People often ask me – can a nontechnical founder, become a founder of a successful internet company. The short answer would be – Sure.
It may not come as a surprise, but the founders of the most successful companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM were all at some point just software or electrical engineers. But to be fair, everyone starts as a non-technical person and through education, training, passion and experience we craft a specific skill. This sure goes two ways.
In today’s world, this can be achieved by everyone because nothing is stopping you from taking an online course, reading a book or maybe even going back to school. With all available resources, the only thing preventing you from success is your laziness.
Partnering up with the right mindset
The first thing is to realize that a technical person needs you as much as you need him/her. Now, you may be wondering what you can possibly offer to someone who specializes in programming for example. Well, the first thing is the idea, capital or business skills.
If you are anything like me, you can’t sleep because the ideas of solving the next step in the puzzle are constantly racing through your mind and all you can think of is how to achieve your plan. Just because of that you are not only valuable, but also irreplaceable.
You are the one who creates the excitement in an idea and conversation, and people become loyal to you simply because they believe in your vision. That’s exactly how my company, Saleduck was born. Between a technical and a non-technical founder.
You would be surprised how many people are looking for non-technical co-founders with the above-mentioned skills. So, why are there so few successful non-technical founders in the world? Well, the answer is simple – a lot of them have the wrong mindset. If you think that you can just come up with some initial idea and pass it to a tech and have an amazing product that will go viral, you are mistaken. It obviously takes a lot more time and effort than that.
There are 4 assets that a non-technical co-founder can bring to the table:
2. Creative ideas
4. Contagious passion
If you want to have all these values, you need to:
4. Try and fail
In order to develop skills any successful entrepreneur reads business books on a weekly basis. The same goes for succesful programmers or web designers – they all read books or watch tutorials. Therefore, learning never stops and you can’t allow yourself not to be informed about the latest news or trends. You never know where your next amazing idea will come from.
The idea that pops in your mind needs to be written down or it will be forgotten. I suggest keeping a business idea journal where you can write ideas whenever something interesting comes to your mind. Never let a idea go to waste. And even though some ideas don’t sound achievable today, maybe they will be realistic in the future. Or in combination with some other idea. You just never know.
To me, networking is the basic skill of any entrepreneur. Both the non- and technical founders need to be able to find the right people. But a strong network is the key to the success of any non-technical co-founder.
Try & fail
Some lessons you will only learn by failing, and this relates to your entire life. I always love to quote the great Michal Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
There is nothing wrong with failing – everyone failed at some point in their life. It’s the thing that you do after you fail that counts. If you learn something from it and keep going forward, then you have the mindset of a winner.
However, if you are scared of failing, then you will never succeed. You need to act; you need to work every single day and to fail over and over again. And at one point, all these failures will lead you to a success you can scale. So be grateful for all the failures that will come in your career, as they will teach you something you could never learn from success.
Is it impossible for a non-technical entrepreneur to become a co-founder of a successful internet company – loud and simple, NO. The sooner you realize that technicians need you as much as you need them, the sooner you’ll be on the right path to success.
Having the right mindset and a strong vision with passion and creativity is the first step in creating a successful company. The next on the list is to constantly develop your skillset. Therefore, read, watch tutorials and try to learn something new every single day. Combine it all together with some smart networking. This is the main craft of any successful entrepreneur that will make or break your business.