Do it yourself
As Antonio Rodriguez of Matrix Partners says, everybody codes.
In the early days of a two or three person startup, you’re either making the product or talking to customers. Nothing else matters until the startup has reached product/market fit.
It’s easier to code than you think. It’s 2012 and there is plenty of great technology available that have solved lower-level problems. You don’t need to hire someone to do it all.
It’s difficult to hire someone until you’ve tried to do their job for a little while. It’s hard to know which questions to ask and how to identify quality. And those first few hires are critical. Learn to speak (well, code) the language and you’ll lower your hiring risk.
There’s an incredible shortage of developers in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. Making progress yourself is a way to endear yourself to top talent and get them hired.
Your coding doesn’t have to be perfect. If you’re developing the early prototype, it doesn’t have to scale and doesn’t need to be totally secure. The CTO you’ll hire later will re-write it, anyway.
If you’re part of an early 2-5 person team, everyone has to be generalist. That means if you want a layout changed, do it with CSS. If you want to run a report, do it with SQL.
Better than interrupting designers or developers during maker time.
Ask for privileges to commit to production with git, then earn it.