Being realistic

At a recent board meeting one of the key topics was hiring a senior technical person, probably CTO / VP engineering kind of calibre. The CEO and I were already in intense discussions around the profile, if we should maybe hire a search-firm, how she/he would fit in to our salary & shareholding structure, etc.

Another team member interrupted us and said something along the lines of “we still need to figure some things out, our cash situation is good but not great, no way will we right now attract someone like you two are thinking of. Lets just hire someone fast who can do the job well and see if we can hire a more senior person once we’re a bit further.”

It hurt a little but it was the right analysis of the situation. We were about to enter in to an epic waste of time and money.

I guess building a company is all about being unrealistic and really hiring the best people, no compromises. But sometimes you have to be realistic too.


3 Comments on “Being realistic”

  1. Rolf says:

    Good Point

  2. Tanya says:

    I work as a recruiter mostly within the Berlin community and have placed 2 CTOs this January 🙂

    Below are a couple challenges I’ve seen so far with most CTO searches in Berlin:

    The talent pool in Berlin community is tight – Depending on the tech stack and industry, there are only so many companies you can target candidates from. Most cases we expanded the search across Germany (and/or Europe) and the 2 CTOs as mentioned above moved from Hamburg and Frankfurt.

    Finding someone at the right level- Most startups would aim at building a tech team of 10 and eventually grow the team depending on scale of the platform.. The price tag of a lead developer will be around 60-70k in Berlin and a CTO who can handle a team of 30 will be on over 100k. Therefore early startups who are not backed by large financials will usually target a lead developer level guy as CTO.

    As an interim solution, some of the incubators/companies would hire freelancers to get the project going before investing time and money into hiring a CTO.


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