How Startups Build Their Tech Teams Without Spending a Fortune

Joe Procopio
6 min readMar 2, 2020

So… How are you going to get all that tech built?

For the vast majority of startups, the technical components of their company and product are easily the riskiest. Custom development is expensive, whether it’s for the product itself or just for the support tech to enhance, deliver and manage that product.

On top of that, the choices are confusing, sometimes arcane, and constantly changing.

  • Do you build a complete full-stack solution or piece together some hybrid of off-the-shelf products?
  • How will your store your data? How will you protect it? How will you keep it private?
  • Offshore development is just hackers and headaches, right?

Do not just jump into these questions. There are a couple of pre-check steps you need to take before you start spending money hiring technical help. The trick is to do your due diligence on these pre-check steps, because what you learn will tell you how to hire your tech team.

Pre-check #1: How much tech do you understand?

The first big factor in who to hire comes down to the size of the gaps you need to fill.

So the first question to ask yourself is: What knowledge do you already have on hand? The answer to that question will tell you what you need to learn. Then you can figure out: What do you need to hand off to someone else?

Code it yourself? I started out as a developer and still consider myself a technical entrepreneur. I can get pretty far on my own. If you can do this, I’d recommend it.

Learn to code it yourself? If you have a technical aptitude, or even just a can-do ethic, you’ll be tempted to take some time to learn to code so you can at least get started.

But here’s the thing.

If you’re the CEO or playing any role other than the lead developer, you don’t want to be the lead developer. One of the reasons I don’t code much anymore is the opportunity cost of my time spent reinventing wheels because I don’t live tech and I’m not up to speed on the latest developments. The time I’m taking to figure out which AWS service to use is time better spent…



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building & GROWERS. Write at and More at