I will be the first to admit that I have never considered myself a technical person. I knew how to get the hang of new social apps and get some work done digitally, but that was about the extent of my technical chops.
So when I started Lyghtly, I envisioned myself as the creative. The person with the big ideas who had the help of others to execute them. Did I ever think that I would learn to code? Definitely not. I thought that with my vision and someone else’s technical skills, I could build the platform I always wished for when I was in the dating scene.
Don’t get me wrong. Like many successful founders, I could have created this startup without ever learning a single line of code — but I’m incredibly grateful that I didn’t. Let me explain why.
Coding is the Language of Digital Innovation
Tapping into the technical side of this brand has empowered me as a female CEO and as a creative.
The number one benefit that I gained from learning how to write code was that the communication between me and my developers improved tenfold. We were able to create the platform so much more efficiently because we were, finally, speaking the same language.
Nearly every roadblock we’d faced vanished — not because there weren’t any more obstacles to overcome, but because I could understand exactly what the problem was and offer productive solutions.
I could also pivot gracefully when there wasn’t another way forward. All of a sudden, improvements and ideas started bubbling up to the top of my mind that I never would have known existed. Not without this newfound technical know-how that I worked so hard to acquire.
Learning Code Gave Me the “Grindset” Necessary to Lead a Startup
As a beginner to the concept of coding, it felt as though I was looking at my own company through a brand new set of eyes.
There were days when it became incredibly frustrating because, let’s face it, these technical skills aren’t easy. They require dedication and determination to nail down, especially when you are instantly applying them to such a vast project. However, starting from the beginning also opened my mind to so many possibilities for my brand that I may never have considered. As I learned, I developed a newfound enthusiasm for what this brand could become.
I had new ideas, and I wasn’t deterred by the time that they would take to lay out or the issues that might arise along the way. Instead, I was excited for the challenge of learning something new and moving the needle forward in this industry.
The Impact on Lyghtly and My Leadership
My mission has always been to create an app that could serve as a fun and safe place for people to connect, without all the pressures that come with some of the other dating platforms that exist.
As I gained a deeper understanding of my own platform, I didn’t just succeed in fulfilling that need. I redefined what a dating app looks like, how it operates, and how it serves its users.
Today, Lyghtly is a light and easy socializing platform that takes the pressure off by connecting users through engaging activities. Through shared hobbies and preferences. And all of this is wrapped inside a layer of meet-and-greet profile videos. I strongly believe that Lyghtly wouldn’t have turned out the way it has without my venture into the world of coding.
More importantly, because of all of this, I feel confident moving forward with my business.
Female CEOs are uncommon for a reason: there are too many preconceived ideas about what a great leader looks like. But as a founder who knows her way around code and can synergize the team by speaking their language, I have no doubt in my mind that I was meant to be here.
By Alex McGarrity, Founder/CEO of Lyghtly