Too Many Startup Ideas, Not Enough Developers?

In William Shakespeare’s Richard III, Richard cries out during the battle of Bosworth Field, “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse” before he killed in a duel with Henry, Earl of Richmond.

In the startup world, many entrepreneurs may find themselves crying “A developer, a developer, my startup for a developer”.

This has much to do with a demand and supply problem; there are no lack of ideas for online startups but only so many developers to go  around, particularly top-notch developers.

This has left many startups scrambling for all kinds of talent from UI and UX to front-end and database programmers. As much as a startup wants to execute on a great idea, it is difficult to move aggressively without enough horses.

This may explain why there has been a growing number of blog posts and articles about the importance of startup founders knowing how to code, even if their efforts are pretty basic. It also accounts for the interest in training/education startups such as Codecademy, Don’t Fear the Internet and Treehouse, which help people learn how to code or improve their skills.

Over the past few years, the barriers to entry to create an online startup have crumbled as costs are come way down. It’s easier than ever for someone with a good idea to turn it into a service. The challenge is attracting enough talent (developers, design, marketing and sales) to transform the idea into a viable and vibrant business.

It is the proliferation of ideas that’s turning developers into rock stars. Having top-notch talent and a team that can drive and support a startup’s growth can be a major competitive differentiator.

The problem is there doesn’t appear to be enough talent to support all these ideas, which leaves many of them wilting on the vine.

What do you think? Are ideas dying on the vine due to a lack developers?

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  • Matthew Slutsky

    I do not think that the issue is a lack of developers, but a lack of funds need to pay for the developers and all the other costs associated with a startup.

    Sure, over the past 5ish years the cost of starting a new online company has dramatically decreased. Sure, it is a heck of a lot cheaper to start a website than a retail store. But, don’t be fooled, it still takes capital.

    Having a “brilliant” idea just isn’t enough. Then again, everyone’s ideas are “brilliant”, but you can tell if one really is brilliant if they are able to raise the needed $$ to start it.

    • Mark Evans

      Matthew: Good point about having the capital to pay developers. cheers, Mark

  • Larry Borsato

    I have to agree with Matthew. There seem to be plenty of developers but everybody wants a cheap app; that seems to be their ultimate goal. There seem to be numerous offshore development shops who are willing to meet this need.

    I do multi-platform mobile development among other things and my door isn’t being pounded down, but companies do seem hungry for recent grads.

  • o

    Too many ideas. Another bubble about to implode.