CTO? A Who?
The incorporation of a Chief Technology Officer vis-à-vis a CTO, has been a fairly new concept. As the turn of the millennium saw technology booming at light speed, the world welcomed it with open arms. Much to everyone’s surprise, it became increasing necessary for someone with the expertise in technology to lead organisations— voila! The increasing demand for a CTO.
Today, CTOs are multi-taskers that aren’t just coders locked in some basement — they play a vital role in a tech company’s strategic plan and growth. Not only do they need to have a high level of diversified technical prowess and proficiency, but they also need to possess strong leadership and project management capabilities. With development teams often based around the world, being the centre of communication and progress can either lead to a tremendously successful strategy or a bottleneck that can slow down an entire company.
Remember, CTOs must be part of your core inner operations— working in through the fine under wiring that non-technical team members may not fully understand. However they do not necessarily be hired as your full-time employees. Yes! You read that right. The core nature of the start-up scene require companies to work with tight budgets. This is where companies like us, come into play. Technical consultants sit at the very heart of our functionality and are available to creatively make decisions for you and guide to bring you tech solution and support.
So, be it a tech consultancy you consider or set up meetings with experts in the industry, to help companies identify who the right fit for your organisation would be, we bring you 5 things to remember when you hire your next CTO.
CTOs are hired to guide and direct the product’s technology path, and because of this, they must be well versed and diversified when it comes to technology. A good CTO should also have the personality and leadership traits that inspire confidence in your team and investors alike. A good CTO should not be afraid to call bullsh*t when someone tries to play a technical trump card over you, regardless if it’s one of your staff or outsourcing partner.
Finding a qualified CTO for hire may present a difficult challenge—especially if you are bootstrapping and are relying on selling them on your dream of fame and fortune versus a cushy corner office with a view. Remember, good ones never are unemployed, and if they are, it is truly temporary in nature so recognize the fact that you may have to strike fast. But there is something very crucial you need to remember about well-meaning corporate CTO – they may not have the patience to embrace the agility of a tech start-up. Technology agencies tend to do an excellent job here as their expertise lies in working with an avid range of companies— allowing them to navigate well within your company.
Having a tightly knit team who share the same common ideals and goals for the company is great. But does your team also share the same work ethic? Team chemistry is so critical to your start-up’s success, you can’t afford the distraction, so don’t underestimate its importance. Remember, it is this prospective CTO in it to make everyone’s dreams and aspirations a reality, or are they just resume building and looking to capitalise on an opportunity, while waiting to find that next big thing to come their way?
A CTO that communicates well, is a keeper. They need be equally comfortable negotiating a managed services contract for your hosting platform, or architecting your cloud-based solution to sitting down with investors or developers answering questions about everything technology related. A good CTO should not be fixated on the technology, but on the product and solving the day to day problems that arise.
Passion for technology is a key indicator as to whether or not your prospective CTO has the technical interest to lead your company. Keeping up with trends and breakthroughs in technology can be a full time job; so don’t be afraid to ask them what they do in their spare time. More often than not, they attended start-up weekends and developed apps just to play around in new technology and for the pure the thrill of doing it. Chances are if tech is their hobby, then they have the passion for the job.