When you’re looking to build software, your first instinct is to hire a developer — someone fluent in the language of technology and development. You need something built, so you hire someone who knows how to build it.
Then, when that software fails to live up to your expectations, you blame the developer. After all, the developer is supposed to be the expert, and clearly, he or she fell down on the job.
But the developer may not be the problem. More often than not, you hired the wrong person for the job.
We’ve seen it time and again. When companies are building technology, they think they need a coder — someone with a very technical and specific skill set. But most developers focus on the task at hand, without regard to the bigger picture. And the bigger picture is often what shapes the success or failure of your technology. If your platform is core to your revenue, operations or customer experience, it is part of the much bigger engine driving your business forward, and it warrants a deeper, more holistic approach.
We’ve come to this perspective by way of experience. Dualboot Partners was founded by serial entrepreneurs — people who have built, scaled and sold technology-based businesses. We know what it takes to make these businesses successful, and it’s about so much more than code.
You need someone who’s going to look at what you’re trying to build in the context of the business it will support. You want someone who will find opportunities for improvement and pitfalls to avoid. You need someone who will proactively look for ways to add value and help you grow.
Think of it like building a house: Would you hire a handyperson to get the job done? Or, with something as important as your home, do you want all the expertise, experience and resources that comes with a builder?
So, what does this mean in practice?
When one of our clients mentioned they wanted to hire a product manager to shepherd their latest updates through to production, we counseled them to pause — to wait a few months to be sure that there was enough work to justify a full-time hire. The company waited and opted for a more justified full-time marketing hire instead.
When another client came to us with a team of 13 developers, we were able to replace them with three, because those three had the skills and perspective the larger team lacked.
We coached one founder through a project that was $800,000 over budget and nine months late to ensure she maintained control over all her technological assets, long before she ever became a client.
And when one startup came to us looking for a code audit on a company he wanted to buy, we connected him with someone who could help make the acquisition.
We do this because we know what it takes to build successful tech companies. We’ve been there, and we want to give our clients what we know they need. And that is about more than great code.