It may be contrary to your first assumption about tech companies, but technology itself is rarely what differentiates you. It’s usually something more fundamental that is expressed through technology. For some startups that might be a unique marketing opportunity. For others it’s delivering a process that improves the lives of individuals or the productivity of businesses. Whatever it is, there’s a good chance that building out an expensive in-house engineering team isn’t what’s going to set you apart.
That being said, many startups quickly head down this path. They hire their first engineer, who often has little experience with the demands of a startup, so that engineer starts arguing for more engineers. Your anxiety level rises as your burn-rate increases. Hiring engineers takes time. Firing them can be heart breaking and demoralizing, not to mention litigious.
Going back to the idea of a Minimal Viable Product, an entrepreneur must introspectively ask what the MVP is not just of the product, but of the entire company.
Unless your product is fundamentally a new way of implementing a technology itself, which likely means that you yourself are an engineer, then your engineers are not part of your MVP. They’re essential in the same way that your accountant is essential. They’re critical like your branding company is critical. But, they’re not your MVP any more than your branding company or accounting firm is.
So why do you want to build a software engineering company? You need to think leaner than that so you can reserve your capital for what really matters – executing your plan, overcoming failures, and triumphing before you run out of cash!
Pick your partners well
This is especially true when you’re talking about equity partners. But that’s not what’s meant here. You will have to contract an array of subject matter experts. From the passion of of your branding and marketing experts, to the tedious detailed nature of your accounting and finance firms. Each is vital, though they are not your MVP.
Olive Technology has 18 years of experience working with over 100 disparate clients in 10 countries utilizing a hugely diverse range of technologies. That experience can be vital in providing you our experience so that you don’t have to learn the hard lessons of product engineering yourself.
Many of our prior clients have been startups. A number of our current clients are startups. We can’t say who they are or what they’re doing, anymore than we’d share who you are or what you’re doing… but we can safely say that startup engineering is in our DNA.
As you hunker down and prepare to to implement your MVP, we’d be glad to sign an NDA to explore the possibilities of working with you. We have taken products from ideation to production hosting and maintenance. We’d love the opportunity to power your ideas with our experience.