Startups face multiple risks, and hence it requires a highly efficient marketing staff and a strong development team. A software development company can either take your business to the top or bring it down to the bottom. Hence, you need a highly technical and reliable team that supports a common goal, i.e., to grow your venture.
The process of developing software is entirely different from that of an established business. This is because startups don’t have significant experience in developing ground-breaking software solutions.
14 Tips to Build a Highly Efficient Software Team for Your Startup
Hence, for a startup, hiring and building a high-performing software team is stressful. According to CB Insights, almost a quarter of startups fail because they don’t have an efficient team in place.
Apart from building a talented team, startups also need to maintain a healthy work culture to achieve excellence. Don’t worry — this post has got you covered.
Here are the top 14 tips that will help your startup build a fantastic development team that will take your business a notch up.
- Planning Your Budget
- Establish a Favorable Company Culture
- Have a Concrete Hiring Plan
- Hire Skilled and Experienced Developers
- Never Neglect Soft Skills
- Equip your Team with Appropriate Tools
- Establish a Work Schedule Everyone is Happy With
- Invest in Team Development
- Look For Passion, Energy and Complementary Skills
- Consider Full Stack Developers
- Invest in Problem-Solving and Communication
- Hire a Core Development Team
- Get Smart About Managing Things
- Build Emotional Safety and Trust
Let’s look at each of these tips in detail.
1) Planning Your Budget
As a startup, you might be short of cash flows in the beginning. Hence, you need to keep in mind the latest technology, infrastructure, and project requirements to build your engineers’ team.
Once you do that, you would be able to gauge how much you need to spend on the resource and infrastructure part. This exercise will also help you to gauge how and when you need to scale up your team and infrastructure.
2) Establish a Favorable Company Culture
You need to create a work culture that helps your development team to excel in projects. Besides, you need to entrust your employees and motivate them to take ownership of tasks assigned and make apt decisions.
You also need to ensure that your team is driven by passion, patience, and resilience and that they’re driven by a single goal. Having said that, you can hire a software team and assign roles that enable the creation of a thriving atmosphere.
3) Have a Concrete Hiring Plan
For having a technically strong team, you need to have a robust hiring plan. Your hiring plan should include hiring team members in the hierarchy right from the senior to the fresher level.
You also have to think about how many resources you’d want to allocate to the project, the number of hours your potential resources would spend, and the salaries you’d offer.
4) Hire Skilled and Experienced Developers
The thought of heading over to college campuses and recruiting fresh graduates is overwhelming. They will happily accept entry-level salaries. However, a startup must be hiring software developers who bring their experience and knowledge to the table.
Experienced developers are subject matter experts with vast experience in application development, and collaborating with them will help you deliver satisfactory results.
One thing you must keep in mind while finding and hiring talent is that you are not recruiting for an already scaling company. You are hiring for what your startup will become.
5) Never Neglect Soft Skills
Suppose you make the mistake of hiring an employee who’s excellent at their job but lacks people and communication skills; they might end up proving out as a wrong recruit.
Just as hard skills are vital for the project to keep going, soft skills such as communication, leadership, and negotiation are critical for your startup’s success. Your team members should interact adequately, honor each other, and should manage conflicts. Soft skills help people to work in harmony.
6) Equip your Team with Appropriate Tools
When you automate routine tasks, you give your software team the proficiency of concentrating on more complex problems. Work closely with your team to identify what they need to work efficiently and choose tools that enable effective collaboration and communication.
Some tools that you must plan to use could be security, customer relationship management, project management, testing, and release management tools.
7) Establish a Work Schedule Everyone is Happy With
You will face such times when deadlines are approaching, and you need to meet them. In such a scenario, you must ensure that your team doesn’t get overwhelmed with the work. You can do this by setting up a schedule that furnishes your development team with enough hours to complete their delegated tasks.
Besides, they should also get enough time for rejuvenation and recoup. Also, it will be beneficial if you offer flexible timing to your team.
Many studies show that people are often wired to give their best when allowed to work at different times of the day. Along with that, you should also offer performance incentives and yearly bonuses to make your team feel valued.
8) Invest in Team Development
Support your employee’s overall development by granting them allowances for courses, skill development, etc. This will keep them updated with the latest tools and technologies. The investment made in enhancing your team’s skills will show up eventually in the work they produce.
9) Look For Passion, Energy and Complementary Skills
People who love their work and can walk the extra mile to accomplish a task will always help you push your goals. Besides, you can also look for people with complementary skills. Ideally, you should hire people who have a unique skill set from you.
A team with staff that has complementary skills works best. Having said that, look for people with whom you can work well and those who share a similar vision as yours.
10) Consider Full Stack Developers
A startup should recruit people who know the job. This way, it becomes easy for you to manage. Hiring full-stack developers for your startup is a worthy choice to get started with. They’ll take care of both your frontend and backend.
11) Invest in Problem-Solving and Communication
Conflicts within your software team may result in severe hurdles for the efficiency and performance of the entire team. Consider taking explicit measures to resolve disputes and manage your team proactively.
For instance, if you have a team member with considerable talent but poor work ethic, the cooperation will not work out as expected no matter how hard you try.
12) Hire a Core Development Team
In the beginning, all that matters is the core team. The only people you should hire are those with skills you can’t do without. You can add other roles at a later stage when the startup progresses.
If you start hiring broadly or without a specific reason, you will end up wasting money and other resources that could have been used more wisely to help your startup grow. Hence, hire only those people in your software team whom you need.
13) Get Smart About Managing Things
You are aware that collecting data will enable you to make smarter decisions about marketing, pricing, software features, and several other facets of your business. Have you started using data to manage your team as well?
Several savvy managers already use data about their team members’ traits and statistical models to enable their teams to excel in the quality of work delivered and productivity.
14) Build Emotional Safety and Trust
The best teams encompass members who feel free to communicate through their minds. Whenever they face a shortcoming or problem, they are aware that it should be brought to light, without fearing retribution or ridicule.
Emotional safety enhances the confidence level of your team, improves productivity, and strengthens the relationship. Give the liberty of sharing their inputs to all your employees, make them comprehend that their views are respected and that you take them seriously.
An emotionally strong team will help you inculcate a feeling of trust and would do your job without any bottlenecks.
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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!