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What’s a Startup and How to Launch One?

A startup, according to Forbes, is a young company established by a team of common thinkers. The business goal of startup partners is to develop a product or service unlike no one in the world, bring it to market and gain customer demand and satisfaction.

Any startup that is being launched these days revolves around an innovative idea that has not yet been explored or a completely new type of product or service users were desperate to obtain. Thus, by thinking outside the box, many startups become positive disruptors of old-fashioned industries and offer excellent solutions. The giant companies today founded by Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg once were small startups, which simply had a zest.

Startup location and industry

In the beginning, 90% of new startups tend to be on the brink of failure. But not all of them are failures. Some even turn into unicorns – privately held startup companies worth $1 billion. As of April 2021, there were approximately 600 unicorns in the world, and the biggest quantity of them are located in the U.S. and China.

Bar chart of number of unicorns worldwide in 2021, by country, according to Statista

Startups are industry-specific. Industries that create new startups these days are:

  • Fintech – 7.1%
  • Healthcare – 6.8%
  • AI – 5%
  • Gaming – 4.7%
  • Adtech – 3.3%
  • Edtech – 2.8%
  • Cleantech – 2.1%
  • Blockchain – 1.5%
  • Robotics – 1.3%
  • Cybersecurity – 0.7%
  • Agtech- 0.6%

Based on the industry preferences and other factors, most of the startups today are located in:

  • USA – 65,703
  • India – 8,301
  • UK – 5,377
  • Canada – 2,711
  • Indonesia – 2,198
  • Germany – 2,124
  • Australia – 1,635
  • France – 1,480
  • Spain – 1,300
  • Brazil – 1,140

Although numerous startups are being launched and founders strive to be competitive on the market and lead their businesses, lots of these startups experience different shortages of money, time, talents, and experience to be ahead of the others. What’s more, if user demand is weak, startups fail. What are the real startup problems that make them lose their ground?

Why Do Startups Fail: How to Understand Where You’re at?

The reasons for startup misluck are numerous. According to Statista, the most reported failures are due to:

Bar chart of most common reasons startups fail, according to Statista

1. No demand on the market

The biggest demand on the market can be achieved if you are to solve some kind of a problem for people and allow them a convenient and smooth usage of your solution. If your idea is great but there is no need for it – then leave it behind. Study the market demand first and understand what is missing but yet would have been good to have. 42% of startups fail due to wrong market interpretations or think this stage is not important.

The value of your idea lies in the using of it. – Tomas Edison, Co-founder of General Electric

2. Insufficient budget

Of course, you can start your business based on personal investments. But, in the long run, these costs will be insufficient. Thus, there is a need to share your ideas with potential investors and find business partners. Your success depends on whether you’re convinced in your business idea, have analyzed the market, and predicted how it would skyrocket in the end. Still, 29% report cost shortages today.

You have to be ready for hard work and frugal spending to get the idea off the ground. – Garrett Camp, co-founder of Stumbleupon

3. Not “your” team

People, sharing the same goals, mission, and vision that you share are considered to be “your people”. However, in the beginning, most of the team members have difficulties communicating their goals and vision to each other, which is a perfect ground for future conflicts. If the team has no commonly set direction, every member will fail to meet the business’s expectations and commit. 23% of teams fall apart due to being too different in what they think, believe, and do.

The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world. – Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

4. Too many competitors on the market

Unfortunately, lots of brilliant ideas were taken and to launch something new requires either a completely innovative product or enhancement of the existing idea by various useful features. If your startup falls under the second category, be prepared to be outcompeted. This happens due to the lack of knowledge and too many competitors on the market that are one or several steps ahead. And, if a user has been offered a product or service, which he/she considered enough by so far, yours will never be in demand unless it is great to use. 19% of startups tend to lose to their competitors.

Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you. – Mark Cuban, Co-founder of HDNET

5. Outdated product

In our world’s fast development pace and tech progress, it is vital to keep up with the new tendencies. If the product you want to develop has been popular for a certain period in the past, it might not be that popular today. They say, everything comes and goes in cycles, but it’s hard to predict whether the product will gain the same popularity. It’s better to innovate and think about ways to make people’s life convenient today. New technologies and new ideas are always welcome in our society. But still, 13% of the startups make the wrong decision and produce mistimed products.

Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard. – Catherina Fake, co-founder of Flickr

6. Lack of passion to keep going

Most of the business ideas are generated when the startup founders are passionate about these ideas and want to achieve the highest level of success by bringing new products to the market. However, being constantly on the bumpy road where your startup is successful one minute and the other you face challenges and obstacles on your way, makes leaders burn out and have no sparkle to proceed. And there are 17% of startups that experience burnout and a lack of passion this way. Elon Musk says that

If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough. – Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors

Believe it or not, establishing your own business and making it a profitable one is up to the founder. If the founder has all the potential and shows he/she is interested in the best results, the team will comply as well.

This list can be extensive. But, let’s focus on the right startup team that appears to be crucial in business and the lack of such becomes a great challenge in growing a startup.

Learn more on how to start a tech startup in the US

How to Hire Developers for a Startup?

In 2020, there were 3,114,111 new jobs created by new startups. What’s more, with the year of Covid-19 presence the process of hiring became a two-sided coin. If some of the startup companies lost their employees due to the harsh impact of pandemics and left numerous candidates jobless on the market, the others couldn’t find employees that would match their expectations. So, there is no universal scheme applicable to every startup.

The top person after the founder should be a co-founder, who should be on the same page as you are and have a distinct technical knowledge. The co-owner of the startup is the first member of your team, your partner, and your investor. Both of you can start a business, but to proceed, you have to grow in numbers. How do attract the other team members and find developers for a startup? There are tips every founder can adhere to.

Consider development outsourcing to Ukraine! And, why not? Read on. 

1. Hire engineers basing on similar criteria

Despite being new, your company has to have its mission, vision, and goals to cover. People on your team have to share these growth-related principles and work hand-in-hand with you to achieve the common goal receiving the same satisfaction. Developers, who have different visions and goals will sooner or later search for another company that does not contradict their beliefs.

Sam Altman, a co-founder, and CEO of OpenAI claims that, at first, 25% of your time will be spent on interviewing and hiring the “right” people. Previously, Sam was the Chairman of Y Combinator – a leading silicon valley startup accelerator, so he knows exactly how to boost startups and set them for success.

Altman insists that it is necessary to stay small as long as possible and hire developers for startup only after your company will move up to the next level. He says, “There are three things that I look for when I hire people: Are they smart? Do they get things done? Do I want to spend a lot of time around them? And when I end up with a ‘yes’ to all the three, I almost never regret this hire!”

2. Establish the values that indicate the corporate culture

Every team has to have and maintain their corporate conduct. It does not mean that you have to set up rules for the dress code and fixed working hours, no. Mainly, corporate culture includes positive communication, a friendly atmosphere, readiness to help and guide, adherence to moral and ethical principles, and many more. Engineers, who have the slightest hint of corporate misfit will highly unlikely receive positive corporate experience in your team. So, think about what kind of interpersonal skills you’d like your team to possess and search for the right candidates.

3. Allow your team to grow

Hiring programmers for startup presupposes to enure them there’s plenty of space and resources to grow and obtain knowledge, get new professional levels together with the corresponding rewards. However, an opportunity to develop professionally is not enough. Engineers need to develop personally as well. Personal or soft skills are also an important factor in achievements and individual employee satisfaction. Developers, who feel they have been put into a cage will strive to get out of it and meet personal growth plans somewhere else.

4. Ensure your startup is better than the others

Any valuable software engineer on the market is also the party, who chooses the company to work for. And, being a startup, you might not stand out from the list of similar companies. What can you practice as a company founder? Explain to your potential employee why your company may be better for him/her than the rest on the market. Speak about business ideas, corporate values, growth possibilities, education, business trips, and anything you’re planning to implement for your teammates and co-workers. Sometimes, software developers are in search of personal satisfactory aspects that can be fulfilled working for a particular company. Growth and development are the key benefits you can offer from the start. The right people will be in search of the exact benefits.

5. Value every candidate regardless of the outcome

Every candidate is, first of all, a person with his/her own needs to be met and professional gains to achieve. Be kind to every software developer as you don’t know when and where this person might be helpful to you. It seems like the candidate is not the “right” one at the moment, but in the future, he/she might be the one to hire. Show that you are a smart leader with good intentions and you care about the company as well as the people around you. This kind of attitude bribes even the most cynical person.

6. Choose the right hiring strategy

If your budget allows, hire a recruiter to help you out with the strategy. Search for ways to bring smart candidates into your business. Make sure you establish a nice ‘candidate-recruiter’ communication process with a couple of interviews and extensive feedback. Most of the candidates are being neglected, are taken through rows and rows of tiresome interviews and, the cream of the crop, are not even given a word of feedback. Would this candidate want to work for you in the end? The answer is pretty clear. Thus, the way you establish the hiring process matters as much as the candidate himself/herself. There’s always tech support for the numerous ways to hire employees that exist nowadays. Some of the strategies might take up all your budget but decrease the time spent on hiring, and some might take little resources but give a solid output. For instance, 44% of recruiters use publicly available data like programmer social medial profiles on Linkedin, Facebook, or Twitter and it significantly speeds up the hiring process.

Hiring developers for startups and in the right way is a complex process that has to be defined from the beginning. The clearer you will visualize the portrait of your ideal candidate the easier it will be to find one. However, how can a young startup hire software engineers with years of experience, and outstanding technology knowledge but nothing to offer in return?

Startups looking to hire but little to offer

Lots of new startups face the same problem – they have little resources available and have almost nothing to offer. How can they hire the software gurus they need, in this case? There is a way out. Try outsourcing. 80% of Millennials want to work overseas. You’ll be able to work with developers offshore, but all the benefits for them will be covered by the outsourcing vendor company. And the rates might be a good choice. Outsourcing developers from other countries might also add points to the knowledge and creativity of your team. For instance, there are countries with brilliant software developers that are even better than their in-house colleagues. You can read about the best countries to outsource developers here.

How to estimate development time

Growing Startup Teams

If you have the budget to hire in-house developers, then it might be an advantage for you as well. However, you should be aware of the best places, where to find these candidates. Most of the top developers are already employed, they do not search for job postings and rarely go to the job boards to search for new opportunities. These talents are called passive and they have to be professionally recruited. For instance, you can use social media in recruiting. If career sites that bring 55% of developers and job boards, which bring 39% won’t help, then consider technical developer events, online developer communities, and referrals.

Use of social media in recruiting in percents

Developer events

The best ways to gain insights and meet smart techies are developer conferences, hackathons, and various smaller tech events held locally or within your reach. But, how to find a developer for your startup there? Just approach one, tell him/her about your startup and plans to grow, get him/her interested, strike a chord and wait till the software engineer will follow. Most of the engineers who work many years for one company and who have achieved the top level of their seniority may want to be a part of a startup ( a.k.a. make a change) and succeed by contributing. The same goes for the junior developers. Maybe, your startup idea is something they have always dreamed about developing.

Online developer communities

Github and Stack Overflow are online repositories that include lots of tech talents. Software developers, who want to learn or to share something upload their code on these platforms. Thus, you can connect with tech developers, see the way they write their code, is it clean, and logical, and gain even more insights. Besides, developers, who upload their work want it to be seen and assessed by potential employers.


If you already have software developers on your team, one of the best solutions to find new candidates is to ask your teammates for a referral. Perhaps, your software engineers are in extensive developer circles and talk to their colleagues from time to time. Some of these colleagues might search for a job or desire to be a part of a startup. Or, your team techies can recommend people they have once worked with a good skillset. What makes referrals so popular?

Here, you will receive recommendations of developers that will meet your business purposes and include the much-needed technical and personal skills as your team already knows what you are searching for.

If you have acknowledged how to hire a programmer for a startup, then it’s time to augment your team. And, you already know the steps to do it – online and offline developer events.

Our Valuable Experience

Inoxoft is a custom software development and web development company that provides software development for startups and offers the discovery phase of a software project. But, in the beginning, we were a startup business as well. Thus, we had to hire developers for our growth and development purposes. And, the best solution out of our tips and steps was to use referrals from teammates and employ common-thinkers that wanted to make a change in this world. You can read our corporate culture and collaboration principles in the About Us section on our site or in our related blog article here.

How to hire developers for a startup in 6 steps

Check our story of creating a trading automatization platform!

Wrapping Up

It’s been a tough year of Covid-19, where some of the startups moved one step forward and the others lost in the game. However, to launch your startup and keep on track requires solid brainstorming and planning of your steps ahead. There is no way for chaotic actions as your business is still unstable. One of the steps that require special attention is hiring software developers on your team. This process seems relatively easy if you’re a company with good budget costs invested into company growth. But, if you’re a startup, everything’s different. The costs are limited together with time and other factors, and there is no chance to hire wrong. Thus, the 6 steps of how to hire software engineers and additional information described above are your key points to consider so as not to compromise your opportunity. Take your chance and hire wisely to succeed.

Learn more on how to scale a software company!