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Can you startup without coding skills?

Should a founder know how to code?
Idea to Implementation. Is programming necessary?

There never was a better time to launch a business for your idea than now! Technology driven start-ups are in huge demand - it’s a connected world and technology is ubiquitous.

If you have a business idea, should you go launch your own start-up even if you do not know the technology or more specifically, programming? Is the latter a daunting aspect that’s holding you back?

Knowing technology in a tech start-up is definitely a plus. It allows you to be on top of things for starters. However, this does not mean that achieving success is a distant dream for non-tech founders.

So, how should a non-coder approach starting up a company?

Here are two options for a founder who doesn't know how to code:

1. Find a Technology Expert to be your Co-founder

If you are not the person who loves to code (or wants to learn to code) then you must know the other traits of running a business. You can be at the business forefront of your company.

If you are not programming, you would be expected to do other jobs. Non-coding founders can bring in other value than just coding. Remember coding is not the only expertise required to run a business. You might have the best idea and tech skills out there but if you aren’t selling your idea correctly, chances are it won’t do as good as you had hoped.

A non-coder can contribute in areas, like:

  • Sales

  • Marketing

  • Product Management

  • Partnerships

  • Accounting & Compliance

  • Arranging funds for the company

  • Recruitment

  • Human Resource Management

  • Customer Service

While you do the other non-tech activities your co-founder can keep their focus on building the product. You complement each other and form a great team. This approach also ensures that each of the founders gets his/her area to focus and excel.

A complementary relationship results in mutual respect and successful team work.

2. Use a Low-code Vendor to Develop a Prototype or MVP

If you are unable to get a technology expert to be your co-founder, there are other options that you can consider.

You can go about looking for technology partners who can help you implement your product in a short span of time and at an affordable budget. Is it possible to achieve this? Yes, indeed!

Getting your ideas visualised into a working solution is no longer expensive or time-consuming. Low-code application development platform vendors can help you get a fully functional application within weeks.

You can start small by getting a prototype to validate your idea and raise funds. The prototype can be easily converted into a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) that you can take to the market. All of this can be achieved without the knowledge of coding while meeting your time and budget expectations.

There are two ways of using a low-code platform.

1. Learn to ‘build’ by yourself. Most of these platforms are easy to use and intuitive. You can develop your process flows using visual tools and drag and drop features.

This approach may still require you to know some basics of design and programming.

2. Partner with a low-code application development company. You should look for partners that are good at using productivity enhancing tools like the low-code platform and pass on the gains to you.

Some low-code platform vendors also provide Solutions Engineering as a service. As an owner, you should be able to have the freedom over your application to make changes while still having a dependable service provider.

The days of building software solutions from scratch are long gone. It pays to be flexible and nimble. Your software should evolve with your ideas and business requirements. It should be changeable an infinite number of times. Because it is through changes that your software will remain relevant.

A low-code platform offers all this and more. Use it to develop your prototype or MVP and even your fully functional product. What you build on top of the low-code platform is your own IP.

3. Learn to Code

Another option that might be suggested or considered would be learning to code. While the knowledge of programming languages is good for someone who wants to grow on a tech startup, it is not necessary.

We would not recommend this option to non-coders. If coding is not your forte, then there is no point spending time in learning it. Instead of delaying your success and going through additional hurdles that you might encounter in the learning process, it’s better to look for other viable options.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein

If you’re still hesitant and are thinking about skilling up in programming and then building your product, it might help to note that there are many successful companies today that have non-coders as their founders.

Here’s a list of some companies whose founders’ are from non-tech backgrounds:

  • Oracle - Larry Ellison (sales), Bob Miner, and Ed Oates

  • Apple, Inc - Steve Jobs (sales) and Steve Wozniak (engineer)

  • Snapchat - Evan Spiegel (design), Reggie Brown, Bobby Murphy (CS)

  • Instagram - Kevin Systrom (engineering) and Mike Krieger (CS)

  • Pinterest - Ben Silbermann (pre-med), Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp

  • Groupon - Andrew Mason (music degree)

  • Airbnb - Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia (designers)

  • Zynga - Mark Pincus (investment banker)

  • Youtube - Chad Hurley (design), Steve Chen (CS), and Jawed Karimrley (CS)

  • LinkedIn - Reid Hoffman (philosophy/cognitive science)

Of course knowing what makes your product work is great, but investing in it entirely while your skills could be put to great use elsewhere is not entirely wise. The first two options are better bets.

If you have a start-up idea that you would like to implement or if you are a small business owner wanting help with software development, contact us.

We have 100+yrs of experience in building products and solutions. We also understand the need of doing this fast and cost-effectively while making sure that your requirements aren’t compromised.

Let’s get started with a FREE consultation. Visit us @Feldspar Tech


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