Can you be a part time CTO

Simon Burfield Father, CTO, Head of Mobile and robotics builder

Last updated on October 23rd, 2018

So I have been invited (and accepted) to be a startups CTO in exchange for equity in the company. I already have a pretty good full time job (technical) and most people involved in the startup are part time as they have bill to pay and its early days.

Has anyone been a part time CTO and did it go well, I can generally be contacted at any point if they need me etc. My main role is to map out the technical requirements, costs etc, and build the MVP for to pitch to investors. I did see another post saying that Investors won't like people being part time which was a little worrying.

Barry Resnik Cofounder and CEO of Bearprint Holdings, Inc.

October 24th, 2018

Do you feel passionate about the business concept? Do you like the founders? Do you welcome the mental exercise of building something new? If you are doing it strictly for a big money win then the answer is likely no. However, if you like the business concept and the challenge then get going.

Steve Owens Startup Expert

October 23rd, 2018

So, I have done this several times. Your likely outcomes are:

95% Probability that startup goes bust. I say this because they can not raise money - if they could they would just pay you. If you can not raise money, you will not be successful.

4% probability that the startup makes it, sells for big money, and you get nothing because the VC have preferences and there is not enough money left over for the common shares - which is what you likely own.

0.9% probability that you eventually get something more than your regular hourly rate.

0.1% probability that you get something a lot more than your regular hourly rate.

First - ask them why they can not raise money. Don't accept any excuses - they either can do this or not. If they can't, you have no hope.

Second - you want debt with a warrant to buy shares at some low price - not common shares - talk to a lawyer. This method increases the likelihood you get something while still having a option to get a lot.

Good luck.

Simon Burfield Father, CTO, Head of Mobile and robotics builder

October 24th, 2018

@Barry, at the moment I am doing it for the adventure and experience, definitely not for financial benefit.

Sameep Sheth we build websites & mobile app, ex Microsoft & Goldman Sachs

October 27th, 2018

you laid it out - 1 ) investors won't like it if you are seeking venture funding. You can always tell them you are going to go full time after 2 ) in reality well, you can work part time / full time -doesn't matter. At the end of the day can you run the technology ? If you can run it spending 1 hour a day sure call it part time, if you need to spend majority of day managing call it full time.

CTO isn't a code monkey. CTO is somebody who runs technology.