You can get quite far with a small tech team
You're likely not innovating on tech but rather on the underlying process. So you should hire for people familiar with your niche and tools.
Hiring is critical. Besides doing it properly, you must also do it in the correct order.
During the uncertainty that are the early stages, there’s little point in planning for the very long term. You might want to have something done in six months but might find out that it’s useless in two weeks.
A marketplace startup is often innovating on the underlying processes rather than on raw tech.
So a small and highly functional development team is best. There is little value in growing it early.
Prematurely hiring tech is a waste because it’s expensive. You’re not likely to be able to make use of the entire team efficiently. You’ll also spend a lot more time planning work. But you might not have the processes in place and will end up changing your plan frequently.
The entire gist of building things that don’t scale is that you should focus on the process first and then automating them. When you don’t know what the process is, there is nothing to automate.
Therefore, hiring for teams that can work on the process is more important.
Depending on your specific niche, you might need to focus on different departments.
You’ll definitely need a product development team that can effectively do customer service. It should consist of people capable of solving issues while understanding the underlying intentions.
You’ll need supplier acquisition. If suppliers are individuals, that might be a marketing department. If they’re companies that might be a dedicated business development team.
Tech can run lean with the CTO and perhaps two other people. You can pick up a couple of people when mobile platforms start mattering. That can run fine for quite a long time. With a good enough CTO, the department can be independent and should require minimal outside management. They’ll be able to slot in and assist everywhere.
When hiring for tech focus should be on people who have experience with your stack and your niche. That way you will not have to train them too much before they’re productive
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