Hi, I'm John Rake
I help bold entrepreneurs solve big problems with software.
Dream big, and pack a parachute
As an entrepreneur myself, I know first hand the struggles we all face. Our heads are filled with a million ideas constantly swirling around, making it hard (or impossible) to focus. Our lists of tasks, todos, and goals are never-ending. We wake up in the middle of the night worried if we’re doing the right thing, building the right product, or serving the right customers.
We endure it all while risking our own time, sweat, and hard-earned money in the process. To the outside world, we are crazy. When others see you are “crazy” building a business becomes such a lonely grind.
Your friends and family love you – that’s why they want you to have a “comfortable” life. They don’t get it because they aren’t hard-wired like we are. They don’t see the vision and dreams baked into all those doodles, sketches, and lists you’ve created.
No, instead, they see the ramblings of a madman (or madwoman!) predicting the future.
They may not understand, but I do. I get it, 110%. Where others see risk and pain, I see the vision of what’s possible and a reward worth pursuing.
I see desire – Your desire to change the world, to make an impact, even if it’s just one user at a time.
When I first stepped into the entrepreneurship arena, I jumped off the cliff. And then I fell. Over and over and over again. What I didn’t know is that if you plan on taking a “leap of faith,” you better have a damn good parachute.
Consider me your parachute. As my first action of “parachuting duties,” I’ll let you in on a few secrets most people in your shoes don’t know that cost them thousands of dollars.
I won’t let your dream become a digital paperweight
I’ve seen so many entrepreneurs partner with standard development firms to create their MVP (minimal viable products).
And honestly, the majority of these projects are failures. They never make a cent.
The founders often don’t consider it a failure because they launched a thing into the world. But that’s not a metric for success. Revenue, user engagement, solving a customer’s problem, etc. – these are success metrics.
But you can stand out from the crowd and market clogging riff-raff. You can avoid these same mistakes that send brand new apps straight to the graveyard.
1. Find people you trust. First off, you need to always work with a developer you trust with the delicate nature of your business. I’m not saying run around with NDAs hoping nobody spills the beans. Instead, partner with people who you can trust without an NDA. Find people you trust.
2. Partner with people you like. Second, find someone you can actually get along with outside of a business context. Just because you’re “in business” doesn’t me you have to work with crappy people you don’t like. Is that really a positive way to spend your precious time?
If you can’t picture grabbing a beer with them to celebrate when it’s all over, that’s a red flag you two don’t get along well.
3. Stay LEAN, be adaptable. Lastly, be extremely cautious about vendors who charge enormous upfront costs to get the project started (50% upfront kind of stuff).
These are the same people who will outline your whole project into a contract and then nitpick you a million ways to Sunday what is or is not “in project scope” months from now.
You know what, just avoid people who create massive contracts and scope of work documents upfront and then treat them as binding restrictions.
You’re an early-stage company that is building an MVP for your product offering. It’s literally impossible to know all the right moves!
Keep your processes light, build and iterate quickly, and learn from real customers. That’s how you make a successful business from the ground up. And that’s how we’ll build your app together.
Let’s build something great together
I’m a seasoned app developer and a digital partner to a startup incubator. Each year I help dozens of entrepreneurs vet their ideas, prototype their products in record speed, and quickly launch them to the market for essential customer feedback.
On top of this experience, I’ve also launched two startups of my own. I sit as a judge for my incubator’s shark tank application process. I live and breathe early-stage, bootstrapped startups. Working with founders sets me on fire, and bring that same energy to your venture.
Over the years, I’ve seen hundreds of founders and entrepreneurs develop a wide variety of applications. During this process, I have distilled the top business-killing mistakes that predict an app’s success or failure – yes, even before the app is ever developed or launched.
If you’re even thinking about developing an app, then join my email community for this free resource. This 100% free guide will save you thousands of dollars and a massive amount of time by leveraging the exact knowledge that I gathered over the last decade.