Very often, I get requests like:

“I’ve got this idea we can do and we will just split it down the middle, 50/50. I’ll do the business work and you do the coding.”

This is a really unfair request, and can be a little rude. I have to say no to an average of one of these a week, and inevitably the person asking gets personally offended.

The problem is not with your idea, it’s that success is all in the execution. For most ideas, the coder will be executing for something like 3-6 months before any real business can start.

An analogous request would be to approach a home builder and give this proposition:

“I’ve got a great idea for an apartment complex - I have it all planned out. The project is pretty large, so I’m guessing it’ll be 3-6 months of work until we get our first set of renters.

During that time I’ll be placing ads and finding retail partners for our first floor.

This complex will take a lot of work, so we’ll both be working at least 60 hours per week.

We will split the revenue 50/50. If we sell it in 7-10 years, we will split the proceeds from the sale 50/50 then too.”

No home builder would go for this - and it’s a way better proposition than starting a software company.

A home builder is selling a product with known demand & sales of the company/apartment complex happen all the time. When you’re starting a software company, you don’t even know what you’re building, much less if people will want it.

Update: Here’s another post talking about this.