Do you need a tech background to start a startup?

I am a student and I don’t know anything about coding, but I am passionate about startups and have a lot of ideas. I always wanted to start my own company but I don’t know anything about coding. Is that alright if I want to do a startup?? If I would want to learn to code, where should I start?? Which language is necessary??

  • You don’t need anybody’s permission to do a startup. You’ll learn as you go. A good place to learn basic programming is “Learn Python the Hard Way”. You’ll quickly discover if this is the sort of thing you enjoy doing.

    There are plenty of (very successful) startup founders who aren’t coders. Don’t let other people tell you that you need to be a coder. You don’t. Being a good programmer certainly helps, but that doesn’t mean it has to be your primary goal right now. Working on domain knowledge, networking and customer discovery may be more beneficial, for instance.

  • If you are not a coder, you don’t need to learn to code. Even if you want to create a software company. What you need is a co-founder who knows how to code and beyond. But, you need to know his language. You will talk much together and you must understand him… and detect BS !

    Don’t learn coding. Instead, learn about computer technology. Forget books about coding, start with wikipedia. Use it as an encyclopedia. Read articles about general things (which are often interesting even when we think we already know all of that): computer, network, internet, cloud computing… then follow links to go deeper: OS, tcp/ip, http, html, C++, Ruby, Python… You must know what those terms mean and how the concepts fit together. The list is not exhaustive: everything in the domain is interesting and this knowledge is valuable. This is an encyclopedia. This is all what you need to know as a non-technical co-founder. You just have to read wikipedia on your spare time during a few months. And when you ear something related to computer science you don’t already know well, take note of it and search it on wikipedia.

  • Well, you have to have something (more than just ideas)!

    It’s execution what actually counts and for that you usually need resources like money, time, skills etc. If you have enough money you can pay people, if you are good at marketing & sales you could sell them on equity, if you are a coder you can code yourself, however if you don’t have money, no experience in marketing/sales, if you don’t code, what can you bring to the table?

    That said, good that you ask where you should start. You should invest 50 bucks in a good programming book and start with simple things. Once you know some basics you can continue with learning by doing. Depending on the field it can be quite fun – in the security industry for example there are “crack-mes” which are playful security challenges to solve. I’m sure in other areas there’s fun stuff where you can learn at the same time too.

  • Start here with this free course, by Dr. Jeff Cornwall…

    Entrepreneurship — From Idea to Launch:

    Then watch some of these videos he’s done with new entrepreneurs:

    Then try this:

    Start brainstorming on how you can make something better for people. Start reaching out to people who are doing what you want to be doing. Do your research on them first, seek out mentors, look into a local accelerator program for new startups. Educate yourself, don’t give up, don’t ask permission from people to chase your dreams. And most importantly…take action, just do something, anything that gets you one step closer to your goals every single day. Become an expert in something, and then trade on that expertise. Network, network, network…

    Good luck!

  • No, you don’t need to be able to code yourself, but if you can’t code, you need a tech co-founder and you have to be familiar with what he/she is doing. If you don’t have a tech component in your core team you will hit a wall.

  • An entrepreneur buddy of mine once told me that a startup needs two different people: The engineer, and the salesman.

    To everyone’s point about a tech and non-tech co-founder duo, look at Apple. Woz was the Engineer, and Jobs the Salesman.

    In that same train of thought, and from the great comments already on here, Jobs also knew ENOUGH to talk with Woz and understand on a solid enough level to see the potential.

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