03/18/13 | Uncategorized

What to Do When You Don’t Have a Technical Co-Founder

Don’t have a technical co-founder? Don’t waste time; there’s still plenty to do. Here’s a list.

By  Allison Sheren (Founder & CEO, Neighborsations) 

More times than I care to count, I have been told that I should find a technical co-founder. When I respond I am working on my company full-time without one, I am always shocked when someone asks, “So what are you doing?” I want to say, “Are you kidding me?! I’m doing a MILLION things.” But I don’t. Instead, I politely say there’s plenty to keep me busy.

So for all of you who are letting the fact that you don’t have a technical co-founder hold you up, I have a few ideas for how you can get to work that I’d like to share.

Test Your Idea

Participating in weekend workshops like Lean Startup Machine will teach you a lot about yourself and your product in a short amount of time. There is an endless amount of customer development work that someone can do, between surveys, on-the-street interviews, hacking conferences and festivals, and testing advertising strategies with only a landing page. All of these things will help you have a clearer focus on strategy execution when your company is up and running.

Pitch, Pitch, Pitch 

Okay, so maybe you don’t have a product yet, but can you get people excited about the product? Are you articulating your ideas clearly? Is your problem statement compelling enough? It doesn’t matter how much presentation or public speaking experience you have, you can always improve by becoming more concise, clearer, etc.

Learn How to Code

So you’re not technical — a page of code looks like gibberish and half the time you don’t even know if you speak the same language as developers you meet — there’s no better reason to learn! Find some meetups or online courses, set aside time and stick to it. There’s no better time than the present to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and this is a great way to do it. It’ll help in the long run.

Take Meetings

There are many people that are smarter than you in lots of different areas. These people are great to bounce around ideas with, create connections, and just sit and learn. Some of the best advice I have gotten has been from asking what advice someone has for me as a new entrepreneur.

Build an Online Presence 

Before you even have a site up you can start building your brand by creating a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. These avenues are a great way to start amassing content and will also help you figure out what you want your brand and tone to be.

You don’t have to sit around and wait for a technical co-founder in order to get started on building and executing your dream. Yes, the path without a technical partner is challenging and there are lots of additional obstacles to face, but there is plenty of hustling to be done in the meantime. So get out there and get your idea going.

About the guest blogger: Allison Sheren is the founder and CEO of Neighborsations, a site that provides a better, easier way to meet people in your neighborhood based on common interests. Located in Washington, DC by way of Ann Arbor, she is a University of Michigan graduate who has always been focused on connecting people and is a master at Jewish geography. Follow her on Twitter at @allie_p.


Women 2.0 readers: What would you add to (or subtract from) this list?


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