Chris Toy can't code, but that didn't stop him from becoming the founder and chief executive of group-messaging app Bindle.
In fact, Toy and others like him are called non-technical founders, a term that can be considered derogatory in tech-centric Silicon Valley.
"It is something that comes up really frequently," Toy told Press:Here. "But you don't need code to validate your idea."
Instead, Toy had an idea and decided to outsource programming to Hong Kong. Although Toy wasn't an engineer, he had run successful companies before and was confident marketing his app. Still, companies still questioned outsourcing, but he managed to halt most questions by spending more time creating a minimum viable product.
"One of my companies before, we did a marketing agency for startups," Toy said. Frequently the engineers would come to him for help getting investors or marketing their apps.
"I realized it doesn't matter if I can't code," Toy said. "These guys can and they're still stuck."
Toy also spent time cultivating engineers in his network to help him keep an eye on code quality and viability. "I spent a lot of time managing our technology resources," he said.
In the end, despite not being able to program, he had to make the same decisions all founders and chief executives do, including managing marketing, PR and how to appeal to investors. "You still make decisions as you go," he said.