-coding API. After every successful geo-code result, the system needs to request query replies from underlying spatial database attributes, for the specific geographic location/address and may also need to include web map results at a later stage (future development).

The system development needs to include a pre-paid facility whereby end-users will be able to purchase credits, to be utilised for making queries to the system.

The service provider will be asked to consider (but not necessarily agree to) sharing in the revenue generated by the system, instead of an once-off development fee. Details to be made available to interested parties on request.
You'd better consider a percentage of the business as well then, even a small one, given that there's no guarantee on income.
 

Ryk

Active Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
40
Friends of mine got pitched this exact idea about 2 weeks ago... Quoted half a bar, and got the job... 4IR in fool swing I guess.

GIS data is a breeze, it's the proximity algo and server costs you should be worried about...
Sorry, but what does "half a bar" and "4IR in fool swing" refer too?
The applicable GIS data set has been under development for the past 5 years and only now reached a level of completeness where it is implementable. Will post references to it in a separate thread.
 

Ryk

Active Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
40
You'd better consider a percentage of the business as well then, even a small one, given that there's no guarantee on income.
This is a definite possibility and option since we need a committed service provider who will be available to fix system problems, should they arise.
 

John_Phoenix

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Jul 8, 2017
Messages
463
Sorry, but what does "half a bar" and "4IR in fool swing" refer too?
The applicable GIS data set has been under development for the past 5 years and only now reached a level of completeness where it is implementable. Will post references to it in a separate thread.
Half a bar - Half a million rand.

4IR in full swing - Since the South African government announced their interest in the 4th Industrial Revolution, a lot of clients have wanted to integrate data, machine learning and artificial intelligence into their ideas / projects.

Most of these ideas would be poor candidates for Ai or ML, but because it's a buzzword, clients think it'll make their product more appealing to a broader audience. (hence the fool part)

On to your product specifically.

If it is a custom GIS dataset, as you say, with unique datapoints, then by all means, release it into the market.

But please don't try and build another Tinder, Instagram, Uber, Zomato or TripAdvisor clone... It's been done to death.

Good luck with your project, and I hope you guys find a foothold in the market.
 
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Daruk

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Jul 18, 2008
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This is a definite possibility and option since we need a committed service provider who will be available to fix system problems, should they arise.
My next suggestion is to reach out to the wider community and not restrict yourself to Cape Town. Our company would probably not take on the work but I know people who would, but aren't in CT. We work remotely on all our projects.
 
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