Why you should stop looking for a technical co-founder – at least for now

Andreas Kwiatkowski
Andreas Kwiatkowski

[title]Stop looking for a technical co-founder – intro[/title]

Andreas Kwiatkowski

In times of ruthless competition for technical co-founders, should business and creative brains just learn to code themselves? Guest blogger and former Simfy head of product Andreas Kwiatkowski (pictured) has another suggestion for us – and just used it to successfully build new productivity app Eisenhower:

A while ago, Alexey Komissarouk posted an article on TechCrunch proposing that founders should learn to code themselves – just as Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley did years ago. In terms of outsourcing product development, he leaves us with a quotation by billionaire James Goldsmith: “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.

In the long-term, outsourcing development in agile environments truly results in poor quality. But this shouldn’t automatically mean spending hours and days desperately trying to get your head into Ruby on Rails before starting an online business. Learning to code might sound easy at first but learning to do it right is hard work, especially for non-techies. Even if you manage to build your own prototype (after lots of costly hours), you’re probably still far away from efficiency and knowing best practices how to develop and set-up a rock solid environment.

So what to do? Finding a technical co-founder is far from easy, especially when you are not living close to the MIT/KIT campus. I say – forget about trying to find a co-founder for long-term development, at least for now.

Instead, focus on defining a simple, customer-oriented minimum viable product (MVP) to be built with the help of outsourcing. Learn how to specify software with well-written user stories and leave the make-and-trash-development to low-cost resources before getting serious with software engineers.

If writing beautiful code is not something that turns you on in the long-term, use this MVP to verify your idea, get some tiny traction and find a well-fitting technical co-founder to take over the technical half – or, if you are lucky, have them find you.

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