Monday, 5 January 2015

Entrepreneur's Viewpoint - Technical Prowess vs Technical Curiousity

Courtesy -

He knows, he’s so fucking gifted
I just needed time alone with my own thoughts
Got treasures in my mind but couldn’t open up my own vault
My childlike creativity, purity and honesty
Is honestly being crowded by these grown thoughts...
Kanye West - Power from the Album 
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
So how many times you meet fellow colleagues & friends who are thinking of starting their company but do not think they have the "technical prowess" to pull it off. Hence, they shy away and end up not taking that jump that can lead to greatness. They think they need a guy who is a "Techie" - either a Co-Founder or some kind of Consultant.If not then best an Early Employee with a mix of accountability & technical rationale which is a very rare commodity to find especially for folks starting grounds up.
Because these "Coding Nerds" are already up for grabs by funded and product-market fit startups. Even if they are available they come at a very high price.
So lets find a Tech Co-Founder, well we all know how difficult that is? :) Often you too as a Founder may feel that "Do you have the so called technical acumen to pull off a startup?". Even if you have found a Tech Co-Founder do you think this missing core technical understanding can be an impediment to growth of your startup? This is a question every Entrepreneur must think about due to a very simple reason.
In today's world of business every atom is getting converted to bits. As Mark Andresson says that "Software is eating the world" in his brilliant essay, if you are building a business or plan to do it today, you need a core element of technology & innovation as your DNA.

Technical Prowess

I personally have been a hard code techie and feel comfortable in the world of HTML, JSON, 3 Tier, Bootstrap, Jquery, Java Sripts, C# and so on. The people who live by this Technical Code swear by the "proud feeling" they get when they compile and shit works !! Its magical. They at times DO NOT care who buys, whats the price and distribution strategy. They are CREATORS, THINKERS & NINJA'S who live in an alternate world of bits & zeroes and hats off to them.
As an Entrepreneur you take bets on timely delivery, customer satisfaction, feature releases and pure technical innovation based on the TECHNICAL PROWESS of your team. These are the folks who hate "pagination of records" and think "scroll down lazy loading" is the new mantra. They argue hard on scalability of Rails & why Django is the coolest think when you think about web frameworks. These are the folks you trust with architectural decisions and delivering inherently complex features with quality. They are the folks who think "Stack Overflow" is the one of the best inventions of the web 2.0. :)
But, then do you really need to be this CODING NINJA & possess this Technical Prowess to understand and comprehend the world of tech. Are there lenses to view this DNA of your Company without having a Technical Sword in your armory every time. I think yes.

Technical Curiosity

You just need Technical Curiosity.Within the construct of running a tech startup, technical prowess is certainly desirable but not required. What is required without a doubt? Technical curiosity. If you aren't intrigued by technology and getting your hands dirty via small projects, self-teaching on Codecademy/, or asking smart questions, I’ll wonder why. The ability to prototype your own ideas is even better, but again, I’ve known many Entrepreneurs leaders succeed without this skill. Why?
Because ultimately your job is happy team and happy users. Note that, undoubtedly you need a NINJA Co-Founder or Employees to do that job, but it need not be YOU everytime.
Ultimately it’s not your individual powers that can make you successful, it’s your team. You serve as the behest of the engineers and designers you work with on a daily basis. What can you do to help them? That’s where your superpowers come into play. If you’re a young entrepreneur lacking an engineering background, it’s really important you develop a few superpowers. Maybe it’s being really well-versed in development methodologies so you can lead a team through an agile sprint, a waterfall or any other ‘best fit’ technique for getting the job done

Get your hands dirty with DIY tools like Code Academy and discussing issues/challenges with your Ninja's to fuel this curiosity is a MUST. Bear in mind the world of tech has a huge culture of sharing & cult brotherhood. The NINJA's are always there to explain why "Too many Server Side calls can be a nightmare when you are dealing with Big Data sets..". :)
All you need is to be CURIOUS & a constant student of TECHNOLOGY. Believe me your Ninja's would not treat you like the "business moron outcast" but a "student of technology with other imp business skills".

Closing Thoughts

As So if you’re an Entrepreneur who isn’t technically trained:
  1. Be technically curious — forget writing server side code but knowing how things work and even being able to prototype your sales Landing page !!
  2. Develop specific strengths — don’t just rely on being a smart generalist.
  3. Focus on enabling them to succeed — your success is tied to theirs, what do you need to do to help?
So for all those self-confessed NON-TECHIES embrace technology and innovation and be in everlasting "Technically Curious" beta mode.

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Courtesy - I'm down for you so ride with me My enemy's your enemy Cause you ain't ever had a frien...