6 Ways To Unravel Technology For Non-tech Entrepreneurs

6 Ways To Unravel Technology For Non-tech
Fascinated by the potential of technological companies, I always wanted a career in that domain. Although I had the hunger to build technology-based products that could solve everyday problems, there stood a huge barrier in the way – the lack of knowledge and training in technology. How do I build a website? How long will it take? What about the costs? The questions were never-ending and the technical answers made little sense.

Things have changed, though, and it has been 5 months since I am running an online marketplace for business software. I found my way by asking friends, family and acquaintances, and reading day in and day out about the interesting aspects of the 21st century technologies and their practical uses. It was fascinating to find several other people in India who tasted success in the technological realm, even though they are from a non-technical background.

Here, I will try and answer some of the questions I stumbled upon and which helped me take the first steps towards understanding technology better in the hope that it make things a bit simpler for all those hungry-alike to go into technology.

1. Should I build a team or outsource it?
If website/product is what you are selling, never outsource it. Instead, get an in-house development team to build it. For example, Naukri.com is a job portal and hence, has an own-built platform. On the other hand, for sites like Vakilsearch, which is an online medium for connecting clients with legal service providers, outsourcing might just work.


2. How much time does it take to build a good website?
Typically, it depends on what you are trying to build. Building a product as massive as Tally will take months, if not years. However, any start-up should get its MVP to market in a maximum of 90 days (60 days being much more practical). An MVP is the minimum viable product – a basic version of your product that can be used by a customer. If your MVP is taking more time, trim the functionalities you have planned and implement the basic features to roll out the product. Call it beta, private beta or any other fancy name with limited user access, but make it visible to the market in a maximum of 90 days.

3. How much should it cost to build a website?
· The cost can vary. The cheapest and the most hassle-free method to build a website is to use Wordpress templates. A Wordpress template (it offers many) is easy to set up and can be easily handled by a non-tech person. And the total cost is less than Rs 10,000. A job portal like Naukri can be easily developed by using readymade Wordpress templates from themeforest.com.

· The second method is to hire a start-up, interns or freelancers to build the product. Such groups don’t have fixed cost and overheads, making it very cost effective but there will be high risk in terms of quality and delivery time. Typically, an MVP can be done at Rs 50-70K.

· The third is hiring a mature company with advance processes to ensure quality. It will have a dedicated team working on your project, including quality experts and designing experts. Plus, there will be a proper office and infrastructure. Hence, the cost of such implementation can be as high as Rs 3-5 lakh.

4. How many developers do I need?
Typically, two developers are enough for working in your core technology. If the user access is mainly via the website, two web developers can get the job done. Two coders with around two years of experience should cost you around 45K. If you also have an Android version, another Android developer should cost you around 25K.

5. What are the different languages? Which ones to use?
There are several languages, but the most used are PHP, Python and Ruby on Rails. For a non-technical entrepreneur, I would suggest implementing PHP. This is because PHP developers are easily available and cost less. Even if your PHP developers quit, it will be easier to find a replacement, compared to other languages. You can also go in for advance versions of PHP, such as Yii and CakePHP frameworks.

6. Where to host a site?
Don’t worry about the hosting part. Get the basic hosting from iPage or GoDaddy. Both of them are user-friendly and cost-effective. At the initial stage, the traffic will be low and hence, the service from these hosting sites will suffice. As the traffic increases, you can eventually move to AWS or other advanced hosting options.

This is just the tip of an iceberg, going deep into the technology market. The questions will be never-ending and the answers need to be updated every now and then. It is always useful to have connections from the technology industry as they will keep you updated and share the latest developments.

About the author: Ankit Dudhwewala is the co-founder at SoftwareSuggest.com, a business software discovery platform made for Indian companies. He is a marketer by passion and a salesman by heart. You can keep in touch with him at ankit@softwaresuggest.com