Finding cofounders

How do you start a tech company without funds or programming knowledge?

Rajat Sinha Potential Entrepreneur, Products guy, User Experience Designer

Last updated on December 25th, 2017

Edit: (Let's assume) I have an idea. It's a technology product with a vision to help good people, achieve great things. The logics are prepared, all I need is to get it built. Challenges I am facing:

  1. I have no funds or enough savings which will help me hire programmers.
  2. I tried learning to code, however the logic is extremely complicated and can not be built by a newbie. (Am I being pessimistic here?)
  3. If I look for a technical co-founder, how do I find the right one? Why should they work with me?

Stuck with this for a while. Any suggestion would be helpful. :)

Clay Nichols Helping other startups grow after launching 2 successful startups.

December 26th, 2017

One thing you can "bring to the table" is excellent knowledge of what the Market wants.

TL;DR


Imagine someone came to you and say " I need a software service that meets this precise specification, and I need it to service 1 million users. And I'll pay you $1M per month to provide the service". All of a sudden, you'll find it a lot easier to find a programmer. They'd be a lot more willing to do it for a share of the company.


So... the trick is for you to know enough about the market demand to demonstrate something like that. And there are lots of ways to TEST the market.


You could create a landing page with a description, and a BUY button (that leads to "sorry, it's not available yet, but signup for this [discount, free trial, etc.]


Think about what YOU would want to see as proof of market demand. Then figure out how to test it. You do NOT need to have the product to do that. People raise money with no product all the time with KickStarter.


DETAILS

A startup is, by definition, providing something new (product, service, etc.) where you are not 100% certain what the customer wants. That's different from opening a pizza restaurant or a shoe store, which are established services.


BTW, folks think Startup= "grow fast to Billions". The reality is that since a Start means "uknown" then then you had BETTER have the option (if you're trying to get investors, a subject for another post) of being worth Billions.


So, one big thing you can "bring to the table" is thorough knowledge of what the customer wants, who they are, how/where to reach them, and how much they will pay.


Let's put this another way:


Gilbert Mpanga Technologist. Web developer @ clinicpesa. Aspiring entrepreneur @cheqqly

December 27th, 2017

Was once in such a position of yours, not knowing how to program, trying to learn etc. It was in 2016 when I had just finished highschool had this amazing idea of an uber clone before uber launched in our country. So I faked it , got connections through our local church, and yay I had got a technical founder, had no money but bought him meals, he was super annoying and had no interest despite of the fancy restaurants I took him to. So I ditched him and connected to a school colleague who in high school had made a web app for streaming songs before sound cloud launched in around 2013, He encouraged me to learn , I also admired how he executed things. So I felt guilty I gotta learn how to code to out compete him, that rivalry partly made me who i am now but right now I'm interested in doing Bio Informatics , I feel like people are forgetting about solving real problems like cancer. So if you really love your idea to come alive , learn !!! don't fear code

Anonymous

Last updated on December 25th, 2017

Hey Rajat,


It's so amazing to see so many people wanting to start great companies, myself being one of them.


I can't really help you with question no.1 but as far as question 2 goes, I think I can shed some light (even without context of what your idea is). Learning to code is not the same as being able to build a product. I don't mean to sound rude or bring your hopes down, but programming is just the beginning. Creating a product involves a LOT of experience in various domains (especially if you're part of a very small team - 1 to 3 people) such as the technical stack, ops, database design, software architecture that will aid expansion of the code base and be conducive to easily add more team members, deployment strategies, testing, security, marketing, business strategy etc... As a person who's worked with a multitude of teams in various capacities (technical, mostly), I've come to realise building a great product based on an idea takes a whole lot more than just knowing a programming language. The list is long, but it does not mean that all of it needs to be done up front. Having someone who has gone through the process or at least knows about what the (technical) requirements / challenges are is critical. As you rightly pointed out, finding a technical co-founder would be the best step towards reaching your goal.


Anyone, including myself, would be interested in listening to new ideas and have a conversation about how viable your idea may be. It's definitely scary to put yourself out there and get the conversation going, but I've found it gets easier the more you talk to people. The key to getting people excited about your idea, or at the least, keep them engaged in a conversation is to explain the "vision" of what you want to build. You shouldn't have to explain the nitty-gritty or even how such a product will come into existence; just the vision. The "why" is more important than the "how".


Choosing a co-founder is one of the hardest things to do and to be honest, I've been looking for one, myself. I really hope I was able to help in some way.

Maninder Singh Tuli CEO (Xlantic Solutions), Sr. Business Consultant(Xcelance Web Solutions)

December 26th, 2017

Start sharing the idea is one important for you to learn on logic and fundamentals of the project but most important is th execution with your team or self. So I would suggest there are many ways by which you can source the coders, etc but start with a small. Normally when we have idea in our mind but it seems to be good for self or some friends who will not show you true picture. I would first suggest you to do market research and dummy model on very low level to check the response for the same.

For any startup second most important thing is how you are going to design the financial model which is most important for you the investors and yourself too for the future.

Start sharing the idea is one important for you to learn on logic and fundamentals of the project but most important is the execution with your team or self. So I would suggest there are many ways by which you can source the coders, etc but start with a small. Normally when we have idea in our mind but it seems to be good for self or some friends who will not show you true picture. I would first suggest you to do market research and dummy model on very low level to check the response for the same.

Pratik Jani IIoT Enabler | Director | Innovation Strategist | Startup Advisor | Design Thinker

Last updated on December 25th, 2017

Firstly, I would suggest you to get the role of the person defined properly. There are multiple opportunities where in you can find the desired person
Let's see few quick ways to get going:

  1. Start networking online (this doesn't mean just sending request to random people on social networks). Post in groups of your interest domain about your requirement. Ask advice from experts in your field (like you are already doing now)
  2. Start networking offline. Attend various events, seminars and meetups and convey your need. The meetups are pretty helpful not only for your need but also to expand your knowledge base and gain insights on various problems you would stumble across in future.
  3. Cofounder websites (like this one). Search on the web to find more about them.

Hope you find the right match not just satisfying your need but also an understanding and cooperative one.Wishing you all the success for your entrepreneurial journey towards becoming an Unicorn!

karishma reddy Optimistic , fast learner and hunger for wanting and doing more to achieve more than what's targeted

Last updated on December 27th, 2017

Hey RAJAT ,

if i was you , i would have personally done this :

learn how much a technology solution would charge to programme your idea if its hard to get a co-founder !!


1. TALKING ABOUT FUNDS :

micro finance , loans , government ,angle investment ., etc.,

the vision to help good people and achieve great things is all beautiful to look at , but what matters is returns at the end of the day ( monetary terms ) , so only and only if your idea is feasible and u would actually get returns , then go for a loan , cause at the end of the day u need to repay it .


2. what i personally think is there are people out there who can get your work done , all you have to do is find right people and pay them the right price .


3. if you're idea is unique , patent it , if u cannot start anytime soon for xyz reason , at least you would get royalty fee anytime in future if anyone could like use your idea .


4. STRATEGIES TO FIND PEOPLE :


1. post it on various internship and job searching websites like indeed, internshala, Twenty19 , and so on , as employer , if anyone applies give them a very tiny part of your logic to program as task , execute it , if its working , there you go , got one of your team member ..

( i dont know if it works , but i'm sure its worth a try :) )


2. As i mentioned earlier , go for startups or solution companies who actually programme the logic .



AND also i dont think saying out your idea loud is a good idea according to me , cause people are opportunist , they might as well start it before u start , i would have done that XD


Thank-you


Ivan SU I'm Chinese, Looking for Co-Founder who wants to break into Chinese Market.

December 27th, 2017

You can put some money on it and make up a demo just for testing or presentation purpose. The idea have to be realised otherwise it just a idea, I mean which tech guy would like to risk their time and money on an illusion. And beyond that, you also need the seed fund (if you really have a good idea with demo, I can be your seed fund raiser).


All in all, demo is the first must-do step. You found a demo, then you talk.

Ivan SU I'm Chinese, Looking for Co-Founder who wants to break into Chinese Market.

December 25th, 2017

Same situation here, but I do have couple millions ready to go but still looking for a decent co-founder. But hard to find one who is willing come to China and build up the business.

Rajat Sinha Potential Entrepreneur, Products guy, User Experience Designer

Last updated on December 27th, 2017

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Barrington Miller Entrepreneur

December 26th, 2017

Hey Rajat I am interested in hearing more about the idea. Maybe we can work on it together.