Should one build a prototype or get a venture capitalist first? –@wkarmistead
Absolutely yes, build a prototype first. Go to elance.com or scriptlance.com, put a basic spec of your project up on the site (don’t worry about anyone stealing the idea). You will have a reverse auction to see what programmers will do to your project. Pick a programmer (cheap, but look at their recommendations and call references), and build the project for $2-4k (assuming a minimal feature set is cheap enough). Why do this instead of going to a VC first?
A) Once you have a site up your value is higher.
B) You will learn extremely valuable things in the process of building your site: you will come up with new ideas, learn what obstacles and competition might exist, etc
C) You might have a chance to get a paying customer, or users. This also values your company higher.
D) You might realize it was a bad idea. Easier to move onto the next idea if it were your own money.
E) Why waste time pitching your invisible project when you can use that time to do valuable thinking and building.
F) You might never need VC money.