Do You Really Need A Technical Co-founder to Startup with?

This is a general but a very broad question. The answer you are looking for will depend on what is not letting you see an alternative to start without a technical co-founder. Is it the lack of money or the herd mentality that is not letting you see other available options? Let’s dive deep. 

Here are a few questions that you need to answer in order to get to the real pain point and resolve it.   

Is it a tech startup ( e.g. Whatsapp or Twitter) or a non-technical startup (e.g. co-working spaces)?

  • If it is a non -technical startup what are your options?
  • If it is a tech startup what are your options?

Your options are:

  • You can outsource it to an agency
  • Hire a freelancer 
  • Hire a developer
  • Learn to code by yourself  
  • Look for a technical co-founder. 

Whether it is a technical startup or a non-technical startup, the options are still the same with some basic difference in requirements, priority and what option is best for your startup.

Now let’s evaluate each one of them and see what fits best to your requirements. 


Outsourcing to an IT company: 

  • It will help you save money on hiring staff i.e. you can pay as you go
  • It saves you time. 
  • You handle it over to an expert.

The key here is to ensure you are outsourcing to someone having an awesome portfolio of developing products for startups. Slack, Skype, Github and MYSQL are a few examples of a successful business that outsourced to develop their solution in their earliest days.

Hiring a freelancer:

Again, you can go with the portfolio and save money on hiring full-time staff and time as well. Regular face-to-face interaction with the freelancer can get you the best results., Upwork and Simply Hired are some of the top websites where you can find the right talent to help develop your product.

Hiring a developer: 

This will cost you money probably less then outsourcing it to an agency. The advantage here, is better communication and your supervision over the project.

Learning how to code by yourself:

Gone are the days when learning how to code was a herculean task. Today, you can learn to code in a few days. Do you ask, why? Programming languages like Python and Ruby are way easier to code when compared to their predecessors. Plus, online learning platforms like Codeacademy, freeCodeCamp and offers affordable courses that are easy to grasp.  

Look for a technical co-founder:

It is difficult to find a technical co-founder for a startup. It is not easy to give up a hefty pay package for something that just exists as an idea. Also, would you go for a technical co-founder who lacks other entrepreneurial skill sets? Why bet a huge percentage of equity share on a technical co-founder who is not passionate for your startup in the long run? After all, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Instead, you can outsource the project and hire a CTO when you can afford one. 

If it is a technical startup and you know a technical guy who shares the same passion as you do for the product you want to develop then get him/her in. If he/she syncs with the long term vision of your to-be-company and brings in the entrepreneurial spirit, you are business.

Don’t want to believe me? Micheal Dell founder and CEO of Dell, Brian Chesky. Alex Turnbull founder of Groove HQ and Jamie Wong founder of Vayable were all non-tech founders that made it big without a technical co-founder. Of course, the examples are rare and finding a good outsourcing agency that could do the justice to your product is rare but yes you can still do it without one. It shows, there are people who have been there without a technical co-founder and done that.   

Let us know if you agree with the above deductions or not and if it helped you in any way.  Over to you.

Main Image: ©HBO Entertainment

Piyush Sharma Written by:

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