An Early Stage Startup Technical Due Diligence Framework
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Let's start with the basics.

Hi! What's your name?

 
Hi {{answer_21506060}},

Welcome to this technical due diligence calculator by Point Nine!

It will take you around 10 minutes to finish it.

There are three main sections:
(a) how the product has been built (assessment)
(b) the ability of the team to learn fast and iterate quickly (learning)
(c) their ability to work together and get the best out of every team member (teaching)


Note of caution:

This calculator is NOT part of the investment process of Point Nine. 
It's a toy project to open the discussion about how to improve the technical due diligence for startups.

You can find more details here.
https://decodingvc.gitbooks.io/p9-startup-tech-due-diligence-calculator/content/
 
Section 1 - Assessment

During the first part, we try to understand:

* How the product has been built until TODAY
* If it will work TOMORROW when success brings trouble - no trouble, no success ;-)

We don’t expect everything to be perfect. Rather, we try to understand where your product is today, how you’ve built it and what kind of compromises you chose.
 
Code History

 
Has all the software been coded in-house?





 
Is the person who wrote the initial version still the main developer?

     
 
Did you build a similar product in the past?

     
 
Are there any parts in the system that are understood by only one person?





 
Agility

 
What do you optimize for?




 
How many major releases have you had in the last year?


 
How do you choose build vs buy?





 
Which payment system do you use?




 
Are some clients paying outside of the payment system?

ie. bank transfers
     
 
Which invoicing system do you use?




 
Monitoring

 
What are you monitoring?

Note on categorization:
App performance - New Relic, etc.
Infra performance - ServerDensity, Datadog, ELK, etc.
App security - Sqreen.io, etc.
Web monitoring - pingdom, etc.
Exception monitoring - Sentry, etc.






 
Do you have internally developed monitoring solutions?

     
 
Did you measure the current max capacity of the system? Do you know how much it can support?

     
 
How often do you SSH machines for debugging?


 
Compliance and Security

 
Are you using any 3rd party data?


 
Are you monitoring the licenses of 3rd party software?




 
Is your Version Control system backed up?

Local copies in the laptop of developers don't count ;-)
     
 
If the Database Server exploded, how much client data would be unrecoverable?

1 skull = 0% data lost; 3 = 100% data lost



 
Do you have a written-down Disaster Recovery plan?

     
 
Section 2 - Learning

In almost all scenarios, the winner startup is the one that iterates the fastest:
First to find product market fit and then to keep evolving fast to win over competition.

That’s why in the second part of the call we focus on what determines product development speed.
 
Intellectual Curiosity and Thoughtfulness

 
What perks does your team enjoy?






 
What technologies (frameworks/languages) do you use for the front end?

 
What technologies (frameworks/languages) do you use for the back end?

 
How do you choose the technologies you work with?





 
Who decides which technology will be used for every job?


 
What would you have to change to accommodate x10, x100, x100000 more users?


 
Where are you hosted, and why?


 
Which 3rd party systems do you use?

ie. APIs, PaaS, db-aaS, authentication-as-a-service, etc.
 
How many of those 3rd party providers have less funding than your company?


 
What happens if they go down?


 
Are there heavy cron jobs/workers in the system?

     
 
Do you have a queueing system between jobs?

     
 
Processes and Tools

 
Do you use source/version control?





 
Do you create unit tests?


 
Do you do code reviews?


 
Can you deploy a build to staging or production with one click?

     
 
Do you have a feature flags system in place?

     
 
Can you roll-out a certain set of features to a limited number of users without hard-coding it?

     
 
Organization

 
Who owns the roadmap?




 
How often does the CTO captures customer's feedback?




 
How often does the tech team speak with customers?


 
Do you have some power users who are always available to share feedback?




 
Who can see the product roadmap?


 
Who can contribute to the product roadmap?


 
Section 3 - Teaching

Tech organizations are shaped by the leadership skills of their managers.

In that section we try to understand the people-management skills of the tech founder
 
Leadership

 
Are you able to convincingly pitch your company?

     
 
When was the last time you spoke with a customer?


 
How far ahead do you have your product roadmap written down?


 
Do you have the values of your engineering organization written down?

     
 
Hiring

 
How many developers are on your team?

 
How many of them worked for you in the past?


 
How many of them have shares in the company?


 
How many new hires came from referrals?


 
When you advertise a developer vacancy how many applications do you get?


 
How long does it take you from first contact to hiring a developer?


 
How does your interview process work?


 
Do you do reference calls?


 
People Management

 
How many people have left your team in the last year?


 
Why did they leave?


 
How often do you do 1on1s with your team?


 
Optional: Let us know your company name or url...

 
Optional: Do you want to get a report on how you compare against other submiters?

Feel free to leave your email if you want to be contacted
 
Are you ready to get your score? *

     
You've got {{var_score}} out of a maximum of 330 points.

0 to 100 points: What does it mean?

You are probably at an early stage phase.
Maybe a single developer who is focused on validating the opportunity?

You're probably making several compromises to get faster to validate the opportunity. Please be aware of the choices you're making and book some time in the future to solve them.

Do you want to see how do you compare yourself?
https://medium.com/point-nine-news/12-observations-from-a-tech-due-diligence-survey-8fe32f650b50#.bfr41sy9e

In the next section you can review how the rating is calculated. Please share your thoughts on where I'm wrong.

If you want to discuss your startup with me, please feel free to email me at rodrigo@pointninecap.com.
Show me how you calculate that score
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You've got {{var_score}} out of a maximum of 330 points.

100 to 200 points: What does it mean?

You have already some good start on your product development efforts.

You're probably making some compromises that you're already aware. If that's no the case, a lower score might come from not following a very customer centric development process, not iterating fast enough or issues with people management.

Do you want to see how do you compare yourself?
https://medium.com/point-nine-news/12-observations-from-a-tech-due-diligence-survey-8fe32f650b50#.bfr41sy9e

In the next section you can review how the rating is calculated. Please share your thoughts on where I'm wrong.

If you want to discuss your startup with me, please feel free to email me at rodrigo@pointninecap.com.
Show me how you calculate that score
Powered by Typeform
You've got {{var_score}} out of a maximum of 330 points.

+200 points: What does it mean?

You probably already invested time and effort to set the right processes in place and  have a good team to grow your startup.

In the next section you can review how the rating is calculated. Please share your thoughts on where I'm wrong.

Do you want to see how do you compare yourself?
https://medium.com/point-nine-news/12-observations-from-a-tech-due-diligence-survey-8fe32f650b50#.bfr41sy9e

If you want to discuss your startup with me, please feel free to email me at rodrigo@pointninecap.com.
Show me how you calculate that score
Powered by Typeform
Powered by Typeform