I am saying this is a secret, but I should say it’s an OPEN SECRET. Hiring and Managing Dev Teams takes skills and Experience that get better over time. Even if you find the best Team for your startups, there are still other things to do (Strategy, Marketing, People Management, Scaling etc), but if you don’t have a Product that wow’s Customers early, then your Startup will never get to the other stages.
So what are the challenges in hiring technical Talent?
Picking the right kind of Team for your Startup:
(based on your Roadmap and Strategy Scenarios) . This means knowing what kind of Talent do you need. Do you need Innovation ? Or a WOW User Experience? Something that just works Perfectly? Something Scalable, Realtime ?
Depending on your Industry (B2B or B2C or C2C), you might arrive at a decision to pick the Right Team to build the MVP for you! It DOESN’T matter whether your Team is OnShore, OffShore or Hybrid-Shore, what matters is that they know what they are doing and they can deliver you what you Need. We have seen 100’s of CEO’s who first hire OffShore, then they realize they need someone they can Talk Face-to-Face, but then Development still fails (because the Team lacks the skills).
How do you know whether the team is right for you? It’s REALLY SIMPLE! You have to Google them and look at their PAST or Present Startup Projects that are LIVE! Look at the Design, UI, UX, Functionality, Click Around, Create an Account on the Apps they have built and play around. You will know whether this is a right choice. If you can’t still, ask your friends and well wishers or even a Stranger who is in Tech Industry about what they think about the the Product your Potential-Team as built! 90% of the times, you will have the team that can DELIVER. But that’s NOT ENOUGH, It’s Important to test for the Mindset of the team, it’s important to know whether these are are kind of people you see yourself working with for next 1-2 years. Teams and Startups QUICKLY fall apart if the mindset of people working for your startup is not right.
A GOOD EXAMPLE IS TINDER! It’s a thriving Tech Company now, but did you know that Tinder was built and maintained by an App Development Company?
What else to look for when hiring the tech teams? You Typically need most of the people described in the structure below (A Project Manager, Product Manager, Front and Backend Engineers, Designer * Assuming your Engineer can take care of DevOps in AWS or Google Cloud Environments (The leading PAAS Providers). It’s important that you are able to Communicate with your Product and Project Managers to execute the right vision at the right time!
Also, last but not the least, you would always want to hire teams that work for your goals rather than working for No of hours every month.
Costs Associated with Hiring Talent:
The above Costs will change depending on the specific team, where they are, how big or small they are and other such factors.
For e.g. Software Development Companies in California and U.S charge anywhere from $120-$150/hr. Remember, they are charging you for the hours purely, the more hours they work, the more money their Agency makes, the more money their CEO makes. The costs can be anywhere from $20/hr to $80/hr for offshore agencies, depending on the quality of the teams. Don’t get sucked into Dev Companies with Big Buildings and Glassdoors, they are the ones who will Ruin your startup (more often than not).
This is once you have spent FIRST $150k-$200k of your RUNWAY with a bad development company, your chances of succeeding go down, because there is noway to turn back time and most of these development teams (who in the first place didn’t deliver the vision), WILL NOT work again to re-do your application (well, if they knew what to do, they shouldn’t have to redo in the first place 🙂
While it’s ok for the CEO to make money, as a CEO of your Tech Startup, you should TRY TO HIRE TEAMS THAT WORK FOR GOALS. Even better, if you can scope out your project, go into slightest details (including wireframes, Detailed Spec, Flow Diagrams, Roadmaps), and then TIE YOUR DEV COSTS TO GOALS.
Incentivize SPEED AND Quality! Incentivize the team for Surpassing your Vision! Get them excited!
Like I said before, be wary of ONSHORE teams who say Remote Developers don’t understand UI/UX or that you won’t be able to Communicate with Teams in India. While that is true to some extent, but THE SAME IS TRUE of the Companies that are ONSHORE (they just cost more and make you feel like you are getting a better Product because of your bias towards Onshore teams).The right team is the right team- PERIOD (it can be anywhere).
In the end, THIS IS HOW YOU SHOULD TO DO YOUR COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS for your STARTUP:
Am I hiring a full team or Equivalent with the required Skills? If yes, What is the burn RATE? How long can I support the Dev, before I make enough sales or raise money?
If TotalBurnTime < TimeToProfit / Time to Raise Money THEN you are ok! Else, optimize!
Having a Clear Path from MVP to GOTO Market to Hand-off Stages
(where your startup becomes a big company and it makes sense to have your own Dev Team and Product Teams)
Ok! So you have hired the right team and got people to build your MVP. Now what happens when you are successful and your startup is making money and your investors and customers want to know you have your own infrastructure or may be it’s not not efficient to haven a software development company write your code, or they just can’t fulfill the innovation that you need?
It’s not that tough, you just need to have your own team that that point. Depending on the stage of your company, goals, business strategy, roadmap, Forecast and market, you will decide to execute the product plan and hire the Technical Team Members to support your plan.
You have to make sure that you write down clear scenarios which lists various milestones achieved in various times, that will lead to you taking the decision about building out your team.
You have to make sure that you communicate this with your development team very early. In fact, you should know how you will hire the talent that you will need later, so may be you should do a tech study independent of your Tech team, as to what should be the right tech stack and Product strategy should be, so that it’s a smooth transition to your team in the end.
This is really important, in fact very crucial to make sure there are 0 down times in User Experiences and because startups should deal with the real problems of growth rather than operational problems such as hiring Teams or transitioning teams.
If you are looking for a brilliant team of Engineers and Product Experts, all at the cost of 1-2 devs, then please don’t hesitate to say [email protected] . We believe in adding value to your startup, a second eye for a CEO if you will and that’s why we don’t believe in doing just any project. We want make sure we can follow the process that we preach and that means sometimes finding out the right fit and the right partners.
Thanks for reading, beers are on us if you are in San Diego, San Francisco or Las Vegas!