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The tech landscape constantly evolves, and startups must adapt to maintain an edge against their competitors. While there are many factors to a startup’s success, finding the right tech team is essential. Whether building an entirely in-house team, outsourcing, freelancing, or contracting, creating a team structured to your product is vital.
Before considering building a tech team, assessing the product and finding if it lies in the Simple, Custom, or Wild category should be the first step. After reviewing the tech product, companies can decide which team structure best suits their organization.
Categorizing Startup Tech Products – Simple, Custom, and Wild
A Simple product can quickly be built on platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, or Shopify. These programs already have customizable no-code plugins or features, and with their built-in automated tools, founders can quickly create landing pages and start promoting their products.
Custom products are tech that already has an existing business model but a company’s unique features enhance the product in that industry or model. Think of Hotel.com as an example; it builds upon the hotel industry and creates a platform where customers can easily book and manage their travel on one platform.
If a product disrupts an industry or invents new technologies to solve problems, consider it a Wild product. This product is significantly more complex. Wild products include Nvidia, FAANG companies, or any company that utilizes AI, NFTs, or blockchain technology.
Five Tech Team Structures
After years of working with startups and seeing the process that tech teams go through, Stanislav Synko, Aleph One CEO, delves into the five different tech team structures and how they function.
1) Fully In-House
When hiring a full in-house team, startups need a CTO or tech partner who knows the company well and its mission and goals. The tech leader of the company will play a vital role in strategy, hiring, and building a team that will innovate and scale the product.
While hiring in-house can have benefits, like not worrying about external teams or resources, it can be straining when hiring more talent to work on different projects.
2) Full Outsourcing – Delivery Based
Fully outsourcing on deliverable-based projects means that companies can create a budget with specs and outlines and shop for agencies or freelancers to work on the project for them. Agencies or freelancers will then produce a proposal and quote for the organization.
A fully outsourced delivery-based model can be convenient if the company only utilizes them for smaller projects. However, it can be problematic in the bigger picture since agencies may have motives to work outside the budget or be stuck in strained funds. Also, Freelancers may need help maintaining performance to meet the company’s needs since technology is constantly changing.
3) Fully Outsourcing – Dedicated Team
Hiring a more established agency and fully outsourcing them as a dedicated team can be a cost-saver and work efficiently with your company. The agency will handle deliverables, hiring talent, taxes, talent benefits, training, team motivation, etc.
The dedicated team will continuously deliver software and work on iterations from zero to MVP, producing, scaling, and possibly even an exit.
4) In-House + Dedicated Team
A mix of in-house and outsourced dedicated teams works well when an organization has a CTO or tech partner leading the project. The in-house team and scale faster by isolating different parts of the project or code base and holding the dedicated team accountable.
5) In-house + Outstaffing
Enterprises like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook use the in-house + outstaffing model to build their tech products. With outstaffing, companies widen their talent pool and get access to extra help on projects and deliverables.
When building a team, knowing the different tech team structures is essential to find the talent needed for an organization. From hiring entirely in-house to deliverable-based outsourcing, dedicated teams, and outstaffing, these teams will help startups create their products and grow the company.
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