What is the role of a non-technical person in a Software company?
I am the co-founder of Alfanso (Software Company).
I have done my masters in Entrepreneurship.
I have partnered with a technical guy who did his masters in Computer Science.
My concern is what is my role as the non-technical person in the Software company? How can I develop my business and add value to the growth of the company from my position?
The answer is pretty straight forward - you are non-technical from the technology stand point but are very much technical from a business stand point. If you still insist on calling yourself non-technical, you are missing an opportunity by focusing on what you don't have as a skill. Rather, focus on what you have as a skill - your business background. So instead of calling yourself non-technical, call yourself a businessman!
The technical confounder is completely busy with technicalities.. you are the other person who needs to find business to associate with, clients to serve and products to improve. You're heading to strategically present and build the brand of your company. You're the one with the Entrepreneurship master, we are sure you got a bunch of ideas and learn a bunch of others you can use.. the real part of entrepreneurship is when you mix those knowledge with your dreams, your partner values and business dreams into something valuable to solve needs.
You are the person that should help organize all the mess that generally comes with any business. You both support each other.. and you both need to sit down and talk clearly of what is expected of each of you-- always be professional an dorganize.. write things down.. it's normally expected from your position. I've been in both parts and it's very important that the technical person be knowledgeable of what are you up to .. guys, use calendars and have an agenda...look to do and support lots of measurable tasks.
Hi Maulik...this is a perfect combination where in your partner is a core technical guy and you are a non - technical guy. You can focus only on marketing , administrative work etc where your partner did not have time and exposure.
I believe there are lot many roles available.
1) Service Delivery Manager, 2) Sales Manager, 3) HR Manager, 4) Professional Trainer for non-technical skills like client communication, attitude ...
You can be the product owner and manager who identifies opportunities for your business. You have a master in entrepreneurship and that should be a starting point for you. Know what your company would be producing and apply your skills from there from a non-technical perspective.
You can play very important role in administrative duties while your partner takes the technical issues , both can manage the company easily , Both can play strongly in his part with exchange of ideas & thoughts .
Take administrative duties, coordination, public relations, ambassador, company representatives, presentation activities, and diplomat
My humorous and light-reading slides for management in an engineering company:
As a techie one can get enmeshed with technical details.
Your job would be to keep the focus on the client or your market segment.
Your focus should be on finding the perceived and latent needs of your clients.
Then build on those needs - too often the techie guy can do amazing things, but there is no customer appreciation for the technology. You could do a quick read of Blanks Four Steps to the Epiphany and then focus - laser like - on finding the customers for your solution. Get out and see real people and find out what they need and then bring that back to your technical guy.
In my experience, as a non-technical person in a software company in charge of Business Development, you need to be passionate enough about the concept to get bogged down in the technicalities of producing the software. In saying that, not being a technical person gives you a clear advantage for User Interface testing, and generally relating to the end user. It's not easy to put on foot in both worlds, but it is possible, and very rewarding.
This sounds like a perfect match. There is more to a software company than simply being technical. You have partnered with a technical person who most likely needs the Entrepreneur to make something of the technology.
Think of it this way: The technologist can't hang out a sign stating they are in business and maintain a reasonable hope of success. They need people to not only understand their solutions, but how to communicate and position these solutions in the marketplace, or against completing options. There are marketing aspects, sales aspects, HR aspects to the successful business that need...no require the non-technical person in order to succeed.
There are already some great answers to your question. What you have to fully appreciate is that the success of most businesses is not based on the product or service being sold. Rather, the business success ...as measured by net cash flow, is typically based on the following steps:
!) Effectively letting others (potential customers) learn of the existence of your business.
2) Clearly identifying what products / services you are selling, why they are important to potential customers, and establishing a "fair" market price.
3) Assuring that your delivery of product / services is properly working.
4) Developing and maintaining an effective "customer service" operation within your company.
As you can see, technical knowledge of the particular software that you are selling is not critical for "your" function within the company. Obviously, this becomes important for points 2 & 4 above, but overall, your main focus should be on company operations.
I trust this helps. Let me know if I can provide additional assistance to you, particularly with point 1, above.
Green Bay WI
Creating a software product is not a business. There are myriads of software products and apps out there that no one is buying. To become a viable company, you need to define your complete business model: Key Activities, Key Resources, Key Partners, the Value Proposition for your software, Customer Relationships, Customer Channels, and Customer Segments, as well as your income streams and cost streams (see http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com). Your technical partner may have very limited knowledge and skills in how to build a business. So have him build the software while you build the business.
More companies fail from a lack of customer development than from a lack of product development - you have all the business building activities like sales; marketing; business development; etc. to look after - the hard stuff
What are you good at? What sort of training or experience do you have? Typical non-technical people have roles in management, sales, marketing, customer support, etc.
This is a very open question. I would start off asking
1) What is your expertise?
2) What role in the business do you feel you will give the most value to? Are you a business expert, sales expert, marketing expert, operations...etc.
Remember as a business owner your goal is to be an expert in what you do best and what you enjoy to do. Then hire people for the other positions because you wouldn't be able to do them all as the business grows.
The goal is to be in a position that you are an asset to the company. Not a label that has no value.
You can forexample focus on marketing, sales and business development.