Tune in for spicy and insightful conversations on all things SaaS, products,(technical) leadership and product. In Pulse, the podcast, madewithlove’s Vincent Battaglia talks with leaders in the tech startup and scale-up ecosystem. There are also some podcast episodes where Vincent talks with his own colleagues about everything he comes across when working as a CTO in residence for various clients. These series are called “Between Us”.
Pulse pilot episode: Andreas Creten
Andreas Creten is the founder and CEO of madewithlove. In the pilot episode of our new podcast, Pulse, we talk to him about such topics as:
- What makes a good CTO?
- What are the primary problems startups have?
- Why does madewithlove have a week-long retreat?
- Can Europe compete with Silicon Valley?
- What programming language will dominate all the others?
- And more!
What makes a good CTO?
Of course the answer was “It depends.” He takes a look at the size of the company and the skills needed from the CTO. In smaller teams, you need someone that knows how to ship quickly. When the product finds market fit, it’s all about transitioning to a quality-first mindset. You’ll also find challenges with stakeholder management, raising capital, and expanding the team quickly.
But is a CTO even needed? With smaller teams, probably not. You’ll have to listen to find out why Andreas thinks this is true.
The problems of startups
You might be surprised to find out that frequently, it’s not the tech. In Andreas’ experience, people and processes are often the source of problems. Sometimes people aren’t listening to engineers who are raising concerns or the team doesn’t feel the sense of urgency to ship. Non-technical managers can have difficulty communicating with the team on these levels. Creating space for good engineering work is difficult but essential.
Andreas also touches on hiring and firing which can be difficult for small teams. Hire slow and firing fast is the best path forward. He discusses toxic workers and why rockstar engineers are not who you want on your team.
Our company retreat, crucial for remote teams
The retreat pays for itself because of the remote nature of madewithlove. The team must have a bonding moment during the year and because the team has some people located in the Americas it doesn’t make sense to have a shorter period of time. This is why it’s a week-long.
It’s not all fun on the beach though. Each team member is responsible for hosting talks, workshops, or discussions that help spread knowledge through the team. The best teams spend more than €200 per team member per month to make sure employees are satisfied.
Can Europe compete with Silicon Valley?
New York and San Francisco are hotspots for innovation in the US, but Europe has a spread out community. Pre-COVID, investment sizes in the EU were catching up to some degree. Although you can raise more money in the US, staffing is more expensive.
But do you even need funding? Raising funds puts a lot more pressure on the business. Sometimes in Europe, ideas get funding even without market validation through government subsidies. Is the politeness of Europe a part of the problem?
Andreas touches on how he stays technical, programming languages, the types of developers, and what’s next for madewithlove. Of course, this was recorded before COVID. See if his predictions were right!
Want to listen to more podcast episodes?
We have a bunch of podcast episodes ready for you. Take a look at our new podcast, Pulse! The podcast page has our episodes listed and you can listen your way through what we find interesting in the tech ecosystem.