As a non-tech founder, do I pay a software development company to develop my mobile application, or get a tech co-founder or an investor?

I have designed a rather complex (in process and function) messaging application to develop but very simple for users to use, but i am worried that the complexity of the development required might be too overwhelming for a tech co founder. I am looking for an adviser relevant to my problem to consult with.


In my experience a technical co-founder's primary responsibilities are to be a visionary first, a hacker second and a manager third. first you recruit a tech co-founder to help visioneer what your product can, will and should do. then you have them support the one key part of the development process (prioritizing around the area of the technology with complexities or is part of your secret sauce) and then that person also manages whatever internal or external developers/technicians that are needed to launch or sale the product. Personally I think the evolution of the IT support model is better positioned as an "AND" play - meaning you find a competent technical partner that is cost accessible, scalable and reliable in terms of experience with similar startups and products. From there you continually look for a good fit CTO/tech co-founder and if you discover them early that is excellent, but do not force the issue (it is easier to scale down or replace a third party vendor, an equity holder not so much.)

Over the last 12 years my firm has helped 300+ entrepreneurs over thousands of projects plan, build, launch and scale their applications (all told raising about $700M in venture financing). So I've seen pretty much ever permutation of co-founder/CTO/product manager you can imagine in the startup space through the lens of my software development company. So if you'd like to connect and chat about how best to plan out the road ahead feel free to reach out.

Answered 6 years ago

the other issue with bringing in a tech co-founder is can you find one you can work with at that level and get along with personally. You don't want to solve your technical problem only to generate difference of vision issues down the road.

A software development company also brings with it at least two major advantages. !) In many cases they can bring an entire team to build and test your app giving you a range of technical ability which would tend to improve the quality to the end user. 2) They may have existing contacts you can leverage from on the deployment and marketing side that would give you aa leg up there.

Answered 6 years ago

I have been building and coaching startups since 1972 and wrote the global bestselling "Startup Owners Manual" and to me, outsourcing your technology in a tech-driven company is like outsourcing your aorta and hoping somebody else's aorta keeps you alive. Your technology/code and your ability to constantly tweak/upgrade/pivot/expand the code base are the heart of your business...i'd strongly encourage you to find a strong technical co-founder with the view that 66% of a good company is worth a lot more than 100% of a crap pile. Hope that sparks your thinking...let me know. Bob

Answered 6 years ago

Look the problem other way round. Do you really cannot do it without a tech co-founder?
Trying to raise money as a non-technical founder was an uphill battle. A decidedly non-technical founder. This is not a woe-is-me cry for non-technical founders to get more respect in the industry.
You can read more here:
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 3 years ago

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