Two things come to mind re: this (should have been three, but @derin has already covered one)
1. Crowds: the main thesis here is that beyond the ‘core’ team working at a startup, there may be people outside it who are uniquely enabled to solve a company’s challenges in ways its internal team may not. It might be helpful to create a framework which encourages companies to crowdsource some of their technical and strategic challenges. The best solutions to some of these issues may come from people who work in orthogonal industries and don’t have the same blind spots as domain experts do. We should then leave to the individual entrepreneurs to work out how to gain sustainable competitive advantage WHILE innovating in the open. (Aside: I don’t think our addressable markets are deep enough that we should even be focusing on taking the largest share of the pie vs. growing it.)
None of this needs to happen on Radar, but the structure of it seems optimized for this kind of thing. Contextual threading, quality filter (moderation), voting system (polls, likes), etc.
2. Talent sharing: beyond crowdsourcing for specific challenges, I think there are opportunities for technical talent to gain experience and companies to widen their talent pool (a desirable outcome) if we let employees work for more than one company at a time. Hear me out. It may seem counterintuitive, but I think it actually improves the outcome for all parties in certain limited contexts. e.g. It was pretty great to have @cyberomin and @ChukaOfili assist Big Cabal while we were building Formation.
The second reason I think it is a good idea is that happening already, albeit in a less formal context - the best developers are taking on projects from multiple clients. Formalizing it significantly increases the size of the pie and creating these kinds of bridges between companies in different industries can end up creating better-rounded employees, with wider circles of competence.
Of course, if this gets adopted (cc @oluyomiojo), it is probably best to let individuals and individual companies work out the incentive structure, so that it’s worth everybody’s time. But I think it’s a good way to get the flywheel started.
– NB –
a) Thanks, in part, to people like @aniediudo and @nke_ise, the number and quality of local developer events has gone up significantly in the past year. I think that’s really great, and we should encourage more of the same, especially around other verticals like digital marketing.
b) To add to @Derin’s comments, re: inclusiveness, when companies hire and optimize only for “quality”, they risk enforcing a feedback loop that keeps women away from technical roles because of pipeline issues. I encourage employers to gently tip the scale in favor of women who have shown both a willingness and potential (based on whatever hiring criteria) to grow in a technical direction. Because the issue is systemic, some men will have to lose out on opportunities they would have otherwise deserved. So that tech/developer events no longer look like this:
That said, startups != social justice orgs, and everything must be considered in terms of ROI vs. input.
My 2 cents.