A little over a year ago I was hanging out in the #unity3d IRC channel on freenode and I recognized the nick of someone else in the channel was the same as the name on a useful script I had recently found on the Unity 3D wiki
. I asked if he was the same person who wrote that script, and he confirmed that he was, then told me he was working on a version 2.0 of the script and asked me if I'd like to help him test it out. Feeling fairly honored to be talking to someone whom I considered a minor celebrity, I gladly accepted his offer. So he sent me the latest version of the script he was working on.
I offered some feedback and suggestions. There was one suggestion in particular he didn't seem too convinced about, and I managed to convince him of the benefits of implementing the feature I was suggesting (and not to toot my own horn, but IMO it was the major feature that made the script simple and easy to use). But at the same time I also made my own modifications to his script (something I wanted to suggest but wasn't sure would work out, so I did it myself to test it) and submitted the changes to him. Long story made shorter, we spent about a month after that polishing up the script and started selling it
, eventually becoming equal business partners in the process.
Step 1 in the “How to Convince Someone You are Awesome” is to actually BE demonstrably awesome… that means you don't just show off, talk a big game, highlight what was done in the past or point people to your amazing LinkedIn profile. Like actually be awesome in context… and show while working on something together to a potential cofounder.
I guess my point in mentioning all this is just to reinforce what that article says. My business partner was already demonstrably capable and awesome (in my opinion) when I met him, since I found his work before I even met him. And I was able to convince him that I was good enough to bring on as a partner on his product through all the feedback I gave him and the actual work I did for him (all initially for free/without any discussion of me being compensated for my contribution).
I'd never really successfully collaborated with anyone else on a coding project before, and things have gone so smoothly with him. It's been an awesome year working with him, and we've got three more projects in the works (two of which we're hoping to have ready for release in April). I consider myself lucky to have met him in such a way and had things turn out the way they have. It's been a great experience.