Convincing us

Created by Ian Connolly for DUCSS and TCD Launchbox/ Slides available on GitHub

About me

  • Chair of DUCSS
  • Never founded a startup
  • Never ran a startup
  • Take everything in this presentation with more than a pinch of salt
  • May not be correct or logical, but this is what CS students will think

So what's the problem?

  • You need a technical co-founder, or an engineer
  • Engineers are hard to find
  • CS students like to hide
  • Right now is a great example

Why do we hide?

  • CS is really hard
  • Computers continually make us feel stupid
  • Many CS students take this to heart and feel they aren't up to it
  • Imposter Syndrome

Finding engineers

  • Tech meetups
  • Wider network

Talking to engineers

  • A co-founder is like an investor
  • Except money is easier to part with than time
  • You need to make them believe your vision as much as you do
  • Why should they join you rather than work for Google, Facebook or Apple?
  • They will have much better offers monetarily. Offer something else
  • Hiring is the hardest thing you will ever do

Identifying skills you need

  • What is your actual product?
  • Designer, front-end, back-end, mobile
  • How much can you get away with not doing?
  • How much can you get away with doing yourself?
  • You can teach yourself to build your MVP

Some hard('ish) questions

  • Why?
  • What do you bring to the table?
  • Ideas are really cheap. And 100 other people have had it before you
  • If you haven't been interested in learning how code works, why are you founding a tech company?
  • If your product is tech, why should you get equal equity for inequal work?

More questions

  • How much do you know about the tech world?
  • What problems does it have?
  • What culture do you want your company to have?
  • What are you like to work with?
  • Why are you starting a company?

Evaluating potential engineers

  • Ignore their degree. College doesn't matter.
  • What side-projects have they built?
  • What companies have they worked for?
  • Are they capable of leading?
  • They're going to be the ones (hopefully) hiring your engineering team
  • You need to be able to trust them completely

Staying in touch with tech

  • You need to breathe tech as much as your co-founder and your engineers
  • Reddit, Hacker News, Slashdot, TechCrunch, The Verge, Twitter...
  • Irish tech meetups
  • Learning to code
  • Stay in touch, get interested, make friends. Expand your network naturally