Premier CTO-as-a-service and engineering leadership coaching for southeast asia

80% of the Value of a full time CTO at 20% of the cost

We assist promising startups in Southeast Asia who do not yet have mature technical leadership on the co-founding or c-level team, yet want to partner with the absolute best engineering executives from Silicon Valley.Our fractional CTO expert network makes otherwise unaffordable talent accessible.

Who We Work With

Non-technical Founders

Partner with the best engineering leaders in the world. Solve your biggest problems now.

Software Engineering Leaders

Capitalize on your track record of high impact wins at top companies. Help startups that most deserve it.

Seed or Venture Capital

Increase the value of your network by partnering with ours. We also aid with technical due dilligence.

Stop Flying Blind

Non-technical founders have no visibility into their engineering team despite the engineering team serving as a vital aspect of the company’s success.Founders have difficulty attracting, retaining, and coaching engineering talent. Rising talent would rather work at a company they think they can learn from. Talented candidates ask "why should I work for you when I will learn more at your competitor?"Founders know their engineers lack real accountability and are constrained by an information asymmetry. How do you know your engineers are telling you the whole story? (Intentionally or not).Founders are forced to delegate critical, even existential, decisions to relatively inexperienced engineers and frequently pay the price.Founders have no idea about the scalability and security of their codebase.

Hidden Benefits of 8020cto

The asymmetric advantage of top-tier engineering leadership

Fractional roles gives you access to talent you otherwise would not be able to acquire.It's better to have 10% of a champion than 100% of a mediocre leader.In early stage startups, CTOs spend 80% of their time on low leverage activities like coding or debugging.The remaining 20%, getting culture right, recruiting top talent, mentoring engineers, holding the team accountable, keeping morale high, and implementing best practices are where the true payoff of having a champion leader comes from.A technical superstar knows the shortest and safest path from A to B and can explain the tradeoffs to you in terms that matter to the business.A champion leader is a force multiplier. Making 5 engineers 20% more effective is like getting an additional engineer for free.And finally, a champion leader unlocks the potential in young leaders.

We don't replace.We empower.

Every good underdog story involves a guide unlocking the potential of the underdog hero.We seek to be that guide.Silicon Valley places an immense brain drain on the rest of the world, and your engineering team is the underdog. They don't have the privilege of gaining experience in the most advanced technology companies.We take that experience and export it back to you.Our advisors work through what engineering leaders you have, even if they don't have ideal qualifications, and empower them to make the right decisions. Our advisors provide the psychological safety that comes with reduced ambiguity.And best of all, your rising engineering leaders will be loyal to you because they know you have put their training in the best hands possible.This is the unfair advantage your competitors cannot match.

Fractional makes this possible

Due to the funding asymmetry, the top companies in the United States pay top performing management well over $400,000 USD per year, effectively shutting out the rest of the world from accessing the best engineering leaders.But with fractional roles, you can benefit from this talent to without fighting in brutal compensation battles.Many of our advisors are at the terminal levels of their career and are looking for opportunities channel their boundless ambition. Be that opportunity.

All or nothing is a limiting mindset

It's a mistake to think that someone who isn't full time isn't aligned.Let's use an extreme example. If Elon Musk offered to guide your engineers 2 hours a week, would you turn down the offer?We can't get you Elon Musk, but we can get you top performers at the most selective companies.With the current talent shortage, there is only one qualified engineering leader per 10 non-technical founders in Southeast Asia.We can't create CTOs out of thin air. But we can do the next best thing to make your c-suite a winning all-star team.

The model may be new.

But the principles are traditional.

Effective leaders can oversee organizations of hundreds, or even thousands of engineers.They are effectively a fractional leader for dozens of teams and add tremendous value to all of them despite the limited time available for each one.They concentrate on hyper-leverage guidance for each team they oversee.Rather than give marching orders, high performing leadersalign teams,
recruit talent,
coach talent,
ask the right questions,
empower talent to grow,
hold teams accountable,
teach about past mistakes,
and share advice that comes from having completed the same journey before.
High performance leadership is about focusing on the highest payoff activities. That's what we believe.It's in our name.

What does a typical engagement look like?

No two companies are the same, but we can give some examples.For companies in the growth stage, our time may be focused on interviewing talent and persuading them to join your company.Other founders find themselves mired with technical bugs and want help to get to the bottom of it. Our focus there is drilling into the assumptions previous engineers made so we can find root causes.Some companies want expertise in a specific area like credit modeling, blockchain, or computer vision.In other cases, we've cleared up misunderstandings and conflicts between teams that speak past each other due to a difficulty translating between business and technical issues.In summary, we focus on the highest payoff problems and opportunities.

We saved the best for last.

We will help you find your full-time CTO or Senior VP

We primarily focus on Series A and earlier companies as we believe this is were we can be most effective. As the company grows however, a full time CTO is generally appropriate for a technology company, as the organization is large enough to fill his or her calendar with high leverage activities.A full time CTO can come from 3 places: your organization, another company, or our network.If we assess one of your current employees to be suitable for the job, we will work with you to help that engineer or manager transition into the role.If the need is to poach an engineering leader from another company, we are far better equipped to do it than an normal recruiter because we speak the same "language" as the candidate and can tell a compelling story about our relationship with you.Finally, and this is the most exciting part, we have advisors in our network who are ready for a move to Asia, if the right opportunity arises. What better way to "interview" your future engineering partner than to work with them part time?


Our Advisors

Hyper-leverage only works with the most capable leaders

  • Engineering leadership roles at top companies (principle, staff, techlead, manager or higher)

  • Track record of impactful wins at scale

  • Strong programming, software architecture, and business skills

  • Demonstrated ability to elicit peak performance from engineering teams

  • Ability to communicate with clarity, integrity, respect, and cogency

Core Team

Lucas Ou-Yang

Manager at Coinbase. Designed Instagram's original stories algorithm. Migrated Snapchat's recommendation algorithm to machine learning. Author of one of the largest open source Python libraries used by Tiktok and Amazon. Featured in Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal.

Jeffrey Scholz

Interim CTO in Southeast Asia.
Youngest senior engineering manager at Yahoo, created their video machine learning infrastructure and team. Lead consultant for CBS and NFL. Top 10 finisher in worldwide machine learning contests. Two patents. Founder of RareSkills.io

Minho Lee

Manager at Cash App, Techlead at Uber and Citadel. Lead the creation of fintech systems managing hundreds of millions of dollars in high-risk settings including disputes, pricing simulation, and margin optimization. Two patents. Two operations research publications.

Next Steps

Schedule a Call

The only way to stop wondering if you have the most capable engineering leaders at the helm is to aim for the top.That's what the most successful, trillion dollar technology companies do.With 8020cto, you can do that too.

Send an Email to jeff@8020cto.com

You will receive a response with our availability within 1 business day.

Additional Services

We have advisors with deep knowledge in various fields of machine learning, cybersecurity, blockchain, microservices, and recommender systems. If you need expertise in high technology, we can help.We also work with VCs or acquirers to conduct technical due diligence, especially for companies that use advanced software for crucial parts of the business.We have founders of cybersecurity companies on the team and can conduct cybersecurity audits where appropriate.

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