Think of remodeling your bathroom. You can hire a general contractor whom you trust because you have interviewed him/her and checked references. This person could do some or all of the work, but most often they will sub out some of the work to experts (plumber, electrician, etc. - UI person, UX designer, ecommerce expert). Perhaps you hired a designer up front and he/she will work with the general contractor to see that your/their 'vision' is fulfilled (i.e. UI/UX). You didn't need to be a plumber or electrician or tile setter, but you did need to know what you wanted in enough detail that you could communicate with the designer and the general contractor. If you did things properly you also got a permit from the city and had the work inspected (i.e. a technical review) to be sure the GC and the trades people are doing things according to best practices and to protect you and future homeowners - i.e. code reviews. If you've done a remodel or two maybe you don't need to hire a designer and a GC. Maybe you have managed the remodel on your own. Maybe you just don't have the budget, you have no bathroom currently and you are planning a major remodel next year so you do a MVB ("minimum viable bathroom). Maybe you know enough to set some tile or plumb a toilet, but you are still not a tile setter or plumber and you don't need to be. When you hired that tiler setter with the lowest bid and he told you that you didn't need to reinforce the subfloor and now a year later your tile is cracking, now you know a little bit about 'best practices' for setting tile and you know that you need to ask more questions and do more research on tile setting "best practices". Your plumbing isn't leaking, but do you know if it was done right? If you add another bathroom on the 3rd floor will the old plumbing "scale"? Will the electrical service and panel scale? (i.e database and APIs). Those are things that an experienced GC will look out for. He/she doesn't know what your future 3rd floor addition will look like, but s/he knows enough to ask the right questions and plan for the future. That is also why the city required you to get a plumbing inspection - i.e. an expert to review your plans as well as the progress. When the plumber knows his/her work will be inspected he knows he has to do things according to code (i.e. best practices). The inspector (i.e. your technical advisor) can tell you whether the plumber is doing a good job or not and this also gives you some feedback on your GC. Now the next remodel project will be easier because you have some experience in planning, communicating with trades people, etc. Now think about what you would need to do/know to design/remodel a bathroom for someone else. Now you not only have to solidify YOUR ideas enough to communicate with the trades people, but you need to be sure you are understanding your customer's needs/wants/ideas, current trends, and a little bit about building codes - enough to tell you client whether they need one or not and enough to know if the GC is doing things properly. So this time around you will start by interviewing your customer to understand their needs (you need interview skills to find the prospects and ask the right questions). You are the subject-matter expert so you know the questions to ask that perhaps your customers wouldn't even think of. You will need to know things like how many people in the family, what are their routines, do they entertain a lot, do they have kids (boys or girls), ages, what alternative do they have (other bathrooms - i.e. competition), etc. You will need to know how this bathroom interfaces with the rest of the house (i.e. sewer, electrical, etc.) To confirm that you and your customer are really on the same page you will have to create some sketches (size and shape of the room, entrance and egress, location of fixtures, etc.) 'use zones', etc., so you will need some basic sketching skills (for building software these will be wireframes and screen UI/UX mockups, use cases and maybe user stories, etc.). Once your customer reviews your sketches and use cases they will likely suggest some changes and you will go back and forth until you agree on the basics - i.e. iteration. Once you and your customer agree on "functionality" (i.e. how it works and where things go and how users will use it) then you need to know what the finishes will be (colors, textures, stainless VS brass, marble VS vinyl, where the tile borders will be located, etc.) and also agree on specific fixtures (this toilet VS that, this shape of faucet VS that, etc. This is the UI/UX (how many screens, how to get to them, menus, buttons, colors, animation, etc.). Then (maybe) you will prepare multiple sets of formal drawings that show all the details. Depending on the complexity of the project this could be some informal line drawings on a few pages of notebook paper or it could be a whole set of architectural drawings that include a 'site plan" (i.e. an overall site map that shows the major components and how they interface) plus foundation drawing the the foundation contractor, framing for the framing contractor, electrical, plumbing, etc. These are not only used by each trade (i.e. developer, UI/UX designer, Db expert, etc.), but the inspector needs this info as does the general contractor (if you need one) and the framer wants to know where the heating ducts will go and the main plumbing runs so he can make things easier for the other trades people (i.e. collaboration). This process will also force you to really think through your remodel details and i guarantee you will find things you missed and answer questions you didn't think to ask so don't dish this process off to anyone else. It is painful and time consuming, but you will be glad you did it yourself. SO, do you need to know software architecture and prototyping? No. Would it help? yes. Do you need a 'general contractor (i.e. CTO)? no, would it help? yes. Can you manage the project on your own? Yes. Will it pay to learn to write code and develop the entire product yourself? Probably not. If you are on a tight budget can you hire a "generalist" and get by? yes. I would retain the services of at least a technical advisor (i.e. inspector or your GC brother-in-law) to help with reviews and basic do's and don'ts and 'best practices with an eye to scalability, maintainability, supportability, and usability. The bottom line is you need a bathroom so get it built, but first YOU need to know the customer's real needs and YOU need to do your homework if you hire a contractor. DON'T farm out the process of wire-framing, use case and story development and screen mockups, but if you need help find helpers. YOU need to force yourself to think through all of the details and processes and use cases. One thing that may help with mind set is to approach the wireframes, screen mockups, use cases as though you were speaking to someone who's first language is NOT english. Don't assume that they will know what you mean - explain it. You may end up outsourcing some development to someone who doesn't speak english as a first language. even if you don't, everyone who you work with will be better off. The other benefit is that when you talk to/interview CTO/contractor/programmer/designer candidates they will see that you know your stuff and you set yourself apart from 95% of other non-tech CEOs. If you have the budget you should consider hiring a "general contractor" (CTO) who can do some of the building and hire/contract out other parts. Consider also hiring a designer. sorry for the long post.