Within literally four minutes of posting the video above about 21-year-old app developer Cody Kolodziejzyk, I received six Facebook messages from CEOs looking to recruit him.
The recent graduate of Duke University co-created “I’d Cap That,” a photo sharing app which allows users to add captions to their photos. The app launched in March, and within the first month it grew to more than one million users, and within four months, four million users. It even topped the “Free iOS App Of The Week” in late May, according to AppData.
But while Kolodziejzyk is not looking to create a company around this app, he is toying with the idea of creating a freemium model. Kolodziejzk moved to Silicon Valley recently from North Carolina in order to find a company with a grander impact on the world, which he could join and find a mentor to help him refine his skills.
That kind of focus is certainly rare here in Silicon Valley. Most developers I talk to who have developed their own apps are focused on becoming a CEO or founding CTO and building their own companies. And this fact is a big reason why companies are struggling to find great talent. There’s a cool factor to being a “founder,” but so many of these developers have so much to learn. I give Kolodziejzyk a lot of credit for wanting to be a part of an existing team where he can work with developers who far exceed his experience so that he can increase his skill set at an accelerated pace.
War For Talent organizer Justing Bedecarre, who’s tracked more than 350 startups in San Francisco, regarding their talent needs, believes Kolodziejzk certainly has the advantage here. “Mobile has become integral for companies to scale and compete,” says Bedecarre.
While Instagram, Path, and others have built very successful companies solely on mobile, companies like Salesforce, Twitter, AirBNB and Pinterest adopted effective mobile strategies and grew their mobile app teams tremendously. Facebook paid $1 billion for a dozen mobile developers at Instagram. That was just as much a talent acquisition as it was acquiring a great product.
“So,while there may be over 140,000 software developers in the Bay Area that you can search on LinkedIn, mobile app developers are in less supply, have unique skills, and thus [are] in higher demand,” explains Bedecarre.