How to start a startup without a technical co-founder?

outsourced CTO

Being self-sufficient is great… but not for young entrepreneurs who are starting a business. 99% successful startups imply long-term partnership and are run by at least two people. Some innovative and profitable companies, such as Airbnb, appeared “by accident,” but most of them are a result of careful planning, fruitful collaboration, and experience exchange.

Let’s say that you already have several crazy startup ideas that for sure will make the world a better place. You may even have a prototype, a registered domain, or whatsoever. According to Steve Blank, a professor of Stanford University, “a startup is not just about an idea, it’s about testing and then implementing the idea.” Therefore, you need to find a technical cofounder to jump in and help you implement and improve these ideas, or brainstorm more ideas to build an MVP.

So, the next important question is: Who can do this on a very high professional level following all rules of the Startup Bible? At this point, you should think about how to find a technical cofounder or find developers for startup by hiring one of the remote IT outsourcing companies. Of course you can try hard and start a startup on your own, but in most cases it will turn out to be a rather tedious and time-consuming process.

In this blog post, we’ll share with you some tips that you need to know before you start a startup with a remote outsourced company:

1. Make sure that there is a startup CTO

According to Funders and Founders, 62% percent of all startups fail because of conflicts between the founders. Working with a remote CTO meaning a Chief Technical Officer gives you an option to build an MVP first, get funded, and then hire a tech guru with leader skills onsite. CTO responsibilities include applying the superb technical knowledge, skills and experience to streamline your startup.

2. Clearly define your MVP

Have a clear understanding of the problem that you want to solve with your initial MVP, because you need to explain this problem to your outsourced team in as much detail as possible. Define the primary goal of your product that should be fulfilled to achieve customer satisfaction, and perhaps carry out a SWOT analysis (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats).

3. Keep your MVP as simple as possible

Plan the workflow of your MVP in such a way that as little time as possible is spent on writing custom code. Instead, encourage using already existing tools, such as WordPress platform to build websites during web development outsourcing. And this also refers to managing your development workflow – use simple tools such as Trello to report bugs, assign tasks, and add new features.

4. Make sure that the outsourced team is using the lean approach

The lean startup approach consists in collecting customer feedback, implementing iterative design with several MVPs, and being ready to experiment. It is important to understand how product development speed vs quality changes depends on the stage of the product. The faster the product sees its first users, the better understanding you get from those users. This is how to start a startup, as you get an answer to your question – how to make my customers use my product.

Technology choice can directly correlate with development speed. Approach that you should take depends on whether you are just starting a business and need an MVP or you already have paying customers.

5. Start a startup in the right location

Finding right people for a tech team is critical at the scaling stage. The hiring process is very time-consuming and requires picking high-quality developers. This is where offshore software development can help. In locations such as Eastern Europe, you can find very talented tech gurus that will give you a way to overcome your competitors not only at the initial stage but during the company growth as well. A good example is Skype – they hired a team of developers in Estonia, and now it’s one of the world’s most popular services for exchanging instant messages and making calls. Another example is Github, which hired a completely remote team of developers for offshore software development.

6. Search for a proactive company

You need ideas from outside, especially when starting a business. And the tech guru team is the one who can give you advice on how to hack some ways to success. They can always come up with creative ideas about what corners you can hack and what secret tools you can use to get to the point.

7. Find an outsourced team with experts

The first rule of the startup is: You need experienced people. The second rule of the startup is: You need superstars. When it comes to execution, you have neither time nor money to make mistakes. Experts in your team can reduce your time to market your product and bring you success.

8. Prove that you can be trusted

Startup founders often invite independent software developers to carry out the CTO responsibilities at their projects, but the developers tend to reject those offers because they don’t want to take risks. Very often startup founders are non-technical people and have just ideas, trying to pass over all possible risks to the developer. And if a startup fails, the developer will be the first one to blame. Outsourced developers don’t know you, so they don’t trust you. Therefore, to catch the developer’s interest and find a technical cofounder, you should at least have a proven track record of your work and have someone who can recommend you. Besides, you can present your marketing strategy to your potential startup CTO and also show that you have investors or are capable of funding your project.

9. Be sure that you can manage your external team

According to Steve Blank, you should know the CTO meaning and have at least a minimum understanding of how to hire and manage technical resources. He also recommends learning the basics of coding to know that everything’s going right.

10. Sharing Equity vs Paying for Software Development

Sharing equity may be a good option for founders, as they don’t spend money on development resources when starting a business, giving them the share in case of successful startup. However, for software developers, working for equity literally means working for free.

If you pay cash for outsourced software development rather than share equity with your startup CTO, you gain more trust. If the startup fails, the CTO will get nothing although they put a lot of time and effort into your project. Of course there are cases when the CTOs are so enthusiastic about the project that they’re ready to spend years waiting for income, but it happens quite rarely.

As per Entrepreneur magazine, another drawback of sharing equity rather than paying is that its value can go down. When an investor joins the startup, they may disagree with the initial equity value to avoid losing their investment.

Advantages of Starting a Business with an Outsourced Team

  1. Saved Time. Outsourced experts have their skills already in place, so you do not spend time on training the newcomers.
  2. Speed. An outsourced team will speed up the development of your MVP and the launch of your business.
  3. Fewer Conflicts. As a rule, startups emerge from personal relationships that are turned into professional ones. This can lead to conflicts, as professional interactions may differ from personal ones, and you may see this person from an unexpected side. With outsourcing solutions, you are less likely to have such conflicts at the MVP building stage.

How Arsum Can Help You Start a Startup

If you’re looking for IT outsourcing companies and need a team of outsourced experts, you’ve come to the right place. We at Arsum are always ready to discuss your requirements, kickstart any idea that may come into your head, and find developers for startup. Whichever help you may need, be it just an MVP or other stages of starting a business – we’re here for you. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts.

You might also be interested in:

How to Start Your Own Business: Startup vs Traditional Business Approach

Understanding the MVP (Minimum Viable Product)