It’s pretty clear that technology rules the world. No business would be caught without technology backing their infrastructure, and consumers rely on their various gadgets and software daily. Getting into this market is a sure moneymaker. But if you have a brilliant tech idea and no background in technology, can you make it?
Yes! Hundreds of technology companies got started in some of the most unlikely places with people who didn’t know much about technology. Instead, they knew how to build teams and roll with ideas that their customers would love.
The inspiration for building your tech idea can be found in looking at where some of the largest tech companies started. David Packard and William Redington Hewlett, two regular guys, founded Hewlett-Packard in a garage in Palo Alto in 1939. Now, Palo Alto, and that garage specifically, is considered by many to be the birthplace of Silicon Valley.
Steve Jobs was more of an inventor and designer than he was a technology builder. He also started Apple in the Silicon Valley and ran the business from his parents’ house for a while. He grew his business by relying on teamwork. One of his more famous quotes is, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” He lived by that motto and the foundation of Apple was built by teams of inventors, tech gurus, customer service reps, and business professionals.
Getting started in tech, just like Apple and Hewlett-Packard, is possible for anyone with a great product and the perseverance to get it done. However, in order to get started, you’ll need to do a few things.
You’ll need some cash to build your prototype and get started, but you don’t need money on hand to start a business. There are plenty of options for financing, including taking out a business loan.
One of the more popular ways to build capital for production is crowdfunding. Through this venture, you’ll attract money from friends, families, fans, supporters, and angel investors who want to see your product grow to fruition.
Learn a Little Tech
You would be wise to learn a little about the coding and/or technology that goes into your product development. Complete ignorance is a good way to let people take advantage of you. Take a couple of night classes or watch endless YouTube videos for a foundation in the technology used for the production of your product.
Find Someone to Build Your Product
This is the first step for most, especially if you only have a vision of what your product looks like. You can’t very well build a prototype in your own home if you don’t know how to connect wires and such. There’s only so much you can learn on YouTube, after all.
There are a few choices for having your product built. The most common is meeting with a third-party development company to discuss your product and make sure the prototype is viable. This is the more favorable option since you’ll work closely with the developers and make necessary tweaks as you go. The costs can be high for this option, however, so people often choose a different route out of necessity.
Many are going for a hybrid model of sorts in which you have a middleman find an excellent developer and keep your prices down. You’re able to maintain control of the product while reducing your bottom line and taking some of the responsibility off your plate.
Over time, you’ll need to focus on ways to build your products in more affordable ways. This may require bringing production in-house, although this won’t occur until after you’ve made money from the product.
File for Patents
If you don’t protect your product, there’s nothing to stop your developers from selling it themselves or selling it to the highest bidder. There will also be copycats who will utilize cheaper production and competitive pricing.
Talk with a patent lawyer at the very beginning of product production. Once you have a prototype, you can begin filing for the patents you’ll need to protect it.
Build Your Business Plan
You’ll also need a business plan that focuses on bringing in the revenue. Oftentimes, your plan will simply be to develop a product, sell it to the highest bidder, and collect royalties for the rest of your life.
If you want to make and sell the products through your own platform, you’ll need a business plan that can sustain your business. That warrants a completely separate post, but here’s a great guide for creating a business plan surrounding your product.