Rahul Varshneya is being considered by some non-tech founders as the savior in the software business.
Rahul, who founded Appreneurship Academy and Arkenea has a profound theory about founding a successful app business in 2017, spends three hours a day dedicating his time over phone/email/social media to advising non-tech founders on how to build successful tech products with a personal brand around it.
He helps founders move from a fixed mindset to a growth one by identifying new skills that can change their life and business while building their product.
His relentless focus on adding value has enabled him to build a 7-figure agency without an y money spent on traditional advertising.
I had the pleasure of speaking to him intensively about the value he brings to the niche market of Appreneurs.
Connecting non-tech founders to their technical counterparts is critical.
Often you have a visionary that is great at marketing or sales yet does not have the technical background to turn their idea into reality.
The intimate relationship to programmers and developers is a major advantage in the startup world because of the intensive iteration process with constant experimenting.
If you do not have a close relationship to programmers all of those little tweaks are going to cost you a lot of money $$$.
When you have the direct connection, however, the programmers work as teammates not just as contractors looking to get paid.
Everyone focuses on the shared end goal as if it’s their own.
Rahul leads a full product development team that always delivers more value than they take in payment.
After speaking with Rahul (full interview below) I am starting to see a pattern here from successful 7-figure+ earners.
Consistency and persistence is essential.
No matter the idea, execution is everything and if you have a vision just say consistent towards it everyday no matter what others say because they do not see the same opportunity you do.
Achieve small wins everyday.
That’s all you need. Small wins and over time your growth will compound.
Be flexible and know when to make pivots.
Staying concrete does not make you stronger. Move swiftly and make the best decision at the best time.
I asked Rahul,
Why do you do what you do?
“To help someone achieve their dreams sooner. I’m passionate about building products. Along this journey in life I’ve learned you cannot do it alone. You need help and support.
I’ve been a non-technical founder myself having launched 3 previous tech businesses. Two failures and one successful exit.
From my first four businesses as a non-tech founder I’ve learned a lot of things by doing things on my own. I’ve gone through the failures and successes and it’s made me realize that no one has to or needs to do that.
No one has to start five companies to learn all of these things.
I want to share all that I’ve learned so that others do not have to go through all the things that I’ve gone through.
One of the things I realized when hiring tech teams was that their approach sucked.
Most just code the product for you, which doesn’t make for a successful business.
With the experience of those failures and successes, I then started mentoring non-tech startup founders in product and go-to-market strategies.
Arkenea, my fifth venture, was thus born to provide a complete one-stop solution for them to create their product.
We then formed the Appreneurship Academy to scale up the mentoring to a larger audience.”
Being a non-tech founder himself he understands the early startup struggles when you need the tech expertise to build a product that aligns with your business goals and vision.
He also is familiar with the well funded business that needs the assistance of technical operatives for rapid iteration and scaling up.
You cannot just get funding from an investor.
You need to connect through a network.
And it’s this purpose driven ecosystem that Rahul has built where non-tech founders can go and learn how to create and scale software products.
I asked Rahul,
What are some tangible takeaways you have learned?
There’s tons of stuff that I have learned along the way:
1. There are no bad ideas – just bad entrepreneurs.
Those who can’t learn from their mistakes and pivot. Not to over-obsess on ideas. When an entrepreneur fails it is not because their idea is bad, it is because of their execution, flexibility, and their understanding of the market is not right. You can always start with a product that does not work, but you can always turn it around.
2. Do not trust the advice of “experts” right off the bat.
I realized that everyone speaks only from their experience or what they see and hear. It doesn’t necessarily tie in with my current situation or aspiration. Follow your intuition and take everything with a grain of salt.
3. Do not get lost in the all the noise of latest marketing channels.
Stick to fundamentals and chart a buyer journey as part of the marketing strategy and plug channels that fit into that journey. Keep it simple.
4. Do not completely focus on the product development.
Just because you have a great product does not mean people will buy it right away. Make time for sales. Selling is key.
5. Only hire external tech teams that spend time understanding my industry, business goals, and objectives.
Finding a team that can think the same way as you requires them having a general understanding of your industry, knowledge, and expertise. Often founders expect their technical counterparts to understand this information and because they do not there is a misalignment in the design and efficiency of the project. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
I finished our chat by asking Rahul,
What are the three characteristics that separate a founder that will be successful?
Realizing that the idea is not the end all and be all. Be persistent in the execution of things instead of obsessing about the idea and not taking action. Stay focused especially when things are not working or going the way you want to be.
Obsessed about their customers. Quality not easily acquired. Most people think product first, but this is not the case. Help the customer first and identify their needs and then build a product around that
Be flexible. Be loose and adaptable. Be open to learning. There are founders who want to do what they feel is right. Even if the market or customers are saying something else you cannot be stubborn and think your way is the right way