5 Common Mistakes Non-Tech Founders Numerous major technology companies worldwide were started by individuals who didn’t have technical expertise themselves. Instead, they identified talented individuals and outsourced the development work to bring their groundbreaking products to life. To set up a technology startup that can truly disrupt the market, you don’t necessarily have to be a tech whiz. What matters most is your unwavering commitment to solving a problem. In this article, we’ll discuss the common challenges that can crop up and provide guidance on how to tackle them.
6 November 2023
6 min read
1. Hiring the lowest-cost developers As a startup founder, the initial phase can be tough, and it’s natural to want to save on development costs. However, opting for cheap solutions, such as hiring developers from freelance platforms, can be a gamble that you can’t afford to lose. The quality of your product is directly proportional to the expertise of your developer, and a substandard product will not only discourage users but also fail to sell in the market. Therefore, it’s crucial to invest wisely in your development team to ensure the success of your startup. Solution To get a good sense of a candidate’s past work experience, you should delve into their previous projects by asking the right questions. Explore how these projects were built, the technology choices, why they picked those technologies, the major challenges they faced, and how long it took to complete these projects.
2. Change tactics regularly In software development, constantly changing priorities can spell disaster. While it’s crucial to be adaptable and responsive to market feedback, frequently instructing your development team to drop their current tasks and switch to something else without allowing them sufficient time creates a situation where you end up with a lot of code, but no actual product to show for it. Solution It is critical to adhere to a planned strategy in which weekly priorities are viewed as sacred. Defer major plan adjustments until the next week begins, with the ability to make exceptions when required but avoiding frequent changes. Even if you’re anticipating a strategy shift shortly, make sure your team completes their existing work. Avoid dramatic changes when an approach becomes less important; instead, improve it by deleting non-essential components.
3. Adopt the “hire-and-forget” strategy Bringing developers on board without providing them with clear guidance leads to a disaster. If you aim to create a successful product, your ongoing involvement is crucial, especially when starting a new project. While you may have a brilliant idea, it’s essential to recognize that user needs evolve rapidly. Without your consistent input and support, your project’s costs can spiral out of control, and your development team can become demotivated. Blaming others or unfairly assigning fault worsens the situation. Consequently, this inflexible approach lacks adaptability, hindering your ability to realign project priorities in response to market feedback. Solution In the realm of project management, the wisdom of “hire-and-forget” is a perilous path. Instead, the prudent approach involves an unwavering commitment to engagement since adaptability is the cornerstone of success. The key lies in the willingness to reorient project priorities, attuned to the feedback. This path offers a better prospect of success and preservation of financial integrity.
4. Launching when the product is perfect The traditional way of launching a new product with all its features ready from the start is no longer the most common approach. These days, many products follow a leaner path, where they release an early version and then make improvements based on feedback. Putting off your product launch can lead to a few issues. First, someone else might beat you to the market with a similar product and steal your thunder. Second, without any initial users, you won’t have the data you need to guide your updates and add new features. Finally, by rolling out an early version, you can start making money, which increases your chances of success. Solution Don’t hold out for the perfect product; instead, embrace the lean startup method. Get an initial version out there with the basics and tweak it based on what users say. The sooner you launch, the better. It not only carves your spot in the market but also keeps competitors at bay. Furthermore, early launches fetch valuable user data to fine-tune and add new features, therefore vital for product improvement. Plus, you start making money sooner, which keeps your startup afloat and ups your long-term success odds.
5. Set unrealistic deadlines Sometimes, you might find yourself in a tight spot. For instance, you might have a golden opportunity to meet a potential investor or client who wants to see a specific feature, and you are planning to showcase it next week. In this case, you might turn to your developers for help, and they’ll likely be willing to assist. However, this leads to the creation of subpar code, often referred to as “technical debt.” It’s not their fault – it’s just that you can’t expect lightning-fast results and top-notch code quality simultaneously. Solution When confronted with unrealistic deadlines, striking a balance between seizing opportunities and upholding code quality is vital. To do this, work closely with your developers to define achievable milestones that align with your goals. With this, you can not only meet essential deadlines but also maintain the overall quality of your product.
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