I felt comfortable that the results of my research indicated there was a niche to be filled by starting a Social Networking Website for Baby Boomers. So, how do I start a website? First, I got a mentor. We have a family friend whose son, Jack Moffitt, is a computer scientist and software developer. He is co-author of the GNU GPL licensed streaming media server Icecast. Then he went on to develop http://www.chesspark.com/ and most recently http://www.collecta.com/. Jack started his first company while he was a student at Southern Methodist University and I guessed that he only had a shoestring budget to begin with too.
I contacted Jack by phone and he was amazingly generous with his time and advice. I took copious notes and tried to implement all that he suggested. He said that first I needed a web designer. Jack recommended Marianne Guillen at http://www.array-design.com/. She agreed to help me with the concept and began working on the templates for the website. Communicating by emails and phone calls, we talked through the possibilities of how my concept should look. At first, I was unsure how you could work with someone without ever physically meeting them. But I got used to the “virtual” meetings fairly quickly. After a short time, Marianne had some ideas to show me. Not only does Marianne produce beautiful website designs, she is able to quickly grasp the ideas that the client is trying to communicate. Marianne understood I was a novice-both in starting a website and owning a company. She was a wonderful resource for connecting me with friends of hers to talk to about the joys and pitfalls of being a web startup.
Next on the to-do list: Find a computer programmer.