For non-technical founders, the term “IT” can have a scary sound to it. It gets even scarier when mentioned that the CTO role of IT management should be taken on by them.
It doesn’t have to be scary. Once the tasks are clear and you’ve done your homework, there’s nothing you can’t master. That includes becoming a great IT manager for your startup.
Startup founders have this notion that having a technical co-founder will fill all the “tech” voids in their project, and they’re not wrong. But non-technical founders are mistaken on how the CTO does it.
It's not that they have all the answers, it's because they know where to get the ones they don't. In early-stage startups, you can also emulate this without a CTO, let’s see how.
Being a good product manager
Your first job is knowing the concept of the product inside and out. You had the idea for a service people would pay for, so you know what it does, how it helps people, and where its true value lies.
As a founder, you must be a natural dreamer, so dream. Think of the ultimate most-optimized version of your solution. Write it all down.
Now, you should use educational resources, like those at MyCTOfriend, to figure out what these features translate to in terms of technology and development.
It’s never a good idea to go all out on your first version. By now you know everything about what your product concept is and have a vision of what it might become in the future.
It’s never a good idea to go all out on your first version, no matter how endless your bank account may be.
Strip down your product and your concept to its bare minimum: What will people really pay for? What’s the simplest version of this concept still capable of providing value?
You need to have a proof of concept, otherwise, you might be investing way too much in something that people may not want or need.
Request technical audits
Any business should run regular audits to check up their accountancy, documents and, why not codes?
Technical audits are necessary checks along the way to ensure you are going in the right direction. More specifically evaluating code infrastructure and documenting its existing architecture.
The idea of an audit is to determine if you can actually rely on what you’ve developed in the long run. So to replace the role of a CTO also means getting third party experts to regularly audit your code.
Audits can help you spot small issues before they become bigger problems, and defining the next steps based on what you already have.
Take a look at our GPS Assessment to understand how it works.
Protect your company
Build your home on rented land. No one ever.
The whole process of development should allow for a daily repository system that the company cannot lose access to. Make this perfectly clear to the team before starting your work together.
Choosing your weapons… I mean, tools!
One of the most important decisions non-technical founders have to make is which are the best technologies for their startup.
Many problems come from the wrong call at this stage, from getting stuck later on when developing more complex features to having to redevelop everything from scratch at a point where you should be focusing on growth.
Keep the positive mindset
It can get very challenging sometimes. Communication might not be clear, investors aren’t confident, people doubt your ability to start your business without a technical co-founder, and so on.
But don’t get distracted by this negativity. You know what you want and what you have to do. Study and hard work will take you far!
Besides, you can always count on your geek friend, like MyCTOfriend. We prepared lots of free content for you to start learning. And to every new stage, we have the perfect course to help you pass to the next one!