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The One Percent Project
32 minutes | Sep 25, 2022
Episode 51: Peter Wang- Being a CTO
About Peter Wang: "Program maintenance is an entropy-increasing process, and even its most skillful execution only delays the subsidence of the system into unfixable obsolescence." — Frederick P. Brooks Jr., The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, 1975. Simple put, all it means is once you build software and keep making changes to it. Its quality will degrade and eventually degrade to a point where it becomes unusable. Today on The One Percent Project, I am speaking to Peter Wang. Peter is the Chief Technology Officer at Buzzfeed, overseeing Product Management, Engineering, Design, and Data teams across all portfolio brands. Peter has built both consumer and enterprise products and fundraised from a diverse range of investors across industries—health (The Mighty, backed by GGVC, Upfront, and WPP Health), SaaS (Buddy Media, backed by Greylock, acquired by Salesforce), media & e-commerce (Refinery29, backed by Stripes, WPP, Scripps). Peter, in this conversation, talks about his journey as a CTO, leadership vs management, and his delegation mechanism, which Keith Rabois outlined in his essay How to be an effective executive and what has been learnt as an angel investor. Some Key Highlights: Buddy Media was acquired by Salesforce. I remember being there after it was acquired by Salesforce. And I realized that what we have built wasn't particularly the most technologically robust advanced futuristic version of it. but it was a combination of the right set of capabilities slash features that the clients need combined with the right marketing. Emotion has so much more decision-making power than we even understand. Culture is based on identity. Culture is based on values. Culture is embedded into our decision-making, even though we cannot articulate or quantify it when we talk to people. In this conversation, she talks about:00:00 Intro02:13 How does one know the role they play beyond their title?04:56 Leadership Vs Management is there a difference?06:30 As a CTO, how do you build an intelligent and practical system without being too futuristic?10:32 Delegation: Your views?13:56 Is there a difference between a CTO and a VP of engineering?17:24 90-day plan, when you kick start in a new role. The 3 Ps- Double-click on that.21:42 Is technology the secret sauce of Buzz Feed's success?24:58 What can data not do?29:38 What have you learnt as an angel investor? Links: The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering Keith Rabois Essay 3: How to be an Effective Executive
10 minutes | Sep 18, 2022
Episode 50: Mini-Series- Generalist Vs Specialist
Generalist Vs Specialist: This mini-episode stemmed from my discussion with Sidu Ponnappa. Sidu is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. He says the generalist Vs specialist discussion is misleading. It is better to analyse someone as objective-oriented or activity oriented. One can choose either not both at the same time. These days there is a debate, especially among the younger talent pool, about being a generalist or a specialist. There is a popular book on this topic by David Epstein called Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. Epstein argues against specialisation early on in one's life and makes a case for "Range" to gather as many skills and experiences as you can and later to specialise based on your strengths. What got me thinking is, does the brain have a generalist vs specialist evolution, and do Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Michael Angelo, and other achievers have a generalist or a specialist mindset? It turns out that the brain goes through a generalist and specialist evolution cycle between early childhood and adulthood. A child is born with 100 billion neurons. These neurons communicate with each other through a structure called synapse. During infancy, the brain experiences a large amount of growth. As a result, there is an explosion of synapse formation between neurons during early brain development. This is called synaptogenesis. Synapse growth is critical in learning, memory formation, and adaptation early in life. Around 2 to 3 years of age, the number of synapses hits a peak. Just after this peak, the brain starts to remove synapses that it no longer needs. A synapse can either be strengthened or weakened based on its use. Synapses that are frequently used grow and strengthen and the ones which are not used are removed by the brain. The process of removing synapses is called Synaptic pruning. Going back to our business world, the brain begins its journey as a generalist, adds as many synapses as it can early on and then switches to a specialist mode where it starts pruning, killing, synapses that show low or no use. If you consider the journeys of Warren Buffet, who made his first investment at the age of 11, Bill Gates, by the age of 19, had more than 10,000 hours of coding under his belt, Michael Angelo became an artist by the age of 13 and there a numerous such examples of high achievers who started honing their crafts in their teens. David Epstein talks about Roger Freder as a generalist because he dabbled into skiing, wrestling, swimming and skateboarding. He played basketball, handball, tennis, table tennis, and soccer at school. It was closer to his teens that Roger picked up tennis. Maybe this is an example of synaptic pruning where the brain kills the less used synapses. Now can you and I pick up tennis in our twenties or thirties? Sure we can! But it will potentially be 5 times harder than someone who has worked on their serve and backhand since early childhood. Our schooling system pushes us to be a generalist when it should provide us with the environment in our teens to be a specialist and focus on activities and subjects we enjoy. We can't say for sure if synaptogenesis is a generalist function or synapse pruning is a specialist function of the brain. Still, it does indicate that the brain's development has a generalist to specialist evolution cycle. I found the topic valuable not only to get a better understanding of my strengths and weakness but also the formative process that my little one is going through. If you like this mini-episode, share it with someone who would find it valuable. You can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time.
86 minutes | Sep 12, 2022
Episode 49: Sidu Ponnappa- Lessons from entrepreneurship and investing
About Sidu Ponnappa: About 90% of startups fail. 10% of startups fail within the first year. Failure is most common for startups during years two through five. Given such odds, why does one choose to be a founder? Today on The One Percent Project, I am speaking to Sidu Ponnappa. Sidu is a serial entrepreneur and an angel investor. His startup C42 Engineering was acquired by GO-JEK in 2015, with C42's founding team joining GO-JEK's board of directors. GO-JEK grew 900X in 18 months and became Indonesia's first unicorn in 2017. Sidu has experienced building and scaling businesses as a founder, CEO, and head of engineering, sales, marketing and HR. This is a no-noise just signal conversation where Sidu shares his observations on decision-making, why generalist vs specialist is a flawed concept, the probability of building a successful startup, why angel investing is not investing and much more.Some Key Highlights: The best executors are people who are activity oriented because they've been practising that activity forever. Therefore they're really good at it. People who are objective oriented are great at wrangling reality in certain ways and making decisions and operating across boundaries. People who pick activities are just really good at those activities. So if you need to write great copy, you need to hire someone who writes copy all day. If you are building a sustainable business and someone else is building an unsustainable business and the two are in competition, you winning is improbable. It's not that it hasn't happened, but it would be exceptional. The entropy of any complex system always increases. The entropy of society always increases the entropy of the laws of a country always increases. As things get more complex, more conflicts emerge. Unless the system is static. Its entropy will increase. In this conversation, she talks about:00:00 Intro01:38: Learning and experience being a founder?02:01 Lessons and observation as a leaders05:13 Why a generalist Vs specialist discussion is flawed?09:47 Why should you hire someone who is objective-oriented?10:14 Twitter tread on "Obvious Startup Truths" by Sidu14:13 Founders mindset19:23 Lessons from Angel Investing24:10 Being acquired by GO-JEK32:03 Are there 10x developers?32:19 Why does the entropy of complex systems deteriorate?34:55 Impact of reading
4 minutes | Sep 6, 2022
Episode 48: Mini-Series- Haldiram’s- India’s No.1 snack company
About Haldiram’s: Hello everyone, I am kicking off a mini-series based on the research I do for The One Percent Project conversations. Prep for every guest conversation leads me into some fascinating rabbit holes about people, companies and industries. So, I plan to share some of these stories and insights through this mini-series. I hope you enjoy them. Here is the first one. While doing my research on Ahana Gautam and Open Secret, which is on a mission to un-junk the Indian snack industry, I stumbled upon the Namkeen Industry of India. Namkeen in Hindi means snack. It is a $ 15 billion industry in India. No conversation on namkeens would be complete without mentioning, Haldiram's, India's No.1 Namkeen brand. Haldiram's 85+ years of history is an MBA in itself. It is fascinating to learn how Gangabhishenji Agarwal, fondly known as Haldiram, in 1918 kicked off the making of a Rs 5000 Cr, USD ~600M, brand, which is now a household name in India. Haldiram was a school dropout who started working at his father's bhujia shop early in his life and eventually became an outlier among ~300 other bhujia sellers in Bikaner through product innovation, branding, marketing, pricing and opportunistic expansion. Production Innovation Haldiram started his journey from his family snack stall in Bhujiya Bazar in Bikaner. He reinvented his aunt's bhujia recipe to what we know as Haldiram's bhujia. He made it with moth beans, a type of lentil. This changed the taste and made the bhujia more crispy. The new bhujia was an instant hit among consumers. Branding/ Marketing: He named the bhujia "Dungar Sev" after the name of then popular Maharaja Dungar Singha. Here is a great example of Influencer Marketing from the 1930s. Pricing: Bhujia was a commodity. But given the popularity of "Dungar Sev", Haldiram raised the price from 2 paise/kg to 5 paise/kg. It made Haldiram's bhujia a premium product, and sales kept growing. Expansion: From 1937 to 2000, Haldiram's had grown to 4 cities Bikaner, Calculta, Nagpur and Delhi. Expansion into Nagpur was a challenge and an opportunity. Nagpur or the whole of Maharashtra, a state in India, in the 1960s, was not interested in bhujia and was not exposed to many snacks. In the 2000s, they diversified into sweets, which brought the next age of growth for Haldiram's. They went on to add 400+ products which include snacks, sweets, cookies, pickles and much more. They also went international and set up a base in the US, Canada, UK, UAE, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Today, Haldiram's valuation has crossed $3 Billion, and the business has now spread to 80+ countries. Haldiram's present-day success is not only the outcome of Gangabhisenji's courage to break out and try something new but also the vision his sons and grandsons have had in this 85-year journey. I will stop there; let you ponder how a bhujia wala from Bikaner landed up, creating a Namkeen empire. However, the journey of building the empire has not been a straight line. If you found this interesting, refer to Ajuniorvc.com's blog on Haldiram's and the book Bhujia Barons. If you liked this mini-episode, share it with someone who would find it valuable. You can drop me a line at email@example.com and tell me how else will be interesting to look into. Until next time.
30 minutes | Aug 28, 2022
Episode 47: Ahana Gautam-Un-Junking the Indian snack industry
About Ahana Gautam:Indians love their snacks. We have grown up having our samosas, chaats, namkeens and mithais. There are hundreds of local and national snack brands in India. The Indian snacking industry crossed an annual sales of $14 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow by $2.88 billion from 2022 to 2026. While snacks do magic for our tastebuds, they dont always work wonders for our health. Today on The One Percent Project, I am speaking to Ahana Gautam. She is the CEO & Co-Founder of Open Secret, a Harvard Business School and IIT Bombay alum. Open Secret is on a mission to un-junk the Indian snack industry. Some Key Highlights: We take creating a meaningful difference in the world as a responsibility, not a choice. Every business's biggest moat is its customer. Culture is the thread which helps companies scale. So without that thread, products won't exist. In this conversation, she talks about:00:00 Intro01:45 What makes Ahana a unique founder? 03:45 How has moving away from instant gratification helped her find her space in the world?05:15 How has attending Harvard and IIT impacted her thinking?08:11 How mothers are the north star for Open Secret?10:34 How does a business create moats? 13:39 How has Open Secret been able to penetrate beyond tier 1 cities in India?25:18 How does Ahana assess talent?27:10 How is Open Secret creating impact? Is it through culture or its products?
28 minutes | Apr 24, 2022
Episode 45: James Keyes- Leadership through adversity
About James Keyes:My next guest on the One Percent Project is James W Keyes. James served as the Chief Executive Officer of 7-Eleven and chairman and CEO of Blockbuster. James graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor's degree from the College of the Holy Cross. He also obtained an MBA from Columbia Business School in 1980. James is the founder of the 'Education is Freedom' foundation Join our No-Spam WhatsApp groupIn this conversation, he talks about: How curiosity and adversity have helped him lead organisations such as 7-Eleven and Blockbuster? The need for entrepreneurial thinking within a corporation. The art of negotiation and its tenets. How has 7-Eleven been able to keep itself ahead of the curve, and why others have not been able to replicate its growth model. Why did he choose to join Blockbuster? Would Blockbuster be a different company if it had accepted to buy Netflix? Are the principles of leadership being disrupted by the new generation of leaders? Some Key Highlights: When you are hit by adversity, you can respond in two ways: You can have your head down and become the victim, or keep your head up and say I'll get through this and get to the other side. Most of the time, there's hidden learning, and there's a strength that comes from knowing that you were able to make it through to the other side. This gives you the quiet advantage over someone who hasn't had to endure the adversity. The idea of a corporate entrepreneur is almost an oxymoron. Unfortunately, many corporate cultures believe in conformity and force people into a norm, discouraging the outliers. The very definition of an entrepreneur is someone who sets out on their own as an individual and breaks the norms. In contrast, the definition of a corporation is coming together as one; it's a body, not an individual. Leadership is about adapting to change, and change happens every day. So whatever you learned about leadership last week, you might have to change it next week based on a new set of facts, people or circumstances.
32 minutes | Apr 10, 2022
Episode 45: Sourjyendu Medda: DealShare- Building a social e-commerce unicorn for Bharat
About Sourjyendu Medda: My next guest on The One Percent Project is Sourjyendu Medda. Sourjyendu is the founder and Chief Business Officer at DealShare. After spending 15+ years with leading Retail and FMCG organisations such as Metro, Raymond and Britannia, Sourjyendu kicked off his startup journey at the age of 40 to build Bharat's first social e-commerce unicorn.Join our No-Spam WhatsApp groupIn this conversation, he talks about: How his experience with Britannia, Raymond and Metro helped him understand and build DealShare. Why has DealShare been able to penetrate a consumer segment that the retail and FMCG giants have not been able to connect with? How to build a consumer-centric business? Building and growing a network of community leaders. How to build an MVP - Minimum Viable Product? His leadership style Why is it hard to copy and compete with DealShare? Some Key Highlights: Value creation comes only through building disruptive solutions because another copy can't create value. Communication is critical. However powerful a product may be, if it is not publicised, there will be no market for the product. Communication should be simple, clear and to the point. When you make a difference in the community and solve the correct problems, your career is bound to be better than others.
31 minutes | Mar 27, 2022
Episode 44: Taru Kapoor: Tinder- Solving a Hard Problem
About Taru Kapoor:My next guest on The One Percent Project is Taru Kapoor. Taru is the general manager of Tinder and Match Group in India. In her previous stints, she has worked with Sequoia Capital and The Boston Consulting Group. Taru graduated from IIT Delhi with a B.Tech and M.Tech in Chemical Engineering and received an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. This is an amazing conversation on leadership, solving a hard problem and educating the youth on how to safely and respectfully express their feelings. Join our No-Spam WhatsApp groupIn this conversation, Taru talks about: Her leadership style and decision-making process; Balancing between EQ and IQ; Is it important for Tinder to have a female leader? The objective behind creating "Closure", a creative film that talks about consent; Dating in Metaverse; and Reasons behind Tinder's adoption and growth in India.
30 minutes | Mar 13, 2022
Episode 43: Shrishti Sahu- Investing in early-stage founders
About Shrishti Sahu: My next guest on The One Percent Project is Shrishti Sahu. Shrishti is the Managing Partner at SSV. SSV is a sector-agnostic family-office investing in early-stage companies. Through SSV, she has invested in 30 companies such as Plum, Kutumb, Chingari, Rupifi, Jar and 10Club. Before setting up SSV, she built two businesses, worked with a PE fund and led Facebook's South Asia Startup Program.Join our No-Spam WhatsApp group In this conversation, she talks about: How has waking up at 5 am enabled her? Being a Generalist vs Specialist. How has writing empowered her? Leading people and businesses in towns & villages vs metropolitan cities. Why did she plan to become an Angel Investor? Her decision framework for startup investments & how to build a startup portfolio? How can early-stage founders differentiate themselves? What got her into the crypto space?
28 minutes | Feb 27, 2022
Episode 42: Abhinandan Sridhar- Building a screenwriting career in the New Media Age
About Abhinandhan Sridhar: My next guest on The One Percent Project is Abhinandan Sridhar. Abhinandan is a screenwriter who kicked off his career as an assistant director to Andhadhun writer and National Award-winning filmmaker Hemanth M Rao. His writing credits include Netflix's Little Things Seasons 3 & 4 and Teen Tigada, a film for Prime Video's Unpaused anthology.Join our No-Spam WhatsApp groupIn this conversation, he talks about: How have OTT platforms disrupted the creation process and the new media industry? His experience working with Netflix as a creator. What should new creators do when kicking off their careers? His research technique and what has he learnt from Pixar's filmmaking process? How does one judge and manage execution in creative processes such as filmmaking? What are the attributes of a head writer? How are OTT platforms enabling creators to be producers?
32 minutes | Feb 13, 2022
Episode 41: Jeffrey Paine- Being an Introverted Leader
About Jeffrey Paine: My next guest on The One Percent Project is Jeffrey Paine. He is the Managing Partner & Co-founder at Golden Gate Ventures and an Edmund Hillary Fellow. Jeff is one of the most thoughtful VCs I have come across. Last year, he launched an initiative called Coachable that focuses on founders' mental wellness by pairing them with experienced coaches and mentors. He wishes for other like-minded VCs and corporations to join this initiative so that more founders get the support they need while building their startups.Join our No-Spam WhatsApp groupIn this conversation, he talks about: The state of venture investing in Asia. Is there an Angel investing bubble and its impact? His framework for learning and understanding a new industry. How to get the timing right as an investor? How to choose among copycats; who gets funded and why? Are Asian founders always building a business around problems they encounter? The need for coaches and mentors for founders. His views on blockchain, NFTs and Metaverse. What makes introverts strong leaders?
51 minutes | Jan 30, 2022
Episode 40: Ashwin Suresh- From Wall Street to India on a one way ticket
My next guest on The One Percent Project is Ashwin Suresh. This is an intriguing conversation where Ashwin talks about how he went from being an investment banker on Wall Street to becoming a New Media entrepreneur and co-founding Pocket Aces and Loco. Pocket Aces is the production house behind the hugely successful web shows such as Little Things, What the Folks and Please Find Attached.Join our No-Spam WhatsApp group In this conversation, he talks about: His decision to move from Investment banking to building a career in New Media. How did he navigate through the media industry with no background and network? His first Angel Investor, Mohan and how he funded the whole seed round and kept himself invested even when Ashwin and his co-founder planned to pivot the business. Being venture-backed, at what point do you need to think about growth Vs profitability. How he decided to launch Loco, a gaming platform especially in a competitive ecosystem with multiple well-established players? Building a community Why is success your best teacher? Finding a product-market fit in the content industry Being decisive as a founder
34 minutes | Jan 16, 2022
Episode 39: Ustav Agarwal- How to enter new markets
About Utsav Agarwal: My next guest on The One Percent Project is Utsav Agarwal. Utsav is an entrepreneur, a networker and a hustler. He kicked off his career in the music industry, managing Indian rock bands and went on to build a music app. Post his entrepreneurial stint, he joined Uber and launched it in eight Indian cities and Dhaka in Bangladesh, breaking all growth records. After Uber, he joined Glovo and launched it in nine Eastern European markets and built a team of 250+ people. Delivery Hero acquired Glovo for $2.6 billion. Utsav is now back to entrepreneurship, building Evenflow, a roll-up platform acquiring and scaling e-commerce businesses. Join our No-Spam WhatsApp groupIn this conversation, he talks about: His entrepreneurial journey and his learnings? His experience launching Uber in Dhaka; How did he land his Glovo offer and his framework for launching new markets? The power and technique of cold emailing Why is he building Evenflow?
23 minutes | Jan 2, 2022
Episode 38: Sabeer Bhatia- Problems worth solving
About Sabeer Bhatia: My next guest on The One Percent Project is Sabeer Bhatia. Sabeer is the co-founder of Hotmail.com and ShowReel. Sabeer and his co-founder started Hotmail with $300,000 and sold it to Microsoft for $400 million within two years. Sabeer believes the success of Hotmail or any startup lies in the core idea of the business and the problem it is solving. Join our No-Spam WhatsApp groupIn this conversation he talks about: How to validate a problem worth solving? Why is it essential for a consumer to connect emotionally to a product? Why was Hotmail a success? Why do we need ShowReel? Can founders outsource sales?
47 minutes | Dec 19, 2021
Episode 37: Ravi Mehta- Product Management 101- Building for Tinder, Facebook, & Tripadvisor
About Ravi Mehta: My next guest is Ravi Mehta. Ravi was the Chief Product Officer at Tinder, Product Director at Facebook, and VP of Consumer Product at Tripadvisor.Join our No-Spam WhatsApp GroupIn this conversation he talks about: What makes product development challenging and exciting? Mental and executional frameworks that Product Managers should develop? How can products managers make good decisions? Why difficulty in prioritisation is a strategy problem? Why have Tinder, Facebook, and TripAdvisor products stood the test of time, especially when hundreds of clones come to market every year? His views on the evolution of the Chinese tech product ecosystem in the last decade? Metaverse’s future Why do today's founders need to have a product orientation? Entertainment Value Curve: Netflix Vs Quibi
44 minutes | Dec 5, 2021
Episode 36: Pramath Sinha- Building a legacy in education
About Pramath Sinha: My next guest on The One Percent Project is Pramath Sinha. Pramath is an entrepreneur, educator and institution builder, having conceptualised and built hallmark educational institutes such as the Indian School of Business and Ashoka University. Now, he is on the journey of building Harappa Education- a platform that helps future leaders learn essential cognitive, social and behavioural skills. He has also founded the Vedica Scholars program for women and the Naropa Fellowship. He kicked off his career with McKinsey & Company, headed ABP media and founded the 9.9 Media group.Join our No-Spam WhatsApp group In this conversation he talks about: His journey to finding purpose; How he goes from an idea to execution; What does an Institution mean to him? Who are early adopters, and why are they unique? Building Harappa; and His legacy and contribution to Hindi Literature Some Key Highlights: How to identify Purpose? I have realised that your Purpose doesn't grow on trees, nor is it buried somewhere for you to go on a treasure hunt and find it and dig it out for yourself. Your Purpose, you find by discovery. And to discover it, you have to try out different things. The more different things you try out, the more you realise what you don't like or what is not your Purpose. And somewhere, you hit upon things that seem like your Purpose. So you engage in that, and you stay with it for a long time, or you say, no, there's a slight variation on this that I want to do, and then that becomes your Purpose. How do you start as high as possible? Because the lower you start, the longer it takes to get to that high benchmark. And sometimes, you can never get there because the lower you start, the more you get stuck at that level. Quality doesn't scale. You have to set the quality bar from day one and then scale on quantity without diluting quality, but trying to scale quality is almost an impossible task. In taking the idea to execution- You can't execute it all yourself. So your real skill lies in identifying great people, setting the vision and a high bar. You have to hire a crack team of people and be uncompromising about it.
28 minutes | Nov 21, 2021
Episode 35: Pushkar Mukewar- Building Drip Capital from zero to $2 billion in transactions
About Pushkar Mukewar: My next guest on The One Percent Project is Pushkar Mukewar, Co-founder and CEO of Drip Capital. Pushkar kicked off his career at Capital One, went to work for Oliver Wyman and Saama Capital. He has a Masters from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Wharton School of Business.Join our No-Spam WhatsApp groupIn this conversation he talks about: His journey building Drip Capital, going from 0 to 2 billion dollars in transactions on the platform. Getting incubated by Y Combinator when Drip Capital was just two founders with just an idea. Scaling the business across three markets, building a team of 250+ employees, and raising 500M+ in venture funding. Key Take-Aways: Building a startup is about experimentation, understanding the customers’ pain points and launching something - failing quickly - launching again. Your success as a startup depends on how and why you uniquely solve your customer’s pain points. Scaling up a business is like building a scalable machine. You start with generalists who can do everything and bring in specialists who can build specific functions once the business scales.
42 minutes | Oct 31, 2021
Episode 34: David Fallarme-The New Age Marketer
About David Fallarme: My next guest on The One Percent Project is David Fallarme. Before joining On Deck as their Marketing Director, David was the head of marketing for Hubspot Asia. He has led the product and content marketing initiatives for Electronic Arts, App Annie and ReferralCandy. He also runs the APAC Marketers Roundtable, one of the most active communities of marketers in APAC.Join our No-Spam WhatsApp groupIn this conversation he talks about: What is marketing and the types of marketers? His content creation framework Why should marketers focus on who should be buying vs who is already buying? How should early-stage founders think about marketing and marketers? How is marketing different in 2021 Vs a decade ago? How Hubspot's strategy may seem weird but it works? Zoom's and Afterpay's product-led growth through the pandemic. Why he joined On Deck, and how will it add value in Asia? Key Take-Aways: There are three types of marketers: Artist: Marketing = winning hearts and minds. Soldier: Marketing = achieving objectives by working through the system and operational excellence. Gambler: Marketing = finding opportunities with an asymmetric upside. Marketers are multipliers. So if you're a pre-seed or a seed-stage start-up and don’t see a predictable level of traction and don't exactly know who your customer is, you are not ready for a marketer. In future, your social media audience size will be more important than your resume because your followership is an indicator of your influence.
38 minutes | Oct 16, 2021
Episode 33: Amit Garg- Investing in the future of Artificial Intelligence
My next guest on The One Percent Project is Amit Garg. Amit is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Tau Ventures, an AI-focused seed fund. He kicked off his career at Google and then went to work with Norwest Venture Partners and Samsung NEXT- Samsung's investment arm. He has also co-founded HealthIQ, which is valued at USD 450M. He did his bachelor's and masters from Stanford and MBA from Harvard Business School. Join our No-Spam WhatsApp group In this conversation, he talks about: How his professional and personal journey helped him as a venture capitalist? Why did he set up an AI-focused seed fund? What is his venture evaluation and investment framework? When should a founder consider raising from a VC? How should seed-stage founders build their teams? Why is bottom-up market sizing more insightful? His thinking behind investing in nuTonomy and Misfit. Key Take-Aways: Venture capital money is "Rocket Fuel". If you take rocket fuel too early, you will burn in the atmosphere before reaching the moon and the stars. It is not about 'WHAT' you do but about 'HOW' you do it. Team, Technology and Traction are the three most significant aspects a venture capitalist should look for while investing.
35 minutes | Oct 3, 2021
Episode 32: Miten Sampat- How to build and scale tech ventures?
My next guest on The One Percent Project is the incredible engineer, inventor, investor and operator Miten Sampat. He kicked off his career in Silicon Valley, then headed strategy for Times Internet, India’s largest digital products company with 600 million monthly users and is now building CRED, one of India’s fastest growing payments apps. He is also a graduate of Virginia Tech.Join our No-Spam WhatsApp groupIn this conversation he talks about: How his education at Virginia Tech shaped his thinking in analysing and operating new ventures. His views about the Indian Internet Consumer and the impact of the internet in Tier-3 cities in India. His experience building his first startup: What he learnt and why it failed? His experience as Chief Strategy Officer at Times Internet which reaches 600M active users in India every month? What has he learnt from investing in early-stage startups? Key Take-Aways: Underlying conditions will keep changing so capabilities will keep changing and therefore, and user behaviour keeps changing- This is the fundamental principle in building and scaling new ventures. If there are many gatekeepers between you and your customer, the chances of mortality for your startup are very high. If you move when there is broad-based consensus, then the magic is already sucked out. It's already been priced in. Therefore, you have to be right about something ahead of it being a general consensus.
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