Designer looking for a Programmer for long-term partnership
Ruby on Rails, PHP**, passion, flexibility, brainstorming, and how to plan & map a project
First and foremost: you are a Ruby on Rails developer (see note below), passionate about what you do, and looking for a good opportunity to not only make money, but be a principal partner with a new company, Coachella Valley Trading Company, aka CoTradeCo.
NOTE: The project is not so far along that switching from Ruby to PHP is out of the question. In fact for interested people I would like to hear arguments both ways as to whether using Ruby is even a good idea for our situation.
About the Company
CoTradeCo is intended as an online trading post (and themed as such) with shopping and social networking. The traditional trading post was not only a place to buy supplies, but used as an information source, and meeting point for travelers and traders. CoTradeCo will use this model to build a primarily user content driven site of personal and professional user submitted content that is fun and useful in it's own right, but also let user profiles help promote and recommend useful products from their own experience.
The initial line of products being sold include Pelican cases and flash lights and CamelBak hydration and cargo supplies to name a few. These are sold to industries and individuals who actually get geeky and like to talk about the new stuff available for their profession or hobbies. Such as firefighters, police officers, stage hands, and people working in industrial or manufacturing environments. You will often find that these people love to talk shop, and especially love to show off their cool new flashlight, water backpack, or custom case. Basically they love talking about their tools. The web presence is intended to provide a forum for doing that but extending further into easy ways to share tips and advice within specific professions and lifestyles.
The long term goal is to slowly begin expanding out from the intial product lines and communities and add overlapping products and services to migrate into more of a general store under the same theme. But to help keep the company and especially the web site focused in the beginning, we are limiting ourselves somewhat to the products and clientelle that the partners have been working with for years.
While the website is vital and integral to the long term plans of the company, this project is unique in that it will be selling offline through the partners, and possibly with hired sales people to large accounts in business, military, utilities, and municipalities. Meaning that the web presence can be grown slowly and surely over time, as long as each update release is solid and polished.
There are currently 4 principal partners. I am the head of design and marketing having been operating a small design and development firm for years. The other three partners owned/worked for a successful business working in the same industry for over 30 years. They sold that company to a larger corporation and stayed on with the buying company, but ultimately decided they didn't like the direction the corporation was going so started brainstorming on something new. Thus CoTradeCo was born.
About the position
We are looking for a lead developer and technology advisor. You would be responsible for making all decisions regarding technology and advising on website functionality. The other partners will be working on offline sales accounts, processing online orders, and moderating content. You and I will work closely together to continue to grow useful features for the people we serve, as well as adding tools and features to help our sales team in the real world.
I would list specific knowledge required but any qualified web developer, working in Ruby on Rails, especially one who is interested in becoming a business owner, is undoubtedly going to know what is required to get things done.
By necessity this company is starting with a small group of people. In the beginning it may be necessary for you to help administer the server and contribute to simple IT tasks until we begin proper hiring.
While this project is the primary purpose of this listing, it is important to note that I separately operate a design and development firm. While I am attempting to slowly migrate away from third party (i.e. hourly/bid) development, the fact remains that I still have existing clients that need work done from time to time and continue to get requests for new projects despite focusing nearly all my energy on the new company. There are circumstances within my company that are making things difficult.
About the situation
This is a small operation with a lot of creative energy (though at a glance cases and flashlights can sound a bit stale) and a huge profit potential. We are looking for the right person who is willing to offer their knowledge and development skills as their buy-in and become a major player in a fun idea. There is not a lot of start up capital, and sadly what there is going mostly towards buying-in with the vendors we will be working with (cost of initial product stock purchases and setting up accounts). While we might be able to negotiate some kind of nominal cash stipend, there is no way we can guarantee full income in the next month possibly two while we begin selling. We are just officially opening our doors in the coming week.
We have the project already underway and being developed with Ruby on Rails. While we have gotten a lot of work done, in our haste and for reasons not disclosed here, the project has lost focus and is currently suffering. Ultimately I may be losing my current programmer/partner and this is killing both my design business and the completion and growth of CoTradeCo.
As I already mentioned the current implementation of the site has lost focus, and was hastily thrown together in the past month. You can see the "concept" as it is currently implemented at http://cotradeco.com . But bear in mind that design and flow are only temporary. We HAD to get something going. What you see hints at what we are trying to accomplish, but we would be seeking your active input in refocusing and retooling the plan to ensure the website's success.
For a variety of reasons I do not want to discuss this publicly in much more detail here, but would be happy to answer any questions you have directly and discuss financials more specifically.
If you have the talent and motivation we want to hear from you. Please tell us a little about yourself: background, history, and portfolio/samples as well as how to contact you.
* In reference to specific qualifications and necessary knowledge, as I'm not the programmer, preferences to certain solutions such as things like jQuery would be left to the programmers discretion and wisdom, but some things are already developed using certain technologies. A programmer brought in might be asked to assist with previous client needs in several languages (e.g. Cold Fusion, PHP, and ASP) and should be comfortable with these concepts and open minded enough to work with/around these rare situations. But for all new work, you would be the deciding factor on what and how things were technically executed.
** As I noted at the beginning of the listing, it is unclear to me, the "designer" if choosing Ruby was even the best idea. Philosophically and conceptually I am in love with Ruby. However, I am not the programmer. While development does seem fast, it already appears, in my limited knowledge, as though Ruby on Rails might not be an ideal choice. So again, I am deferring to the experience and wisdom of those who know much more than I, and certainly than my business partners, as to what technologies should be implemented. But please be able to explain the pros and cons anytime we make a major decision such as this.