What does your a team look like for a software company of ten or less people? Or, how do you think it should be?

I'm trying to evaluate how we should build out our team in order to be more efficient and productive. I would be excited to hear how you setup your company or how you'd suggest we setup ours. Thanks! Example... Internal team: 1 Front end developer 1 Back end developer 1 Designer (wireframes only) 1 Marketing 1 Sales 1 Support 1 Q/A 1 Book keeping External team (outsource) Q/A Design (actual graphics) Support (help desk) Accounting


Instead of looking at who does what .. why not look at the things that need to get done for a small techology team.

Product: 6 people
- 3 full stack engineers
- 2 front end developers
- 1 designer / product person

Marketing & Community, 1 person
- Full time hire, or CEO

Support & Operations, 1 person
- Part time hire, or CEO + Whole team

I believe it's important for everyone on the team to help with support. Also, if you have a great product, then support shouldn't be that taxing.

Q&A is usually needed when you have a bad development process (no unit testing or continuous integration deployments).

Outsource everything else.
- Bookeeping
- HR stuff
- Legal
- Government program paperwork

Hope that helps.

P.S. I would put as many people on product as that's where you'll get the most bang for your buck.

Answered 10 years ago

I need to know more about the type of software you are developing and how big the team will need to get in the long term. A few key rules: 1) Your first 10 people should be the best you can find - alter the organization to meet capabilities of the first 10 employees. 2) Don't hire anyone who is not exactly what you are looking for (Go without until you find the right person) 3) As CEO, stay hyper focused on product management - if you define the wrong product features, your organization no matter how it is structured, will waste its time. Frankly the CEO should probably do Sales/Marketing for a while. 4) For book keeping and such find a mother who's kids are in college. She is great at managing chaos and will compensate for your ADHD (all great entrepreneurs have ADHD). 5) No part time people on core jobs (i.e. development) 6) Don't outsource any part of the product that is close to the customer feedback loop. i.e. don't outsource the iPhone app if that is 90% of how you engage customers. You need a really tight lean update loop on product requirements/product evolution.

Answered 10 years ago

I've been involved in three different software startups. My first was completely bootstrapped on a credit card. I sold it during the dotcom era for a low 7 digit figure. My second was building a new division for an existing venture. We had completely in-house staff. I managed 54 people on my team. I currently am helping another start up software company. We just launched a SaaS product.

It is a bit difficult to give you a good answer to your question without knowing more about the project. Nonetheless, here are a few things to consider:

1. If your product is ready for market, sales and marketing should be your focus. How you allocate to these roles largely depends on your product and budget. If your product is sexy enough and your sales funnels sticky enough, you might allocate more to marketing and less to a staffed sales force.

2. Do you have enough sales to justify a full-time support person? If not, that person might be able to handle Q/A when not interacting with a customer.

3. Bookkeeping and accounting can easily be outsourced, at least in the beginning. There are good online services for managing your sales transactions on the front end.

4. You might consider outsourcing your wireframing until you are at a place where you have the cash flow and customer base to justify keeping someone busy full time with all your iterations.

5. If you are considering offshore outsourcing, we need to talk. I've been using onshore and offshore for the past four years consistently. I can save you lots of time and money from the lessons I've learned.

Let's schedule a concise call. I can definitely help you on this project.

All the best!

Kevin McCarthy

Answered 10 years ago

Great answers. Just remember when you compartmentalize people you may end of with people sitting around doing nothing or even worse people doing nothing while pretending to be doing something worthwhile on your time and on your dime. I would hire Full Stack Developers only and outsource everything else. You will probably know when you need to add more staff and other positions. The key is to hold everyone accountable whether they are sitting in-house or "outhouse" (out sourced).
Michael T. Irvin

Answered 10 years ago

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