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Screaming in the Cloud
Creating Conversations on TikTok with Alex Su

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 33:46


About AlexAlex Su is a lawyer who's currently the Head of Community Development at Ironclad, the #1 contract lifecycle management technology company that's backed by Accel, Sequoia, Y Combinator, and other leading investors. Prior to joining Ironclad, Alex sold cloud software to legal departments and law firms on behalf of early stage startups. Alex maintains an active presence on social media, with over 180,000 followers across Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok. Links Referenced: Ironclad: https://ironcladapp.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexander-su/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/heyitsalexsu Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heyitsalexsu/ TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@legaltechbro TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by Honeycomb. When production is running slow, it's hard to know where problems originate. Is it your application code, users, or the underlying systems? I've got five bucks on DNS, personally. Why scroll through endless dashboards while dealing with alert floods, going from tool to tool to tool that you employ, guessing at which puzzle pieces matter? Context switching and tool sprawl are slowly killing both your team and your business. You should care more about one of those than the other; which one is up to you. Drop the separate pillars and enter a world of getting one unified understanding of the one thing driving your business: production. With Honeycomb, you guess less and know more. Try it for free at honeycomb.io/screaminginthecloud. Observability: it's more than just hipster monitoring.Corey: I come bearing ill tidings. Developers are responsible for more than ever these days. Not just the code that they write, but also the containers and the cloud infrastructure that their apps run on. Because serverless means it's still somebody's problem. And a big part of that responsibility is app security from code to cloud. And that's where our friend Snyk comes in. Snyk is a frictionless security platform that meets developers where they are - Finding and fixing vulnerabilities right from the CLI, IDEs, Repos, and Pipelines. Snyk integrates seamlessly with AWS offerings like code pipeline, EKS, ECR, and more! As well as things you're actually likely to be using. Deploy on AWS, secure with Snyk. Learn more at Snyk.co/scream That's S-N-Y-K.co/screamCorey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. I've been off the beaten path from the traditional people building things in cloud by the sweat of their brow and the snark on their Twitters. I'm joined today by Alex Su, who's the Head of Community Development at Ironclad, and also relatively well-renowned on the TikToks, as the kids say. Alex, thank you for joining me.Alex: Thank you so much for having me on the show.Corey: It's always been an interesting experience because I joined TikTok about six months or so ago, due to an escalatingly poor series of life choices that continue to fail me, and I have never felt older in my life. But your videos consistently tend to show up there. You are @legaltechbro, which sounds like wow, I hate all of those things, and yet your content is on fire.How long have you been doing the public dance thing, for lack of a better term? I don't even know what they call it. I know how to talk about Twitter. I know how to talk about LinkedIn—sad. LinkedIn is sad—but TikTok is still something I'm trying to wrap my ancient brain around.Alex: Yeah, I felt out of place when I first made my first TikTok. And by the way, I'm known for making funny skits. I have actually never danced. I've always wanted to, but I don't think I have that… that talent. I started posting TikToks in, I will call it—let's call it the fall of 2020. So, after the pandemic.Before that, I had been posting consistently on LinkedIn for, gosh, ever since 2016, when I got into legal tech. And during the pandemic, I tried a bunch of different things including making funny skits. I'd seen something somewhere online if somebody's making fun of the doctor life. And so, I thought, hey, I could do that for legal too. And so, I made one with iMovie. You know, I recorded it on Zoom.And then people started telling me, “Hey, you should get on this thing called TikTok.” And so, I resisted it for a while because I was like, “This is not for me.” But at some point, I said, “I'll try this out. The editing seems pretty easy.” So, I made a couple of videos poking fun at the life of a law firm lawyer or a lawyer working for a corporate legal department.And on my fourth video, I went massively viral. Like, unexpected went viral, like, millions of—I think two million or so views. And I found myself with a following. So, I thought, “Hey, I guess this is what I'm doing now.” And so, it's been, I don't know, a year-and-a-half since then, and I've been continuously posting these skits.Corey: It's like they say the worst thing can happen when you go into a casino and play for the first time is you win.Alex: [laugh].Corey: You get that dopamine hit, and suddenly, well now, guess what you're doing for the rest of your life? There you go. It sounds like it worked out for you in a lot of fun ways. Your skits about big law of life definitely track. My wife used to work in that space, and we didn't meet till she was leaving that job because who has time to date in those environments?But I distinctly remember one of our early dates, we went out to meet a bunch of her soon-to-be-former coworkers at something like eight or nine o'clock in Los Angeles on a Friday night. And at the end of it, we went back to one of our places, and they went back to work. Because that is the lifestyle, apparently, of being in big law. I don't have the baseline prerequisites to get into law school, to let alone get the JD and then go to work in big law, and looking at that lifestyle, it's, “Yeah, you know, I don't think that's for me.” Of course, I say that, and then three days later, I was doing a middle of the night wake up because the pager went off.Like, “Oh, are you a doctor?” And the pager is like, “Holy shit. This SSL certificate expires in 30 days.” It's, yeah. Again, life has been fun, but it's always been one of those things that was sort of, I guess, held in awe. And you're putting a very human face on it.Alex: Yeah. You know, I never expected to be in big law either, Corey. Like, I was never good at school, but as I got older, I found a way to talk my way into, like, a good school. I hustled my way into a job at a firm that I never imagined I could get a job at. But once I got in, that's when I was like, “Okay, I don't feel like I fit in.”And so, I struggled but I still you know grinded it out. I stayed at the job for a couple of years. And I left because I was like, “This is not right for me.” But I never imagined that all of those experiences in big law ended up being the source material for my content, like, eight years after I'd left. So, I'm very thankful that I had that experience even if it wasn't a good fit for me. [laugh].Corey: And on some level, it feels like, “Where do you get your material from?” It's, “Oh, the terrible things that happened to me. Why do you ask?”Alex: That's basically it. And people ask me, they say, you know, “You haven't worked in that environment for eight years. It's probably different now, right?” Well, no. You know, the legal industry is not like the tech industry. Like, things move very slowly there.The jokes that made people laugh back then, you know, 10 years ago, even 20 years ago, people still laugh at today because it's the same way things have always worked. So, again, I'm very thankful that that's been the case. And, you know, I feel like, the reason why my content is popular is because a lot of people can resonate with it. Things that a lot of people don't really talk about publicly, about the lifestyle, the culture, how things work in a large firm, but I make jokes about it, so people feel comfortable laughing about it, or commenting and sharing.Corey: I want to get into that a little bit because when you start seeing someone pop up again and again and again on TikTok, you're one of those, “Okay, I should stalk this person and figure out what the hell their story is.” And I didn't have to look very far in your case because you're very transparent about it. You're the head of community development at a company called Ironclad, and that one threw me for a little bit of a loop. So, let's start with the easy question, I suppose. What is Ironclad?Alex: We're a digital contracting technology that helps accelerate business contracts. Companies deal with contracts of all types; a lot of times it gets bogged down in legal review. We just help with that process to make that process move faster. And I never expected I'd be in this space. You know, I always thought I was going to be a trial lawyer.But I left that world, you know, maybe six years ago to go into the legal technology space, and I quickly saw that contracts was kind of a growing challenge, contracting, whether it's for sales or for procurement. So, I found myself as a salesperson in legal tech selling, first e-discovery software, and then contracting software. And then I found my way to Ironclad as part of the community team, really to talk about how we can help, but also speaking up about the challenges of the legal profession, of working at a law firm or at a legal department. So, I feel like it's all been the culmination of all my experiences, both in law and technology.Corey: In the world in which I've worked, half of my consulting work has been helping our clients negotiate their large-scale AWS contracts and the other half is architectural nonsense of, “Hey, if you make these small changes, that cuts your bill in half. Maybe consider doing them.” But something that I've learned that is almost an industry-wide and universal truism, is that you want to keep the salespeople and the lawyers relatively separate just due to the absolute polar opposites of incentives. Salespeople are incentivized to sell anything that holds still long enough or they can outrun, whereas lawyers are incentivized to protect the company from risk. No, is the easy answer and everything else is risk that has to be managed. You are one of those very rare folks who has operated successfully and well by blending the two. How the hell did that happen?Alex: I'm not sure to this day how it happened. But I think part of the reason why I left law in the first place was because I don't think I fit in. I think there's a lot of good about having a law degree and being part of the legal profession, but I just wanted to be around people, I wanted to work with people, I didn't want to always worry about things. And so, that led me to technology sales, which took me to the other extreme. And so, you know, I carried a sales quota for five years and that was such an interesting experience to see where—to both sell technology, but also to see where legal fit into that process.And so, I think by having the legal training, but also having been part of a sales team, that's given me appreciation for what both teams do. And I think they're often at tension with one another, but they're both there to serve the greater goals of the company, whether it's to generate revenue or protect against risk.Corey: I think that there's also a certain affinity that you may have—I'm just spitballing wildly—one of the things that sales folks and attorneys tend to have in common is that in the public imagination, as those roles are not, shall we call it, universally beloved. There tend to be a fair number of well, jokes, in which case, both sides of that tend to be on the receiving end. I mean, at some level, all you have to do is become an IRS auditor and you've got the holy trifecta working for you.Alex: [laugh]. I don't know why I gravitated to these professions, but I do think that it's partly because both of these roles hold a significant amount of power. And if you look at just contracting in general, a salesperson at a company, they're really the driver of the sales process. Like, if there's no sale to be made, there's no contract. On the flip side, the law person, the lawyer, knows everything about what's inside of the contract.They understand the legal terms, the jargon, and so they hold an immense amount of power over advising people on what's going to happen. And so, I think sometimes, salespeople and legal people take it too far and either spend too much time reviewing a contract and lording it over the business folks, or maybe the salesperson is too blase about getting a deal done and maybe bypasses legal and doesn't go through the right processes. By the way, Corey, these are jokes that I make in my TikToks all the time and they always go viral because it's so relatable to people. But yeah, that's probably why people always make jokes about lawyers and salespeople. There's probably some element of ridiculing people with a significant amount of power within a company to determine these transactions.Corey: Do you find that you have a better affinity for the folks doing contract work on the seller side or the buyer side? Something they don't tell you when you run companies is, yeah, you're going to spend a lot of time working on contracts, not just when selling things, but also when buying things and going back and forth. Aspects of what you're talking about so far in this conversation have resonated, I guess, with both sides of that for me. What do you have the affinity for?Alex: I think on the sales side, just because of my experience, you know, I think when you go through a transaction and you're trying to convince someone to doing something, and this is probably why I wanted to go to law school in the first place. Like I watched those movies, right? I watched A Few Good Men and I thought I'd be standing up in court convincing a jury of something. Little did I know that that sort of interest [crosstalk 00:10:55]—Corey: Like, Perry Mason breakthrough moment.Alex: That moment where—the gotcha moment, right? I found that in sales. And so, it was really a thrill to be able to, like, talk to someone, listen to them, and then kind of convince them that, based on what challenges they're facing, for them to buy some technology. I love that. And I think that was again, tied to why I went to law school in the first place.I didn't even know sales was a possible profession because I grew up in an immigrant community that was like, you just go to school, and that'll lead to your career. But there's a lot of different careers that are super interesting that don't require formal schooling, or at least the seven years of schooling you need for law. So, I always identify with the sales side. And maybe that's just how I am, but obviously, the folks who deal with the buy side, it's a pretty important job, too.Corey: There's a lot of surprise when I start talking to folks in the engineering world. First, they're in for a rough awakening at times when they learn exactly how much qualified enterprise salespeople can make. But also because being a lawyer without, you know, the appropriate credentials to tie into that, you're going to have a bad time. There are regulatory requirements imposed on lawyers, whereas to be a salesperson, forget the law degree, forget the bachelor's, forget the high school diploma, all you really need to be able to do from an academic credential standpoint is show up.The rest of it is, can you actually sell? Can you have the conversations that convince people to see the outcome that benefits everyone? And I don't know what that it's possible, or advised necessarily, to be able to find a way to teach that in some formalized way. It almost feels like folks either have that spark or they don't. Do you think it's one of those things that can be taught? Do you think it's something that people have to have a pre-existing affinity for?Alex: It's both, right, because part of it is some people will just—they don't have the personality to really sell. It's also like their interest; they don't want to do that. But what I found that's interesting is that what I thought would make a good salesperson didn't end up being true when I looked at the most effective sellers. Like, in my head, I thought, “Oh, this is somebody who's very boisterous, very extroverted,” but I found that in my experience in B2B SaaS that the most effective sellers are very, very much active listeners. They're not the people showing up and talking at you. They are asking you about your day-to-day asking about processes, understanding the context of your situation, before making a small suggestion about what you might want to do.I was very impressed the first time I saw one of these enterprise sellers who was just so good at that. Like, I saw him, and he looked nothing like what I imagined an effective sales guy to look like. And he was really kind and he just, kind of, just talked to me, like, I was a human being, and listened to my answers. So, I do think that there is some element of nature, your talent when it comes to that, but it can also be trained because I think a lot of folks who have sales talent, they don't realize that they could be good at it. They think that they've got to be this extroverted, happy hour, partying, storyteller, where —Corey: The Type A personality that interrupts people as they're having the conversation.Alex: Yeah, yeah.Corey: Yeah.Alex: So anyways, I think that's why it's a mix of both.Corey: The conversations that I've learned the most from when I'm talking to prospects and clients have been when I asked the quote-unquote, dumb question that I already know the answer to, and then I shut up and I listen. And wow, I did not expect that answer. And when you dig a little further, you realize there's nuance that—at least in my case—that I've completely missed to the entire problem space. I think that is really one of the key differentiators to my mind, that separate people who are good at this role from folks who just misunderstand what the role is based upon mass media, or in other cases—same problem with lawyers—the worst examples, in some cases, of the profession. The pushy used car salesperson or the lawyer they see advertising on the back of a bus for personal injury cases. The world is far more nuanced than that.Alex: Absolutely. And I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, you know, you ask those questions and let them talk. Because that's an entire process within the sales process. It's called discovery, and you're really asking questions to understand the person's situation. More broadly, though, I think pitching at people doesn't seem to work as well as understanding the situation.And you know, I've kind of done that with my content, my TikToks because, you know, if you look at LinkedIn, a lot of people in our space, they're always prescribing solutions, giving advice, posting content about teaching people things. I don't do that. As a marketer, what I do is I talk about the problems and create discussions. So, I'll create a funny video—Corey: I think you're teaching a whole generation that maybe law school isn't what they want to be doing, after all there is that.Alex: There is that. There is that. It's a mix of things. But one of the things I think I focus on is talking about the challenges of working with a sales team if you're an in-house lawyer. And I don't prescribe technology, I don't prescribe Ironclad, I don't say this is what you need to do, but by having people talk about it, they realize, right—and I think this is why the videos are popular—as opposed to me coming out and saying, “I think you need technology because of XYZ.” I think, like, facilitating the conversation of the problem space, that leads people to naturally say, “Hey, I might need something. What do you guys do, by the way?”Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friend EnterpriseDB. EnterpriseDB has been powering enterprise applications with PostgreSQL for 15 years. And now EnterpriseDB has you covered wherever you deploy PostgreSQL on-premises, private cloud, and they just announced a fully-managed service on AWS and Azure called BigAnimal, all one word. Don't leave managing your database to your cloud vendor because they're too busy launching another half-dozen managed databases to focus on any one of them that they didn't build themselves. Instead, work with the experts over at EnterpriseDB. They can save you time and money, they can even help you migrate legacy applications—including Oracle—to the cloud. To learn more, try BigAnimal for free. Go to biganimal.com/snark, and tell them Corey sent you.Corey: It sounds ridiculous for me to say that, “Oh, here's my entire business strategy: step one, I shitpost on the internet about cloud computing; step two, magic happens here; and step three people reach out to talk about their AWS bills.” But it's also true. Is that the pattern that you go through: step one, shitpost on TikTok; step two, magic happens here; and step three people reach out asking to learn more about what your company does? Or is there more nuance to do it?Alex: I'm still figuring out this whole thing myself, but I will say shitposting is incredibly effective. Because I'm active on Twitter. Twitter is where I start my shitposts. TikTok, I also shitpost, but in video format, I think the number one thing to do is figure out what resonates with people, whether it's the whole contracting thing or if it's frustrations about law school. Once you create something that's compelling, the conversation gets going and you start learning about what people are thinking.And I think that what I'm trying to figure out is how that can lead to a deeper conversation that can lead to a business transaction or lead to a sale. I haven't figured it out, right, but I didn't know that when I started creating content that spoke to people when I was a quota-carrying salesperson, people reached out to me for demo requests, for sales conversations. There is something that is happening in this quote-unquote, “Dark funnel,” that I'm sure you're very familiar with. There's something that's happening that I'm trying to understand, and I'm starting to see.Corey: This is probably a good thing to the zero in on a bit because to most people's understanding of the sales process, it would seem that you going out and making something of a sensation out of yourself on the internet, well what are you doing that for? That's not sales work? How is that sales? That's just basically getting distracted and going to do something fun. Shouldn't you be picking up the phone and cold calling people or mass-emailing folks who don't want to hear from you because you trick them into having a badge scanned somewhere? I don't necessarily think that is accurate. How do you see the interplay of what you do and sales?Alex: When you're selling something like makeup or clothing, it's a pretty transactional process. You create a video; people will buy, right? That's B2C. In B2B, it's a much more complex processes. There's so many touchpoints. The start of a sales conversation and when they actually buy may take six months, 12 months, years. And so, there's got to be a lot of touch points in between.I remember when I was starting out in my content journey, I had this veteran enterprise sales leader, like, your classic, like, CRO. He said to me, “Hey, Alex, your content's very funny, but shouldn't you be making cold calls and emails? Like, why are you spending your time doing this?” And I said, “Hey, listen, do you notice that I'm actually sourcing more outbound sales calls than any other sales rep? Like, have you noticed that?”And he's like, “Actually, yeah, I did notice that. You know, how are you doing it?” And I was like, “Do you not see that these two are tied? These are not people I just started calling. They are people who have seen my content over time. And this is how it works.”And so, I think that the B2B world is starting to wise up to this. I think, for example, Ironclad is leading the way on creating a community team to create those conversations, but plenty of B2B companies are doing the same thing. And so, I think by inserting themselves in a conversation—a two-way conversation—during that process, that's become incredibly effective, far more so than, like, cold-calling a lawyer or a developer who doesn't want to be bothered by some pushy salesperson.Corey: Busy, expensive professionals generally don't want to spend all their time doing that. The cold outreach emails that drive me nuts are, “Hey, can we talk for half an hour?” Yeah, I don't tend to think in terms of billable hours because that's not how I do anything that I do, but there is an internal rate that I used to benchmark and it's what you want me just reach into my pocket and give you how much money for a random opportunity to pitch me on something that you haven't even qualified whether I need or not? It's like, asking people for time is worse, in some ways, than asking for money because they can always make more money, but no one can make more time.Alex: Right, right. That's absolutely right.Corey: It's the lack of awareness of understanding the needs and motivations of your target market. One thing that I found that really aided me back when I was working for other folks was trying to find a company or a management structure that understood and appreciated this. Easy example, when I was setting out as an independent consultant after a few months I'd been doing this and people started to hear about me. But you know, it turns out that there are challenges to running a business that are not recommended for most people. And I debated, do I take a job somewhere else?So, I interviewed at a few places, and I was talking to one company that's active in the cloud costing space at the time and they wanted me to come aboard. But discussions broke down because they thought I was, quote, “More interested in thought leadership than I was and actually fixing the bills themselves.” And looking at this now, four years later or so, yeah, they were right. And amazing how that whole thing played out, but that the lack of vision around, there's an opportunity here, if we can chase it, at least in the places I was at, was relatively hard to come by. Did you luck out in finding a role that works for you in this way or did you basically have to forge it for yourself from the sweat of your brow and the strength of your TikTok account?Alex: It was uphill at first, but eventually, I got lucky. And you know, part of it was engineered luck. And I'll explain what I mean. When I first started out doing this, I didn't expect this to lead to any jobs. I just thought it would support my sales career.Over time, as the content got more popular, I never wanted to do anything else because I was like, I don't want to be a marketer. I'm not a—I don't know anything about demand gen. All I know is how to make funny videos that get people talking. The interesting that happened was that these videos created this awareness, this energy in our space, in the legal space. And it wasn't long before Ironclad found me.And you know, Ironclad has always been big on community, has always done things like—like, our CEO, our founder, he said that he used to host these dinners, never talking about Ironclad, but just kind of talking about law school and law with potential clients. And it would lead to business. Like, it's almost the same concept of, like, not pushing sales on people. And so, Ironclad has always had that in its DNA. And one of our investors, our board members, Jessica Lee from Sequoia, she is a huge believer in community.I mean, she was the CEO of another company that leveraged community, and so there's this community element all throughout the DNA of Ironclad. Now, had I not put myself out there with this content, I may not have been discovered by Ironclad. But they saw me, they found me, and they said, “We don't think about these things like many other companies. We really want to invest in this function.” And so, it's almost like when you put yourself out there, yes, sometimes some people will say, “What are you doing? Like, this makes no sense. Like, stop doing that.” But there's going to be some true believers who come out and seek you out and find you.And that's been my experience here, like, at Ironclad. Like, people were like, “When you go there, are they going to censor you? Is your content going to be less edgy?” No. Like, they pulled me aside multiple times and said, “Keep being yourself. This is what we want.” And I think that is so special and unique. And part of it is very much lucky, but it's also when you put yourself out there kind of in a big way, like-minded people will seek you out as well.Corey: I take the position that part of marketing, part of the core of marketing, is you've got to have an opinion. But as soon as you have an opinion, people are going to disagree with you. They're going to, effectively, forget the human on the other side of it and start taking you for a drag on social media and whatnot. So, the default reaction a lot of people have is oh, I shouldn't venture opinions forward.No. People are always going to dislike you for something and you may as well have it be for who you are and what you want to be doing rather than who you're pretending to be. That's always been my approach. For me, the failure mode was not someone on Twitter is going to get mad about what I wrote. No one's going to read it. That's the failure mode. And the way to avoid that is make it interesting.Alex: That is a hundred percent relatable to me because I think when I was younger, I was scared. I did worry that I would get in trouble for what I posted. But I realized these people I was worried about, they weren't going to help me anyways. These are not people who are going to seek me out and help me but then say, “Oh, I saw your content, so now I can't help you.” They were not going to help me anyways.But by being authentic to myself and putting things out there, I attracted my own tribe of people who have helped me, right? A lot of my early results from content came not because I reached my target customers; it was because somebody resonated with what I put out there and they carried my message and said, “Hey, you should talk to Alex.” Something special happens when you kind of put yourself out there and say an opinion or share a perspective that not everyone agrees with because that tribe you build ends up helping you a lot. And meanwhile, these other people that might not like it, they probably weren't going to help you either.Corey: I maintain that one of the most valuable commodities in the universe is attention. And so, often there's so much information overload that's competing for our attention every minute of every day that trying to blend in with the rest of it feels like the exact wrong approach. I'm not a large company here. I don't have a full marketing department to wind up doing ad buys, and complicated campaigns, and train a team of attacking interns to wind up tackling people to scan their badges at conferences. I've got to work with what I've got.So, the goal I've always had is trigger the Rolodex moment where someone hears about a problem in the AWS billing space—ideally—and, “Oh, my God, you need to talk to Corey about that.” And it worked, for better or worse. And a lot of it was getting lucky, let's be very clear here, and people doing me favors that they had no reason to do and I'll never be able to repay. But being able to be in that space really is what made the difference. Now, the downside, of course, when you start doing that is, how do you go back to what happened before?If you decide okay, well, it's been a fun run for you and Ironclad. And yeah, TikTok. Turns out that is, in fact, for kids; time to go somewhere else. Like, I don't know that you would fit into your old type of job.Alex: Yeah. No, I wouldn't. But very early on, I realized, I said, “If I'm going to find meaningful work, it's okay to be wrong.” And when I went to big law, I realized this is not right for me. That's okay. I'm just not going to get another big law job.And so, when people ask me, “Hey, now that you've put yourself out there, you probably can't get a job at a big firm anymore.” And that's okay to me because I wasn't going to go back anyways. But what I have found, Corey, is that there's this other universe of people, whether it's a entrepreneur, smaller businesses, technology companies, they would be interested in working with me. And so, by being myself, I may have blocked out a certain level of opportunities or a safety net, but now I'm kind of in this other world where I feel very confident that I won't have trouble finding a job. So, I feel very lucky to have that, but that's why I also don't worry about the possibility of not going back.Corey: Yeah, I've never had to think about the idea of, well, what if I go have to get a job again? Because at that point, it means well, it's time to let every one at the company who is depending on the go, and that's the bigger obstacle because, let's be honest, I'm a white guy in tech, and I look like it. My failure mode is basically a board seat and a book deal because of inherent bias in the system.Alex: [laugh]. Oh, my god.Corey: That's the outcome that, for me personally, I will be just fine. It's the other people took a chance on me. I'm terrified of letting them down. So far, knock on wood, I haven't said anything too offensive in public is going to wind up there. That's also not generally my style.But it is the… it is something that has weighed on me that has kept me from I guess, thinking about what would my next job be? I'm convinced this is the last job I'll ever have, if for no other reason that I've made myself utterly unemployable.Alex: [laugh]. Well, I think many of us aspire to find that perfect intersection of what you love doing and what pays the bills. Sounds like you've found it, I really do feel like I found it, too. I never imagined I'd be doing what I do now. Which is also sometimes hard to describe.I'm not making TikToks for a living; I'm just on the community team, doing events—I'm getting to work with people. I'm basically doing the things that I wanted to do that led me to quit that job many years ago, that big law job many years ago. So, I feel very blessed and for anybody who's, like, looking for that type of path, I do think that at some point, you do need to kind of shed the safety nets because if you always hang on to the safety nets, whether it's a big tech job or a big law job, there's going to be elements of that that don't fit in with your personality, and you're never going to be able to find that if you kind of stay there. But if you venture out—and, you know, I admire you for what you've done; it sounds like you're very successful at what you do and get to do what you love every day—I think great things can happen.Corey: Yeah, I get to insult Amazon for a living. It's what I love. It's what I would do if I weren't being paid. So, here we are. Yeah—Alex: [laugh].Corey: I have no sense of self-preservation. It's kind of awesome.Alex: I love it.Corey: But you're right. It's… there's something to be said for finding the thing that winds up resonating with you and what you want to be doing.Alex: It really does. And you know, I think when I first made the move to technology, to sales, there was no career path. I thought I would—maybe I thought I might be a VP of Sales. But the thing is, when you put yourself out there, the opportunities that show up might not be the ones that you had always seen from the beginning. Like if you ask a lawyer, like, “What can I do if I don't practice law?” They're going to give you these generic answers. “Work here. Work there. Work for that company. I've seen a lot of people do this.”But once you put yourself out there in the wilderness, these opportunities arise. And I've been very lucky. I mean, I never imagined I'd be a TikTokker. And by the way, I also make memes on Twitter. Couldn't imagine I'd be doing that either. I learned, like, Mematic, these tools. Like, you know, like, I'm immersed in this internet culture now.Corey: It is bizarre to me and I never saw it coming either. For better or worse, though, here we are, stuck at it.Alex: [laugh].Corey: I really want to thank you for taking so much time to speak with me today. If people want to learn more about what you're up to and follow along for the laughs, if nothing else, where's the best place for them to find you?Alex: The best way to find me is on LinkedIn; just look up Alex Su. But I'm around and on lots of social media platforms. You can find me on Twitter, on Instagram, and on TikTok, although I might be a little bit embarrassed of what I put on TikTok. I put some crazy gnarly stuff out there. But yeah, LinkedIn is probably the best place to find me.Corey: And we will put links to all of it in the show notes, and let people wind up making their own decisions. Thanks so much for your time, Alex. I really appreciate it.Alex: Corey, thank you so much for having me. This was so much fun.Corey: Alex Su, Head of Community Development at Ironclad. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, along with an angry insipid comment talking about how unprofessional everything we talked about is that you will not be able to post for the next six months because it'll be hung up in legal review.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Deep Dive with Ali Abdaal
Moral Philosopher Will MacAskill on What We Owe The Future

Deep Dive with Ali Abdaal

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 172:44


How can we do the most good with our careers, money and lives? And what are the things that we can do right now, to positively impact future generations to come? This is the mission of the Effective Altruism (EA) movement co-founded by Will McAskill, Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of Oxford and co-founder of nonprofits Giving What We Can, the Centre for Effective Altruism, and Y Combinator-backed 80,000 Hour. In the conversation, me and Will talk about the fundamentals of EA, his brand new book 'What We Owe The Future', the idea of 'longtermism', the most pressing existential threats humanity is facing and what we can do about them, why giving away your income will make you happier, why your career choice is the biggest choice you'll make in your life and much more. 

Fundadores:  Startups | Emprendimiento | Venture Capital

En esta entrevista platiqué con Carlos Lau, CEO & Fundador de Kurios. Una startup que crea programas de entrenamiento para equipos digitales de empresas.Hablamos de su experiencia trabajando en Uber como uno de los primeros empleados, todo lo que aprendió sobre como llevar una empresa, y lo que lo llevó a hacer una empresa B2B con Kurios. Esta super interesante esta plática y no te la puedes perder.Donde quiera que estés no olvides dejarnos una reseña Libros mencionados:Principles - Ray Dalio Sobre el invitado:Conecta con Carlos en  LinkedinKurios | Linkedin  Follow Us:NewsletterEscribe una ReseñaEncuesta de AudienciaTikTokInstagramTwitterLinkedinWeb 

Aid, Evolved
The Future of Pharmacy with Samuel Okwuada of Remedial Health

Aid, Evolved

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 31:59


In the heart of Nigeria's COVID-19 surge in 2020, Samuel Okwuada started receiving a string of phone calls from local pharmacies who were struggling to get stock during lockdown. They needed Samuel to deliver more essential medicines, in smaller quantities, to more locations, at the same or lower costs. This is an impossible equation for any traditional drug distributor to balance - but when it became clear they had no other choice, Samuel knew it was time to create something new. This is how Samuel Okwuada pivoted his prior venture, a brick-and-mortar wholesale distributor, into a HealthTech startup that is setting new standards for delivery quality meds, reliably and efficiently, to pharmacists across Nigeria. Today's conversation is a case study on how small pharmacies in Nigeria have historically acquired their stock and how this approach is being disrupted with new technologies. While improving health product distribution has a massive potential for impact, it is also a market rife with challenges, politics, and delays. Samuel recalls how, in order to receive regulatory approval for medicines distribution, he needed immense patience and resourcefulness. Patience, to wait the 2 years needed for government licensing, and resourcefulness, because in order to get licensed, he needed to finance an operational warehouse for 2 years with no revenue. Here we see the speed of technological innovation juxtaposed against the pace of brick-and-mortar operations. But Samuel knows there is a better future ahead and is paving the way for that future: one in which Nigerians can rely with confidence on their local pharmacies to provide high-quality meds when and where they are needed. Remedial Health is connected to more than 100 pharmaceutical manufacturers and suppliers, including GSK, Pfizer and Astrazeneca, as well as Nigeria's Orange Drugs, Emzor and Fidson Healthcare. Earlier this year, it was one of the African startups that took part in the prestigious Y Combinator programme, the most successful accelerator program in the world. It also banked US$1 million in pre-seed funding to power its growth. To find out more, access the show notes at https://AidEvolved.com  Let us know what you think of this episode on Twitter (@AidEvolved) or by email (hello@AidEvolved.com)

Forward Thinking Founders
837 - Jordan Fourcher (CryoCase) On Creating Technology That Cools In The Heat

Forward Thinking Founders

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 10:27


Jordan is the founder of CryoCase. The CryoCase is a case that gets colder in the sun instead of hotter. Utilizing the blackbody effect, the CryoCase uses radiative cooling to dissipate heat into the vacuum of space.★ Support this podcast ★

Forward Thinking Founders
839 - Arham Habib (VO2) On Becoming Stakeholders In Your Favorite Athletes

Forward Thinking Founders

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 7:25


Arham Habib is the founder of VO2. VO2 is new fan engagement platform that turns sports teams from observers to stakeholders in their favorite teams and athletes. ★ Support this podcast ★

Forward Thinking Founders
838 - Peter Difilippantonio (CarLocity) On Improving The Car Buying Process

Forward Thinking Founders

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 10:54


Peter Difilippantonio is the founder of CarLocity. CarLocity is an anonymous car shopping service focused on transforming the car dealership sales experience into an enjoyable buying experience.★ Support this podcast ★

Forward Thinking Founders
840 - Andrea Orrego (Atelier) On Designing Your Home Sustainably

Forward Thinking Founders

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 9:59


Andrea Orrego is the founder of Atelier. Atelier connects high-quality and planet-conscious makers to design-savvy users who want to create their own interior design projects and we do it all in an interactive design app and marketplace!★ Support this podcast ★

Forward Thinking Founders
841 - Abubakar Sial (OctiLearn) Enabling Personal Learning Pathways

Forward Thinking Founders

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 11:21


Abubakar Sial is the founder of OctiLearn. OctiLearn is an integrated learning ecosystem with personalized learning pathways.★ Support this podcast ★

Forward Thinking Founders
836 - Viola Carmona (Champion Lender) On Removing Barriers to Home Ownership For Minority Communities

Forward Thinking Founders

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 9:38


Viola Carmona is the founder of Champion Lender. Champion Lender is addressing the loan gap with a two-sided solution. HOME stands for Home Ownership & Mortgage Education; it is a dual-platform, total home buying/refinancing solution that reduces denials in underwriting.★ Support this podcast ★

Forward Thinking Founders
835 - Dmitry Kiryukhin (CleverFleet) On Enabling a Simple Way To Hire From Ukraine

Forward Thinking Founders

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 14:03


Dmitry Kiryukhin is the cofounder of CleverFleet. CleverFleet is an EoR/payroll platform where businesses of all sizes from anywhere in the world can easily onboard remote specialists from Ukraine, pay them and be compliant with local laws.★ Support this podcast ★

السوق
قفزة للاستثمار الجريء في المنطقة

السوق

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 60:54


في هذه الحلقة من بودكاست السوق: ▪️المنظومة المحلية -تخطي السوق المحلي سقف ملياري دولار في استثمارات رأس المال الجريء بالمنطقة

We Decentralize Tech
Ep 50 - Omar Larré (Fintual, Y Combinator 2018) - El sistema financiero y las startups

We Decentralize Tech

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 50:32


*Omar habla personalmente y no representando a ninguna empresa o institución de ninguna manera. Toda la información aquí descrita es nuestra interpretación y no necesariamente lo que Omar quiso decir. @omarlarre es cofundador de @fintual donde desempeña actividades como Gerente de Inversiones. Es ingeniero matemático y cuenta con una maestría en Gestión de Operaciones en la Universidad de Chile.

Out of Beta
Getting Google as a customer and joining YCombinator - The Eduflow Story part 2 of 3

Out of Beta

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 31:13


Thank you to this month's sponsor, Eduflow (build internal courses for your company)! Eduflow makes it really easy to build out courses and training material for your employees, customers, and other collaborators. It's a great way to onboard a new team member or train your sales team etc. Listeners of Out of Beta get 50% off Eduflow Pro for one year, by going to Eduflow.com/outofbeta.Interested in sponsoring? Get in touch.This is the first part of three, where we tell the story about Eduflow. It's a crazy startup story with many unexpected twists and turns. If you like startups, you'll enjoy this one.Links:Matt on TwitterPeter on TwitterOut of Beta on TwitterSummit - Matt's startupReform - Peter's startup

Forward Thinking Founders
834 - Jordan Plows (LightAI) On Automating Computer Programming

Forward Thinking Founders

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 8:53


Jordan Plows is the founder of LightAI. LightAI makes understanding, translating and reviewing code blazingly fast★ Support this podcast ★

Hacker News TLDR
[#109] Layoffs, Salt Water, and Drawings

Hacker News TLDR

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 6, 2022 36:04


Articles covered: Things I Have Drawn is a site in which the things kids draw are real Dalle-2 Prompt Book Part of my code makes Copilot crash Robinhood lays off 23% of staff Y Combinator narrows current cohort size by 40%, citing downturn and funding MIT invents $4 solar desalination device Put down devices, let your mind wander, study suggests

Equity
Robinhood's hangover, YC's reduction and Uber's return to form

Equity

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2022 32:57 Very Popular


Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines.Alex, Natasha and Mary Ann got together with Maggie and Grace this week for our weekly roundup show, and per usual, there was a lot to talk about, including the fact that there were even more topics than usual to pick from as the summer slowdown seems to be fading away. What else did we get into? The following:To kick off our Deals of the Week, we discussed the fact that a startup which focuses on depression, suicidality and related mental health conditions is buying a company called KetaMD in an effort to extend its telehealth prowess and, in particular, to expand its tech-facilitated ketamine-based treatments. Don't know what ketamine is? You're not alone.From there, it was time to talk about a new $100 million fund, which boasts some high-profile LPs and partners, that is out to invest exclusively in Latino(a) startup founders. We then dug into the hows and whys of a fintech company that aims to get consumers to deduct everyday expenses directly from their paycheck – a concept that took us a bit to wrap our heads around.We then moved on to Robinhood and the news that the retail investment behemoth had laid off 23% of its staff – just 3 months after letting go of 9% of its workforce. The three of us had thoughts on CEO Vlad Tenev's acceptance of responsibility for the layoffs, and of course, on just how much dang news has surrounded the company in the past 18 months or so.https://twitter.com/bayareawriter/status/1554598033756667905Next up? We chatted about Y Combinator's somewhat surprising decision to shrink its cohort by 40% – what that could mean for the early-stage venture scene. We also get into its increased check size and in-person return. So many variables! Only one experiment!Lastly, we riffed about Uber and how the company both reported positive free cash flow and yet was deeply unprofitable in the second quarter (thanks to Alex breaking that down for us). And we had a blast to boot! See you next time!Equity drops every Monday at 7 a.m. PDT and Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m. PDT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.

This Week in Startups - Audio
YC reduces S22 batch by 40%, $HOOD RIF, $MSTR CEO change, $ABNB earnings + Blueprint Part 4 | E1525

This Week in Startups - Audio

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 66:00 Very Popular


BIG show! First up, our co-hosts break down why YC cut its summer cohort size by 40% (2:13), Robinhood letting go 23% of its employees (12:40), Michael Saylor out as MicroStrategy CEO (32:09), and Airbnb earnings. (42:07) Then, Jason is back with another edition of The Blueprint, where he covers the benefits of having a bias for action! (48:52) (0:00) Jason and Molly intro today's topics! (2:13) Y Combinator cuts its Summer 2022 batch size by 40%: what does this mean for the early-stage market? (11:35) iTrust Capital - Visit https://itrust.capital/twist to create your Crypto IRA today (12:40) Robinhood terminates 23% of employees: RIF vs layoff vs furlough explanation (27:42) Brave - Download today at https://brave.com/twist to browse faster, search privately and so much more (29:02) Jason gives a Jay Trading recap and lays out his reasons for doing it (32:09) Michael Saylor steps down as MicroStrategy CEO (39:14) Visa - Learn more about Visa's online Small Business Hub at Visa.com/smallbusinesshub (40:10) Jason's predictions for MicroStrategy's direction (42:07) $ABNB earnings, comparing $ABNB and $UBER p/s, $COIN and $HOOD p/s (48:52) The Blueprint Part 4: The Benefits of Having a Bias for Action (54:12) How bias for action relates to other cognitive biases (1:02:50) How founders can have a bias for action: Product velocity

The Tech Blog Writer Podcast
2060: Microverse - The Online School for International Software Developers

The Tech Blog Writer Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 40:18


Ariel Camus is the Founder and CEO of Microverse, an online school that helps anyone become a high-paid, international software developer. The best part? The program costs $0 until you get employed. They are the first ones to scale peer-to-peer model (no other school/university has been able to do it). Microverse has also raised over $17M+ and was part of the Y Combinator 2019 Batch. Thousands of people from over 100 countries apply to join Microverse every month, and hundreds of remotely-employed alumni from Colombia to Nigeria are making 3-10x their previous salary working for companies like Microsoft, VMware, Huawei, and Globant. Before starting Microverse, Ariel was the Co-Founder and CEO of TouristEye, a mobile app for planning trips and discovering new things to do while traveling. He grew the app to 1M users in 180+ countries before selling it to Lonely Planet in 2013. After the sale, Ariel worked as a Senior Product Manager of Lonely Planet's website, with over 150 million unique visitors per year. Ariel joins me on the Tech Talks Daily Podcast to discuss the instant solution to the massive shortage of software engineering talent and why ignoring the solution will make the problem even worse. We also discuss how remote hiring can help tech companies build a more diverse workplace. Finally we explore the future of work and the wider investment opportunities in the new world of remote work.

We Decentralize Tech
Ep 48 - David Abusaid & George Marvin (Weltio, Y Combinator 2022) - Las Fintech y el sistema financiero

We Decentralize Tech

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 36:41


Código promocional para obtener 10 USD de regalo en Weltio: WEDETECH @dabusaid es graduado de Ingeniería Civil en el Tec de Monterrey. Cuenta con más de 12 años de experiencia dando consultoría a instituciones financieras, trabajando en más de 15 países a nivel global con las firmas McKinsey & Company y Oliver Wyman en México y Miami. David es uno de los co-fundadores de Weltio, en donde ha trabajado los últimos 9 meses, llevando temas de Administración, Legal, Partnerships, Capital Humano y Contabilidad. George Marvin es graduado de Ingeniería Mecatrónica en el Tec de Monterrey. Cuenta con más de 5 años de experiencia dando consultoría a instituciones financieras con la firma McKinsey & Company en México y 5 años adicionales como líder en las áreas de producto y estrategia de WayFair y Klarna en Berlín. George es uno de los co-fundadores de Weltio, en donde ha trabajado los últimos 6 meses llevando temas de Finanzas, Producto y Tecnología.

Techmeme Ride Home
Wed. 08/03 – An Actual Use Case For NFTs And An Actual Flying Car

Techmeme Ride Home

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 18:46 Very Popular


Now the hackers are stealing crypto from individual wallets at scale. Robinhood makes a massive layoff announcement. Y Combinator is shrinking its summer cohort. I've found an actual use case for NFT's and it is college textbooks. And, you know, an actual flying car you could buy right now.Sponsors:Storyblok.com/ridehomeLinks:Solana, USDC Drained From Wallets in Attack (Decrypt)Robinhood Lays Off 23% of Staff as Retail Investors Fade From Platform (WSJ)Michael Saylor to step down as MicroStrategy CEO, shift to executive chairman role (The Block)Y Combinator narrows current cohort size by 40%, citing downturn and funding environment (TechCrunch)UK regulator makes U-turn on Avast-Norton cyber security deal (Financial Times)Pearson plans to sell its textbooks as NFTs (The Guardian)Samson Switchblade flying car is finally ready for takeoff (New Atlas)See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

The New Wave Entrepreneur
EP195: Running an online school that helps anyone become a high-paid, international software developer with Ariel Camus

The New Wave Entrepreneur

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 45:35


The New Wave Podcast: Daily Conversations On Web3.0, Business, Psychology, Psychedelics & More. A Show For People Seeking Spiritual, Psychological And Financial Sovereignty. Hosted By Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur Daniel DiPiazza. Ariel is the Founder and CEO of Microverse, an online school that helps anyone become a high-paid, international software developer. The best part? The program costs $0 until you get employed.   They are the first ones to scale peer-to-peer model (no other school/university has been able to do it).   Microverse has also raised over $17M+ and was part of the Y Combinator 2019 Batch.   Thousands of people from over 100 countries apply to join Microverse every month, and hundreds of remotely-employed alumni from Colombia to Nigeria are making 3-10x their previous salary working for companies like Microsoft, VMware, Huawei, and Globant.   Before starting Microverse, Ariel was the Co-Founder and CEO of TouristEye, a mobile app for planning trips and discovering new things to do while traveling. He grew the app to 1M users in 180+ countries before selling it to Lonely Planet in 2013.   After the sale, Ariel worked as a Senior Product Manager of Lonely Planet's website, with over 150 million unique visitors per year.~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ⌛Timestamps⌛(01:13) Favorite pasta discussion (03:35) Introduction to Microverse(09:45) The anti-capitalist approach to capitalism (11:08) Ariel's experience selling Microverse  (18:14) “The Surrender Experiment” Ariel doesn't believe in free will (21:01) Mushroom mindset(25:08) No amount of money will absolve you of negative internal emotions (29:20) Emotional intelligence among men (33:56) What type of courses does Microverse teach (40:00) Making international education available to everybody around the world  (43:53) Closing thoughts & further resources~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Crece o muere
Episodio #110 - Be...ek an animal. Compitiendo con Amazon.

Crece o muere

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 38:40


En este episodio, Guillermo Sequeira, quien es uno de los fundadores de BEEK, una plataforma que distribuye audiolibros a demanda, es decir una plataforma en la que puedes escuchar muchos audiolibros, propios de la plataforma o de terceros, varios de los que hemos compartido en este gran podcast.  Guillermo es guatemalteco y ha llegado a levantar capital a Y Combinator, una de las aceleradoras más grandes a nivel mundial. No te lo puedes perder. Escúchalo ya.  #estrategia #emprendimiento #emprender #liderazgo #emprendedores   

Beyond 8 Figures
Building More Inclusive Business Systems with Hana Mohan, Magic Bell

Beyond 8 Figures

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 43:04


Creating fair, just, inclusive business systems is Hana Mohan's ultimate goal, but she is as pragmatic as she is idealistic. In today's episode, Hana speaks openly about how her transgender identity has shaped her journey as an entrepreneur, why she doesn't believe in a product-led approach, and the importance of focus and continuous learning. She also shares her thoughts on bootstrapping versus capital raising approaches (both of which she has done herself). As Hana knows from personal and business experience, growth can be very painful in the moment but it is worth it in the long term.About Hana Mohan:Hana Mohan is the CEO & Co-founder of MagicBell, a plug-and-play notifications inbox aimed at app developers. Prior to this, she founded two other startups: SupportBee and Muziboo. Hana was the first openly transgender woman to go through Y Combinator and she has written extensively on transgender issues and entrepreneurship, covering topics like cis-passing, gender dysphoria, and HRT (hormone replacement therapy). Episode highlights: Don't just assume that if you have a good product, you will do well. Success comes through focus, so focus on what is important to you and what will take your business forward. (4:04) Experience can make people cynical. That's why there is so much value in maintaining a “beginner's mind.” Read, listen to podcasts, and spend time with people who you can constantly learn from. (05:14) Raising money (as opposed to bootstrapping, which also has its benefits) allows entrepreneurs to expand their horizons. Through the capital raising process, you can gain a better understanding of money, and the more money you have, the more you can achieve. Sell your vision! (11:30) There is so much money and so little churn up-market which means it is important to have a dedicated sales team and focus on up-market sales, rather than adopting a product-led approach. (19:56) You can't fight every battle. Dream big but also be pragmatic about what it takes to be successful. (26:40) Hana's best advice for entrepreneurs:“You achieve what you focus on.” (04:04) Don't assume that just because you have a good product or service, people will buy it. Success comes through being intentional about what you do with your time and energy.Connect with Hana: LinkedIn Twitter Website Follow Beyond 8 Figures: LinkedIn Twitter Website

The Tim Ferriss Show
#612: Will MacAskill of Effective Altruism Fame — The Value of Longtermism, Tools for Beating Stress and Overwhelm, AI Scenarios, High-Impact Books, and How to Save the World and Be an Agent of Change

The Tim Ferriss Show

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2022 104:35 Very Popular


Will MacAskill of Effective Altruism Fame — The Value of Longtermism, Tools for Beating Stress and Overwhelm, AI Scenarios, High-Impact Books, and How to Save the World and Be an Agent of Change | Brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with 800M+ users, Vuori comfortable and durable performance apparel, and Theragun percussive muscle therapy devices. More on all three below. William MacAskill (@willmacaskill) is an associate professor in philosophy at the University of Oxford. At the time of his appointment, he was the youngest associate professor of philosophy in the world. A Forbes 30 Under 30 social entrepreneur, he also cofounded the nonprofits Giving What We Can, the Centre for Effective Altruism, and Y Combinator-backed 80,000 Hours, which together have moved over $200 million to effective charities. You can find my 2015 conversation with Will at tim.blog/will. His new book is What We Owe the Future. It is blurbed by several guests of the podcast, including Sam Harris, who wrote, “No living philosopher has had a greater impact upon my ethics than Will MacAskill. . . . This is an altogether thrilling and necessary book.” Please enjoy! *This episode is brought to you by Vuori clothing! Vuori is a new and fresh perspective on performance apparel, perfect if you are sick and tired of traditional, old workout gear. Everything is designed for maximum comfort and versatility so that you look and feel as good in everyday life as you do working out.Get yourself some of the most comfortable and versatile clothing on the planet at VuoriClothing.com/Tim. Not only will you receive 20% off your first purchase, but you'll also enjoy free shipping on any US orders over $75 and free returns.*This episode is also brought to you by Theragun! Theragun is my go-to solution for recovery and restoration. It's a famous, handheld percussive therapy device that releases your deepest muscle tension. I own two Theraguns, and my girlfriend and I use them every day after workouts and before bed. The all-new Gen 4 Theragun is easy to use and has a proprietary brushless motor that's surprisingly quiet—about as quiet as an electric toothbrush.Go to Therabody.com/Tim right now and get your Gen 4 Theragun today, starting at only $199.*This episode is also brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Whether you are looking to hire now for a critical role or thinking about needs that you may have in the future, LinkedIn Jobs can help. LinkedIn screens candidates for the hard and soft skills you're looking for and puts your job in front of candidates looking for job opportunities that match what you have to offer.Using LinkedIn's active community of more than 800 million professionals worldwide, LinkedIn Jobs can help you find and hire the right person faster. When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you can post a job for free. Just visit LinkedIn.com/Tim.*For show notes and past guests on The Tim Ferriss Show, please visit tim.blog/podcast.For deals from sponsors of The Tim Ferriss Show, please visit tim.blog/podcast-sponsorsSign up for Tim's email newsletter (5-Bullet Friday) at tim.blog/friday.For transcripts of episodes, go to tim.blog/transcripts.Discover Tim's books: tim.blog/books.Follow Tim:Twitter: twitter.com/tferriss Instagram: instagram.com/timferrissYouTube: youtube.com/timferrissFacebook: facebook.com/timferriss LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/timferrissPast guests on The Tim Ferriss Show include Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman, Dr. Jane Goodall, LeBron James, Kevin Hart, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Esther Perel, Elizabeth Gilbert, Terry Crews, Sia, Yuval Noah Harari, Malcolm Gladwell, Madeleine Albright, Cheryl Strayed, Jim Collins, Mary Karr, Maria Popova, Sam Harris, Michael Phelps, Bob Iger, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neil Strauss, Ken Burns, Maria Sharapova, Marc Andreessen, Neil Gaiman, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Jocko Willink, Daniel Ek, Kelly Slater, Dr. Peter Attia, Seth Godin, Howard Marks, Dr. Brené Brown, Eric Schmidt, Michael Lewis, Joe Gebbia, Michael Pollan, Dr. Jordan Peterson, Vince Vaughn, Brian Koppelman, Ramit Sethi, Dax Shepard, Tony Robbins, Jim Dethmer, Dan Harris, Ray Dalio, Naval Ravikant, Vitalik Buterin, Elizabeth Lesser, Amanda Palmer, Katie Haun, Sir Richard Branson, Chuck Palahniuk, Arianna Huffington, Reid Hoffman, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Rick Rubin, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Darren Aronofsky, and many more.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1 Confirmation with Jeff and David
Around the Block With Jefferson Nunn – Interview With Carlos Gutierrez of Fayre Labs

1 Confirmation with Jeff and David

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2022 24:29


In the newest edition of "Around the Block With Jefferson Nunn," Jefferson interviews Carlos Gutierrez. Carlos Gutierrez is a Creative Product Manager, bridging the gap between Art & Tech. He is a consultant at Fayre Labs, building NFT products and strategies for RCD Espanyol de Barcelona. So far, Carlos has built products for Colgate, Toyota, and Panasonic through gigster.com, a YCombinator and A16z-backed company based in San Francisco, California.

Crypto Current
Christophe Lassuyt on the Seamless Web3 Payments Experience - Request Finance

Crypto Current

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 27:13


Co-founder at Request Network since 2017, Christophe is one of the most successful leaders in decentralized finance. His background as a CFO in more traditional structures and his experience at the Y combinator, allowed him to better understand the challenges posed by the web3. He's an ordinary person, a proud dad from the French countryside, currently living in Singapore and working in the web3 industry since 2014. He's been living and working in more than 8 countries, on 3 continents. He can say it's an exciting adventure every day. At 23, he was a CFO in Geneva, Switzerland, at a fast-growing IT startup. 4 years later, in 2014, he took the risk of quitting his job to build on the blockchain with his first startup. In this adventure, he went through 3 accelerators, including YCombinator. That's where he and his colleagues realized that the cross-border money transfer industry only existed due to an inefficient and financially exclusive banking system. Building a fair alternative with their own hands, along with an army of open source developers was natural. It is about being a rebel with fair chances of success. It is about changing the world for the sake of financial inclusion. He loves the people in the industry who are there to fight for humanity's freedom from the capitalistic tyranny of centralized institutions. Together, we help usher a financial revolution by depriving the big banks of their power over the masses. The point is, currencies, technologies, and protocols should be controlled by everyone. That's why the Request Network makes sense to Christophe, they interconnect isolated financial systems to create more efficient and inclusive economies. They are accomplishing this by building a decentralized and open network for payment requests, in other words, a ledger of payment requests, connected to all blockchains, with shared accesses and interoperability. He is a risk-friendly builder and a hodler. The core team members are builders, together with the REQ community since 2017. They believe that the long-term approach is the one that will bear the most fruits. Long-term means decades, not weeks. Request Network users, community members, entrepreneurs, partners, and team members are builders of a whole ecosystem. The first successful application of this ecosystem is Request Finance, a crypto-friendly invoicing application serving more than 900 companies, DAOs, and freelancers of the Metaverse, DAO, NFT, and crypto industries, such as The Sandbox, Aave, and The Graph. We are lucky to be in this place and to be interconnecting millions of businesses, regardless of their country or currency. CEO of Request Finance - https://www.request.finance/ Christophe's Twitter - https://twitter.com/lassuytchristop?lang=en Christophe's LinkedIn - https://sg.linkedin.com/in/christophel1310 CFO Club https://www.web3cfo.club/ www.request.finance (https://www.request.finance/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twitter-spaces&utm_campaign=ww_issuers_organic_community_witter-spaces-220224_acquisition) Crypto Invoicing, Payroll & Expenses | Request Finance A suite of financial tools to make your life easier - crypto organizations & freelancers use Request for invoices, expenses, payroll and accounting. *Disclaimer. Richard Carthon is the Founder of Crypto Current. All opinions expressed by members of the Crypto Current Team, Richard or his guest on this podcast are solely their opinions and do not reflect the opinions of Crypto Current. You should not treat any opinion expressed by Richard as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy but only as an expression of his opinion. This podcast is for informational purposes only. ~ Put your Bitcoin and Ethereum to work. Earn up to 12% interest back with Tantra Labs ~ New to crypto? Check out our Crypto for Beginners Step-by-Step Guide to Crypto Investing ~...

Just Go Grind with Justin Gordon
#337: Herb Coakley of Courial, on Building People-First Technology, Learning to Code, and Persevering through Failures

Just Go Grind with Justin Gordon

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 40:45


Herb Coakley is the Founder and CEO of Courial, a last-mile courier service that's empowering gig workers nationwide with their people-first approach to technology. Created by gig-workers for gig-workers, their state of the art technology has modernized the courier industry by allowing any business or person to seamlessly connect with their community of on-demand couriers to deliver anything. They're on a mission to change the on-demand gig economy paradigm. Better pay, true partnership, live dispatch support, paid PTO, transparency and a seat at the table, while reducing CO2 emissions in their communities. Herb is a serial entrepreneur, former physicist and film producer, with degrees from Howard University, UCLA and Columbia University. He's also a self-taught developer, designer and former gig-economy driver with over 20,000 gigs. At his previous start-up, he created technology that allowed seamless app switching for gig drivers, enabling them to earn much more money while drastically reducing distracted driving. He is now considered an evangelist in the on-demand, gig economy sector, a distinction that has earned the admiration and trust of gig drivers nationwide. Topics Covered by Herb Coakley in this Episode How Courial is empowering frontline communities and gig workers Herb's journey from physicist to filmmaker to entrepreneur Courial's origin story and getting investors & the connection into Y Combinator while driving for Uber From stealth mode to launching their MVP and participating in climate tech incubator Elemental Courial's core concept, pivoting from B2C to B2B, and serving a variety of stakeholders Doing good while doing well What Herb learned from his first business as an inexperienced founder and going through Y Combinator How Herb taught himself to code How Herb has leveraged inexperienced talent How they're diversifying investors Launching in new markets Herb's unorthodox approach to being a people-first tech company Listen to all episodes of the Just Go Grind Podcast: https://www.justgogrind.com Follow Justin Gordon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/justingordon212

Startup Insider
Investments & Exits - Philipp Werner von Project A

Startup Insider

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 28:06


In der Rubrik “Investments & Exits” begrüßen wir heute Philipp Werner, Principal bei Project A. Philipp hat die Finanzierungsrunde von Nash und Root Global analysiert: Das in San Francisco, Kalifornien, ansässige Unternehmen Nash hat in einer Series-A-Finanzierung 20 Millionen US-Dollar erhalten. Angeführt wird die Finanzierungsrunde von Andreessen Horowitz. Zudem beteiligen sich Y Combinator und Rackhouse Venture Capital. Das von Mahmoud Ghulman und Aziz Alghunaim gegründete Startup richtet sich sowohl an Unternehmen als auch private Haushalte und bietet seinen Nutzerinnen und Nutzern eine Zustellungs-Plattform, auf der man seine Lieferungen in Echtzeit überwachen und managen kann. Die Paketzustellung erfolgt bei Nash mithilfe von Drittanbietern wie DoorDash, Uber und einem Netzwerk von über 200 Partnern. Das frische Kapital soll zur Expandierung in Kanada und Europa benutzt werden. In einer Pre-Seed-Finanzierungsrunde konnte Root Global 2,6 Mio einsammeln. US-Dollar ein. Die Finanzierungsrunde wird von Project A angeführt. Zudem beteiligen sich eine Vielzahl von Business Angels wie Andreas Berger (Ex-Managing Director bei Aldi), Markus Windisch (COO bei HelloFresh), Mengting Gao (Founder und CEO von Kitchen Stories), Julius Köhler (Co-Founder und MD von Sennder), Mike Rötgers (Co-Founder und CTO von cargo.one) und Vassili Samolis (Senior director of Product bei Doordash). Das ClimateTech entwickelt Software, die Unternehmen in der gesamten Wertschöpfungskette der Lebensmittelindustrie dabei hilft, ihre Emissionen zu reduzieren. Mithilfe der Softwareplattform von Root soll der Lebensmitteleinzelhandel die tatsächlichen Kohlenstoffemissionen eines Produktes erfahren, um gezielt Emissionen verringern zu können.

Personal Upgrade Academy
EP 82 Felipe Echandi: Apostar por los Mercados Emergentes

Personal Upgrade Academy

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 71:49


En este episodio nos sentamos junto a Felipe Echandi, en una conversación que estuvo llena de tecnología, emprendimiento e historias. Felipe es cofundador de Cuanto, una de las pocas startups panameñas en ser aceleradas por Y Combinator, una de las aceleradoras de startups más importantes del mundo. Hablamos sobre como construir un proyecto en mercados emergentes, que se requiere para ser un emprendedor y si realmente vale la pena en tomar el salto al vacío, hacia la incertidumbre que propone el emprendimiento.

Fundadores:  Startups | Emprendimiento | Venture Capital

Hoy estoy con Julio Guzmán, CEO y Co-fundador de Agenda Pro, un software que ayuda a los dueños de negocios con citas a empezar, administrar y hacer crecer sus negocios a través del acceso a la tecnología y los servicios financieros.Platicamos un poco sobre cómo inició su camino para emprender al hacerse la pregunta que muchos tienen, hacer un MBA o un negocio? Después hablamos sobre cómo inició Agenda Pro en 2014, y otras cosas más como marketing y cultura de empresa. No puedes dejar de escuchar esta entrevista.Donde quiera que estés no olvides dejarnos una reseña Libros mencionados:They Ask, You Answer - Marcus Sheridan Sobre el invitado:Conecta con Julio en  LinkedinAgenda Pro | Website Follow Us:NewsletterEscribe una ReseñaEncuesta de AudienciaTikTokInstagramTwitterLinkedinWeb 

On Point
Business can be a Source for Good with Kimberly Jung ‘08 and Emily Miller ‘08, Co-founders of Rumi Spice

On Point

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 46:16


In this episode of the WPAOG Podcast, Bridget Altenburg ‘95, President and CEO of the National Able Network, is joined by Kimberly Jung ‘08, CEO of Blanchard, and Emily Miller ‘08, Senior Impact Fund Manager at Twilio.org. In 2014, they founded Rumi Spice, an award-winning social enterprise that provides high-quality, sustainably farmed saffron to world class chefs and Michelin-rated restaurants, by sourcing directly from Afghan farmers in an economic partnership partners in the supply chain.Kimberly and Emily are 2008 graduates of the US Military Academy at West Point, former US Army Engineer officers, and Harvard Business School graduates. As social entrepreneurs and co-founders, Kimberly led Rumi Spice as CEO and Emily as COO. They have employed more than 4,000 Afghan women and partnered with more than 300 Afghan farmers. Their work has been featured on Shark Tank, selected for Y Combinator's social fellowship program, and featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Foreign Policy, NPR, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, Nightline with Diane Sawyer, Voice of America, Food & Wine, and more.In this episode, Kimberly and Emily talk about how their time at West Point and in the military prepared them for becoming entrepreneurs, the tremendous impact Rumi has had on the spice trade in Afghanistan, and how their startup has helped create jobs for women in the country. They also recount stories of their experiences serving abroad in the Middle East.---------Key Quotes“I think really what West Point teaches you is about leadership and management, which I think has been the most helpful in my career, and also in my time as an officer in the Army. That leadership part, you really just can't get anywhere else in the same way that West Point gives it to you. And you learn it by doing. You learn it through practice. You learn it by following. You learn it by leading in small teams over and over again, and getting feedback for how to do it better. And that's what I think is the most important thing that comes out of West Point into the Army” - Kimberly Jung “Entrepreneurship is not for everybody, but it is addicting once you do it because you realize it has so many similarities to the West Point and Army experience, you know, in combat. It's fast paced, it relies on a small, tight team. You have to move fast. You have to ruthlessly prioritize. You have to be incredibly creative about how you problem solve, and you know, make things happen. You know, you've got this big commander's intent and you have to figure out how you operationalize this and work. And then I think the other thing is just being undaunted by failure and by being told no. You know, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable all the time. I think that is, that is what entrepreneurship is.” - Emily Miller---------Episode Timestamps(02:46) High School Experiences(04:30) Why they attended West Point(06:31) Their R-Day experiences(10:03) Stories at the academy(11:09) Activities at West Point(13:15) Picking a military branch(17:58) Attending Sapper school(22:45 ) Deployment experiences(31:09) Creating Rumi Spice(35:30) Rumi's impact on Afghanistan(39:19) Business Ventures after Rumi Spice(40:49) How West Point and the military prepares entrepreneurs(43:00) How West Point and the military have helped Rumi SpiceLinksKimberly Jung's LinkedInEmily Miller's LinkedInBridget Altenburg's LinkedInWest Point Association of GraduatesOn Point Podcast

The Generalist
Y Combinator: The Institute of Innovation

The Generalist

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 54:54


YC has more weapons than any other player in venture. This piece is brought to you by FTX US. FTX US is a safe, easy-to-use, and inexpensive way to put your crypto investing on automatic. You can get started in minutes and set up recurring buys for assets like BTC, ETH, SOL, and many other tokens. You can also invest in NFTs and stocks, all without switching apps, and with either low or no fees. ‍Get started today by downloading the FTX US app. Use the code GENERALIST, and after you trade $100, you'll get a special $15 bonus. To find the original piece, published June 11, 2022, follow this link. Subscribe to this podcast, and to our newsletter at readthegeneralist.com. You can also follow @mariogabriele and @thegeneralistco on Twitter for updates.

True Growth con Fernando Trueba
Poncho De Los Rios (Nowports). La Mentalidad del Samurai.

True Growth con Fernando Trueba

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 61:09


https://www.linkedin.com/in/alfonsodelosrios/ (Poncho de los Rios) es el cofundador y CEO de https://nowports.com/ (Nowports), la startup mexicana fundada en 2019 y valuada en más de $1.1 Billones de USD que facilita el comercio internacional para miles de empresas en Latinoamérica. Por medio de un agente de carga digital, agiliza los procesos de importación y ayuda a transportar grandes volúmenes de mercancía vía aérea, marítima o terrestre, desde y hacia los 5 continentes, ahorrando tiempos, costos y esfuerzos.  Poncho es uno de los CEO's más jóvenes dentro de las startups denominadas como "unicornios" (valuadas en más de un billón de dólares). A muy temprana edad, Poncho decidió irse a Silicon Valley a probar suerte. Con tan solo 18 años consiguió entrar a una startup al equipo de ingeniería, destacó por su desempeño y fue promovido rápidamente. Al poco tiempo, Poncho entró a estudiar a Stanford, donde conoció a su co-fundador Maximiliano Casal (Max), con quien trabajó en varios proyectos hasta fundar Nowports. Poncho y Max han levantado $242.6 Millones de USD de fondos como SOFTBANK, Tiger Global, Tencent, Y-Combinator, entre otros.

Atlanta Startup Podcast
Is ATDC, Atlanta's Most Famous Accelerator, a Fit For Your Startup?

Atlanta Startup Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 33:09


ATDC is one of Georgia's critical startup ecosystem drivers and one of the leading accelerators in the nation. Founded in 1980, ATDC has a global reputation for fostering technological entrepreneurship. Forbes named ATDC to its list of “Incubators Changing the World” in 2010 and 2013, alongside Y Combinator and the Palo Alto Research Center. Get to know Director John Avery. We dive into the various stages of membership at the ATDC and which level may be most appropriate for your startup. John shares some of the ways the ATDC has positively impacted the burgeoning Georgia ecosystem and some ways you can help support innovation in our state.

Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig
Greatest Hits Episode: Benjamin Labra, Houm: Streamlining the Real Estate industry in Latin America, Ep 177

Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 22, 2022 26:05


For this week's episode of Crossing Borders, we're revisiting one of our greatest hits episodes featuring Benjamin Labra, CEO and Co-founder of Houm.Latin America's real estate market is opaque, broken, and bureaucratic. The home buying process in the region can take up to a year, and even just renting an apartment requires having another property as collateral in some countries. There are many pain points in the industry that are being unaddressed by the market.That's why Benjamin Labra is looking to fix the broken real estate industry in Latin America with Houm, an end-to-end solution helping property owners rent, manage and sell their properties through an online marketplace.I sat down with Benjamin to talk about how he's tackling some of the industry's deepest-rooted problems and streamlining the home buying and renting process in the region. We also discuss his experience at Y Combinator and how to build and maintain company culture once you go remote.Real estate runs in the familyReal estate runs through Benjamin's veins. He comes from two generations of Chilean real estate developers and was practically raised on construction sites and he always knew he wanted to do something on his own. For four years he managed his own private equity real estate firm and eventually decided to jump into tech. Learn more about Benjamin's journey into tech in this episode of Crossing Borders.Houm: allowing apartment rentals without a cosignerOne of the ways in which Houm's solution is truly revolutionary for the real estate market is that they've gotten rid of the cosigner. To mitigate this risk, the proptech guarantees the payment to the landlord even if the tenant doesn't pay. In doing so, property rentals become much easier and faster to process – and can be done in less than 24 hours, compared to up to 3 weeks without Houm.Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders to learn more about how Houm tackles the pain points of the real estate industry in Latin America.The YC stamp of approvalGetting accepted into YCombinator can help many early-stage startups. Even though Benjamin and his team knew they were on the right path, the accelerator's stamp of approval validated their vision.Learn more about the ways in which participating in YC transformed Houm as well as the perception of US investors in this episode of Crossing Borders.Benjamin Labra's extensive experience in the real estate industry makes him one of the best-equipped people to tackle the challenges that property owners and tenants face in Latin America.Outline of this episode:[1:10] - About Houm[2:28] - Pain points of the real estate industry in LatAm[4:00] - A family of real estate developers[5:32] - On Chilean talent[7:33] - Jumping into tech[8:35] - Switching from the investment side to running a startup[10:05] - Basics of renting a property[13:20] - Speeding up the renting process[16:17] - A change in US investors' perception [18:52] - Challenges of operating remotely[20:28] - Advice to entrepreneurs in smaller LatAm countries[21:38] - Proptech boom in LatAm[22:30] - Books, blogs, & podcast recommendations[23:00] - Advice to Benjamin's younger selfResources & people mentioned:Benjamin LabraHoumBook: The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Feel the Boot - The Science of Startups
78. Investment Term Sheets: Explanations, Red Flags, and where to push back

Feel the Boot - The Science of Startups

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2022 38:04


Term Sheet Red Flags ☠️ Venture CapitalAbusive terms cause dilution, loss of control, & sabotage future dealsLearn what they mean and when to push back Read the article https://ftb.bz/78BWatch the video https://ftb.bz/78VFounders Alliance https://ftb.bz/AllianceMailing list for office hours https://ftb.bz/join Article on pre-revenue startup valuations: https://ftb.bz/66BArticle on why high valuations can be bad: https://ftb.bz/70B Here are the standard term sheets I mentioned:Y Combinator https://ftb.bz/Y-Com-TSNational Venture Capital Association https://ftb.bz/NVCA-TSAngel Capital Association https://ftb.bz/ACA-TS

DealMakers
Kashish Gupta On Raising $54 Million To Allow Anyone To Access Data Without Engineering Teams

DealMakers

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2022 34:00


Kashish Gupta has already raised tens of millions of dollars for his fast-growing data startup. In fact, they are hiring to keep scaling this year. The venture, Hightouch has attracted funding from top-tier investors like Bain Capital Ventures, Y Combinator, ICONIQ Growth, and Amplify Growth.

Screaming in the Cloud
Cloud-Hosted Database Services with Benjamin Anderson

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2022 35:39


About BenjaminBenjamin Anderson is CTO, Cloud at EDB, where he is responsible for developing and driving strategy for the company's Postgres-based cloud offerings. Ben brings over ten years' experience building and running distributed database systems in the cloud for multiple startups and large enterprises. Prior to EDB, he served as chief architect of IBM's Cloud Databases organization, built an SRE practice at database startup Cloudant, and founded a Y Combinator-funded hardware startup.Links Referenced: EDB: https://www.enterprisedb.com/ BigAnimal: biganimal.com TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.I come bearing ill tidings. Developers are responsible for more than ever these days. Not just the code that they write, but also the containers and the cloud infrastructure that their apps run on. Because serverless means it's still somebody's problem. And a big part of that responsibility is app security from code to cloud. And that's where our friend Snyk comes in. Snyk is a frictionless security platform that meets developers where they are - Finding and fixing vulnerabilities right from the CLI, IDEs, Repos, and Pipelines. Snyk integrates seamlessly with AWS offerings like code pipeline, EKS, ECR, and more! As well as things you're actually likely to be using. Deploy on AWS, secure with Snyk. Learn more at Snyk.co/scream That's S-N-Y-K.co/screamCorey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Fortinet. Fortinet's partnership with AWS is a better-together combination that ensures your workloads on AWS are protected by best-in-class security solutions powered by comprehensive threat intelligence and more than 20 years of cybersecurity experience. Integrations with key AWS services simplify security management, ensure full visibility across environments, and provide broad protection across your workloads and applications. Visit them at AWS re:Inforce to see the latest trends in cybersecurity on July 25-26 at the Boston Convention Center. Just go over to the Fortinet booth and tell them Corey Quinn sent you and watch for the flinch. My thanks again to my friends at Fortinet.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. This promoted guest episode is brought to us by our friends at EDB. And not only do they bring us this promoted episode, they bring me their CTO for Cloud, Benjamin Anderson. Benjamin, thank you so much for agreeing to suffer the slings and arrows that I will no doubt throw at you in a professional context, because EDB is a database company, and I suck at those things.Benjamin: [laugh]. Thanks, Corey. Nice to be here.Corey: Of course. So, databases are an interesting and varied space. I think we can all agree—or agree to disagree—that the best database is, of course, Route 53, when you misuse TXT records as a database. Everything else is generally vying for number two. EDB was—back in the days that I was your customer—was EnterpriseDB, now rebranded as EDB, which is way faster to say, and I approve of that.But you were always the escalation point of last resort. When you're stuck with a really weird and interesting Postgres problem, EDB was where you went because if you folks couldn't solve the problem, it was likely not going to get solved. I always contextualized you folks as a consulting shop. That's not really what you do. You are the CTO for Cloud.And, ah, interesting. Do databases behave differently in cloud environments? Well, they do when you host them as a managed service, which is an area you folks have somewhat recently branched into. How'd you get there?Benjamin: Ah, that's interesting. So, there's a bunch of stuff to unpack there. I think EDB has been around for a long time. It's something like 13, 14, 15 years, something like that, and really it's just been kind of slowly growing, right? We did start very much as a product company. We built some technology to help customers get from Oracle database on to Postgres, way back in 2007, 2008.That business has just slowly been growing. It's been going quite well. Frankly, I only joined about 18 months ago, and it's really cool tech, right? We natively understand some things that Oracle is doing. Customers don't have to change their schemas to migrate from Oracle to Postgres. There's some cool technology in there.But as you point out, I think a lot of our position in the market has not been that product focused. There's been a lot of people seeing us as the Postgres experts, and as people who can solve Postgres problems, in general. We have, for a long time, employed a lot of really sharp Postgres people. We still employ a lot of really sharp Postgres people. That's very much, in a lot of ways, our bread and butter. That we're going to fix Postgres problems as they come up.Now, over the past few years, we've definitely tried to shift quite a bit into being more of a product company. We've brought on a bunch of people who've been doing more enterprise software product type development over the past few years, and really focusing ourselves more and more on building products and investing in ourselves as a product company. We're not a services company. We're not a consulting company. We do, I think, provide the best Postgres support in the market. But it's been a journey. The cloud has been a significant part of that as well, right? You can't get away.Corey: Oh, yeah. These days, when someone's spinning up a new workload, it's unlikely—in most cases—they're going to wind up spinning up a new data center, if they don't already have one. Yes, there's still a whole bunch of on-prem workloads. But increasingly, the default has become cloud. Instead of, “Why cloud?” The question's become, “Why not?”Benjamin: Right, exactly. Then, as people are more and more accepting of managed services, you have to be a product company. You have to be building products in order to support your database customers because what they want his managed services. I was working in managed databases and service, something like, ten years ago, and it was like pulling teeth. This is after RDS launched. This was still pulling teeth trying to get people to think about, oh, I'm going to let you run my database. Whereas, now obviously, it's just completely different. We have to build great products in order to succeed in the database business, in general.Corey: One thing that jumped out at me when you first announced this was the URL is enterprisedb.com. That doesn't exactly speak to, you know, non-large companies, and EDB is what you do. You have a very corporate logo, but your managed service is called BigAnimal, which I absolutely love. It actually expresses a sense of whimsy and personality that I can no doubt guess that a whole bunch of people argued against, but BigAnimal, it is. It won through. I love that. Was that as contentious as I'm painting it to be, or people actually have a sense of humor sometimes?Benjamin: [laugh]. Both, it was extremely contentious. I, frankly, was one of the people who was not in favor of it at first. I was in favor of something that was whimsical, but maybe not quite that whimsical.Corey: Well, I call it Postgres-squeal, so let's be very clear here that we're probably not going to see eye-to-eye on most anything in pronunciation things. But we can set those differences aside and have a conversation.Benjamin: Absolutely, no consider that. It was deliberate, though, to try to step away a little bit from the blue-suit-and-tie, enterprise, DB-type branding. Obviously, a lot of our customers are big enterprises. We're good at that. We're not trying to be the hip, young startup targeting business in a lot of ways. We have a wide range of customers, but we want to branch out a little bit.Corey: One of the challenges right now is if I spin up an environment inside of AWS, as one does, and I decide I certainly don't want to take the traditional approach of running a database on top of an EC2 instance—the way that we did in the olden days—because RDS was crappy. Now that it's slightly less crappy, that becomes a not ideal path. I start looking at their managed database offerings, and there are something like 15 distinct managed databases that they offer, and they never turn anything off. And they continue to launch things into the far future. And it really feels, on some level, like 20 years from now—what we call a DBA today—their primary role is going to look a lot more like helping a company figure out which of Amazon's 40 managed databases is the appropriate fit for this given workload. Yet, when I look around at what the industry has done, it seems that when we're talking about relational databases. Postgres has emerged back when I was, more or less, abusing servers in person in my data center days, it was always MySQL. These days, Postgres is the de facto standard, full stop. I admit that I was mostly keeping my aura away from any data that was irreplaceable at that time. What happened? What did I miss?Benjamin: It's a really good question. And I certainly am not a hundred percent on all the trends that went on there. I know there's a lot of folks that are not happy about the MySQL acquisition by Oracle. I think there's a lot of energy that was adopted by the NoSQL movement, as well. You have people who didn't really care about transactional semantics that were using MySQL because they needed a place to store their data. And then, things like MongoDB and that type of system comes along where it's significantly easier than MySQL, and that subset of the population just sort of drifts away from MySQL.Corey: And in turn, those NoSQL projects eventually turn into something where, okay, now we're trying to build a banking system on top of it, and it's, you know, I guess you can use a torque wrench as a hammer if you're really creative about it, but it seems like there's a better approach.Benjamin: Yeah, exactly. And those folks are coming back around to the relational databases, exactly. At the same time, the advancements in Postgres from the early eight series to today are significant, right? We shouldn't underestimate how much Postgres has really moved forward. It wasn't that long ago that replication was hardly a thing and Postgres, right? It's been a journey.Corey: One thing that your website talks about is that you accelerate your open-sourced database transformation. And this is a bit of a hobby horse I get on from time to time. I think that there are a lot of misunderstandings when people talk about this. You have the open-source purists—of which I shamefully admit I used to be one—saying that, “Oh, it's about the idea of purity and open and free as in software.” Great. Okay, awesome. But when I find that corporate customers are talking about when they say open-source database, they don't particularly care if they have access to the source code because they're not going to go in and patch a database engine, we hope. But what they do care about is regardless of where they are today—even if they're perfectly happy there—they don't want to wind up beholden to a commercial database provider, and/or they don't want to wind up beholden to the environment that is running within. There's a strategic Exodus that's available in theory, which on some level serves to make people feel better about not actually Exodus-ing, but it also means if they're doing a migration at some point, they don't also have to completely redo their entire data plan.Benjamin: Yeah, I think that's a really good point. I mean, I like to talk—there's a big rat's nest of questions and problems in here—but I generally like talk to about open APIs, talk about standards, talk about how much is going to have to change if you eliminate this vendor. We're definitely not open-source purists. Well, we employ a lot of open-source purists. I also used to be an open—Corey: Don't let them hear you say that, then. Fair enough. Fair enough.Benjamin: [laugh] we have proprietary software at EDB, as well. There's a kind of wide range of businesses that we participate in. Glad to hear you also mention this where-it's-hosted angle, as well. I think there's some degree to which people are—they figured out that having at least open APIs or an open-source-ish database is a good idea rather than being beholden to proprietary database. But then, immediately forget that when they're picking a cloud vendor, right? And realizing that putting their data in Cloud Vendor A versus Cloud Vendor B is also putting them in a similar difficult situation. They need to be really wary of when they're doing that. Now, obviously, I work at an independent software company, and I have some incentive to say this, but I do think it's true. And you know, there's meaningful data gravity risk.Corey: I assure you, I have no incentive. I don't care what cloud provider you're on. My guidance has been, for years, to—as a general rule—pick a provider, I care about which one, and go all in until there's a significant reason to switch. Trying to build an optionality, “Oh, everything we do should be fully portable at an instance notice.” Great. Unless you're actually doing it, you're more or less, giving up a whole bunch of shortcuts and feature velocity you could otherwise have, in the hopes of one day you'll do a thing, but all the assumptions you're surrounded by baked themselves in regardless. So, you're more or less just creating extra work for yourself for no defined benefit. This is not popular in some circles, where people try to sell something that requires someone to go multi-cloud, but here we are.Benjamin: No, I think you're right. I think people underestimate the degree to which the abstractions are just not very good, right, and the degree to which those cloud-specific details are going to leak in if you're going to try to get anything done, you end up in kind of a difficult place. What I see more frequently is situations where we have a big enterprise—not even big, even medium-sized companies where maybe they've done an acquisition or two, they've got business units that are trying to do things on their own. And they end up in two or three clouds, sort of by happenstance. It's not like they're trying to do replication live between two clouds, but they've got one business unit in AWS and one business unit and Azure, and somebody in the corporate—say enterprise architect or something like that—really would like to make things consistent between the two so they get a consistent security posture and things like that. So, there are situations where the multi-cloud is a reality at a certain level, but maybe not at a concrete technical level. But I think it's still really useful for a lot of customers.Corey: You position your cloud offering in two different ways. One of them is the idea of BigAnimal, and the other—well, it sort of harkens back to when I was in sixth grade going through the American public school system. They had a cop come in and talk to us and paint to this imaginary story of people trying to push drugs. “Hey, kid. You want to try some of this?” And I'm reading this and it says EDB, Postgres for Kubernetes. And I'm sent back there, where it's like, “Hey, kid. You want to run your stateful databases on top of Kubernetes?” And my default answer to that is good lord, no. What am I missing?Benjamin: That's a good question. Kubernetes has come a long way—I think is part of that.Corey: Oh, truly. I used to think of containers as a pure story for stateless things. And then, of course, I put state into them, and then, everything exploded everywhere because it turns out, I'm bad at computers. Great. And it has come a long way. I have been tracking a lot of that. But it still feels like the idea being that you'd want to have your database endpoints somewhere a lot less, I guess I'll call it fickle, if that makes sense.Benjamin: It's an interesting problem because we are seeing a lot of people who are interested in our Kubernetes-based products. It's actually based on—we recently open-sourced the core of it under a project called cloud-native PG. It's a cool piece of technology. If you think about sort of two by two. In one corner, you've got self-managed on-premise databases. So, you're very, very slow-moving, big-iron type, old-school database deployments. And on the opposite corner, you've got fully-managed, in the cloud, BigAnimal, Amazon RDS, that type of thing. There's a place on that map where you've got customers that want a self-service type experience. Whether that's for production, or maybe it's even for dev tests, something like that. But you don't want to be giving the management capability off to a third party.For folks that want that type of experience, trying to build that themselves by, like, wiring up EC2 instances, or doing something in their own data center with VMware, or something like that, can be extremely difficult. Whereas if you've go to a Kubernetes-based product, you can get that type of self-service experience really easily, right? And customers can get a lot more flexibility out of how they run their databases and operate their databases. And what sort of control they give to, say application developers who want to spin up a new database for a test or for some sort of small microservice, that type of thing. Those types of workloads tend to work really well with this first-party Kubernetes-based offering. I've been doing databases on Kubernetes in managed services for a long time as well. And I don't, frankly, have any concerns about doing it. There are definitely some sharp edges. And if you wanted to do to-scale, you need to really know what you're doing with Kubernetes because the naive thing will shoot you in the foot.Corey: Oh, yes. So, some it feels almost like people want to cosplay working for Google, but they don't want to pass the technical interview along the way. It's a bit of a weird moment for it.Benjamin: Yeah, I would agree.Corey: I have to go back to my own experiences with using RDS back at my last real job before I went down this path. We were migrating from EC2-Classic to VPC. So, you could imagine what dates me reasonably effectively. And the big problem was the database. And the joy that we had was, “Okay, we have to quiesce the application.” So, the database is now quiet, stop writes, take a snapshot, restore that snapshot into the environment. And whenever we talk to AWS folks, it's like, “So, how long is this going to take?” And the answer was, “Guess.” And that was not exactly reassuring. It went off without a hitch because every migration has one problem. We were sideswiped in an Uber on the way home. But that's neither here nor there. This was two o'clock in the morning, and we finished in half the maintenance time we had allotted. But it was the fact that, well, guess we're going to have to take the database down for many hours with no real visibility, and we hope it'll be up by morning. That wasn't great. But that was the big one going on, on an ongoing basis, there were maintenance windows with a database. We just stopped databasing for a period of time during a fairly broad maintenance window. And that led to a whole lot of unfortunate associations in my mind with using relational databases for an awful lot of stuff. How do you handle maintenance windows and upgrading and not tearing down someone's application? Because I have to assume, “Oh, we just never patch anything. It turns out that's way easier,” is in fact, the wrong answer.Benjamin: Yeah, definitely. As you point out, there's a bunch of fundamental limitations here, if we start to talk about how Postgres actually fits together, right? Pretty much everybody in RDS is a little bit weird. The older RDS offerings are a little bit weird in terms of how they do replication. But most folks are using Postgres streaming replication, to do high availability, Postgres in managed services. And honestly, of course—Corey: That winds up failing over, or the application's aware of both endpoints and switches to the other one?Benjamin: Yeah—Corey: Sort of a database pooling connection or some sort of proxy?Benjamin: Right. There's a bunch of subtleties that get into their way. You say, well, did the [vit 00:16:16] failover too early, did the application try to connect and start making requests before the secondaries available? That sort of thing.Corey: Or you misconfigure it and point to the secondary, suddenly, when there's a switchover of some database, suddenly, nothing can write, it can only read, then you cause a massive outage on the weekend?Benjamin: Yeah. Yeah.Corey: That may have been of an actual story I made up.Benjamin: [laugh] yeah, you should use a managed service.Corey: Yeah.Benjamin: So, it's complicated, but even with managed services, you end up in situations where you have downtime, you have maintenance windows. And with Postgres, especially—and other databases as well—especially with Postgres, one of the biggest concerns you have is major version upgrades, right? So, if I want to go from Postgres 12 to 13, 13 to 14, I can't do that live. I can't have a single cluster that is streaming one Postgres version to another Postgres version, right?So, every year, people want to put things off for two years, three years sometimes—which is obviously not to their benefit—you have this maintenance, you have some sort of downtime, where you perform a Postgres upgrade. At EDB, we've got—so this is a big problem, this is a problem for us. We're involved in the Postgres community. We know this is challenging. That's just a well-known thing. Some of the folks that are working EDB are folks who worked on the Postgres logical replication tech, which arrived in Postgres 10. Logical replication is really a nice tool for doing things like change data capture, you can do Walter JSON, all these types of things are based on logical replication tech.It's not really a thing, at least, the code that's in Postgres itself doesn't really support high availability, though. It's not really something that you can use to build a leader-follower type cluster on top of. We have some techs, some proprietary tech within EDB that used to be called bi-directional replication. There used to be an open-source project called bi-directional replication. This is a kind of a descendant of that. It's now called Postgres Distributed, or EDB Postgres Distributed is the product name. And that tech actually allows us—because it's based on logical replication—allows us to do multiple major versions at the same time, right? So, we can upgrade one node in a cluster to Postgres 14, while the other nodes in the clusters are at Postgres 13. We can then upgrade the next node. We can support these types of operations in a kind of wide range of maintenance operations without taking a cluster down from maintenance.So, there's a lot of interesting opportunities here when we start to say, well, let's step back from what your typical assumptions are for Postgres streaming replication. Give ourselves a little bit more freedom by using logical replication instead of physical streaming replication. And then, what type of services, and what type of patterns can we build on top of that, that ultimately help customers build, whether it's faster databases, more highly available databases, so on and so forth.Corey: Let's face it, on-call firefighting at 2am is stressful! So there's good news and there's bad news. The bad news is that you probably can't prevent incidents from happening, but the good news is that incident.io makes incidents less stressful and a lot more valuable. incident.io is a Slack-native incident management platform that allows you to automate incident processes, focus on fixing the issues and learn from incident insights to improve site reliability and fix your vulnerabilities. Try incident.io, recover faster and sleep more.Corey: One approach that I took for, I guess you could call it backup sort of, was intentionally staggering replication between the primary and the replica about 15 minutes or so. So, if I drop a production table or something like that, I have 15 short minutes to realize what has happened and sever the replication before it is now committed to the replica and now I'm living in hell. It felt like this was not, like, option A, B, or C, or the right way to do things. But given that meeting customers where they are as important, is that the sort of thing that you support with BigAnimal, or do you try to talk customers into not being ridiculous?Benjamin: That's not something we support now. It's not actually something that I hear that many asks for these days. It's kind of interesting, that's a pattern that I've run into a lot in the past.Corey: I was an ancient, grumpy sysadmin. Again, I'm dating myself here. These days, I just store everything at DNS text records, and it's way easier. But I digress.Benjamin: [laugh] yeah, it's something that we see a lot for and we had support for a point-in-time restore, like pretty much anybody else in the business at this point. And that's usually the, “I fat-fingered something,” type response. Honestly, I think there's room to be a bit more flexible and room to do some more interesting things. I think RDS is setting a bar and a lot of database services out there and kind of just meeting that bar. And we all kind of need to be pushing a little bit more into more interesting spaces and figuring out how to get customers more value, get customers to get more out of their money for the database, honestly.Corey: One of the problems we tend to see, in the database ecosystem at large, without naming names or companies or anything like that, is that it's a pretty thin and blurry line between database advocate, database evangelist, and database zealot. Where it feels like instead, we're arguing about religion more than actual technical constraints and concerns. So, here's a fun question that hopefully isn't too much of a gotcha. But what sort of workloads would you actively advise someone not to use BigAnimal for in the database world? But yes, again, if you try to run a DNS server, it's probably not fit for purpose without at least a shim in the way there. But what sort of workloads are you not targeting that a customer is likely to have a relatively unfortunate time with?Benjamin: Large-scale analytical workloads is the easy answer to that, right? If you've got a problem where you're choosing between Postgres and Snowflake, you're seriously considering—you actually have as much data that you seriously be considering Snowflake? You probably don't want to be using Postgres, right? You want to be using something that's column, or you want to be using a query planner that really understands a columnar layout that's going to get you the sorts of performance that you need for those analytical workloads. We don't try to touch that space.Corey: Yeah, we're doing some of that right now with just the sheer volume of client AWS bills we have. We don't really need a relational model for a lot of it. And Athena is basically fallen down on the job in some cases, and, “Oh, do you want to use Redshift, that's basically Postgres.” It's like, “Yeah, it's Postgres, if it decided to run on bars of gold.” No, thank you. It just becomes this ridiculously overwrought solution for what feels like it should be a lot similar. So, it's weird, six months ago or so I wouldn't have had much of an idea what you're talking about. I see it a lot better now. Generally, by virtue of trying to do something the precise wrong way that someone should.Benjamin: Right. Yeah, exactly. I think there's interesting room for Postgres to expand here. It's not something that we're actively working on. I'm not aware of a lot happening in the community that Postgres is, for better or worse, extremely extensible, right? And if you see the JSON-supported Postgres, it didn't exist, I don't know, five, six years ago. And now it's incredibly powerful. It's incredibly flexible. And you can do a lot of quote-unquote, schemaless stuff straight in Postgres. Or you look at PostGIS, right, for doing GIS geographical data, right? That's really a fantastic integration directly in the database.Corey: Yeah, before that people start doing ridiculous things almost looks similar to a graph database or a columnar store somehow, and yeah.Benjamin: Yeah, exactly. I think sometimes somebody will do a good column store that's an open-source deeply integrated into Postgres, rather than—Corey: I've seen someone build one on top of S3 bucket with that head, a quarter of a trillion objects in it. Professional advice, don't do that.Benjamin: [laugh]. Unless you're Snowflake. So, I mean, it's something that I'd like to see Postgres expand into. I think that's an interesting space, but not something that, at least especially for BigAnimal, and frankly, for a lot of EDB customers. It's not something we're trying to push people toward.Corey: One thing that I think we are seeing a schism around is the idea that some vendors are one side of it, some are on the other, where on the one side, you have, oh, every workload should have a bespoke, purpose-built database that is exactly for this type of workload. And the other school of thought is you should generally buy us for a general-purpose database until you have a workload that is scaled and significant to a point where running that on its own purpose-built database begins to make sense. I don't necessarily think that is a binary choice, where do you tend to fall on that spectrum?Benjamin: I think everybody should use Postgres. And I say not just because I work in a Postgres company.Corey: Well, let's be clear. Before this, you were at IBM for five years working on a whole bunch of database stuff over there, not just Postgres. And you, so far, have not struck me as the kind of person who's like, “Oh, so what's your favorite database?” “The one that pays me.” We've met people like that, let's be very clear. But you seem very even-handed in those conversations.Benjamin: Yeah, I got my start in databases, actually, with Apache CouchDB. I am a committer on CouchDB. I worked on a managed at CouchDB service ten years ago. At IBM, I worked on something in nine different open-source databases and managed services. But I love having conversations about, like, well, I've got this workload, should I use Postgres, rr should I use Mongo, should I use Cassandra, all of those types of discussions. Frankly, though, I think in a lot of cases people are—they don't understand how much power they're missing out on if they don't choose a relational database. If they don't understand the relational model well enough to understand that they really actually want that. In a lot of cases, people are also just over-optimizing too early, right? It's just going to be much faster for them to get off the ground, get product in customers hands, if they start with something that they don't have to think twice about. And they don't end up with this architecture with 45 different databases, and there's only one guy in the company that knows how to manage the whole thing.Corey: Oh, the same story of picking a cloud provider. It's, “Okay, you hire a team, you're going to build a thing. Which cloud provider do you pick?” Every cloud provider has a whole matrix and sales deck, and the rest. The right answer, of course, is the one your team's already familiar with because learning a new cloud provider while trying not to run out of money at your startup, can't really doesn't work super well.Benjamin: Exactly. Yeah.Corey: One thing that I think has been sort of interesting, and when I saw it, it was one of those, “Oh, I sort of like them.” Because I had that instinctive reaction and I don't think I'm alone in this. As of this recording a couple of weeks ago, you folks received a sizable investment from private equity. And default reaction to that is, “Oh, well, I guess I put a fork in the company, they're done.” Because the narrative is that once private equity takes an investment, well, that company's best days are probably not in front of it. Now, the counterpoint is that this is not the first time private equity has invested in EDB, and you folks from what I can tell are significantly better than you were when I was your customer a decade ago. So clearly, there is something wrong with that mental model. What am I missing?Benjamin: Yeah. Frankly, I don't know. I'm no expert in funding models and all of those sorts of things. I will say that my experience has been what I've seen at EDB, has definitely been that maybe there's private equity, and then there's private equity. We're in this to build better products and become a better product company. We were previously owned by a private equity firm for the past four years or so. And during the course of those four years, we brought on a bunch of folks who were very product-focused, new leadership. We made a significant acquisition of a company called 2ndQuadrant, which they employed a lot of the European best Postgres company. Now, they're part of EDB and most of them have stayed with us. And we built the managed cloud service, right? So, this is a pretty significant—private equity company buying us to invest in the company. I'm optimistic that that's what we're looking at going forward.Corey: I want to be clear as well, I'm not worried about what I normally would be in a private equity story about this, where they're there to save money and cut costs, and, “Do we really need all these database replicas floating around,” and, “These backups, seems like that's something we don't need.” You have, at last count, 32 Postgres contributors, 7 Postgres committers, and 3 core members. All of whom would run away screaming loudly and publicly, in the event that such a thing were taking place. Of all the challenges and concerns I might have about someone running a cloud service in the modern day. I do not have any fear that you folks are not doing what will very clearly be shown to be the right thing by your customers for the technology that you're building on top of. That is not a concern. There are companies I do not have that confidence in, to be clear.Benjamin: Yeah, I'm glad to hear that. I'm a hundred percent on board as well. I work here, but I think we're doing the right thing, and we're going to be doing great stuff going forward.Corey: One last topic I do want to get into a little bit is, on some level, launching in this decade, a cloud-hosted database offering at a time when Amazon—whose product strategy of yes is in full display—it seems like something ridiculous, that is not necessarily well thought out that why would you ever try to do this? Now, I will temper that by the fact that you are clearly succeeding in this direction. You have customers who say nice things about you, and the reviews have been almost universally positive anywhere I can see things. The negative ones are largely complaining about databases, which I admit might be coming from me.Benjamin: Right, it is a crowded space. There's a lot of things happening. Obviously, Amazon, Microsoft, Google are doing great things, both—Corey: Terrible things, but great, yes. Yes.Benjamin: [laugh] right, there's good products coming in. I think AlloyDB is not necessarily a great product. I haven't used it myself yet, but it's an interesting step in the direction. I'm excited to see development happening. But at the end of the day, we're a database company. Our focus is on building great databases and supporting great databases. We're not entering this business to try to take on Amazon from an infrastructure point of view. In fact, the way that we're structuring the product is really to try to get the strengths of both worlds. We want to give customers the ability to get the most out of the AWS or Azure infrastructure that they can, but come to us for their database.Frankly, we know Postgres better than anybody else. We have a greater ability to get bugs fixed in Postgres than anybody else. We've got folks working on the database in the open. We got folks working on the database proprietary for us. So, we give customers things like break/fix support on that database. If there is a bug in Postgres, there's a bug in the tech that sits around Postgres. Because obviously, Postgres is not a batteries-included system, really. We're going to fix that for you. That's part of the contract that we're giving to our customers. And I know a lot of smaller companies maybe haven't been burned by this sort of thing very much. We start to talk about enterprise customers and medium, larger-scale customers, this starts to get really valuable. The ability to have assurance on top of your open-source product. So, I think there's a lot of interesting things there, a lot of value that we can provide there.I think also that I talked a little bit about this earlier, but like the box, this sort of RDS-shaped box, I think is a bit too small. There's an opportunity for smaller players to come in and try to push the boundaries of that. For example, giving customers more support by default to do a good job using their database. We have folks on board that can help consult with customers to say, “No, you shouldn't be designing your schemas that way. You should be designing your schemas this way. You should be using indexes here,” that sort of stuff. That's been part of our business for a long time. Now, with a managed service, we can bake that right into the managed service. And that gives us the ability to kind of make that—you talk about shared responsibility between the service writer and the customer—we can change the boundaries of that shared responsibility a little bit, so that customers can get more value out of the managed database service than they might expect otherwise.Corey: There aren't these harsh separations and clearly defined lines across which nothing shall pass, when it makes sense to do that in a controlled responsible way.Benjamin: Right, exactly. Some of that is because we're a database company, and some of that is because, frankly, we're much smaller.Corey: I'll take it a step further beyond that, as well, that I have seen this pattern evolve a number of times where you have a customer running databases on EC2, and their AWS account managers suggests move to RDS. So, they do. Then, move to Aurora. So, they do. Then, I move this to DynamoDB. At which point, it's like, what do you think your job is here, exactly? Because it seems like every time we move databases, you show up in a nicer car. So, what exactly is the story here, and what are the incentives? Where it just feels like there is a, “Whatever you're doing is not the way that it should be done. So, it's time to do, yet, another migration.”There's something to be said for companies who are focused around a specific aspect of things. Then once that is up and working and running, great. Keep on going. This is fine. As opposed to trying to chase the latest shiny, on some level. I have a big sense of, I guess, affinity for companies that wind up knowing where they start, and most notably, where they stop.Benjamin: Yeah, I think that's a really good point. I don't think that we will be building an application platform anytime soon.Corey: “We're going to run Lambda functions on top of a database.” It's like, “Congratulations. That is the weirdest stored procedure I can imagine this week, but I'm sure we can come up with a worse one soon.”Benjamin: Exactly.Corey: I really want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me so much about how you're thinking about this, and what you've been building over there. If people want to learn more, where's the best place to go to find you?Benjamin: biganimal.com.Corey: Excellent. We will throw a link to that in the show notes and it only just occurred to me that the Postgres mascot is an elephant, and now I understand why it's called BigAnimal. Yeah, that's right. He who laughs last, thinks slowest, and today, that's me. I really want to thank you for being so generous with your time. I appreciate it.Benjamin: Thank you. I really appreciate it.Corey: Benjamin Anderson, CTO for Cloud at EDB. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, along with an angry comment that you then wind up stuffing into a SQLite database, converting to Base64, and somehow stuffing into the comment field.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Dimes y Billetes
152. ¿Cómo entrar a Y Combinator?

Dimes y Billetes

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2022 62:49


"Y Combinator" es la mejor aceleradora de negocios del mundo y solo acepta al 2% de los emprendedores que aplican ¿Cómo entro a la mejor aceleradora de startups del mundo? ¿qué beneficios me da? ¿cuánto invierten en mi empresa? ¿qué puertas me abre? En este episodio nos sentamos con Javier Aldape, cofundador de Kredi y alumni de Y Combinator, para platicar del proceso para entrar a esta aceleradora y cómo le hizo él para diferenciarse del resto.Descarga mis formatos completamente gratis en:https://morisdieck.com/Sígueme en todas mis redes sociales:

Beyond Influential
#181 Feel Your Best: How to Optimize Your Diet with Data and Improve Your Metabolic Health with Dr. Lauren Kelley-Chew

Beyond Influential

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2022 82:02


What if you could see in real-time how what you're eating affects your health?  We all know we should be “eating healthy”—but what does that mean exactly? Health is not one size fits all and with so much competing advice out there, I'm excited to introduce you to this week's guest, Dr. Lauren Kelley-Chew.  Lauren is a physician entrepreneur whose background includes private equity, a Y-Combinator backed digital therapeutics startup, and leading strategy and business operations at Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google X) where she focused on devices and emerging products. She is currently the Head of Clinical Product at Levels Health, a startup dedicated to improving your metabolic health by helping you make better (and tangible) lifestyle choices through personalized data. Levels uses wearable biosensors like continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) to show you how the foods you eat affect your body specifically, in a quantifiable way.  This is incredibly important because metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance is at epidemic levels in the US and it's tied to virtually every symptom or disease you can think of—diabetes, Alzheimer's, high blood pressure, cancer, depression, anxiety, infertility, chronic fatigue, acne, psoriasis, and more. The good news is that it's largely reversible by making some simple habit changes, which can go a long way in helping to prevent chronic disease and improve your quality of life. I've been excited about what Levels is doing and where they plan to expand. They have an all-star team of MD's, former SpaceX and Google engineers, advisors including previous guest Dr. Molly Maloof, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dom D'Agostino, Ph.D., Dr. Sara Gottfried, and David Sinclair, Ph.D., and huge investors backing them. On Ep. 179, we cover: Why Lauren ditched the traditional medical practice route and her experience as a woman working in the tech scene Metabolic Health: What it is, why it's important, how it relates to diet, sleep, exercise, and stress, and how it's affected by glucose and insulin How CGMs can help you optimize your diet What she learned using Levels for herself, and how she's adjusted her diet Women's health, the keto diet, and how it affects men and women differently Optimal blood sugar levels, what order you should eat your food, and other actionable tips Behind the scenes of Levels Health—their culture, content process, and more! Book Recommendation Women, Food, And Hormones: A 4-Week Plan to Achieve Hormonal Balance, Lose Weight, and Feel Like Yourself Again by Sara Gottfried, MD https://amzn.to/3IOqe3A Check out Beyond Influential #176 How to Start Biohacking & Optimizing Your Health with Dr. Molly Maloof https://brittanykrystle.com/how-to-start-biohacking-optimizing-your-health-with-dr-molly-maloof/ Free Resource! Get your FREE Optimize Your Health Checklist here: https://www.brittanykrystle.com/optimize Want to Support the Podcast for free? Leaving a rating goes a long way and allows me to continue putting out quality content! You can leave one on Apple (https://apple.co/3GWz0vq) or Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3Mrnppp)! Take a screenshot while listening to the episode and share it in your Instagram Stories—and make sure to tag me @brittanykrystle!   To connect with Levels Health: Website: https://www.levelshealth.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/levels/   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LevelsHealth   Twitter: https://twitter.com/levels     To connect with me, Brittany Krystle: Website: https://www.brittanykrystle.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brittanykrystle/ Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/brittanykrystle/   LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brittanykrystle/   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brittanykrystlexoxo/   Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/brittanykrystle/   YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1f0uI6wzWqp58n7fk-7-1g   Don't want to miss an episode (or valuable free resources!)? Get on my list here: https://www.brittanykrystle.com/subscribe   *Disclosure: These show notes may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through them, I may earn a commission which helps me continue to create this content (at no extra cost to you). Thank you so much for your support.

Below the Line with James Beshara
#136 — Future Therapeutics — Dr. Dan Engle

Below the Line with James Beshara

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2022 134:42


https://bit.ly/Go_BelowtheLine On today's episode, James is joined by Dr. Dan Engle. Dan Engle is a psychiatrist with a clinical practice that combines aspects of regenerative medicine, psychedelic research, integrative spirituality, and peak performance. Dan was also a Co-Author on James' book, Beyond Coffee. James and Dr. Dan dive deep into Neurological Healthcare, concussions, and what the future looks like with new research and medicines. Enjoy! More Dan Engle: https://fullspectrummedicine.com/ https://www.amazon.com/Dose-Hope-Story-MDMA-Assisted-Psychotherapy/dp/1544521022/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 https://drdanengle.com/ https://www.instagram.com/drdanengle/ Concussion Testing: Testing: https://www.cnsvs.com/RemoteTest.html Disclaimer - The information provided in this podcast is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. The use of information in this podcast is at one's own discretion, and is not an endorsement of use given the complexity inherent in these medicines, and the current variable widespread illegality of their usage. 00:18 Intro 03:40 Dr. Dan's Career Path 25:36 Neurologic Ramifications of Concussions 46:33 Psychedelics Use in Neurological Care 59:58 Resources with Dr. Dan 1:22:35 Medical Practices Continued 1:32:10 Magic Mind 1:53:33 The Future of Health Care Hit the show hotline and leave a question or comment for the show at 424-272-6640, email James questions directly at askbelowtheline@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter @ twitter.com/gobelowtheline Support Our Sponsors Magic Mind https://magicmind.co Chargebee https://chargebee.com/partners-signup and use promo code BTL Shopify https://Shopify.com/BelowtheLine About your host, James: James Beshara is a founder, investor, advisor, author, podcaster, and encourager based in Los Angeles, California. James has created startups for the last 12 years, selling one (Tilt, acquired by Airbnb), and invested in a few multi-billion dollar startups to date. He has spoken at places such as Y-Combinator, Harvard Business School, Stanford University, TechCrunch Disrupt, and has been featured in outlets like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and Time Magazine. He's been featured in Forbes, Time, and Inc Magazine's “30 Under 30” lists and advises startups all around the world. All of this is his “above the line” version of his background. Hear the other 90% of the story in the intro episode of Below The Line. “Below the Line with James Beshara" is brought to you by Another Podcast Network.