What It’s Like To Be A Non-Technical Co-Founder… Before You Launch

First, I want to clarify what I mean by ‘technical.’

To be considered ‘technical’ in my eyes, you must be someone who is a high-level programmer.

I’m not talking about knowing a little bit about HTML; I’m talking about a full-blown Mr. Robot.

Ok — Maybe not Mr. Robot, but you know what I mean.

Now that I clarified, we can continue with what it’s like to be a non-technical co-founder during pre-launch.

Create Pre-Launch Buzz

I have made it one of my initiative to create pre-launch buzz, so we can hit the ground running when we launch.

By creating buzz, we are able to create an initial base of users to test our product in the future. This buzz will prove to be vital to us because these users will be early adapters.

The people we attract through our buzz phase are people who we will turn to for feedback when we launch.

We are collecting emails and working towards build our list as large as we can. I am growing this list by producing as much content as I can.

This content has provided some excellent traction for us.

Recently one of the posts I published here on Medium got re-published by Tech In Asia, giving us a tremendous boost in subscribers.

In the near future, I also plan on beginning a YouTube series centered around my products industry.

The more buzz you get going, the more successful of a launch you will have.

Collect Feedback

People’s ideas on what they want can be invaluable. The comments I have gotten trough casual conversations have led us to plan on implementations beyond our wildest dreams.

The more people I talk to, the more ideas I get. It is my responsibility to sort through what is practical, what is a pipe dream, and what might now be such a great idea.

I have reached out to people on Slack channels, LinkedIn, startup advisors, local investors, local entrepreneurs, and many others.

By doing this I not only get feedback, but build relationships with people who may be instrumental in our future.

The more people I talk to, the more feedback I can collect. I can never have enough feedback.

Structure Outlines & Processes

Since we are still early in development, I have to make sure we have clearly defined roadmap and stay on schedule.

It’s easy to get turned off course, and I make sure we don’t stray too far.

When you are an early startup, you may be building your product on the side like we are. Sometimes life can get overwhelming while working full time and building a startup on the side.

Having a roadmap with frequent goals is important. These goals can help you stay on course and motivated.

It’s also important to have processes to keep each other in check. By implementing processes, we are essentially laying the groundwork for how we will operate our company.

We set up a dedicated Slack channel for open communication, Trello & Asana for project management, Google Drive for sharing documents, and weekly meetings to touch base(more if necessary.)

Building a structure and outline will keep you on the path to success.

Stick To The Script

Our initial concept has been proven, so now we need to make sure we stay focused on getting to our minimal viable product.

It’s easy to say we want to add more features, but for everything we add we need to push back the launch date.

For this reason, we don’t add any features to our initial push unless we find them to be crucial.

You will inevitably have ideas to improve your product, but once you get to a certain point — you need to focus on getting to your minimal viable product.

The Boring Stuff

As the non-technical co-founder, I need to take care of a lot of annoying things. Things like creating the articles of organization, an operating agreement, terms & conditions, terms of use, privacy policy, bank account, payment processor, business plan, business summary, and other things of that nature.

Obviously, I am not sitting down and drafting the privacy policy from scratch, but things like this are things I need to make sure get done.

By starting on all of this stuff early, it is easy to prioritize them and then space them out to make it manageable.

Summary

When you are the technical co-founder your duties are relatively straightforward (not to say they are easy.) It is your job to build the product.

As the non-technical co-founder, you wear many hats.

You are going to need to steer the ship, fix the bow, mop the deck, feed the crew, and open the masses all at the same time.

It’s a wild ride, but well worth it.


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