New developments like Apple’s “Swift” language, and their XCode development environment make it surprisingly easy for non-engineers to create real applications. WordPress has made basic web development accessible for millions, and amazing prototyping tools like Proto.io and Axure make creating high fidelity prototypes vastly easier. And backend tools like IBM’s Bluemix platform mean that ideas can be built out with much less work.
Workable tech solutions are much more accessible today.
Where it used to be ok for the non-technical co-founder to leave all the ‘tech’ to their partner, in today’s world that is neither necessary nor sufficient. The last few years have seen startup and major player all offering versions of their products and development environments that are simply not that hard.
It’s time to get out there and learn some of these platforms.
All of these platforms can make our lives easier without replacing the intuition, creativity and flexibility of a real development team. However, what they do is allow the increasingly crucial process of lean product development to be a joint effort between the technical and non-technical parts of the team. The marketer, or designer, or subject matter expert all can now be part of feature development in a way that is just not possible without an understanding of the ‘tech’.
Creating a product, indeed a business, is a much more creative, intensive and indeed, humble, process than it once was. We’re told to get out there earlier with enough of a product to learn from our customers, then iterate fast to learn what they really want and will really pay for.
Making things is now as much a research exercise as it is a creative one, and to do that well means having a better understanding of the underlying possibilities. With so many options out there to learn about the technologies your company is going to be using, it is a competitive necessity that you get out there and learn.
The reality of accessible technology is that more people are actually using it. Competition is heating up across the board because the process of creating, refining and launching a new app or service has become dramatically easier for so many.
Learn what your users are learning.
In the coming months, the Stamford Innovation Center will be offering a series of courses for the entrepreneur who wants to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive landscape. In September we’ll be launching a lean product development course that will start with how to learn from customers, then quickly go through how to build an app to test your ideas.
In October, we’ll launch an intensive course on the lean startup process that broadens the scope to include the entire enterprise from business plan to marketing to product.
Along the way, we’ve got a less intensive introduction to programming course and even more classes coming up.
We’ll be formally announcing the above courses shortly, but if there are any questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
So get out there and build your skills – there’s no substitute for knowing the tech in today’s environment!