If it seems like we live in a world where new startups are popping up every day, it’s because we do. There’s no denying that we’re currently in a golden age of entrepreneurship. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor estimates that there are 27 million working-age Americans who are starting or running a new business. That’s nearly 15% of the working American population. While some of those millions of people may not necessarily be running a business with the hypergrowth-tech-startup mentality in mind, the point is this: a whole lot of people think they have what it takes to start their own businesses.
Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but the reality is that it’s very tough to achieve lasting success in the world of startups. In fact, 90% of startups fail. This number makes sense given just how competitive the market has become; there are a whole lot of startups out there now, and they’re all competing for a limited amount of resources.
So what’s the secret of that 10% of startups that do succeed? There might not be a single recipe for success, but a very good starting point is looking at the kinds of people successful startups hire. Because startups are often operating on limited budgets with small teams, they have to select employees who are flexible and skilled in a number of areas. Having a master of one small niche of your business might not be great if everyone else is mediocre at what they do, so you want to make sure that the people you do hire can have a real, positive impact across multiple teams.
With that in mind, here are three tech talents your startup must hire in order to succeed.
Full Stack Developer
Because more and more customers are interacting with businesses online, it’s vital that your startup’s web presence is flawless. That means having a website that is both intuitively mapped out on the front-end and runs smoothly on the back-end. You don’t want something that has a great interface but is slow and glitchy, nor do you want something that runs well but has a lackluster interface. Having a top-notch full stack developer on your team assures you of having someone who can cover both aspects of web development. Familiar with both the back-end server and hosting environment aspects of a site as well as the front-end features such as layout and APIs, a full stack developer is the best bang for your buck when it comes to having team members who can build your startup’s site.
Building the engine to make sure your website runs properly on the front-end and back-end is key, but you also need good design to assure that customers who come to your site have a good and memorable experience. To that end, you’ll want someone who is an expert in user experience (UX), a designer who works hand-in-hand with the development team to give a nice framework to build around that well-oiled engine. If you imagine digital design as building a house, then the UX designer is the architect. Their main job is drawing up the blueprints for the whole house, but in order to do that, they need to have good, thorough knowledge of every other part of the process, including framing the house, building the walls and roof, and maybe even landscaping. All this is to say that while a UX designer may not be able to cover the entire design process with mastery, they’re often very knowledgeable about the whole process and are thus good options for a lean startup team.
Quality assurance (QA) is absolutely vital to the success of your startup’s product or service. Because the market is so competitive, if there’s even the slightest glitch anywhere across the board of your startup’s offerings, it could be the death knell for your fledgling business. While that might sound a little doomsday-ish, it highlights the importance of having a top quality QA engineer on your team. QA engineers are responsible for testing quality throughout the entire development process. Proficient in everything from SQL to Agile and Scrum development methodologies to compliance regulation, a QA engineer is a must-have for startups looking to fix any little glitches and hiccups before they tread the dangerous waters of going to market.
Do you run a startup? What tech hires have you found crucial to your team’s success? Let us know in the comments!