Why You Need a Fractional CTO
You’ve got the next big innovative idea! You tell everyone how you’re about to change the world. You sit down at your computer, and then it hits you, you have no idea how to start building the technology! Or maybe you do but you don’t know what other skills you will need, or how to scale your software or hardware solution or even how to manage your team. For large companies, this is where their Chief Technology Officer would step in. However, for many entrepreneurs and start-ups, hiring a full time Chief Technology Officer or CTO is out of the question. At NuBinary, we can connect you with a fractional CTO or part time CTO who can help guide your business, create technology strategies, and provide technical leadership at a startup-friendly cost!
Do I Really Need a Fractional CTO?
The short answer is yes. Even if you’re a coding prodigy, a fractional CTO can help you overcome many hurdles tech start-ups face, have other skills you may lack such as people management, and can find new opportunities you may have missed. Another component startups have difficulties with is defining the minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is the most basic version of the product that can give customers an idea of what the completed service would be like and provide feedback to the company. But let’s compare some of the other options you have to prove why having a fractional CTO will fast-track your success.
Let’s say you decide to outsource the programming to a company, a freelance programmer. They’re inexpensive, they’re obviously experts, and it frees you up from having to code the software yourself. While this is all true, there’s still a lot that can go wrong. For example, the software may not be coded up to your standard, miscommunication between what you need and what they can deliver, and they’re running their own business, which means both of business objectives may not line up. There’s also the issue of defining intellectual property. Finding a programmer who would be willing to waive any claim to your software will be difficult, or even more challenging to make sure they follow proper steps to make sure your novel hardware design is properly protected and does not get exposed.
It’s important to keep in mind that developers’ training and experience is only in developing products. While they may be experts in development, they will still lack the skills and knowledge a fractional CTO will bring to your startup. Fractional CTOs are the bridge between your technology department and your finances, market validation, as well as setting up short- and long-terms goals. They are there to ensure your program is engineered or coded correctly, and in a timely manner. Additionally, they understand how to think like a business person and a programmer. This means, in addition to any technology strategies you need, they can help create and meet business objectives, whereas freelance engineers are only trained to build based on technical requirements and in most cases do not have a holistic approach to understand and internalize business objectives.
I’m a Programmer! I’ll Do It Myself
That’s awesome! You’ll have a lot of control over your software by coding it yourself. But that’s just one aspect of running a business. Do you know what other technology development requirements you’ll need? What’s the scalability of the software? Will you need to build a team? If so, do you have people management skills? Do you know what type of grants you qualify for and are skillful enough to pursue them? A fractional CTO can help you with all of these issues and can use their technical leadership skills to help you implement the best practices and technology development strategies for your company. A fractional CTO can also help with market discovery, validating assumptions you have about your innovative technology and/or the current status of the market.
Another aspect you may have missed is pursuing grant applications. There are tons of government grants, business grants, technology grants and more that can help fund your business. Fractional CTOs know where to look for these grants and how to apply for them while aligning with your company technology development roadmap – avoiding many different competing priorities.
A fractional CTO may seem like a luxury or unnecessary but there’s something you should remember, you’re only human. No one can do everything by themselves. A fractional CTO can help lighten the load, and steer you away from common pitfalls. They save you from accidentally making more work for yourself and can help save you time (and your sanity). To learn more about what a fractional CTO can do for you or to be connected with one, contact us today!