Technical Co-Founder as a Service
“The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” -Seth Godin
A chronic problem in the startup community is the lack of a technical co-founder for a project. Multiple startup veteran James Bright (current co-founder of Collected It) just wrote a blog post on this issue that highlights the pain points. His advice caused some heated discussion on the Philly Startup Leaders mailing list about the best ways to attract a technical co-founder.
One such opinion came from Ramesh Sambasivan, CEO of iTradeFair.com:
“It may be easier for the non-technical co-founder to get started on the development of a very basic version of the product through a short-term dev project, and bring in at least one beta customer or trial order before seeking out a technical co-founder.”
So what are the steps to getting started without a technical co-founder?
Develop an idea into a product
At Simplpost we have been turning ideas into working prototypes and full scale web apps. My recent blog post covers how we develop web apps and minimum viable products. Our goal with these projects is to get something up and running fast, so you can test your assumptions and get quality feedback from the market. This is especially helpful if you are having a hard time attracting tech talent or investment.
Start with an MVP
My vision of "Technical Co-Founder as a Service" (TCaaS) is to assist early stage startups in the ways a full-time tech co-founder would. Simplpost offers a platform for rapidly building the first minimum viable product (MVP) to demonstrate traction and demand. This is the leverage you need to stand out from the "Idea crowd". The MVP gets you quantifiable demand, and gains you leverage for attracting a long term technical co-founder, as well as funding.
Get quantifiable demand and traction
As an example, the first Simplpost custom web app was done for a charity fundraising startup. The two non-technical founders needed a working product capable of handling lots of user submitted content. A fully functional version only took a few hours of work and was up and running within a week. And it's exciting to be working with more local startups to push the limits of what can be done with this strategy.
Think big, start small, learn fast
A new startup can get going with just a nice landing page for email collection and metrics. And grow all the way up to a full blown custom web application. Each venture should be individually tailored to its specific needs and goals. Simplpost is working with other tech and marketing companies to provide an extended support network for projects to grow into. The lean startup methodology offers a framework for rapid growth, and I would love to work with more entrepreneurs that appreciate the value of this strategy.
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a prototype is worth a million words.” -IDEO founder David Kelley
Reach out via this form if you would like discuss how to get started. There shouldn't be anything preventing a good startup from taking off.