They may have secured R400 000 from two investors on SA TV show Shark Tank last year, but Jason Newmark and Chelsea Evans learnt a hard lesson when they recently lost R200 000 on tech developers.
Speaking at a Fuckup Nights event held in Cape Town on Wednesday, Newmark and Evans, co-founders of wedding planning site Plan My Wedding, detailed how choosing the wrong website developers also set them back a year.
The monthly event, in which entrepreneurs detail their biggest failures, was hosted by co-working space Cape Town Office at the Canterbury Club.
“We ended up spending R200k on developers we found out later on had no coding experience whatsoever. They had basically designed a template through WordPress…” said Newmark. After the disappointment, Evans got a job and Newmark set up a side business to get by.
Jason Newmark and Chelsea Evans were two more speakers at the latest Fuckup Nights event
The second developers the duo hired didn’t share the vision and left a trail of errors on the back-end of their site. The two also spent cash on security upgrades after they discovered that these developers had tried to hack into the site more than 20 times.
“We went through background checks, but not knowing a thing about tech you think you’ve outsourced something to someone who knows what they are talking about,” says Evans.
She says the biggest mistake the two made was in hiring too quickly.
“With our third developers we gave them small projects and worked on the relationship slowly as opposed to give them one huge amount of coding work to do, before we knew they could accomplish the small steps,” says Evans.
She recommends entrepreneurs ask developers where they are learning from, what are their resources and what conferences they are attending, to ensure they make the grade.