Hello, TechHubers. I hope you are having a great day so far. We came with an interesting idea. Have you ever wondered starting a business in an industry that you don’t have the knowledge? When I was in my study program, I wanted to start an IT company but I was afraid to do it because I didn’t have the competences required. Was it a good decision? Well, Yes and No at the same time.
Do you have an idea that’s brilliant enough to solve global problems and eventually buy your dream car? The question we’re all interested in today is: Can we fulfill our tech dreams without any programming background?
Statistics are saying yes. There are a bunch of people who created the apps you are using and they had 0 skills in programming. Research about these guys: Reid Hoffman, Richard Branson, Michael Dell, Sean Rad, Joe Gebbia, and Brian Chesky, Jack Ma. These founders created global enterprises like LinkedIn, Virgin, Dell, Tinder, Airbnb, and Alibaba. These guys were armed with a vision, passion, and determination.
How important technical know-how is?
If you are having some business experience, you can approve that every business model is the same. A company needs to establish the core values, develop a marketing strategy, do a competitive analysis, design operations, and develop a financial plan. It is true that being a person is an invaluable asset in the business industry, but what an enterprise really needs is a venturing mind.
The road to success is paved with ingenuity and understanding corporate dynamics, which is why the first step requires nothing but courage, capability and an inclination to learn. If your vision is supported by passion, and your passion empowered by determination, this will get you to success.
Now, do you need to learn the technical basics?
It would be great but if you are not in a position, there are ways to work around it. Nowadays we are facing a paradox. Technical skills are no longer considered a specialty. There is an enormous number of online coding courses and niche literature that are available for anyone with interest and money. Being sincere, obtaining basic technical knowledge will help you during the journey, and no one can tell you otherwise.
This doesn’t mean that you need a Tech degree as a founder. You delegate everything technological to a team of engineers and developers, but knowing the basics will undoubtedly enable you to collaborate with them, understand the process, and make more realistic decisions.
The third question you may ask is: should you partner with a Tech Specialist?
I believe that this is a rhetorical question. Of course, you have to do so. There are still experts that debate whether non-technical entrepreneurship is a viable option or not, but let me tell you, having a partner, or at least an executive team member with a background in programming, certainly means avoiding the risk of failure.
Where to search for technical co-founders?
- Network – LinkedIn, meetups, seminars
- Forums – technical, coders, platforms
- Reach out to investors and accelerators
- Connectors – Reach out to people who are connectors in your industry.
Although it’s difficult to reduce a person to a few characteristics, you are looking for someone with the following:
- Attitude – You can train for more skills, but no amount of training will make up for the wrong attitude.
- Integrity – Again, this has nothing to do with coding, but everything with building a solid company.
- Humility – Reach out to people your potential cofounder worked with and find out what they have to say. It is important to know how s/he works in a team environment.
- Train-ability – Does this person know it all, or is he ready to learn new skills, languages, platforms, etc. Avoid people who feel that they have nothing more to learn.
When you are creating a tech company you have to be responsible with your technical support: We’ll do outsource or hire somebody?
Well, it depends, but I rather hire somebody than outsourcing. The first decision you’ll have to make is whether to outsource the technical part of your business or to have a team and manage it in-house. Both options have their pros and cons. I see more pros on hiring a team even if this solution is way too expansive. The first, on the other hand, is more problematic in the long run, since your product or service will need continual iteration and improvement.
As we go deeper into this business industry, you have to adjust your mindset
If you are feeling insecure about placing your tasks into somebody else’s hands, well, admit you are not good at tech so start by readjusting your mindset. As mentioned before, there’s so much to building a startup besides engineering and being a savvy entrepreneur. In order to succeed, tech companies need both sides of the coin, and your non-technical mind is definitely an essential piece of the puzzle.
Test Your Idea
Being the brain behind the project, you’ll have to be absolutely certain that your startup idea is an unfailing one, which is why testing the product before you launch it is definitely the best choice.
Here is how to validate your business idea:
- Talk to people about your business idea. Pay attention to how people react to your idea.
- Find competing products. Competition is a good thing because it proves that there is a market for your product. Your job is to create a better version of what is already out there on the market.
- Listen to what your customers are telling you. Many times your market will tell you what you need to sell them, but you have to be willing to listen.
- Create a simplified version of your product
Having an idea, a company, a product is not enough if you don’t approach the Right Audience
Like any other company, tech startups need to put additional effort into devising a proper targeting strategy. Your business idea might seem ground-breaking to you, but ultimately, it is the audience that is going to make the final judgment, which is why getting familiar with their needs, demands, preferences and pain points is the securest way to the top.
Don’t be rough with your team. Empower them
In a totally different scenario, your conscious ignorance of anything technological will handicap your tech team, particularly if you choose not to give them the creative freedom and authority they deserve. Delegating is all about giving trust. The fastest way of failing is trying to micromanage those who are employed to think and create.
Most usually, such projects take months to develop, which is why pre-selling can only help you realize what you’re doing wrong and what tactics your company needs to employ in order to improve and, ultimately, sell.
Take the following steps to pre-sell your product or service:
- Pre-sell to at least 5-10 customers. You won’t get rich, but it will give you some level of validation.
- Limit the number of customers who can pre-order from your business.
- Show social proof as you pre-sell.
- Give a little extra to those who pre-ordered. It can be something as simple as a t-shirt.
Now, you are done. Forget your concerns and act now. Focus on how to put your brilliant ideas to life. What are you waiting for?