117 episodes

Tech for Non-Techies demystifies the fast-growing technology sector. Hear interviews with entrepreneurs, investors, Big Tech executives and product makers about how tech products and profits get made.

The tech sector is full of opportunity, but if you're an outsider, it can be hard to grasp. Tech for Non-Techies changes all that.

Subscribe to Tech For Non-Techies to get the skills, knowledge and confidence to find opportunities in the tech sector, whether that’s through founding a company or getting your dream job. Hosted by tech entrepreneur and Chicago Booth MBA Sophia Matveeva.

Tech for Non-Techies Sophia Matveeva

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

Tech for Non-Techies demystifies the fast-growing technology sector. Hear interviews with entrepreneurs, investors, Big Tech executives and product makers about how tech products and profits get made.

The tech sector is full of opportunity, but if you're an outsider, it can be hard to grasp. Tech for Non-Techies changes all that.

Subscribe to Tech For Non-Techies to get the skills, knowledge and confidence to find opportunities in the tech sector, whether that’s through founding a company or getting your dream job. Hosted by tech entrepreneur and Chicago Booth MBA Sophia Matveeva.

    117. Lessons from the Lean Start-Up by Eric Reis

    117. Lessons from the Lean Start-Up by Eric Reis

    "Successful entrepreneurs don't have better ideas, they have a better process," says Eric Reis in The Lean Start-Up. To learn how to innovate with speed, listen to this week's episode.
    Learning notes from this episode:
    “A start-up is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty,” says Reis. Do not to apply your corporate experience to start-ups. Corporates have: Departments A known business model A known problem Start-ups have: 3 people and a dog No proven business model A problem hypothesis To test new ideas in conditions of extreme uncertainty, follow the Build-Measure-Learn cycle. (Pictured here) This process is not only for tech products. Use it to invent new products and services, and if you get traction with existing tools, then consider investing in tech. If you do not have a technical background, you will not know how to build a product so you could measure and learn. This is why The Lean Start-Up is a great theoretical guide to innovation, but does not present a clear path to product for non-technical innovators. The Non-Technical Founder's Introduction To Tech course shows how to apply Build-Measure-Learn in practice.   
    Join our next FREE Training on 28 September, 12 pm EDT / 5 pm BST
    How To Speak Tech For Leaders Previous class attendees said:
    “Super helpful content that can be applied to a wider range of professions, presented in a fun, personable way.” “Love presenter's extensive knowledge and experience, and use of concrete examples to convey points” “Presenter brought energy, humor & clarity.” “The inspiration I needed to hear the stories of non-tech people getting involved in tech.” Sign up here.
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    There are 2 ways to apply this work to your goals: For individuals, APPLY FOR A CONSULTATION CALL for Tech For Non-Techies membership.
    For companies: If you want to increase productivity, innovation and diversity, then your non-technical teams need to learn how to collaborate with the techies. 
    BOOK A CALL to discuss bespoke training & consulting.
    We love hearing from our readers and listeners. So if you have questions about the content or working with us, just get in touch on info@techfornontechies.co
     
    Say hi to Sophia on Twitter and follow her on LinkedIn.
    Following us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok will make you smarter. 

    • 16 min
    116. Introduction to Deep Tech investing

    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 promising could not be built. One of the best ways to learn about Deep Tech investing is to attend accelerator demo days. Listen to start-up pitches and take note of what experienced deep tech investors are asking about. For example, you could start with the Duality accelerator ran by the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center, which focusses on quantum computing start-ups. Resources mentioned in this episode:
    Episode 4. What Non-Technical Founders Need to Know About Tech (interview with David Segura) Episode 31. How To Transition Into Venture Capital Episode 114. What is Deep Tech?    
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    It's funny too. Sign up here.
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    There are 2 ways to apply this work to your goals: For individuals, APPLY FOR A CONSULTATION CALL for Tech For Non-Techies membership.
    For companies: If you want to increase productivity, innovation and diversity, then your non-technical teams need to learn how to collaborate with the techies. 
    BOOK A CALL to discuss bespoke training & consulting.
    We love hearing from our readers and listeners. So if you have questions about the content or working with us, just get in touch on info@techfornontechies.co
     
    Say hi to Sophia on Twitter and follow her on LinkedIn.
    Following us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok will make you smarter. 

    • 16 min
    115. Commercialising innovation and breaking into Deep Tech

    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 no 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 entrepreneurially," says Lauren. This means investing time and effort into activities that will pay off in the long run, but not today, like volunteering for start-ups or accelerators. Resources mentioned in this episode:
    Episode 114. What is Deep Tech? Episode 103. How I got into deep tech investing (with Colin Beirne, Two Sigma Ventures) Episode 108. How to work with a data scientist -----
    If you like learning about how tech products and profits get made, you'll like our newsletter.
    It's funny too. Sign up here.
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    There are 2 ways to apply this work to your goals: For individuals, APPLY FOR A CONSULTATION CALL for Tech For Non-Techies membership.
    For companies: If you want to increase productivity, innovation and diversity, then your non-technical teams need to learn how to collaborate with the techies. 
    BOOK A CALL to discuss bespoke training & consulting.
    We love hearing from our readers and listeners. So if you have questions about the content or working with us, just get in touch on info@techfornontechies.co
     
    Say hi to Sophia on Twitter and follow her on LinkedIn.
    Following us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok will make you smarter. 

    • 36 min
    114. What is Deep Tech?

    114. What is Deep Tech?

    Companies like Deep Mind fascinate investors and innovators, but what is a deep tech company really and how does it differ from other types of tech firms? Listen to this episode to find out.
    Learning notes from this episode:
    Deep Tech is a sub-sector of the technology sector where the emphasis is on tangible engineering innovation or scientific advances and discoveries. It includes artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, advanced material science, photonics and electronics, biotech and quantum computing.  Deep Tech is usually B2B: these companies usually sell their innovations to other businesses, rather than directly to consumers. Deep Tech companies are usually founded by technical founders, and sometimes have non-technical co-founders who help them commercialise the innovation. A good example is biotech tech start-up Vitro Labs, where a scientist teamed up with a fashion industry expert to create laboratory grown leather. The biggest risk to Deep Tech companies is getting over-excited by technological innovation at the cost of seeing whether the new technology is creating any actual value.  “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,” said Colin Beirne, co-founder of Two Sigma Ventures, a deep tech investor. Resources mentioned in this episode:
    Episode 103. How I got into deep tech investing (with Colin Beirne, Two Sigma Ventures) Tech Target: Deep Mind -----
    If you like learning about how tech products and profits get made, you'll like our newsletter.
    It's funny too. Sign up here.
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    There are 2 ways to apply this work to your goals: For individuals, APPLY FOR A CONSULTATION CALL for Tech For Non-Techies membership.
    For companies: If you want to increase productivity, innovation and diversity, then your non-technical teams need to learn how to collaborate with the techies. 
    BOOK A CALL to discuss bespoke training & consulting.
    We love hearing from our readers and listeners. So if you have questions about the content or working with us, just get in touch on info@techfornontechies.co
     
    Say hi to Sophia on Twitter and follow her on LinkedIn.
    Following us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok will make you smarter. 
     

    • 13 min
    113. How porn drives tech innovation

    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 come from, regardless of whether they are from culturally approved places, the more creative you will be in your work. Resources mentioned in this episode:
    Business Insider: How porn drives innovation in tech Web root: internet Pornography by the Numbers Obscene Profits: The Entrepreneurs of Pornography in the Cyber Age, by Frederick Lane  The Erotic Engine, by Patchen Barss  
    Join the The Non-Technical Founders Introduction to Tech workshop You will learn:
    The framework for how to go from idea to live product Product management fundamentals How to work with developers effectively How and when to hire a product team -----
    If you like learning about how tech products and profits get made, you'll like our newsletter.
    It's funny too. Sign up here.
    -----
    There are 2 ways to apply this work to your goals: For individuals, APPLY FOR A CONSULTATION CALL for Tech For Non-Techies membership.
    For companies: If you want to increase productivity, innovation and diversity, then your non-technical teams need to learn how to collaborate with the techies. 
    BOOK A CALL to discuss bespoke training & consulting.
    We love hearing from our readers and listeners. So if you have questions about the content or working with us, just get in touch on info@techfornontechies.co
     
    Say hi to Sophia on Twitter and follow her on LinkedIn.
    Following us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok will make you smarter. 
     

    • 9 min
    112. The three stages of start-up teams

    112. The three stages of start-up teams

    A tech start-up begins its life with a tiny team. The founders are either technical or tech savvy, but as the company scales its team has to change. 
    Learn about the three stages of start-up team growth here.
    Learning notes from this episode:
    At stage 1, the start-up is focussed on building its first product and getting the first customers. The team is usually tiny, and each team member is either building the technology themselves or is very closely involved in the process. Everyone learns from each other on the job. At stage 2, the start-up has raised Series A or Series B and is focussed on scaling. This is when specialists in non-technical fields start getting hired: HR experts, sales people etc. The gap between the techies and the non-techies widens, and this is where opportunities get lost. At stage 3, the start-up is a late stage venture and is either preparing for a merger or an IPO. At this point, the original founder is very unlikely to be the CEO. According to analysis by Harvard Business School professor Noam Wasserman: “by the time the ventures were three years old, 50% of founders were no longer the CEO; in year four, only 40% were still in the corner office; and fewer than 25% led their companies’ initial public offerings.” 
    Resources mentioned in this episode:
    Harvard Business Review: The Founders' Dilemma by Noam Wasserman Join the The Non-Technical Founders Introduction to Tech workshop You will learn:
    The framework for how to go from idea to live product Product management fundamentals How to work with developers effectively How and when to hire a product team  
    Listen here on Apple Podcasts Listen here on Spotify -----
    If you like learning about how tech products and profits get made, you'll like our newsletter.
    It's funny too. Sign up here.
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    There are 2 ways to apply this work to your goals: For individuals, APPLY FOR A CONSULTATION CALL for Tech For Non-Techies membership.
    For companies: If you want to increase productivity, innovation and diversity, then your non-technical teams need to learn how to collaborate with the techies. 
    BOOK A CALL to discuss bespoke training & consulting.
    We love hearing from our readers and listeners. So if you have questions about the content or working with us, just get in touch on info@techfornontechies.co
     
    Say hi to Sophia on Twitter and follow her on LinkedIn.
    Following us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok will make you smarter. 
    (Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash)

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

Neil C Hughes ,

Bridges the gap between technology and business needs.

Love how Sophia demystifies tech and uses this podcast to build a bridge between the tech industry and everyone else. All in a language that everyone can understand.

Awesome podcast.

Bringing tech to the arts ,

Just what I was looking for

I’m heading up a music business, digital start-up. I’m new to the tech/digital world and I need to learn fast. This podcast is exactly what I need. The content is excellent and I’ve already learnt a lot. It’s great to learn in podcast form too (as opposed to reading or courses), I can stick my headphones on, go for a walk and learn at the same time.

Willy score ,

Insightful and entertaining

I listen to a lot of investment podcasts but none provide such a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of technology investing. A must for all investors looking to up their tech game and improve their understanding of this fast moving space

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