Got this question in my email:
What do I have to look at when I am choosing the right developer to join me in my venture? Is it smart to have just one or maybe even two technical brains in founding development stage?
Don’t know much about the person asking other than that they’re starting a company and that they aren’t coming with a network of technical people.
The school of merit would say, “put your company on hold and go get some experience.” I get that. But the school of hard knocks is sometimes good too.
1. How much money do you have? That’s pretty much the factor that determines how I’d answer. There’s one path if you can pay market rates ($150k+/year). There’s another path if you can’t.
2. A technical co-founder is great. But I wouldn’t wait around to find one. The more progress you make the easier it is to attract people. So, either you have a friend who could already fill this role, or just move forward without waiting. Maybe someone will reveal themselves down the road. It’s fine to take on another co-founder during the first year. The founding isn’t the big deal about being a co-founder, it’s the staying.
3. The only thing I look for in technical people is a bias for shipping. Some tech people have the opposite bias — for finding and prematurely fixing difficult problems. If your tech person doesn’t send you a link to check out the progress of their work on day one, then they’re the wrong person. The work won’t be done in a day — you have to be a good partner to recognize that and be kind about it. But the right person will definitely be sending you a steady stream of new things they’ve built on a near-daily basis.
Good answer or bad answer? Why?