Well Done Guy! Chris DeVore is a Cheapskate

I just caught this article from Mashable and I just had to pipe in. In the article, Mashable’s Kristen Nicole claims Guy Kawasaki paid too much for the development of AllTop, at $10,000. They compare it to Askablogr.com, claiming Chris DeVore only paid $7500 for the development of Askablogr, with its rich feature-set.

I was blown away by this! Not that Guy Kawasaki paid $10,000, but that Chris DeVore only paid $7500 for Askablogr. Now, I don’t know Chris, so take this with a grain of salt, but some call it a deal. I say he’s a cheapskate! For something that will be your primary revenue source and your main line of business, $10,000 for something like Alltop.com is a steal! The fact that Chris DeVore only paid $7500 for his development means he’s either hiring offshore, doing the development himself (in which those costs are way under-inflated), or he’s very much underpaying a bunch of gullible developers that probably don’t believe much in the product they’re working on.

As a business owner, when supporting a technology-based business, it is of utmost importance that you put your developers and IT staff at first priority. They are your bottom-line, and should be the superstars of your business. You have to keep in mind that for top notch developers and technology, you’re competing with the likes of Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and others to get the best talent. By not paying your developers, you will either a) lose your developers very quickly, b) have a revolution at one time in your future and your developers will all back out on you in rapid succession, or c) not get the best work and skills you could be getting, and you’ll definitely run into scalability issues as your site grows in the future.

I recently finished the book, “My Startup Life“, by Ben Casnochas. I bet Guy’s read it and Chris hasn’t. In it, Casnochas talks about the lessons he learned by not paying his lead developer well. He quickly had threats of the staff to leave, and they quickly ran into scalability issues due to the unexperienced offshores they were hiring overseas. In building a technology-based business it is of utmost importance that you pay and treat your IT staff well or it will come back to bite you in the future.

So, Kristen, I say Guy is the smart one in this case. I am willing to bet his site scales better, his developers are happier, and more likely to work with him in the future. Guy’s likely to get millions for Alltop.com in the future, should it succeed, so $10,000 is a very small price to pay to get good developers on staff.

UPDATE: See Chris’s comment here: http://staynalive.com/articles/2008/03/21/well-done-guy-chris-devore-is-a-cheapskate/#comment-2126. I probably inappropriately labeled Chris a cheapskate while trying to defend Guy. It turns out (and I should point out, unless I read it wrong, that the Mashable article did not make this very clear either) that Chris’s project was a project built simply to point out how cheap something could be developed. In that case it would make him an intentional cheapskate, not that there’s anything wrong with that. As I mentioned, I’m a cheapskate too – I just don’t see the reason to short projects in development costs when it is the core to the business. It is an interesting experiment regardless. Thanks for visiting Chris!

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jessestay

Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called SocialToo.com which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

0 thoughts on “Well Done Guy! Chris DeVore is a Cheapskate”

  1. Hey Jesse – thanks for the mention, your post made me laugh out loud. If you did a little more homework (try searching my blog for Askablogr references), you'd learn that Askablogr isn't a company, it's a demonstration project for how little it costs to build and ship functional software. Guy's making a similar point with his projects, he's just telling the story a little differently. Don't get me wrong – I *am* a cheapskate – but if you're going to slag someone online you owe it to them to get your facts straight first. Cheers!

  2. Hey Jesse – thanks for the mention, your post made me laugh out loud. If you did a little more homework (try searching my blog for Askablogr references), you'd learn that Askablogr isn't a company, it's a demonstration project for how little it costs to build and ship functional software. Guy's making a similar point with his projects, he's just telling the story a little differently. Don't get me wrong – I *am* a cheapskate – but if you're going to slag someone online you owe it to them to get your facts straight first. Cheers!

  3. Chris, thanks for visiting! I did not realize that and I'll post an update to make that clear. I wasn't trying to necessarily point you out as a cheapskate (you were just an easy target), but rather point out the fact that a lot of startups don't pay their developers enough. I was mostly defending Guy because Kristen said he paid too much – I disagree. If it makes you feel any better, I'm a cheapskate, too – I just have to stick up for developers since I started out as one. 🙂

  4. Chris, thanks for visiting! I did not realize that and I'll post an update to make that clear. I wasn't trying to necessarily point you out as a cheapskate (you were just an easy target), but rather point out the fact that a lot of startups don't pay their developers enough. I was mostly defending Guy because Kristen said he paid too much – I disagree. If it makes you feel any better, I'm a cheapskate, too – I just have to stick up for developers since I started out as one. 🙂

  5. Chris, thanks for visiting! I did not realize that and I'll post an update to make that clear. I wasn't trying to necessarily point you out as a cheapskate (you were just an easy target), but rather point out the fact that a lot of startups don't pay their developers enough. I was mostly defending Guy because Kristen said he paid too much – I disagree. If it makes you feel any better, I'm a cheapskate, too – I just have to stick up for developers since I started out as one. 🙂

  6. Hey Jesse – thanks for the mention, your post made me laugh out loud. If you did a little more homework (try searching my blog for Askablogr references), you'd learn that Askablogr isn't a company, it's a demonstration project for how little it costs to build and ship functional software. Guy's making a similar point with his projects, he's just telling the story a little differently. Don't get me wrong – I *am* a cheapskate – but if you're going to slag someone online you owe it to them to get your facts straight first. Cheers!

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