Welcome to the Tech for Non-Techies podcast

116. Introduction to Deep Tech investing

When investing in Deep Tech, remember that technology is just a tool, not an end in itself. Understanding who will use it and why is key to becoming smart money.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • When investing in any business, you must consider these questions:
    • What problem are you solving?
    • Who are you solving it for?
    • Are they willing and able to pay for it?
  • Understand what stage of the innovation cycle the start-up is in. This will help you evaluate risk properly.
    • For example, the first lab grown burgers were unaffordable for most people. The risk at that stage was not whether the product can be made, but whether it can be made at a cost that would allow wide scale sales.
  • Get a technical expert to evaluate the start-up’s invention and help you understand their risk. Take note if no other deep tech investor is involved.
    • This is what happened with Theranos. Prominent biotech VCs passed on the round because they had the expertise to know that what Elizabeth Holmes was...
Continue Reading...

115. Commercialising innovation and breaking into Deep Tech

Great technology is not enough to build a successful business. You need customers who understand its benefits, and are willing to pay for them. This is why storytelling is a key part of commercialising innovation.

Lauren Xandra, Head of Marketing at Two Sigma Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in deep tech, talks about her role in building successful tech businesses and how she transitioned career into deep tech.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • "Just as important as supporting startups' technical growth is helping them to be understood and able to tell a story that not only resonates with their end users, but also with potential corporate partners and outside investors, who are often less technical," says Lauren.
  • Venture Capital is usually a job that people transition into, rather than start their careers in. 68% of venture capitalists in the US have backgrounds in start-ups, according to research by Diversity VC.
  • "Making a strategic career move requires thinking...
Continue Reading...

109. Do this to become a Digital Collaborator today

To lead in the Digital Age, you need to become a Digital Collaborator. The best way to learn anything quickly is to put yourself in a situation where not doing it isn’t an option.

Listen to this episode to learn what you can do to start collaborating with tech teams and take your career to the next level.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • If you work in a corporate, set up a weekly meeting with technologists and your team to discuss what they’re working on and how it impacts scale, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. This public commitment to collaboration removes your choice to delay.
  • For example, if you work in marketing, set up regular meeting with the data science team and begin by outlining your goals for the year and where you see the biggest bottle necks. While the data science team might not have solutions right away, this will lay the foundations for future collaboration. 
  • Another way to do become a Digital Collaborator is to volunteer...
Continue Reading...

103. How I got into deep tech investing (with Colin Beirne, Two Sigma Ventures)

“There are things that are much more important about investing in technology companies than technology,” says Colin Beirne, Founder of Two Sigma Ventures. TSV has invested in around 100 start-ups over the last 10 years, and funded 10 unicorns. They’re part of Two Sigma, a hedge fund with more than $60 billion under management.

Colin is surrounded by data scientists and programmers, but doesn’t have a background in programming. Listen to this episode to hear how Colin went from a liberal arts college to becoming one of the world’s leading deep tech investors.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • The winning company is not always the one with the best technology. Tech can be a differentiator, but usually it’s only temporary. The job of a venture capitalist is not to figure out which company has the best tech. It’s to figure out which company has the best business that can ultimately be the biggest impact,” says Colin.
  • Data science...
Continue Reading...

100. My story: ambition, tech and the camel incident

Today, I’m doing something a bit different. As our smart community grows, I know that some of you might not know much about me, my story or how I got into this tech thing.

That’s why today, I’m sharing a little bit about me.

I’m sharing this with you so that you can see that the confusion you feel about tech, or the fear that your lack of tech knowledge will be discovered, does not have to be your permanent reality. I want you to see from my example that there are many more opportunities for you than you probably think.

You will also learn what not to wear when riding a camel.

Summary notes from this episode:

  • I always wanted to have a great career, but when I graduated in 2005, tech wasn't what it is today. I started my career in the media, then worked in private equity and became a non-technical founder after my MBA.
  • I planned to use my MBA to transition into a career in tech, but this was harder than I thought. Business school gave me business skills...
Continue Reading...

99. The top skill you need to succeed in the Information Age

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen famously wrote that “software is eating the world.” While digital transformation is everywhere, and even your coffee shop has an app, this doesn't mean we all need to learn STEM subjects and become coders.

The vast majority of jobs remain non-technical. 

To succeed in today's economy, ambitious professionals need to learn how to become Digital Collaborators. This means learning additional skills, rather than completely retraining.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • Microsoft says that "the demand for digital skills continues to grow, and we estimate that digital job capacity – or the total number of technology-oriented jobs – will increase nearly five-fold by 2025, rising from 41 million in 2020 to 190 million in 2025. These numbers are in stark contrast, and they illustrate the digital skills gap that has accompanied the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
  • Being a Digital Collaborator means learning to...
Continue Reading...

93. Lessons from the Netflix C Suite

How do you get to the top of a tech company as a non-technical professional? How can you drive innovation, when you’re not building the technology yourself?

That’s what you’ll learn from this interview with David Wells, ex CFO of Netflix and chair of the board at Wise.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • It’s called tech, or working in tech, but the entire economy is going to be this. So calling it tech is a little bit apocryphal at this stage,” David says.
  • Tech jargon distances people from the actual understanding of the concepts.” Learning core technology concepts is not as hard as the jargon has many believe.
  • Learning what data scientists do and how to work with them is the best skill set to develop for business people in tech. “Data science is the analysis of the lifeblood of the company and you have to ask fundamental insight questions against it. You do not have to build the models yourself, but you are at an advantage if...
Continue Reading...

80. Why 2022 brings even MORE opportunity to non-techies in tech

The tech sector is massive and is set to get even bigger in 2022. As it matures, the number of non-technical roles increases.

Listen to this episode to prepare for the non-techie jobs boom.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • According to research by Glassdoor, 54% of all jobs in tech companies are for non-technical roles.
  • As the tech sector matures, it becomes more open to non-techies. When a tech start-up grows into a business, it needs the human infrastructure of a business: marketing departments, legal expertise, procurement help and so on.
  • Peloton is a great example of a tech company, whose non-technical component makes it truly special. The bikes and treadmills are great, but the instructors, the community aspect and the branding is what makes consumers buy and love the products.

To learn the core concepts you need to succeed in tech as a non-techie, sign up for:

FREE TRAINING: How To Speak Tech For Leaders   

Live training and Q&A on 26 & 27...

Continue Reading...

79. Why human insight will drive success in tech in 2022

No code apps and outsourced product studios mean that there is more opportunity than ever for non-technical founders and traditional businesses to get into tech and succeed.

But, as more companies enter the market, they’ll be competing for a finite resource: our attention.

Listen to this episode how to make the most of this opportunity and avoid costly mistakes.

Learning notes:

  • The prevalence of No Code apps and outsourced product studios is driving down the cost of building apps, sites and algorithms.
  • As more tech products enter the market, marketing costs will increase. This means a boon for Facebook and Google, and also for professionals who know how to attract and engage new users.
  • Jobs that will benefit from this boom include User Experience designers, who know how to make habit forming products, Community Managers and Strategic Partnerships experts. None of these roles require coding, but they all require an understanding of how tech products get built and who does what...
Continue Reading...

78. How to review your year with UX Designer Sang Valte

career strategy ux design Dec 21, 2021

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action” - Peter Drucker. 

As 2021 comes to a close, it's useful to reflect on what worked, what didn't and how your industry evolved

In this episode, you'll hear from Sang Valte, Senior UX Director at international design agency Jellyfish, and Design Standards Board Member at General Assembly, about how he reviews his year and how the UX changed in 2021.

Questions to ask yourself for your end of year review:

  • What have you gained in your health & wealth? Where have you lost? Sang thinks of wealth in relationships, friendships and knowledge, and health in terms of financial health, mental health and physical health.
  • What have you done to further your skills in your career this year? Good UX designers must work to remove bias from their thinking to truly understand the users they make products for, says Sang. To sharpen critical...
Continue Reading...
1 2 3
Close

50% Complete

Sign Up

Get insights on what non-techies really need to know about tech to run companies, transition careers and make smart investments.