Lingo Matters a Lot: Do Your Homework

I was a nontechnical founder who used technology to scale CCAW. I’m often asked how I went about it. Full transparency: I got lucky. I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to build relationships with talented technical founders. But I also made a point of researching and preparing. I was determined to understand the tech-y world they lived in. It wasn’t fun or easy, and I went through a period of discomfort, but I grew from it. In the beginning, I had a bad case of imposter syndrome. I felt out of place and often had no idea what they were talking about. But as I’ve written before, I took mental notes and made a point of researching and understanding (at a high level) concepts that were new to me. There were some embarrassing moments, but over time I gained a decent understanding of things.

To this day, I’m still learning. When I meet with early technical founders, I use the same approach: I ask questions and research what I don’t understand.

One of the things that used to trip me up was terminology. I simply didn’t know what certain things meant. This can be detrimental to early founders trying to raise capital. Fair or not, investors expect founders to know certain acronyms and other terminology. Here are two good resources for this:

As Roman philosopher Seneca said, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. If you’re an early-stage founder considering raising capital, make some time to prepare by learning the lingo of the investor world. Your efforts could lead to the luckiest break of your life!