Coach Yu – EP24
Welcome to the coach Yu show. Hello everyone. Welcome. Welcome this evening. It is time for the coach you show. Hello, Thomas. Good to see you in a few weeks. Hope everything is well, hope everyone is getting ready for a safe, healthy, and happy. Oh, Hey, Dennis’s got a little static there in the background.
Welcome everyone. This is the coach you show and it’s hosted by coach you himself, Dennis, you, we do this every Thursday evening at 8:00 PM. Eastern time, 5:00 PM. Pacific time here on the start-up club. How are you doing Dennis? Hey good. Greetings everybody from Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. One of the most beautiful places on.[00:01:00]
Costa Rica is a beautiful country. I’ve only been there once, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, but you know, what’s even more beautiful is building software. And today I want to talk about how do you hire a web engineer or developer? Because the most common question I’ve gotten in the last 20 some years is, Hey, how do I find something to build my website or find somebody to set up my infusion software?
How do I get somebody to do such and such? And you know, how much is it going to cost? So today I’m wanting to talk about some of these techniques today and the coach you show on how do you find a great web engineer? So before we go into some of the, the techniques, the, when you want to hire somebody to build something, the number one reason it fails is because you weren’t clear on the requirements and therefore the expectations were unreal.
I get up all the time by people who [00:02:00] say, Hey, can you build a social network or an app that does this and this I’ll give you half the equity. And I’ll say that you’re trying to build an Uber. You’re not going to build an Uber for $500. Right? Cause there’s, besides the cost of building the thing you’ve got to market it, you’ve got to have product management.
You have all these other sorts of pieces that are tied to it. But I want to tell, tell you about three main ways and how you can short circuit the problems that most people have when they try to hire somebody. And one is you find a clone. So there’s tons of clones for anything that you want out there, you can find some other websites, some other tool, some other competitor, like I want to build a clone of fiber.
I did a search for fiber clone. There’s lots of them that are out there, right? Number two, which saves a bunch of money as you partner with somebody else. And I’ll give you examples of all these I was in Romania two weeks ago. Was it three weeks? And I’ve always wanted to build some extensions to the software that we built that does analytics and [00:03:00] does automatic recommendations based on the data.
And then this kind of thing, right? This virtual coach kind of thing for your data. And we’ve been building our own thing the last 10 years. I mean, we we’ve gotten folks like Nike to pay us a million dollars for the analytics and this kind of thing. But number two is you partner with somebody who already has a team where you have shared product vision, or maybe you have services and they have software, you can white label their stuff, or somehow they have the engineering team and you find a way where they bear the cost, but somehow you can, maybe you bring the marketing or something like that.
And number three is you just build it from scratch, where you find a killer co-founder as a technical partner, because maybe you’re not a great engineer or you’re a decent engineer, and you want to be able to interview other people and determine whether they’re great engineers. And that’s the part where people really get in the most.
I’d love to hear what you guys give questions about that. Or if you’re looking to do that, that path on actually building [00:04:00] something versus using someone else’s software, integrating some stuff or using someone else’s engineering resources, you guys ready for that? What do you think, Jeffrey? Yeah, I’m ready to hear what your thoughts are, Dennis.
And I’m curious, what do you think about all the no-code solutions that exist today to build software and do development without actually having to know code? No code does allow people to build things in Lego blocks. And it does. I mean, it’s been very popular the last two or three years because it takes away levels of abstraction.
So if we go back 30 years, I built my first website 30 years ago, if you can believe it or not. And this was before the days of PHP and my sequel, or even like what people call the lamp stack and other sorts of frameworks. But what’s happened in the last 30 years is that there have been. Progressive layers of abstraction away from the code itself, right at the bottom, the very, very bottom there’s machine code, zeros and ones.
[00:05:00] And then you have things like basic and Pascal and other languages that become more and more abstract. Like you could see, see, like, you know, most of the web was built on Pearl and PHP up until about 2005. And then we had people that really love things like Ajax and other frameworks that allow you to just drag and drop because it’s software that builds other kinds of software.
You’re multiple levels away where you’re not having to worry about managing the disk or CPU or different applications. You have, you know, federated applications that talk to one another at different layers. You separate out into the layers of, you know, the data gathering at the very bottom. Then the database, the application layer, the UI layer at the top, the no code allow.
Allows you to do a lot of these things that heck you could even do it. Like, I didn’t want to basically did one of these in Microsoft ax, you know, access using visual basic. You could even do it [00:06:00] in there. There’s so many different tools. There’s like dashboarding tools that have integrated apps. You could even build apps inside Google sheets using Zapier, which is just another way of doing it.
We have systems that are talking to one other new manager, UI, basically, you know, Google sheets or, or basically like PowerPoint, but all of those issues about what kind of technology to use, they ignore the most important thing, which is what is your software trying to do? Is there some other competitor out there that’s doing the same kind of thing I can tell you in the last 10 years I’ve been approached by so many attorneys or professional service businesses could be real estate guys.
One of my friends owns multiple TaeKwonDo. Locations and these guys get ripped off, right? Because they say, I need a website and the answer is going to be $20,000. It’s a lawyer, a personal injury attorney. It’s $50,000, right. [00:07:00] Or I can build it on five or for a hundred dollars. So I can build, like, that’s really not the issue, whether it’s doesn’t matter if it’s built on WordPress or you write the thing from static, HTML, or use Hugo or Wix or some other kind of content management system, the issue issues, never the technology components.
That’s always secondary to what is the thing that you’re trying to build? Is there a clone? There always is. It’s very unlikely. You’re trying to build something the internet doesn’t already have. And if there is a clone, what’s it going to take to customize it? A lot of my friends will go to Upwork or Fiverr or freelancer or, or their friend.
Who’s an unemployed engineer wants to Moonlight and say, Hey, can you build me this kind of thing? And they don’t know how to write. If you don’t have the right requirements, you have no way of telling where the thing will go. And then you have to keep changing things. And then that’s like telling him you’re the architect and keep changing the blueprint.
And of course the builder gets mad and they blame you and then you blame them and it goes over.[00:08:00]
We just got, we lost it a little bit. Yeah. It’s I want to copy particular site and there’s a motorcycle that had a lot of motorcycles around here in Costa Rica for some reason. But the easiest thing to do is to, is to say, I want a clone of such and such site. Here are the features that I like. You’re going to separate out the UI components of how you want it to load
it, dipped out again, Dennis.
I think one of the things, uh, I’ll just talk while we’re waiting for Dennis to come back. Uh, you know, one of the things that’s key too, is to figure out what is your objective like, like, and that’s many pages that looks like this. I want to do these, these kinds of things. [00:09:00] Sorry, go ahead, Jeffrey. We lost you for a minute.
It’s always just filling in, but go ahead.
All right. W w we’re losing Dennis and Costa Rica periodically just flash your mic or just come back on when, when you’re back in. Um, what I was saying is what’s interesting is you really need to understand what’s your objective. And also what’s going to be the differentiator of your. Business like what’s, what’s, what’s gonna set you apart.
Sometimes that is the technology. And if it’s the technology that’s going to set you apart, then it’s probably a lot more important to have dedicated developers and be creating things from the ground up and not necessarily leveraging an existing platform, uh, you know, or, or some of these no code tools, because you want to have, if having proprietary software is really [00:10:00] core to your business objective, that takes you in one direction.
On the other hand, if you have some other aspect of your business that is going to be your X-Factor or something, that’s going to really make you stand out. Maybe it’s the community you’re building. Maybe it’s your access to a certain, uh, group of potential customers. And in those cases may be having proprietary.
Or really unique software is not as critical. So then you could go down maybe a simpler path in terms of getting that software. So I think a lot of these decisions come with really understanding what is your ultimate goal and objective for your business and what is ultimately going to be the key factor or the X factor that’s going to set your business apart from all others.
Hopefully that makes sense, Dennis, you back with us. Well, can you hear me? We hear you now. Okay. I’m back in reception here. It’s funny. I’ve got two 4g [00:11:00] connections. I have my Verizon, I have the card I bought and I’m on the wifi. I figured this would be pretty good, but the biggest, the biggest point is not having clear requirements.
And I view software. Is this huge multiplier of anything that you can manually do. One time that you’ve done. And loom or a zoom or whatnot. That is something that you could then automate. So you could do the same thing a hundred times over and over again. But if you don’t have it documented clearly enough, then you can’t have like, the code is there’s no room for interpretation when there’s code.
Right. See a lot of people, they do professional services or they have a vague idea of bringing people together, but they don’t have exactly the, the application level logic of what has to happen at a transaction. And step-by-step sort of way. So one of my friends, as an example, smart guy, smart agency owner [00:12:00] serves therapists, right?
Psychotherapists, other kinds of therapists. And he wanted to build a network of therapists to be able to get together, to be able to have live streams and then be able to charge admission. And his logic was well, if, if. $10, right? If you want to get help from a therapist, instead of paying $150, you only have to pay $10.
Then a group of people could come in and maybe like 200 of them and they each pay $10 and it’s $2,000 and we get the therapist half. So it’s a thousand. So we need to build software that allows for this to happen. And I said, okay, there’s actually software that’s open source and off the shelf that we could use.
But the issue is not the software. The issue is how are you going to have these events that therapists can post and answer people’s questions about mental health and whatnot, and get 200 people to pay $10 each time? I said, well, it’s easy. You know, the first time we just [00:13:00] let people in for $5, then it’s $10.
And you know, maybe, you know, our break even is 50 people that will come in, but often what appears to be a software problem is really a marketing problem and a requirement. So if you, if you have really clear software requirements, it should be so clear that you can trace every single input and every single output, a lot of people will talk about building software in terms of the typical three stack layer, where there’s a UI and then an out then through the UI, through the application layer.
And then this there’s processing that occurs. You can take any piece of software and build it in this three layer logical kind of model. I first did this well, shoot. I did it at Yahoo. I did at American airlines, every piece like we don’t be built a dating website, which became Yahoo personals and was, did a hundred million dollars a year.
We use the same kind of technique. And [00:14:00] if you, if you don’t have a clear clone that you can copy, one of my favorite things to do is, is called paper prototyping. Hey Jeffrey, have you heard of paper? Absolutely. I was, you know, it’s funny. Cause as you were talking, I was saying, you know, one of the most important pieces of building the software is not the programming.
It’s writing a spec on paper beforehand. That’s really detailed. That gives the program or exactly what you want the software to do.
But most people don’t know how to do that. You see? And most people, they think they’re writing clear requirements. So there’s typically a founder has an idea. Like I want to build this social network for therapists, like I told you about. And so they write up this vision and it has all sorts of marketing fluff and how they feel, but it doesn’t go into the level of detail that it needs.
So the first thing that you write is you have to break it down into the what [00:15:00] Jeffrey just mentioned the requirements. So their acquirements include things like user journeys. Like this is Sue and Sue logs in, and this is what she sees and this is what she can do. No, she can either register or that she buys credits for this, or she does, if she can edit her profile, like very specific users stories, right?
And these stories are composed of particular actions of what if they click on this, then this happens. If they click on that. Right. And then here’s what happens in this situation. Then in order to proceed here, they have to pay. And then, you know, like whatever you have to map out exactly what that journey is through a flow chart, you can use tools like Figma, or my favorite is paper prototyping, paper prototyping is you take out a blank sheet of paper.
You don’t have to be a great artist or anything. This is not about using rulers or, you know, campuses. And you literally just draw out each of the key screens. It could be a screen inside an app. It could be screens on a desktop. And when there’s a button, then that links to another page. [00:16:00] So let’s say there’s across your app, like 20 different buttons and you have 20 different pages that.
You just number. And then when you go to a user and you say, okay, imagine you’re here now. You want to, you know, uh, I did this actually with Facebook a week ago, so it’s free, but they didn’t use, they use Figma instead of the paper prototyping. I I’m a big fan of paper prototyping instead of all the software.
And they said, okay, imagine you want it. What did they show me? They show, they show me something. I’m not supposed to talk about that they’re working on, but they see me and all, like, imagine you want to create a new profile. Imagine you want to create an ad. Imagine you want it to all that was for creative testing.
Right? Imagine you want to do creative testing in this particular way. Tell me how you might do it and this new interface. So they show me this new interface and I said, well, I’d come over. And I click on here. And then I look at this and then I’d look at that. Right? And so if you just sketch this stuff out on paper, and then you bring it to your friend or other friends and you say, Hey, I just, I just need 30 minutes at time.
Like, [00:17:00] it’d be on zoom or it could be in person. I like it in person. And you say, okay, just talk to. Like think out loud while you’re trying to accomplish this thing, what you might do. And if you’re gonna click on something, tell me, and then when they click on the thing, you become the computer and you just move to that particular slide or that particular page.
When you go through that requirements testing, this is sort of like product testing. You’re going to cut the cost of your development by 10, because then you’re going to know what features are actually working. Most people, they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars before they even launched the thing, which is absolutely scary.
Cause you don’t have validation. You don’t know exactly how it’s going to be built. It has to be changed over and over again. A buddy of mine is working on a tool that I get. I can’t tell you the name of it, but it’s supposed to be an AI voice generator where it banks your voice and it can generate like you speak to it.
And then it can start saying things and the AI on whatever narrate things, you know, read your bedtime stories from grandma, like whatever it might be. [00:18:00] And they think that people will pay, you know, $10. To be able to have access to their voice and protect their voice and let their kids have access to their voice when they pass away or whatnot, they haven’t even validated whether there’s a market there.
They don’t know how people would use the UI because they say there’s so much high-tech in AI and how the voice is being generated that they need all these high-end engineers were very expensive to start building this thing and have a Q1 launch. So in three months from now, they want to launch the thing.
And I said, well, but you don’t even know what people will pay. You don’t know the problems people might have. Like, what does it mean to load your voice? What, what about, what are these three different plans that you have? Like, you don’t even know what they’re going to choose and if they choose that, like how often would they use it and what situations would they want to have their voice use, maybe professional services, like an agency that wants to be able to read monthly reports and pretend like they’re saying it, but really the AI is doing it.
What about tools like D script that are doing the same kind of thing? What about, you know, all these things. So the requirements [00:19:00] handling through paper prototypes. Is going to not only give you a clear view on how people actually will use your software without having to build a software, but it’s going to give you the active of doing the product requirements.
We’ll, we’ll build your technical specifications for what an engineer would take. So w when you start out, you have something that’s called your product requirements. Sometimes you’d have a product person. I don’t think you really need to, if you’re the solopreneur or a small team, and it’s your vision, then you are the product person that you are, the marketing person.
You are the funder, you know, get money, get people, give them whatever it is, right. If you’re an agency, get, get the pay for the thing as you do it manually, then you automate it. You know, whatever it is. Right. But that first step is product requirements that exits you exit that phase. When you have a prototype, that’s working the second piece, when you actually do the engineering, which is like going from a.
Of an architect actually [00:20:00] start starting to build a house it’s called the technical specifications. Most people confuse the product requirements with the technical specifications. Product requirements says here’s what the UI needs to look like or a wireframe where you don’t necessarily the colors and the looks and the fonts and whatever, but, you know, here’s the structure of what it needs to do.
And the technical requirements are, it’s going to be WordPress. It’s going to be Mongo DB. We’re going to build it using Zoho, you know, whatever, click funnels, like, whatever it is that you think you’re going to do it in. And what we see is that the mark of a junior engineer, I see this all the time. If you’re talking to somebody who’s, who’s really eager and says they can build the thing, the market of junior engineers, they say, oh yeah, I can do that in PHP.
Well, maybe PHP may or may not be the right choice, right? Maybe you need to build as an angular app. Maybe it needs to be, needs to be a no SQL. Maybe it needs to be like, you know, whatever. Maybe there, maybe it’s just pure Raleigh, you know, static. You could build everything in Pearl, right? I mean, I wrote, I [00:21:00] wrote a lot of the stuff for Yahoo analytics and Pearl, just because that was the thing that I was familiar with.
Right. But you could have written it in anything. Right? So the mark of a junior engineer is when they go straight to specifying a technology before clearly understanding the product requirements. So you can have someone who’s really bright. They, I even talked to some folks where they built some other software for somebody else and they did a good job, but we had a discussion.
I shared the product requirements. They didn’t look at it because they just wanted to get on the phone and have me explain it. And they clearly didn’t know that because they all were world-class and blah, blah, blah. And instantly that’s a DQ DQ because if they don’t know the product, they don’t understand from a user standpoint why people are doing different things at different stages.
They are not going to build the right software. I promise you if you want someone who’s just going to was just really good at Ruby on rails or whatever. Then you could hire people on no offense. You can hire [00:22:00] people in third world countries and they will work for you for 10 or $15 an hour, but you are going to go round and round and round because they don’t understand things that you believe are obvious as an end user.
So if you’re building something from scratch, then you need, you really, really need to have that engineer be a product person that, that really gets and can speak to the pain of why people are using that software. You know, Steve jobs had a, when he was doing all his apple products from not, you know, the iPod to the iPad and all the way up, he had a special building with a special layer of security for all these new products.
And he chose, it was a hundred people. He limited to a hundred people and they’re all designers and they’re friends of his and Steve jobs said the mark of great design was truly understanding that user. It wasn’t that they were good at Photoshop or they’re really good video editor, or they’re really good at programming.
It’s that they really understood what that thing is. So either you need to be that person as an ENT, who also was an engineer [00:23:00] where you need to find a co-founder who’s liked that and really gets, it really speaks to what the pain is. I’ll give you another example. So, you know, the, the socks you guys ever get socks with your face on them.
For me, all of that email@example.com. And we’ve done where we’re closing in on seven figures a month on this with the whole factory. And that software was primarily built by Brennan Akron off, who was not an engineer. He’s a web guy, you know, Shopify forwards and backwards has been an e-comm for seven, eight years.
But he said, I need a workflow. Cause we, we now have so much scale. We’ve got all these VA’s. We have these moms. Now we’re putting one minute video greetings on a little thing that you open and it plays the video and you can personalize their, their face and put it onsite. Pet face on the socks or put the pet face on a mask, you know, ever since coronavirus now we’re, you know, we’re doing all this volume with masks and t-shirts admits like there’s more complexity there.
So [00:24:00] he went ahead and built software and he built it in Golang. Why do you build it in Golang? Cause Golang is easier for handling the video files that go back and forth in the Adobe products. Right? And he found a guy on Upwork that understood Golang that was only 50 bucks an hour, which is actually really cheap for this kind of thing.
And he learned how to use Golang so we could supervise the guy and he found just like I found that you guys have found if you’ve managed engineers, if you don’t know that language, they will milk you. Right. They’ll charge 10 grand a month, 20 grand a month. You’re wondering, what’s going on. Friend of mine found out just a couple of hours ago that this guy, this guy charged a client $50,000 and didn’t do.
Right. But the client doesn’t know. Cause he’s like, how would he know? He’s not technical enough? Right. I’m guilty of this too. I once paid this guy, his name is Jeff, not this Jeffrey. I paid him. He was a referral in front and I didn’t check out. I just went off of a referral [00:25:00] and then I should’ve done my homework, but I didn’t.
But I paid this guy $20,000 a month for six months to rebuild our Nike dashboard for Adidas. Right. And he, he did, he basically slow rolled me. Right? So if you have clear requirements and you turn them into tech specs and you, you decide what the technical requirements are and you or someone you really trust is overseeing that engineering.
Then you can have a success, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a business person hire someone to do engineering. And then it’s either a fixed bid project. Meaning it’ll be a hundred grand or whatever it is, or it’s an hourly thing which is worth and it’s. The clock just keeps running, right?
And it’s a year later delays how you spent a quarter million dollars. It hasn’t launched yet. What a, what a horrible situation. I’m hoping any you guys that are building something you learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of these other folks and apply [00:26:00] some of these simple techniques. I’ve, I’ve talked to literally hundreds of people who have fallen into this trap where they want to hire somebody and they have no way of telling whether that person’s any good or not.
Usually the issue is not whether they’re good. The issue is, do you have clear requirements? And then from the clear requirements, you can determine whether they’re any good or not. What do you think, Mr. Yeah, I think it’s a, you know, good points. Um, in, in many respects, it almost relates back to Eric Reese and the lean startup, which, which means you can do a lean version of your software by doing that paper spec, um, by testing things out before you go through the time and expense of having actual programmers created and make sure that the user experience and the features that you’re thinking of makes sense.
You know, sometimes you could test a software idea with Google docs and Google forms and just create an interactive form that replicates the use case of your app to at [00:27:00] least test the fact that people are interested in it and see if they actually find it useful that it solves a problem for them, you know, with a very simple interface using literally Google docs and Google forms.
And then from there. You can develop your specs to hand off to real programmers to build something, um, finished. But at least at that point, you know, that you’re down the path that a customer’s going to respond favorably to and Arlene startup, or the idea of zero to one, or people talk about MVP, minimum viable or minimum viable product is to get something out as quick as possible.
Another sin, I see a people building products is it’s six months later and they still haven’t launched anything, meaning they don’t have any market validation. And more importantly, they have no income without any income on your product. You’re just, you’re just burning money. You’re burning time. You’re losing the opportunity.
What once was a great idea two years ago, maybe isn’t as solid as, as it is now. I mean, [00:28:00] you know, maybe you lose the lose the window. Um, one of the things that I’ve always wanted to launch and I will launch this and the next three months is analytics software where there’s an automatic recommendation.
Now the mistake I made. I wanted to build, what’s called a monolith and a monolith is the bells and whistles and everything on it. I thought, well, let’s have analytic software that pulls in all your data from all the different data sources you all off one, click connect your Google analytics, connect your MailChimp, connect your Facebook ads, connect your Instagram, connect your YouTube.
We’ve already built that, right? Put it up in a dashboard. Then let’s have this logic engine where it scans through the data and the reports. And it looks for things that are out of bounds, like check engine lights. And if, if anything is out of whack, then it says, Hey Jeffrey. And we noticed these three things are broken from scanning your data and here’s the recommendations.
And I fix it. And then it moves to the, uh, you know, these little one minute videos saying, Hey Jeffrey, you know, I noticed your Google tag manager is [00:29:00] broken and here’s, by the way, how to fix it. Here’s a little course, or here’s a little video showing you how to do that. Or, Hey, I was looking at your site and this is all going to be prerecorded.
Right. I was looking at your site and I noticed you don’t have any video on the whole. And here’s why you need to have that. Or, Hey, you know, virtual Dennis here, coach you here. I noticed that this one person left you a five-star Yelp review. You really should reply to them. I noticed you didn’t reply. And here’s how you reply.
So you can see that these triggers are all built on the data. And then that goes into these mini courses where these little one minute lessons and we can sell, Hey, if you like that, that little thing on how do you respond to it to a positive or negative review, you really should take our, our content factory course, which we’re going to, I’m going to show you how to do this to scale and hire a VA to do this.
Would you like to do that? Right. So it’s kind of a great way to do lead gen because it ties our analytics system with our training system. Right? So I thought, yeah, let’s integrate the training system, but wait, I don’t want to be the one doing a lot of the work. And sometimes these people don’t want to do [00:30:00] the work.
Like they know they need to make the video. They know they need the boost for a dollar a day. Why don’t we just have people who are certified to do. You know, when the alert comes. So they, you know, the dashboard looks at the data. It has the alert when it notices something based on a set of rules where something’s goofed up and then says here’s some things to fix and I’ll go ahead and hire somebody who’s certified in our system to go ahead, fix it.
Right. Well then let’s have our little Uber of marketing. Anyone wants to hire someone who’s certified to implement your tag manager or to fix your landing pages or make your website load faster, or respond to people who are leaving negative reviews or do like whatever sorts of things that are triggered from the data.
Let’s have a bunch of VA’s that are doing this for a dollar, a task. Right? My buddy Rihanna Walla Walla has got a million virtual assistants. So why not? Right. Employ these people that a dollar, a task here’s the menu of all the tasks, the task items mapped back to the items that are being triggered based that mapped back to the data that were collected when we determined that scenario is true.[00:31:00]
And then we’re creating jobs and an Uber-like way. And then we pay people out, right? Pay them out 90% of whatever we. Does 10 tasks like edit 10, one minute videos and we pay him or I would pay him a dollar. Maybe we charge $2 and we pay him a dollar, like whatever the math is. Right. And then we make a little bit of money by helping facilitate the network.
So I thought, well, why don’t we build all of it together? Cause there’s clear power in linking together. These three different systems system. One is the analytics system. Two is education systems. System three is this workflow, marketplace task kind of system. Right? And we’ve been working on the last 10 years and have not launched it.
We’ve had little pieces of it. And then my buddy who is super smart, Michael Taggart, who spends more money than pretty much anyone on the planet, Google Edwards he’s he told me I shouldn’t have met him. He told me, you know, Dennis, have you considered doing these with a separate pieces instead of trying to do it as one big piece of.
And I said, yeah, but I need to integrate it this way in that way. And it really needs to be my software. [00:32:00] And I don’t want to be relying upon someone else’s software because then, you know, what, if we don’t have control. And he said, yeah, but what you could do is use three different pieces of software, one for analytics, one for the learning system and one for this workflow system and just have them talk to each other.
So computers that talk to each other, that’s called an API, right. An application programming interface, where systems talk to each other. So we can just sew together in a Frankensteinish kind of way, these three different pieces of software. And he said, so what software do you use for your reporting? Well, we already built a dashboard, but we already have other tools that do the kind of analytics we want.
Okay, cool. I’m going to use Valentine’s Omni convert tool because he already has thousands of customers and it works really well. In addition to some of the stuff that we have. Okay. Number two, the education system. Well, we’ve been trying to build our own thing that integrates in the dashboard because of the way we want to surface the alerts and whatever.
We could just use LearnDash or we could just use Kajabi [00:33:00] or customer hub or any of these other tools that, that allow you to load up courses. And you’re like, why not? Right. Well, because I want to be able to surface the, the alerts right there. Cause we pull in the data and I want to be able to say, Hey Tom Hawkins, I noticed some things in your, you know, with your business, like your, this guy’s outranking you in Google maps and, and here’s something you need to do where our system says, you need to, here’s the keywords.
You need to have their own webpage for right. Or collect reviews on this thing. Or this page doesn’t have enough data or like, whatever it is, this button is too low or wrong color. You know, all these things that we can easily detect. And I said, yeah, I want to have it all integrated. Yeah. But for now, just to get this thing launched as an MVP, right.
Minimum viable product, why don’t we just go ahead and when people click on the alert, it just goes, it goes to the learn dash system. It’s not as clean, but we already have a learning management system, like, okay. And the third piece to workflow, which is task management, right? The Uber of whatever. We pay people who are certified to do these things.
Well, why don’t we just go ahead and use the system, the Brennan built for the sock ordering? Yeah, actually [00:34:00] we can, but that’s in Golang. And the other thing we have is, is in a, it’s an angular of, well, can, can we do that? But yeah, we can. It doesn’t matter what, what each of the different pieces of software built in as long as they could just pass data back and forth.
So if we have these three pieces, each can be built in a completely different language, as long as we know how we’re passing data back and forth. And so that’s what we’ve been doing is integrating these different pieces together. That’s called a microservices architecture. So if you find pieces of software that you like, as long as you know how to get them to talk to one another, this, this really wasn’t possible until the last couple of years.
So you can tie together these different pieces of software, right, where you can pick and choose mix and match from what other people have. So depending on what you’re building, think about what those underlying components are and how you might be able to sew them together. You might even use like a, like I mentioned, as.
Right to, to pull data back and forth. If you’re not an engineer between your Instagram and your HubSpot and your [00:35:00] website and your mobile monkey for chatbots, like whatever it is, there’s all these different things that have to talk to each other. So now I think the in 20, 22 and beyond, we’re going to see software development look more like integration than actual development of stuff.
And everything I’ve seen in the last five years has been moving towards like integration is like 80, 90% of what’s going on. There’s very little actual writing code from scratch. Like really? Is there any idea that has to be written from scratch? I would argue hardly not unless you’re, I mean, not even the stuff that Tesla uses for their navigation, not a, I mean, a lot of it is just borrowed off of open source components.
Right? A lot of what’s going on in the newsfeed for image recognition, whether it’s Facebook or Google or YouTube or Amazon, that’s like open source stuff, you can plug in those freaks. You want to be able to write content through an AI system? You can have that engine that’s based on GP T3. That’s all based on an API that allows you to [00:36:00] talk to that engine.
So you don’t have to build that particular engine. I think, I think it’s absolutely incredible. Right. Think about what it is that
well, we lost,
we lost you for a second minute. You’re back. Yeah, I’m back. So I want you guys to just think about what that means. You might not be building a massive piece of software right now. This is going to put a dent in the planet, but maybe you just want to improve your website. Maybe you just want to integrate some kind of tool.
Maybe you got to have a course and you want to tie that with, with your website or with your Facebook or whatnot, if you know what those underlying components. You can get these things together in a matter of just a few days and a few hundred dollars even. So I wanted to leave you guys with that. I apologize for the bad connection here in Costa Rica.
It’s something [00:37:00] I’ve been thinking about a lot. And I hate seeing my friends get burned and lose money. And they’ll often complain and say, I paid this engineer $5,000 and he didn’t build this thing. And I mean, partly it could be that the engineer shouldn’t have taken it on, or the engineer has this tool preference, which really isn’t the correct answer.
But a lot of it’s going to be back on you where if you don’t have those clear requirements, it should be night and day for everyone able to see whether it’s going to work or not. If you guys have any questions. Yeah. And by the way, while, while I’m talking to Dennis, you know, if you do have questions, you want to ask something or contribute something to this, feel free to raise your hand and we’ll bring you up now.
But Dennis, it’s interesting, you know, as we’re talking about this, you made me think of some things that are not necessarily on the topic of finding a great web engineer, but really when you think about building your startup, building your business, you know, how do you create a mode around it? And if you’re building your software platform based on string together, [00:38:00] preexisting tools using API APIs to communicate between them, it makes me think that on the one hand.
You know, is there something proprietary you can create around the way you do that? In other words, do you have a, a proprietary method of connecting these disparate platforms to get to the end result you want? Or the flip side of that is it, it reinforces for me, is someone who’s more, more focused on the branding side of marketing sometimes is how important building a brand can be.
Because if the software becomes, um, democratize through all these platforms where pretty much anyone can build similar software by leveraging API APIs and leveraging these existing platforms that really puts a lot more emphasis and importance on how you can build a brand around the software you create, because then the software itself is not as unique.
It doesn’t have the same, uh, Moat [00:39:00] around it, as it used to have in the old days, when everything had to be built from scratch, then pretty much every company that developed software had a unique mode around their software, because it was all custom built from the ground up. That’s not happening as much today.
If I hear what you’re saying to us, what do you think about that? That is a smart approach, you know, and let me tell you about a lie that most people tell you in engineering software and VC, they say that your intellectual property is in the code and therefore you have to protect the code. And if you don’t own the code and you later want to sell the company, you won’t be able to get a multiple, which was true 10 years ago.
But also look at what’s happened with the open source software foundation and other groups like Facebook is basically open source or, um, yeah, they, they made open that software. They have for how they manage their. And image recognition and a newsfeed and a Google’s open. [00:40:00] They they’ve, they’ve opened up pretty much everything they have.
So let me ask you this. If you had all the code for being able to operate Facebook right now, or Uber or you name any of these giants, eBay, Craigslist, whatever, right. LinkedIn, if you had all the code necessary to run LinkedIn and you could, you had unlimited money and you could set it up on AWS, right?
Amazon’s different servers. Could you compete? Could you build, could you beat LinkedIn? Could you, you know, you’d have an exact clone, you have exact cone of Facebook. Could you compete, right. Do you have an exact clone of Amazon? You have all their code exactly how they do everything. Could you compete? And I would say the answer is no, because what’s really the value there.
I mean, is the branding, as Jeffrey said, but I would say more specifically it’s the data. So when you have users in the system, That are doing transactions and you have millions of transactions. Like I was, I was looking [00:41:00] for a restaurant here an hour ago and I went to Google maps and I saw this restaurant had 600 reviews and is rated 4.4 stars.
I’m like, I’m going to go ahead and eat here. But if I had Google maps and their software, but no data, it wouldn’t matter. So the data and the trust in the brand end up being the same kind of thing. And part of it, you can look at as there’s, it’s kind of like a big middle finger that, that Silicon valley puts out there saying anybody can build software now because there’s so many open source components that we’re open sourcing.
We’re helping other people, the, the barrier to succeeding and software, like some kid Nairobi with a raspberry PI could be the next Silicon valley billion. Because he can just connect these different components or use no code or whatever it is. All the people love to say, stuff like that. Tell the lie, it’s a lie.
It’s not going to work because data is [00:42:00] the new oil. And when you get a lot of users in the system, you’re collecting data. And then the data allows, the algorithms allows, you know what I mean? It’s like, you could have a great purse, but if there’s no money in the person, like, you know, whatever the analogy is, it’s all and users and data.
And the whole, if you build a better mouse trap and they will find a way, you know, if you build it, they will come Kevin bacon field of dreams. Like that’s, it’s not, it’s not how it works anymore. And I know this because we’ve built a lot of fancy code and we’ve opened sourced it. We’ve taken code that other people have written and you can’t really buy software anymore.
I think it’s not the value of the software. Isn’t what it used to be. I’ve sold software I’ve my career has been based on building software. I mean, heck when that Facebook platform first opened up and we could build apps, I built an ad server, me and my buddy, John, who built a lot of the ad serving at Yahoo.
We built an ad [00:43:00] server that served ads inside Facebook apps. We were doing 150 million impressions a day. We were doing $80,000 of revenue. I licensed that software to a couple other people who then turned around and sold their company for $100 million. And I think I only charged like $200,000 for the software for how we built the ad server.
I should have charged them more. I should have charged him a percentage of the sale if he sold it. But whatever, you know, it’s my buddy, Adam frugal, you can see, you can look him up. He used our software and he sold his company for a ton of money. The only reason that software had value to him was because he told me I went to his fancy apartment in San Francisco when we did the deal.
And he said, you know, I know you’re a great engineer. But I also have a great team of engineers and I could build the same software you have in six months. That’s what my guys say. I’m like, yep. I, I believe you, you could, you could probably build it in three. And he said, yeah, but the thing is, your software is already working.
I already know you guys are processing 150 million impressions a day and all these other components are tied together that [00:44:00] we’d eventually be able to figure out, but we just don’t have time to mess around. And meanwhile, the Facebook platform is growing and we’re willing to pay, you know, whatever, $200,000.
And that’ll just save three months of time and whatever the engineering, you know, it’s not even the engineering effort. You know, maybe the engineering efforts like 50 grand for like two guys for three months, it’s that I’m losing time to market. And of course he was right because he was able to watch is I sent him the code or he paid the money.
It was great. I felt like a drug deal. He paid me this money. I sent him the code. He spun up the code that we gave him and he was making money within a week. Right. Configured everything on his servers and turned around assaulted thing for a, of. So the value of that software was because no one else had it.
That really was truly unique. What we built, because we were certainly, if you saw the ads that were on Facebook, inside the apps, like it had pictures of your, of your friends and what they did. And we’d say like, Jeffrey has a crush on you and you know, Sardar is challenging you to an [00:45:00] IQ quiz or, you know, whatever, like it had your name, names and images of your friends that had unique value.
But very rarely are you going to build software? That’s truly unique. I hear a lot of people say how unique their software is. And like, in your mind, you think it’s unique. The value is in the users, the value isn’t a use case that no one, no one else can solve. So I’ll leave you guys with that. Jeffrey. You want to take some moderation?
I’m going to take a little bit of food. I haven’t eaten today. Yeah. Yes. Go ahead. So Sridhara thanks for coming up on stage. Do you have a, either a question or something you want to share about the topic of how to find a great web engineer? Hi, Jeffrey and Denise. Uh, hi. I would like to Shazz, which is a letter to this topic.
And so some of the hacks I recently found, and maybe some of you would have, will know about it, but still I would like to share with maybe some of what some, it may be new. So generally to get, um, a great web engineers, like, [00:46:00] uh, I scout it in the stack exchange and the how effective pays in terms of, uh, um, tied to solve others problems, like, um, giving the solutions to the existing, uh, uh, problems in the stack exchange.
Uh, uh, I also scouting the engineers in the low-code no-code platforms. Uh, also the, the freelancing marketplaces. So there, uh, and also like code canyon later, this kind of portals, uh, then I’ll cross check with Linton and all this. Then I can able to compare the technical experts. Then I’ll try to contact them and then speak with them.
Are they okay with that? Then I’ll try to encase them in the project. That’s how high is to find great engineers. Okay. So, um, yeah, so you’re leveraging all of these marketplaces to find the talent. Um, so that’s, uh, a [00:47:00] good way to find them. How do you vet their skills and capabilities to decide if they’re the right developer for you?
Okay. Uh, I’ll also check, uh, first in the stock exchange or getup rights. Um, most of them are, we’ll be posting out problems in net, like I’m facing this problem or not, and how effective he is in terms of, uh, um, uh, trying to attempt to solve these problems. So I’ll try to, uh, go through that, uh, threads and see, uh, what is this approach to solve this problem?
Then I’ll gauge his expertise. Great. So you’ll look at what they’ve done. You’ll look at some of their work on GitHub and other places and see what they do. So thank you for sharing that through at har. Um, we’ve got a few minutes left Moran. I hope I pronounced it correctly. Um, welcome. Did you have a question or something you wanted to share related to this?
Hi, and thank you. Um, I would just say it did feel to [00:48:00] me almost like you’re speaking about me and telling me my story. Uh, so I will be just, uh, processing that and thinking of how to improve what I’m doing. And then Jeffrey, you just mentioned something that, um, my main question is how do you hire an engineer and know the integrity behind it when you’re giving them your IP?
And, um, what if the relationship doesn’t work out or. Um, there’s, you know, like how, you know, it must take a certain amount of time to get to a point where you really give them all the plans. Isn’t it? A moron. That’s a great question. Let me tell you a few things in different layers to be able to protect yourself first off, you want to make sure that this is someone that you trust through other referrals through asking about the references, but you’d be surprised [00:49:00] most of most folks, they can’t even come up with differences.
And if they give you some and you get the honest truth on what happened in the last projects that might tell you something with folks like rent, a coder and Fiverr and Upwork, you can, you can see kind of, you know, 4.9 stars and how many projects they’ve done if they’ve not done at least 10. And if they’re not at least 4.5 or so, I wouldn’t even look at it.
Second to the other questions you had about, if things go wrong, you always control the code. So you have it inside your own get repository. So they can’t lock you up. You control the servers for the same kind of reason. What you don’t want is you pay them a bunch of money and then they hold you hostage.
I see this happen all the time, especially in web development where a real estate agent or a dentist will pay somebody to build a website or whatever. And for some reason, the dentist doesn’t pay or they felt like this guy didn’t do a good job and stop paying because the work wasn’t good. Or then the developer gets mad, locks them out, defaced his website and says, you know, Dr.
Jeffrey [00:50:00] is a bad dentist and he didn’t pay his website bill, and then you have this whole back and forth, and then they technically have you because they technically control the code and the servers. As part of your agreement, they always do development on a server that you control and they always upload their code to get, or whatever, you know, get hub or whatever your code versioning system is.
So you always have control of that. And when you have regular check-ins, it could be daily, it could be weekly status reports. It could be a senior engineer that’s watching. It could be you as the one managing that engineer. You never let things get so far apart. So you always know what you don’t want is like a whole month has gone by and they billed you for a whole month of services and you’re not sure, or they went in the wrong direction or no, then they say, no, your requirements weren’t clear.
W well then, you know, you, you say, Hey, um, you, you didn’t build the thing that I wanted. Yeah. But I built it according to the way you said, Noah, that’s not what I said. Or, you know, you didn’t say it explicitly here. So you still only for all month to paying, you know, development. And so you still want to, you don’t want to get into that kind of [00:51:00] situation.
Does that help moron. So you’re just saying come prepared. It sounds like, well, also have benchmarks you want to have, um, short-term benchmarks, not big, big, um, chunks that are benchmarks that you’re going to have to wait three or four weeks before you see anything and then find out three or four weeks later that they didn’t go down the path.
You wanted to go one of them to go down or they didn’t follow your specs or your requirements. So you want to have really, short-term like almost weekly benchmarks that you can measure and see the accomplishments of so that, you know, quickly that they’re on the right track. A good friend who had a concept for a blockchain business and he hired some developers to do it.
And he handed them the spec and then kind of ignored it and just said, okay, they’re going to work on it. And two or three months later, he checked in with them only to find that they on their own without communicating to him, decided to take the whole project [00:52:00] in a completely different direction. And they were working on software that had very little to do with the, uh, original spec that he had given them yet.
He was paying them to develop this other project essentially. So he made the huge mistake of, of not having, you know, regular short-term, um, benchmarks for them to meet. And check-ins to check on those benchmarks. Yeah. That’s communication. The other thing too, is that, especially with junior engineers, they’re going to favor a certain tool or there may be certain technologies they really like, and then.
That has nothing to do with the requirements, but they just really want to implement using that particular tool. You have to watch out for that. So if you have clear product requirements to translate to the technical specifications, we talked about a little earlier, and if you haven’t heard that discussion, if you can see the replay or hear the replay of that, that’ll save you a ton of time going round and round.
Because when an engineer wants to, it’s not that they’re trying to cheat you, but they just [00:53:00] really like a certain kind of, they just really want to use PHP or they really want to use angular, like whatever it is.
Yeah. And the other thing too is if you can, if your requirements are really clear, based on what we talked about in the very beginning, you can do a fixed contract saying, Hey, you know, here’s the requirements. What do you think it’s going to cost? And they’re going to say, I think it’ll cost five grand and that’ll be the price.
But if you that that’s going to be a lot clearer, but it puts more burden on. The other way to do it as hourly, hourly gives you flexibility, but then it allows the build to keep running, allows them. It’s like the taxi driver where they’re going to drive you around all over the place, right? Like how come it costs me a hundred dollars go the airport.
Well, you know, I went this way and that way, and there’s traffic and you have no way cause the taxi driver knows how to kind of cheat you. Right. Or it’s not because they’re trying to cheat you it’s because you just don’t, you don’t know exactly what you want. And then, you know, the launch date comes because you know, there’s 90 days or whatever, and then the thing’s not done.
And then they blame [00:54:00] you and you blame them and you don’t want to pay them and they get mad at you. So I would say, do fixed bid if you can, because then if there’s a delay or if they didn’t anticipate something or whatever it is and it’s on them and it’s not on you, does that make sense? Yes. Thank you very much.
Both of you and for holding this space. Thank you. Moran. We’ve got a few minutes left before the top of the hour. Let’s try to get to Kelly and then Joe, Joe Kelly. Well, Thanks, Jeffrey. Thanks, Dennis. Uh, love a conversation. Um, this is my wheelhouse. And so I wanted to share earlier you were talking about Dennis was speaking about having the requirements, uh, clearly spelled out.
And I can’t tell you how critical that is when I work with founders and startups. Um, one of the things that we do is what’s called an intake meeting and this is where we go over all of the requirements and I have them rank, you know, the critical needs or the critical skillsets that’s required in order for them to [00:55:00] meet their deliverables.
And so that is crucial that it’s written out, it’s spelled out and that there is no miscommunication or misinterpretation of what’s to be done. And the other thing, as you were speaking to Moran, one of the other things that I, um, advise my clients on is meeting with your developers and engineers daily.
Even if it’s 15 minutes or 30 minutes, It’s what I call a huddle. And I do this with my team every morning, just to go around the room and tell me what you’re working on, where you having any challenges, but it’s imperative that you have that open communication. I have one client who didn’t meet with her developers for months and similar to the story that, um, Dennis shared, they were going in a totally different direction, so much so that they, uh, took a lot of our IP.
Right. And so that brings me to the other, my other point was that I have clients who [00:56:00] also, um, have their developers sign an NDA before they start work. Um, that way everybody’s, you know, on the same page above board. Um, that is kind of spelled out in the statement of work that they do. So just some suggestions, there’s a lot of things up front that you can do to kind of protect yourself and ensure that, you know, everyone and everything is above board and that whoever you have coming into your, um, business and on your team, that is everything is clearly spelled out, you know, who you have coming into your, um, organization, and that there are benchmarks.
There are, you know, huddle calls, all of this is in place up front. So everyone is aligned and on the same page. So just want to share that. Thank you so much, Kelly. That is helpful. Isn’t it amazing how, no matter what the project is, it could be some big technical project or it could be some marketing deal or [00:57:00] you’re hiring a painter.
It doesn’t matter what the kind of businesses you’re selling cars like Thomas Hawkins does. He’s got the orange hat, just like me. It’s always communication. And having that kind of. Communication. If you’re hiring developers that are offshore, they’re not in the United States, a lot of the protections that you think that you have like NDAs and legal documents and contracts don’t matter.
Okay. I’ve seen a lot of people get burned on this because they didn’t know. They learned the hard way and other countries, people will just sign things. Cause they don’t like there’s, there’s a million lawyers in the United States. You know, that, I think that’s more lawyers than all the other countries combined.
It’s kind of like, we have more weapons than everybody else. So don’t think that just because someone’s signed an agreement saying that the code is yours or that they’re going to do this stuff, according to a statement of work, a lot of it’s going to be relationship-driven even if someone technically on the resume has a particular set of skills and that’s always good to check out their skills and whatnot, but there’s in the world of engineering.
This is something that’s going to surprise [00:58:00] 99% folks. It’s about whether you can do the thing or not, not what’s on your resume. Not that you have. Doing whatever. Right. I can tell you all kinds of horror stories. I won’t waste the time on that, but it’s about whether you can get it done. Sitting next to me is my friend who is a killer software engineer, Mark Wagner.
And I know he’s got some thoughts on from the standpoint, just like he and I were both engineers. What are some of the mistakes that clients may, and how do you turn, you know, how do you find, uh, you know, w what advice does he have for clients on how they can succeed? Instead of like putting things on engineers, where the, where the, where the typical problems are with engineers, the one thing, and this is something that my company recently dealt with the client is they had a problem that their, their process, their timeline, wasn’t moving along as fast as they wanted.
And they weren’t going to be able to release their product. And it turned out that the reason that they were having this problem was that their CTO, the person in charge of their engineering, wasn’t doing anything. He was falling behind. He was pretending he [00:59:00] was being deceptive, not, not maliciously, but just to cover.
And putting him in charge of an, of an augment, an augment team is a bigger mistake. Now you’re just compounding the mistake, because if you have someone who wasn’t doing anything, giving them people to manage, it’s just going to compound the problem. So for one thing, if, as an engineering company, when I take on a client, now, I make sure that they have a very clear set of like a very clear timeline.
Get closer, closer to the microphone. Sorry guys. I’m not a little new to clubhouse. So that’s basically what I would say is for clients, you want to make sure that whoever you’re putting in charge to manage is qualified. And if you’re hiring an outside company, really make sure that there’s a relationship and existing relationship.
There really strong referral because you’re putting a lot in their hands. It’s very hard to know what’s going on on the inside. Even if you’re an engineer yourself, it’s very hard to know how many hours they’re billing, whether they’re actually doing it or not. Here’s Dennis. And, you know, even when there’s problems, I can tell you [01:00:00] 90, 90 plus percent of the time it’s with the client.
Right. Because, and that of course engineers are going to say that, but it really is because you’re not clear on the requirements. You don’t realize what it’s going to actually take. You change your mind, change the scope. You’re not there to communicate changes. There’s a lot of stuff you didn’t anticipate.
You don’t know the difference between product requirements and technical specifications. You didn’t specify clone. I want a website like this, I want a tool that’s like this, right? You didn’t do the testing with the user stories, maybe through paper prototyping or through a Figma. There’s all these different things that you can reduce risks along the way that will solve problems before it gets to the point of them violating the sow or things getting going sideways.
Right. So mark, you want to say something? Yeah, I just, I just had a thought and. It’s really important to have an onboarding checklist. And I know a lot of people companies do this in marketing, especially I know blitz metrics does it in marketing, where do they have a whole, a [01:01:00] whole content checklist strategy thing.
First they’ll do the plumbing because that requires access. Once they have access, they can do metrics and then analysis. And then action. Really the same thing applies to software, even though so many deals are different. Uh, whether it’s an entire project being developed or repair or support, there needs to be a clear process of figuring out who’s in charge and laying everything out.
All right, guys. Well, thank you so much. If you guys want to continue, feel free to Jeffrey is a killer moderator. He’s not just the guy from startup.club. That’s helping process all this kind of stuff. He’s also the CML paul.com and a good buddy. We’re hearing Costa Rican. We’re about to go drive up the coast maybe and get another hotel and do some surfing and stuff like that.
But I love you guys. I’m glad that we’re spending time together. And the coach you show, even with this weird world that we live. And I want to hear about what you’ve done with your software projects. What kinds of stuff you’re trying to build, where your struggles are. Let’s keep in touch. This is being published [01:02:00] on startup.club and let’s, let’s not make this just something here for a few of us that are listening.
I want to see you guys launch stuff. Maybe you didn’t launch it because you’re, do you think it’s going to be really expensive or you didn’t think it’s really possible, or because you’re not an engineer or you don’t know how to find a technical co-founder or you don’t know how to write requirements or find a clone.
I’m telling you all those things are there. We have training even on how to do it on Fiverr for a few hundred dollars, how to build websites. You want to clone for a few hundred dollars. Isn’t that crazy? It doesn’t have to be the kind of stuff that we’ve talked about here. Like I’ve given you stories like from Yahoo, where we’re building sites that generate over a hundred million dollars as part of the main Yahoo platform, you don’t have to be like that.
You don’t have to be a Silicon valley. Veteran like me to be able to build software. He has the requirements, the communication, and avoiding the key problems that we talked about here today, which is making sure you’re focusing on the requirements and not the technology, making sure that the clear communication is there.
It could be [01:03:00] the daily check-ins like Kelly mentioned. It could be weekly making sure that you test with these users through paper prototyping or some other kinds of models so that you don’t have to keep changing things. Changing things in software is not like changing things in the word document. It’s like changing things in a, in a building that you built.
Right. It’s very, very difficult. Once you’ve started building the building, you want to change the foundation? It’s not the same. A lot of people don’t know that’s how software is. Right. And with that, I hope that you guys found some value here. I love hearing from you guys every week, seeing what you guys are up to.
This is the coach you show, I’m coach you with the orange hat. Hey Jeffrey, take us out. My friend. Yeah. Well, Dennis, I want to let Joe, Joe, uh, just ask his question, Joe, Joe, glad you’ve been waiting patiently. Yes. And then if you didn’t get on the show tonight, we’re back every Thursday evening at 5:00 PM, Pacific APM Eastern.
And we hope if you didn’t make it to ask a question tonight, you’ll join us for another episode of the coach you show. But Joe, Joe, [01:04:00] go ahead and thank you for giving me the opportunity to, um, so make my summation. I wa I didn’t have, I actually don’t have a question. I was trying to make a submission based on the, um, question here, how to find a grain, a web engineer, uh, in my case, uh, I find it very interesting to find any kind of engineer in the it or software engineering space.
Using LinkedIn. And when I do that, I don’t quite, uh, uh, tell him, Hey, I’m going to hire you or whatever. I try to, uh, get to know them a little bit, then talk to them, get to their circle of maybe professionals that are around them. And then I’ll give them one or two things to see how well they do it. And when I do that over time, it probably would take me like two or three months to actually start talking to them about an offer for them going to make I, once I make the offer, uh, [01:05:00] usually before we start working this all as NDA, but I do understand that NDA doesn’t cover me for me.
So once that is done and they are working, I have an onboarding process that I use. I have some software that I developed that helped me to secure the codes. I don’t really give direct access to the servers. If it’s a backend engineer that I wanted to work with, I have all the controls that I had built in, and I have controls that are built in for controlling information.
I also have a collaboration tools that I use. I, I will recommend click up. Uh, it’s kind of free, or you can pay a little bit of dollar monthly for professional ones. And I do have a stand-up meetings on Mondays on Friday. And the secret for me, what works for me is I take a little bit of my time and get in them.
And I know their friends, I know what they have done. I checked the portfolio and I check what they have in [01:06:00] GitHub. And I look at how they solve problems, but to top it off, I know what I want. I know exactly who I want. I have technical specification as far as, as well as the product specifications for what we need to build.
I have somebody to manage the project. I am a technical founder, so it’s a little easier for me. And most of the problems that other people might be experiencing is because they are not technical founder. And there might be too trusting, not knowing that the code, if the code goes, if somebody writes the codes, they have other sheets to it and all that kind of stuff.
So I will, um, recommend that if you’re not that technical and independent on the solution that you’re offering is very, very pertinent that you use, maybe an agency or other people that are quite experienced in the field to help you. I do high off shore [01:07:00] and most of my solutions are proprietary. There are patents attached on, so I’m very careful.
I, I have all the core codes in the U S and I do not share that. So I have a modular method when I needed something that we don’t have within the team that we have here. I’ll source it myself and I sell it. We instruct with clear directions what’s needed. And I also look into the code myself and, uh, and that also, um, keep it very professional and make sure that they go through the process to access all the service.
So do not let anybody access your service if it had this at the very beginning, try to use, uh, if you are not very, uh, uh, technical, try to use things like TMZ or, or, um, maybe other solutions where you can be looking at them, why they do it, but it has to be upfront and let them understand that’s how [01:08:00] you want to work with them, because you don’t really trust anybody once at the time they will ask you, oh, give me this, give me access to that.
Do not give them access to anything because you don’t really know their intentions. So this is my little one said, I think this has worked for me over the years and we’ve built a lot of wonderful solution that can. People that are not quite, uh, you know, technical to be able to hire the right people, as well as maintain secure communication and some sort of privacy.
Thank you. Thank you, Joe. Joe, thank you for sharing your methodology. I think it’s interesting because you’ve got all your bases covered from the human and social side where you start out by trying to develop a relationship with the potential program or first over a period of time. But even so you still locked down the software, you still, uh, set things up in a way where not only you can protect access, but you can monitor carefully their progress.
So I thought that was a [01:09:00] great advice. Thank you for sharing that and thanks to everyone who listened and participated tonight, and the coach, you show Dennis at the runoff he’s in Costa Rica, as he said, but as I mentioned before, Dennis hosts this show every Thursday evening from, uh, eight to 9:00 PM Eastern.
Five to 6:00 PM Pacific time, a variety of topics, all around digital market marketing and other aspects that will help startups grow their business. So we hope you’ll join us again for another episode of the coach you show. And of course this show has replaced turned on. So you’ll be able to find replays of the show and listen to it again, or share it at startup club here in clubhouse or in Dennis’s profile or my profile.
And we also record this show for startup.club, which is the website for startup clubs. So you can go to startup.club and find lots of episodes of the coach you show, and other great shows. And you could sign up for our mailing list to [01:10:00] be kept informed of other events and special speakers and things coming up on startup club.
So thank you everyone. So. I hope that you have a very safe, healthy, and happy holiday season, regardless of what holidays you’re celebrating. And of course, we’re all going into a brand new year and I hope it’s a very wonderful and prosperous year for you all. So thanks for joining us tonight. Hope to see you again soon.