How to Build a Tech Team?
Fabio Zecchini hacked it! Founder and CTO of Musement
Archimede Mulas London 14.03.2019
We know that starting a company is very difficult, but some could say that building a tech team is simply impossible!
Fabio Zecchini, founder and CTO of Musement, sold his company to TUI Group last year.
You can read our interview with him on how he started, grew and then sold Musement here: An Interview with Fabio Zecchini
Fabio built a tech team of 60 people (160 now), and in the tech market, his platform is considered the state of the art. With a very low employee churn-rate (very rare for tech teams today!) – Fabio says that is all starts with finding the right people.
These are the three attributes he looks for in developers:
1. Tech Skills: You need to understand that you cannot only take excellence, otherwise there is the risk they fight with each other. Obviously you need some purebreds, but it is important to hire people who have the tech capabilities you need and willingness to improve. Then give them projects they can collaborate on, to help them benchmark their skills and develop from there.
2. Soft Skills: It is important to find someone who is good but not necessarily the best programmer. On the other hand, it is very important that they have soft skills as team members, and not only as leaders. It is important that as a founder you understand the difference between teammate and leader, especially because they are working for the group and not for themselves.
3. Productiveness: Find entrepreneurial people who deliver. In Italian Fabio jokes - “attaccati alla maglia” which can translate loyal to the (football) club. This is the best thing for the company! Obviously not everyone will have a business acumen, but the tech leaders, product owners, managers and data scientists, need to have a sense of the business strategy!
Once chosen the right people, Fabio gives us three lessons he has learnt along the way in order to maximise the efficiency and productivity of his team:
1. Super Tech – Sometimes arriving on time to market is more important than having the most amazing tech. It is acceptable to forego best practices, in order to deliver the product when the market needs it! When there is a low-peak it is then important to give yourself time to go back and fix it.
2. Customer Focus – Tech is for your customer. Remember to give him the state of the art. If they love the experience they will come back!
3. Don’t be a dinosaur – Tech advances very quickly, and people get used to new technologies just as fast. Some things which were previously unthinkable are now commodities – think accessing your plane-ticket from your phone or smart watch!
To conclude – Fabio suggests to always be as transparent as possible with all of your employees, from the management team to the new interns. The more you tell them, the more they feel part of the team, and the more they feel responsible
“Many ideas come from the people I hired, which were very disruptive! - It's a question of making them feel empowered to speak up!”
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If you know any cool founders, or someone with a lot of experience, get in touch! We love meeting new people!