How to Work with Developers: Avoiding Stockholm Syndrome

November 10, 2008
Stockholm syndrome

Stockholm syndrome

Have you experienced “Stockholm syndrome” in working with a developer? That’s the psychological condition where a victim becomes loyal to a powerful abuser, to the point of defending them despite obvious danger. It seems crazy to say an entrepreneur might act like that after hiring someone to do programming or web design, but I’ve seen it, and I think it’s more common than you might think.

What are the tell-tale signs and what can go wrong? Read on.

(read more) Avoiding Stockholm Syndrome


Startup Mistakes: The Partnership Gone Sour

October 8, 2008

What makes a startup fail? I’ve been collecting startup horror stories, hoping to share some lessons learned.

This week brought a story with three classic elements of a startup “tale from the crypt:” technology, money, and people. This time it was technology (with attendant uncertainty and doubt), money (lack of it), and people (the dark side: their personalities). I hesitate to tell this chilling tale because it’s not over (and may yet have a positive outcome). But hearing it may save readers from a similar fate.

(read more) The Partnership Gone Sour


Web Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Job Description

August 30, 2008

A web startup client recently asked me for a CTO job description to paste into a business plan. Eager to oblige, I googled “Web CTO job description” and “web chief technology officer” anticipating it would take me five minutes to find what my client wanted. You’d think there would be a adequate boilerplate job description somewhere on the Net. But no, there’s no sharable, standard description of the work we do to run a web startup.

Here, then, is my first draft of a job description for the work I’ve done as a chief technology officer for web startups. You can find the entire article here: Job Description for a Web Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

After you’ve read the article, if you have anything to add or refine, you can leave a post, and I’ll update the article.


Startup Advice: When to Use a Consulting CTO

July 2, 2008

There are not many to be found. He or she might call himself a “consulting CTO,” “freelance CTO,” “on-demand CTO,” “CTO on call,” “CTO for hire,” or just a “technology strategy advisor.” Most likely, this is a person who is a serial entrepreneur and was the chief technology officer for two or more web startups. If you find him, he’s gold, and not only because of his knowledge and experience. He’s valuable because he will work on your project on a short-term basis.

In this article, you’ll find out how a consulting CTO can help you, when to use one, and how to find the right person.

(read more) When to Use a Consulting CTO


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