Having a technical cofounder vs hiring a freelancer
This post is intended for those who see themselves more business savvy or the “idea” folks, debating between hiring someone to build out their idea, or find a cofounder. This is also more so catered to application ideas and of course new founders.
We’ll assume you’re bootstrapping the idea and we’ll pick a number like $20k, no outside investment, all your cash. Your projected breakdown could look something like this;
- Legal costs: $2k
- Marketing: $6k
- Hiring for Development: $10k
- Unaccounted: $2k
You find a freelancer for cheap in another country who’s willing to do it for $10k (in the US, $10k will be a rather low number for a full fledged app). The app gets built, gets launched, marketing is in full effect, you’ve got a business plan laid out and now you’re preparing to hunt for investors to present to.
Meanwhile feedback begins to come in, the tech has some issues, your developer wants money to fix it. The $2k unaccounted isn’t going to cut it, marketing budget will run out soon so you’ve begun to do growth hacking yourself (Tip: Great book on this called Traction by Gabriel Weinberg). You’re left with a broken app, out of cash, and unless you find an investor willing to roll the dice on you, without traction you don’t have much to prove to investors.
This entire scenario gets saved by having a technical cofounder. You’ve got more cash to spend on marketing, something breaks, your cofounder can fix it, you can focus on getting traction whilst your cofounder can focus on building on the app. This route will require a lot of man/woman-power but you’re spending less and producing more.
Now what if money isn’t a problem? Still, finding a cofounder is the way to go. Most investors or even incubators will look for teams at least the size of two. With a cofounder (or more), you learn delegation, show that you do well leading a team, working within a team, you won’t take all the stress on your own, and many more benefits.
You’re a team of at least two non-technical cofounders with enough cash? Okay, if you can cover the costs and find a trustworthy development team, this could work. Two non-technical cofounders with not enough funding? Find a technical cofounder. (Tip: The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman is an amazing book on this topic in general.)
Thoughts on this article? Tweet me @omairfit.