May 26, 2015

How do you launch a startup when you don’t have any technical experience?

Ademar / May 26, 2015

There are a lot of success stories we can read online about non-technical founders that started out with a great idea and have successfully grown their startup into a profitable company even if they don’t have a technical background. A few list of non-technical founders are marketers, real estate brokers, teachers, public relations officers, financial analysts and more. Then we ask how did they do it? How did they manage to build their idea into a working product without any technical expertise? 

I listed below some options that non-technical founders look for or avail that might be relevant to you too. 

1. Find a technical co-founder 

It is very common to hear that it is often best to have a technical partner and co-founder to work with you in your startup. So you try to recruit someone you think you know might be capable. This person might be someone you meet in a tech conference, tech meetups, tech events or other networking events. 

However, trying to start a business venture with someone you don’t fully know might be a pain in the head in the long run. You have already given the person an equity, or have planned long-term (hoping the startup works out), but in tough times, you’ll never know if you’ll encounter issues. There are a lot of stories about co-founder falling-out. So be aware of this scenario before you look for your technical co-founder. 

2. Buy ready-made software or template 

There are a lot of sites that you can find a ready-made software or template in Themeforest or other providers. This is a good start considering it is cheaper. However, when you want to customize the pages, you still have to look for a developer to help you make the changes. The tricky part here is where to find a good developers to help you set-up. The worst case here is if you found the wrong developer, the budget you have allocated to release version 1 may not be enough. 

3. Outsource the work online by getting freelancers or remote developers 

Websites like Upwork (formerly known as Odesk), ElanceFreelancer has a pool of remote developers that can help you build your MVP (Minimum Viable Product). However, choose your freelancers wisely. Make sure you find people who are proven to provide quality work. You can ask for some references or look at their recent works to help you assess. 

4. Hire a team as a technical partner 

Another way for a non-technical founder to launch his/her product idea is to hire a team as a technical partner. The cost depends on your project scope however, you basically have the control on the scope of what you will build. This could be a good option to consider especially when you already have a solid business model for your startup idea. 

One of the benefits of having a technical partner to work with you is they can help put structure to your idea starting from the planning phase to deployment phase of your product since they have already built their development processes. You don’t have to worry looking for skills and expertise on specific things like server set-up, payment integration etc. anymore. 

These are just some ideas for you to consider as a non-technical founder and it truly depends on the kind of idea you have or the stage of the your startup idea. If you have some questions, clarifications or other insights, please feel free to comment below or send us an email directly. I’d be happy to hear some of your thoughts on this.