The Importance of a Technical Co-Founder

I was talking with a napkin stage (idea only) entrepreneur recently about his business and we got to the product portion of the conversation. He said he didn’t have a technical person on his two-person team but that they have talked to some programmers that will build the web app application. Immediately, a red flag came up in my mind. It is imperative to have a technical co-founder on the team. Why? Let’s dig into it.

Here are several benefits of having a technical co-founder:

  • Ability to iterate faster on the product
  • The technical person can communicate directly with the potential customers or users (the company closest to the customer wins)
  • Alignment of incentives and long term interests to build a successful business

Here are several negatives of not have a technical co-founder:

  • Shows that the entrepreneur hasn’t been able to sell the vision to a technical person to get on board and be a technical co-founder
  • Makes the project timeline and deliverables more suspect as getting a consultant’s help just isn’t the same
  • Results in more narrow-minded thinking of the technical possibilities due to not having someone on the founding team 24/7 to obsess over the future

I recommend all teams have a technical co-founder. For Shotput Ventures, it is a requirement.

3 thoughts on “The Importance of a Technical Co-Founder

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