The Anatomy of a Non-technical Founder

Posted on Oct 5, 2020

The Anatomy of a Non-technical Founder

I was working on porting this query today from Storat UAE to US system. It’s 98 lines of code. I wrote it 7 months ago to help automate CAC calculation for our marketplace at the buyers' side. Looking at it now my thought was “Shit, this is complex, I wrote that????”. As I am **officially** a non-technical founder, I decided to write a story about how I became a programmer again. I didn’t write any code since my first job in Microsoft which was more than 20 years ago.

CAC query written by non-technical founder part 1
CAC query written by non-technical founder part 2

When you are working in B2B2C (like a service marketplace) the algorithm can become complex. It becomes tricky when 60% of buyers opt to call or chat and the order is placed indirectly through the call center. It is not rocket science, but I wanted to come up with an automated way to track CAC, marketing spends, revenue, and profitability. Also, I wanted to determine those factors at top categories and child categories level where we can slice and dice the data easily in excel. Attached also are two frontend systems that are built on those queries so my team in the Middle East can look quickly at those KPIs without wasting time on gathering data again.

CAC for a marketplace
CAC for a marketplace part 2

# The moral of the story:

  1. Even if you are a non-technical co-founder, it will be very handy to keep up your technical skills. The CTO and his team are focused on building the core components of the software. But those dashboards and KPI’s are so critical for us, so I ended up reviving my technical skills to write code.
  2. Programming is not rocket science. If I can do it, you can :). It took me around 1 year to come back to level 200-300 in programming. That while doing it part-time as I spend 70% of my time in operations, sales, and marketing. So I am still the worst programmer in my team :) but I can take a substantial load from them so they can focus on the core.
  3. Keep an eye on CAC, LTV, and Churn Rate. Whether you are building a lifestyle business or a startup to scale. It a mathematical certainty that investors will look at those factors as most critical among others.

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