Technical Cofounder, CTO or OutSourcing Tech Partner For a Startup?

April 9, 2021

Last Updated: December 16, 2021

Building a Tech-Startup? as a non-tech founder, you’re probably struggling with the best way to bring this idea to life and create a scalable MVP.

Successful startups are not just about the great ideas but an implementation of the idea to the market ready product.

Today we’ll talk about different options for making the tech side of your project done like finding a technical cofounder, freelance developers, or a technical partner.

Looking for a startup partner may take some time, but we’ll try to help you with this challenge. So, how to find a technical cofounder and what other options are available? Let’s figure this out!

Hetarth Consulting is a leading software development company that provides excellent web app development services utilising cutting-edge technologies. We help startups and enterprises to raise their business value by offering innovative software products. If you have a business idea, then feel free to connect with us anytime.

Technical Co-Founder or CTO

There are some stark differences between a CTO & Tech Co-Founder.

A technical co-founder is, well, one of the key roles in a company. It is a person who will be responsible for all the tech-related processes.

They are an enhanced form of CTO. They have a say in the business and are normally compensated with equity.

Conversely, a CTO is strictly an employee who will be your hired technical director. They have a say in the tech but not necessarily the business vision. Commonly they are compensated with a salary.

Day-to-day responsibilities of a Technical Co-Founder & CTO are almost same:

  • Providing strategic, tech-based thinking on the business itself
  • Building the Product itself
  • Staying on top of the latest technology trends
  • Building the tech team (when it comes to growing the company)

It’s extremely hard to find a CTO/technical co-founder who embodies everything you need.

If that’s you, there’s still hope. Keep reading.

Build a Team of Freelance Software Developers

At a glance, the idea of hiring freelance developers is a great solution. It gives you more flexibility and lowers your costs. But it comes with its own set of risks and potential hurdles.

Here are the pros and cons of building a team of freelance web developers.

Pros of Freelance Developers

When you hire freelancers as your technical partner there is a lower commitment. Instead of hiring indefinitely, you can hire them on an “as-and-when” basis.

Meaning you will only be paying for software development when you need it. This will lower your costs considerably.

Working with freelancers allows you to choose the best person for each challenge; provided you know the fundamentals of tech.

For example, if your back-end is built and ready to go. You are free to find the best front-end developer to compliment your product’s architecture.

Cons of Freelance Software Developers

Without a CTO or technical co-founder, the first developer you hire will be responsible for the architecture of your product.

This critical decision will lay the foundations for your business. It’s vital that you trust them to choose the right coding language for your product.

You have to validate if the freelance developer is choosing the best stack for you is to ask some Software Development Companies to make you a project proposal.

If they all suggest the same stack or language as the freelance developer you know you are on the right track.

Your second stumbling block is potential commitment issues.

Freelance software developers, by definition, are free to accept any job they want. You have to make sure that, regardless of how many projects they are involved in, they will complete the work in a timely manner to the highest quality.

Expert Tip: When working with freelance software developers, keep an organised database of everyone you have worked with. This should include a detailed profile of their hard & soft skills. As well as a history of work they have completed with you.

You also have to ask yourself, are you ready to manage a team of developers?

If you don’t have a lot of experience managing developers you could also consider outsourcing to a Product & Software Development Company.

Outsourcing to a Software Development Company

Outsourcing comes with its own benefits and risks. The biggest advantage of outsourcing software development is, in my opinion, having an experienced team behind you.

Advantages of Outsourcing Software Development

Working with the right agency will give you access to multiple resources with years of combined experience in product and software development.

Many software development company founders are ex-startup founders themselves. As well as building their own products, an accomplished agency will have helped build hundreds of products over the years.

This means you will be working with an established team of professionals that have:

  • Tackled the hurdles you are about to face.
  • Solved similar problems to the one your business idea intends to solve.

They can pass that experience directly to you. Asking questions and challenging your ideas to help you gain a competitive edge.

In short, working with the right agency gives you access to an established tech-team, mentors, product experts and business development experts all in one place.

Working with a software development company also allows you to have flexibility in your team size. Which goes a long way to lower your operational costs.

As your development needs fluctuate you are able to scale the resources you use to fit. Increasing and decreasing the team size as required for your business needs.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing Software Development

The first disadvantage of outsourcing to a software development agency is the same as outsourcing to freelancers.

As they work with multiple projects, you need to be sure the agency you choose can deliver high-quality work in a timely manner.

If you go down the route of offshore software development, you also need to take into account potential communication barriers. By this, I mean timezone, culture clash and linguistic differences. If not managed properly this can result in a negative business relationship.

One workaround for this is to nearshore software development. Here you can take advantage of competitive prices within the same, or similar timezone.

Another risk of outsourcing software development is that it will be impossible for you to oversee everything first-hand.

The main risk here is that you lose control of the project. It’s vital you choose an agency that keeps lines of communication open; with regular touch points that are agreed between you.

For more information on what to look for in a Product & Software Development Company, check out this Startup EcoSystem packed with actionable tips.

So, now you know all the options when it comes to onboarding a technical partner.

But it’s still not an easy choice, right?

In The End…

Whatever you choose, bear in mind that building a business is all about people. Your family, your customers, advisers, investors and most of all your team.

So make sure you choose people you can trust.

Good luck!

A Seasoned full stack IT development and management professional with 14+ years of rich experience in driving business requirements analysis, solution design consulting, business intelligence and software services & products.

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