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TT #003: I’ve a Software Product Idea But I’m Not Technical

I’ve spoken to so many people over the years that have a software product idea. Many don’t come from a technical background, and have never even tried to move forward with an idea. It can be tough to even think about starting if you haven’t been in the industry.

You shouldn’t let that stop you.

There are so many ways round this, in fact coming from a non-technical background can play into your hands. You can drive your idea forward to meet your vision and not get bogged down in the technical details. This allows you to focus on customer experience.

Today, the barrier to entry is almost zero.

There are so many products available that let’s you map out, design and even build your idea. Gone of the days of needing a degree in Computing Science. You don’t even need a fully formed idea to get started.

Here are 2 ways you can get started building your own software product.

No technical experience needed.

1: Use A “No-Code” Platform

Now, this may still scare you as you still see the word “code” in there.

Honestly, there is nothing to be afraid of with a “no-code” platform. Even though I’ve 15+ years experience building loads of different software products. In 2020, I used a “no-code” mobile app builder to validate an idea and get started.

It doesn’t matter if you want to build a mobile app or online software product, you can find something to use.

Many of these platform sit on existing products like Google Sheets. So if you have started documenting or planning out your idea using a spreadsheet. It can take only a few hours to get up and running and bring your idea to life.

These platforms do come with a cost when you launch your product. The pros outweigh the cons though. As I’ve mentioned you could have a product up and running in a weekend.

How To Get Started

Here are 3 platforms I’ve looked into in the past to bring ideas to life. I’m not affiliated with any of these platforms, this is just from experience

Bubble
Airtable
Adalo

2: Hire A Developer

In the past this has put people off as they have assumed it will be extremely expensive.

Now, you will need to set aside a budget for this. It may run into thousands as well, so make sure you’re prepared for that. It’s not as expensive as people think due to the worldwide marketplace that now exists.

Again, even though I’m an experienced developer. I’ve hired many overseas developers to work on software products that I started and now want to scale.

Hiring a developer has more scope for issues than using a no-code platform. But if you hit any stumbling blocks, a developer will help you navigate them and move forward.

The best way to do this is to develop an MVP, which stands for “Minimum Viable Product”.

This requires a lot more effort upfront on your part. You will need to take your time and figure out what is the bare minimum of things you can build. Make sure you have spent the time and write a very detailed specification. Including designs, workflows and other documentation that will help the developer.

It make sense to hire a developer if you think your idea is, or will become complicated before launch.

How To Get Started

Where can you hire a developer online? Here are the places I go to.

UpWork
Fiverr
Toptal
Freelancer

What I would recommend doing before hiring a developer to work on your entire project. Is to hire 2 or 3 (if you can afford it) and ask them to do a small task (create a login screen for example). This will help you work out:

  • How well they communicate
  • How well they respond to instructions
  • Their skillset
  • Ability to deliver within set timescales

Once you have found someone you believe you can work with, hire them for a set amount to deliver the project. If you hire by the hour the costs could get out of hand.

Also, set milestones for the project. So you can see progress and the developer receives payment. It will keep both parties happy.

I hope this helps.

I challenge you to get started on your own software project. The upside can be massive.

If you want to know more about how to validate your idea. Check out this blog post.

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