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Hacker To Founder - Filipino Technical Co-Founders at Work
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Hacker To Founder - Filipino Technical Co-Founders at Work

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What are the thoughts to go through a Filipino technical co-founder? Startups are very new in the scene and I wanted to find out the how technical co-founders think about being a startup in the …

What are the thoughts to go through a Filipino technical co-founder? Startups are very new in the scene and I wanted to find out the how technical co-founders think about being a startup in the Philippines. First presented at Geeks on A Beach, Movenpick Mactan Cebu August 22 2014

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  • 1. Hacker To Founder Filipino Technical Co-Founders at Work 22 August 2014, Geeks on A Beach Paul Pajo, Developer Evangelist – SMART @pageman @smartdevnet http://developer.smart.com.ph
  • 2. What’s the difference between a technical co-founder and a non-technical co-founder?
  • 3. What’s the difference between a technical co-founder and a non-technical co-founder? The non-technical co-founder asks “How’s everything?” The technical co-founder asks “What did you commit today?”
  • 4. A technical co-founders view of a startup: for me, is all about being the industrial partner of the company ensuring that the service or the product be done correctly - One Baguio based developer co-founder
  • 5. Thoughts from a female technical co-founder Well uh honestly as a woman I've had a very difficult time being taken seriously here for my technical skills like I'm working with machine learning guys in Stanford I've talked at Brown, been invited to MIT to discuss what I'm building but the reaction I've had has always been, "Sooo....who's your technical co-founder?" Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 5
  • 6. How does having technical chops help in being a co-founder (especially since you're actually the technical co-founder)? it's like people have this image in their minds that the ideal tech person has to be a nerdy guy with a computer science degree... :)) and if you don't fit that image, well... umm...most of what I know is self taught actually Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 6
  • 7. Do you think it's easier you're also the non-technical co-founder or have you ever wondered that this could be easier if there was someone focusing on the "business side? in my case I think it's the other way around. I'm filling in gaps of the technical co-founder but I feel more comfortable on the business end. Granted, I developed the algorithm but when it comes to implementing the algorithm with the technology, it's still a learning process. Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 7
  • 8. Do you think it's easier you're also the non-technical co-founder or have you ever wondered that this could be easier if there was someone focusing on the "business side? I mean with Python it's relatively easy but in terms of understanding the other things, it takes a lot more concentration and effort. But it can be done. You just have to have the discipline to do things, I guess. And I'm also lucky the team I'm working with now has been very supportive about my learning process haha Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 8
  • 9. Good morning! How was that experience? Do you think it would have been different if you had a technical co-founder from the get go? Well, it's given me a better understanding of the skills needed (business and technical end) to execute effectively in a start-up and I suppose that balance is important, understanding the tech enough to know its limitations and at the same time being able to translate the value of that technology into something that regular people can understand Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 9
  • 10. Good morning! How was that experience? Do you think it would have been different if you had a technical co-founder from the get go? a lot of young people have this idea that they're invincible, that they can do anything you set your mind to, etc, and I suppose that's what makes a kid's idealism so attractive but for me, you have to also be realistic about "changing the world" because you have to understand your limitations. You can't be "the best at everything." But you can find the "best people at everything" and put them in the right places in your company. Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 10
  • 11. Good morning! How was that experience? Do you think it would have been different if you had a technical co-founder from the get go? for that last part, I don't deal in what-ifs I guess. So I've never really stopped to ask myself, "What if I've started with a technical co-founder?" I suppose it's easier for me to just do things based on the resources I have than look for the resources I don't have. And just between you and me, it was actually more difficult to get things done when I did have a technical co-founder. :)) It's really remarkable how many young developers today suffer from "the Next Mark Zuckerberg" syndrome. :)) Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 11
  • 12. You have a close friend that's like you - she has awesome customer post-it validation using a Javelin board and has some money to bootstrap - should she wait, to find a good technical co-founder or stick with a pitch? Or another alternative? I suppose it would be a case to case situation depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the particular situation. If she has the skills or the time to learn, she can bootstrap or pitch. If not, then it might be a better idea to find a good tech co-founder. Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 12
  • 13. Developer #1 Thoughts from a recently funded Philippine startup  Health care is a very serious problem in the Philippines and having to work for a tech company that wants to revolutionize it, made work feel less like work. I've been learning a lot since I joined especially in terms of all the things we, developers, tend to overlook. Raising venture capital, client relations, investor relations, scaling, expansion, product development and much more. Although not yet a founder of a big startup, just being in a dynamic company such as <StartupName> has inspired me to look at entrepreneurship very differently. As much as ideas and apps are great to have, execution and detail-orientation are key skills to possess. Most successful founders certainly have always kept this in mind. Sometimes, I'd like to think we call them "Founders" because they literally "find" the details and solutions most people don't usually discover. Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 13
  • 14. How different is a technical co-founder's view of a startup VS a non-technical co-founder's? "So here's my definition of a startup. A human institution designed to create something new under conditions of extreme uncertainity. And, of course, the importance of disruptive innovation in creating something that is truly different than what came before." One of the unique characteristics of a startup is its culture. And I'm not referring to the shorts, pizza and beers. Your startup culture is the collection of people making decisions everyday. And some have said, 80% of your culture will be defined by your founders. Its about, how well a particular feature was executed, what process' are available to make that execution work. There will be differences between the tech and non-techs. But its about coming to terms with a linear understanding of getting things done that counts. Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 14
  • 15. maybe you can use your current startup context also, does it help that your non-technical co-founder is your brother? based from you experience, you think that set-up would work in other startups? I would say definitely. Founders will argue at many times in their startup lifecycle. I do admit, some of our arguments do get aggressive. But at the same time, concerns are addressed more thoroughly. Sometimes an aggressive argument, can turn into an intimate one and sometimes they can remain aggressive. But when the storm calms, things get done more productively. And everyone is back on track professionally. Having someone related to you in the team also introduces a BIG amount of trust and dedication (up till 3-6am) without complaints. Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 15
  • 16. maybe you can use your current startup context also, does it help that your non-technical co-founder is your brother? based from you experience, you think that set-up would work in other startups? It's this kind of will that makes a team strong. We learn something new about ourselves everytime we end up in a heated discussion and then we pick up the pieces and suddenly we are a more effective unit. So going back to your question. As long as the founding members are "culturally" fit. Fit to commit to the long hours, execute and to sacrifice. Footer information comes here. Footer information comes here. 16
  • 17. Thank you @pageman @smartdevnet http://developer.smart.com.ph