Originally Posted by Denver
Work for free in exchange for a share in the company
I'm not a freelance web developer, but from what I've seen and heard from others, this statement is perhaps the single most annoying thing a freelance developer can hear. The reasons are 1) nobody likes working for free, 2) most good ideas never turn into good products anyways, 3) people's "good" ideas tend to be a lot worse than they themselves believe, 4) the company owner usually wants to be in creative control but not actually do any work himself, and 5) freelance developers get requests like this all the time, mostly from people who are brand new in the web development arena and thus are idealistically over-optimistic about their project, often having no real idea what they are doing.
In other words, you might be able to find a developer who is new
to the freelance scene and has not learned the wise experience "don't work for free" yet. However, my guess is that most experienced web developers will completely ignore you, unless your pitch is so amazing that they themselves actually want to become a part of what you're doing.
Also out of curiosity: just how much work has to be done before you have a working prototype? Would it really be that expensive to pay for it yourself?
Is this a massive project (eg build a new facebook) or small project (eg build a funny flash website)?