Generalists Are the Future of Startup Teams: Here's Why

by Dries Vandermeulen
Building and launching a successful digital product is no small feat. It requires specialized skills in several different areas. The question then becomes: what profiles should a good digital product team have on board? At Dashdot we think you can do more with less. Here's why you should consider hiring multi-talented generalists instead of specialists for your startup.

The Usual Way: 8 Profiles for a Good Digital Product Team

The traditional approach involves hiring specialists for each of the eight roles:

  • Product Manager: Defines the product strategy, creates the product roadmap, and ensures that the product fulfills the vision and goals of the creators.

  • User Experience (UX) Designer: Designs the user interface and user experience of the product, making sure that it is user-friendly and meets the needs of the target audience.

  • User Interface (UI) Designer: Creates the visual design of the product, including typography, color schemes, and layout.

  • Front-end Developer: Implements the design of the product and creates the user interface using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

  • Back-end Developer: Creates the server-side logic of the product and manages data storage and retrieval.

  • Data Scientist: Analyzes the data collected from the product and provides insights to the product team to improve the product.

  • DevOps Engineer: Optimizes servers for stability and scale, managing data modeling, server-side scripting, and API governance.

  • Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer: Responsible for testing the product to ensure that it is free of bugs, errors, and other issues. Works closely with the developers to identify and fix any issues before the product is released to users.

The Dashdot Way: You Only Need 3

At Dashdot, we believe that less is more when it comes to building a startup team. In the early stages, we recommend hiring multi-talented generalists who can take on several responsibilities, instead of specialists for each role. This can help you be more efficient and achieve more with fewer people.

  • First things first, hire a full stack developer as your first team member. They'll be able to handle everything from front-end to back-end to data management to devops, so you can get things done quickly.

  • Look for a full stack developer who not only knows the technical stuff but also understands UX/UI design. This person should be a team player, too, since they'll need to work with others like product owners and designers.

  • After you've got your full stack developer, bring on a product owner to manage the development of your product. This could be the CEO or another co-founder, depending on your company's structure.

  • Lastly, hire a designer who's a pro at UX/UI design. You can bring someone in from outside the company to do this. Make sure they work closely with your product owner and full stack developer to create a killer user experience for your customers.

The benefit of partnering up with a digital product agency is access to all the expertise you need without hiring additional people. It is important to work with the right digital product builder: here are some things to consider when choosing one to collaborate with.

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