Yes, I am going to say it outloud: engineers and sales people generally don’t understand each other and might even dislike each other within many parts of the world – especially Silicon Valley. At least this has been my experience over the past decade. The funny part is that they need each other. Yes, consumer product founders, even you have to monetize in a meaningful way at some point; meaningful ad campaigns don’t sell themselves.

Why, you ask?

Engineers tend to think that all sales people are dishonest, unethical, and would sell their soul for a buck — and sales people tend to assume that engineers move too slow, are hard to communicate with, and don’t take their feedback seriously. These are certainly only a few of the many reasons.

As a long time non-technical, non-engineering founder who has been in the tech startup game since 2003, it became very clear to me that a) I would need a technical co-founder to launch any meaningful tech startup (outsourcing is dangerous and usually a bad idea; certainly longer term), and b) as more of a hustler/salesperson myself, engineers are very hard to recruit and get bought into my ideas.

Continue reading “Founder Tips: The Technical versus Non-Technical Founder”