Finding cofounders

How to crack the code of finding an equity developer?


March 16th, 2017

We are currently building out an app that has been selected for a high profile accelerator on the east coast and pitching to a carefully selected group of investors. We are currently operating in a $225 billion dollar market with an extreme advantage over our competition,and looking for a CTO to help build out the vision and shape our technical decisions.

What is the best pitch approach?

What usually persuades a developer to join the team?

What should be omitted?

Thank you

Rammohan Raja Software, hardware and a little marketing.

Last updated on March 23rd, 2017

The best way for me to answer these questions is to put myself in the candidate's chair. I am much more than a simple developer. I can architect solutions, write code, assemble servers to run my code on and even setup an email server for the startup.

What is the best pitch approach?

Be honest and explain your idea without sugar coating it to the potential CTO candidate. Pay attention to the questions the candidate is asking and their interest level in your idea. If the candidate's eyes light up hearing your idea then you are on to something. The technical co-founder cannot be a developer looking for a job. Find out why they want be a part of a startup and ignore full time jobs that pay tons of money. The candidate’s motivation should not be to get rich quick after watching The Social Network movie! The point is not to beg or persuade, but find a techie who is excited to join you after hearing your idea. A person who can just code is useless as a CTO. He or she should be much more than that. Look for techies who have already done something on their own. Like written an app, built something on their own.

What usually persuades a developer to join the team?

A CTO quality person is looking for an idea that rings a bell for him or her personally. They should be excited to be part of the team. Beyond this it depends from person to person. For me personally I need the idea to be validated. For example the idea has been run by strangers who think they will use the product or service. The more future users on board the better.

What should be omitted?

Do not look for skillsets. If you need a JAVA guy but the techie has done .NET do not fret over it. CTO quality people are self-made and can master any technology with ease. And it would be best to leave technology details with the CTO. You should be able to trust the CTO to make the right call. But if the CTO candidate is too narrow or closed minded then skip them. You need mature people as CTO.

Amit Nabarro Passionate and experienced technologist

April 8th, 2017

You should really ask yourself whether your product's success is based on a brilliant marketing strategy, on a sound technological advantage, or both. If the answer is the first one then:

  1. Its quite alright- there are many examples of amazing products that have no significant technological backbone
  2. A CTO isn't a fundamental part of your core team and you could even outsource the engineering.

If you do need to hire a CTO then I'd say relevant experience is what counts the most. Your CTO may not have to be experienced in the specific industry you're at but developing similar systems, at least by technological concept, is important. I believe a passionate CTO will be excited by the challenge more than anything else. A good mix of a great business opportunity with an exciting technological mountain to climb would be the best way to recruit an adequate CTO.

I wouldn't omit anything, thats what NDAs are for