Startup Venture


#3

Ok. I am not sure how much detail to go into here. Basically, we are starting a project that will allow amateurs to come together and collaborate and compete through sharing/selling samples and interacting through a web based DAW in JS. The difference maker with this and other projects is that it is rooted in competition and establishing a hierarchy of producers through a karma system like reddit. Where producers who make better samples/composition will rise through the ranks. We are looking for investors and developers to further this project along before we begin marketing, implementation, selling ad space, etc. If you need me to go into more detail I will.


#4

So this is not a job offer, and you are looking for javascript developers?


#5

It is a potential to be a partner in this venture with a lot of ownership. In terms of money up front that would be very hard for me to do as I am in school still. I think the scale of the idea as well as the fact that this is feasible should speak for itself. My commitment to this idea is 100% so you don’t have to worry about that. If this doesn’t sound good no worries, but could you point me in the direction of someone who would be willing to take on a venture part time. Like I said you dont have to commit all your time to this. It can just be a side thing.


#6

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Execution is everything. All devs here are:

  1. Either pursuing there own idea
  2. Work for a business or organisation which uses juce framework in some way
  3. Are hobbyist who probably eventually want to loop back to number 1.

Forget the fact your not offering any compensation, nor even close to the right technology stack. These offers always seem a little unfair as you are asking someone to take there years of self education and apply it to just an idea which you haven’t really defined that well nor spoken about what the splits would be, or what your offering will be to the venture.

Have you created a unique value proposition?
Have you created a lean canvas?
Have you done market validation?
Have you assembled a panel of potential users?
Have you secured any avenue for funding?

I know from your position you feel you have a killer idea (and you may very well have) but in the working world you need to answer these sort of questions. My intent is not to attack you and I hope you do find someone to work with but you should revise your approach.


#7

I agree with everything, just adding a fourth group, the freelancers, and there are quite a few on the forum. However, they need to make a living, so the experienced ones will need at least a funded part, that is paid independent of success of the project.

The best would be, if you can find a partner close to your own level of experience, and you learn from each other while getting your project done. Even though that will not give the boost in speed and experience you would wish for, it still helps you to stay motivated and get over the lows in such a process.

Good luck!


#8

If i rebuttal with a complete business plan this week that answers all these questions, will this change things/persuade anyone to consider risking some freelance/hobby time and assist with the project for potential unlimited returns?


#9

Okay you’ve made some comments that show your maturity (in businesss).

Comments like these although showing enthusiam but not any real sense of commitment.

Why just write a hit record? It would be far easier and potentially unlimited returns.
Slight reality check needed.

Having worked with lots of startups and side by side with investors a business plan is just lip service on what you need to do to get a project of this size off the ground. Like daniel said find someone who’s at a similar level to you, local to you and possibly a friend to work with on this and pursue it together. A lot of good indie projects start this way and you can cut out all the red tape which you probably feel is unnecessary.

If you can’t do that then you can’t cut corners. If your really serious at this idea you won’t mind spending 3-6 months laying some real ground work. Lookup mentorship programs lots are free for new business startups. Build a panel of potential users, you need a circle of about 100 - 150 producers. You need to be asking them lots of questions and not just about features what there pains are finding the right samples, how much there willing to spend, how often they would potentially use the platform, survey, survey, survey to get a real understanding of the problem your trying to solve. Validate the idea, revalidate it and then start making a plan of what your MVP ( I hate that term ) will look like. Only then can you begin to right a business plan based on anything other than your idea and you’ll have much better idea of what such a platform could potentially be worth. Then at that point you can start looking at funding. Get speaking to investment committees, your mentor will do some practise pitching with you or go down the route of getting a real sized business loan as you have far bigger costs than just a dev. If you still haven’t found someone to work with local then this is the time to ask on here and other forums as you have created lots more value in the idea and already showed some hard graft before asking someone else.

Making a web based daw in JS is not a small feat either, you need someone who understands certain complexities of audio and who knows all performance quirks of JS - but is also a full stack developer. It most certainly is possible for an individual to do this but your looking 4-6 months minimum hard graft to do it well enough and unfortunately that’s not going to be a someone looking for abit of experience. Example my friend made this and it taken him ages http://www.errozero.co.uk/acid-machine/ as a side project.

I’m not trying to shoot you down. I’m just trying to give you some real world perspective. Were are you at in your education? do you have exams that you need to study for? finals? A-Levels? coursework? how much time can you dedicate to this? is there fixed days you can work on this? where are you based? do you have any insider knowledge / contacts we can exploit to get this off the ground? have you any experience in this? have you any lateral experience? have you got any press contacts who would feature this? … ? … ? … ? … ? there are so many questions that need answering before a dev could even begin.


#10

I hear you. I am in my last year of school. My exams are not until the end of the summer. I have dedicated 10 hours a day to this every day for the last two months in edition to working extensively with my DAW and DJing for the past 3 years. I work every day on this. I am based out of Kansas City. In terms of insider knowledge/contacts, I don’t have many. Right now there are four contributing members in our team. My experience with development is slim, but my knowledge of the music industry and audio design, DAW experience is enough to be dangerous. We are currently using Amazon Web Services EC2 instance and CodeCommit to host our repo for our teams work. We plan to use JS and HTML5 on the front and postres database on the back. My business experience is working for a startup probiotic company as an analytical intern and working for Brookfield Asset Management as an intern utilizing Salesforce so I would say my business acumen is strong enough to compete on the highest level. In terms of press contacts, I know enough people who know enough people to be dangerous. I am ready to answer more questions/send a business plan. Just let me know and I will send you it is a .doc or .pdf. There is a lot more I will explain if you are interested or want to steer me in the right direction. I appreciate your time by the way.


#11

Just saying right then and there you sound far more like someone dev could / would be willing to work with and is a far cry from your first two posts. Do some ground work and validate your idea and you have a much better chance.

Good luck.


#12

I appreciate it man. Maybe we will reconnect.


#13

Why are you looking for a browser/JavaScript developer from this forum? Developers here are mainly C++ and JUCE developers. I am sure there are some people here who can also do the browser/JavaScript stuff or could effortlessly switch over to doing that but you might want to try on other forums too, if you haven’t already done so.


#14

Music isn’t supposed to be competitive. That’s missing the point of music entirely!


#15

I have. I am running out of places to look. I have tried internet relay chat but that didnt work. I think if i explained it better, it would attract more shareholders.


#16

As a musician I completely agree, but gamification is a thing in these kind of platforms…

In “theaudioprogrammer” discord chat there are many people talking about web and audio engines recently, maybe you find interested devs there…


#17

I have already exhausted my resources in there. At this point i am verging on spam so I want to be careful with how i approach this.


#18

Maybe spit your idea to an established company that already has investors and a team of developers. Everyone here is too busy unless you have $$$, as we are all adults with high rents and mortgages, and not kids still in school.


#19

I understand. I may come back if I can secure some funding somewhere and need more expert devs to make the project better.


#20

While you’re pursuing this, I recommend you check out WebAssembly/Emscripten. You can compile highly optimized C++ audio code to Javascript and see incredible performance boosts. I’m currently working on a universal audio app — traditional native targets as well as a website. Emscripten lets me compile the core logic (audio and otherwise) from C++ to highly optimized Js/WebAssembly. My app works with Audio & MIDI through JUCE straight from the browser. Of course, this takes a lot of extra glue work and is not simply plug & play, but it is possible and saves needing to develop everything twice. I honestly don’t see how you could get real, complicated audio performance akin to native speeds on the web without this. However, this pipeline is far from easy, though it is production ready if you do it right (see: Unity - they compile C/C++ to Js via Emscripten).

But back to your central idea.

You’ve got competition. I tried to do the cloud-based DAW 5 years ago and realized it was an uphill battle with much larger players already entering the field. It was literally the same idea as yours, but with some extra bells and whistles. You’re not the first person with this idea and larger, well-funded companies have already brought similar services to market or will soon.

Of course, you could still do it better than everyone else! Many of the ones that already exist either suck or no one knows about them, so they suck. If you have a novel way to fix this issue, go for it! But be prepared to find out that you’ve wasted your time and have no hope in catching up to the larger players. What you are proposing is big and it is complex — something that requires an experienced team that won’t agree to work for just a gamble on a pipe dream. And you’re fighting for a relatively small market that will need to work on razor-thin margins.

If you’re still in school, think of other ideas before going all-in on this. Probably no one worth hiring will work for “just ownership” initially, so you’ll either need to raise funds or bootstrap it yourself. But honestly, you sound exactly like someone who doesn’t know what they’re getting into (I’m saying this because that was me a few years ago).

I recommend you pursue this venture as a thought experiment. Really analyze on all fronts what it would take, both technologically and otherwise, to make this a profitable venture. Make some proof-of-concepts.

You will learn invaluable lessons by pursuing this idea and then most likely letting it go. You’ll be better able to work on your next project because of it, and chances are your next idea will be better (or more viable) than this one. Or this one will actually pan out. Just don’t put the cart before the horse — right now you don’t even have a horse and you’re talking about who you can hire to design the cart.


#21

Thats funny you mention WebAssembly. Someone from our team just mentioned that coming out today or something. We are pursuing its functionalities as we speak. I understand you are playing devil’s advocate, but I have a lot of hope and time as I am only taking 9 hours to finish my uni degree in finance. I think my pitch is good enough to get one or two more experienced devs that can be sold strictly on ownership stakes. What is your knowledge on patents?


#22

Software patents are still basically the wild west — if anything about the process you’re making is unique you’ll probably be able to get a patent for it. Talk with a lawyer, you can usually find out if an idea is worth patenting without paying a huge amount (even better if you have a lawyer in the family).

You want your patent to be as general as possible while still addressing the specifics — a sweet spot that can be difficult to hit. Having a lawyer that is experienced in the specific details is huge with this (aka a lawyer that is also an engineer, etc). They often charge more, but it is almost always worth it. A patent written by someone who doesn’t understand anything about audio or software could be less than ideal.

Whatever you do, make sure your devs are accountable and document everything they do thoroughly in a repo you own. You want your Bus Factor to be as large as possible. I’ve seen startups die because senior engineers decided they wanted to actually be paid well and left, with no clear idea how to pick up where they left off. Months of development time can be lost when the team is small if you don’t manage it properly.