Technology is an industry that often requires plenty of expertise. Since starting a business always takes plenty of passion as well, you tend to have talented tech-savvy people setting up successful tech companies. Apple, Microsoft and Google are all such examples.
However, you don’t have to be tech genius in order to start a tech business. It takes more than just technical ability to run a business – indeed; there are plenty of examples of tech companies that have failed even when a tech wizard was running them.
So, let’s look at 7 examples of non-tech people setting a successful tech company and some tips on how to get started yourself.
iCracked – AJ Forsythe
The iPhone repair service started out in a college dorm room; however, the founder wasn’t a tech genius. AJ Forsythe just taught himself to repair his own phone and realised it would make a great business. To get people to use his services, Forsythe made ads with the help of MS Paint – a humble start to a company that now makes $25 million in annual revenue. The genius service uses iTechs (trained people) to service broken phones for a flat $100 fee. For the iTechs, the only cost is the money they need to pay for the parts, everything else remains their own.
Getaround –Jessica Scorpio
Jessica Scorpio has a degree in Political Science and turned his passion for helping people into a successful tech idea. Getaround helps people to rent out their cars to those that need it on the days they aren’t using them. Scorpio’s idea was inspired by Google’s Larry Page, who visited her class at school and challenged them to come up with an idea that could change the world. Getaround has surely succeeded as it is estimated to save people that don’t have cars around $8,000 on rentals and gas – while adding the same in the pockets of car owners.
Pandora – Tim Westergren
Pandora Internet radio started with an ambitious aim to become a place for people to create custom radio stations based on the music they like and don’t like. Tim Westergren didn’t have a background in technology yet his expertise in music helped the company become one that generates around $900-million in revenue every year. The website with its radios has over 80 million users.
Teespring – Walker Williams
Walker Williams together with Evan Stites-Clayton created a tech company that has attracted $56.9 million in funding. Teespring is a platform for people to crowdfund their design ideas for t-shirts. Neither Williams or Stites-Clayton had a background in tech – they just had an idea to get someone to make t-shirts based on their ideas.
NerdWallet – Tim Chen
Financial analyst Tim Chen and Jacob Gibson put together NerdWallet in order to help people make better money choices. The technology company has utilised the financial expertise and knowledge of these people, making the company a 150 employee strong business. While the platform required plenty of expertise, the most obvious selling point for the firm has been the amazing financial data and understanding they have been able to provide for the users.
Coffee Meets Bagel – Arum, Dawoon and Soo Kang
The Kang sisters wanted to create a dating app with a difference and with Coffee Meets Bagel they succeeded in doing just that. The app, which only matches people with one person a day, managed to raise $11.2 million in venture funding and even turned down an opportunity to be sold to Mark Cuban in Shark Tank. The women don’t have a background in science or technology – Soo is a designer, while Arum and Dawoon had MBAs.
Tilt – James Beshara
Tilt originally started as a platform to allow people make small loans to charitable causes in Africa, but it has become a worldwide system for allowing people to gather money for almost anything. Beshara bought the original business from his partner Khaled Husseinin 2011. It’s most notably used by ESPN to let Fantasy Football players create a prize pot.
Starting a business
Running a business is not easy, but there are luckily plenty of tools out there to help you. You can find information on launching a business from sites like StartUps.co.uk and Business Gateway. Furthermore, Technology Company might only require a website to start. This is super easy and it won’t cost a fortune. You can also start marketing without a huge initial budget simply by using social media and search engine optimisation as your tools.
All of that might seem costly, but you can find clever ways to save online. VoucherBin.co.uk is a great option for finding offers on things like web hosting services, business cards, and even software – if you compare prices, utilise voucher codes and budget smartly, you don’t need to have a huge amount of capital to get started.
The above tech companies are great examples of non-tech people that were able to make it big in the competitive industry. Not to mention, all of the above companies offer plenty of good investment opportunities for you – strike gold and you might be running your own tech business soon!