You have an excellent idea for a new product and strong evidence that it will succeed because you understand the problem and the market around it. You have validated the concept of your solution with potential customers. They are asking you when your product will be available to buy it. And now you need to build it, and many mentors, investors, advisors, "expert" friends, etc, around you insist on finding a tech co-founder ASAP.
You start attending startup-related events, reach out to your network, and try to find the ideal co-founder. Only to realize that an experienced software engineer will not quit a well-paid job to join your startup without a salary, even if you are generous enough to offer a significant share of your company (or company-to-be).
You could compromise with a junior developer, but you will be surprised by the range of engineering problems you will face over time and the inability of your young "CTO" to tackle them, resulting in disastrous delays in delivering a sellable product. And then, you will have to hire a real CTO with a low probability of staying and dealing with the inexperienced tech co-founder who now has the power of the shareholder.
What other options do you have?
- Hire a freelancer from your network or a marketplace like Upwork.
- Engage with a software agency.
- Build it on your own using a no-code platform like Bubble.
- Is there a fourth option? Maybe a combination of 2 and 3 in a founder-friendly form where the tech team will understand and honestly care about you and your startup?
Let me elaborate on each one of them.
An advisor might say, "Why don't you hire a college student in Computer Science?" or "Why don't you hire a remote developer from a low-salary country? Given your limited budget, you will have a developer with little experience who will deliver a low-quality product, which will be challenging to evolve. And keep in mind that it is the fast evolution of the product based on customer feedback will take you to the next step in your journey as an entrepreneur.
Additionally, the low-cost developer is not a user experience designer and, most of the time, may need help understanding design. Yet user experience is paramount to ensuring your customers use your product long-term.
A good agency can provide design (user experience/interface) and engineering resources to build a quality product. They will also be there to support you as you evolve your product. However, they will ask for several months until they can deliver a functional version at an impossible to bear cost without funding. But an MVP and some initial traction are prerequisites for raising money. Additionally, they will treat your product as yet another project and will never understand you as a founder.
In the last few years and until the advent of ChatGPT, certain providers of no-code and low-code platforms introduced the concept of the citizen developer. They tried to convince the market that a non-technical person can build applications. Many people now believe that AI can make software products on its own! The reality is always challenging, and the "fake it till you make it" mantra barely works anymore, especially if you need a new product now and cannot wait years for the latest technologies to live up to the promise of their providers.
The bottom line is that you need experienced designers and engineers to deliver an actual product that customers will love. Finally, most no-code/low-code platforms will lock you in their proprietary technologies to ensure you keep paying subscriptions and usage fees, while when you decide to leave, you will have to rebuild your product from scratch.
A different approach: Allcancode
- You could hire a flexible tech team with multi-year design and development experience.
- They could help turn your idea into a product fast (in weeks) and on a budget you can afford.
- They could understand a startup and a product because they also work for a startup that builds a product.
- They have also created a hybrid platform that combines no-code, low-code, and traditional code in a way that:
- There is no proprietary technology but only standard open-source frameworks most developers in the market use.
- You always have access to your product's independent, high-quality source code. In other words, you can continue on your own anytime, no questions asked.
- It is easy to train entry-level developers to use the platform if you build an in-house team based on it.
I understand it looks too good to be true, yet it works. And at Allcancode we offer precisely that alternative approach based on our platform. By the way, I would love to discuss this with you anytime, so please use this page to send a question or book a call with me.
At Allcancode, we're committed to helping startups get their products to the market in weeks while empowering them with the best resources and insights. If you found this post valuable, please consider sharing it with your network. Let's grow together!
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