In a startup, there is an emphasis on creators and builders. This stems from the fact that a startup attempts to challenge the status quo, and hence you need innovative thinkers and builders who can do more with less. This line of thinking is right in spirit but can derail your execution if taken literally.
A startup’s tech execution strategy should be based on composition rather than creating something from scratch. In the “build versus buy” spectrum, the default should be “buy”; probably, borrow is a better term.
Borrow components, compose them to solve problems. Think of this like assembling a pre-fabricated house rather than building one from scratch, brick by brick. In today’s world, there is no shortage of components to choose from. There is open-source on one end of the spectrum, and on the other, you have proprietary software and in between, SAAS and cloud providers. Pick and choose components from this spectrum based on your cost and risk appetite and compose your way to success.
A critical skill a tech leader in a startup must have is the ability to recognize opportunities for composition, zero in on the right components, and orchestrate the composition.