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Reasons Why Startup Does Not Need CTO or Technical Partner

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It’s not a secret that early-stage tech startups always meet plenty of difficulties and challenges before moving to the development process. It’s the period when the misallocation of resources often takes place, especially when founders are non-technical persons. Being a non-technical founder you are more likely to distribute resources in the wrong way.

But is it possible to launch a successful product without programming skills or having a CTO founder for the startup? Definitely yes if you adhere to the right philosophy. Find out more about finding a technical partner for your startup below.

“Creating a tech startup in today’s world can be done by any smart entrepreneur – the key knows how to connect with the right network,” Eric Ries

Finding a Technical Partner for your Startup

One of the crucial decisions founders have to make is finding the best development team for their project. Finding a CTO or technical co-founder is also on the to-do list.

Analyzing the startup’s job boards we found lots of vacancies for the position of “CTO co-founder”. But after reading the descriptions we realized that small business isn’t looking for the traditional CTO, it wants to find the technical co-founder.

What are the responsibilities of CTO and Tech co-Founder?

Chief technology officer (CTO) it’s an executive-level position, focused on scientific and technological responsibilities within an organization. Generally, CTO is needed in IT-related companies or companies working with the software.

A technical co-founder or a technical partner is generally a developer or just a tech-savvy person who is hired by a startup owner to become a technical partner. That means he is not an actual founder, he is an employee.

Usually, startups can’t afford a really qualified CTO. At the same time, professional CTOs are not interested in spending their time waiting for the day when a startup will gain money to pay them accordingly.

So the main question is: does the startup really need a CTO or a technical co-founder?

One of the most common startups concerns is how to find a technical partner for your startup. Non-tech founders are especially susceptible to the idea of having in-house associates due to a lack of experience in this sphere.

In most cases, a startup owner wants to find an all-in-one employee: CTO with management experience, a co-founder passionate about the idea, and a programmer. We strongly do not recommend hiring such a person for the role of CTO for a startup unless he is a part of the original founding team. And we will explain why.

Reasons Why Startup Does Not Need the CTO Founder for Startup

The executive team should have experienced together

Building a startup is not easy. There will be ups and downs, lots of victories, and even more challenging moments.

Founders come up with a Startup Idea and live through it from the beginning to the end. But the invited CTO probably would not burn with the idea like founders do. Being a mediator between the owner and the team CTO has more chance to miss some important things and the result will be distorted.

Building your business with someone who is not aligned with your vision and isn’t able to perform or stick with you till the end is not a good idea. Would you marry someone the first day you met? Hiring a “co-founder” who did not actually find your company is the same thing.

Experienced CTO services are usually expensive

In the early stages, you lay yourself out to achieve success and work for an idea, not for money. But the executive-level positions such as CTO always require very reasonable compensation. If your company is in the early stages, most likely it does not have a large budget and can not propose a very high income for CTO. especially if you want him to become a co-founder. The common practice is offering an external CTO a co-founder position with a low base salary + % equity. But experienced CTO focused on their career are not usually interested in such propositions.

It may be hard to assess the technical skills of CTO

When startups want to find a technical co-founder or CTO, they usually expect him to be a qualified developer. But if founders don’t have a technical background it may be difficult to understand the real competence of this person. When the idea of a startup is the development of a mobile or web app, it’s very easy to underestimate the scope of work and all the technologies developers must know to launch it. The truth is that it’s impossible for one person to learn all the programming languages and technologies and to be the real PRO in each of them.

Would you like to find out that you need one or even more programmers to join your team in the middle of the development process and go beyond the budget? Or find serious mistakes and fix them twice longer than development itself? We bet you would not.

Your startup may need a different set of skills from a CTO founder for a startup over a short span of time

Each stage of startup creation requires different approaches and skills. For example, to develop your idea from scratch, the developers should focus on other aspects than they would while scaling the already launched startup. If you are lucky, you might go from one stage to another very quickly, and then, you might need additional technical specialists to facilitate further growth. 

So, in this case, why bother and hire a CTO for the startup full-time if you need to change them before their hiring even pay off? 

CTO founder for a startup isn’t a “CTO” in its traditional meaning

Despite the word “technology” in the name, the CTO responsibilities in a startup company won’t realistically include only technical research, coding, or other tech tasks. Basically, in the early stages, everyone is doing everything, regardless of positions and titles. So, a CTO may need to figure out budgeting, people questions, partnerships, etc. 

When another founder and your partner is a tech specialist, it might feel natural for them to give their all to the project in any role it is needed. As for a hired specialist who will be a CTO, it might be too much of a commitment which may lead to wasted resources of top specialists and bad experience from cooperation with your startup. 

Who to choose instead of CTO?

Analyzing all pitfalls of hiring a CTO, the next question that appears is: how to develop your web or mobile app and not screw it up?

The answer is simple: outsourcing. Delegating your development to the external team of professionals who have relevant experience, established business processes, and can help you navigate the pitfalls and bottlenecks of software development for startups.

Why do we consider outsourcing a more beneficial option for startups than hiring CTO? It’s a combination of reasons that you should know.

Technology knowledge
Outsourcing companies usually have a certain tech stack they are comfortable working with. However, this stack usually includes a pretty diverse selection of programming languages, frameworks, and libraries. Hence, the company will be able to provide you with different options on what technologies to use for your idea.

Outsourced developers dedicate all of their work time to creating software for clients. The team that specializes in startups will be able not only to cover CTO responsibilities and those parts of actual development you need but also contribute expertise and their already generated experience to your journey.

Project management
Usually, the outsourcing team consists not only of developers but includes a project manager who takes care of the management and organizational issues and tasks. PMs are focused on keeping the processes on track, and it might be a great relief for you, as part of management responsibilities will be covered by someone else.

The majority of outsourcing companies keep business analysts, tech leads, architects, and other specialists in their staff. These people can have the expertise your project may need to succeed, but it would be too expensive and irrational to hire them. However, by cooperation with an outsourced team, you may get access to these people and consult with them regarding the tech aspects of your startup. It will not only help you create a competitive product but generate your own tech expertise you will be able to leverage further.

Altamira as a Top Outsourcing Partner for Startups

Altamira has been working with startups since 2011. We have cooperated with projects on different stages, from those who were only starting their project to those who needed to enhance their volume and capacities. With our help, you won’t need to answer the questions “how to find a CTO for startup”, as we will be able to cover all responsibilities you might want to entrust to a technical partner.

We know what startups need, and hence, create additional value for our clients with:

  • a diverse team of developers, QA engineers, scrum masters, business analysts, solutions architects, UI/UX designers, etc.;
  • sufficient resources for startup scaling; 
  • flexible pricing and cooperation models;
  • wide expertise with different startup projects, both web, and mobile;
  • transparent budgeting and estimations;
  • strong customer support team, clear and accessible reporting system;
  • a team of project, delivery, and account managers who take care of your projects and keep in touch with you constantly.

Learn more about success cases with startups:

  • CTRL Golf for golf players who want to improve their skills;
  • Incinq that brings a new point of view to the world of dating application;
  • Bestyn that has grown from a social media app for neighborhoods to a platform for small businesses;
  • and many others you can check in our portfolio

In Conclusion

CTO funder for a startup is a big benefit, but it’s not a must. If it happened that none of your partners and yourself are tech proficient, it’s not a big deal! There is a great alternative to the CTO for a startup in the form of cooperation with the outsourcing company.

We believe that you may even gain more from outsourcing, especially in the earliest stages when everything seems to be pretty chaotic and hectic. However, with the right outsourcing partner, you will be able to fulfill your goal and release a strong product.


Truth to be told, the product may be launched successfully without a CTO founder for the startup. It is possible to get tech guidance from software companies that can not only provide you with development services, but help sharpen your product.
Software outsourcing can not only replace CTO and cover CTO responsibilities, but actually even bring more benefit and value to your project.

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