Technical Co-Founder Need Not Apply

1 minute read

Will Miceli recently posted an article, titled Technical Co-Founders Are Overrated, that outlines his journey from idea to finding a partner:

I was working on my first entrepreneurial adventure: I had an idea and thought I needed a technical person to build it…I met some technical folks, but none were available. As a result, I began by really focusing on the business plan and how the solution I dreamed up was going to make money.

One of my mentors suggested building a prototype. After some quick research I settled on Ruby/Rails given that the developer community seemed to be very excited about it and made it easy for newbies to learn…After a few months I had a prototype and it actually worked.

He goes on to talk about how he eventually met a co-founder through the process of learning and talking to developers during this process. While this path may not be best for everyone, it does shed some light on the issue of how to get your venture started when you don’t have a technical co-founder. For Will, it meant doing it himself. For others, it might mean one of the following paths:

  1. Working with a designer that can help provide an interactive, clickable PDF for pitches
  2. Building a small prototype (often best if a clickable PDF is not expressive enough or a designer isn’t available)
  3. Bringing in an outside development team to build the first version

Now, while I may be a little biased to option 3, I have seen each of these steps applied in turn to help solidify the idea and generate creative revenue streams that had not been thought out while developing the requirements and business plan.

So, why consider an outside development team rather than hiring your own? Several reasons:

  1. Unless you or a founding member have technical experience, you may not know what kind of skills to look for in your first hires
  2. You become too focused on using your developers because you have them, distracting you from the business of generating revenue
  3. More difficult skills can be obtained for shorter periods of time to address a particular development need

Need help selecting your development team? You can find my top recommendations on how to select a development team at