Dear non-technical founders, please wait before hiring a CTO… Here’s why


Some non-technical founders have this unwavering focus on finding a CTO (or lead software developer or technical co-founder).

Because they want to turn their amazing idea into a product!

The problem with this is that startups make fatal mistakes long before they hire that elusive CTO. We’ve seen first hand here at River City Labs, if you are persistent you may find a developer to work on the product you’ve been trying to build. But that’s not a magical solution.

Startups fail less for tech-related reasons than business ones. Startups fail, in most part, because no one gives a shit about what they are building enough to buy the damn thing.

In fact, i’d go as far as saying that you should avoid building anything until you know for certain enough people want what you’re building.

How do I tell if someone wants what i’m building?

  1. They sign up to be a user of your product (good)
  2. They sign up to be a user of your product and they share it with people they know (better)
  3. They sign up and pre-pay to be a user of your product (even better)
  4. They stand outside your window at 3am begging for you to finish building the product so they can pay to use it (best)

Josh Anthony @joshantho originally posted on the River City Labs blog.

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