As someone who works a lot with technology, the title of this post is a question that I keep encountering in life with unfailing regularity. Recent years has seen a growing role of technology in every aspect of business, even when the business is a non-technical one.
Technology used to be at the peripheries of business operations a-decade-ago. The exposure of most organizations were limited to email, invoicing etc. But the past 10-years has seen highly-integrated systems spread deeper and wider into organizations, putting technology increasingly at the core of business operations.
To give you an idea, a typical business now has to deal with some or all of the following these days:
- Communication: Email, chat.
- Online presence: Website, Blog, Social Media, Domain-related (DNS, white-listing), encryption.
- Business: CRM, Order/Inventory Management, Invoice Management.
- Mobile: Native/Hybrid applications, PlayStore/App Store management.
This list above is a very quick-and-dirty one. Real life scenarios tend to be far more complex with numerous other factors that make it mostly more difficult.
It is in this background that the question gets asked and it is quite a valid one. It is very much possible to spend vast amounts of energy, time and money in getting into a quagmire trying to work with technology in any organization when you do not have any background in it.
On the other hand, it is also far too common a scenario where even having a dedicated technology team does not make things easier or better; in fact, a lot of times they can be worse than doing technology on your own.
Coming back to answering the question in a simple manner, it is ‘yes’, you can build a company as a single non-technical founder as long as the core business of the company is not technology itself. For example, you cannot build a database technology business, on your own if you do not have a background at least in using databases.
Short of that, running a business that leverages technology is something anyone can do, with a little bit of time spent on learning and understanding the concepts and platforms. This is not strictly necessary, but having that knowledge does help in understanding complexities and costs involved a lot better.
There are also other options where you can hire entire product development and digital transformation teams to get you going in the early stage. This can often be much more cost-efficient as long as you get to work with a good team.
If you have any specific questions about how to do this, drop me a line. I’ll be happy to help.