Help me validate: "CTO by the hour"

Would you be interested in this service? Feedback welcome, even if negative!

Imagine you had access to an experienced CTO when you need them most at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full time staff member.

A CTO is a key expertise provider who can:

  • Answer your tech questions.
  • Check the decisions of your tech team.
  • Suggest technology solutions for your problem.
  • Help with outsourcing and staffing.

If you think you have good feedback on this idea (even negative!) please help me validate it:


Thanks so much your responses are super valuable!


  1. 2

    Hi, have a look at my site: http://www.lendacto.com. There is definitely a market for this. The main drawback is that it does not scale so well. Happy to chat if you want to reach out! Email works best :-)

    1. 1

      Interesting site. one point to note, "lend" is "verleihen" in German, not "mieten" or "leihen" hence, unless I misunderstood your model, that's something you should look into as the name is a bit confusing in English. I'll lend you 5 EUR.

      1. 1

        Good point. Thanks for letting me know. I wasn't sure it's a good brand name at the time buying. I am still not convinced it's a good one. And with your comment, I am even more inclined to let it go.

        Haven't done much with the site. I just made it, tested the concept a bit, saw that the business model does not scale https://www.hustleup.io/should-i-start-a-consultancy-business/ and moved one - and now it just sits there in idle... waiting to be either revived or killed ;-)

        also, turns out, all gigs I have for "CTO for rent" are by word of mouth and connection anyway. No need for a fancy site (not saying this one is fancy) because there are only so many hours in a day...

        Unless you make a team of CTOs, and then, you are the CEO of CTOs ;-) Not what I am after right now!

  2. 2

    I definitely think if you're able to provide and communicate the value of having a CTO in a contractor type relationship it could definitely work out. I've met someone recently who runs a business as a fractional CMO. Did not know such a business existed. But it does. Meaning instead of being the CMO of a single company, she spends her time across multiple clients helping them craft their business' master narrative and based around that crafting certain marketing campaigns to help tell the story of their brand.

    I'm thinking a fractional CTO could do something similar. I would think the needs of a company would vary based on where they are in their journey, but that might be an opportunity as well. Perhaps you could focus on a certain stage for a business and focus on honing in on services around that.

    So for example if it's a company with some traction and a solution to an existing problem with paid customers. A fractional CTO could help with understanding the next set of problems a company is trying to solve and then advise on how to solve those issues technically. Perhaps a business is trying to focus on revenue but thinks they need to go deeper in feature set. A CTO could help them identify their goals and look forward and forecast if they just need to instead put their efforts on marketing and customer acquisition. Or making sure that the current set of customers understand all the company has to offer with their feature set.

    There is technical debt but I think there is also such a thing as business debt (don't quote me on it, not sure if this is really a thing). But perhaps business decisions made now make sense to move quicker but the issues compound later in the journey. I think it would be valuable if a CTO could inform issues to a team in this way. Saying what you need to focus on is something else than software infrastructure.

  3. 1

    I'm 100% up for this.

    I'm in a position where I know EXACTLY what I want to build as my MVP. I have a couple of engineers who can build this out for me.

    However, I'd love to have a senior engineer tell me:

    1. Does the tech stack make sense?
    2. Are the junior engineers making meaningful progress based? Quality of commits?
    3. How do I structure CD/CI?
    4. What's the best way to run basic server maintenance? Anything cheaper than Heroku?
  4. 1

    The hard task here is: how can a customer "meassure" the benefit he will get by using this service?

  5. 1

    This comment was deleted 2 years ago.

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