Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from an article originally published by Ellie Cachette on ForbesWomen.
While the debate about why there aren’t enough women in tech is ongoing, there is some truth that there hasn’t been sufficient generational mentorship. Many crafts require knowledge to be passed on from generation to generation, but for startups everything is changing particularly rapidly — technological progress in the last fives years has been unsurpassed as we see with rising company valuations and recent IPOs. The sky truly is the limit, but telling female founders to just “learn how to code” isn’t enough, and the debate about how to get women involved doesn’t help the conversation either.
The true issue is that each phase of a company’s growth requires different skill sets. These can change faster than any group of people can adapt and learn. Yet so often “outsourcing technology” is seen as a turnoff for investors. When a founder is trying to raise money, especially on the West Coast, the first question is often, “Who is your technical co-founder?”
In an industry where innovation is worshipped, innovation can often be stalled by niche product expertise without launching expertise or launching expertise without product expertise. Or marketing expertise without product expertise. There are so many important things to know and learn, and in the earliest stages of a startup, technology should not be the variable. Sometimes the winner is who can get their product mastered first. In this case, development agencies can be helpful to budding founders or those with experimental ideas.
While it’s often only talked about in hushed voices, many successful startups leverage outside development agencies, and until your business has high security needs, this might work for mid-term company growth as well as short term.