Three Hot Tips for Startups | Building a Team [Post]

blog-3You have an excellent idea for a startup and are ready to begin building your team, but how do you know where to begin? Below are three startup tips to building a software development team that will get you started in the right direction.

Seek well-rounded, experienced developers

It is very critical to seek well-rounded, experienced developers. When you have a new startup, you have a very new product and essentially you do not have any code for that product.  Having inexperienced developers work on that product, in the beginning, introduces a lot of code debt. Essentially code debt is much like financial debt, as you eventually will have to pay off that debt.   So, it is important to have experienced developers work on that initial code debt base, and then eventually get slightly less experienced developers to help with the existing code base and mature it over time.

There are two types of developers: there are generalists and then there are specialists. Generalists can wear multiple hats and can focus on different parts of your application. Specialists tend to focus on a specific problem, such as scaling or optimizing a specific type of technology and that is generally what you do not need to do at the beginning. A startup should really think about bringing in generalists.

blog-1Give your founding team vesting equity

At the beginning of companies with early stage startups, it is very important to incentivise each of the founders in the right way. Very frequently people will struggle with salaries, ect. The key over the years has been equity, as equity motivates people better. Equity is based on fairness, as each individual should own the same amount of a given company, or at least own a fair amount of equity based on their given input.  The way to do that is to give them shares or equity in proportion to their inputs.  Very frequently, if there are two founders, each will get 50% of the company.  Another key concept is vesting, if one individual leaves the company they’re going to end up with the shares that are irrespective to the work that they have put in, unless a vesting schedule was created.  What a vesting schedule means, is that overtime the individual will get the shares that they were originally allocated.  So, after the first year for instance, they will get 25% and then in subsequent years they will get a specific percentage for each month that they worked.

blogConsider remote talent (**My Personal Favorite**)

Remote talent will more than likely be the next buzz in the software industry.  It is hard enough to find talent locally.  So, what a few companies have started doing is looking at remote talent, and there have been some great blog posts by tech entrepreneurs, such as Tim Ferriss, writing about how

other companies should do this. But currently very few are, which is another reason why this is a really good opportunity. I’m talking about hiring full time developers that may even be in the same country or providence, but not in the same city.  You still need a centralized location in generally, so maybe 50% of the company can be locally, and the other 50% can be a distributed team.

Conclusion

You need to understand that running a business isn’t easy, especially in the introductory phase of the startup life cycle.  That is why you need to have an “adapt and overcome”, mentality.   Never limit yourself to just one version of your plan.  Stay fluid and adaptable because life changes on a dime.  Following the tips above will help eliminate some of the stress that you will have to go trough and go a long way towards ensuring that your startup lasts and thrives.

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