Sam says you should read this
This blog was created with the BlogFile software, written by Samuel Levy.

You can find Sam on Google + and LinkedIn.

I will give you 25 hours of free work

You read that right. I will give you 25 hours of me working on your project, for free. That's $2000 worth of work, for free.

I'm a Freelance software engineer who specializes in web software (PHP and python, mainly). I love my job, and I love building things that excite, amaze, and inspire. I also love building things that are simple to use, are elegant, and last.

Obviously, I'm not in the business of giving out free work to just anybody though, so you're going to have to bring something to the table too. That something is a project which excites me, challenges me, and makes me want to build something that excites you.

Maybe you've had an idea knocking around in the back of your head for a few months, but just didn't have the time to make it happen. Maybe there's just one tool that would make your life easier every single day, but you just don't know how to build it. Maybe you have a plan for a business that will take over the world, but all you need is a kick-start.

Now is the time to start your project.

This is a great opportunity to get your project going, and I'm excited to see what ideas people have.

Now for some boring (but important) stuff:

How many projects will you give a free 25 hours to?
Only one. I still have to run a business, be able to eat, and pay bills. If this goes well, I may do it again in the future. I may also give special deals for other projects that catch my eye.

How will you decide who gets the free 25 hours?
It will be a personal choice, based on what project I feel is most viable, and most exiting. Think of it like a mini seed-fund, only instead of getting money, you get a head-start on your product. The more information you have to tell me about your idea, the better. If you're going to come to me with "It's like Facebook, but..." you'd better have a really good "but...".

What if the project takes longer than 25 hours?
When I see your project, I'll let you know how long I think it will realistically take to complete. When the 25 hours are up, I'll stop work and talk to you about continuing at my regular rate.

What if the project takes less than 25 hours?
Well congratulations! You got free software! The rest of the 25 hours aren't usable for another project, though; this is a one-project deal.

Can you sign this NDA before I show you my idea?
No. You have my promise that I'm not going to try to steal your idea (or give it to anyone else), but I'm not about to sign an NDA before I decide if I'm going to give you free work. My personal philosophy about NDAs can largely be summed up by a post called "Why I Won't Sign Your NDA" (which wasn't written by me).

What do you get out of this?
I get the opportunity to work on something that really excites me. I also get to forge new business relationships, and meet new people.

Does the project have to be new, or can it be upgrades to something old?
It has to be a new project, unfortunately, because 25 hours would be chewed up far too quickly just learning how an old system works. I love building new things, and I want this project to be something that I will enjoy.

What about a plugin for wordpress/drupal/some other system?
Plugins are fine, so long as they're new!

Can the project be open source?
That's up to you. If you want to release it as open source, it's your project. Just keep in mind that I won't be able to support it for free, though.

How much could I expect to get done in 25 hours?
Well the software behind this blog took around 30 hours, and I didn't have a clear plan for it. It really depends on how well your idea is fleshed out. I'll give you an idea for what I think it will take when you contact me.

If I don't get selected, would you still be able to work on my project?
Sure thing! If you're interested in getting a quote anyway, let me know.

This all sounds great, how do I ask you about my project?
Finally! You can email me through my contact form, contact me on LinkedIn, or message me on Google+.

Let's make some software!

EDIT: You have until the new year to get your ideas in. I won't be accepting any more after the 31st of December.

EDIT 2: Thanks everyone who emailed through submissions for the 25 hours of work. This is closed now, and I'll try to make a decision between the many great projects.

Comments have been locked for this post.

I want to develop a WP Plugin that acts as a Top Notify Bar, that would collect data from my website, then post it live. The data will be Quotes, News, Tweets, latest happening and so on. Anyone can download that Plugin and run it on their blogs. They can select what type of content to be shown on their websites. In return, I shall post an ad on mine every 10-15 posts.


Who owns the IP?

Samuel Levy

The project will be treated just like any other project that I get contracted to do; the only difference being that you won't have to pay for the first 25 hours.


Do you do phone apps? Like for Android?


Interesting choice. I have not seen this kind of proposition before. Good way to work on something you like for a while, and not have to worry about maintaining in future, and hopefully seeing it get used by people. Like win win win :-)

Samuel Levy

@Tara: I specialize in web, and haven't had any real experience building mobile apps yet.

@Amit: I love my job, but often finding a really interesting project to work on is difficult. There are heaps of interesting projects that people have been putting off for ages, and I'm hoping that this will entice those people to bring the projects out.



Regardless of what you select, I think this is a brilliant idea that helps innovation actually happen. I'm sure we all have friends that say, "I thought of that..." and if they had been able to build it when they had thought of it, the world would improve faster.

As for my idea:

Open Source College. College is meh, but what really sucks is how outdated it is. Professors email (if you're lucky) their online "collaboration" tools from blackboard or wherever are atrocious. Worse, whenever you put off a project to the last minute and try to find the rest of your classmates to ask about the very confusing syllabus description, you don't have anyone's number, email and you procrastinate by trying to guess people's last names on Facebook.

Anyway, I want to build something that scoots right around all this. I have tooons of ideas for features, but I'd rather just jumpstart it with a minimal viable product.

All the best!!

Samuel Levy

I should probably point out that you really should email me with your ideas, as I can't contact you through a comment.

I've received a few interesting ideas already, but I think I'll leave the offer open until the new year just to give people a fair chance. That means that, as of the date of this comment, you have 2 weeks to send me your ideas!


Social Stool: a mobile app that uses geolocation to show you the nearest public restrooms. Because when you need to know, you need to know now.
- user submitted locations and comments, with perhaps an upvote system for the comments
- 5 star rating
- it's yelp for toilets

second idea:

A bot that let's you tip user comments on HN (or DJ's at with Bitcoin. There is a rudimentary open source bot in development that currently does this on Reddit (Bitcointip) at r/Bitcoin.