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Support for early-stage tech founders

Here are some key learnings from our recent collaboration with Planes Studio. They have shared some insights and helpful resources to support early-stage tech founders.

And if you only take away one thing, remember: Move in small steps! What’s the next best thing you can do today?

Advice on the app development process

  • Make sure you test the viability, feasibility, and desirability of your idea before starting product development. What is its money-making potential? What are the technology requirements? Do users want/need it?
  • To find out what problems your users want to solve, ask them “If you had a magic wand right now, what would the perfect product do for you?”
  • Public roadmaps are a nice way to help you prioritise and let your audiences know what’s being worked on. They help with transparency, customer engagement & feedback. Look at Monzo and Loom as examples.
  • Get an overview of the product development process and templates of the exercises and workshops you can run at each stage with the Planes Product Playbook

Support with your technical questions

  • Use accessible tools like Google Sheets, Typeform, and no-code/low-code platforms such as Squarespace, Wix, Bubble and Flatterflow to pilot your concept quickly. Proofs of concept will help you get essential early feedback from users.
  • Start by focusing on your core features as a full-featured product might not always be scalable and it can cost you a lot of money.

Help on finding co-founders and investors

  • Being a solo founder can be a lonely job, so a co-founder with complementary skills can help not only business-wise but emotionally.
  • Treat your business relationships like any other experiment you’re running. De-risk it by setting a clear foundation and expectations, and putting in a date to review how it’s going.
  • Forming a new relationship or team? Use The Product Canvas to align on your goals, rituals, and expectations.

Tips about hiring and growing your team

  • The best teams have personal and professional objectives that are in tune with the company’s mission. Use the Team Canvas exercise to understand and align everyone’s goals and expectations.
  • Find communities and networks to ask for help – like Female Founders Rise, COO Stories and She Founds. Join groups that align with your values like Terra.do for the climate.
  • Find time to get together with your team to hone your communication and collaboration with each other.
  • Hire a people person early on to help with job descriptions, how to hire, and who to hire. A freelance people person is likely to be less expensive than a recruitment agency and will have more rounded advice on how to grow your team
  • Get the policies you care about in place first to show what values you want to show when hiring externally. When trying to build a diverse team, don’t be afraid to be slow in hiring and pause people at stages to make sure you have diverse representation at each stage.
  • Set up a shorter first call with candidates as a ‘get to know each other’ chat. It’s casual and you’ll understand their vibe very quickly.