Yes! specially if that entrepreneur will want to enter within digital space. This is not an option is a must-have skill.
Why is it important?
Probably in your first days as an entrepreneur you don’t have any friends, colleagues or people that have developer skills. Probably you can haven’t a lot of money to hire a good engineer. Probably you can haven’t any reputation (aka past success) to attract engineers to your new adventure. Probably you can’t convince or sell your great idea to any developer… for all of that you will don’t have one of the most important task in your early days: the product.
It’s for this the only way to execute your big plans is to learn to code. You will not need be a senior developer, you’ll only need the sufficient skills to make a good MVP.
A lot of entrepreneurs get stuck here, ’cause they don’t know how to solve this bottleneck. If the escenario is similar to the above the only way to solve it’s with your own hands. If you can make a good MVP most forward you will may hire or attract your first believer in a shape of developer and you’d could learned a lot of stuff in middle of the trip.
How much time will I need invest to learn to code?
If you don’t have any engineer background it’s probably that you will need to invest 6 month (full time) as at least. I know, I know it’s a lot of time. Probably you are saying in this moment: “if I don’t launch my startup this month it’s probably that my competence will take a huge advantage” or “I don’t have free full time for that”. Well… you don’t have any other way. I can promise you that this invest will be the most important invest on your entrepreneur career, why?:
1- The most important thing is your learning mindset: if you invest this energy and time in learning you will get a type of “learning mindset”. This learning mindset you will apply in so much things more forward.
2- With this new knowledge (programming) you will can to know: what type of engineers my startup will need? on what type of language? what type of details will I need for achieve my goals? interview questions or challenges and correct answers, what are your engineers doing? in other words, you can see the other world, the world of geeks! With that you will have a lot of power.
3- You will can to know: what is it the new and most advantage technologies? how to apply this new technologies in my startup? and might do that before your competence do. Probably you know what is Machine Learning, but do you know how Python, Pandas or Scikit-learn do some things or in which cases you would should use it? Again, you don’t need know in detail this skills but you will need know how the basics works.
What is the path of my new learning adventure?
2- Algorithms: you need this skill. It’s more easy than you think, believe me. I don’t have any engineer background but I’d had the effort for learn it and believe me, it’s more easy than you think: you need know: strings, types, loops, methods, objects and a few things more. With this basis you will have done a lot to move into a specific language
4- Specific technology: above you could see the most important specific technologies in this times. It depends of you focus, but with those 2 languages you will can embrace all this technologies.