Over coffee today at Boston downtown with one of my angel investor, Yoav Shapira, who’s a serial entrepreneur and investor, we spoke about how business and tech teams can work better together in technology start-ups.
This was one of the biggest challenges that student founders have approached us about at Dorm Room Fund, especially when they are building out their product in the early stages. Below is a quick digest of the learnings I took away from my meeting with Yoav.
- Build in modular parts: Software teams should build in modular parts, with each part requiring not more than 3 days of work, and come up with a priority list and storyboard. Business teams can then work closely with software teams to prioritize what is important, and the company can rapidly build and move forward, churning out products every few days.
- Focus on building an awesome product together: Sounds simple, but not as easy. There’s so much materials online today you can learn from, but nothing beats the experience of building an awesome product and getting feedback from the thousands of users who end up using the product TOGETHER. By making sure that each team is updated and involved in the process, both teams will eventually learn how to work better together.
- Save the time of the tech team: Business teams can help to save the tech co-founder or teams time, by selecting only important meetings for the tech team to attend or by summarizing key points of meetings and providing them to the tech team. Sometimes, the business team should use quick hacks using Google excel, or create simple landing pages on their own to save the time of the tech team.
- Measure teams by output, not face-time: If you can build a kick-ass product in a month, feel free to take the rest of the year off (not realistic, but figuratively speaking). Measure the teams by their results, not by the time they spend in the office. Both the software and business team can have a parallel set of goals to guide each other and move forward.
- Management tools: Tools like Asana, Trello and GitHub are all useful tools, which the tech team can use to manage their work. These can all be visible online, and similar to Google’s OKR (Objectives and Key Results), will help to guide both the software and business team forward.
Above all, open communication and 100% transparency is the way to move forward as both business and tech team work together to reach a well-coordinated goal.
Dorm Room Fund is dedicated to supporting student founders across the country and helping them reach new heights. Working on a startup? Get in touch with us here or reach out personally at dlim(at)dormroomfund.com!