Non Programmers CAN Run Internet Companies


Joel Spolsky

“Watching non programmers trying to run software companies is like watching someone who doesn’t know how to surf trying to surf. Even if he has great advisers standing on the shore telling him what to do, he still falls off the board again and again.” – Joel Spolsky (link)

I dont agree with Joels quote. I think this is something most tech programmers want to be the case. Being a specialist in anything before you set up has great advantages. I think if you believe that only programmers will create great software companies, you are sitting in the past. The gap in having to be a specialist is shortening, as more tools help less skilled people execute their ideas.

If you plan to surf, you either try it yourself or you get a lesson. Your teacher will have developed techniques to help you get through more easily than they did, maybe even using tools as well. This is what is happening quickly on the internet and I think Joel has perhaps used this quote when talking about a certain situation but has been brief.

People learn and they learn better than before, tools are developed – Ruby on Rails – Wix – WordPress, to help people out. Im sure that the entrepreneurial thinking of fail fast and keep trying still exists.

What is more important for non programmers is that they have to find great technical people and give them a real opportunity to strut their stuff.


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