Forming a proficient tech team is a crucial step in any startup’s journey. Just like a chair with a broken leg serves no purpose, a dysfunctional team can hinder progress. This process involves several stages:

  1. Forming
  2. Storming
  3. Norming
  4. Performing
  5. Adjourning

Finding the Right Team Size

Balancing team size is an art. Too many members can lead to chaos, while too few can result in tasks piling up. The mantra here is to be “as small as possible, as large as necessary”.

Key Requirements for a High-Performing Team

To ensure your team functions at its best, consider the following key factors:

  1. Balance: Like Thanos, ensure your team is balanced in skills and strengths.
  2. Clear Goals: Set measurable objectives that are easy to understand and implement.
  3. Open Communication: Foster an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas and concerns.
  4. Growth and Learning: Encourage continuous learning and personal development.
  5. Scalability: Prepare for growth by designing systems that can scale with the company.
  6. Natural Information Sharing: Cultivate an atmosphere where sharing knowledge is second nature.
  7. Recognition: Acknowledge and celebrate individual contributions to the group.
  8. Ownership: Encourage team members to take ownership of their assigned tasks.

Structuring Your Tech Team

When starting a company or project, consider the following essential roles:

  • Product or Project Management
  • Tech
    • Web
      • Front end
      • Back end
    • Mobile
      • Front end
      • Back end
  • Data
  • QA
  • Internal Tools
  • SRE / DevOps

Initially, you may not need all of these roles, and 1-2 versatile individuals can cover multiple areas if necessary. A technical person can handle tech, data, and devops, while a non-technical founder can oversee project management, tools, and QA (Sanity Tests).

Crafting Your Startup’s Tech Team

In the early stages, your tech team will wear many hats. It’s crucial to have versatile and resilient individuals who can adapt to new technologies and roles seamlessly.

  1. Tech Lead: This person plays a pivotal role in identifying initial tech goals. They should be a generalist with knowledge across various tech domains including project management, security, DevOps, and development. A tech lead provides essential guidance for the team’s success.

  2. Hiring Engineers: Start with two engineers for each team. Consider a mix of T-shaped and I-shaped individuals. T-shaped team members have diverse knowledge, while I-shaped specialists bring deep expertise in a specific domain.

Remember, finding the right blend of skills and expertise is key to building a tech team that drives your startup towards success.