So, what are your options?
Orthodox advice would always be to find and recruit a 'rock star' CTO or technical co-founder and rely on them to build your product (and your Product Team). Less orthodox, although equally common, is to find a 3rd party (ie a development shop or contract developer) to manage your technology. Both routes have their benefits but each carry their own inherent risk.
Capable and committed CTOs are increasingly hard to recruit if your finances are limited and your business isn't at technology's leading edge. The services of contractors and development shops are easier to secure but are aligned against your pay check, not your outcomes.
For founders and CEOs looking for a 'middle way', Venture Services
(a new form of early-stage investment) is emerging to solve both digital and capital requirements. By providing the CTO and Product Team they need on a co-investment basis, venture services firms can reduce not only Product/Market Fit Risk and Product Quality Risk but Team Risk and Recruiting Risk as well.
In the eyes of an investor, having a digital partner
in your pitch deck, one who has the technical and product experience you need and whose incentives are aligned with yours, can de-risk your profile across a number of categories.
And, the further you move from 'high risk' to 'low risk' in an investor's calculations, the stronger your valuation, perceived progress, and likelihood of success.