If you’re wondering how to build your technology business but you’re thinking that you’re not really a technology person – it is more valuable to be better at “product” than it is to be better at “technology”.
I hate saying this, having been a CTO for 20 years – I like to think that software engineering is the most important thing on the planet -- but there is much more importance around product and product design, i.e. how the thing you’re building works, compared to how it’s built.
The good news if you are non-technology person is that commercial skills tend to transfer quite well to product skills. Of the three types of founder – people who are subject matter experts in an area and kind of understand how empathy works, tend to end up quite decent at product design.
Product skills at its core are about making sure that your product is really good and that people are likely to want to make an investment in it, in terms of paying for it, using it, and ideally cheerleading it. Product skills focused highly on the user journey and customer experience – it is the process by which products become delightful.
Technology skills – i.e. the actual engineering bit – is important, but compared to product it’s something of a “hygiene” measure. You need to make sure that you are doing a good job when it comes to the technology, but if the product design is good and built well, that’s a much better outcome that the product design being shonky, but still built well.