That Elusive Technical Co-founder
We’ve spent a lot of time at home. At first we were terrified. Financial insecurity, isolation, unsure when we could see our families and friends. We reflected on the prospect of losing our jobs or our jobs becoming obsolete. Lockdown-one turned into lockdown-two turned into lockdown-three and many of us took a long hard look at our lives wondering “is this really what I want to be doing?”
A survey of 6,000 workers by Randstad UK found 69% felt confident to move to a new role in the next few months. But what are people quitting their jobs for? Many moved to completely new industries, many went back to studying and many considered entrepreneurship for the very first time. Myself included.

There has never been a better time to start your business

There are so many resources online for us to build a business. Gone are the days when you need to have a mastery of coding to turn your idea into a reality. Low-code tools, landing pages, the ability to interview potential customers online and set up a community on Discord or Slack. All without a single line of code.
But what do you do when you have done everything you can without coding? You realise you need to find someone to take you to the next step. Maybe you pay someone on Fiverr or Upwork to get you some of the way towards an MVP. But increasingly it becomes clear you’re going to need to find a technical co-founder. Tricky. Many software developers whether junior or senior are working on their own ideas. Or they’re being bombarded by recruiters, day-in-day-out, with an endless stream of highly paid contract offers.

Where to Find Them?

It’s good to try to exhaust your own network first. People you’ve worked with in the past, partnership organisations or former colleagues. There are a few places to find collaborators like Indie Hackers, YC Co-founder Matching platform or Bumble Bizz.
But ultimately you need someone right now. Someone who is excited by what you're trying to create, has the skills and is willing to help. You need someone with passion.

The Best Way to Retain Control of Your Business is Equity

With limited cash in a business in the early days, giving away equity into your business is the main way to get a technical co-founder on-board. They’re working on your idea because they buy into your vision for the future. Equity offers the promise of returns for their work later down the line at a time when cash is limited.
Obviously it's scary to give away ownership of something you've potentially been working on for months. So it's good to have a trial period, where you protect yourself and the new starter. Assign them some objectives, minimum time commitment, but give them ownership, so they feel like they can come to you with ideas and have an opinion on the future of the business.
There are four things you need to put in place to ensure you retain control of your business and the technical collaborator has autonomy to succeed:
  1. 1.
    Trial period (a period where you're testing the water)
  2. 2.
    Objectives (clear and actionable objectives that they need to meet to get their ownership)
  3. 3.
    Minimum time commitment (clear number of hours that you expect them to work)
  4. 4.
    Ownership over what they're doing (give them enough freedom to be creative and don't micro-manage)

Dynamic Equity As An Enabler

Dynamic equity is rising in popularity with teams that want to empower contributors and where better to work like this then at Ownership?
Ownership works like this:
  • The team all log hours as they work and the people who work the most, own the most.
  • The app understands the difference between senior and junior members.
  • It rewards milestones and targets.
  • It does all of this out in the open for the whole team to see.
  • It's startup infrastructure for the next generation of founders.
  • Fully automated.
  • Just log your hours and the app will do the rest.
Before, you would decide at the start of a project how to split the ownership. Give everyone a percentage that (you think) they deserve and hope everybody pulls their weight for as long as possible. The new way is automatic. Ownership in exchange for good work as a daily motivator for the whole team. Full visibility of who is active and engaged.
Be part of this new wave of entrepreneurs working together and owning together.