You can only do so many things at a time

Do What You Love is a new series that showcases the entrepreneurs behind emerging companies. In this edition, we sat down with Andrew Frankel, the founder of Lambda—here’s what he shared:

Companies are always looking for flexible developers, especially startups not ready to hire full-time ones. So we built Lambda to connect startups with developers who aren’t looking for full-time work or contracts. If there’s a 3 or 4-week-long project, they’re happy to work on the prototype and know how to build it well.

Some people can work at a desk for 50 hours a week, but others don’t want that. They can work just as efficiently for 25 hours a week, and still make time for their families or a side project. It can be difficult to scale down the tasks you do full-time into a part-time model, so Lambda helps individuals do what they do now with more flexible options.

I am interested in that flexibility as well. I’m happy to work 60 hours a week when there’s something essential that needs to be done, and I’m equally happy to step back and pause. When there’s an expectation that you need to be at your desk day after day for a specific amount of time, it’s not the best way to run your business or your personal life.

You can only do so many things at a given time. That’s something I learned as a coach for a college fencing team of about 100 athletes. It was a complex organization to run, so it was important to delegate and find someone to take on the tasks I didn’t have the immediate time for. Even today, I prioritize my projects and pick the ones I actually want to get done.

The trait to look for in developers is an entrepreneurial mindset. You want someone who can make good decisions on what is or isn’t important for what you want to build. That’s essential for early startups because there’s less risk to scrap it and start from scratch again.

It’s important to bring a developer early on in your project and ask for advice. Many people spec out their app or service before speaking to a developer, and they come up with features that are more complicated than they need to be. Bringing in a developer sooner rather than later can help you focus on simple tasks that can be done effectively.

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