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How to Find a Tech Co-Founder in 5 Steps

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In society, there are very few people inclined to entrepreneurship and risk: Only 0.33% of people become an entrepreneur every year. And there are even fewer of those risk-takers among developers. Usually, a person who is inclined towards entrepreneurship will not go to spend his life in IT, and if he or she becomes a developer, they will very quickly move to top management or leave to work on their own ideas.

Therefore, the likelihood of stumbling upon a risk-loving IT developer is very small. And that’s why it can be so difficult to attract them.

Before pitching a project to an IT engineer, you first need to understand what their motivation is, what they are striving for and what is important to them.

1. Understanding the psychology of good IT-developers

The situation is such that the market is full of companies paying $200,000 or more for relatively easy work. In most cases, this salary is enough not only to cover all programmer’s basic needs. At the same time, people who become IT developers are rarely greedy. That is, their main motivation is usually not money. They have no strong desire to move mountains for the sake of imaginary millions.

When an entrepreneur (first founder), tolerant of risk and hungry for big money, seeks a developer (ideally, second founder) who does not like risks and has all his needs already met, this can result in a misunderstanding. They simply don’t value each other’s goals. These different worldviews could help develop robust business, but first, they have to agree.

The entrepreneur will probably think that they have found some kind of a lazy person. They think I offered him a way to make millions if he just puts in the effort! But he refuses and chooses to work for measly hundreds of thousands! And the developer will probably think that the entrepreneur is just another rascal who wants to get work done for free when normal people usually lay out six figures. For a successful interaction, it is important to understand this difference in perspective.

Related: Looking for a Startup Idea? Here Are 10 That You Can Steal

2. The right approach

Most experienced engineers with advanced soft skills can make good co-founders — if they see that it makes sense for them to quit their comfortable work to try to develop your idea. This means that they must understand that even if the project fails, they will receive some sort of benefit for themselves. For example, an impressive paragraph on a resume or a mastery of new promising technology.

To achieve this, the project needs to meet one of these conditions:

  • Working on a project should resemble a hackathon, not harsh monotonous work. Short struggle — and potentially big gains. For example, you could say that you plan to work on a demo for four days, show it to investors, get $100,000 and go to the startup accelerator. Then a month after the revision, you plan for your startup to get an estimate of several million and on the demo day you close the seed round for $500,000. This portrays great potential gains, considering the developer only had to spend four full days on a demo.

  • Your project can look good on the resume of a tech co-founder so that they can then potentially find a higher-paying job. For example, you want to develop an application on a stack that they want to study but can’t in their current position. Think things like machine learning, neural networks and blockchain.

  • The developer likes the idea, it can make the world a better place and the developer is very motivated to bring it to life.

Ideally, of course, all three of these conditions are met.

3. How to pitch a project

If you cannot test hypotheses, look for clients, reach investors and sell and promote, then as a co-founder you are useless in a technology project. You will not find a good tech lead who would be happy to work with you.

Therefore, when communicating with a developer, you should already have the answers to all basic questions:

  • What evidence is there that the future product will be in demand?

  • How will we promote the product?

  • What is the unit economics of the product?

  • Where is the money in this?

  • How much can you earn?

  • What is the minimum effort you need to invest to get the result in the near future?

  • Where can we find investments?

  • Where will we look for clients?

  • What are our competitive advantages?

If there are no answers to these questions, you do not need a co-founder, you need an online course in marketing and sales, and then several years of hiring practice where you can hone your skills.

Show that there is a minimum of technical effort required and that most of the uncertainties have been addressed. Show that the developer practically does not need to risk anything and some people are waiting for a technical prototype and are ready to pay.

Related: 9 Tips for Startup Hiring

4. Real examples of pitches to the co-founder

There are only a few minutes for the pitch to gain their interest. Here are two real examples I’ve come across that I’ve been approached with as I remember it. In short, this is how you should and shouldn’t pitch your idea.

Bad: I have an idea for a social network for art lovers. We will make a prototype, show the investors (whom I don’t know yet, but I think someone will be interested, now they give investments to anything). We will get money, at least $200,000, then promotion is not a problem. We will buy advertising online and hire a marketer. The idea is in demand, all my friends said they would use it.

Good: I am doing CRM for construction workers, I have been in the construction industry for 10 years. I know many leaders of large construction companies, I have already agreed with three companies on the pilot, one of them has already made a small advance. I have already communicated with interested funds and one startup accelerator, and a designer I know has put a basic design on four screens, I need the help of a good developer to implement a simple technical prototype. If the prototype will be successful, we can open a new market for $12 billion.

5. Where to look for experienced and risk-tolerant developers

  • Hackathons / Online contests  There are many active and intelligent people who love and know how to make technical prototypes in a short time, plus they can already have well-coordinated teams.

  • HackerRank/Codility/Qualified/CodersRank – These websites score developers and build a community around them. Obviously, you need someone not from the bottom of the scoring list.

  • Meetups and conferences – Many developers who want to take the next step in their career go to these.

  • Outstaffing websites – There are companies, like Smartbrain.io, whose core business is employing only the best developers (seniors, tech leads, and tech executives). Get in contact with someone who works in the field you need, or just hire one to get started.

  • Chatrooms in Telegram/Slack – There are plenty of them, including the ones where developers discuss their pet projects. Having a pet project is a good indicator that a person can be a co-founder.

  • Github – Developers who release their libraries to the public are also great co-founders if they get a decent offer.

  • Ycombinator Startup school – This startup community from the Ycombinator accelerator also has a service for finding a co-founder.

Related: 5 Tips for Financing Your Startup

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Cyber Monday shopping expected to set record but annual growth has slowed | Adobe

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Cyber Monday shopping sales hit at least $6.3 billion through part of the day in the U.S. today, according to the latest online shopping data from Adobe Analytics.

It’s not unusual for Cyber Monday and Black Friday online shopping results to break records, but it this economic climate it’s encouraging to see it happen. Still, growth has slowed from 2021 and 2020 holiday seasons.

Consumers spent $6.3 billion up through 3:00 pm Pacific time for Cyber Monday. Adobe expects that when the final tally is in, consumers will spend between $11.2 billion and $11.6 billion for the day, making Cyber Monday the biggest online shopping day of the year (and of all time).

Today, the top 15 hot sellers (not in ranked order) have included Legos, Hatchimals, Disney Encanto, Pokémon cards, Bluey, Dyson products, strollers, Apple Watches, drones, and digital cameras. Gaming consoles also remain popular, along with games including Mario Party, FIFA 23, Madden 23 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.

Over the past weekend, the top sellers were included Hot Wheels, Cocomelon, Bluey, Disney Encanto, L.O.L. Surprise dolls, Roblox, and Fortnite in the toys category. Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 remain the top selling gaming consoles, with popular games including FIFA 23, God of War Ragnarök, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Madden 23, and NBA 2k23. Other hot sellers included Apple iPads, Apple MacBooks, digital cameras, Roku devices, drones, gift cards and Instapots.

Black Friday online shopping sales were $9.12 billion, up 2.3% from a year ago, and Thanksgiving itself came in at $5.29 billion, up 2.9% from a year ago. Those were above Adobe’s projections. Last year, consumers spent $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday.

Strong consumer spend has been driven by net-new demand, and not just higher prices. The Adobe Digital Price Index, which tracks online prices across 18 product categories (complements the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, which also includes prices for offline only products and services like gasoline and rent) shows that prices online have been nearly flat in recent months (down 0.7% YoY in October 2022).

Adobe Analytics says Cyber Monday will set a record.

Adobe’s numbers are not adjusted for inflation, but if online inflation were factored in, there would still be growth in underlying consumer demand, the company said.

On a category basis, toys were a major growth driver in the days leading up to Cyber Monday, with online sales up 452% over the average day in October 2022. Appliances (up 305%) and baby/toddler products (up 289%) also saw strong demand, in addition to electronics (up 276%) and apparel (up 258%).

Shoppers will find record discounts today for computers (peaking at 27% off listed price). Deals will also be found in nearly all categories tracked, including apparel (19%), toys (33%), electronics (25%), sporting goods (16%), televisions (15%), and furniture (11%). Those looking to buy an appliance should consider waiting until Thursday (December 1), when discounts are set to peak at 18% on average.

Weekend spending remained strong

Consumers spent over a Black Friday’s worth of ecommerce over the weekend at $9.55 billion, up 4.4% YoY ($4.59 billion on November 26, up 2.6% YoY / $4.96 billion on November, up 6.1% YoY). Season-to-date (November 1 to November 27), consumers have spent a total of $96.42 billion online, up 2.1% YoY.

And while the big days (Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday) have reached new heights, consumers spent at record levels all season. Since November 1, shoppers spent over $2 billion every single day, with 19 days above $3 billion in online spend. Broad, early discounts were the main drivers for the shift in consumer spending.

“Shoppers have seen massive discounts this past week, which is the exact opposite situation from last season when supply chain constraints kept prices elevated,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, in a statement. “While discounting will have an impact on margins for retailers, it is also driving a level of demand that can help brands build long-term loyalty and net some short-term gains.”

Additional Adobe Analytics Insights

Over the weekend, online sales of toys were up 383% (compared to average daily sales for the category in October 2022), with baby toys seeing strong demand (up 252%). Other categories that surged over the weekend include jewelry (up 230%), sporting goods (up 239%), and apparel (up 217%).

With online spending hitting new records and inflation impacting consumers, flexible payments have become a big story this season. In the last week (November 21 to November 27), “buy now, pay later” orders have risen 68% and revenue has increased 72%, when compared to the week prior.

Over the weekend, smartphones drove over half of online sales for the first time (52%, up from 48% last year). Adobe expects mobile shopping to dip on Cyber Monday however, based on historical trends. Many people are back at work and using laptops, which will be the preferred device for shopping online.

Forecast for Cyber Week

Adobe expects Cyber Week (the five days from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday) to generate $34.8 billion in online spend, up 2.8% YoY, and represent 16.3% share of the full November through December holiday season.

Cyber Monday is expected to remain the season’s and year’s biggest online shopping day, bringing in between $11.2 billion and $11.6 billion. Black Friday generated a record $9.12 billion in online spend, up 2.3% YoY, while Thanksgiving brought $5.29 billion in online spend, up 2.9% YoY.

Adobe analyzes direct consumer transactions online. The analysis covers over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories.

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Snowflake 101: 5 ways to build a secure data cloud 

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Today, Snowflake is the favorite for all things data. The company started as a simple data warehouse platform a decade ago but has since evolved into an all-encompassing data cloud supporting a wide range of workloads, including that of a data lake

More than 6,000 enterprises currently trust Snowflake to handle their data workloads and produce insights and applications for business growth. They jointly have more than 250 petabytes of data on the data cloud, with more than 515 million data workloads running each day.

Now, when the scale is this big, cybersecurity concerns are bound to come across. Snowflake recognizes this and offers scalable security and access control features that ensure the highest levels of security for not only accounts and users but also the data they store. However, organizations can miss out on certain basics, leaving data clouds partially secure. 

Here are some quick tips to fill these gaps and build a secure enterprise data cloud.

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1. Make your connection secure

First of all, all organizations using Snowflake, regardless of size, should focus on using secured networks and SSL/TLS protocols to prevent network-level threats. According to Matt Vogt, VP for global solution architecture at Immuta, a good way to start would be connecting to Snowflake over a private IP address using cloud service providers’ private connectivity such as AWS PrivateLink or Azure Private Link. This will create private VPC endpoints that allow direct, secure connectivity between your AWS/Azure VPCs and the Snowflake VPC without traversing the public Internet. In addition to this, network access controls, such as IP filtering, can also be used for third-party integrations, further strengthening security.

2. Protect source data

While Snowflake offers multiple layers of protection – like time travel and fail-safe – for data that has already been ingested, these tools cannot help if the source data itself is missing, corrupted or compromised (like malicious encrypted for ransom) in any way. This kind of issue, as Clumio’s VP of product Chadd Kenney suggests, can only be addressed by adopting measures to protect the data when it is resident in an object storage repository such as Amazon S3 – before ingest. Further, to protect against logical deletes, it is advisable to maintain continuous, immutable, and preferably air-gapped backups that are instantly recoverable into Snowpipe.

3. Consider SCIM with multi-factor authentication

Enterprises should use SCIM (system for cross-domain identity management) to help facilitate automated provisioning and management of user identities and groups (i.e. roles used for authorizing access to objects like tables, views, and functions) in Snowflake. This makes user data more secure and simplifies the user experience by reducing the role of local system accounts. Plus, by using SCIM where possible, enterprises will also get the option to configure SCIM providers to synchronize users and roles with active directory users and groups.

On top of this, enterprises also should use multi-factor authentication to set up an additional layer of security. Depending on the interface used, such as client applications using drivers, Snowflake UI, or Snowpipe, the platform can support multiple authentication methods, including username/password, OAuth, keypair, external browser, federated authentication using SAML and Okta native authentication. If there’s support for multiple methods, the company recommends giving top preference to OAuth (either snowflake OAuth or external OAuth) followed by external browser authentication and Okta native authentication and key pair authentication.

4. Column-level access control

Organizations should use Snowflake’s dynamic data masking and external tokenization capabilities to restrict certain users’ access to sensitive information in certain columns. For instance, dynamic data masking, which can dynamically obfuscate column data based on who’s querying it, can be used to restrict the visibility of columns based on the user’s country, like a U.S. employee can only view the U.S. order data, while French employees can only view order data from France.

Both features are pretty effective, but they use masking policies to work. To make the most of it, organizations should first determine whether they want to centralize masking policy management or decentralize it to individual database-owning teams, depending on their needs. Plus, they would also have to use invoker_role() in policy conditions to enable unauthorized users to view aggregate data on protected columns while keeping individual data hidden.

5. Implement a unified audit model

Finally, organizations should not forget to implement a unified audit model to ensure transparency of the policies being implemented. This will help them actively monitor policy changes, like who created what policy that granted user X or group Y access to certain data, and is as critical as monitoring query and data access patterns. 

To view account usage patterns, use system-defined, read-only shared database named SNOWFLAKE. It has a schema named ACCOUNT_USAGE containing views that provide access to one year of audit logs.

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WhatsApp rolls out new ‘Message Yourself’ feature globally • TechCrunch

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To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.

We’re joining the Cyber Monday fun with 25% off annual subscriptions to TechCrunch+ content and analysis starting today until Wednesday, November 30. Plus, today only, get 50% off tickets to discover the vast unknown and attend TechCrunch Sessions: Space in Los Angeles!

Okay, we haven’t done a newsletter since Wednesday, and while the U.S. team was chillin’ like villains, the rest of the team was hard at work, so here’s some of the highlights from the last half-week of TechCrunchy goodness! — Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Talking to yourself just went digital: Instead of having that internal monologue stay in your head, now you can play out all of your thoughts to yourself in WhatsApp, Jagmeet writes. The messaging platform began rolling out an easier way to talk to yourself today after completing beta testing.
  • Great Wall of porn: That’s how Rita and Catherine describe the bot surge in China that is making it difficult to get any legitimate Twitter search results when trying to find out something about Chinese cities. Why, you ask? Rita writes that “the surge in such bot content coincides with an unprecedented wave of (COVID) protests that have swept across major Chinese cities and universities over the weekend.”
  • Your calendar, only more productive: Get ready for your calendar to be more than just a place to record things you have to do that day. Romain writes about Amie, a startup that grabbed $7 million to link your unscheduled to-do list with your calendar. The app also enables users to be social with coworkers.

Startups and VC

Dubai-based mass transit and shared mobility services provider SWVL has carried out its second round of layoffs, affecting 50% of its remaining headcount, Tage reports. The news is coming six months after SWVL laid off 32% (over 400 employees) of its workforce in a “portfolio optimization program” effort geared toward achieving positive cash flow next year.

There’s a couple of new funds in town, too! Harri reports that Early Light Ventures plots a second, $15 million fund for software ‘underdogs,’ while Mike writes that BackingMinds raises a new €50 million fund to fund normally overlooked entrepreneurs. He also writes about Pact, an all-women led VC for mission-driven startups, backed by Anne Hathaway.

And we have five more for you:

Lessons for raising $10M without giving up a board seat

Blackboard showing soccer strategy

Image Credits: Ihor Reshetniak (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Over the last two years, intelligent calendar platform Reclaim.ai raised $10 million “using a more incremental approach,” writes co-founder Henry Shapiro.

“We’ve done all this without giving up a single board seat, and Reclaim employees continue to own over two-thirds of the company’s equity,” rejecting conventional wisdom that founders should “raise as much as you can as fast as you can.”

In a TC+ post, Shapiro reviews the process they used to identify follow-on investors, shares the email template used to pitch the SAFE, and explains why “a larger cap table means more founder control.”

Three more from the TC+ team:

TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

Amazon’s recent cost-cutting measures seem to be affecting more than just its delivery business. Manish writes that the company is shutting down its wholesale distribution business, called Amazon Distribution, in India. Amazon had started this unit to help neighborhood stores secure inventory. The company didn’t say why it was closing this particular business down, but Manish notes that this is the third such Amazon unit to be shuttered in India.

Meanwhile, Natasha L reports that Meta has gotten itself into trouble again with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (aka, the agency that regulates data protection). Facebook’s parent company is being hit with $275 million in penalties for what the agency said was breaches in data protection that resulted in some 530 million users’ personal information being leaked.

Now enjoy six more:



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