Web Startup: my technical co-founder* is likely to be quitting soon, effectively leaving me with a technical stack being a blackbox to me. Any advice?

*Question posted on Quora recently

He’s unhappy about our growth. Anyway, we’re building something useful, it works – and I’m not quitting.

However the tech stack (AWS / PHP / docker / grunt…) will be out of my reach for a while – I can become a good dev, but I’m pretty sure I’d need 1 year + to catch up (I can only code a bit of JS)

My response follows.
Dear Entrepreneur,
You have a few options:
  • Persuade your technical co-founder to stay.
    • This may or may-not work if he has already made up his mind about the future for the startup
  • Hire a replacement.
    • You may have to pay market rate to hire a talented developer who can learn about the “blackbox” from your soon-leaving ex-partner.
    • This option assumes you have the money/resources to hire a replacement
  • Learn the technologies and become hands-on yourself.
    • You estimate about a year to catch up.
    • In the worst case, the growth could stagger even further during the time you catch-up. What else have you got to loose? Do you expect to loose clients or revenue?
  • Sell out and walk away
    • This assumes there is some “value” in the software and solution you and your co-founder have developed.
    • This also assumes that someone is willing to pay a reasonable amount for your work-product

Keep us posted on what you do!

(reposed from Quora)

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