4 things non-technical founders should keep in mind when venturing into software

I’ve worked with dozens of technical and non-technical founders over the last few years. Technical founders typically handle the software side of the business well (team, tech stack, etc) while non-technical founders struggle to materialize their vision.

Business experience and vision are important, but also making sure you have the right stack, the right people for the job and a solid execution plan.

It all boils down to filling in the technical gap. By doing so, non-technical founders maximize their chances of releasing good software that sells.

Here’s the top advice I give to non-technical founders that will help set them up for success:

You need someone technical on your side

A business needs to run, software needs to be sold, a vision needs to be executed. This is where non-technical founders should spend their time. Not learning to code.

Find someone to fill the gap, in any of these forms:

  • Bring on board a technical co-founder
  • Hire a Lead/CTO role right off the bat
  • Partnering with a firm who provides the talent, including lead technical roles

Having a technical parter frees up your time so you can focus on the business, while at the same time you have someone you can trust taking care of the technicalities.

Share your company vision

Sharing your product & company vision both empowers and motivates your team. We like to feel part of something bigger, specially when working towards a common goal.

Sharing your vision also helps your team make better, decentralized decisions that align with the company objectives. Teams working on random small tasks in a black box are typically not motivated. This is why sharing your vision is important.

Sharing your vision leads to a motivated team which leads to a great product.

Be there for your team, lead

Teams are not for “setting and forgetting”. Your team can’t work in a black box and produce your expected results.

Remember you are working with human beings that need to be listened and taken care of. Lead your team by setting an example of work ethic, leadership and most important of all, stand by them.

Whenever someone needs help, help. Whenever you need help, ask for it. People like to feel helpful.

Don’t compromise, expect results & quality all the time

Quality, deliverables & results are expected and non-negotiable. Period.

Expect the highest standards from your team and hold everyone accountable. Create a culture where your own team sets the bar that everyone meets everyday.

If someone is underperforming, offer help. If it’s a mayor or recurring issue, consider finding someone who is a better fit for your team.

Mistakes happen, but they should not be the norm.

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