First and foremost I'm posting this anonymously to make sure you understand that I'm not trying to sell nothing here. I just want to collect thoughts and help.
So, I've been leading technical teams for many years in very specific niche (hedge funds) and I was thinking to start offering a brand new service as Virtual CTO
The idea is to help small businesses in their technical endeavors. Either, designing a technical strategy or leading their development efforts (handling projects and developers)
I want to offer packages of hours of engagement per month: 20hs/mo, 40hs/mo, etc (no equity of course)
So, my question for this network is: as a business owner would you be interested in somenthing like this?
You, as a non-technical business person, What kind of needs would like to see from this service?
Any suggestion on how should I market this?
Thanks, and looking forward to getting feedback from this network.
There is a need for CTO role in many startups and growing companies. Many cannot afford a fulltime competent CTO to take care of that role. As a result they rely on people who cannot take the responsibility or go without. At they end they tend to pay for the mistake. I had few discussions with such few companies and the response has been positive.
You are unlikely to find VC funded startups or any larger companies who would be willing to take on such a role. It would be to a company who is yet to understand their IT person may not be good CTO. Good luck with it.
It's certainly something I've been contemplating. As a non-technical founder of an early stage startup (high-fidelity MVP, some customers, early revenue and product-solution fit) I'm looking for someone with a set of skills that can fulfil some of the key functions of a CTO without going the whole hog and hiring full-time or co-founder. I think I'd find it a useful service to help me scope out the technical skills and competencies I need given the stage my business is at. I don't think I'm the only one to find themselves in this boat. Agree with Dane that timezones are important and I've prioritised this criteria when hiring remote in the past.
This all depends. I know a bunch of startups using remote/virtual CFOs paying about $5000 per month so it is not inconceivable they would do the same for CTO. The first question is at what level of revenue does it make sense to have a part time CTO and what do they get. "[S]mall businesses" have "a computer guy" that is not a CTO until they are $10 mm + in revenue. Once you get an understanding of that, you need to define your geography. I would be inclined, were I doing $10 mm, but not if it is 12 hours difference in time zone. Next, you need to define the type of business. Is this a service related, eCommerce, or more industrial where IT is overhead, not a core value driver.