I’m not technical founder, don’t know what to be doing while his entire team is busy coding?

I am not a technical founder and I am about launch my own startup soon. But I don’t really know what to be doing while other technical members of the team are busy programming. I want to appear useful to the team? What could a non-technical founder of a NEW STARTUP be doing day in day out while employees are busy coding without having to appear un-useful to the team at that moment?.


  • Figuring out your goto market strategy. Recruiting beta testers. Getting feedback if just from powerpoint presentations. Reaching out to potential customers.

    You don’t even have to let them know exactly how the tool will work. This campaign by The Grid is such an example. https://thegrid.io They’re an AI website builder whatever that means. Yet they’ve managed to cough sca… er I mean persuade thousands of people to pay them money on something as vague as “AI”.

  • Start building an audience for what your startup is doing. Audience will then hopefully convert into paying customers.

  • If you only care about “appearing to be useful”, then just pretend to work.

    This should be obvious, but a startup has two parts: product and sales. They do product, therefore you must do sales. If in your situation it’s impossible to do sales without a functioning prototype, then you should be building an audience of prospective customers. Then sell as soon as the product becomes functional. Make sure you understand the market 100%, otherwise you end up building a product nobody cares for.

    If you are unwilling or unable to be effective at this stage then your mentality is entirely wrong. You’ve got to change this, or failure is (practically) guaranteed.

  • I’m a technical co-founder, and I have a non-tehnical co-founder. At the very beginning, when I was coding the product, my non-technical co-founder helped me much with product related tasks: she made the design (most coders are not talented to design icons and other visual stuff). She wrote the documentation (lots of powerpoint). And she tested the product in real situation and provided real time feedback.

    If you have some talent for design, it will help. You can certainly document the product. A professional level help at day one will give you some credibility. You can write white papers or blog posts for your future website…

    And at least, you can be their “office slave” to save their time. Bring them pizzas and drinks, and take care of all chores that prevent them to code night and day. If you can save them half an hour every day and leave them with a free mind to think only to their code, you can improve much their productivity. If you take care of coders and show your appreciation, they will be more happy and they will work better.

    When you will have a first prototype, you will start to demo it to prospects. Then you will begin to have much less time to help your technical co-founders build the product… So it is right now you can be really valuable to help them code faster.

    • +1

      Is there an opportunity to get pre-orders? Start some social media accounts and create some buzz around your product. Get some bloggers or magazines to write about your upcoming product. User acceptance testing. Are you prepared for customer service needs (process flow, ticketing, etc.) and accepting payments? I’m sure I’ve never heard a business owner say she/he had nothing to do, LOL.

  • Be smart… And find funding.

    Sales

    Marketing

    Administration (legal, finance, accounting, HR straight?)

    Research

    Testing

    And of course, if you’re done with that and don’t do design, there’s the focus on finding grant opportunities and pitch competitions to raise free money.

  • If it’s your startup… does it really matter? It’s your startup. I assume you pay those people to work on your startup.

  • talking to customers, getting feedback, testing the ideas with your engineering team. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. If your product removes a pain and you build the features customers want, then they will happily pay you once the product is done. Building what you think customers want and waiting until it is done is not the best strategy.

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