Late Labs, the brainchild of co-founders Justin Elof Johnson and Nathan Ross, takes a disruptive view on startup apps by pledging to spearhead several projects and offering equity to coders who work on those projects. On each new project, Johnson and Ross will manage design and distribution, and one developer will oversee the technical development of the project. Other coders will come into the fold as needed, based on their skills, and will get equity. To manage code submissions, Late Labs integrates with GitHub.
The company has had nearly 3,000 developers sign up since it announced its existence about two weeks ago. Brian Cary, director of engineering at ReTargeter, will be the technical lead on Buggle Us and will select two additional coders from the developer pool. Johnson said the team is starting small to get the kinks worked out, and the next project could have as many as 10 coders selected from the pool.
“A year from now, we want to have five projects built and be a well-oiled machine,” Johnson said.
Buggle Us will be a Chrome browser extension that enables “ridiculously simple” photo editing and sharing, almost like an “Instagram for Chrome,” as Johnson phrases it. Johnson estimates that it will take two months to complete and launch the application. We’re looking forward to testing it out and seeing if Late Labs’ “crowdcoding” model takes off.
San Francisco-based Late Labs is currently bootstrapped, but is on the lookout for seed funds. “We’ve struck a serious nerve with the developer community,” Johnson said. “We’re moving crazy fast and meeting with investors next week.”