Being a startup founder is challenging enough, especially if you are not a technical expert. One needs to manage almost everything, find a perfect team, and make sure the MVP (minimum viable product) is ready in time.
In the case of a tech business, it is essential to find a startup CTO (Chief Technology Officer) to share a piece of those responsibilities. After all, everyone is good at their part of the expertise and if technology is not yours, it is going to be quite a learning curve.
The main issues non-tech startup founders face are:
- Finding the right people to delegate the tasks to, the hiring process is one of the main challenges in general. According to statistics, startup founders can spend up to 40% of their time on tasks that are not related to their direct responsibilities, for example of HR tasks;
- Hiring a technical team in particular. For someone without a tech background, it is difficult to determine what specialists a business needs and how to check their skills. Not having the right team is the third main reason of startup fails, so it is a crucial factor;
- Finding a technical co-founder. CTO is exactly the person that can take care of the MVP stack, choosing technologies, hiring a dev team, etc. But finding such an expert is a separate task;
- Creating the company before it can create a product;
- Development of MVP with the lack of development process understanding. If one has no coding experience and doesn’t know all the intricacies of different environments and languages, it is almost impossible to strategize the development stack and process.
All of these challenges can be resolved much easier with the right CTO by one’s side. After all, 90% of startups fail, but a CTO can help your company to get into success 10%.
Why is CTO Important?
To put it simply – CTO services help non-tech founders to overcome the majority of their problems with tech stack, development, and hiring IT professionals. You probably have an excellent and original idea in your mind, but it takes an IT expert to figure out the exact way to bring it to life.
Overall, this role is focused on technical leadership. Mostly, a CTO consulting or in-house professionals has a solid tech background with software development and managing a dev team. They can use their experience to draft the development process, choose the environment and technologies for it, set deadlines, manage and control the process. Basically, do everything to ensure productive and on-time delivery and release of MVP.
One can find a startup CTO to cover several challenges:
- Building MVP;
- Choosing tech stack;
- Hiring tech professionals;
- Coaching the tech team;
- Improvement and growth of products’ architecture;
- Development of new features or the product, etc.
CTO can help on any stage of a startup’s growth, but the sooner one hires, the better it is. This role requires not only strong hard skills, but also soft ones, such as communication, leadership, problem-solving, and strategic thinking.
CTO Cost of Hire Comparison
Finding a suitable professional can be expensive and difficult. There are not many top-profile experts and the majority of them are already hired. So finding a CTO locally may be a tough thing.
You’ll either need to convince them to change the company or try to find another person suitable. Not to mention that they need to share the vision and be motivated by the idea. The next problem many founders face when looking for a CTO is the lack of local talent.
That’s why many startups choose remote CTO and outsourcing. It is also much cheaper, as the salary rates differ from country to country. Here are 5 countries to compare for example:
US – $163,360 per year
UK – $150,958 per year
Germany – $117,805 per year
Switzerland – $163,007 per year
Ukraine – $15,930 per year
CTO as a service for startup is an incredible opportunity. It allows working with excellent professionals worldwide only when one needs them. It helps to save costs and get the best expertise at the same time.
CTO as a service means that a company can work with an expert on an hourly basis instead of hiring a C-level executive full time. It is a more flexible co-operation, which is beneficial for both sides. And it makes the hiring process much easier as it opens more possibilities.
CTO Functions for a Business
A CTO is responsible for a wide range of tasks in a startup. CTO creates a roadmap for the development, helps with testing and the implementation of the product. The functions also include setting the quality standards and control, as well as tech documentation and protocols. Chief Technology Officer’s main task is to build MVP effectively, starting from choosing the right environment, to the architecture, and release.
CTO can also assist with the presentation of ideas to vendors and investors. Such a professional can give an expert opinion and a tech vision behind the idea/product.
And, of course, CTO helps with all things related to the development team, including the hiring and screening process, on-boarding, and management.
All of these functions can be summed up shortly as:
- People and process management;
- Strategy establishment for a business;
- Representation of a startup;
- Tech leadership and expertise.
These tasks cannot be performed efficiently by someone without specific industry knowledge and tech background.
Non-tech founders of startups have many challenges that can be resolved by finding the right CTO. It is an experienced professional that can take tech leadership on their shoulders. CTO creates strategy and architecture for product development; manages the process, and the IT team. They also represent the company and their idea to vendors and investors.
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