While the pursuit of novel technological ideas is the driving force of sustained competitive advantage, managers often reject novel ideas in favor of more familiar ones. How then can managers who are out of their depth with a novel technology make sense of it without rejecting it outright? Some suggest that managers should mentally extrapolate from prior experiences with similar ideas. Yet, such extrapolation is impossible when ideas are truly novel and no previous experience with related ideas can be called upon. We resolve this issue by showing that the level at which managers who are unfamiliar with a novel technological idea mentally process it (abstract versus concrete) influences their perceptions of the idea's novelty and usefulness, which, in turn, influences their propensity to invest.