SoCal CTO

Equity for Early Employees in Early Stage Startups

SoCal CTO

I was asked by a reader how much equity he should give out to early employees and to service providers in a very early stage startup. I'll get to service providers in a later post. Founders vs. Early Employees To help with this discussion, let me start with a definition of "early employee."

TechEmpower Benchmarks and the Microsoft ASP.NET Core 1.0 Performance Story

SoCal CTO

I’ve had lots of conversations with fellow CTOs about the TechEmpower Web Framework Benchmarks. Some really appreciate the value that they bring to help them understand performance characteristics of different frameworks.

Trending Sources

Working with Developers

SoCal CTO

There was a lot of passion in the room last week when I presented Working with Developers at the Stubbs Precellerator. I guess it should not be a surprise that Founders have lots of challenges working with developers. So I promised that I would provide a follow-up after the session.

Technical Advisors: Every Web/Mobile Startup Must Have One

SoCal CTO

I did a presentation recently for a graduate class from The Founder Institute around getting online/mobile products out the door. I LOVED it because, the presenting part was over quickly and we got into specific issues that the founders had in terms of getting things built.

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Startups and a Common Misunderstanding in Agile Software Development

SoCal CTO

I've done four Free CTO Consulting Sessions in the past month with startup founders who all had run into variations of the same problem. They didn't feel they had visibility into timelines and costs for development of their software. They couldn't plan their business.

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Document Your MVP for a Developer

SoCal CTO

I was talking with an early-stage founder who has a product vision and wants to get it built. He is not a technical person, but is somewhat web savvy. He wanted to get input from me on what he's doing, and he wants to begin to ask developers what it would take to build his product.

Building Your MVP as a Non-Technical Founder

SoCal CTO

I did a presentation this week at Coloft that looked at how Non-Technical Founders can go about getting their MVP built. It had a passionate group of 50 people attending. I promised to do this post as a follow-up to the session to provide additional links and information.

CTO Equity and Compensation at Venture Backed Companies

SoCal CTO

Todd Gitlin of Safire Partners was nice enough to compile some data on CTO Equity and Compensation at Venture Backed Companies for the LA CTO Forum and present last year. He agreed to make this data public which is awesome. Todd is a go to resource for people looking for talent in startups.

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Hiring a CTO for Your Startup

SoCal CTO

Several people have recently come to me to help them source and/or hire full-time CTOs for their startup having found me through my post that looks at: Startup CTO Salary and Equity Data.

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Getting Started with a Two-Sided Market Business

SoCal CTO

As I discussed in Matching Algorithm , I end up talking to a lot of startups who want to become the eHarmony of careers, eHarmony of clothes, eHarmony of jobs, eHarmony of tutoring, eHarmony of services, eHarmony of investments, etc.

Branchout an Example of Viral Spread Opportunity for Startups

SoCal CTO

Branchout , often called LinkedIn meets Facebook, has done a lot in their application to provide users motivation and opportunity to spread the word about the service. The purpose of Branchout is helping people to network their way to jobs.

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How to Hunt Programmers for Your Startup - A Field Guide

SoCal CTO

This post is admittedly the outcome of a conversation with a few people over some beers. Some of it is a bit tongue-in-cheek and certainly we are greatly simplifying things. The people around the table included a bunch of us who would be prey in some situations.

Free Startup CTO Consulting Sessions

SoCal CTO

I talk to roughly 2 or 3 new startups every week who need advice from an experienced CTO. Many of the founders of these companies are surprised to learn that I'm willing to review what they are doing (maybe an hour) and get on the phone for an hour with them and provide free advice. Generally I can provide quite a bit of help in that brief time. And I try my best to point them to resources that can help them longer term. Of course, I provide part-time CTO services.

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Startup CTO Salary and Equity Data

SoCal CTO

Todd Gitlin of Safire Partners was nice enough to compile some data on Start CTO Salary and Equity at Venture Backed Companies for the LA CTO Forum and present last year. He agreed to make this data public which is awesome. Todd is a go to resource for people looking for talent in startups.

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32 Questions Developers May Have Forgot to Ask a Startup Founder

SoCal CTO

Almost every day I'm talking to early stage startup founders (see Free Startup CTO Consulting Sessions ) about what they plan to do. I tend to ask a lot of questions, challenge aspects, make suggestions. But I've often been very surprised by one aspect of these conversations.

Lead Developer to CTO at a Startup

SoCal CTO

I received a great question via LinkedIn: I'm the founding engineer and working hard to launch my startup. I seem to encounter a lot of people who want to attach a CTO label to me as I'm the only programmer on the founding team of three. While I do fill that role at the moment, I'm a little hesitant to refer to myself as a CTO as we still haven't launched a product, acquired a single user, or turned or a penny in profit.

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What are the Technical Performance Requirements for your Startup?

SoCal CTO

By far the most popular post on this blog is 32 Questions Developers May Have Forgot to Ask a Startup Founder. It was originally written in 2011 and has had amazing staying power. While I’ve updated it a few times, it continues to get at important questions that startup founders need to be asking.

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Registration Form Design with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Authentication

SoCal CTO

I continually face the challenge of designing and building registration / sign-up pages on a wide variety of different web sites and mobile applications.

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Hiring a CTO for Your Startup

SoCal CTO

Several people have recently come to me to help them source and/or hire full-time CTOs for their startup having found me through my post that looks at: Startup CTO Salary and Equity Data.

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Investors, MVPs and Evidence of Traction

SoCal CTO

Yesterday, I was talking to a startup founder about their MVP and they said something that finally got me to write this post: "I have a few investors interested but they want to see a product."

Hiring Developers Before Product/Market Fit?

SoCal CTO

Using my StartupRoar as a radar, I came across a great post by Gabriel Weinberg Do you really need a full-time hire for that? Hiring seems to be the preferred use of seed funds (by investors and founders), whereas I'd prefer a focus on customer acquisition.

NDA Stealth Mode and Sharing Your Startup Concept

SoCal CTO

One of the readers asked my opinion around sharing your startup concept: My first question has always been - how do you protect your idea while shopping around for feedback, partners, developers, etc.? Especially if the idea could be whipped-up by a few 24-year olds in a few weeks?

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NDA Stealth Mode and Sharing Your Startup Concept

SoCal CTO

One of the readers asked my opinion around sharing your startup concept: My first question has always been - how do you protect your idea while shopping around for feedback, partners, developers, etc.? Especially if the idea could be whipped-up by a few 24-year olds in a few weeks?

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How to Hunt Programmers for Your Startup - A Field Guide

SoCal CTO

This post is admittedly the outcome of a conversation with a few people over some beers. Some of it is a bit tongue-in-cheek and certainly we are greatly simplifying things. The people around the table included a bunch of us who would be prey in some situations.

Startup CTO Resources

SoCal CTO

I've posted quite a few things on the topics associated with being a Startup CTO. I've tried to collect them together here as a starting point for this topic.

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Startup CTO

SoCal CTO

I've posted quite a few things on the topics associated with being a Startup CTO. I've tried to collect them together here as a starting point for this topic.

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Free Startup CTO Consulting Sessions

SoCal CTO

I talk to roughly 2 or 3 new startups every week who need advice from an experienced CTO. Many of the founders of these companies are surprised to learn that I'm willing to review what they are doing (maybe an hour) and get on the phone for an hour with them and provide free advice. Generally I can provide quite a bit of help in that brief time. And I try my best to point them to resources that can help them longer term. Of course, I provide part-time CTO services.

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Startup Development

SoCal CTO

I’ve come to realize that I have lots of posts around startup software development scattered around in different posts. Thought it would be good to capture them in one spot and also include links to related posts from other sources.

Founder Challenges with Startup Development Teams and CTOs

SoCal CTO

I''m spending more of my time recently working with non-technical startup founders who are having challenges with their software/web/mobile development teams. I thought it would be worth capturing some basic notes about what signals founders commonly are seeing that cause them to call me, what those signals might be indicating, and what might make sense to do as a founder if you are seeing some of these signals. Common Signals I''ve written previously about Symptoms of a Weak Development Team.

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StartupRoar Adds Personalized Subscriptions

SoCal CTO

Aggregage , the platform that powers StartupRoar has added a powerful personalization engine. That means that the site now allows users to sign-up and have their content personalized based on their interests.

Startup Mentors

SoCal CTO

I've had several Startup CTO Consulting sessions recently where it became apparent that the Founder needed help with the business and product as much or more than the technology. I suggested that they should look for someone like me, but on the business end. Then we discussed how they could go about finding this startup business advisor. Then I got an email that asked: I'm leading the marketing efforts for an early-stage startup.

Los Angeles Startup Community

SoCal CTO

I was just talking with someone who's new to Los Angeles and wanting to connect into the Los Angeles Startup Community. I told them that I had recently seen several posts/articles talking about how vibrant the community has become. As is usual, I couldn't remember where I had seen those posts. So, I promised I would create this post to help point them in the right direction. I will do my best to keep this up to date.

Visualization of Startup CTO Equity and Salary Data

SoCal CTO

A long-time friend and colleague, Steve Wexler, who is great at visualization took my Startup CTO Salary and Equity Data and produced a really need interactive visualization via Tableau.

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Top 120 Startup Posts for 2010

SoCal CTO

Some really great stuff in 2010 that aims to help startups around product, technology, business models, etc.

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Startup CTO or Developer

SoCal CTO

I’ve been having discussions with several people recently about the role of the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) in very early stage companies. In December 2007, I described how I commonly take on an Acting CTO Role in a Start-up.

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Choosing a Programming Language and Framework for Your Startup

SoCal CTO

We had an interesting presentation at the LA CTO Forum by the CTO of a startup who chose Groovy / Grails as the framework for their startup. t prompted a good discussion around how CTOs go about choosing the programming language and framework for their startup.

Los Angeles Startup Events

SoCal CTO

I recently posted about the Increase in Early-Stage Startup Activity in Los Angeles. In that post, I mentioned how one of the signals is the big increase in number of startup events and the number of attendees at those events. I realized that it has been a little while since I posted about the Los Angeles Startup Community and so needed to update my list of startup events that will be out of date almost before I finish publishing it.

What Startup Advisors Do I Need?

SoCal CTO

Bob Dorf just published a post Where are the Hackers? Solving the Founder-Tech Gap that came out of some fun conversations that Bob and I have been having. A large part of this conversation is what kinds of advisors startups should be looking for. A little while ago, I suggested that Every Web/Mobile Startup Should Have a Technical Advisor. The conversation with Bob was about what the composition of advisors should look like.

Finding Startup Developers - First Email Contact

SoCal CTO

Here is the most recent version of an all too common email inquiry from a startup founder. I've removed the two words that described the market - otherwise this is verbatim.

Startup Surge in Los Angeles

SoCal CTO

Ben Kuo just posted on SoCalTech: Are the good times for startups back? That seemed to be the mood running through the cloud at the more-than-sellout crowd at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica Thursday at the first LA Demo Day. At the event, the enthusiasm for startups was palpable.