Source | Inc42.com | Guest Author
I presume that if you were prompted to open this article, you have shared or still share my experience of having no or limited computer programming expertise while being consumed with the idea to use technology to create a dent in a niche.
In late 2014, Kavan approached me with the idea of creating a market network of creative professionals in India. Studying the year-on-year growth in the design industry in India and the impending need to create a platform for the highly disorganized Indian creative community led to the inception of IndieFolio.
From the early days, we had a very clear outlook that we wanted to create a company which would rely more on technology than any other department to solve the problems faced by our target audience. However, we had a slight shortcoming to overcome – none of us had any knowledge or work experience in coding. Kavan had a diploma in animation and was in his 2nd year in H.R. College, pursuing his under-graduation in Mass Media. Whereas, I was halfway through my actuarial papers, having recently graduated from H.R. College with a specialisation in Financial Markets.
Learning how to code and building the product on our own wasn’t an option for multiple reasons and we were not willing to lose out on this opportunity. Our initial readings and encounters with multiple entrepreneurs made us realize that starting a technology-based company is not just about knowing how to program, it is also about:
- Understanding how technology can be used to address the inconveniences faced by many.
- Finding the tools and resources to help you build this technology.
- Understanding the limitations of these resources and the impact they could have.
It’s been two years since we first sat down to address this problem and since, we have been able to build India’s largest professional creative network with over 25,000 creative professionals and have worked with over 1,000 companies. And we did all that by understanding the fundamentals of programming and technology, and more importantly understanding what our users wanted from our product.
Over this phase, we started off with a simple Launchrock page to understand initial traction; outsourced the 1st version of our product; made our 1st technology hire 6 months post our launch; hired no one else for a year after that; made all the possible mistakes and still survived. And these are a few learnings that I believe fellow and future non-technical founders can take from our experiences: