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I have an idea for a web application and have some good people keen to get involved. I will be doing most of the code at the start and have a few years experience with some quite large projects. I have nearly 0 budget.

What view should I take with regard to data storage / database? Get the project running quickly and inexpensively, then re-evaluate if it is a success?

Does anyone have experience with this and advice?

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closed as not constructive by gnat, Jim G., Walter, Yusubov, MainMa Oct 17 '12 at 21:44

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Minimum. Viable. Product. Stop worrying about this stuff and get one online ASAP. This is the only way to know if what you're building is worth anything to anyone. –  jozzas Oct 16 '12 at 3:15
I totally agree to @jozzas. For details see Minimum_viable_product. If this where an answer instead of a comment i would have upvoted it. –  k3b Oct 16 '12 at 5:02
How did you decide on the alias 'marabutt'? Is that a family name? Or a nickname of endearment? –  Jim G. Oct 16 '12 at 9:49

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

My advise is as you suggested, Get the project running quickly and inexpensively, then re-evaluate if it is a success - Most start-ups don't get the re-evaluate stage because of one of these

  1. The product does not not fill a need
  2. Another product beat them to it
  3. The money runs out before the product launches and generates revenue
  4. Technically the product cannot be made to work right with the chosen tools

In case 1, it won't matter what you do, in case 2 and 3, best to get it out there as soon as possible. Case 4 is rare, and even more rarely, would the correct technology have been used from the start, without falling into cases 2 or 3.

So what I suggest is "quick and dirty, delivered within budget" is better than "Perfect, over budget, over time and bust". Only you can play that balancing act of whats the right balance of Quick vs Perfect.

However I also believe the total cost is similar - by doing "Quick and Dirty" what you are really doing is not saving money, you are deferring spending it till (and if) you can afford to, i.e. Taking on technical debt. As you are in start-up m mode there is a high chance you will fail before you need to payback that debt, and you need to reduce that to a minimum. There is a risk that in the future the technical debt will wipe you out as well - but worrying about that is like worrying your parachute might not open if you jump, when the plane is on fire.....

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Love the last bit :D –  Simon Whitehead Oct 16 '12 at 6:09
thanks... you have really explained things well! –  marabutt Oct 16 '12 at 8:58
+1. Step 1 Build a minimum viable product. Step 2 Profit! Step 3 Lie on beach spending the profit, while your hordes of new developers work on the fully scalable version. Only oversee this work yourself if it feels like fun. –  MarkJ Oct 16 '12 at 10:48

You can run your project on an Amazon EC2 Micro Instance and a free Amazon RDS Micro Instance free for 1 year. This should help you get started until you have money coming in.

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good idea!! I wonder if everyone on the project can signup and we can build a cluster of micro machines. –  marabutt Oct 16 '12 at 3:02

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