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What Developers Do: Front End vs Back End

tech terms explained Feb 03, 2021

In this episode Sophia covers two tech terms you'll hear if you build apps and sites: the back end and the front end. Most apps and sites need to have both to function.

Listen to this episode for a simple non-techie explanation of the back end and front end, what they do and who should build them. This is a useful episode for non-technical founders, product managers, designers and investors.

Learning notes:

  • Developers write computer code to make the design come alive. The vast majority of apps will need to have a front end and a back end.
  • Front end developers create computers that interact with humans. If you can see it, touch it or speak to it, it is a front end. 

  • Back end developers create computers that interact with other computers.

When you are working with a product team, the work cycle will go as follows:

  1. Designers create your prototype
  2. Back end developers build the back end
  3. Front end developers build the front end

 

 

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How To Transition Into Venture Capital

A career in venture capital is lucrative and exciting. Yet, it is also hard to get into, and once you're in, staying successful isn't easy.

Sophia Matveeva spoke to Silicon Valley venture investor Nilesh Trivedi principal investor at J Ventures and Chicago Booth MBA.

They talked about what makes a good VC, the different pathways into venture capital and why many early stage VCs aren't as rich as you think. This is an especially useful episode for angel investors, VCs and founders.

Learning notes:

  • Good tech investors have an understanding of technology, but they do not have to have technical backgrounds. Learning how apps, sites and algorithms get built is a key skill, but learning to code is not.
  • Venture capitalists are investors in startups, but they also have to raise money from investors. Investors that invest into VC funds are called Limited Partners, or LPs.
  • VCs have to spend time growing their brand and network because the competition to invest in good startups is fierce.
  • ...
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How to Transition into Product Management for Non-Techies

Product Management is one of the best ways for non-technical professionals to join the tech boom. But, making a career transition is hard and often you need experience to get experience.

For this episode, Sophia Matveeva spoke to Juliet Eysenck, Product Manager at The Telegraph Media Group. Juliet began her career in journalism and then transitioned into a tech role.

Juliet shared what the PM job entails and her very practical tips to help you transition into tech. 

 Learning notes:

  • Product managers define "the what, the when and the why of the product," - what the product is, what the priorities are within the product and why it needs to exist.
  • Product managers do not need to code, but taking some basic coding courses can help product managers work better with developers.
  • Constant learning is a feature of a good product manager's job: learn via industry newsletters, online courses and books.
  • To make a career transition, don't only do courses, but also get some practical...
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The Business of AI with Harvard Business School Prof Marco Iansiti

ai and big data Dec 16, 2020

Harvard Business School professor of AI and digital innovation Marco Iansiti talks about what AI is, how it gets made and how it impacts organisations. Listen to get a case study on Ant Financial and learn how AI adoption has accelerated during COVID.

 

Key learning points:

  • AI is already changing industries and the economy by making simple operations run faster
  • A business model is how a company aims to create and capture value
  • An operating model is how the company delivers that value to the customer. Prof Iansiti calls this “the hard part”
  • AI is already being used by companies like Ant Financial to take humans and cost out of their operating model, by putting an AI factory in the core of their business
  • COVID has accelerated the adoption of AI across industries

 

 

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Do you have a brilliant app idea and no tech knowledge to build it? Get your FREE guide here.

 

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Intro to Algorithms and Big Data

In this episode tech entrepreneur and Chicago Booth MBA Sophia Matveeva covers what algorithms are, how they are made and when rubbish data creates rubbish algorithms. Hear how Amazon’s recruiting algorithm experiment went horribly wrong.

Don't let the term algorithm scare you. It's just another word for a set of rules.

Key learning points:

  • Algorithms are just sets of rules for computers to follow
  • Algorithms need data to be useful
  • Data is by definition historic because it is information on what has already happened
  • A combination of AI and algorithms can create better user experiences, which can result in more usage, which then results in even more data and happy customers
  • Algorithms amplify the data. If there are biases in the data, they will grow as a result of the algorithm. Rubbish data = rubbish algorithms = useless product

 

 

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How To Hire And Work With UX Designers

Great design is at the centre of the apps and sites we love. Bad design can kill a product, even if the underlying technology is world class.

Knowing how to hire the right designer and work with them effectively is a key skill all product makers need to have to succeed.

Listen to this episode to learn from Jasper Squier, MD at Intergalactic, a creative technology agency, and Ben West, Co-Founder of Eventbase, which mobile apps for the world’s premium events.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • Always work with designers before hiring developers
  • Come to UX designers with a problem you want to solve, rather than a feature list
  • When you're thinking of target users for your product, think about their behaviour, not just demographics

 

If you want to get more practical advice on how to hire designers and developers to make your idea come to life, get our ebook: How To Hire Your Product Team And Go From Idea To App: a guide for non-technical founders

...

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Intro to Product Management with Facebook's Rags Vadali

In this episode Sophia Matveeva talks to Rags Vadali about what product management is, what PMs do and what you need to get a job in PM.

Rags Vadali has managed product at Google, Facebook and various start-ups, and like Sophia, has an MBA from Chicago Booth. This interview is an excerpt from a PM masterclass Rags taught on Tech for Non-Techies.

Learning points from this episode:

  • A product manager is like the conductor of an orchestra. Conductors don’t play every single instrument and are not the best player, but it is their job to bring the best out of the players to create something together.
  • To get a job in PM, you don’t need to code. You do need to think like a PM: understand who the user is, what problem they are facing and then create solutions.
  • Influence is a key skill for PMs, because the engineers, designers and marketers working on the product don’t report to the PM. However, the PM is ultimately held responsible for the success of the product....
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Top Mistakes Non-Technical Founders Make

non-technical founder Nov 25, 2020

In this episode Sophia Matveeva covers the top five mistakes non-technical founders make, most of which she made herself. 

The main five mistakes to avoid are:

  • Don’t make developers your first hires. Your first hire should be a User Experience designer
  • Don’t confuse product metrics with business metrics
  • Set your team tangible product aims with metrics and time frames
  • Co-create with your users, rather than being rigid in your thinking
  • At the start focus on product improvement, not on growth

 

 

Listen here on Apple Podcasts

Listen here on Spotify

Do you have a brilliant app idea and no tech knowledge to build it? Get your FREE guide here.

To watch the full session on video and access learning notes, join the Tech for Non-Techies membership community. As a community member, you'll get:

  • Weekly live masterclasses with global experts
  • Mini-course on how to go from idea to live app
  • Supportive Online Community
  • ...
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Intro to Technology Acquisitions

Listen to learn how and why corporates acquire technology startups. Understand why traditional businesses like Lululemon buy technology companies like Mirror, what red flags corporates look out for and how to startups can prepare themselves for acquisition.

In this episode, Paul Cuatrecasas, a technology investment banker, who has advised on over 50 TMT M&A transactions worth over $25 billion, shares his insights on why tech startups get acquire. Paul is also the author of Go Tech, or Go Extinct.

Key learning points:

 

  • The tech sector is growing exponentially, so the time to invest in tech is now.
  • A decade ago only 1 company out of the top 10 companies in the world by market capitalisation was a tech company. Today, 7 out of the top 10 are tech companies.
  • The Techquisition process Paul describes consists of 12 steps.
  • The first step to making the right acquisition is clarity of vision of what the corporate needs. 
  • Red flags in startups include under-prepared...
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What Non-Technical Founders Need to Know About Tech

David Segura is a perfect example of how non-techies can thrive in technology. His first venture, Giant Media, was a native video advertising exchange which David sold for millions to an ad tech company backed by TPG & JMI in 2014. Since then David has invested in almost 50 startups, many of which have technology at their core.

In this interview, David talks about what he had to learn about tech as a non-technical founder, whether you need a co-founder and why learning to code is a waste of time.

 

 

Listen here on Apple Podcasts

Listen here on Spotify.

... 

Do you have a brilliant app idea and no tech knowledge to build it? Get your FREE guide here.

 

To watch the full session on video and access learning notes, join the Tech for Non-Techies membership community. As a community member, you'll get:

  • Weekly live masterclasses with global experts
  • Mini-course on how to go from idea to live app
  • Supportive Online Community
  • Library...
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