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Ready to build the next

Got a great idea but no idea how to code?

Start your business without a technical founder!

6th August 2018
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Technical co-founders are a rare breed. With Google and Facebook offering their coders 5 or 6 figure salaries it’s a hard sell to get them to come work for your startup with its long hours and measly salary. Finding the perfect co-founder will inevitably take time. Not only do need a top coder, you need someone who shares your vision and passion for the project, and is willing to make sacrifices to get there. Even if you do find "the one," do you have the knowledge to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to technical know-how? It is very easy to get bamboozled by coders who offer the world, but very hard to get rid of them once they are your co-founder.

“ In a world where programmers are in short supply, finding the perfect cofounder is the HR equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack ”
Technical skills are just as hard to acquire as a technical founder

One alternative is to learn to code yourself. Skills development can be hugely rewarding, but is now the time to be expanding your skillset, when your business is barely off the ground? Great programmers aren’t born, they’re made. Becoming the kind of developer that can guide the architectural design of your project requires time and experience. Even if you do succeed in learning to code, will you be able to balance the demands of running a business and building a product? For most founders this isn’t a realistic solution. As a non-technical founder, you have to make a choice: are you going to wait around until the perfect co-founder comes across your path before launching your business or are you going to get started and bring on a co-founder further down the line?

Try building an MVP first then recruit an in-house tech team

For any startup, one of the best first steps is to build a minimum viable product (MVP) and iterate your way to perfect product/market fit. An MVP isn’t supposed to be as sophisticated as the top-rated apps on the App Store. It’s a product stripped back to its very core; a product that tests just one business assumption. As a non-technical founder, one of the easiest routes is to build a “Concierge MVP.” If you’ve read Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup, you’ll know what I mean by a concierge MVP - using manual labour to imitate the algorithm you’ll eventually build. Netflix is a great example of this, starting out as a mail order DVD company before growing into the online service we know today.

“ Stripped back, most apps don’t need advanced technology, so you don’t need in-house coding power ”

For any startup, one of the best first steps is to build a minimum viable product (MVP) and iterate your way to perfect product/market fit. An MVP isn’t supposed to be as sophisticated as the top-rated apps on the App Store. It’s a product stripped back to its very core; a product that tests just one business assumption. As a non-technical founder, one of the easiest routes is to build a “Concierge MVP.” If you’ve read Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup, you’ll know what I mean by a concierge MVP - using manual labour to imitate the algorithm you’ll eventually build. Netflix is a great example of this, starting out as a mail order DVD company before growing into the online service we know today.

Finding a good quality outsourcing company is crucial and easier than ever

Building an MVP without a technical co-founder couldn’t be easier these days. There are companies springing up all over the world offering outsourced technical development for limited cost. You’re in good company when it comes to early outsourced development. Uber started by outsourcing to Mexico. Skype, and Whatsapp contracted most of their development to Eastern Europe. You can get a long way without any kind of technical “special sauce,” which means you can get a long way with outsourced software development.

Whilst MVPs aren’t that technically challenging they do still require quality coding and a guiding hand. Finding the right outsourcing company therefore is about finding that overlap between cost and quality (a pairing which often seem to make for unlikely friends). At Tyro we believe we have the solution, by dividing projects down into their smallest components we are able to leverage our large workforce for a single project, delivering outcomes faster without sacrificing on quality. Allowing you to find your product/market fit much sooner and laying the groundwork for you to kickstart your business.