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Should I be scared of new technologies as an entrepreneur?

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FastLaner007

Bronze Contributor
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Jan 28, 2014
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Hello entrepreneurs,

I have a unique question to present to you FastLaners. I am flabbergasted at the rate current technologies are growing every year.

I come from a business family who is into trading various commodities like Diamonds, Gold, food grains etc, so we aren't vulnerable to disruptions made by new technologies. I, however, want to be more than just a trader of goods and so I studied Computer Science for my undergraduation in 2011, so as to build the next big thing like Google or Facebook (at least I hoped to). I still intend to build new tech related or non-technical startups to build vast wealth.

I have a serious question to ask though. Although I am a Computer Science/Software Engineering graduate, I still find the find the concepts/fields of various rapidly evolving technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, etc extremely difficult to understand, much less start a startup using those technologies, now that every VC funded startup seems to be using some sort of AI or Blockchain in their core technology.

So, should I be scared of these new technologies grabbing up the opportunities? Will there be a chance for us non-technical or average tech people to get rich by innovating or add value by improving industries (as stated in the Unscripted book)? I am getting depressed that I am just not getting these "cool" and "hip" technologies to implement them in my own startups, no matter how much I try to learn about them by watching YouTube videos and reading online articles. Even if I manage to get the basics of some technology down, there are further advances made in the technology by then leaving me lagging behind.

Please help me clear my head. I need motivation to continue in my entrepreneurial journey. Can I still succeed in business massively by not knowing the latest technologies? If yes, can you please give some examples where non-technical guys can make big money in a Hi-Tech world?

Many thanks.
 
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Bulgano

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Sep 12, 2017
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Hello entrepreneurs,

I have a unique question to present to you FastLaners. I am flabbergasted at the rate current technologies are growing every year.

I come from a business family who is into trading various commodities like Diamonds, Gold, food grains etc, so we aren't vulnerable to disruptions made by new technologies. I, however, want to be more than just a trader of goods and so I studied Computer Science for my undergraduation in 2011, so as to build the next big thing like Google or Facebook (at least I hoped to). I still intend to build new tech related or non-technical startups to build vast wealth.

I have a serious question to ask though. Although I am a Computer Science/Software Engineering graduate, I still find the find the concepts/fields of various rapidly evolving technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, etc extremely difficult to understand, much less start a startup using those technologies, now that every VC funded startup seems to be using some sort of AI or Blockchain in their core technology.

So, should I be scared of these new technologies grabbing up the opportunities? Will there be a chance for us non-technical or average tech people to get rich by innovating or add value by improving industries (as stated in the Unscripted book)? I am getting depressed that I am just not getting these "cool" and "hip" technologies to implement them in my own startups, no matter how much I try to learn about them by watching YouTube videos and reading online articles. Even if I manage to get the basics of some technology down, there are further advances made in the technology by then leaving me lagging behind.

Please help me clear my head. I need motivation to continue in my entrepreneurial journey. Can I still succeed in business massively by not knowing the latest technologies? If yes, can you please give some examples where non-technical guys can make big money in a Hi-Tech world?

Many thanks.

In my opinion, the whole point of being an entrepreneur is adapting to situations (or in this case new technologies) and finding ways to make them valuable to the average consumer.

I still find the find the concepts/fields of various rapidly evolving technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, etc extremely difficult to understand, much less start a startup using those technologies, now that every VC funded startup seems to be using some sort of AI or Blockchain in their core technology.

Well yeah, the people that make those startups (the successful ones) probably spent a lot of time learning how it works and how to apply it. If the average Joe could do it then they wouldn't really be providing any value to the consumer.

However, I think technologies like blockchain are just trends to be honest. It's been around for ages yet it only takes off this year because of the whole bitcoin trend that developed mainstream.
Now average Joe's who think they know everything about blockchain and bitcoin because they saw a 10 minute segment on the news about it are creating their own cryptocurrencies.

The best advice I can give you, if you don't understand something, keep learning about it. Hell even when you do understand it, keep learning about it. Make sure it is something that will be worth your while though. It would be a shame to waste a large chunk of time learning something that becomes irrelevant in 1 year.

To answer your last question, yes.
First example that comes to mind is Steve Jobs. He was interested in technology, but from what I've read he didn't actually develop anything. That was all Steve Wozniak.

Steve Jobs was just a salesman and the face of Apple.

So there you go. Co-founder of one of the biggest tech companies in the world was a salesman and probably had no idea how the latest technologies worked.

Just remember, if you get to a stage where your company is taking off, you will be hiring other people to understand all the new tech and integrating it into your products, not you.
 

FastLaner007

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jan 28, 2014
107
255
30
In my opinion, the whole point of being an entrepreneur is adapting to situations (or in this case new technologies) and finding ways to make them valuable to the average consumer.



Well yeah, the people that make those startups (the successful ones) probably spent a lot of time learning how it works and how to apply it. If the average Joe could do it then they wouldn't really be providing any value to the consumer.

However, I think technologies like blockchain are just trends to be honest. It's been around for ages yet it only takes off this year because of the whole bitcoin trend that developed mainstream.
Now average Joe's who think they know everything about blockchain and bitcoin because they saw a 10 minute segment on the news about it are creating their own cryptocurrencies.

The best advice I can give you, if you don't understand something, keep learning about it. Hell even when you do understand it, keep learning about it. Make sure it is something that will be worth your while though. It would be a shame to waste a large chunk of time learning something that becomes irrelevant in 1 year.

To answer your last question, yes.
First example that comes to mind is Steve Jobs. He was interested in technology, but from what I've read he didn't actually develop anything. That was all Steve Wozniak.

Steve Jobs was just a salesman and the face of Apple.

So there you go. Co-founder of one of the biggest tech companies in the world was a salesman and probably had no idea how the latest technologies worked.

Just remember, if you get to a stage where your company is taking off, you will be hiring other people to understand all the new tech and integrating it into your products, not you.

Love this post, especially your example of Steve Jobs and Wozniak. It totally changed up my perception towards entrepreneurship. I realized that I can simply find a technical co-founder who complements the tech skills that I lack. I have a solid business acumen, so I can be the business guy in the startup so to speak.

Any more input guys?
 

minivanman

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
Mar 16, 2017
1,723
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DFW
Well, let's take blue tooth for example. It has been around since what.... 1958 or something like that? Anyway, so we, the people, get use of it just a few years ago and when you think nothing can be better..... LISNR hits the market. I don't know if you should be scared, you just have to work a little harder if you really want 'it'. If it was so easy a caveman could do it... well, Bobby on fries at Burger King would be doing it. Are you scared of yourself for not being better?

I could be way off on the year bluetooth was invented but I know it was a long time ago. (js)
 
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S.Y.

Silver Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Oct 4, 2017
369
994
Canada
Hello entrepreneurs,

I have a unique question to present to you FastLaners. I am flabbergasted at the rate current technologies are growing every year.

I come from a business family who is into trading various commodities like Diamonds, Gold, food grains etc, so we aren't vulnerable to disruptions made by new technologies. I, however, want to be more than just a trader of goods and so I studied Computer Science for my undergraduation in 2011, so as to build the next big thing like Google or Facebook (at least I hoped to). I still intend to build new tech related or non-technical startups to build vast wealth.

I have a serious question to ask though. Although I am a Computer Science/Software Engineering graduate, I still find the find the concepts/fields of various rapidly evolving technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, etc extremely difficult to understand, much less start a startup using those technologies, now that every VC funded startup seems to be using some sort of AI or Blockchain in their core technology.

So, should I be scared of these new technologies grabbing up the opportunities? Will there be a chance for us non-technical or average tech people to get rich by innovating or add value by improving industries (as stated in the Unscripted book)? I am getting depressed that I am just not getting these "cool" and "hip" technologies to implement them in my own startups, no matter how much I try to learn about them by watching YouTube videos and reading online articles. Even if I manage to get the basics of some technology down, there are further advances made in the technology by then leaving me lagging behind.

Please help me clear my head. I need motivation to continue in my entrepreneurial journey. Can I still succeed in business massively by not knowing the latest technologies? If yes, can you please give some examples where non-technical guys can make big money in a Hi-Tech world?

Many thanks.

Preface to my answer: I have immersed myself in the data science and artificial intelligence (mainly Machine Learning) in the last few months. I know enough to understand there is a lot for me to learn. And I have seen enough to conclude that many are not aware of what is coming. And I am not talking about the "sentient AI" or the "all our jobs will be taken" BS. I am referring to how the future will be completely different.

Onward.

Should be scared of the new technologies? Yes, IF you are not willing to adapt and use them to your advantage. It doesn't mean you have to code or do any form of technical work. Hiring or getting into a partnership with someone that understand those technologies & is able to explain how they will help you is an option.

But this is not the right question. The one that we should ask is: should you pay attention? And the answer: ABSOLUTELY. And this because, whoever doesn't will have a competitive disadvantage, regardless of the industry - high tech or not.

A good example of low tech company using AI: Warby Parker. They revolutionized the eyewear industries with their business model, moving it in the digital world. Now because they did it, they have access to a lot of data (people visiting their website). Meaning, compared to regular brick & mortar stores, they can feed that data to a machine learning program to get insights into the preference of their customers. Examples of things they can do:
- spot trends based on purchases
- Understand which style people like depending on their location, ages, ethnicity.... and push those styles to those people
- see the higher density location of their customers and set up shops there (optimizing the location)
- etc...

A terrific advantage, if you ask me.

To your other point, can you - as a non-tech guy - be successful. Yes. The creators are one part of the equation. People that will know how to use apps/services will have a huge advantage as well. A great example is the way the CEO of Salesforce use their Einstein A.I in meetings. Quite fascinating.

So, keep learning, surround yourself with complementary people and go achieve great things.

PS: I disagree with @Bulgano on blockchain. Bitcoin is one way of using blockchain and not the reason why blockchain is so popular. It is disruptive because of the way it replaces middlemen and the degree of trust it confers. There is a lot of hype and many self-called experts don't know shit. It doesn't change the fact that the technology is completely disruptive and a force to pay attention to in the future.

PSS: I am working on a platform that will address your concerns. (I will create an execution thread eventually). A portion of what I will do is to show how people can use existing tech in their businesses.
 
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