I recently saw a job posted on a web developer recruiting website. It involved some people looking for coders to make a copy of my web business and livelihood www.rentoid.com. What was interesting was the lack decorum shown in the coder recruiting process where the person said – build me a replica of this website. Here’s a screen print of it below.
I was a bit annoyed at first. and sent out a tweet to assess the mood of my army of advisers on twitter. I tweeted the following:
Not sure what to think of this? http://bit.ly/cYR5FI A compliment or IP rip off with me and @rentoid as the victims? Help! Thoughts?
The responses were varied, but all were within the theme of this person clearly does not get what it takes. Here’s some verbatim of the tweet responses:
xshay don’t worry about it – we saw a guy offering to build redbubble for < $1000 once. A) not going to happen, B) not about the tech
shandsaker same thing happened to us. Just be confident that $750 and a 2 line project brief is $750 better spent on beer :-)
TimBull if they can only spend $750 to build it, quality won’t be there and they won’t stick it – betcha the coding was trivial part
BLKMGK01 Congrats man. Business must be huge if other people want to start ripping off ur ideas. U should apply to design the site! haha.
BrentHodgson Don’t let it worry you. You know that @Rentoid is more than the sum of its tech parts – & that it wasn’t a $750 job to create.
lukerides precisely…all about execution, so I would not worry…if they do a better job than you, they were always going to anyway!
I pretty much knew this before I tweeted the issue, but it did force me to think about web marketing success, and the success of rentoid to date and I came to the following conclusion. It’s not about the tech. In fact, the tech is pretty low down on the list of things needed for any website to succeed. And if i had to give my nemesis some advice on how to succeed in copying me it would be to do these two things:
Populate and Promote.
This is what needs to be done with any classified style website to succeed, and it takes a lot of time and investment. Investment in financial and human capital. The problem with being 2nd, 3rd or later is that all the easy promotional opportunities like this are taken by the market innovator. And populating your website to make it meaningful takes a lot of boot leather, which is something many web entrepreneurs are afraid of.
I was fortunate enough to feature in a story on the ABC 7.30 report this week. The topic was on virtual offices and digital offshoring. My business rentoid got a nice little plug which is a bonus on a non-commercial channel. The opportunity arose from this newspaper article I was in on the topic in the Sydney Morning Herald. Which goes to show media exposure also has a compounding effect for your startup as well.
Although the story and offshoring in general has it’s detractors (unions love the status quo, unless it involves profit increases they want a share in). I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve worked with talented people in developing markets.
- My team get paid more than they’d get locally.
- I’ve helped team members get more work, and mentored them in building their own businesses.
- I like investing in developing markets because improves living standards.
It’s our job as entrepreneurs to create positive situations with tech innovations, and there’s no doubt in my mind having an overseas team does this, while building a business with beneficiaries locally (employees, revenue, community) as well.