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My web dev is running out of things to do

Rather than running out of money, I’m running out of things for my developer to work on. There’d be PLENTY for him to work on if only I could keep up. He has a limited skillset, i.e. frontend only. For everything he does, I have backend dev work to do for enabling his work. I now have a backlog of those tasks that I’m working through.

The potential solutions are:

  1. Hire another engineer, who can work in tandem with my web dev.
  2. Have my web dev work on the front-ends for features that are further in the future. But even if I avoid implementing the backends of those, I can’t trust him with the design. My having to do that part will further slow down progress on my backlog.
  3. Offer custom software development services using my core technology.
  4. Furlough him.

Option #2 seems like it’d just delay the inevitable. Option #3 sounds like too much of a distraction. Option #4 feels like admitting defeat. Option #1 sounds ideal. Is that the way forward?

I could probably largely self-fund the new hire, although that’d come with great personal sacrifice and financial risk. I wonder if I should look for an investor for both de-risking and advising.

I’m worried about not getting the investment terms I want given how advanced my technology and product are. I hear it’s better to first have revenue. Then again, if a potential investor can’t understand the value that comes from the solid technical foundation upon which my product is built – nothing short of perfection – then we're not a good match. I wonder if I could find an investor with the right kind of technical background. Should I give it a go? Or should I self-fund the new hire to start?

  1. 3

    Have you thought of putting him on more marketing activities that might be suitable for someone with good FE skills?

    Maybe building more landing pages or scraping for leads?

  2. 2

    How did you find this dev?

    "hen again, if a potential investor can’t understand the value that comes from the solid technical foundation upon which my product is built – nothing short of perfection – then we're not a good match."

    From what I've learned from indiehackers, this is a bad perspective to have. Because the customers don't care about the tech stack

  3. 2

    Would he be interested in diversifying his skillset? If so let him use some of his time to learn backend development! It could be a win-win. Having another person knowing parts of your backend might also be a good way to manage risk as you would be two people who could solve things when needed.

    1. 2

      I agree, was this discussed with him? Or you assume it would take him too long to be up to speed? Worst case scenario (if he's open to it), it would be like hiring a Jr dev

  4. 1

    Give him the ability to grow and learn new skills. Backoffice automation with Zapier/n8n/IFTTT etc. would be a good start.

  5. 1

    " I hear it’s better to first have revenue"

    Yes these days especially unless you have a track record which investors are aware of.

    "Then again, if a potential investor can’t understand the value that comes from the solid technical foundation upon which my product is built – nothing short of perfection – then we're not a good match"

    Doesn't work that way in 2021. Everyone thinks their idea is awesome and "nothing short of perfection" is naive thinking (trying to be honest but I am stranger so take it with a grain of salt). You need to get some traction and users who love your product. Only then you have leverage with investors. No one cares initially about a great technical product. All the best.

    1. 3

      Thanks for the tips, @codegeek1001. I will keep in mind. Regarding the technical foundation, I'm referring to the code and system architecture - not the idea. If a potential investor cannot distinguish between a buggy product that's full of technical debt, is slow and crashes, from the kind I've built that doesn't have such problems and is vastly easier to maintain and improve, then I don't think I'd get along with that person.

      1. 1

        this doesn’t change what he’s saying, investors might be able to distinguish but not care. It doesn’t matter if you have perfect code and system architecture if the idea is no good or doesn’t get traction.

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