Today I’m going to answer a question from Olivier, the founder of a B2B marketplace. His question is…

Can I build a startup with only remote developers?

Before answering this question, let’s add a bit of context.

Olivier was able to build his first team with freelancers, and he relied on this option for several months.

But he found it difficult to manage people remotely, and ended up hiring local developers to be able to keep an eye on them in his office.

So to answer Olivier’s question: yes, it is possible to build an entire team exclusively out of remote workers. But it entails changing everything we’ve learned in the past few decades about managing a team.

Well-known startups like the InVision, Basecamp and Zapier were able to build their own companies just like that—selecting developers they can trust, nurturing each relationship, providing them comfortable positions and benefits, as well as clear goals to reach.

Managing people is all about finding the right balance between two concepts: trust and control.

Because of remote management, it has now become much more a matter of trust than control.

Smartphones and computers have defeated the purpose behind controlling time. So instead of controlling the time people spend on a project, we just keep track of the work they accomplished.

But for this, you need to have the technical capacity to evaluate said work. You will ultimately instill a priceless sense of freedom in your team.

So if we were to summarize an entire book on remote management in a few lines, here are the main principles.

Remote management principles

  • Project needs to be well-defined and shared
  • Project is split into attributed tasks
  • Each individual defines his/her deadlines
  • The manager must trust his/her team
  • Continuous communication lets you detect any difficulties
  • Provide the appropriate material and working environment

Projects need to be well-defined and shared with the entire team. They are split into tasks and attributed to individuals. Each of these individuals must announce their own deadline and commit to it.

The manager must trust his team. If any difficulties pop up, they need to be shared as soon as possible. As a manager, you must ensure your team has all the required materials and environment to work effectively.


So to conclude, if you are willing to build your company with a remote team—congratulations, you are choosing the right path! It may not be the easiest, but it’s the most effective for the long term.

And if like Olivier, you have a specific question for your project, just go ahead and ask on I will do my best to answer your question by video or to redirect you to any existing content that will answer it.

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I’ll be waiting for your questions, and I look forward to seeing you in other videos.