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The Founder Formula
The Founder Formula

Episode · 2 years ago

Jyoti Bansal, Co-founder Harness - Three Ways to Prove to VCs you’re a Billion-Dollar Company

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Today's guest is Jyoti Bansal, serial entrepreneur, tech visionary, and co-founder of Harness. As an entrepreneur, the hardest part about taking a chance on an idea often isn’t when the idea doesn’t work out. It’s when it does work out. Jyoti was kind enough to fill us in on what it takes to prove your startup plan is worth a billion dollars. 

In this episode, we cover:  

  • Being a first-time founder 
  • The toll entrepreneurship can have on families 
  • Solidifying a convincing pitch for VCs  

To hear this episode and more like it, subscribe to The Founder Formula on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or tune in on our website

Is this something you believe enough? This is something you haven't strong enough conviction that you're ready to back on it and put a lot of your diamond at his young the founder Formula Brings you in behind the curtains and inside the minds of today's brave executives at the most future leaning startups. Each interview will feature a transformative leader who's behind the wheel at a fast paced and innovative tech firm. They'll give you an insiders look at how companies are envisioned, created and scaled. We hope you're ready. Let's get into the show. Hey, everybody, welcome to the show. Super excited to have you here. Listening in with me as always, is the chief innovation officer at trace three, Mark Campbell. Hello, mark, how's it going? So far, so good. Mornings getting off to real being here, but a ton. I do have a question for you. You asked me a lot of question by got a question for you. At the Irvine Office, are they still pantsing you in the hallways because you're walking around with a marvel backpack on nobody's you know. You take a story from my childhood and you bring it into two modern day times. I have to tell you that you don't get pants nowadays for wearing a marble t shirt, thanks to the huge success of the marvel movies. You know, marvel is whye widely accept it. So does that mean you're cool now, like a kind of hip? Well, it means that when I was, when I was younger, and I used to walk around with a Black Panther, you know, t shirt, you know, I would get pushed into the bushes, but but nowadays I get I get high five. So I don't know if I'm I don't know if it's cool, but thanks to the movies, there are some high fives being distributed. Well, maybe one day I can count you as one of my close friends and then I'll be cool too. You know, who? Do you know who thinks you're cool? Is You must have told your parents about the podcast, because some people are giving us some five star reviews, and that's I can only imagine it's either your mom, dad or or maybe your grandparents. Yeah, it's got to be family. It's got to be family. Yeah, okay, what do you what do you say? We just get to our guests? Oh, we might as well. I think we boarded the audience enough by now, hey everybody, I wanted to pause just for a second to let you all know that we're really excited to announce that this podcast is sponsored by net APP, which is another company that was born out of the Silicon Valley. So they fit right in, and I like to introduce trace three CO founder, Bret mckinnis, and he's going to tell us a little bit about what's going on over at net APP. Hey, todd, you know, I think many technology leaders today are thinking. I know AI is a critical part of our future, but how do I ai word I start? Fortunately, not up has taken the first steps with their on top AI architecture. Sounds Great. So what's the AI architecture? So the AI architecture is a valid day to design that includes the world's fastest off flash storage raised from NETP and the world's fastest GPU enabled dgx service from Nvidia, designed...

...to handle the largest, most complex data sets in use today, with the ability to scale as those data sets grow, because today data is the new currency and speed is the new scale and businesses today need to keep up or get left behind. Sounds Great. So where can our listeners hear more about this? For more information, simply go to netpcom AI. Thanks, Brett. Thanks. Okay. Our guest has covered just about every area that we cover in this podcast. He's a serial entrepreneur. In two thousand and eighty, founded APP dynamics, where he led the company, is founder and CEO for the first eight years. In two thousand and seventeen, he launched big labs, a startup studio as a vehicle for parallel entrepreneurship, and you can't wait to hear about that. In two thousand and eighteen he joined the venture capital community and Co founded unusual ventures, which is a hundred sixty five million BC fun focused on helping early stage technology entrepreneurs. He has been a recipient of many leadership awards and stooping the first and young entrepreneur the award, and he currently is a CEO and Co founder of harness, which is a startup that's fun out of big labs and they're focused on the software delivery process. Who all right, please welcome Joe T bonsol Joe T, welcome to the show and thank you. Excited to be here. Yeah, thanks for coming on in and joining us today. Tote, this was this is going to be Super Fun for me. Over the years, Tracy, we've had the opportunity to work with both a dynamics and, of course now we've got a versioning business going with harness. So this is a this is a nice near and dear to our hearts founder. But you know, Joey, you didn't start off in the Silicon Valley. CA. Can you kind of just share this your wind deep life path that let led you out to the Silicon Valley? So I grew up in a small town in northwest India and, you know, really nothing. I didn't even nothing about clicking valley and computers. I didn't even touch a computer until I was, I think, about sixteen or seventeen because there was no computers in my small town school over there. But I always like, you know, engineering and math and you know. So I I went to one of the top engineering schools in India's Kaliety unstead of technology and because I just wanted to study computer science, engineering, math, those kind of subjects. So I was also very fascinated by just business and startups and, like you know, how much new things would be done, and you would hear when I was in college, I would be in an India would hear what se can arry all the nine because that's where all the start up activity was happening and all the you know, these new, interesting, crazy technologies we're coming off. And to me is that? You know, once I graduated from school, I was like that's what I wanted to be. So I, you know, fresh out of school as a you know, I decided to move to can valley and and started working in startups here. Like you know, when when times you work Bokus, we can valley or like you know, use, you either go to a school...

...to do your you know, a graduate degree or a PSD, or you'd like, you know, go work in a larger company so that you can get some right, an experience. For me, I was just so fascinating by startups. I just wanted to work in startups and that's how my my mindy buds started. I certainly think there's a lot of folks in our industry that would kind of resonate, resonate with that, having to start up with with some particular objective of mind. But yet your career, years later, you find out is taking you down some very, very twisting rose to where you are. You went through Whiley bought by CEA. You started out the Damics in your harness. Right now, tell us a little bit, just for context. What harness is? What you guys do, what you to live to your customers. Harness is really about redefining software delivery. Foremost of me that you know, we all here. Software is eating the world, every business and software business. All of that right, but now every business has to deliver a lot of software to their end users and they have to be agile about it. They have to be very nimble about it. They have like the software delivery velocity. Their notion velossity really defines what, you know, what you can do as a business. The channel is like in a software delivery is a very hard process that you know in the applica software applications are getting much more complex. You know, there's the the velocity pressure is very high and you know, if you look at companies like a facebook or Amazon or Netflix, and these guys have built a lot of software delivery systems and dooling and that's the comparitive edge. That's why they can innovate fast. And if you look at like, you know, a facebook is shipping, you know, Code Multiple Times a day at their scale, because they have put in a lot of software delivery plumbing and doling in place. But now, if you are a large bank and you want to compete this see, with the slick and valley companies and you want to ship code every day to your production systems, how do you make that work? And that's really what harness is solving. That how do we bring in the sort of the software in delivery tooling and platform to almost every business and world? Well, certainly a lot of emerging texts have come along that are challenging the traditional deployment models. Certainly AI and am al or changing their quite a bit. So you know, your entry into that space very, very timely. But let's rewind the clock a little bit. Your you're at Wiley while it gets picked up by sea. What exactly happened that made you go in and deliver your resignation one day and go out our dynamics had it. How that all come about? Let's have good question. Yeah, so I was working the startup I leave, which was in the first generation application monitoring kind of space, and it was picked up by sea. But it's it was clear to me that the world of software applications and the complexity around software applications is really just starting. This was two thousand and eight right that, you know, the at that time made of us was about a year old. Cloud was just kind of sort of starting like that. People were, you know, the world microservices wasn't even coined. The world debox wasn't even going at that time,...

...but it was clear that that's where the world is going. More agility, more nimbleness, you know, more smaller systems with microservices kind of architectures and all, and in those systems, if something goes wrong, it will become harder and harder to monitor and double shoot and figure out, you know, how to fix things. And then I looked at like you know, there were no really good products that we're trying to solve as a you know, I was a software engineer, and to me it's like, you know, I would say, look at the software systems are getting more distributed and we really don't have any good tools and products to solve when something goes on. So someone has to solve it. Right. So most startup start when, like you know, as a founder, as an Orto, we start getting this kind of almost this burning desire of solving a problem. That you feel, you feel the Purle, you feel the need and you start feeling like an if you don't do this, someone else will do this, so why don't you drive? Kind of thing, and so that's that's what happened. Like you know, to me is like the more and more of the world with this going to run on software, and software is going to get more complex and more distributed, you know, and the products, the first generation products, like the Wiley product I was working on and others, were not designed for that modern, distributed kind of world. So we need better products, and so that's that's when I was like, let's let me start this thing, and I started. I was still working on my job and I started pitching to industrials and we see, and trying to get like, you know, to get some funding to get going. And one day one of the VIC's, you know, I was pitching to and, you know, he asked like I heard all this story from you, like do you really believe in this? I said Yeah, of course I do, that that's what I'm pitching you, and then he was like, if you really believe in this, why you're still in a job, and I was in that's a good quesion. I don't have an answer to this thing. So next day I was, you know, I quit my job. I was like, that's that's a very valid question. I if I really believe in this, let me go and quit my job and drive. It was almost like a challenge. Yes, let's you know, it's a that's a queshion. You have to ask a as a Nott of known as a founder like you know, is this something you believe enough? This is something you haven't strong enough conviction that you're ready to, you know, bet on it and you know, put a lot of your time and energy on you know you should be betting on an idea and and of course, you're also betting on yourself. What in your background led you to believe that you were a good bet for you to make on yourself. Yeah, it's when you start a company, you know there is a bad and there's a bit of leap of faith. Right. So I was I was an engineer in my my s at that time. Like my I didn't have any much of business experience or managing large teams or, you know, any of them. But one thing I knew for sure that, you know, I like building great products, and so that's so that part was kind of natural and I I had no doubt that I could. I could build a great product and build a greate technology to solve this. But the part that wasn't, you know, obvious, was a big leap of faith because I didn't had no experience in like raising capital, you know, selling, hiring sales people, you know, managing large number of people, all of that right, and that was that something like, you know, when I started, I was like if, if, I have to do this and I have to do a good job...

...at this, those are the things I'm not good at at this point. We have not done that, ever. So let me put a lot of focus and energy on learning and getting good at the things that I'm not good at, and that's the only way I would go and do it right. So that's but I still had to do that leap of faith on flow on when you start to them. What did your family think about that? We weep a faith because like it or not, they have to jump with you. Right. Yes, that is to you know, it's it's a very good question because you know, a lot of times as founders that becomes a very important but important thing. So at that time, I had, you know, only my wife here and she was very supportive. You know, I gave a simple explanation. To work again. I'll try this one six to nine months and you know, yes, I we won't have a salary for six to nine months, but that's fine. If it doesn't work out, you know, then it's I can always get back into the into a job, and that is true in most kind of you know, for most things you start like, you know, if you're working as a job, you know, in a job, as in something, most of the times we can go back into so there's not really that much to lose. Yes, your taste sending a lot of time, some time and energy. So that's one part. The harder part happens that if it does work out in the six to nine months, like you do, the company get does get off the ground and, you know, you get capital and some investors fund you and Coman to get off it on them. What happens? That's a Huh, you know, I think to a lot of entrepreneurs I ask them, because that's not what if that's happens, it's a long journey from there. It's like a long, hard journey of like in a build anything of value takes like seven to ten years at least, like you really. So it's like what is the commitment for it? Like you know, it becomes very hard on on the personal side of things and all that. So that's you know, it's never easy on family. You know, entrepreneurship is hard on family, and you know you have to have some, you know, support in your family for that and I was fortunate that, you know, I that support on my right. Well, you'd mentioned that. You know, when you're getting ready to take this big leap, there are a lot of areas that you don't really have background in. So how did you, you know, come together with those cofounders, those people that brought some of the missing pieces of the puzzle? How did you go about selecting those or did you put those pieces of the puzzle together later? How did you pull the team together? So companies go through this multiple stages, right. So the first stage really is raising some capitals to get off to them, unless you have capital to, you know, the boot stab yourself. But most companies, like you know, companies like I've done, if they need some capital, those ones you really I think, as a founder, you have to learn that yourself of how to pitch to V sees and how to raise capital. And you know you if not, then you have to find a confounder right right away. Who will do who will do that, do that with you. So I focused on you know that I have two good have to become good at that myself, and that was that's kind of your almost like a first shop circle. That are and a new skill that you have to learn right then the second skill after that becomes more about, like,...

...you know, building a founding team men, which is mostly engineering team, and finding your product market field. So those things, you know, there is definitely learning and skills in there, but those are the areas where you know, you know I was much more comfortable in. But it's the harder part shot after that. Like in once you sort of a product market fate. Now you're to sell and you know you have to launch the company and you have to do the all the go to market functions, and that's the time you I didn't want to bring in people who are much better than much more experts, and not like, you know, a autanomics that brought in a good weepy of sales. I brought in a good pepy of marketing sooner than a lot of startups to, and primarily because I knew that. I don't I'm not an expert in this. I don't know this, so I would rather hire someone earlier and try to hire someone earlier so that you know what I can learn, but also the company can can can perform well on those functions. Hey, Joechy, you you mentioned going in there and doing your pitch for appy, which is something a lot of people who are starting a company they imagine like that. That pitch basically the VC pitch. You need tell us about not developing that. Was it easy? You know, what was your process and developing it in delivering it? Yeah, it seems it's never easy. As the first time founder, was pretty hard. I had, first of all, I'll tell you, had twenty rejections before I gotten my first offer from a VC. So it's you know, so obviously I wasn't doing on the job if I had that many directions before I got my first, but it's wing. Every rejection is the big learning. A person said you learn like a give. Why didn't you get rejected like you and I was very I would always ask the investors like yeah, you're passing but can you let me know like why? Right? And sometimes investors won't tell you when some some industris will tend you. But you you learn from each one of those. So I kind of, you know, my pitch, you know, evolved in that journey, like you know, when in that in that journey like of pitching and kind of getting ejections and refining and refining and I was kind of creating over it and refining it run, I learned that it's really three things that the pitch has, the story has to do to tell you know. Number one is you have to convince the industors, like, you know, why could this be a billion doomber company? Most bacis are, you know, that the BC business is like go big or go home kind of business. Like they want to they want to look at like you know, they're not interested in like you know, fit successful. It would be a you know, look up like if you think of like a business worth fifty million dollars, a it's a very attractive rich business, but for RECON is a fifty million dollar worth business is is really meaningness. But that's not how the economics works. That's on how the business models of venture capital work. So they are looking for, like, you know, if things go well, can this be bill an dollar Tomney? And they're looking at from like in as a market large enough, you know, are they it just sent things that this could be done in the in the market? You know what's is that the timing and the comparative landscape in the market, and they're looking at all of those. But the code of what we have to convince TVC's is like if things go right like, and you know, only only two out of ten, you know, go startups go...

...right like. But if it goes right with this, we will another come. So that's the first thing that, you know, I learned that I have to make the case on on the on the second, you know, and on that one I had a lot of challenges. Like people will ask, like, you know, this is application monitoring, isn't? This is a small, niche market and you know now it's like if you think of APM or application monitoring, which what you and have done makes that's like, you know, at the Slickon Valley, eventual to community things. That's one of the hottest markets. Like you know, I had I've done a mixed for this is what three point seven billion dollars and new relic is worth three four billion dollars and nat race is what three four billion dollars and Tatadog just file for an IPO and probably be works that or more more there. So it's like people think application. Now people are yeah, application monitoring is a big market, but to me that was the biggest challenge to convince people like you know. Then why is this? Why is this not a small niche market? that a why every business will have soft, complex software applications and why they were need to monitor interval. Should this and why would this be a large market? And if you build an execute right in this market, there could be a bit of not recompany in this market. So that was the first area to make argument and convinced we season. The second part of the story is, like, you know, showing some proof points. You know. Proof points could be like customer direction. Proof points could be like in a market validation from like customer calls. Most wecs like you. Maybe if you convince them's the large market is a lot, you know, and you you have and you have a good solution approach or whatever. They don't want to make a jump unless there is some external validation about it, like you know. So that's that was a bit of a learning to be in the process. Like you know that okay, I can just go and make the case. I need to have other people validated. So what I started doing in that process was like making calls to potential customers and and, like, you know, taking notes of those calls and, like you know, make and and then that's what I would take to the VC's are in like in the later space, like these are all the customers I'm talking to and this is what they I'm hearing, and this is these are the proof points and these are data points and you can make these calls and talk to these oneside. But that's, you know, if you already have a product in the market with some Beta or some revenue, then it's great, but that's just another area that you have to convinced. We Sis. So your market make validation was contacting customers, not looking at the annalyst community or anything like that. Really Smart, yes, because that's, you know, analyst Community Es. You want that, but the true udation comes on the market in the distant yes, the thought, the third thing, which is really the last thing that you become Vince is why you? Because any time there's a large market it and there's an opportunity, they're like you know, they will always be four, five, ten different comparitors or startups that are trying to solve this, like you know, doesn't matter how that, you know, it's like a company starts with an idea, but evnch ideas. Only the first one percent is the the other ninety nine percent is execution bright. So so now you have to convince people like why you? Why you would be the winner, of potential winner in this particular space, if this is a this is interesting space, and that that you have become nc either based on, like you know, you have some unique technology friends, or you have...

...some unique, like you know, prior business experiences or in your and your team, like a founding team. Why is some why would you win? And you know, I had to learn how to make that case, including, like you know, how would I sell myself to them? But eventually, really, you know, the summary of it was came down to those three things and once my pitch got there that I could make a good case for on all three, it became suddenly very easy. Like those I got my first time sheet to a VC and within a data had like six Tuntis and I could pick like in who I wanted to, you know, bring in at that time. Right. So that's but it's it was an easy process in at a time. Well, that's certainly a terrific problem to have. was six turn beach or front of you. You you got a unique position and that you've been on both sides of the fence, right. You've been out there pitching the get funding and now with pig labs, I mean, and also with the usual ventures. You're sitting there and you're actually looking at opportunities that are coming in the door. What would be like a big mistake that you see people making? You just wish, you know, cash. If you would just avoid this, it would get us so much further in the conversation. What are those big pitfalls you see? I think when I'm on the other side as a v see unusual and listening to a pitch, I still really think of these three things, like what I learned, like what I had to sell. There's like, you know, why is this a big interesting problem? You know, I look at like in what is the unique advantage the founder, founders have and, like, you know, what is the validation behind it. But then this one thing that I've learned that I also look for is like and how committed they are. How committed they are, like, you know, how passionate are they? You know, short ups are really hard and if you're not committed and destinated, it becomes a when you go into hard times, you know, people may just, you know, fall and go go home. Right. So that's so you want to look at look at that as well. I wish, like, you know, people tell a story when they come in Bitch, like, you know, like starting from like, you know, how did they feel the pain somewhere, and you know how that they know where they see the market and you know, and what's a unique advantage they have and how the market will want. People go into a people become up to a bit too technical and, like, you know, talking a bit about the technology too much, and I tell everyone is like, you know, it's like we will invest in you, you know, assuming that you can build a technology. It's really about, like, you know, that's not that should not be the if you think you cannot build a technology, then you know, that's just the things to land right there. It's a it's a lot about like you know, making the case on why is this interesting market? Why is the solution approach or the business model approach is unique and destructive. You know why you can execute on it come better than ender else. Like tell to tell those stories. Is What what I asked if them. Hey, joking, you mentioned a little bit earlier starting companies to solve problems. Let's go back here to harness for a little bit and if company that you currently see you so you have any customer success story, some things where...

...you really felt gratified that you did exactly what you set out to do to solve a customer problem? Oh yeah, definitely. You know, that's one thing we take a lot of pride in harness and our stories of our customers. I'll give you build notcom with they're like the online version of Home Depot. You know what they used to have is like in every time they would they would do a deployment and this was like, you know, they're trying to do it multiple times a day. It will put six of their best engineers to look at what's going on with the deployment and verify, like you know, everything is good or not, and you know most and you are you wanted you want your best engineers, because very complex to figure out like if some everything is working properly or not. It's people who look at logs and, you know, monitoring systems and all sort of things to figure out something is good or on. And we'll take them like, you know, thirty, fourty minutes, you know, off the six US engineers every every time harness one of them. We wanted to solve that by bringing machine learning and ai do it right. That that is like how do you verify if a code change or a deployment is is good in production is but automating that through data and machine learning right. So we know build our coom once harnessed, with with hardness in place, they were able to bring it down to like one person looking at it and harness within like about like four to five minutes, automatically, very reliably will tell if a deployment is is good or not, performance and errors and availability, any any challenge that are happening around. so that's that was ratifying to hear, like that's really happening for customers at lease. But then the other thing is also like when something does go wrong, how fast you can roll back. Now their rollback used to be about an hour, like you know, something really went wrong, like it will. It took them an hour to roll back into into the real state, into a good state. You know, we were able to bring it down to thirty seconds for them. So that's you know, that's kind of what we wanted to achieve with hardness that, you know, the the entire process of software, of software delivery, like you know, how do you do fast software delivery without breaking anything? That is that we make it possible and you know, when I hear it from customers that they are doing that in production, you know many, many examples of those. That's that's the most ratifying thing to so, both in a dynamics and in harness. It's one thing to be aiming in a particular customer problem, but of course, and I t the whole industry is changing around you. The technology changing, a competitive landscape is changing. You can solve forth. There's kind of this cult of the pivot that's grown up in the solicon valley and you know, you certainly see companies the pivot every fifteen seconds, every time they they in a bump in the road. It seems to be the big tech. Do we say the course. Do we kind of stick with our original vision? Do we kind of tough it out? Or maybe we're heading in the wrong direction and we need to pivot five degrees to the east and that's really where the pot of gold lies. How do you determine which of those who strategies is appropriate? That's a hard problem. Like I actually do think, like you know, I think, I like your phrase, that cult of the pivot. I do think there's right now there is a problem of Olver pivoting.

A lot of people don't talk about it, like you know. They are all these people who come in and talk about, you know, that's a clean start up in this event, and some of that is legal and encourages if you don't do it right, too much pivoting and, like you know, which is not the right things. I always look at like you know, you have to pivot us. Things are not going the way you thought it would be. Your assumptions are not right, but you cannot, you know, not have a conviction about something. So you have to have conviction about something and then you go and research the market and validation. Validate the market and talk to as many customers you can find and as many customers you can, so you can validate your assumptions and, like, you know, change to five degrees if you have to. But if you go to the market and so, okay, I don't have any election about the problem, but dissolution about approach of any kind as a company. But I'm going to just listen to customers and say what they you know, what are they telling me, and I'm going to pivot every fifteen seconds based on that. That doesn't work. Work either. You have to be open to two feedback right. So I'll give you example of Abdynamics, when I'm Dona Max, when I was starting, right, you know my you know, the fundamental thesis was that everyone is building these complex software systems and applications are getting more distributed, more complicated, all of them, and people would need, you know, monitoring and double shooting products for those which will be next generation products. That has to be designed around, you know, watching distributed transuctions. Instead of watching one system at a time, you have to watch the distributed trandctions. That was a code conviction and the core thesis. Right. So you know what people now call distributed rassing, but that we used to call it doesn't strong action in Abdnaments, that you have to watch the business transduction instead of watching the once one server. And now, when we started talking to customers like you, initially our assumption was let's build Our v one to work only for APPs on in Amazon, because you know, that's easy to shape, an easy to a do as at that. You know, it would be much easier for us and we can focus and and what there? This was two thousand and eight nine, remember, so here know the everyone was talking about cloud and we thought, of that would be great. Everyone would be clouded two years and that's just built for that. Initially, when you started talking to customers, realized not, that's not the case. They can it would probably take any years before people are in the cloud. And if you're only working for on APPS that are running in a Amazon, we would start the company will start with death. And that wasn't sort of a pivot and I just went on, okay, let's let's put our focus on all kind of APPS, like, including like APPs running in the on premis data centers. And, like you know, people don't move the cloud for another five years and ten years. That's statis fine. Will still have a very strong business, because the problem is still still the same there. So that's that is to me a pivot that you have to do as startups, as you start doing the customer validation, but you still have to a conviction around the what the code problem you're trying to solve and maybe a core approach that you're trying to bring to the you know, to solve the problem. Yeah, and certainly I mean with your with your trail of successes, I'm...

...sure that you've seen many different models that different companies of used in different areas and there's a ton of books out there. You mentioned the lean start up earlier and there's kind of a lot of these, I'll just say, conventional wisdom about unconventional industry in going through that, actually living that several times now. What are some of the myths that you think are out there? There a lot of people maybe don't know, that haven't been down this road. There are some myths out there, for sure. I would say that probably the number one is like, you know, if you were really good product you don't need sins. You know, and this is coming from a you know, that myth is there in many of many founders like me, who were like technologists and engineers as their you know, by training, by professional of them, and I think that is a myth. If you're selling into into into businesses, in too large enterprises, you have to have sales, doesn't matter how good your product is, and the best companies would have like a best product combined with best sales execution in the market. I hear, you know, a lot of first time technical founders, engineers. You know, that's how you know. It's kind of most family start like that, right, and sometimes they're like no, yeah, I are, product is so interesting and so good, like we want need any sales, and you know it will just sell itself. retill them. That stung. Can you happen? Like you know, you have to learn as a company how to sell and how to sell well, and that's the only way you're going to do well. That's probably the the number one method. The number two, I do think, is like the the concept of, you know, MVP or like how you know, people sometimes think like you can build a vine and and and get it out and which doesn't even have the basic which has a really, really small number of things. And I, you know, I tell a lot of people, and you know the word I don't like to win. Use MVP is as is. I find it a bit misleading and kind of like create a Mytho. I tell everyone, like call it like M M minium sellable product, sort of Minimum Bible product, like what we can really sell, and that's the definition of what should be. You know, what is viable. How to what is the definition of viable, and that's always like people are let's wind these three things and ship it out and then we'll see. and to me say, if you can't sell these three things, it's not going to work and maybe we need to so until you until you have a product that will sell, you have to build it and you have to put more work on it, and that's where, you know. Sometimes I don't like the lead startup kind of concepts, which encourage that you only do really, really, really, you know, minimum things. That that is that we have to do. It's hard to do that in the betweek kind of world, in consumer stuff, we consumer kind of software products. You probably can do a little bit, but you like, you know, you can't go and take on a take on a market without like feel, let's say, of Work Day right, of what they started with, a thesis that you know, people are using people soft for hr, but you need a SASS person of of platform as a next generation at Cher. But if work, they said like it. The the minimum product...

...you're going to build is only like three of the features, the basic features are at other people's soft has. You really can't sell it. You know it's you have to in if that is what you want to achieve as a company, to replace people soft and in sort of woms premise at your e wants a set are. You have to build something that could go and to place it and sell it, and I when if it takes you longer to do it. That's one myth that's out there that you know. Sometimes people if you make mistakes on I love it. I think that we just need to change the acronym to MSP because it I think, ultimately, at the end of the day, that's what matters, right, minimum sellable product. Yeah, at that's what matters. He so jokey. We on. We've been really lucky to have some amazing guests on the show and in some ways, but you're very unique because you jumped in and started appting, you got exposed to start up. Then you went over to the BC side of the table and then eventually started an incubator. So I'm just curious, you know, in which ways to those relationships and roles compliment one another. Yeah, the way I looked at this is slightly differently. You know, I look at it. What do I like to do? What do I enjoy doing? And I'm an entrepoect hard. I like to build things, I like to build progress, build companies. That's what I want, I like to do. So that's so I started at donemant with it. That's what I wanted to do. I started harness with that. That's what I wanted to do and I started my startup studio, big labs, because I that's what I wanted to do. So by the big laps, you know, I don't use the word incubator for it, but it is. It's really essentially my ideas. Like you know, I have a list of ideas, of problems that I'm interested and excited about, and we call it lab that. It's a lab that we research and experimental, small team on those ideas and those projects. And if any one of those ideas and projects become, you know, gets to a stage as we are prototyping it and you're searching it, you're validating it that we believe it's a it's a it's an interesting product and company to work on for a long time. Then I spent it out and harness is the only company that has been spun out of but that is my primary passion. I like to be entrepreneur, I like to build companies, I like to build products, but at the same time I you know, going when I went through a dynamics as a entopnower, I also learned a lot of things and a lot of founders approached me and you know, that's how you know good thing about citeken values. That's also can value works and they ask for advice, they ask for Mentorship, they ask for all kind of different him and I actually I want to do that because, you know, I want to find vehicles and ways so that I could give it, you know, give it back to the founder community, because that's how other founders in sending as they can. Well, he help me when I was a first time founder. I started unusual ventures with that in mind. Right like that becomes a vehicle to you know, for me to help other founders and, like you, also to shape some of the venture capital at least a venture capital in the way that I would have liked as a founder. But that's how I look at it like in a my two passions. One is being an entop note build companies. I did it once. I want to do it again if, in the you know, it's not for...

...financial reasons this time. I just want to do it because that's what I enjoy doing. And then I also want to help other founders and you know in the Chevil ways I can help, and that's the reason to be a sort of a VC attorneys of ventures. Well, certainly, if we have any potential founders out there, just go by joy's house. He'll give you all this free advice. He's well you. Certainly, you certainly have led so far, and the ventures not over. The founders journey's not complete. Certainly led a very unsuccessful journey so far, not just after now. It's not just on the VC side, but I think your concept of paying it forward to that next generation of founders that is coming along. So I would just like to thank you for coming in and spending time with us today. I learned a lot. I got a whole page full of notes here. But you know, I think it's been very education for me. I think it is for our audience too, and thank you very much. Don't you appreciate you spend times. Thank you. This was a good discussion and connosition and really into it. Thanks got. Trace three is hyper focused on helping it leaders deliver business outcomes by providing a wide variety of data center solutions and consulting services. If you're looking for emerging technology to solve tried and true business problems, trace three is here to help. We believe all possibilities live in technology. You can learn more at trace threecom podcast. That's trace, the number threecom podcast. You've been listening to the founder formula, the podcast for all things start up, from Silicon Valley to innovators across the country. If you want to know what it takes to lead tomorrow's tech companies, subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Until next time,.

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