Entrepreneurship · Leadership

Is it possible to start a startup without domain expertise and just hire experts?


November 23rd, 2017

Elon Musk had limited knowledge about rocket science. Richard Branson had limited kbowledge about the airline industry. None of them even ever worked on those industry before.

Is it possible to be successful by just having a vision, hire experts and learn as much as you can so you can make better decisions?

Linus Oshioke Cofounder &CEO @ELConcepts Earth Solutions

November 29th, 2017

Yes leadership abilities is the key

because . Everything rises and falls on leadership. - John C. Maxwell

Masood Memon Freelance Designer, Marketer, Consultant, Developer, Advertising & Event Enthusiast

November 29th, 2017

When you think of starting something of your own there are two things in consideration.

  1. Your leadership qualities.
  2. Your Business Sense.

By this I do not imply that they are the only two things that matter, of course there are other parameters. Coming back to the question hiring experts for your core business is always good provided you have the finance to sustain them, but it is not completely favourable to have no knowledge at all because then you will rely solely on the experts to drive your business and it will drastically affect your leadership because then you become a shadow of the experts you have employed or partnered.

Also, in the early stages of a start-up, you tend to iterate your model, your product and your strategies and if you have had little or no say in the way the product has been developed you end up spending your finances in a haphazard manner. All in all what I am implying is that for every mistake, you pay and then becomes strenuous and frustrating if you have little or no knowledge at all about your product.

The best thing to do would be to consult someone with the expertise, simultaneously do your own research, network around with people from the same industry and once you are confident about the product, and have some knowledge you can think of hiring the experts.

Your business is an outcome of your vision backed by your expertise and without expertise your vision will become blur along the way.

Tyler Benedict Serial entrepreneur, bike tech blogger, super dad

November 23rd, 2017

Yes, but you need a clear vision and the ability to inspire. A lot of entrepreneurs (myself included) have great ideas but lack the exact skills needed to bring them to fruition. Most non-entrepreneurial CEOs don't, either. That shouldn't be a stumbling block if you're able to assemble the right team to execute on the ideas, though.

But first, you need to understand the market you're getting into so you're hiring the right kind of expertise. It's not only about technical expertise...you'll need people that can market and sell, possibly raise capital, too.

So, make sure you've researched the industry ins and outs, talk to people in that space to learn how it really works beneath the surface. I learned a lot of things the hard way when I launched my own beverage company. The product was great and customers loved it, but we had no idea how the sales and distribution process really worked, so we lost a LOT of money learning things the hard way and ultimately closed the company after six years of not making a profit. If I'd known how retail buyers really think and act, we could have saved ourselves a lot of time and money.

I wrote an article on some of this at The Build Cycle if you're interested.

You'll also need to know your competition, they capabilities and who you might be able to hire away from them.

One alternative could be to patent the product or process and simply try licensing it, too. Develop it on paper, protect your IP, then partner with an existing company that already has that expertise. Or outsource the production, coding, whatever...you'd be amazed at what companies on Alibaba can do for you.

Hope that helps.

Ishak Abdul Rahman Jack of all trades master of none

November 25th, 2017

As a newbie ,it is possible and slowly we can gain experience..

Mike D Sport Analytics Technology

November 23rd, 2017

Those two guys are also Billionaires, so yes if you have the money. I think the key is the vision and leadership abilities of those two - won't work without a vision, some level of business validation and the ability to motivate others.

Uju Okoye Educator uju

November 23rd, 2017

Seriously am kind of confused here. Choosing a a career part has been difficult. I studied linguistics in school.pleaae

Tomáš Zukal Cofounder at Improveo.org

November 28th, 2017

you must understand your core business asap to avoid mistakes which cost. The outlier guys mentioned form a very small % in those who have tried. They used consultants, but learnt quickly, had loads of money were great and lucky.

Steven Ngongang Graphic Designer & CEO

November 29th, 2017

Sure!!! Steve Job managed apple succesfully without any skill in management or Markeying and so oN. Just need to be a visionary. All enough. Just know where you want to lead your company and do not hesitate to take the right decision at the right time

Todd Oliver Proven Sales Leader, Process Implementator

November 23rd, 2017

Why ask a question you seem to have already answered.

Pierre Tachot Launched 2 start ups. Now part of an accelerator

November 26th, 2017

If it's a deep tech project, it is very difficult. You need, ideally, to find a business partner with tech background, of business background. But being a solo founder and reach a business by yourself just relying on external expertise is difficult