Yes, it is Possible to Build a Tech Startup as a Non-Technical Founder

If you have an innovative tech startup idea, it’s easy to start comparing yourself to top tech founders in the world. Admittedly, an IBM study found that 33% of the S&P 500 CEOs’ undergraduate degrees are in engineering. Meanwhile, business administration degrees is a third of that number.

Does that mean you should give up and let a more technical person come up with your idea in their own time?

Absolutely not.

Among the Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates of the world, there are also plenty of internationally successful tech companies that were not created by technical founders: Airbnb, Tinder, Pinterest to name a few.

No matter whether you are a technical or non-technical founder, you still need the opposing skillset to create a successful startup.

Do you believe in your own skills?

If you’re a non-technical founder, the likelihood is you’re going to start getting a bit frustrated when your product begins to come to fruition. The best way to handle that, is to understand how important your ideas and input are, even if you can’t physically turn them into anything yourself. There is no ‘more valuable’ skillset when building a startup — at some point, you’re going to need to cover all sides if you want to be successful.

As a non-technical founder, you need to have vision and assertion and ensure that’s conveyed to whoever you’ve hired for the technology.

It’s not enough to simply put some initial thought into an idea and then hand it over — you need to be up at night thinking about how you can better your product. You need to be so committed to your product that you’re continuously trying to solve the next piece of the puzzle. You need to be passionate and visionary to ensure the bigger picture is encapsulated by the person building your product. If you drop the ball, the likelihood of success plummets.

Are you willing to learn?

This doesn’t mean you need to go on a course to learn how to code and build an MVP yourself. But it does mean that you need to be open and willing to develop your skills and learn exactly what it takes to build a successful startup.

The competition is stiff, and you need to keep faith in your product alive. To ensure your startup continues to thrive, you need to be continuously developing your own skills and bringing them to the table. Read, write, and learn from those who have succeeded — and failed — before you.

Do you have a strong foundation?

There will come a point not too far off when you need to find investors who are willing to fund your product. But no matter what your skillset is, this will not happen if you can’t prove to said investors that you are prepared and have the knowledge and strategies in place for longevity.

In order to prove this, you need to demonstrate your methods, your strategies, and your knowledge. Investors are taking a risk on you, the founder, do you have what it takes to make it a success? Winging it can only get you so far, so from business planning to strategising to methodology, it’s your responsibility as the non-technical founder to have the strongest foundation possible.

Being a non-technical or technical founder should not matter if you have the foundation, willingness to learn and self-awareness to keep the product a priority. Startups have failed many times dues to the founder’s lack of willing to acknowledge when they need help and where their own strengths lie. Ultimately, non-technical founders should never be deterred by founding a tech-startup.

I work with tech startups to get their product ideas investor-ready, my 6-week programme offers support, guidance and clear strategies and formulas to generate both a successful product and investor interest. Find out more at https://kickoff.thetechgorge.com/

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Alex Weekes is a Digital Product Manager, Associate Lecturer, and Startup Consultant working with some of the world's most innovative startups and technologies.

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Alexander Weekes

Alexander Weekes

Alex Weekes is a Digital Product Manager, Associate Lecturer, and Startup Consultant working with some of the world's most innovative startups and technologies.

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