The software world tends to place an exuberant amount of importance on the tech founder. The not so tech one often does not get recognised. Let me be upright clear: Engineers are invaluable to any tech startup, including my own. They are the ones who turn ideas into real products. Our startup would be nonexistent if it weren’t for my tech co founder Karam. That said as a non tech founder, I often find myself out of startup’s lens of perception in terms of importance.
I am not a non-tech founder, I am a hacker. Everything about my job is technical. I am hacking just as much as my tech co founder does, only in a different way. Being a internet+social founder my job is to hack a lot of different things. One day I might be hacking our business plan or pitch deck to prepare for fundraising. Another day I might be hacking user growth and revenue generation.
When I say Hacker, what I’m talking about is a hacker state of mind. Hacking meaning the “move fast and break things” mindset. Failing fast. Taking leaps of faith. Changing the world by moulding your own reality. These are the mantras of the hacker culture. I see no reason why any of these mantras can’t be applied to the business division of a world changing idea.
Every great entrepreneur inherently holds these core hacker values. From a young age I was exploring the limits of what was possible, which sometimes landed me in a heap of trouble. Entrepreneurs are natural born rule breakers. We seek to live by our own set of rules. Some of us stay within moral guidance while others maybe not so much.
My advice to “non-technical” founders is to embrace your importance and ability to provide value as a different type of hacker. Embrace the hacker culture and way of thinking. Let’s ditch the term non-technical and embrace the talented founders who may not fit the traditional stereotype of being a programmer. Success lies at the intersection of complimentary business and product development hacking skills. Only when these two skills work together under a unified hacker mindset can something amazing happen.