Welcome to the Tech for Non-Techies podcast

136. 2023 Prediction 4: Opportunities lie in the invention vs adaption gap

What kind of doorbell do you use? A buzzer? A door knocker or a Ring smart doorbell system?

Right now, you can see all three inventions in use: one that has been around for millennia, and another that was created just 20 years ago.

This shows the wide gap between tech invention and its wide-scale adaption. While the Ring doorbell system is now well known, some people still prefer to use a door knocker – a system that was developed before Biblical times.

This gap between a product or an idea existing, and its wide scale adaption, is where the biggest opportunities lie. 

Listen to this episode to learn how to capture them, as a corporate leader, founder or investor.

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Live online: 5 February 2023, 11 am EST / 4 pm GMT

 

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134. 2023 Prediction 2: Silicon Valley’s white male focus brings opportunity for everyone else

Despite the many press releases touting Silicon Valley's diversity efforts, the majority of funding from this innovation will still go to white males in 2023. 

While this reality is not what many of us want, it is an opportunity for investors and innovators to capture overlooked user markets.

 Learning notes from this episode:

    • A product is a solution to a problem a human is experiencing. Innovators make solutions for problems they are familiar with, which means that homogeneity in founders means homogeneity in products.
      • This means there is more competition amongst products that solve problems experienced by male founders, such as laundry services and food delivery apps, than in other niches, such as female healthcare. 
      • While funding will be harder to get for products not aimed at the white male market, competition in these sectors will also often be lower. Ultimately, this means big untapped opportunities.
    • Companies ran by founders who are not white...
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133. 2023 Prediction 1: the biggest tech opportunity is in healthcare

The biggest gains and innovations will come from digital technologies in healthcare in 2023.

Big Tech firms have already entered healthcare, with Amazon buying One Medical and launching Amazon Clinic in 2022. But, healthcare tech innovation is happening across the board: from start-ups to hospital systems.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • As Big Tech firms' valuations have fallen, they have become less attractive places for people to work. This means that working at a promising health tech start-up is now a much more tempting option for talented managers and engineers at Meta and Alphabet.
    • All things being equal, most smart experienced people would rather contribute to saving lives rather than driving attention on a social media feed.
  • The gap between innovation and adaption is narrowing in healthcare. Many startups with innovative technologies that have been around for years are seeing an increase in demand, as hospital systems go digital and and more doctors use...
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130. Lessons for Digital Leaders from the London Stock Exchange - Microsoft deal

This December, Microsoft (founded in 1975) took a 4% stake in the London Stock Exchange (founded in 1698). As part of this deal, the LSE will spend at least $2.8 billion on Microsoft’s cloud related services in the next 10 years.

Big Tech and finance have been getting closer and closer in recent years. The CME has a deal with Google, AWS has a deal with Nasdaq, and almost all banks and insurers now use big tech’s cloud services.

This is a sign of things to come for all industries, and carries lessons for Digital Leaders.

Lessons for Digital Leaders:

  • The senior management of the London Stock Exchange today has to have a different skill set to what it had 10 years ago, because digital technologies are now an integral part of the business.

    • The same logic either already applies or will soon apply to other industries. If you want to have a future proof career, you need to learn to Speak Tech and collaborate with your technical colleagues.
  • This is a case study...

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128. Business reality doesn’t match AI hype (yet)

There is plenty of hype about AI, but most organisations are still using old precesses to make decisions.

We are  in the Between Times: "after AI's clear promise and before its transformational impact," as described in the book Power and Prediction: the disruptive economics of Artificial Intelligence

In this episode, Professor Joshua Gans, one of the book's co-authors explains why organisations are not yet adapting the full power of AI and what will happen when they do.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • Artificial Intelligence is a prediction machine, which supports decision making.
  • Today businesses often use AI for one or two processes, but most decisions are still made by humans. Technology first companies and start-ups often have more AI-based decision making, because they do not have to replace legacy processes.
  • Business leaders should not accept AI as just a black box. In fact, Professor Gans argues that business brains might be better...
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113. How porn drives tech innovation

The porn industry is behind many of the innovations that drive e-commerce and the consumer internet today. If you want to know what new trend is going to be the hottest thing in tech, the makers of smut probably have the answer.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • The adult industry pioneered streaming video, tracking devices and online credit card transactions.
  • Even before the advent of the internet, porn drove consumer tech. Author Patchen Barss  says that without porn, the VCR might have never taken off as a consumer product.
  • Pornographers are not necessarily the inventors of new technologies, but they are  the first to use them and thus drive consumer adoption. Once a technology works for porn users, they often flow down to the mainstream.
  • If you are a tech investor or a tech innovator, seeing what new products or use cases are happening in the adult industry, can help you spot the next big trend. The more you can pick up ideas from wherever they...
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105. A surprising outcome of Speaking Tech (& a lesson from Apple Watch)

Listen to what happened when Apple forgot a key market and how to avoid the same mistake. When product teams consist of entirely white males, they make products for white males. When non-technical professionals learn to Speak Tech, you get better products, happier customers & better profits.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • While there are plenty of programs to get minorities into STEM, they will take years to have an effect.
  • In the next few decades, most developers will continue to be white males. To prevent baking unconscious bias into products, the simplest, cheapest and fastest way is to teach non-technical teams how to work with the techies. 
  • Bringing diverse voices into product development is not a moral issue; it is capitalist self-interest. E.g. if women are not involved in product innovation, companies can lose up to 50% market share. 

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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:

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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...
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