This is an actual problem we have to decide on with our startup. Help me decide!
You are doing a startup. You have launched, you have customers, revenue and some traction. You are growing steadily.
You have just taken a seed round, which gives you enough runway for exactly 12 months. At the end of that 12 months, you need to be cash flow positive or you may as well pack up your bags and go home.
You have 4 staff, 3 of whom are developers and 1 of whom is the sales and marketing person. You have a board with 1 investor and 2 founders on it.
Your product is an early iteration, which means it meets the needs of some of your target market but not all. It needs continuous development in order to reach "product to market fit", and reaching that fit is an important aspect of becoming cash flow positive.
Your product is built in a particular technology which means that 40% of the development work can only be done by 1 of the developers (development bottleneck). This affects your speed of development. The other 60% of development can be done by all 3 developers.
Now, assuming that the sales and marketing techniques and the focus on the conversion funnel remains exactly the same no matter what you do with your technology, you have two broad choices:
Stick with your existing technology platform, and focus on reaching product to market fit. Accept that you will have a dev bottleneck, but do so knowing that it is preferable to have the full 12 months of runway at your disposal in order to maximise success.
Key advantage = Full 12 months of runway to reach cash flow positive
Key disadvantage = 40% of dev is bottle necked through a single developer
Spend the first 60 days of your runway rewriting your platform in a way that 3 developers can work on 95% of it, rather than only 60% of it. Spend the next 8 months focusing on reaching product to market fit on your new platform.
Key advantage = Once you have rewritten the core tech, everyone on the team can be fully productive on the platform
Key disadvantage = Rewriting the core tech probably reduces your runway window by 2 months, giving you 10 months to succeed rather than 12.
What would you do - choice 1 or choice 2, and why?