3 Mistakes I Made Developing This Car Rental WordPress Theme Worth $2500

This post is not going to be about the rental theme itself. Rather, I take this opportunity to write why the development is taking so long, what mistakes I made and how it cost me over $2500 in the process. Light read for pleasure and a bit of entrepreneurial education maybe.

Bottom-line for those uninterested in reading the story- finance is secured now and development will continue. As for deadline unknown at the moment. As the wheels get spinning, I will update you on progress. Here goes the story…

I have thought long whether I should write this post or not, because it is full of my very own failures. But then what the heck. As an entrepreneur, that is the way to learn, I guess. I am a bit embarrassed talking about failures, but in the end “hey”- if you`ve come to this blog, you are probably an entrepreneur too. You must have made a few mistakes yourself in the process. So, maybe you will relate.

Long story short- I squandered over $2500 on this theme so far and got screwed by two different companies. On the other hand, perhaps it was my fault and I let myself get screwed.

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How this happened- in November, when I originally posted my Youtube video, I set off to Elance and Odesk where I`d previously hired people many times. I thought it would be fine this time around too. I did my homework- prepared detailed technical specifications of what I needed, prepared a detailed job description, posted and waited for offers to roll in. There were plenty. Everybody can code these day apparently. People have references too. Sweet.

I picked a few of those offers that did not seem too cheap, had good looking references and communicated well in English. I made sure they read my specifications by asking if they understood everything fine (MISTAKE 1). I even asked if they understand that they will need to create the booking interface. OF COURSE- everybody understood! What a joke thinking back. So I picked a company and hired them for the job.

Estimated time of delivery was about a month for the whole project. It took these guys about a month just to get pre-final graphics. In the end, it took them longer than it would have taken me if I`d done the graphics myself. The small victory was that we agreed to finish the project early and I “only” spent a few hundred dollars on the designs. What was more painful was the time that was lost and the need to rehire. Elance feedback war that ensued was just a cherry on the top of the cake. What disappointed me a little was the lack of (read “none at all”) support I received from the side of Elance, but that`s another story.

Second attempt at getting this done was a “seasoned” coder from the USA (MISTAKE 2)- much better English and a few good projects under his belt. Great communication (at the beginning), but a freelancer, meaning one guy operation (MISTAKE 3). Similar process went on- I made sure that he understood the specs, etc. Of course he did…(MISTAKE 1 …again).

It took about 3 months and a few thousand dollars this time to get to a stage where my emails and phone calls wouldn`t get answered. But in the process I at least heard some great stories why he couldn`t work because A) his dog ate his computer B) his plane crashed C) his whole family died in the process or similar (you can`t make that stuff up…or apparently you can). I am exaggerating here a little, but honestly I have never before seen so much unlikely stuff happen to one person in such short time.

He did show some progress- we were about 40% in after those 3 months, but as it turned out, about $10k and a year away from the final product. I am still considering suing this guy, but not sure if it is worth the effort. I guess it`s better that I move on and focus on finalizing the product.

One thing strikes me looking back. This guy kept saying how he has 18 years experience in business and how he has been working on this auctioning system. Judging by his work tempo, I assume what he was actually telling me was- I have been working on this system 18 years and it is still not finished. Should have known better.

What all these mistakes mean in the end is that I wasted a lot of energy, and, more importantly, money. Basically, I ran out of it. It took me several months to get back, sort things out in my head and identify the mistakes. In meantime, I gathered finance by selling my home (in the process right now- all in baby), started my own company developing websites and mobile apps and now starts car rental theme round 3.

By writing this article, I wanted to basically say this- sorry to keep you waiting this long- these are the reasons. I have tried my best and will keep at it. Bear with me if you have the patience. If not, I understand.

Whatever you do as entrepreneurs that made you come here, I wish you best of luck and as “mistakeless” life as possible.

Drop me a line if you feel like it below the article (I approve the posts so it takes about a day for them to come on) or email me you know where.

Rock on, Pavel

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6 responses...

Interesting experience you have had and sorry for the loss. All along I thought that you were the one who was personally working on the project. Well, atleast you are now wiser than you were before.

Good to hear you have started your own web dev company and wishing you all the best there. I hope that you will now be able to finish sooner since you now have an in-house development team.

I am about to purchase a Car Rental WordPress theme since time of project completion here is unknown. Can you advice on whether to buy or wait for yours as well as the expected time for you to finish the theme. I love the design you have come up with and I am very interested in using it.

Hi Frank,

thanks for that 🙂

As to where you can buy, I know there is another company that does car rental theme. It breaks my heart, but here`s their link http://bit.ly/1s2eRKX 😀 I don`t think their theme is particularly good, but it`s what`s on the market today. My completion date really is unknown at the moment, so if you are looking for something now, you might check them out.

Best, Paajo

Hi Pavel
What a disapoint situation yours.
I’ve passt already by the same things as you did and beeing honest with you, we just get better and better.
So move on, kick of your shoes and never give up your dreams.
I know you gona make it.
Have you ever thoght in asking for sponsors?
Let me know if something comes to your mind, or if you need any extra help.

Regards

Ricardo Contente

Thanks for your support Ricardo…replied privately. Best, Paajo

Hey, just landed back on your website. Thanks for sharing the link although that was and has been my fallback just in case I don’t get anything out in the market. I have not left you by they, still anxiously waiting for your product since it looks much better from the samples.

I have not started this project since I have been waiting for your solution. It’s sad the you have encountered a number of problems on the way, but don’t give up since there are lots of people out here waiting and willing to assist.

Kindly provide a timeline for completion of your product and also advice on the Bizz Theme solution you shared. What do you find wrong with their solution?

Hi Frank,
thanks for that. Based on previous experience, I am very reluctant to give you a completion date. But, according to our project plan, we should by done early August. So far, we are on the plan. There is a video of me using the backend coming this week where you`ll see some functionality and overall the backend layout.

As for what`s wrong with other themes out there, I don`t want to comment on that. I am sure they are doing the best job they can and that is what I am intending to do. Once the theme is out or close to final, list of functionalities, demo etc. will be presented and every user will be able to make their own judgements. All I can say is that if I didn`t think we could do it better, I wouldn`t be doing it 🙂

best, Paajo

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