How technical do you have to be?

I think a lot of MBA’s will let out a sigh of relief when they read this post.

Many times I’ve wondered: how technical does someone have to be to start a web company?

Dennis Crowley is a co-founder of foursquare. He didn’t start coding when he was 14. Here is his answer from Quora:

Well, dodgeball was the project that got me coding (tho this was the super early version of the dodgeball city-guide in 2001). There were things I wanted to make, no one else was going to make them, so I learned out of one of those “Learn ASP in 30 days!” books (ps: original version of dodgeball was ASP pulling from MS Access).

At ITP / NYU, my buddy Shawn Van Every started teaching me PHP / MySQL and I eventually learned PHP by re-writing / resurrecting dodgeball.

I’m a pretty lousy coder – I actually only know scripting languages (I’ve never had luck w/ C / Java / etc) – but I know enough to hack together prototypes which is often all you need to get started and get from 0 -> 10k users etc.


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