You have an idea for a SaaS product or a mobile app. You know it’s a good one, you know you can make a good profit from it.
The problem? You don’t know how to code it! You’ve got the idea, but no way to build it. And what are you going to do? You start complaining.
If only I could build it. If only I had the money to hire a developer. Now I need to raise some money so I can hire a developer. But guess what? You won’t find anyone interested in funding you because investors don’t like to invest in ideas that are just that: ideas with no execution.
Developers like to be paid
I’m a Web developer myself and I can tell you one thing: I wasn’t born one!
Coding is just as any other skill: put in the time and effort and you’re going to learn it. Put in some extra time and effort and you’re going to get good at it. Got some more time and effort? Good, because then you’re going to become great at it!
I’ve met so many people and talked to a lot of friends who have these grand visions of building an app and a business out of it.
And most of the times those are good ideas, but then they don’t execute on it.
They start complaining about how difficult it is to find a good developer who’s willing to work for free on their ideas. But why should they?
Developers get asked all the time about joining a startup and build amazing products. And if only they could do it without a salary, they’d be in for a shitload of money in a couple of months.
However let me tell you a little secret about developers: they need to be paid! Developers like to eat every day and possibly go out and have a beer every now and then and unless you can find a grocery store or pub willing to feed a developer for free than there’s no way a developer can work for free.
Do yourself a favor and learn how to code
Do you know what won’t cost you a dime? Learning to code!
Yes, you can learn to code for free and it’s much easier than you think! All you need is a couple of hours a day and dedication.
You can start with Google and find a couple of programming tutorials, just to get the basics right.
Then you can read about different programming languages and pick one. Really, there’s not much wrong you can do here: just pick one of the most commons and you’ll be good to go.
At this point, you can keep on studying free resources or you can speed up things by purchasing a few books or enrolling in an online course.
But you have to keep one thing in mind: you can learn how to code. Really, anyone can do it.
And once you have a basic understanding of how things work, you can start building small apps.
The first one will be tough and quite a mess, but will allow you to build a better second one, and then a third, and so on.
Don’t go overboard here, just build small apps which do a single task.
They don’t have to be saleable, they don’t even have to be perfect, they just need to work, and most important, they need to be in increasing levels of challenge so that you learn by doing.
I can guarantee you that with the right amount of time and effort, you’ll be able to code relatively complex apps — at least, from a novice point-of-view — in six months or less.
Developers like developers
And even if you decide not to build your product yourself, knowing how to code will allow you to hire the right developer for your business.
You’ll be better able to judge his past works and more important you’ll be able to understand if the work he’s doing on your product is any good.
Plus, and it’s a big plus, we — the developers — are a bit snob and don’t really like to explain what we’re doing to people who know nothing about coding.
I know it sounds stupid, but that’s how it is. I know enough developers to be able to tell you that’s the way things are: if you want your developer to take you seriously, you need to be able to understand what he’s doing.
So by learning how to code you’ll be able to better manage your developers, you’ll understand what they’re doing and you’ll know if they’re doing what you’re paying them for.
Learning to code will open lots of doors
It would be unreasonable to think that you can learn how to code something like Facebook or Amazon in a couple of months, however, there’s a lot you can do once you learn just a little bit about coding.
Think of all the times you thought: “If only I knew how to build this.”
If you learn the basics of coding, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to build most of the ideas you have. But beware that this is a double-edged sword: in my code folder, I’ve got more half-finished projects that you could ever imagine!
But even if those half-finished projects will never see the light of day, I was able to get them started and decide which would stick and which wouldn’t. And even the abandoned ones still accomplished something: they made me a better coder.
The secret is to always challenge yourself: learn the basics and then build something which seems out of reach with your current skill-set. By the time you’re done, you’ll have gained the knowledge you initially felt was unreachable. And you can move on to the next challenge.
Would you like me to teach you how to code?
When I started this blog, I wanted to teach anyone how to start an online business: I think there’s lots of value in running your own business and everyone interested in it should do it.
However, I recently realized how broad of a topic this is. I know lots of things about running a business and I’ve started many myself, but it would be quite difficult to give a general recipe that will fit anyone.
So I decided I want to shift the focus of this website a little bit: I want to teach entrepreneurs just like you how to code.
Learning to code is probably the best investment you can make if you want to start your own online business and I want to make sure you do it right.
I’ve been coding since I was 12 and started my first business right out of high-school. I know what it takes to be a developer AND an entrepreneur.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing more about this topic and I’ve just started working on a full-blown course to teach entrepreneurs how to code, how to build a web app and launch it.
If you’re interested in learning how to code and launch your own business, you should definitely subscribe to my newsletter below. If you do it now, you’ll also have a chance to buy my course at a discounted price once it’s ready.
And if you know anyone who would benefit from learning how to code, I’d be grateful if you could share this article with them.
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