Big News: FounderDating is joining OneVest to build the largest community for entrepreneurs. Details here
Latest Notifications
You have no recent recommendations.
Name
Title
 
MiniBio
FOLLOW
Title
 Followers
FOLLOW TOPIC

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur

Experience vs. Talent? Finding a talented Architect/ CTO for your startup

I am sure some of you have faced the same issue like we are facing. We are IT startup in Malta working on developing digital platform for High Net Worth Individuals. So....we have the idea, we have the plan, the structure and ready to build the platform but faced with one big issue - finding the right Architect/ CTO to build our platform and lead the future team seems to be a big challenge...We have interviewed few great highly experienced CTO`s but the problem with experienced Architects - they are too expensive and would not sacrifice salary for equity. When you are Startup company you cannot afford to pay 000,000 yearly salary to your CTO/lead BackEnd Developer. What should you do? Experience vs talent. Which would you choose if were IT Startup providing services to highly demanding demographics?

The question is - Where do you find passionate, genuine, young, talented, entrepreneurial Back End Developers/ Future CTO`s with co-founder mentality that would be interested in joining a really exciting project to build a disruptive service? So far I am getting replies just from highly experienced CTO`s who request huge salaries and we cannot afford them. However, who we are looking for - is someone who is young, has co-founder mentality, highly analytical and passionate about being part of startup.Really struggling to find these type of Architects.

I do not know where the problem is...maybe we put the wrong title in the job spec? Originally we did put role as CTO so perhaps that puts off some of talented Back End Developers/Architects as they might think they are not experienced enough to apply for this position?

What your advice/ recommendations be? How and where we can talented Architect/ future CTO with co-founder mentality and entrepreneurial spirit?

23 Replies

Terrance Boult
7
0
Terrance Boult Entrepreneur
El Pomar Prof of Innovation and Security at U. Colorado at Colorado Springs
For pure equity you probably have two choices: someone still in school (talent with no experience) or someone with talent whose done well enough to take the no-salary risk. If you want experience you'll need someone that could be your client (High net worth), which means they will also have a lot of ideas about how the business should work, not just a architect that will implement your ideas. You'll need to treat them as a partner, not an employee.

You did not mention how much equity was being offered.
All too often I work with business folks that want to offer the CTO a small equity stake, 5 or 10%, while the "business founders" are at 40%." That sends a clear message about how you value them and I advise potential CTOs to steer clear of that. (5% can be fine if they are are also getting normal salary but even 10% when there is no salary is insufficient). The "idea" is worth very little, its the execution that matters and for a tech-based product/service the tech is probably critical part of the execution and worth nearly equal valuation as the idea.

If your equity offer is reasonable, andIf you want an experienced CTOs that already has many options you have to consider what motivates them. Most are likely looking to do something that either moves them toward the CEO role (if they like that side of the business), or that is technologically interesting or both. The way youdescribe your effort it sounds like it offers neither. So the only remaining motivation would be $$, so for someone that has multiple potential directions, the upside has to be high and risk low which is why cash+equity is the norm unless they are the actual founders.

You've not described the role well enough to answer if you described it wrong. As a rule of thumb, if there are not multiple developers you don't need a CTO, you need a developer and if they are not working with customers and setting product vision, they are not CTO (they are a head of engineering or something).

Your best bet is to hang out at startup event/co-working space and build relationships. If you want to find young talent, you might also try working with tech faculty at the local school, or work some entrepreneurial event there to see about finding talented student developers.
Tim Scott
1
0
Tim Scott Entrepreneur • Advisor
President, Lunaverse Software
Young? Better start covering that up with "culture fit."
Tom Lemmons
0
0
Tom Lemmons Entrepreneur
Founder - Nimbus, Ltd
Kristina,
I am facing many of the same problems. While I am not looking for a CTO directly, even getting people to help out and work without getting a "normal" large salary is tough. I am in the US and in a technology center. It just seems like all the people who can help (i.e. do not need a salary) are happily not available, and all the ones that would really like to help, just simply cannot afford to, equity or no equity. Maybe I am just not a good enough cheerleader to convince them to come on board. My product is already MVP and ready to sell, but the needs of manufacturing, marketing, and business are either expensive or more then I can find time in the day for. I have even combed through sites like this one to find co-founders but it also seems like most here are like us, they want help, not to help. If you find any good resources or ways of finding them. Let me know also!
Doug Winter
5
0
Doug Winter Entrepreneur
Founder and Director of Isotoma
Bluntly this is a sellers market. There are very few people with the characteristics you describe and they can earn $200k+ plus options at Google, Facebook, Apple etc.

They are not being unreasonable in choosing to do that, really.

You probably don't need that kind of person full time though, so you may be better finding an agency to do the build for you, and they provide the specialist skills. If your startup takes off then you are in a position to recruit a team to take it forward.



George Parrish
1
0
George Parrish Entrepreneur
Founder/President

Look,personally I think if youget more involved in the StartUp Scene to find the right person, the better off you will be.

Society3 operates out of Switzerland,and hosts Pitch events in Berlin, Munich, Lucerne.

Seedrs in London might be able to help. They're on the Continent now. And they are growing. Ask them to help you, it can't hurt to ask.

I think if you follow this path, you have a pretty good chance of finding the right person for your team.

I get this ALL THE TIME in the Bay Area from StartUps that are in the same position as you. And I give them the same advice. Best of luck to you and your team!

Jayakumar.S Singaram
0
1
Jayakumar.S Singaram Entrepreneur
Member Founding Team at RINANU SEMICONDUCTORS LLP
Hello Kristina, good morning.. u did define problem very well and this is the problem for many startup in Bangalore. ( where startup want to build prototype and also scale up to manufacturing level of given product which has h/w and s/w). pls look at http://www.revvx.com/ RevvX exactly solves the problem that u had listed. You are most welcome to Bangalore and work till you get product ready. RevvX provides place as well for startup. May be Bangalore welcoming u and your business partner. For this work RevvX takes few % equity in your venture
Galina Ozgur
1
0
Galina Ozgur Advisor
GM at Grand Central Tech
Kristina, do you really need a CTO? a CTO with an entrepreneurial mentality is a smart engineer with a lot of development and management experience and often with startup experience. They can either consult/ do project work or can work for the big guys that pay 250-300 K/ year (in the US, I'm not sure what it's like in Malta) with benefits and realize that getting startup options or equity is no guarantee. They are hardly out of work and shop around all the time. You can't blame them for that. I'd join networking groups, search within friends & family networks, check out hackathons - and focus on people who can do hands-on development and push out first iterations. There is no special sauce here, really.
Josh McCormack
1
0
Josh McCormack Advisor
Owner, InteractiveQA - Marketing, Web Dev, Testing, Data & Market Analysis
Doug Winter summed it up well - a lot of people with strong technical skills can earn good money for their labor. The risk/delayed reward ratio just isn't right for them.

Try to start out simple. Don't make too many technical decisions/assumptions yourself. If you don't really know what you're doing, you might make things more complicated and expensive. Understand that you might need to pay a lot in cash or equity for technical expertise.

Be careful who you use. I've recruited a lot of people to work for me and others. You have to know how to identify and avoid people who want to build beautiful code from scratch so that it's perfect. You want to use existing code as much as possible, keep things simple.

More experienced people will also help you avoid getting trapped in corners when circumstances change. Inexperienced people will more often write delicate, fragile code.
Venu Vasudevan
0
0
Venu Vasudevan Entrepreneur
IIoT | Big Data | Mobile | Media
well, here's what Jason Calcanis has to say on that --https://twitter.com/TWistartups/status/773579788543942656
Martin Omansky
0
1
Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
Try university faculties. Sent from my iPhone
Join FounderDating to participate in the discussion
Nothing gets posted to LinkedIn and your information will not be shared.

Just a few more details please.

DO: Start a discussion, share a resource, or ask a question related to entrepreneurship.
DON'T: Post about prohibited topics such as recruiting, cofounder wanted, check out my product
or feedback on the FD site (you can send this to us directly info@founderdating.com).
See the Community Code of Conduct for more details.

Title

Give your question or discussion topic a great title, make it catchy and succinct.

Details

Make sure what you're about to say is specific and relevant - you'll get better responses.

Topics

Tag your discussion so you get more relevant responses.

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
Know someone who should answer this question? Enter their email below
Stay current and follow these discussion topics?