How to create a technology startup without programming skills

starting a software company with no programming experience
What is a tech startup
In 2012, Andrew Joyner worked on eco-projects in the most remote areas of Pakistan. A few years later, he headed the technological start-up of Enmass Energy, although he had very little knowledge of software development. Today, his company is promoting energy-saving solutions around the world.

Joyner described the details of his journey in a column for The Next Web.

If you don’t have the right business tool, create it yourself

In the renewable energy sector, there is a whole industry that focuses on energy from waste: agricultural, wood or plastic. I wanted to support the further development of projects in this area by streamlining the procurement and supply chains.

First, I focused on developing countries, where legal and regulatory bodies are difficult to navigate. They often had very little infrastructure. This has forced us to look at economic concepts that make it possible to monitor the good faith of all parties. But that was not enough: we needed software that could even out the prices, track the processes, and connect all the steps.

How to start a startup without coding

Over time, this idea has become even more relevant. We quickly received new customers and suppliers, but we realized that we could not attract investment in individual projects without a supply chain management tool that guaranteed fair standards and transparency. We started looking at the market to find a solution, but it just wasn’t there.

And it became clear that if we wanted to start these projects, we would have to build them ourselves. Innovation really has no boundaries. Even if the tool you need is not on the market, do not limit yourself or your imagination. To really support the industry, especially the very niche one, you have to make a big leap.

Make the inner instrument your main product

In retrospect, development would go faster if I had a technological backdoor. Learning to translate purely theoretical concepts into multifunctional software has been a challenge. However, despite my lack of knowledge - or perhaps because of this - I was able to see what a huge umbrella technology is producing.

When you build a system, you promote the formalization of conditions. For example, at first we focused on developing countries. We stayed away from the U.S., because we thought it was a more complex infrastructure. But later, we saw that even developed markets are using outdated approaches. This came as a big surprise to us: we thought that many of the big players had already come to the same conclusion, but it wasn’t. We did not expect that rural problems in Pakistan could exist in the US.

Working on a single solution that covers many variables in different countries has made our program stronger. Through this lens, we have seen that we can become the industry standard for managing supply chains, not only in individual countries but worldwide.

We created a technological tool to implement our projects, but eventually we found that it became valuable in its own right. It took us a while to stop looking at it as an internal tool and start seeing it as a product that we could sell to other companies.

Our tool not only optimizes garbage collection and transportation, but also handles payments and manages a marketplace with fuel from recycled waste. From a small modest startup, we suddenly became a technology company with the potential for global scaling.


Without substantial technical knowledge, I believed in building a technological start-up - and it was the best decision I could make. Why? In the 21st century, the use of technology is necessary to attract investment and cost differentiation in any industry. We have digitized a very specialized industry, putting data into play and making the process more efficient.

Even if you do not do something that is directly related to technology, the inclusion of a program element will help to change the perspective and find a new approach to a meaningful problem. Many industries are still waiting for this shift. Open to the new company, which can form a clear vision and apply technology to its realization, has achieved great success.

We started by focusing solely on social impact and wanting to increase it. Having strengthened startups with technologies - undoubtedly the biggest difference from competitors - we found that we could have an even greater impact on the market. To everyone who wants to go on a similar path, I would say one thing: ideas should be constantly questioned and take into account the needs of the market. This can lead you to where you did not expect to be.

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