GUIDE TO TECHNICAL STARTUPS FOR NON-TECHNICAL FOUNDERS
You have an idea that’s totally going to the hit mark and yet you are hitting the wall because you don’t have the technical expertise?
Welcome to the world of non-technical founders (the ones who have the ideas) who break out of their comfort shell and enter the world of technical startup that’s totally alien to them. Though getting ideas are a never a problem for you, it’s understandable that you feel the sting of not being skilled into the technical aspects. However, all is not bad as it seems to be.
Did you know? Richard Branson (Virgin Airlines) is actually non-technical founder. Steve Jobs was an ideas guy and later on he gained knowledge of the technical know-how. Michael Dell is the non-technical founder of a technical startup ‘Digg’.
Of course, being non-technical founder means there are lots of questions coming up in your mind like –
Does this affect the way my venture will
How can I ascertain whether I am going in the right direction or
What are the ways to close the gap?
All these questions and more will be covered if you keep certain guidelines in mind.
- Get a 360⁰ view of your idea – Your idea may not be technical initially but if your venture is in the technical domain you need to have all the technical and non-technical aspects laid down in the idea stage. This makes your idea well sounded and better suited for people to take interest.
- Be the ideas guy – You know your idea best. So keep that idea close to your vision and fine tune it along the way. Ensure that your belief in your idea gets communicated to the team or people around you. Be passionate and enthusiastic about your idea; your team too shall feel connected to the purpose of the venture
- Don’t leave them hanging – While you may have the idea, it doesn’t mean that you leave the technical team and others to tackle the problem. Even if the problem is technical in nature, remember that the idea is yours and the venture will crumble if you don’t take interest in all the matters dealing with it. So if you are confronted with a technical problem, sit with the technical team and try to understand it and get it resolved. Being a pro-active visionary helps in long term sustainability of your venture
- Build a business plan – A business plan is extremely important and an invaluable asset that helps you keep on track with what you want to achieve and also communicates the same to your team. Since a business plan has to have both technical and non-technical aspects; this is the best way to get more knowledgeable about the technicalities.
- Do the SWOT – SWOT (Strengths/Weakness/Opportunities/Threats) is a great tool that helps in understanding what you are good at and not good at. This helps you in planning your venture based on yours’ as well as your co-founders’ strong/weak points and balancing out on the skills area.
- SWOT in the Team – Based on your SWOT analysis, you can recruit, train and manage your team. SWOT helps a lot in coordinating different skill sets and making a smooth flow of work possible for your venture.
- Don’t have a team? Worry not! Outsourcing is the greatest boon for startups which yet have to assemble their teams. Outsource all the technical aspects to the designers, programmers and coders. Bear in mind that without these 3 people your ideas can’t materialize. Moreover, the best branding practices with 360⁰ input of marketing makes the best first impression.
- Have a cofounder who is CTO – The co-founder can take up the responsibility of the whole technical aspect of the venture and keep the technical team running smoothly, thereby leaving you with other areas to handle. You can be assured of freely dealing with the marketing, communication, sales, customer services and related areas.
- Keeping them close – Keep the technical person close and the programmers/coders/designers even closer. They are the ones who will translate your vision into visual reality.
- Learn everything as you go – Build your vision with confidence and trust the IT company to do their jobs well. However, do learn a few basic concepts to know and understand where your product/service is heading and how it shall impact the customer experience.
- The Package that you need – Of great importance is the role of Website Development, App Development, Online marketing and desktop applications for your venture to connect internally and also with the clients/customers. Be focused on your expectations from each of these.
- Nurture a passion for learning and updates – The ideas person always has to be tuned into the now and based on this gauge the future role of the venture success. In respect to this understanding of the technical aspects of the venture helps a lot in making your ideas foolproof and sustainable
Try as we might, technical know-how may not be an enjoyable aspect for you. In fact, it is recommended that you need not get into the depth of it in the beginning of your venture since this time ideally you should be devoting to develop your idea and make your venture’s presence felt.
Once the foundation is laid and you are ready to scale up, you can get into the detailed concepts of the technical knowledge. This ensures that your venture keeps growing steadily every year. Eventually you must be able to create a prototype of your product with the help of the technically skilled aide. While the prototype made may not be great, it gives the founders an intuitive idea of the process that takes place in making it. This proves to be a great learning experience in terms of time and money.