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I got references, checked their plans with advisors, and specified the product as best I could.

The MVP took twice as long as expected- which is t0 be expected. Most of the reasons why our MVP didn’t scale weren’t obvious to me.

However, the serious problems started after launch. It wasn’t just that the app got slower and features stopped working, it was also that adding new features easily broke old ones, the code base was increasingly hard to maintain, and iteration was painfully slow.

Scalability isn’t just about taking one or two high-level decisions.

about my [area of] expertise: consumer products." That's another common response.

He put me in touch with a local development consultant that he thought could help me get back on track. However, investing in good advice at the beginning of a technical project can save 100X that amount further down the line — tweet this. He started with a 3-day ‘Discovery Sprint’ to get into the nitty gritty of the development process, architecture and everything in between. The API wasn’t RESTful, didn’t support versioning (which has proved a massive headache), and wasn’t built to scale. Russ had never been part of a startup so I shared my learnings with him too. To be honest, I never really considered that he would join as a late co-founder until three months in. So, in a cafe near Liverpool Street, I asked Russ to join as a co-founder and we hashed out a deal. But like many non-technical founders with exceptional technical partners, I don’t regret it for a second. As an entrepreneur, you need awesome sales skills, high conviction and incredible leadership.

If you've worked together as employees, you might be able to work together as co-founders.

I heard from dozens of people with this story, for example Ari Tulla and his co-founder at Better, who had worked together at Nokia.

A year into building a startup, many non-technical founding teams regret not having a technical co-founder. ‘Can’t I just hire a senior programmer for much less equity? My answer to both questions is no — it’s never too late.

It’s easy to dismiss the idea of getting a ‘late’ technical co-founder. At 3 Kinds of Ice, I hired a development agency in Croatia to build our MVP.

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