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The Challenges of Finding Our Technical Lead

July 17
by
Bryan Wish
in
Wish Dish Staff Blog
with
.

When I first started Wish Dish, little did I realize how important it was to have a strong technical lead.


Since Day 1, solving technical challenges has been like playing pickup basketball with the “Next Man Up” mentality. Luckily I’ve been able to find short term solutions that believe in me and get the job done. Since we have limited access to resources such as cash and living in a location where it’s hard to find a leader with good technical chops, this process has been a rigorous challenge.

We are now a full year into the entrepreneurial journey and our needs have changed.

When I think about why I started Wish Dish, I built the platform off of two pillars: freedom of self expression and meaningful connection. For me, I didn’t have the right place to share my voice and I lacked the community that cared to hear what I had to say. That was the genesis of Wish Dish.

I believe that we have accomplished our first goal of creating a platform where people can express how they feel without judgement from others. Ideally, I’d like to scale the contributor base to millions of contributors.

Having said that, I never created Wish Dish to be a successful “blog,” rather, I created Wish Dish to be an interactive platform. Similar to a place where people “hang out” and can find their tribe. I believe we are far away from our second pillar of creating a platform that facilitates personal connection online. We live in a world with mediums such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that inhibit anything beyond surface level connection.

There has to be a way to go deeper, to create relationships on a personal level, and I believe we will be the platform that does this first.

Now, this is where a Chief Technology Officer comes to the table. In order for us to achieve our desired vision, we need to implement the right technology so our product can scale on its own.

But, what have I done to find it? … Great people don’t always show up on your doorstep in the beginning stages.

In the last six months, I have reached out to over one hundred web developers. I have spent countless hours asking them questions, being introduced to their friends, and building relationships. These conversations have been fascinating because I seem to learn something new every time. This is a unique breed of people who simply think in a way I have never experienced before.

In addition, I have also searched for CTO’s utilizing hashtags on twitter such as #Ilooklikeanengineer. I did this because it represents a female audience, one that makes up 70% of the audience on our platform.  There was a big campaign that started because Isis Anchalee stood up for women who faced gender discrimation in the engineering world. Once I identified a niche audience to target, I have tried to connect with them through their profiles on Twitter and LinkedIn.  This led to many phone calls and emails with little results.

I have also showed up to Meetups for developers in the Atlanta area. It is challenging when developers with great computer skills can be paid between $60k-$150k in my own backyard and I’m looking for someone to come on board at a meager salary with guaranteed equity base.

I have also emailed 20+ hackathon coordinators at various universities around the country and had Skype interviews with people they refer me to. Most of the students aren’t looking for opportunities that have long-term commitments.

Additionally, I have used platforms such as AngelList, Medium, VentureStorm and LinkedIn to search for web developers and connect with them. I’ve also strategized and tried to poach web developers from other media companies who may not have a leading role in the development process.

Being a company in the media space comes with the understanding this is no quick win. It takes 8-12 years to build something truly worthwhile and not many people want to sacrifice the time to see it payoff. We live in a world where people want instantenous success, and that will not be the case with our platform.

The journey has been a game of hard knocks. As a first time entrepreneur, who hasn’t “proven” his worth, I find it extremely difficult sometimes to find the right leader, who shares our common vision, to be the technical leader of our great vision. I know our needle in the haystack is out there, and I won’t stop digging through the pinestraw to find the right person.

Lastly, I don’t want to undermine the great work our WordPress agency has done at Classic City Consulting, but it’s time for us to build a lasting product, a core team, and something that makes a huge difference in society.

If you know anyone to introduce me to who would be interested or might know the right person, please let me know! bryan@thewishdish.com is where I hangout.

 

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Finding my “Woz”

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