Why does it seem EVERYONE is looking for a CTO?
I'm genuinely, stridently curious why there are so many co-founder profiles in search of a "CTO". From health startups to finance apps to non-profits to two-sided marketplaces... it seems many founders believe the missing ingredient to a successful launch is finding a person to do some programming or IT-heavy undertaking. I'm guessing because Internet (tm).
This really baffles me because so many IT services are already commoditized and outsource-able. Yes, you can hire an individual or company to build your fitness app according to your startup's design and wishes. This would make them your IT vendor or IT partner, but not your "co-founder". Until you need an in-house team of IT engineers writing proprietary code, a CTO isn't needed for 90% of the ideas I see advertised.
I feel like so many potential co-founder matches end up as missed connections because there's scarce guidance about navigating the question of what makes for a great co-founder match.
Or maybe I'm totally missing the mark and need to get in line for a CTO before supply is gone! Please starthawk family, enlighten me.
I think non-technical co-founders don't care much what does a CTO or a developer do. maybe it's a bit related to the inadequate search capability of the Starthawk.
If your project is primarily software, then the investors generally looks for a technical co-founder on the team. Everyone gets ideas for businesses. It takes a team to bring the idea to reality.
@Vince, yes I did point out software engineering as the necessary exception. A tech company developing shipping software exists for completely different reasons than a food delivery startup (despite both needing cloud IT services to succeed). Otherwise, it seems ultimately detrimental to the success of sites like Starthawk that when entrepreneurs are misguided about their aims, and not helped or educated, a huge failure at facilitating beneficial co-founder connections takes place. That can't be good for any of the parties involved.
Because the CTO (Chief TECHNOLOGY Officer) is the most crucial role in a TECHNOLOGY company?
Because the CEO cannot make strategy decisions regarding Engineering/Technology if he does not have a technical/Engineering background?
Because a CEO cannot outsource the core development of the product if he is not in a position to judge the quality of the deliverables?
Never striked your mind?
Having built a successful startup for a SAAS play without a CTO as a core founding partner I can attest to how much risk is at play if you and your team lose a non partner CTO at an early stage (pre and early revenue). The risk is obviously minimised if you partner with a skilled highly engaged CTO in your startup.
I think there has to be clarity on what the CTO does. A startup that has an in-house engineering team needs a CTO. A startup that has zero engineering team and outsources their development doesn't need a CTO except they are looking to raise funds, investors look out for a technical co-founder in the team.
The challenge though is that most startups are looking to hire a coder, but just slap on the title of CTO.
A CTO shouldn't be doing the heavy lifting, hire a programmer instead.