How To Use Technology In Your Business

How To Use Technology In Your Business

Nelly Yusupova

Devin Miller

The Inventive Journey

Podcast for Entrepreneurs


How To Use Technology In Your Business

So this led me to create Techspeak for entrepreneurs which is a program where I teach a ten step process that I personally use to mange developers, help entrepreneurs with communication to be able to understand all the tech speak and all the jargon around how to build a start up. Then learn the entire process so they can gain their confidence back and be able to mange and lead with confidence and get the team aligned with what needs to be done so that you can minimize mistakes, spot the read flags sooner. It is unrealistic to never make mistakes but, the sooner you can catch them the less money you are spending and the faster you can course correct.


The Inventive Journey

Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.

Get New Episodes

Get 2 brand-new podcast episodes sent to you every week!

ai generated  transcription

so this led me to create text speak for entrepreneurs which is a program where i teach a 10-step process that i personally use to manage developers help entrepreneurs with communication to be able to get understand the all the tech speak and the jargon around uh how to build a startup and and and learn the entire process so they can gain their confidence back and be able to manage and lead with confidence and uh get the team to be aligned on what needs to be done so that you can minimize mistakes so that you can spot the red flag sooner it's unrealistic never to make mistakes but the sooner you can catch them the less money you're spending and the faster you can course correct [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that's built several startups in the seven and eight figure companies as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks and today we've got another great guest on the podcast and it's nelly and she told me your name before you and i you support yourself you support that i'm going to mess it up but we have nellie on and now we're going to today's an expert episode and we're going to talk about a little bit more about um about how to leverage technology in your businesses with the kind of a focus on how to do that especially if you're not a non-techie person meaning not every founder or co-founder of a business is always going to have the technical skills and so you may not you may be as shy you may not otherwise know how to use the technology in your business but you can leverage a lot of it get a lot of mileage out of it and also how to do that without having to pay software or software companies an exorbitant amount of money and spend too much for not a good deliverable so with that welcome on to the podcast ellie thank you nice to be here so i gave a bit of an introduction as to what we're going to talk about but maybe just take a minute or two introduce yourself to the audience and let everybody know a little bit more about your background and what you are how you got to where you're at today well in college i studied computer science and while still in school i joined a startup called web girls international which is a community of women in technology had an amazing mission to get more women online and have them learn and leverage technology in their professional and business lives and after graduating school i went and worked for a large corporation it was my dream to always be in a large corporation large environment where there's a lot of resources seemingly and uh boy did i find out that was not the case [Laughter] so i went to work at this big financial firm and i was the programmer but what i very quickly realized coming from a start-up environment that uh the culture is very different there's a lot of bureaucracy and rough tape and um i jumped at the opportunity when an opposition opened up at web girls and it was a cto position and i was given an opportunity of a lifetime to become a cto very young in my career i learned a lot it was a learning experience not to just embrace technology and learn everything about tech but also about business which is not something that you get to get exposed to generally and especially this early in your career so i'm very very thankful for that and as my position in the industry grew um i started going to different conferences and trainings and met lots of entrepreneurs and this is where i heard started hearing the horror stories that entrepreneurs were sharing that when it came to managing developers working on tech projects and i'm talking about sixty thousand dollars eighty thousand dollars or even a startup who lost a hundred thousand dollars of their seed funding to technology mistakes uh so this led me to create uh txp for entrepreneurs which is a program where i teach a ten step process that i personally use to manage developers help entrepreneurs with communication to be able to get understand the all the tech speak and the jargon around uh how to build a startup and and and learn the entire process so they can gain their confidence back and be able to manage and lead with confidence and uh get the team to be aligned on what needs to be done so that you can minimize mistakes so that you can spot the red flags sooner it's unrealistic never to make mistakes but the sooner you can catch them the less money you're spending and the faster you can course correct so that's kind of where i am today um and my mission is to help non-tech entrepreneurs minimize mistakes so that they can become more confident in their journey as entrepreneurs and do it in a more sustainable fashion no i think that's a an admirable uh mission to be on and and a service to provide so now diving into a bit of the you know the meat of the expert episode um you know so you're talking about you got a lot of companies and you know and i can think of some of them that are very technology heavy driven you go to silicon valley everything seems to be technology but you get outside of that and there's a lot of companies almost to your point you know i think of whether it's you know people that did construction in our house at one point or a plumber or a what i would call blue-collar jobs or you know service industry a lot of them i they don't implement technology i don't know that it's always that they're against technology but either to your point they're non-techy they don't know how to do they don't know how to leverage it and so if you're looking at or industries that typically don't leverage a lot of technologies how do you start out even identifying how to start to leverage technology especially if you're a non-techie person how do you even know where to begin sure well there's two sides to this uh and i'll and i'll draw i'll address both of them because i think they're both very relevant so number one you have to understand for the current business that you're in what are the tools that will help automate a lot of the things that you're doing manually and there's so many different tools out there and a lot of them are very inexpensive because of the software as a service model you basically pay for what you use right so if you're a very small company and you use fewer resources your cost to use those services are very low and if you're a larger company and as you grow and you have and make more money you pay a little bit more but they allow you to save time they you don't have to pay technical expertise to maintain them this is like in the early 90s where you had to install all of the software on your computer and then you had to have a developer or a technical person manage all of those things in case things broke that is no longer the case with software as a service so it opens up a lot of possibilities for business owners who are not necessarily in the technical space save time and money and energy on doing things that technology can do very very quickly and efficiently and the other side of it and i so this is something that i talk about a lot with people who are traditionally non-technical spaces is how can you actually build technology to solve a very specific specific problem so i'll give you an example there is a real estate person this is somebody who took my program and i was just blown away by this example because it's exactly the type of business person that you are talking about so this was a real estate professional no technical background there's no tech in real estate you know in the in his job but he was doing his work had a very specific domain expertise to um to do real estate and he saw an inefficiency every single day that could be solved with a software product so he had a brother who took tech speak uh sorry a cousin who took tech speak and they worked together to create a little prototype and then they took this prototype to his employer and he was able to sell the idea the employer became his first customer and they paid him to build the solution which was a software product to solve that very specific issue that he saw and only he could see it because he was in the day-to-day weeds of that problem right so if you're in construction there are things that you're seeing every single day that are inefficient that i mean a lot of the people are still in spreadsheets right think about that with software you can create a sas product or any kind of solution that will streamline that process so don't just think of how can i use and leverage technology to become more efficient but is there a product that i can build that can help other people in your industry and this will instantly help you scale your company and also add an additional revenue source for you as well so um and you hit on it so let's say i'm in and you you use a real estate so we'll keep on that as an example but i'm in the real estate industry and i say okay i've got this inefficiency and i think i you know there's a better way to do this and you know sometimes i always look at it is there a repetitive task that i'm having to do over and over again that you can automate or is there something that if you had a tool that is going to save you a bunch of time those type of things on the technology side they can implement but let's say i identified i'm gonna i've got a new way that i think will save every it'll cut everybody's time that they have to do on a task in half so then you built do you build it for yourself internally or do you build it for the you know for the market or the industry in general in the sense you know there's kind of two different ways you could build a product excuse me one is you can say hey this will just make my company more competitive it'll make it better will be better than the competition and so we're going to build it just for us internally and we're not going to share with anybody or almost to your point you can say hey we're going to build this and then we're going to sell it we're going to license it we're going to make money off of it by other people using it because it's a pain point for everybody in that industry so how do you make that balance between keeping it for ourselves so you can be more competitive versus letting everybody have it making money off of it but now you don't have that competitive advantage so it it actually is such a great question it i think the answer to that is going to be very specific to who you are so if you found uh some kind of secret sauce that will make you super hum super a super company not i was going to say superhuman but the company's not really human right but think of the superhuman image attached to a startup if that will make you an amazing business simply because you were able to automate this or find this insight and then do that a thousand times better which makes you more efficient um you know then keep it but if you find that the market for your solution is so giant that the pain point that you're solving is so like what i call a level 12 problem the painkiller problem right versus a vitamin if you found something like that this is your opportunity to then scale beyond even just people in your area right with global the global economy there are people all across the world who might need your solution so if you run the math it's simply going back to running the math what's the opportunity cost of doing one way of or another how much money can you make if you keep it in-house and how much money can you make if you potentially license it right or did a sas model or whatever else that you can experiment and run the numbers and see what's um what's possible that's that's number one and number two what are you interested in doing some people are not you know are not interested in running a sas business but you know and if you are then that's awesome that may be a better opportunity but and you're also interested in it so there is uh the interest part of it is really important because some startups to get into a startup it takes a lot of energy a lot it takes a lot of effort and if you're not in it emotionally uh if you're not passionate about it the days when you're not going to have such a good day you need to have your why you need to understand why you're doing something to get you up and moving um to get to that goal so that's really important in my mind as well okay no i think that that makes perfect sense and i always look at it as you know the other thing i think you'd balance is there's a difference between if it's a tool that will make you know make you a little more efficient give you a little bit of competitive advantage but it's going to take five hundred thousand dollars to make you have to weigh that against it too right versus if hey yes it'll take but out of the shoot i know 100 companies will use it they'll all pay me a thousand dollars a month and i can recoup that money within a year or two then it kind of balances that so i think a lot of it is either you have to weigh into it is like whether or not it's competitive advantage or you can sell it on the marketplace is what is that value and how much either competitive advantage will give you internally or how much your other people likely willing to pay you for it and how much would it cost to reboot that so with that you take that and said okay we've identified you know some inefficiency something we could do better something that's going to either give us that competitive advantage we want to keep to ourselves or we want to build something that we can then sell to everybody do a sas or software as a service a sas company and you know sell that out to everybody or license it or give them a subscription model or whatnot you do that and now how do you especially the non-technical person which is probably the scariest part find those people to build it right because i work with a lot of startups and small businesses and the horror story is hey i went out to a software developer i thought he was going to be good he quoted me out at excellent we'll say 100 000. we got to 100 000 and we're only a quarter of the way done and he told me it's going to cost you know another 200 000 to get this done and it's going to take three times as long as we thought it was a disaster and you know either it died on the bind and it didn't go anywhere or we spent a whole bunch of money and still weren't happy so how do you avoid that or how do you start to especially if you don't a non-typical person where you're not you don't know even necessarily what the flags are or if they're doing a good job because you're going a lot on trust how do you try to tackle that so number one i would tell them to go take text speak that's exactly what i'll teach them to do but in all seriousness i think the uh the key to that is think of this is the framework that i uh teach in a tech speak the way that you think about it is how can you minimize the mistake what's the shortest path to accomplish to what you want to do so instead of thinking of your project as this gigantic enormous thing what is the minimal that that i can build and that goes through building the product to working with a specific person to uh marketing a certain thing right that philosophy applies to everything that you're doing so instead of building uh 10 features of your product maybe you figure out right when you're validating your idea what's the number one thing that people want and you build that first uh when you're hiring instead of giving somebody the entire project right maybe you test them for two weeks you give them a small piece of the project and maybe you test three different teams at the same time because you're all you're giving them the same project but it's so small the amount of money you're paying them is not a lot so you can actually test them in action so there's a lot of differences or dive into that just a little bit because i think that's insightful but if i review and i always play devil's advocate call his attorney at me but you know i give him a small two-week project i don't know if they did a great job or that you know if it's a little tiny thing i have if i'm a non-and i'm a technical person so i tried to remove myself out of that i would have very little idea so i always and i use my wife and not that my wife isn't a great person i love her she's a great person she's not a technical person she's a nurse she loves doing the medical stuff the people she thinks what i do is boring and i think what she would do is bored but i always use my wife inside because she's not an autumn technical person and if she would go out to hire someone and two to say here's it you know first of all she wouldn't even know how to identify what that minimally viable product is right so let's say it was something that should only take two weeks or it would only take one or two days they say oh yeah we'll do it in two or two weeks and it will cost you ten thousand dollars and then she gets it in two weeks and sure enough they did a good job in two weeks and they charged her ten thousand dollars and should have been one thousand dollars in one day and she has no way of doing it so how do you i think that that's a good point but how do you still pull back if you don't know what you what to pay for it or and i get go to you know go to tech speak but assuming that they haven't done that or they they haven't taken your course what are a few thoughts as to how you continue to dive down in on that so that's a great great question i'm glad you asked it so the reason why i say learn the text speak right it's it's not i know when i say text speak it's not the course but the actual text speak to speak tech um is so that you can understand the nuances right it's like going to a mechanic and not knowing anything about cars you're in exactly the same situation right so whether when you're in business you need to know a little bit about everything not just tech but finance and marketing and because you're going to get into this exact same situation for every single person that you're working with so your goal as a entrepreneur if you're not technical you need to get enough of tech knowledge and enough of a process and an understanding of what's right and what's not right so that when someone is when you're talking to somebody you can actually spot the red flags you will see if something sounds preposterous and and if you if you see that something is preposterous let's say somebody's saying it's going to cost you 10 000 and you kind of your gut feeling is saying well that's too much then if you're not technical i'm not saying you should be able to assess whether that situation is correct or not but you then bring or an outsourced cto that you have on an ongoing basis just an advisor right you pay them for when you need their advice on and you say well i have the situation what do you think about it but you're not you're saving a lot of money doing that way because you're there catching the red flags and and then bring on the experts that you should have around you anyway to then validate whether that is that feeling that you have that gut feeling that you have is accurate or not so the key in knowing all of this is not so that you can do it all yourself but then that gives you the power to make the right decisions at the right time when you you know when you get exposed to information you start to see things and you start to identify those red flags naturally just just you know sometimes i hear a story even before they finish the story i already know all the red flags because i'm so experienced i've heard so many different i've been in so many different situations they don't even have to finish telling me the story i already know that oh they've already lost the thousand dollars here fifty thousand dollars here you know it's it's it's part of being in it and getting the experience so you just have to know whether it's tech or finance or marketing or sales you have to know enough to be able to have those intelligent conversations so and i've got two questions i'll pay for you a whole bunch and we'll run out of time before i ever run but one one question you know you've got tech speak with you know text speak from i think it's text for which is a great resource other resources aside from going to college and getting a four-year undergraduate in computer science or electrical engineering or something like that where is what's a good re what are some good resources for people to at least get a familiarity or kind of be said understand a little bit of the tech speak so they can kind of get that gut feeling or those flags without having to get a four-year degree so uh all of the information is accessible online so that's the beauty of the internet is that you can literally google any question that you have and you can find 20 000 articles um on the same topic right and then your job is to not just read that one and say oh this is correct but you need to if you're doing the research you have to read 20 articles and then kind of put together the information and see what makes sense to you and the advantage of doing something like tech speak is that you can get from point a to point point b a lot faster because somebody's already done that for you but if you don't want to do that if you actually have the the uh luxury of time right because there's diff some people have more time some people have more money have the luxury of time you can actually take the time go to the resource google and start to do your own research it's it's uh what i don't like is that people play a victim especially when it comes to tech they automatically say i'm not technical i have my technical person that i'm gonna trust completely and that's a recipe for disaster do not ever do that so educate yourself understand that you have the power to do whatever it is that is necessary and that you can learn it yeah it'll take time and you can take courses and classes to get yourself from point a to point b faster but it's absolutely possible to do it on your own it's just gonna take longer no i think that that's that's a good point so now i'm going to flip the flip the question on the opposite end and i'm going to defend the the programmers which is a sense of so i have and i work with i'm in 10 year persons i'm the business i work with i work with programmers on a frequent basis and they always are doing just the opposite this is unfair we get people that are coming in that aren't technical people and when it starts it stands out as a very small project that okay we quote that out and it's manageable but then the non-technical person says well we want to have this feature and then we want to add this feature and then we wanted to do this and we want to that and they add about 20 more features on there that weren't originally contemplated and then they get frustrated when it takes more time takes more money you know it doesn't come out as it should or the programmers saying that that's not technologically possible or it'd be so impos you know take so much time and money it's not worthwhile and then they they walk away frustrated saying well this is really what i had in my mind and yet they never conveyed it so how do you avoid that or that scenario okay so there's something called agile project management the concept of agile so i'll compare waterfall versus agile in the waterfall mentality which is what most people are familiar with you kind of plan out this big project ahead of time and you you know you can't make any changes even if your ideas change your environment changes uh you find a new feature that you want to add to the original uh proposal right in a waterfall environment it's not possible to add anything new so whatever you agreed on you have to execute that um and it's so unrealistic in a startup environment because so many things change you want to be able to add if you want to if let's say tomorrow you talk to 10 customers and they're telling you something completely different than you you gain this insight and you already know that what you've agreed to build or should build is shouldn't even be built right so in an agile environment you you condense all of the planning to only two weeks so basically what you're doing both you and a developer are committing to only building those two weeks so you plan out for two weeks those are called sprints and you plan out for two weeks and in everything outside of those two weeks so you have a roadmap right you know what's going to be in week two and three and four and five and six but at any point in time anything that's not currently being worked on can be switched can be changed uh and so you can switch what you've already planned right you can put the sprint number seven into uh number two slot because that all of a sudden became more important right or you can add something brand new and so this gives the the flexibility that's necessary for the entrepreneur and also the expectation of what's required can be managed both by the developer and the entrepreneur so it's it's just a mindset that shift that needs to happen and then you so you you pay instead of per project you pay per sprint and so nobody gets frustrated now to get things done very quickly no i like that so then you're almost saying we're gonna if i were to reflect that or put it in non-tech speak you know sprint you know agile and sprints and whatnot but say basically you're going to take a big project and you can break it up into little chunks and then you're going to basically with each little chunk you'll overall all those little chunks add up to your whole our whole project you're going to say we're going to take each little chunk we're going to pay for that on a you know each on an ongoing basis for each one of those separately and if you miss that or if it's not i paid you for that chunk you're doing that chunk and once you get done we'll move on to the next one and so you're kind of getting the building blocks and if at any point you want to stop or you want to add a building block or that you add that in and then you're paying for that building block is that about right absolutely and talking about catching mistakes or if let's say developers disappear right i just heard i was talk in fact working with two entrepreneurs rescuing their situations their developers ghosted them right disappeared and so they were not set up in this environment so every two weeks they didn't get the deliverables all the stuff is on the developer server somewhere so now we have to go hunt for that information when you're doing this in agile format formats you're also number one consistently testing the team and how well they're performing so if you are working with them for six weeks and then all of a sudden their their uh throughput dropped you can you can change the team right you can already see that way ahead of the time um and and if they're making more mistakes or if they're not being responsive consistently you know you can catch those mistakes a lot earlier you can see that so basically every two weeks you're resetting and you are reevaluating what's going on um and and you get working code every two weeks so you're not um if they disappear and they don't finish the project you are at least have some working parts of the project on your own server and maybe even live if it's if it's complete enough that uh customers can get access to it okay no i think that makes sense well we are unfortunately and i as you can tell i always have a whole bunch or a whole bunch more questions in time that we ever have time to go over but we're getting towards the end of the podcast but i'll give you a chance if you give what would be the one tip that you give to non-technical people as they're trying to tackle something that's technical or trying to get something software project get a sas project get a you know something developed that's on the technical side what would be your one tip for him so the number one is to become tech literate you have to understand and speak the language of tech people because really everything will stem from there it will allow you to have the conversations necessary to be able to make sure everybody is on the same page number one so that number two there's no miscommunications number three so that you can be a part of the decision making so many entrepreneurs basically leave all of the decision making to the tech person and then when that tech person leaves they all of a sudden understand that they use a piece of technology that nobody in the us for example uses i'm talking about right so they somebody picked that net as a programming language and just so that you know like nobody in the us it's very hard to net developers and so all of a sudden i ask them like why why did you guys pick that net and the entrepreneur would be like well my developer did that right so you never want to be caught in those types of situations you always want to be smart enough to ask the right questions to elicit a response so when you ask the right questions you don't actually need to know the answer the answer the way that the question is answered you know if you're satisfied with that oftentimes that's enough to know whether you're headed in the right direction or not it's the worst position to be in when you bury your head in the sand and then trust the other person completely that's just that's never going to work out for you well i know i think that's good advice and i think that that's probably your best takeaway in the sense that hey you may not be a technical person but you did need to at least get a familiarity come up to speed get a basic understanding so that you can you know make sure that things are being done right that they make sense and that you're you're not getting taken advantage of and you're not over being over demanding and you're not trying to put a burden on them that's unfair and unrealistic so as we wrap up if people want to find out more about you they want to find out or get your id or get their non-technical person they want to get some advice they want to find out more about your program they want to do any or all the above what's the best way to connect up with you and reach out sure uh well everybody can go to techspeak for there are a lot of resources there they can book a call with me from there um if they want to i also i'm scheduling a bunch of live webinars and if anyone's interested in learning about what that process is there's a free video course that they can sign up for there as well um so there's a lot of resources as a next step that are also besides purchasing the course they're absolutely free all right well i certainly encourage everybody to check it out and certainly give us some weight and thought as to and as i said i think that too often you to your point people non-technical people use it as an excuse for not implementing technology and yet with that you can you can both make a lot of more you know a lot more income have revenue sources diversify your company be more efficient and we're just free of some of your time sometimes the best thing is that you're so overburdened with things and if you can free up some of your time that's the best reward but i i think that there's certainly it's worthwhile to explore how you can update your industry especially if you're one that's not technical to be able to bring into the 21st century and to take advantage of a lot of what's out there well thank you again nelly for coming on it's been a pleasure now for all of you that are listeners if you have a journey that you want to tell either you're an expert and you have some expertise to share or you're an entrepreneur or a founder co-founder that wants to come on and share your journey with us feel free to go to apply to be on the show if you're a listener make sure to click subscribe to so that you can get notifications as all the new great episodes come out and lastly if you ever need help with patents and trademarks feel free to reach out to us at miller iplaw and we're always here to help thank you again nelly it's been a pleasure and uh wish you the best on your journey to uh go help all the non-technical people take over the world of technology thank you so much [Music] English (auto-generated) All Podcasts From Miller IP Law Recently uploaded

Download This Episode & More  on the Following Platforms

Podcast for Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts
Podcast for Entrepreneurs on Spotify
Podcasts for Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts
Podcast for Entrepreneurs on Simplecast
Podcasts for Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts
Podcasts for Entrepreneurs on Stitcher
Podcasts for Entrepreneurs on Tune In
Podcast for Entrepreneurs on Deezer
Podcast for Entrepreneurs on Radio Public


← Another Awesome Article Another Awesome Article →

We love to hear your Comments/Feedback | To chat with us directly grab time at

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published