There seems to be a very hacker culture here in the Valley that favors the builders and developers and engineers are basically impossible to find. They are put on a pedestal of sorts and rightly so to the extent that they can build things – they can make your idea a reality.
However I would encourage people who have website / app ideas who do not have the ability to program or code not to let that stop them. There’s so much more to having a product or service apart from the ability to code it up.
I’m a designer. Everything starts with the design for me. If I have an idea, I start designing it. I code some – mostly just the front end – the stuff people see. I don’t necessarily have the ability to code it all from end to end. I don’t let that stop me. I’ve launched a ton of sites despite my lack of backend coding skills. How have I done that? Usually I’ve managed to convince people to help me – either by paying them or partnering with them.
Brandon agreed to help me with Pinstagram only AFTER he saw what I had designed and built and that it was good. If all I did was just talk about it, I sincerely doubt he would have taken me seriously and that he would have been so enthusiastic to help. Once he saw that my vision of the product had potential and I had put skin in the game, then he was on board.
In my journey as an entrepreneur, I’ve seen many ideas and businesses take form, and they weren’t necessarily started by tech people who “built” stuff. Groupon started from The Point, but the initial version of Groupon itself was supposedly a WordPress plugin. Dabble was founded by a couple on non-techies and I love it. I love that they started out with just a WordPress site – and the sign up form was a WordPress contact form plugin. By the time I talked to them they were having classes everyday with people paying $20 a class. They had no tech.
I love the folks at DealDecor. They have what can be best described as a Woot/Groupon for furniture. They were moving tons of furniture by the time I talked to them and they still didn’t have a tech team. Amazing!
It can be really depressing to see all these young tech folks from MIT, and Stanford, or exGooglers and exFacebookers come up with an idea, get lots of funding if you are not a tech person and want to pursue the same dream. However I’ve also seen nontechnical people prove the business before they even had tech. I’ve seen business analytists able to raise money from their business plans; I’ve seen writers leverage their internet fame to fund their ideas.
Leverage the skillset you have. If you can code, great – code. If you can design, then design. Use the skills that you have as a starting point, a foundation to what you need to build. Use that to show others the idea has merit and rally people to your cause. If you think you have a good idea, just start doing what you know to make it a reality.
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