How to make an app

You dont need money, you need help

Written by Ian Sharp PhD on November 11th, 2019

Dr. Sharp here and you are listening to The Good Doctor Sharp on

Today I'm going to talk about money. Some people think it's holding them back from succeeding with their software company. They think the more money they raise, the more likely their tech company is to succeed. If you already know that's not true, then you don't need to read the rest of this post. On the other hand if you hold this belief, and want your belief challenged, read the rest of this post right now.

Reasons for raising capital:

I'm here to make the case that all startups also fail due to lack of competence. In the special case of software startups, where costs are negligible, lack of competence is the primary cause of failure.

How do you define failure? When everyone gives up and stops trying. I'm not talking about a bad product-market fit. I'm talking about the failure of a good product-market fit.

Firstly if you cant translate your idea into reality, then you are not the right person to start the company PERIOD.
No amount of money is going to help you. From the bottom of my heart, I want you to know this now before you go any further. I've personally watched millions spent to get an idea off the ground, ideas that could be gotten off the ground for pretty much free.

So why weren't the companies created for free?

Because the people creating the companies were operating outside of their "circle of competence"

How much money is it going to take for someone who operates outside of their circle of competence to get their idea off the ground? The answer is ...

"More money than necessary"

How much money does a shoe company need to start a diamond mine?

How much money does a restaurant owner need to make a snow shoveling business?

How much money does a hardware company need to start a travel company?

The answer...

More money than necessary

Hewlett Packard specializes in making printers. How much money does it take a printer company to start a search engine company?

11 billion USD, ultimate failure, writing off 8.8 billion..

Was the cost more than necessary?

HP is a big company. What about for people. Is it easier to operate outside your circle of competence as a small company or single person? No.

After working with small companies of all sizes and watching them fail, the answer is still no.

The primary cause of failure was a group of people trying to operate outside their circle of competence - hoping an external injection of money would solve their challenges. But it never did.

Money never solved their challenges

What they really needed was help; help to operate outside of their circle of competence. The money could not buy that help. Why not? Possible reasons might include:

Money can cover up challenges for a while, but does not solve educational lack in the long run.

I maintain challenges are solved by educating yourself in competencies where you lack and where you want to operate in.

I personally like how Elon Musk taught himself rocket science so that he could operate a rocket company inside his circle of competence. Elon Musk raised money for SpaceX, but would the program still be moving along if Elon had not taught himself rocket science? Nope.

When you expand your circle of competence, you get to keep your knowledge for the rest of your life and carry it with you into your next venture.

Money, on the other hand, once spent - is gone for good. Some people try to get the money back with lawsuits, I have not seen that work out too well either.

And again, once the lawsuit money is spent, it is also gone for good.

So why not instead invest your money to increase your circle of competence?

Make the wisest investment of all, invest in yourself today.


Ian Sharp PhD

If you are a doctor with an idea for a technology company and would like to make it a reality by expanding your circle of competence, I can teach you how - much faster than going the path alone. I will teach you how to create enterprise software and bring your technology to market. If you're a doctor thinking about starting a technology company, then reach out and schedule a free consult today.


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