Entrepreneurs with non-technical skills should especially understand.
Alpha said: There are so many pits that early startups have to smash, and problems with capital, business, and team can make the company develop obstacles; technology is one of the obstacles, especially for non-technical Born entrepreneurs. The original author, Nemil Dalal, is a technical expert who combines his own experience and in-depth discussions with a number of entrepreneurs and investors to summarize the technical pitfalls that four early startups should avoid, and welcome entrepreneurs to refer to them.
A few years ago, a first-time entrepreneur found me to do technical consultation before the Angel Wheel. After a detailed understanding, I found that he made a lot of low-level mistakes in technology selection.
For example, when his core technicians choose a technical framework, they are not selected according to the company’s product requirements, but are chosen according to their preferences. His technical roadmap is also too optimistic (both at the same time building the web and mobile), which does not match his business.
Early startups differ from large companies in technology choices. It should not tend to build a comprehensive, complete system too early, but should focus on generating short- and medium-term productivity, and it is easy to iterate and practical. Doctrine.
This article will focus on early startups that are not tech entrepreneurs, and how to avoid stepping into the deadly technology pitfalls.
1. Premature expansion
This is the most common technical mistake made by early-stage startups. It refers to the time and resources used for large-scale technical construction when the company is still small and the products and business are not perfect.
A large scale expansion before reaching a product market fit is a waste of technical resources and is highly likely to have a devastating impact on early startups. Because these startups usually have less money, the number of engineers is not enough.
Since premature expansion is so devastating for early startups, why does it still happen often?
First of all, the extension can solve the problem to a certain extent and is attractive to the technical team. The initial version of Twitter’s program is actually relatively simple, but as the number of users has increased dramatically, a large amount of data has flooded, causing more frequent clicks and even downtime on Twitter. solveThis huge challenge is attractive to members of the technical team, but this attraction is making the technical team more inclined to expand too early.
Secondly, engineers are pursuing perfection. Many engineers who have worked in large technology companies have become accustomed to the complete system owned by the company, and it is difficult to endure their own “technical debt.” At the same time, they will tend to optimize and prepare in advance for the future needs on the technology roadmap. Therefore, when the number of users in the company is still small, and the functions of the products are still relatively simple, the users are prepared in advance for the users who do not exist and the business needs are not yet perfect, instead of improving the functions for the users already owned and improving the experience.
Either the founder of the company, or the leaders and members of the technology and product teams, should define a principle that works around solving the needs of users (customers).
2. Use too new, unverified technology
Engineers who join a startup usually have strong innovation and willingness to innovate. They want to build some cool features using the latest technology, which may include new languages, tools, and more. This strategy may indeed work in the short term, such as improving the ease of use or speed of some products. But the latest technology usually stands for unverified, and although they seem to offer some attractive features, it’s hard to predict what flaws it has and where it will be.
The new technology also represents the imperfection of the technical ecology and the lack of resources, because not many people are using it, and there are no ready-made solutions to problems. This undoubtedly increases the difficulty of the engineers. For example, to achieve the same function, using relatively mature technology may be completed faster, and there are precedences for solving problems. You can spend more time and resources to improve products and functions; using new technologies requires more Time, when encountering problems, engineers need to find out the solution themselves. The resources and time spent on functional improvement are less, and there may be hidden dangers in the future.
If you are the founder of technology, of course, there is a good solution to this situation. For non-technical founders, it is important to choose a reliable technical partner. At the management team level, clarify the principles of user and customer priorities, clarify the strategy of serving products and functions while maintaining technical advantages, and then synchronize these principles and strategies with the technical team’s engineers to ensure that the company’s resources are not wrong. The technical route is wasted.
3. Hire an unsuitable engineer
One of the most common mistakes a startup makes when recruiting engineers is the tendency to look for “rock star”-style employees who have a sleek qualification and have high positions and slick resumes in large companies. Such engineers may be good for financing, and investors tend to vote for star teams.
But the founder shouldThe pragmatic choice of the right engineer avoids hiring too many engineers who are not suitable for early startups, including but not limited to “rock stars,” who may bring a variety of risks to the company.
Engineers from tech giants are accustomed to expanding the system and are uncomfortable with technologies or code that are not “perfect” at the start-up, and they don’t have much direct experience with users.
Computer scientists would think that the technology used by early startups is too simple to be bored and tends to over-technically rather than around user needs.
Beginner engineers are often attracted to overly new technologies, but not enough to help startups build systems.
Early startup recruitment is a test of the founder’s skill. He needs to go beyond his academic qualifications and fancy resumes to find the best engineer for his project. These engineers should be excited about the company’s vision and goals, and even if they encounter difficulties in building the product. They have a mindset of minimally viable products (MVP) that can adapt to constant iterations. They should also have enough experience and ability to maintain the system as well as build the system.
In terms of philosophy and attitude, startup engineers should think of technology as a means of solving problems. They will first consider the needs of users and then consider how to use technology to solve problems instead of deciding which new technology to use first. Then think about what problems these technologies can solve. Engineers with only technical thinking may not be suitable for startups. They should have both inspiration and intuition for customer empathy and problem solving.
Another reminder to the founders: At every stage of the startup, the startup’s needs for engineers are different. An engineer who is very suitable for a small team of 5 people expands to a team size. 30 or 50 people may behave badly. The founders and the company’s technical managers should always pay attention to their technical team to ensure that each stage has a corresponding staffing.
4. Product and management issues
The founders of early startups tend to be overly optimistic. Of course, this has to be seen on two sides. It allows the founder to have the courage and resilience to overcome difficulties, and may also lead him to overestimate his or her team’s ability to be too fast. The rhythm of recruiting and financing, and finally because the business is not mature, the money burned out and died.
This overly optimistic attitude will also infect the engineering team, either making them too radical or confused. What the founders should do is to help them clarify the goals and visions of the phase and help them cool down.
For someThe founding team with weak technical background often seeks external technical consultation to provide guidance on the company’s technical route. For example, the company introduced by Wenshou consulted me. But the founders really have to carefully distinguish these “experts”, a person who has only worked in a particular big company, spend a few hours to get to know your new startup, and maybe he can’t make any meaningful suggestions.
Finally, although this article has been emphasizing that technology has to serve customers and serve customers, the importance of technology to startups is unquestionable. The founding team must fully realize that engineers should be any major product. The key components of decision-making must give front-line engineers a voice. For example, even if Google is already a giant, his founders will regularly meet face-to-face with engineers to let them know what the company is doing and listen to their feedback on the company’s business and products. This may be Google’s always One of the reasons for maintaining a strong innovation.
This article is compiled from Medium, the original author is technical expert Nemil Dalal.