Currently we are witnessing a “Startup Revolution” in the technology world. The focus is more on business idea and its implementation rather than on tools (programming language, technology frameworks etc) to accomplish it. Previously only large IT companies used to survive in this market as they only had necessary eco-system, tools and infrastructure in building software applications.
Now it’s evident that you don’t need to be big elephant to execute your grand idea. Small startups are turning into household names like WhatsApp (20 employees in 2011), Instagram (13 employees when acquired) and many other small startups are moving into that direction.
“Lean Startup” tried to shape this startup movement into science rather than just art. As a result many professionals who never dared before to set up a company independently are doing it in big numbers.
These budding entrepreneurs generally don’t possess the large funding necessary to experiment with their ideas. Utilizing part of the Lean Startup philosophy, they now (in)validate their business idea with target end-users even before writing single line of code.
That’s quite revolutionary compared to building a complete MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for months and then eventually finding out that people don’t need it.
So being “Capital efficient” is a very important part of Lean Startup definition as we waste tons of time and money in building new solutions.
Lean Startup is a disciplined, scientific andcapital efficient method for discovering and building products and services that people love. – Joshua Kerievsky”
After validating the business idea in capital efficient way, these budding founders build MVP (Minimal Viable Product) in order to get validated learning which then helps them in shaping new ideas before again working on building next set of features.
In order to work on MVP, founding team must consist a member who understands the technology (Steve Blank - Why Founders Should Know How to Code) and a team with an engine to jump-start and become the active partner in building the product.
Good developers and teams are not easy to find. Some startups resort to hire freelancers with websites like Elance.
However hiring freelancers and have them work as a team are two entirely different things. Before a team starts performing, team goes through forming, norming and storming phases which can be too time consuming and therefore costly for a Lean Startup .
Budding startups would need to hire an individual who could shape this group of individuals into a self-organizing team, further increasing costs.
Even after assuming that all this goes well, there is no guarantee that the newly team will perform as required. As a founder with a relatively low budget, you need a team to produce guaranteed results quickly. This can only be achieved by using an already established team instead of starting from scratch with individual freelancers.
The world of developers is evolving as well in response to this revolution to answer the needs of lean startups.
One such organization, StarterSquad is wholly geared to supporting new startups. StarterSquad recently built a platform called Capacitor where founders can hire already performing development teams to meet their specific needs
Startup founders can register on Capacitor and look for the right team for their idea. Teams are hired based on the work involved and not based on the cost of individual developers in a team.
This arrangement helps founders in following ways:
- Hiring a fully developed and performing team (crossed forming, norming and storming stages), means productivity begins from day one.
- Teams can be hired on a weekly basis, minimizing the risk for a new founder in an unprecedented way.
- Teams work in weekly cycles and provide weekly demos of results.
- Founders have the ability to book partial capacity from a team, allowing a low budget idea access to an experienced team of experts. In this way multiple clients utilize the team, ensuring team continuity and supporting the very nature of lean startups.
How does Capacitor handle developer and team quality?
Capacitor teams maintain their quality through self-sanitization and customer-rating.
Fully established members can invite a new developer to a team for a trial period. As the trial period gets over, team members vote. New member rating must be higher than the average, or the new member is not accepted in the Capacitor.
Capacitor teams manage the risk of forming and grooming their own teams, taking the burden entirely off of the startup founder. Successful teams support successful startups, resulting in a win-win situation in this exciting “Startup Revolution”.