Can I be a free lance CTO to provide technical help to companies?

I'm thinking of setting up as a freelance CTO. I'm interested to hear what you good people would expect from such a person. What would they have to have? What's the dealbreakers? How much would you expect to pay them? What sort of engagement model would you prefer (retainer, hourly/daily rate)? What sort of availability would you expect (set days only, or "pick up the damn phone" at 3am on a Sunday morning)? Would you want there to be a discussion around equity, or is this the sort of position that is strictly cash?

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Best Answer

I am an acting CTO for 2 startups and I can tell you how I work with them.

Firstly I am paid on an hourly basis if they ask me to do something I will tell them how many hours I think that would be and send them a quote before I start to work.

The work I do is help them scope out their technology, talk to 3rd party vendors and help hire technical staff. I usually will have a phone call on a Monday with the startups to see what is going on during the week, if they will need me for anything.

I don't take equity in the companies I work with, but that's just me.

If something goes wrong I am on the other end of the phone but I am also on an hourly rate.

I know of some other services where you pay a flat monthly fee of about 2k and they will to something similar.

I hope that gives you a flavor of what a acting/freelance CTO does

Other points

As a person that has tried ... they look mostly unemployed/unemployable to me. TBH, I think the idea and the role is insanely valuable. However, many companies would rather hire an outsourced team of 100 instead of pay an expert for advice and do the work with 1 person instead. (If you have seen the results of these multi-million outsource jobs sold to small businesses you would understand).

Rate? That is the easiest question of all to answer. Let's pretend you deserve $250,000 (I say that snarky, but let's be honest people have different values, just pick on) and let's say you spend 1500 hours marketing for only 500 billable hours. Then you would need to charge $600/hr. (This has a burden for training, retirement, insurance, vacation, and holiday but does not include an office). If you are more effective and manage a full-time load with NO down-time and NO marketing you can bill 156/hr for the same $250,000 a year.

Let me tell, you, drunk 1AM phone calls on Saturday are no fun. Eventually you will just end up firing a bunch of delinquent bad clients. More important than paying clients are clients with strong community relationships with other clients. Word of mouth is the only way this works.

I am a CEO of startup. We need CTOs, but not free lance. Here is why.

If you have technical skills you should just start with a freelance consulting engineer and work your way up. A guy was talking about being 17 and doing REACT JS UI jobs for companies for 4000 dollars. (200 hour job).

A CTO in startup almost has to be a founder. Founders

give up their job and give money to the company, not taking from it.

can only work with one really to build know how secrecy.

A freelance CTO is like a freelance CEO, it does not exist. CTO is not engineer. Engineers earn pay checks and go home, CTO hustle.

A CTO in startup almost has to be a founder. Founders

give up their job and give money to the company, not taking from it.

can only work with one really to build know how secrecy.

A freelance CTO is like a freelance CEO, it does not exist. CTO is not engineer. Engineers earn pay checks and go home, CTO hustle.

Question asked by

u/Gentleman

Date

July 2, 2020, 2:42:59 PM

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