No kidding, but if you are an entrepreneur, you have to do every little things from pitching to investors and providing customer support to the client to change the office light bulb. Other than that, if your idea is to bring out a product to market (from local to international to web), it is not just your idea that compiles in real world, you need to know how your data-flow works and how you can suggest your programmer to start design and develop.
No, I am too OLD now to learn code…I totally can’t now
Enough of these excuses now, you are never too old to start any new stuffs, all you need to do is give a shot.
“You are a Warrior”
– Ira Glass
If you can code, your startup will never fail as long as you keep working at it. Never.
So, to get involved in real world (this world this time) you as an entrepreneur should strictly learn to code and that should start from today. Here, by code I also mean an entrepreneur should have at least some concepts of programming and can develop a framework for what he is about to pitch to investors. The decision of whether or not to learn how to code is a tough one for many non-technical entrepreneurs to make. It may seem like a major time commitment on top of non-technical responsibilities. However learning at least the basics, can be extremely beneficial.
Below are the points, describing why an entrepreneur should strictly learn to code and have least concepts of programming?
Develop Problem Solving Framework
Learning to code gives you a “programming brain’” -a rational, logical approach to problem solving. As a programmer, writing lines of code is highly detail-oriented work which requires precision and tenacity as you issue commands to make the technology do what you want. You can take your “Programming brain” and the skills you use when you code and apply it to other situations in your career or your business.
So with little knowledge of code and good concepts of programming, one can develop a problem solving framework in short period of time, which leads to success in business career.
Bridges the Knowledge Gap
There’s a wide, gaping chasm between developer teams (dev. team) and more business/operations team. That gap leads to misunderstanding, frustration and ultimately, mistakes. As an entrepreneur, with a team of entrepreneurial-minded individuals under you, a basic understanding or programming can provide enough shared understanding to start bridging that gap. Smoother communications between your developer team and your marketing team, for example, can go a long way towards stronger sales as the marketers have a better understanding of how the product functions and what it’s capable of.
Save Time & Money on recruiting a technical co-founder or Hire
You don’t find co-founders in one day. It takes a long time. In that same amount of time or less, you could easily be learning how to code. A month is enough to learn the basics. It can be challenging for many non-technical founders to find a committed technical co-founder that completely shares their vision. Learning to code will make you less dependent on outside forces and help you get your company off the ground without finding a technical co-founder. There’s also a risk that your technical co-founder could leave the company after joining, which could leave you in a tough position if you don’t know anything about coding.
Evaluate Technical Hires or Co-founders More Effectively
If you don’t know much about programming, it will be hard to tell whether someone can effectively program. Therefore hiring will be a major challenge. You will need to rely on others to help you evaluate technical hires. This could be a burden of time and/or money. Learning even basic coding skills will help you to more effectively evaluate potential hires or partners.
Build a Prototype to Test your Idea to Avoid Wasting Time and Money
Being able to at least build a prototype or “minimum viable product” of your idea will help you to test the demand for your product and business viability before you spend a lot of time and money finding and hiring developers. A prototype will enable you to see how users interact with your product and if it’s even providing them with something they perceive as being valuable in the first place. Interacting and testing with mock ups or just verbal descriptions is much different than a product. Sometimes customers don’t know if they want something until you put it in front of them and let them use it. A prototype doesn’t have to be perfect, or even scalable, for you to learn, and save time and money. And you don’t need to be an expert to build a prototype.
Communicate With Your Development Team More Effectively
For business people who manage or work with coders, understand coding can be extremely beneficial Business people will need to know what sorts of things are easy or hard to code, what sorts of problems arise, how long a certain task should take, how hard it is to maintain code, etc.
Programming languages are called languages because they are a mode of communication. If you’re in Spain, you need to learn Spain in order to communicate effectively with people around you. If you’re in a technology startup, learning basics of coding and computer science will enable you to communicate effectively with your technical team members.
You don’t necessarily need to be an expert at coding to be able to communicate effectively with coders. Basic understanding can be helpful in determining what a reasonable or unreasonable request is, or how much effort a particular piece of code would take to produce.
Contribute More to Developing your Product and Company
One of the biggest time commitments in starting a new technology company is product development. While business activities such as customer acquisition and fundraising to take considerable amount of time, being able to contribute to building product can be tremendously beneficial to your company. Different products and companies will have different proportions of business and product development time needed, however in most situations, being able to build product will at least be helpful.
Better Understand your Product and Technology
As a non-technical co-founders some of your biggest responsibilities will be sales and marketing, recruiting and fundraising. You will need sufficient knowledge of your product to be able to effectively communicate with customers, investors, and technical hires. If you’re starting a technology company, you should know enough about technology to be able to run your business.
Win even if you fail
Finally, even if your Startup Fails- You Win. Learn to code and you’ll be in a better position for your next startup.
Obviously as an entrepreneur no startup is your last startup, I guess. So, today’s knowledge will sharpen tomorrow’s work and will definitely help to bring out better product in next startup.
Get started today
There are lots of online courses that makes coding easy, or makes it easy to understand how code works and how real world problems are interpreted into codes to make it real time functional. Codecadamey, edx, and TreeHouse are great places to start (and they’re free). Or, for the serious learners, you can take intensive programming tutorials and training by paying in other websites too. But if online learning isn’t for you and you just want to test out the waters, find a nearby tutors or experts in programming and get enlightened.
It’s not just entrepreneurs who should to learn to code – it’s also marketers, communicators, graphic designers, administrators, small-business owners, contractors and journalists. The list goes on. Basic programming literacy is useful for anyone working at a startup or anyone with a bit of entrepreneurial spirit. That knowledge enables us to interact more mindfully with the world around us – creating new opportunities and opening greater possibilities. Are you ready to get your code on?
You don’t need to be the best coder in the world to benefit from learning. It’s not an all or nothing decision. Understanding a little about coding will help you to be better leader. You should still be recruiting technical partners, however learning enough to get your company off the ground and work with those partners will be extremely beneficial to your company.
Learning to code will empower you – “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to code and robotic minions shall fish for him forever.”