When I say, Aerion Technologies helps non-techs deliver better tech, I, more often than not, get asked ‘why’ and ‘how’. This article answers both of those questions.
Who is a non-tech founder?
A non-tech founder is typically a person who has an idea for a software product or service but does not have a technical background or expertise in software development. Non-tech founders are common in the technology industry, as many successful tech startups have been founded by individuals without a technical background.
Data suggests that the world needs non-tech founders to deliver tech solutions. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, the demand for digital skills is increasing rapidly, with the number of digital jobs set to increase by 54% by 2027. However, there is a significant skills gap, with a shortage of qualified candidates to fill these positions.
In addition, a report by the Kauffman Foundation found that non-tech founders are essential for driving innovation and economic growth. The report found that non-tech founders are more likely to bring new perspectives, experiences, and skill sets to the technology industry, leading to the creation of new products and services that are solutions to unaddressed needs alongside creating value for users.
Furthermore, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that non-tech founders are more likely to build successful tech startups. The study found that non-technical founders of successful startups were more likely to hire experienced technical talent and focus on developing a solid product-market fit.
Don’t take my word for it. Many famous and successful non-tech founders have delivered tech solutions that have revolutionized the industry. Here are a few examples:
- Jeff Bezos is the Co-Founder and CEO of Amazon, one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms.
- Brian Chesky is the Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb, a platform that allows people to rent out their homes to travelers.
- Whitney Wolfe Herd is the Founder of Bumble, a popular dating app that allows women to make the first move.
- Martha Lane Fox is the Co-Founder of Lastminute.com, a travel website that offers last-minute deals on hotels, flights, and vacation packages.
- Evan Spiegel is the Co-Founder and CEO of Snapchat, a social media platform that allows users to share pictures and videos that disappear after a short period of time.
From Jeff to Evan, none had a technical background. And yet, Jeff has been instrumental in transforming the way people shop online; Brian and his co-founders recognized the potential of the sharing economy, and today Airbnb is valued at over $100 billion; Whitney created Bumble in 2014, and it now has over 100 million users; Lane recognized the potential of the internet, and her website is still in operation and has expanded to offer a range of travel services; and, Evan recognized the potential of mobile devices and created Snapchat which now has over 280 million daily active users.
These non-tech founders demonstrate that anyone can deliver successful tech solutions with a strong vision, determination, and the ability to recognize opportunities.
However, there are some challenges for non-tech founders
Let’s take our area of work as an example. The custom software development market has been growing steadily for the past few years, with a value of $388.98 billion in 2020, and is expected to reach $650.13 billion by 2025. This growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for custom software solutions in various industries, including healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. Adding to that statistic is that most of Australia’s start-ups are tech-focused, accounting for over 17,700 start-ups.
However, despite this growth, only a small percentage of software projects successfully deliver value. According to a report by Standish Group, only 14% of software projects are successful in having the intended value, with 31% of projects being canceled before completion and 55% overrunning their budgets or timelines.
This indicates a significant gap between the expected benefits of custom software development and the actual outcomes. This is not putting it on non-tech founders alone—but it sure is an uphill battle.
In general, projects running over time and budget coupled with many often building the wrong solution are the significant risks. Non-tech founders face several challenges when delivering tech solutions, including:
1. Lack of Technical Expertise
One of the main challenges faced by non-tech founders is said to be a lack of technical expertise. This lack of technical knowledge can lead to ineffective communication with software developers, difficulty making technical decisions, and ultimately result in a software solution that does not meet the business requirements.
Even though the world of technology can be intimidating for non-tech founders who may not understand the ins and outs of technical solutions, they do come with domain expertise.
A solution to this problem is partnering with a technical Co-Founder who comes in with technological know-how and understands the visions and values the said start-up focuses on.
At Aerion Technologies, a team of technical experts has guided many non-tech founders looking to deliver a tech solution and disrupt the industry with their product and service.
2. Lack of Understanding of User Needs
Failing to understand what the market needs and is willing to pay for is a problem that ails both tech and non-tech founders. Your product/service is the base of your business, and that can be successful only when there is a product market fit. Ultimately, the market and your users are your primary concern. You need to clarify whether your product or service is a solution your users need or is it something you need to hard-sell.
Building the wrong solution due to lack of understanding of the user needs is more common than one would like to believe.
At Aerion Technologies, we work with the founders from the get go—we work with you to build a proof of concept (POC) and then see if there is a Product-Market Fit before releasing an (Minimally Viable Product).
3. Time and Resource Constraints
Development takes time and resources; sometimes, as a non-tech founder, it can be difficult to wrap the head around that. Projects suffer when there is scope-creep, and they go over time because the estimates were not based on experience of having done a project of similar nature before. This can lead to incomplete or rushed projects that do not meet the business requirements or fail to provide value.
Aerion Technologies’ proven DevReady Process has been made to answer these questions. Over the years, we have worked with many non-tech founders to ensure that their project meets the time and resource needs.
4. Budget Constraints
According to a report by Statista, 41% of small businesses reported that a lack of budget was their biggest challenge in developing a website. This can limit their ability to hire experienced developers, invest in Quality Assurance is the process of reviewing a piece of work to ensure that the quality and standards are met...., or allocate ongoing maintenance and support resources.
Aerion Technologies helps embed tech teams in organizations so that competent development teams are able to deliver the value that non-tech founders are looking for.
5. Lack of Project Management Experience
According to a survey by PwC, 80% of executives report that ineffective project management is a top reason for project failure. This can lead to delays, cost overruns, and poor project outcomes.
This is where Aerion Technologies, with its decade plus of experience is delivering profitable and scalable tech solutions, can come in and help non-tech founders.
6. Fast-Evolving Technological Landscape
Finally, the technology landscape constantly changes, with new programming languages, frameworks, and tools emerging regularly. Indeed, the demand for developers skilled in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very large and broad spectrum of technologies which most people would be familiar with through..., blockchain, and cybersecurity has increased significantly in recent years.
Keeping up with these changes can be challenging and might result in obsolete software solutions. We can work with you to overcome this challenge.
How can Aerion Technologies help?
Non-tech founders are essential for delivering tech solutions in the modern world, as they bring new perspectives, experiences, and skill sets to the technology industry. While they may face technical expertise and project management challenges, partnering with technology companies that can provide technical expertise and support can help non-tech founders overcome these challenges and successfully deliver software solutions.
Aerion Technologies can help non-tech founders deliver better tech solutions by providing technical expertise and guidance throughout the software development.
By partnering with Aerion Technologies, non-tech founders can benefit from the technical expertise, experience, and guidance necessary to deliver better tech solutions. This helps them avoid common pitfalls and increase the success rate of their software projects, ultimately resulting in better business outcomes.