Heartbleed – Another Reason your Startup Needs a Tech Founder

heartbleedThis week presented the web with one of the largest security breaches to date. A bug in software that secures the connections between our services and our users exposed sensitive data. Heartbleed and OpenSSL were written about extensively this week. Let us focus on the your startup. You must have a technical founder.

When the bug was discovered and announced Monday this week (4/7/14) our servers were patched almost immediately. This was possible because I’m a technical founder. Before the vulnerability was labeled ‘HeartBleed’ we had already informed our customers that our service had been patched. We were confident it would continue to be secure.

The time it takes your startup to resolve major issues like this can establish trust, or destroy it. You can loose months or years of customer acquisition and development by not being able to respond fast enough.

There is no shortage of ways to outsource your technical work. To have others work on your startup is a good thing for many reasons. We’ve outsourced projects to rush work, and to avoid needing our team to learn languages for supporting services.

Having all your technical work done outside of your core startup team is extremely risky. I cannot imagine having to wait while our support ticket worked through a queue to be fixed by someone else. Loosing the trust of our users because we couldn’t recruit a technical founder seems like an easily avoidable mistake.