Some of you may be wondering what an initial meeting with CTO-as-a-Service looks like. Here is a typical the first meeting with a potential client, which usually occurs over a cup of coffee.
The potential client was recommended to me by someone in our mutual network. This potential client turned out to be the Poster Child for a CTO-as-a-Service engagement. She is a recent business school graduate that had a great idea (which happens to be aligned with a social cause that I believe in) and had some friends-and-family funding. She is not technical at all. A recommendation was made that she use a low-cost offshore development shop, and unfortunately, this development shop ended up not delivering what they promised and what she wanted.
She has some interest from potential investors, but she needs help in setting things right, and she needs help in setting the technical direction of the product so that it will be flexible and scalable as her vision expands.
As we chatted, it became very apparent that she needs someone like me, but her budget does not allow hiring an experienced CTO full-time.
I told her that is all good. CTO-as-a-Service can work with a client a few hours a week or a few hours a month. You could think of CaaS as you would think of your lawyer or your accountant. I can have weekly check-in calls with an outsourced development team in order to make sure that they are on target. I can draw up the initial technical architecture. You can drag me along to meetings with investors and tech incubators to show them that you have experienced leadership sitting behind your startup.
This potential client is going for more funding in January, and I certainly hope that she chooses me to help her realize her vision.