Looking to Partner Up July 15, 2020

Is it Time for a Tech-Lead?

Louis Tromans @LouTromans

I've started my private invite-only launch for https://www.spreadtech.online/ I'm getting users on the MVP beta and leaving feedback.

Most of it is technical feedback (obviously).

I have already spent close to $1000 to build the MVP.

When should I get a tech lead in? And if I do, should they be coding or should they be managing freelancer coders?

Bear in mind they will be taking profit share and/or equity!!

Should tech-leads code or manage freelance coders?
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    $1,000 is nothing, I normally spent $100,000 for a startup before I expect any users or income.

    I focused on a few numbers, the first 1,000 users are people I invite directly and get feedback, the next 10,000 are critical and show you have something that people want. The 100,000 users really show people want it and are willing to use / pay for it.

    If you can get 10,000 Daily Active Users (DUA) then its ready to show to an investor.

    If you are getting income then maybe you don't need an investor.

    I suggest paying for development and not giving away any stock or shares in the company, it always causes issue later when the developer leaves or thinks they own part of everything, it always happens.

    The idea is worth the most money, being able to execute is huge.

    Anyone can write code, I've been doing it for 30 years, its not magic. Lots of people can code, pretty much the same as digging coal as per Vice President Biden said, its very simple.

    There is nothing special about a Tech Lead, VP of Engineering or CTO, just names to put on papers and when you meet with Investors they will be impressed you did it yourself.

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      As a developer who has recruited developers, I can assure you that not anyone can write code, or at least not good code. Developers suffer from other traits (as everyone else does) which makes them undesirable in ones team. In my experience, finding good developers is hard. Thus, if you find a good developer, stick with them.

      A good Tech Lead / CTO will have a commercial awareness that many developers lack, and the ability to view problems at both a macro-level and a micro-level - both of which are necessary at different times. In other words, contribute to the business.

      I agree wholeheartedly that execution is key, and if your development task is complex then a good CTO or similar will help. If the development task is simple, then anyone can do it (but also, probably, anyone can copy it).

      And if the development task is complex, and your developer is poor, then it will likely be some or all of unfinished, buggy, slow and brittle.

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        Thank you for both of your differing opinions. I will use them both as wisely as I can.

        I pose another question to you both - should tech leads be paid or take equity?

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          I've always taken a combination of both. I believe that it is ideal that key people have skin in the game, and that in general you need at least one key technical person on the team. But I am a technical person, so possibly biased.

          Many of my roles have been funded start-ups, so the equity has been an additional benefit to the salary. But others have included working below market rates in exchange for more extensive equity.

          In my view, some payment has been essential due to the different timing of effort - once an idea is validated, you need quite extensive technical effort before the marketing can move forward 100%, and this can lead to the problem of marketing giving up after expending relatively small amounts of effort.

          Hope this helps,


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            Wow. Thank you so much for this. Very much appreciated

            Can I just take you in, you seem ideal? ;)

            I believe I already have a validated product, and I have done pre-marketing that has brought in 325 beta users ready to be emailed.

            But I get that marketing can't move forward until 100% technical side is complete...

            That helped a lot, thank you

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              Thanks for the kind words.

              Unfortunately, I don't have the time available at the moment that I think you need.

              Of course, if successful then neither the technical nor the marketing is ever 100% complete.

              Glad it helped.

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      "If you are getting income then maybe you don't need an investor. " --- This is gold!!!! good tip!