Question: To start an online marketplace, should my priority be on supply side (providers) or demand side (customers) for early adopters?

We are starting a software development bootcamp that turns amateur coders into professional web developers in 12 weeks. And then get them hired. Do we find instructors first or do we find students?

4 Expert Insights

You must find instructors first, otherwise you are selling air. A good school identifies its instructors, so students can see they will be taught by knowledgeable experts. Mentors Guild is a great example of this strategy; they found the mentors first.

I concur with Bruce -- you start by cross-listing and cross-selling existing instructors.  Find really good ones, and ask them if they'd be willing for you to list them as instructors for you also -- and if so, under what conditions and restrictions.

Once you have the product, even a product you obtain from outside and then re-sell, you can shop for buyers.  

You've correctly identified a very big issue for startups. ;-)

You also can and should be selling the RESULTS of the education, not just the PROCESS of the education.

I urge you to pre-qualify students so you don't sell to a person who cannot be successful -- they will complain and will tarnish your reputation.  (Not every amateur can become a pro.)  The pre-qualifying process will also demonstrate your seriousness, which the best students (AND instructors) will value.

Let us know how it goes.

Doing all we can do to insure that our house (business) is built on a rock-solid foundation will have a clear impact and affect on the longevity and overall success we experience.  As anxious as you are to begin 'selling' and thus generate revenue it is imperative that you are positioned to deliver what you have sold.  Thus hiring a solid staff of instructors who are all adept at and trained to teach as YOU want your 'customers' taught in terms of method and curriculum, you will be able to launch the business fully confident in what you're selling and delivering.  Certainly a formula that promotes success.

I have a few questions to ask. If you are starting a 12 week software bootcamp to develop professional web developers and then get them a job, would imply you have the training material done and the network to help them get a job.

If this is true who developed the program? I would think you have an instructor already meaning whoever developed the program.

Since it appears this is a new launch I would not hire instructors yet but look for students as a way to test you processes and model. The instructor is whoever developed the program. Once you work out the bugs and update the program then I would develop an instructor manual and training. Then, I would begin to hire instructors.