I've come to realize that there is a need in the industry for which I currently work in, that can be addressed with web software. Existing software exists, but is very expensive. From my research, I did find a company who is doing it at a reasonable cost, however, they lack marketing and sales to capitalize on their price advantage (which comes from low development costs as its all done in India).

I'm not a programmer. I'm a business person. But at heart, I'm a "nerd". I love technology and I was a skilled "designer or pseudo-coder" back in university. But never got into it.

This idea is exciting me and I truly believe in its potential. And I know I can market and sell it. The problem is, I don't know how to go about doing it. This software would need to be built, maintained, continually improved and supported. And obviously, the sooner the better.

I have my own ideas of how I'd go about it, but software development is out of my comfort zone. Can you help me outline a process?

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How complicated is it? What kind of software are we talking about here? What systems will this be needed to work on? What are the target clients? What are the requirements? What technology/language/framework is best suited to tackle this?

Write up a document that outlines the software, even dip into UML/charts to express how you think it should work. Take it to a trusted friend/programmer to help hammer it out. Then bring propose it to companies/hire programmers to implement it for you then market it yourself?

I don't know how complicated it is. It is a back-end web platform solution for a specific industry. I could modify an existing platform to do what I want. It would need to be integrable with various other platforms. Mostly database driven stuff. Beyond that, I'm not too sure, as I said I'm new to this. I know there are platforms out there that are built on both PHP and Java.

If I approach these companies is there a way to protect my ideas? I know I can have them sign a non-disclosure agreement, but I don't consider that real protection.

My initial thoughts were to approach this Indian company and simply partner or buy them out and then tweak the platform and re-market it under my own vision. I thought it would be an easier way, instead of building it from scratch.

It is a back-end web platform solution for a specific industry.

That's such a helpful description. :icon_rolleyes:

Buy them. As you say, you don't have the skills to build it yourself. That means you would have to hire someone to build it. Costs time and money, assuming you have a good enough idea of how to build it (my impression is that your understanding of the details of the app is...fuzzy).

If you have the money, you can bypass the development time factor. Then buy out (or get rid of) a large portion of the senior management and work with the guys who built it so they can modify it to suit. Of course, you have to successfully negotiate creative control, deal with the (possibly nerdy) personalities, get the buy-in from the developers, all that executive stuff. Then hire yourself some really good salesmen. Let them sell for a while, get a track record, then hire yourself some really good marketing types.

Trying to partner is hard if you don't start from the ground floor. Almost always, there will be competing agendas. If you don't have anything they want, it would be a tough sell. Also, whose laws have jurisdiction? You'll need legal advice, probably from both countries, unless you want to move to India and run your business there.

If you decide to buy (if you have the money or investors or venture capital) then you can keep your ideas close to your vest and don't have to worry about the rest.

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