Don’t Build It: A Guide For Practitioners In Civic Tech / Tech For Development

Resource type
Author/contributor
Title
Don’t Build It: A Guide For Practitioners In Civic Tech / Tech For Development
Abstract
If you just remember these... If you can avoid building it, don’t build it; if you have to build it, hire a CTO, ship early, and mature long; and no matter what, draw on a trusted crew, build lean and fast, and get close to and build with your users as soon as possible. --- This guide aims to help you avoid bad projects, structure the team right, ship and learn quicker, and mature longer. The guide starts with project selection, including why the best project to select is no project at all. It moves on to team structure, and the extreme importance of a full-time senior tech lead (or chief technology officer (CTO), understood as an excellent engineering manager). It then covers timelines, emphasizing shipping early but having enormous patience getting to maturity, above all in finding product-use-fit, and avoiding vanity metrics. The guide then goes into some detail on hiring, covering the CTO role, senior contractors, designers and young engineers. The longest section, by some distance, is that on hiring. Hiring is the one thing considered critical in every piece of the lore, by founders and investors and managers alike, across all sectors. It is also the field in which I think I got it mostly right, and for reasons I can explain in ways that I believe will be helpful.
Institution
Grassroot and MIT Governance Lab
Date
2021
Language
en
Accessed
2021-04-29
Library Catalog
Zotero
Citation
Jordan, L. (2021). Don’t Build It: A Guide For Practitioners In Civic Tech / Tech For Development. Grassroot and MIT Governance Lab. https://mitgovlab.org/resources/dont-build-it-a-guide-for-practitioners-in-civic-tech