I feel like I’m actually quite privileged to have this ‘problem’. As I build my product, I inevitably end up showing it to a lot of people. Not only am I excited and really enjoy getting feedback, but this has helped me flesh out a lot of details and come up with new ideas I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

One thing I am finding, is that quite a lot of people want to help out. A few people have told me “whatever you need, I want to help, let me know if I can” but the issue is that right now what I need is more engineering manpower but most of these people don’t have any kind of programming or EE background. I usually try to just say “Yeah I’d love that, but right now I can’t even pay myself to work on this!” and I’ll typically get the response that they just want to get in and help, no pay necessary. I always tell them that I’ll keep them in the loop.

I know maybe some of these people just see dollar signs of an exciting new venture and want to get in early, but I think even if that is the case, the fact that they see the potential the same way I do, maybe shouldn’t be overlooked. I just think that while the enthusiasm is great, the between “just helping out” and eventually becoming an equity-holding member of some company is blurred. Like my biggest fear is that I have someone help out with a couple things and that’s it, and then maybe the company really grows later on, and then they feel slighted that I didn’t include them further or maybe feel they have a right to some ownership (which of course, they may). I want to reward everyone who helps me along the way and believes in me (not just in this venture!) but I’m afraid of maybe making commitments that might not be clear to both of us, if that makes any sense.

For example, my roommate really likes the product and always wants to talk about it. He keeps telling me that he wants to help out any way, but he doesn’t know any kind of programming. He’s doing some self-learning now about Python/servers/ as I said that is something I might need help with once I’m done with the first component of this project. He’s an artistic person, really more inclined to music/art, but is about to graduate with some kind of chemistry degree. I think that a person like him could help a lot, but maybe not right now. I think he could be really interesting as a marketing/advertising person and I’m thinking about just having him do some kind of marketing plans. I’m just unsure how to approach this. I’d love to get everyone involved. In fact, my goal is to hire as many
friends as possible in the future (if such a even comes), although I’m sure some people here would dissuade me from that.

Any advice on this kind of situation?

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