Want 2 build the “Next Twitter|Facebook|Instagram”?

Recently, I read a fascinating (yet a little old) blog post on The Next Web titled “how much it costs to build the world’s hottest startups“, and it reminded me of many conversations that I’ve had with aspiring entrepreneurs and startup founders who seek my services. Comments and questions tend to follow a predictable pattern:

“I have a great idea which could be the next [Insert Popular App Co. Here].  How much can I expect to pay for developers?  When should I start looking for investors?  How long should I wait before ‘going public’?”

As someone’s attorney, I’m best suited to advise on the legal issues related to their entity formation or fundraising goals; however, I think The New Web’s blog post had some interesting takeaways that I’ll outline here:

(1) Consider storage, i.e. server, costs for apps that plan to have large numbers of users.  If your prospective app hopes to be the Next Best Thing that Everyone Has to Use, expect to need (and burn) a lot of cash to pay for hosting all of that data.

(2) Learn the lingo. Become familiar with terms, such as “Minimum Viable Product” also known as “MVP”, so when you meet with developers, you can demonstrate some competency.  By learning the lingo, you may become (or at least appear) knowledgeable about the development process, which may help improve your cost bargaining position.

(3) Find that Intangible. From a technological standpoint, building the Next ___ becomes easier and cheaper.  What makes someone’s app the Next Big Thing is that intangible solution prior technologies missed or flatly ignored.

Go on and build it so they will come 🙂