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Non-techie builds a tech company

Stashed in: 106 Miles, startup

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She must be very persuasive.

Get advice.

After I raised my first round of financing, I could afford to hire my own team. Since I wasn’t sure how to build a development team, I focused on hiring one person to lead it and let him recruit everyone else. The problem was, how would I know I had the right person to lead?

Within a few months, we had a team of four. Development seemed slow and our live site was littered with bugs. Our team didn’t seem driven; they all finished work each day at 5:30. I remember watching “The Social Network” and admiring the passion and intelligence of the group of young engineers. My team didn’t look like that.

Then, at a start-up conference, I spotted Lars Rasmussen, the well known engineer who created Google Maps. I bowled up to him and sold him the Posse story. I outlined my challenges as a non-technical founder and asked for help. Within a week, he’d interviewed our team, reviewed our processes and introduced me to a lead engineer at Google who later joined as our chief technology officer. Lars joined our board, invested in the company and has since played a pivotal role in recruiting our engineers and overseeing product design. And with Lars involved, investors stopped asking me to find a technical co-founder.

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