Tech Essentials for Future Non-Tech Founders

Co-Founder

Alexandra Kazemir-Yampolska

20.05.2024

1 minute

A true entrepreneur feels a pang of missed opportunity when hidden potential goes untapped. Revolutionaries come in two forms: those who create new knowledge and those who reinvent business models. But there’s still immense potential in digitizing and optimizing existing, successful businesses. The question, then, for all three entrepreneur types becomes: How? Especially if you’re not inherently technical.

Essential Tech Skills for Future Founders

Beyond the obvious human skills like “don’t work with abusers” and “hire slowly, fire quickly,” there’s a relatively stable (though fluid) tech vocabulary and a core set of basic technical competencies a founder should possess.

Let’s break these two lists down at a high level, then delve deeper into the following sections:

Tech Skills

The first rule is to understand and articulate what your customers (your users) know, with a slight edge for sales purposes.

This skillset typically includes:

  •  Advanced mobile phone usage: Everything goes mobile,  and understanding the difference between Apple iOS and Android OSes and devices, along with your customer’s most used apps and habits becomes vital. 
  • Operating other devices: This could be laptops, tablets, smartwatches, POS systems, or specific hardware like cameras, fitness trackers, or various sensors,- whatever your customers use to use your service.
  • Common productivity and messaging tools: Examples include Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, messengers like Slack and Discord, or social media platforms with selling potential like Instagram, TikTok, or any app where clients spend money on your business or competitors.

Now there are tools for internal operations:

  • Your internal team software: Speed matters, but historical data is important too. Discuss and establish a communication strategy with your team to onboard new members comfortably. This includes a system for file and code storage and instant messaging tools, for example Google Workspace and Slack.
  • CRMs and financial software: Whether you use HubSpot, Salesforce, Xero, or another solution for sales and marketing, invest in a workshop to properly configure it yourself. You can delegate the setup, but ensure you have superadmin permissions and understand the reports section. The same goes for legal software for managing contracts and invoices.
  • Growth analytics tools: A good example here is Google Analytics for websites. We recommend outsourcing social media, website creation, link building, and SEO work initially, especially because results are easier to track.
  • Task tracking: This is a daily activity for you and your team. Choose a simple solution (even Trello or Notion can be overwhelming for beginners). A few weeks of iteration will get you comfortable with a task tracker.

Tech Vocabulary

There’s a specific and logical approach to mastering the buzzwords, software names, and technologies you’ll encounter. We can categorize all the definitions and names entrepreneurs should know into the following:

  • Competitor SaaS and general industry software
  • Collaboration tools for Sales, Marketing, Development, Finance, and Legal teams
  • Client cooperation tools (Support and Education functions)
  • Deep tech level relevant to your product
  • Recruiter tech vocabulary relevant to your business
  • General tech vocabulary for conferences (to sound cool)
  • Tech vocabulary to answer tricky service-related questions

While it may seem complex, each category has 10-30 terms and is industry-specific. You can simply Google them or ask a Learning Management System (LMS) with a clear prompt. Cool tech recruiter vocabulary lists are available online for the last four categories, while the first three categories can be defined with your marketing team.

Tech Trends to Watch

In today’s dynamic world, staying informed about tech trends is essential. A product that incorporates established best practices, leverages past trends and integrates current trends can be a significant advantage, particularly when it comes to fundraising. Here, we’re talking about the exciting areas of AI, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, IoT (Internet of Things), blockchain, and other cutting-edge technologies.

But if your primary goal is to digitize your business and boost profitability, focusing on tried-and-true best practices is perfectly sufficient. Analyze how your competitors optimize costs. If you can’t find an existing software solution that perfectly addresses your needs, RedCat can help. We specialize in creating custom software to tailor specific parts of your business processes and seamlessly integrate digital components into your existing systems.

Now, let’s get back to exploring trends. YouTube podcasts are a fantastic and accessible resource for navigating the ever-changing tech landscape. You don’t need to spend hours researching – a well-conducted interview with a tech expert can provide a solid understanding of most tech topics at a practical level. Try searching for specific applications of trendy technologies relevant to your business. For instance, searching for “batching AI solutions for logistics” or “facial recognition software” with a filter for videos exceeding one hour can lead you to insightful conversations with leading tech authorities.

Learning Platforms and Resources

If passively consuming information isn’t your style, and you prefer a hands-on approach, consider these learning platforms and courses with assessments. They can be free or paid, depending on your preference.

  • Online Courses and Learning Management Systems (LMS): Platforms like Udemy, Coursera and Moodle offer a vast selection of courses on various topics, including industry-specific ones like “ISO 9001 for the food industry” and similar.

  • Tech Giant Training Programs: Major companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon often provide free training courses on different levels for their product ecosystems. This can be helpful for navigating infrastructure choices, especially if your software involves machine learning, AI, or modules requiring high processing power or handling heavy traffic loads (these can be expensive to maintain).

  • Social Media and Industry Blogs: For those who prefer to read LinkedIn Pulse and follow their favorite inspiring creators, this can be a good option. The cool thing about this approach is that those creators will constantly feed your head with new trends, and words, and share their experiments’ results, which saves a lot of time.
  • Our team prefers learning from: Diary of CEO, Alex and Leila Hormozi for management, The Product Fat for Product management education purposes, and Rock the JVM Blog, Android Developers Blog, and Lex Fridman Podcast about AI when it comes to tech.

Conclusion

The digital realm presents a boundless landscape of opportunities for aspiring non-tech founders. By equipping yourself with the essential tech skills, staying abreast of cutting-edge trends, and strategically integrating technology into your business strategy, you’ll be well-positioned to transform your vision into a thriving reality. Remember, the learning journey is continuous. Embrace exploration, leverage the vast resources at your disposal, and propel your venture toward a future brimming with success. With dedication, the right tech tools, and a commitment to innovation, you’ll not only navigate the digital landscape – you’ll conquer it.

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Alexandra Kazemir-Yampolska

Alexandra Kazemir-Yampolska

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