HACIENDA ONLINE

More

Published September 20, 2000
Volume 8, Number 9



Getting it Right the First Time
OneRelease.com Offers Venture Engineering Services for a Startup's First Product
 
One Release
Rob Schneider, OneRelease.com chairman and CEO, demonstrates that the
backbone of the company really is its engineers.



By Jay Hipps 
Editor, Hacienda Network



First came venture capital; now there's a new term venture engineering. 

That's the key concept behind OneRelease.com, a new Hacienda company that offers instant engineering teams for software startups. 

"Where venture capitalists will give you money in exchange for equity in your company, we exchange product engineering for equity," says chairman and CEO Rob Schneider, who is also one of the co-founders of the company. "We're invested in the success of our clients." 

Starting from the First Bit
The company's target market is newly funded startups companies that have a sound business plan but may not yet have the staff in place to create their product. 

"Our focus is on building release one products, from white board to product," says Schneider. 

The advantage they offer is time. 

"The first and foremost benefit a client receives from working with us is decreasing time to market. It can be three, four, five months between the time you get funded and the time you start work on your product, because you have to get an office, install your IT infrastructure, and ramp up your staff. 

"Just imagine if you compress all that time back down to day one you get funded and you're able to start on the project the next day." 

Innovative Compensation
"Our stable of engineers works basically at cost and the equity we receive really represents our profit," Schneider explains. 

It's a useful arrangement for many startups, which also benefit from OneRelease.com's own software development and testing tools. In fact, those proprietary tools become part of the client company's assets as well, so that when they are ready to take on their own development duties, they can continue to use the tools. 

He says that the concept has met with favorable comments from both investors and clients.

"They understand that it's a way to get an engineering team up and running quickly and it also gets an engineering team that has the same motivations that the company has," he adds. "We're not there to bill hours; we're they're to make them successful and get their product out the door." 

Popular with Engineers
The real key to the company's success, however, may be its popularity with its engineers, who get to create a new product from concept to completion over and over as clients come and go. According to Schneider, the initial creation of a product is considered the most challenging and rewarding aspect of their jobs. 

Plus, the company's stock compensation provides the potential upside of any startup.

"Over time, they're creating a mutual fund for themselves of these pre-IPO companies, so they're not putting all their eggs in one basket," says Schneider. "You get to work for a series of startups within the confines of one company."

 



Also in this issue ...