All startups are inherently risky — no matter how great an idea is. Too often does the idea of startup risk get glorified. The old adage “big risk equals big reward” may help one in a million at the roulette wheel. However, it’s a fail-sure way to approach building a company.
Great founders and entrepreneurs don’t spend their time taking on significant risks. They spend their time actively minimizing every identifiable risk as to de-risk the opportunities they are pursuing.
Think of it like this; you’re starting a company and need a CTO. Want to take a significant risk to maximize your reward? Hire someone for minimum wage who has never been an engineer! If they work out and deliver on technology, you’ll have saved $100,000’s and have your fantastic product.
However, personally speaking, I wouldn’t want to be your investor!
A much, much better decision would be to find the most experienced person available to take on the CTO role. Additionally, you’d want to compensate them competitively; salary and equity. Why? To minimize your risk, which is:
- Experience: To reduce product risk.
- Salary + Equity: To reduce turnover risk (the hire leaving).
In business, there are internal risks and external risks — as well as ways to minimize both. For example, a company whose COGS (Cost of goods sold) are dependent on specific commodity prices has supply chain risk — an external influencer. Meanwhile, a tech startup that stores customers' usernames and passwords is exposed to security risks — internal risks.
The risk that’s nearest and dearest to our hearts at 8base is product risk. That is, the risk a startup is exposed to when developing and maintaining their product. Unfortunately, the mitigating product risk is not as simple as hiring some agency or making a friend who “knows how to code” a technical co-founder.
Startups take on enormous risk and make huge sacrifices to bring a vision into reality. From personal experience, building a strong foundation (backend) for applications often gets overlooked by dev teams, or entirely overworked — which dilutes time spent on the innovative parts of any vision. This results in startups and founders spending more money on fewer results and frequently seeing their companies turn into nothing more than a memory.
We’re starting to see a strong trend with the startups and founders we’re working with at 8base. These partners see 8base as a vehicle to significantly de-risk their product development, whether by developing on 8base themselves or engaging with our 8base Labs team. By building their products on-top of an application underpinning, developed by experienced SaaS entrepreneurs, their products are coming to fruition in less time, using fewer resources, and requiring less maintenance afterward.
We’re most proud of is seeing these projects move from MVP to fully scaled production without ever requiring a rewrite!
In the last few months, we asked these partners why they are building their startups on 8base. Their feedback is so encouraging. I’d like to share the 5 most common topics. Here they are!
#1 — Smaller teams accomplishing larger projects
#3 — Infrastructure people trust
It’s easy to argue over choosing Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud (GCP). There are countless categories of architectural choices that factor into building great software products, and, by 8base being a bit prescriptive in our offering, we solve for 80% of those headaches.
How so? 8base provisions AWS with every project’s required resources (Aurora MySQL database, Lambda, API Gateway, S3, SNS, etc.). Essentially, this is the equivalent of hiring a Senior AWS Cloud Architect and Developer on day one of your company and having them show up with the first 4-months of work already done.
#4 — Scale without reliance on DevOps
8base’s product is 100% elastic and priced accordingly. It’s designed to support the needs of a small user base while automatically scaling to meet more substantial demands. Customers are only paying for computing services consumed and not infrastructure that sits idle. Even better, customers aren’t needing DevOps personnel to configure, maintain, and debug computing infrastructure. This is huge, as DevOps talent is hard to find and harder to afford.
#5 — Launching apps faster than was ever thought possible
It is all too familiar to me how much development time and resources go into things like authorization, authentication, API specifications, database administration, and more that don’t move the needle on a startups core innovation. Unless you are, of course, an authorization, authentication, API specifications, or database administration company! That’s why I’m so happy when I hear that, by 8base handling these project requirements on our platform, startups are shaving 50% or more time of their product development timelines and budgets.
Instead of relying on coding prodigies, they are setting up and managing complex systems in the 8base console.
Thank you for reading! If anyone is interested in chatting about the topics mentioned in this piece, how 8base can help, or entrepreneurship in general, reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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