What kind of a founder are you?

17 Responsibilities Of Non-Technical Founders In A Startup And My Advice

Are you a tech entrepreneur, but not a coder? Neither am I. Here is what I have learned about my role as a founder in tech startups for more than 15 years.

There is no such thing as being the idea person in a startup. Idea generation is not a role. Great … [+] entrepreneurs can take an OK idea and turn it into a successful venture. Here are 17 roles non-technical founders are responsible for in an early-stage startup.

Source: 17 Responsibilities Of Non-Technical Founders In A Startup

It is interesting really, we tend to forget that a startup is a young company, too. A vast variety of roles are needed to make a company really work. Now, not every founder is the same and thankfully, we do not all have the exact same repertoire of tools that make us who we are.

If there is one key thing I’ve learned over the past 15 years of entrepreneurship, is that it takes a collective of different people and skills to make a startup, or any project for that matter, work.

Should tech entrepreneurs take the spotlight?

It is sexy to be an absolute crack at your work, be as much of a nerd as possible. Because, the common belief is that tech skills are the ones that can change the world.

However, some of the most brilliant founders, like Jack Ma or Marc Benioff, do not have coding skills of their own. A great founder can be someone with a clear vision of the future, a marketeer or simply someone who is excellent at executing.

These founders do need to understand their role within the organization. A non-technical founder, needs to supply its team with resources, ideas and make sure the tech teams can do their job. Those who “get it,” are the ones that tend to do best.

Why do teams fail?

Interestingly enough, most young startup founders fail. They do not fail because the product was poor, but mostly because everything around the product got the best of them. It all starts with an idea that turns into something tangible. Sometimes even a beautiful first product.

Yet, the failing starts when tech entrepreneurs do not manage to turn their products and ideas into viable businesses.

It is:

  • A lot of work to run a company.
  • Time onsuming to manage a business.
  • And it takes a team to run a company.
  • You cannot do everything yourself.
  • Not a single person in the world has all the skills, required to single-handedly run a company.

Message to an aspiring founder

I have founded a number of tech companies, but I am not the best programmer in the world. My strength is translating tech developments into marketable products and using online marketing to bring it to market.

Hence, I know that when I want to bring a new product to market, I need strategic partners. These can be partnerships, or co-founders. It is key to know and acknowledge your own role within a startup. That way, you can find the support that you need to make it work.

Raise money to put a good team together, not just develop your product.

Furthermore, I have learned that I need partners around me I can rely on. Especially when it comes to IT development, and administrative work (finance and accounting). When founding GANDT Ventures, I didn’t make the same mistakes I made 10 years ago. The foundation is stronger. Nearly 5 years in, our growth rates continue to be in the double digits.

I firmly believe, that is due to the fact that I know what kind of a founder I am; what I can contribute and bring to the team. Have a look at the roles in the article above. Determine your strength and understand who you are. It will help you be more successful in the future.

Remco Livain
I’m a digital entrepreneur, online performance marketeer, founder and CEO of the digital innovation consultancy GANDT Ventures (based in Switzerland). We support organizations (SMBs, corporates and later stage ventures) in their digital efforts. I learned the trades of the (online) business at Venture Stars (MIFLORA), Rocket Internet (Westwing Home and Living) and Insparx (C-Date and be2).

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