March 04, 2016Tech behind startups
4 min read

2 Free Ways to Build a Tech Startup for Non-Tech Founders

Scrooge wants to start a tech company without money while he actually has enough of it. Don't be like Scrooge.

Technical implementation is a challenge every startup founder faces after they have articulated the fundamental idea. Want to start a tech business with no money, no technical background and no technical co-founder? If so, you need to decide* what’s more important for you: how technically unique it is or how early it’s launched. Luckily, there is an option for each of the two priorities.

Build an app without coding

If the innovation behind your startup is based on using existing technical features rather than creating unique ones this is exactly what you need.

Look at Tara Reed, a non-technical founder who only had an idea and managed to implement it with no coding - she created Kollecto, a Web app that helps people become art collectors. In the beginning, Tara used Strikingly, Typeform, Plasso, Stripe and PayPal. As she says, ‘while this was a lot of work, it was certainly less work than managing a dev team (and much less expensive)’.

Kollecto was so successful that it got accepted into the 500 Startups Accelerator. By that time, it already had over 400 active users and around $30k in art sales. Tara continued to refine the code-free tools adding Zapier, Google Spreadsheets, and SurveyGizmo. About mid-way through the 500 Startups program, she came across Bubble, a service that allows building a product with limited features for free. Using it, she built the new app in just a few weeks.

While she will eventually need to build her own tools to scale the product further, Tara got to her MVP by iterating rapidly on her core product without spending a minute on finding relevant engineers and a cent to pay them. Her story shows us that with the variety of small third party services available, we can think, prototype and understand a problem before we go coding.

As mentioned above, this method is good for building an MVP and testing a marketing hypothesis, but it’s not going to take the place of custom Web and mobile development which inevitably comes into play later.

Learn to code and do code

Nowadays, if your tech startup’s uniqueness is based on new features, and you still lack moolah and coding skills this isn’t a problem at all. Learning programming for free has never been so easy as it is today. There are numerous sites that will teach you coding and ask no money such as:

Courses on HTML & CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, Python and Ruby.

Programming courses from universities.

Learning about cutting-edge technologies and theories with Harvard University, MIT and 60 more schools.

Free programming courses taught via video lessons.

Free courses offered by Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley and Columbia.

More than 500 free and frequently updated programming books.

  • MIT Open Courseware

Free classes such as Introduction to Computer Science and Programming, Introduction to Programming in Java and Practical Programming in C .

You can learn from the leading world developers and perfect your programming skills.

Fun and interactive programming courses.

Step-by-step video tutorials will teach you programming drawings, animations and games.

Learning through networking and joining a community of professionals and students.

Plenty of tutorials, resources and the latest HTML5 updates.

Of course, it takes considerable amount of time before you’re able to build a complex tech product. Yet we strongly recommend gaining basic coding skills. If you settle on outsourcing to freelancers or finding a technical co-founder you need it to be able to find people with the right skills. And if you decide to turn to a development shop it can simplify communication process greatly thus increasing work pace and quality.

As you see, whether your top priority is timely launch or unique features, you’re sure to find the right way today. Sometimes passion, time and big idea are the onlcy things required to build early notable success.

*In case you don’t want to choose between the two priorities, or you have already applied one of the mentioned methods to build your MVP and want to scale it further, you can contact us . Naturally, our services aren’t free or even the cheapest (and we don't recommend you starting off as the cheapest one!) but still affordable.

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