Finding A Partner In An Unexpected Place
UGH! Discouraged but not defeated, Alex declined the $300 conversation, put the drawings online, and invited software developers from around the world to bid on the project. That led to Alex “skyping” with developers in places ranging from South America to Asia, discussing the project. Video conferencing wasn’t a thing in 2008, and internet connections were often not good enough to reliably support the calls. Alex still managed to establish a bidding process and invited firms to bid on building “version 1” based on the drawings.
One firm in Jaipur, India, completely ignored Alex’s bidding process. Instead, they just started building the software. Yes, that’s right. They took the designs Alex had shared and just started building it. Bold! Every few days, they would message Alex with a link to a site where Alex could see their progress, and they would ask for feedback.
Alex’s response was always, “Yeah, I mean, it looks pretty good. But you know you don’t have the contract yet, right?” Yeah, we know, but we think we’re going to get it.
Once the Jaipur team was 80% done with the project, Alex got nervous. Price hadn’t been discussed yet. He was still seeking bids.
He asked the Jaipur team what they expected to be paid. They asked Alex what his budget was. Alex said $12,500; they said that would be fine. And just like that, BerniePortal 1.0 was launched near the end of 2008. It felt GREAT to have BerniePortal 1.0 live!