What Every Non-Technical Entrepreneur Needs To Know (That No One Tells Them)
When it comes to building, growing and digitally transforming a business with technology, many leaders believe the challenge lies in finding good tech talent. Of course, this is a major problem, but there is even a greater problem that occurs before the talent search begins: Many entrepreneurs lack a practical understanding of technology fundamentals for their business.
Sure, entrepreneurs may read articles on the digital revolution or attend conferences about next-generation technologies like blockchain, but very few truly comprehend and apply business technology basics into their own companies. This goes beyond the utility level of getting on the cloud or installing digital apps; it involves having a solid understanding of the software development life cycle from beginning to end in order to work with development teams and launch a successful technology project.
These observations are based on my firsthand experience engaging with hundreds of non-technical entrepreneurs, who were either established business owners or new startup founders. I learned that only a handful had the clarity and concrete plans in place for their tech projects -- the rest either had no idea what they needed to do and who they needed to hire, or they had the wrong idea to begin with. Over time, I discovered that many of them were truly fearful when it came to technology, causing a great number of barriers for them to move forward. Or, they were under the impression that finding a CTO will solve all of their problems so that they do not have to be involved with the technology side of their business — which is a disaster waiting to happen.
Many of these same entrepreneurs value the importance of having a hands-on understanding in all other challenging areas of their businesses, such as sales, legal and finance. However, technology has always been something that is seen as either too complicated or too time-consuming. In their defense, the market is limited in the number of people or programs that can empower non-technical entrepreneurs. (This is ironic considering we are in the midst of a digital revolution.) That’s why I decided to become a tech coach to help solve this major gap in the marketplace.
So, my recommendation to non-technical entrepreneurs is that before they embark on any new technology endeavor, it is critical to have a technology game plan in place in order to know for sure what they should build first, who they should bring on and how they should build it. If this is not sorted out before the technical talent recruiting process begins, the wrong solution could be built or the solution could be built wrong. Either way, this could result in a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention all the people, time and headache involved. Below, I would like to offer some steps that non-technical entrepreneurs can take right now to get on the right path.