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Create a Website for DIY niche market

OkasonOkason subscriber Posts: 3
edited March 2009 in Business Planning
OK I have a business idea that I want to share with the community and sincerely hope that someone will share their thoughts with me. I will be as brief as possible so as not to take up a lot of your time but if you need more specifics please ask.

Business Idea

The business idea is bringing two proven technologies together or another way to put it is to take a semi premium good and make it a commodity. This idea involves social networking, but with a difference. I am going to take a do it yourself (DIY) product and integrate it into a social networking website. So visitors and members of this site are not just “hanging out”. They are actually doing something – solving a problem or creating value for their time.
This DIY product is obviously targeted to a niche market, and there are medium to big players in this niche. But none as far as my research has revealed has offered their product in this format.

Monetizing Plan

Basic membership is free

Modest fee for premium functionalities

Professionals pay to offer their services to members who request such service

Traditional and creative advertising

Among others

My Background

Mid thirties, married with a toddler, have been working in IT for 4 years, at the moment a Junior Sys Admin. Strong entrepreneurial spirit or I should say always want to be an entrepreneur. Have a modestly successful yahoo store. Strong HTML, CSS and basic PHP and MySQL. Attending college at an adult oriented university here in San Diego, CA and majoring in Computer Information System. Very good grasp of e-commerce terminologies, concepts and trends and strong appetite to learn new things!


The main application for this proposed site is a medium to complex web application. There are many off the shelf social networking scripts or software so the main challenge is the DIY application. The two options I see are to learn to develop it myself (and that will be a very step learning curve) or hire a developer. Both options have their merits and cons. It would be nice if I develop this app myself, then I can provide support for it besides the savings but it will take forever for me to learn how to develop the web application myself.
The downside to option 2 is cost, just to give you an idea I have ran this concept in elance, rent a coder etc and the reasonable bids are around $8000 so I multiplied this by 2.5 and decided it will cost around $20000.


From my calculation I think that $30,000 can bootstrap this venture. With some luck in convincing my wife I can provide at least half of this figure. Other options to complete the funding include seeking a partner, investor, loan etc.


I have other info but let me end for now, however I should add that my market research consist of extensive unorthodox research by myself and of course pure instinct. So should I purse this venture?, should I outsource the development, should I teach myself .net (as I have already know that this will be developed using .net) should I seek a partner since (that would be interesting since the idea is still crude and not supported by “professional” research and verifiable numbers. Or should I give it out and let other people take it up as Mark Cuban suggested in his open source funding concept.
This is definitely not the next big thing, but I see a need and I want to profitably fulfill it. Any thoughts and advice is appreciated.
Okason3/16/2009 7:21 PM


  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    Ok I`m assuming the DYI is that you want to teach yourself asp.net... My question to you is: Why? For starters, if you already feel comfortable in PHP/MYSQL, why would you want to switch around and go in the other direction.
    The learning curve for ASP.net, is not going to be that easy for someone that wants to start a Social Media Network... Secondly, from personal experince and because I code in ASP.net, I wouldn`t suggest you build a social network in ASP.net, it`s not stable enough as to say "This is my Technology of Choice"...
    If you want to build a Social Media Network, and again it goes back to the features you want on it, if you`re going to Netstream content (Videos) I would suggest you go with RED5, and if you just want basic functionality with minimal Streaming, try using Joomla and the new Joomunity component or the JoomSocial Community Modules.... I`m in the middle of building a Social Media Network using the Joomla Engine and Custom Made Components and Modules... So basically I`m just using the Engine... If you feel comfortable with PHP/MYSQL then your bailout would be open source... Less time developing... and more time on Marketing.. 
  • OkasonOkason subscriber Posts: 3
    Thank you guys for your valuable feedback. The emphasis for this business idea is the `tool` that I am hoping to present visitors to this site. The reason I mentioned .net is that the programmers who responded to the project in Elance and Rent a Coder all proposed to build the application using .net
    The majority of this product in the market are stand alone desktop application, so I am proposing to provide it online. Ok, for the interest of full disclosure, what I am proposing is an Online Home Design Software where members can design their dream homes online. Imagine a social network where your home page is your dream home. The closest to this is www.plan3d.com. Enough said for now.
    Thanks again for your time.
  • robertjrobertj subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Since you`ve received several inputs on the technical aspects -I`d like to offer a couple of comments on the business side.
    1. I`d suggest doing more to flesh out your business model.
    2. You don`t mention marketing (activities or expense) so I`d recommend giving that more consideration before you invest $20-$30K .
  • OkasonOkason subscriber Posts: 3
    Rob, thanks for your comment, I included marketing and other start-up administrative cost to the figure you mentioned. I am looking at $20K for development and $10K for launching and administrative cost. It is just an estimate though. While my business plan/model is not fully `fleshed out` it is much more comprehensive than outlined here.
    Thanks for your input.
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    As a programmer and web designer, I can already see this project going down the drain. If you`re going to do such thing "home design software on the net" you don`t need to go with ASP.net, You can still use PHP/MYSQL for the Community / Social Network, but you`re going to have to integrate Flash Action Scripting on the platform (almost like the make your own logo software). or for better handling and just to show your end users that your product is the best in the industry, you might want to go with FLEX and AJAX to minimize stress on the Bandwidth ... These are the technologies that you need to make this happen. I think that only online community that uses asp (microsoft is S.U.N)
    The application shouldn`t be more than 12K, which leaves you with plenty of money to address RobertJ`s concerns...
  • OkasonOkason subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks everyone for your comments, the points are all well taken. That is the beauty of a community like this; for someone to come and get valuable feedbacks from people with diverse backgrounds.
    I will continue to refine the idea and/or seek alternatives for it.
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