CTO · Finding cofounders

tech cofounder or diy/low-code

Steve Procter Venture Architect | Tech Entrepreneur | Startup Innovator

January 20th, 2021

Something that is quite common right now is non-tech founders saying they can build their website themselves, and even build mvp's of solutions using low-code platforms.

This approach is very frustrating for a lot of properly trained and experienced tech people. And perhaps slightly insulting that a lot of founders don't appreciate what a tech person can bring to the founding team.

Good tech is hard. Tech is complex. Proper tech takes many years to be good at.

When you take on real tech people, you may see them knock something up in 3 days and think it is easy. But there are likely to be many many years of experience behind what they've made look simple, meaning...

  • they can do it in 3 days instead of a lot more by someone in-experienced
  • it will work without masses of debugging, and even if it has bugs they know how to manage that
  • it works inline with what the business asked for because a proper tech person (who doesn't just hack code) knows how to convert business requirements cleanly into a tech plan
  • it is hardened and ready for scaling up, rather than binning and starting again when the increase in usage breaks the low-code version

Also, the non-tech founding team have already got too much else to do to get the business flying, without the addition of trying to code. And an investor is not going to be impressed by a tech startup where there is no real tech experience.

Yes it is hard to find good tech cofounders, but the value they bring to a team is immense; and it also means an extra person to share the ups and downs with!

Daniel Canelea Senior Solutions Architect at TD Wealth

January 20th, 2021

I wholeheartedly agree with your viewpoint . I've have a couple of experiences , recently , when I was asked to join as a tech co-founder after the original founder spent insane amounts of money with 3rd parties for MVP development , just to get a crappy product , or got tired to being constantly delayed because the 3rd party already cashed in .

To add to the frustration I feel as a technology person , when I am being asked to join the team as a co-founder , the best I've been offered was 25% shares , but usual it revolves around 5-10% . And that is still at the idea stage or at best , after the original co-founder wasted money trying to do it on his own .

Steve Procter Venture Architect | Tech Entrepreneur | Startup Innovator

January 20th, 2021

Daniel, yeah it's time for techies to stand up to this ;-)

As well as mentoring startup founders, I have 2 of my own tech startups and am 50-50 in both of them. I'd probably accept something a bit less in new ventures, but only because I might not be doing it full time.

Frankly I'd like to see the tables turned with tech founders owning 80% and us searching for CEO cofounders "who do the easy bit so only deserve 20%" ;-)

Abhishek Singh Founder@ Headstrt

January 21st, 2021

You could start with low-code/DIY and then as requirements of the customers significantly increase for which they are willing to pay handsomely, then get a small dev team lead by a CTO to do the refactoring for you. If you have an established business at that point, you can easily hire great people.

API/No-code platforms will continue to get powerful in near future, so makes sense to exploit that to your advantage. You will be able to get >= 50% of the product built with them.