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BGray
03-18-2006, 04:50 AM
Hello All,

I've been wanting to setup a webmaster collaboration project for a while now but have struggled with some of the perceived road blocks in doing so.

After, quite a bit of thought I think I've ironed out many of them and I want to present a project I'm looking to start and get your feedback. Below is the general framework of the project. I've got a lot of the details thought out as well and would like to hear what you all think.

Webmaster Collaboration Project (WebmasterCollaboration.com)

Synopsis: For a small group of investing webmasters to create an online empire and generate wealth.

Objective: To acquire a small group (5-20) investing partners with unique skill sets to create a web publishing business starting with one website. Revenues will be used to expand the project into a website network.

Model: The project will operate with a pseudo corporate business structure. Applications will be taken from webmasters interested in investing $1000(perhaps less?) to start an online business project. Based on needed skill sets 5-20 webmasters will be chosen. The money invested will start as the capital for the business and will be invested to operate. Each investor will acquire 1 share of the project for each dollar invested with all investors starting with the same amount of shares. Based upon an agreed value model (ex: Monthly net income x 12 months) once the project value exceeds the initial investment shares will increase in value and become unlocked to allow investors to sell/buy individual shares of the project (prior to exceeding the initial investment an investor can only sell his/her entire lump sum of shares). As value increases shares may be split.

Execution: All decisions will be made on a popular vote basis by investors with a required number of shares (ex: 800 based off the initial startup). All work will be done on a contract basis. The project will attain quotes on a worldwide basis for needed work. If an internal investor would like to execute said work they will have the first right of refusal based on the attained quotes. Upon successfully completing the work the investor will be paid as a contractor for that work. Parties will be given roles within the project and will be expected to regularly check a communication board and be willing to devote at least 5 hours per week to the project.

The initial project website will be agreed upon by the group as will subsequent additional projects or property acquisitions.

Skill sets/experience desired: Project management, US tax and business structure knowledge, successful online monetization experience, web design, web graphics, various coding capabilities, web marketing and search engine optimization, business acumen, ability to work well in a group.

Who am I?
Bryan Gray.
Iím 29 and have been creating websites as a hobby since 2002.
I work as a global procurement sourcing manager for large projects in the oil and gas industry.
My skill sets include web publishing, project management and execution, low cost sourcing, forum/group administration.

The initial project will be agreed upon by the project group but I have several initial site ideas with good domain names I will donate to the project.


I'm only posting this here for now as I feel the niche of this website would give me the best feedback for this concept.

Questions,Comments,Thoughts, Interest?

ses5909
03-19-2006, 05:39 AM
I think the general idea is good but I'm not sure if you will get people to just invest their money without a proven product. Most people are willing to take a risk with their time rather than their money. A friend and I recently joined to do just as you did. Neither of us put any money forward. Instead we decided to use the money we made and reinvest it into our projects.

Good luck with your collaboration.

BGray
03-19-2006, 06:10 AM
Thanks for the feedback ses.

You are probably right and I was thinking perhaps it would be good to lower the initial investment. However, the investment has two purposes.

1) Shows commitment to the project
2) Allows for a start up pool of funds so there will be less disputes over who does what

The main problem I see with a collaboration is having everyone pull their weight. If you do everything as a brain trust with work being done on a contract basis that problem will somewhat go away. However, there needs to be funds to pay for the work (whether it be a person inside or outside the group).

The investment mentioned is high and should maybe be lowered but I think it in the end is necessary. The project is designed to be a fun learning experience and while it won't start with a proven product that will be the challenge.

Thanks again for the feedback.

MarkB
03-19-2006, 08:36 AM
One main dispute will be how people value others' work. If someone investing $1,000 does development, for example, will they consider their investment equal to someone who does, say, press releases, or SEO? And if not, how do you combat this?

BGray
03-19-2006, 08:58 AM
Mark,

All work is outsourced and agreed upon as needed. You're issue is the main road block I saw in starting a project like this and that is why work is to be outsourced. The project is more of a collection of ideas and experiences then executing on them. The actual work is outsourced on a contract basis. If a member is capable of doing a portion of the work and wants to they will be paid the rate that would have been paid if the work was contracted outside.

Smaller tasks can be done using the skill sets of the project group but anything significant will be paid for from the project capital to avoid such disputes.

Sure, there will be challenges getting everyone to agree on every issue and that will always exist but in those cases decisions would be made based on popular vote.

FPU
03-19-2006, 09:48 AM
It sounds like a good idea, but experts that can do the work of development and hosting the sites are worth more than money!

Why not just partner with people that can code and host and forget about the investment part of it because you can get into all kinds of lawsuits when getting involved with securities and partnerships!

In other words managing investors money can end up costing more in legal fees than it is worth if it is mismanaged.

I would find one partner that has development skills and understands server administration and get started that way, once positive cash flow is established you can pitch the holding company to professional venture capitalists and figure out what kind of corporate structure to use then!

BGray
03-19-2006, 02:04 PM
FPU,

Thanks for the feedback but I think you missed the idea. The investors will have all the skills necessary but the issue becomes who is doing what and who isn't. Work is contracted by the group to avoid such issues. The server/coding/design skills aren't the main focus of the project. It is creating an idea as a group of experienced webmasters and executing on that idea. There will not be one person managing the money. All decisions would be discussed and made as a group.

FPU
03-19-2006, 02:18 PM
I understand, but what you have is a group of investors, that creates problems, there are security laws when you break up shares of a corporation and unless the investments are large the administrative costs of accounting and legal will eat up everything, in addition should just one investor file a lawsuit that the others in the group have to defend you could be dead before you start!

Have you thought about the corporate structure and have you discussed how to administrate such an idea with an accountant or an attorney?

BGray
03-19-2006, 02:22 PM
That would always be an issue with any partnership, investment or not, once there is value you have that issue. It will definitely be a topic up front.

FPU
03-19-2006, 02:47 PM
You have the issue before you start, you have to tell people what they are getting up front before they invest.

BGray
03-19-2006, 03:13 PM
This is well understood FPU.
Again, I think you've missed the point. It's not "me" and "the investors".

It is a group that makes all decisions together. The legal and business structure will be the first issue of the project and a very important one.

It is part of the process. The framework will be laid out and open for debate before anyone has to committ.

It is a project which means there will be a series of milestones to be met to execute the project. Before doing any of the website creation one of the first tasks is organization and structure.

FPU
03-19-2006, 03:31 PM
Well I would not waste time with any investor that is not willing to invest at least $10,000.00, it is not worth the risk to be honest about it!

Jon
03-30-2006, 08:36 PM
Interesting concept to say the least. There are a ton of flaws though. You said that all work is outsourced, well, what's the point of having experts part of the group if the work is going to be farmed out to someone who isn't an expert? I also think your minimum investment amount is far too low. Something to the tune of $10k-$30k would be a lot smarter, as it would weed out the guys who aren't really experts in their field.

It more or less sounds like a mini-commando group on the internet. It's a great idea on paper, but why would these experts want to drop what they are currently doing, and join up with others, when they can literally hire an outsourcing team and a project manager, and just go that route. It's cheaper, safer, and you get 100% of the profits instead of a shared percentage.

I do like the fact that it pools experts in different fields together though. I've always wanted to join a project like that, which combines experts from every market and utilizes eachother's strengths where it's needed. Definitely gives you a lot less tension and stress levels than if you were doing it alone. But really, I think it's just that, a good idea and wouldn't really work in person. If you did want it to work, you'd also need to figure out a leadership position, and either hire an outsider to be the CEO and manage and run the project, or vote on someone to have as a president, where they only get a predetermined length of time, like here in the US. You'd definitely need some sort of private government running the show, because there always needs some type of control in order to keep things on schedule and on track.

Overall, I would not take part in it, only because it would interfere with my goals of taking over the world someday. But I wouldn't mind having you and your unit as a competitor, it would definitely make for some interesting entertainment and competition! :thumbs_up

Emancipator
03-30-2006, 09:14 PM
Good post Jon. And invest $10k? Holy geese. I started all my sites with coffee change. I would NEVER put $10k into a site. Reason? Risk vs Return. I risk $10 i get a good return, great. If not? Damn i skip lunch one day. I loose 10k? I throw myself off a bridge.

BGray
03-31-2006, 03:22 AM
Ha, thanks for the replies fellas.

Jon,
You have some good points that I'll address but I'll start off by saying I'm personally going to move this to the back burner for a while.

In response to your comments.

-Outsourcing would be almost a must to make the job work to avoid conflicts. Just because something is outsourced doesn't mean the work has to be done by someone that is subpar. Having someone experienced in that skill set on the project only helps. If no one is experienced with something that is outsourced there is probably a higher chance something will be missed because no one has done it before or not at least on the level that they really know what they need and what to avoid.

-The question of why would someone doing well drop what they are doing to do this is a good one. My first response would be that with what I've mentioned above it shouldn't be too demanding as far as time and it would be a good experience to work with others that might bring some benefitial ideas/concepts to the table that could help you in you own work. Mostly just to get a chance to work with some of your peers on a challenging project. Is fun too much of a stretch?

-As far as the money goes the more than you have to start up the better, I'll agree to that. In reality I'm not sure the project would ever get off the ground if the start up was that high though.

After seeing your goals I can imagine you wouldn't have time for something like this Jon. I certainly wouldn't want to be one to try and stop you either. ;)
Good luck..........not that you need it.