#9 Arun Saigal

On creating a new future where anyone can develop apps, no code necessary!

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Arun Saigal is the Co-Founder and CEO of Thunkable, the low-code/no code platform that enables anyone to build their own apps without coding. Recently named to Forbes 30 Under 30 for Consumer Technology, Arun has held a variety of leading roles and positions at technology companies, including Quizlet, Khan Academy, Aspiring Minds, and Google.

“Smile, we don’t do that often enough.”
Enjoy my conversation with Arun

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Hello boys and girls

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Welcome to this episode of seeking sathya podcast

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My guest today Arun Saigal

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Created a no code development platform

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I invited him here to talk about it in the future of no code platforms

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He’s in a MIT grad and Forbes 30 under 30 on also an accomplished musician

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Connects orchestra in San Francisco and place the while in and the birthing

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Arun thanks for being on the show

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Madhav Thanks so much for having me or isn’t leave from Boston

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Boston born and raised

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Lives there

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Went to high school there

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Undergrad grad school

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So yep

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Boston blasts away country great city and all kinds of things happening there at Mit

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And Harvard and all these great schools

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But for you as it could growing up Were you influenced by on how you thought about you know education or ambitions and things like that Yeah

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Growing up in Boston I think it was the best city in the world to grow up in because because of the you know huge influence of the universities and education system there was a tremendous amount of intellectual diversity on a lot of just you know expectation of great education

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There was because you could just walk the you know calls the streets of our bit of M I t tough

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All these fantastic universities that we just all get in the Boston area

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There was so much you know emphasis on education on learning on intellectual curiosity made me always be more excited and more passion about education

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When you wanted to learn things you could just go

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You know as a kid I could just go listen to talks from M I t professors or go have music concerts that I would listen to you know by the great musicians who were in and coming to Boston it and I think that was that was such a such a cool experience to grow up amongst

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Was it also a lot of pressure in terms of like hoping God there’s all these great schools that if I don’t get into one of these I kind of a loser

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I was very fortunate to grow up in a family and in a town where you didn’t feel that pressure as much

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I don’t think I felt as much of that there were kind of expectations

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You know the expectation was that you’ll go to college and you’ll study hard and you’ll do well

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But it wasn’t

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If you don’t get in you know you’ll be in trouble

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I think that’s at least until my sister went to college my older sister E

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And at that point she was very clear that if you don’t get them I wouldn’t disown you as a symbolic

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But before that I don’t think it wasn’t

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I think it was because I grew up in a in the town I grew up in in Burlington Massachusetts

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Was was a pretty you know it was a cool town of what I would say very you know normal awesome fun people

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And so the expectation was that you worked hard and you did well but kind of a zones

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You tried your artists Your best

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You know that was all you could ask for

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You play instruments and your B box uh specialist and grab battlers through the profile

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Uh wait

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Does that come from I would assume that’s from your parents

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Yeah I do a lot of music

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I It definitely comes from my parents

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My mother’s a South Indian classical bar the knockin dance teacher on

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And I think my parents are both big music dance and arts kind of efficient autos

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So growing up I learned Viola trombone uh and the murder young um the kind of India and South Indian classical drum And so throughout that throughout those experiences I you know I got more involved in music started performing more and playing more These days I conduct a symphony in San Francisco the San Francisco Civic Symphony

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I conduct uh I also play in an orchestra here on the viola and then I also perform um er along them and wrapping beat box pretty regularly

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Eso the music part of my life is is pretty important and it’s a pretty significant chunk of my time

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But it’s always been a big passion for me and I’ve been very fortunate again

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Growing up in Boston you have some of the best musical institutions with the New England Conservatory in the local music being right there where I was able to grow up and do a lot of math and science but also spent a lot of time learning music from some of the best in the world and I’ve been very lucky to be able to continue doing music at a fairly serious level

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Um both during m i t

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Where I was involved in starting the m I t OEMs salvation our fellow group Um and even post m i t

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Where I spent a lot of time um throughout the Bay Area playing and performing

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The interesting thing is even now being busy with getting your start up going on about scaling it Are you continuing to do that And I’d like to probably touch on some back later in the session on some of the routines of tactics that you do to manage all these things

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And I think that’s something that people find challenging

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You have a passion but then you don’t have time for it

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Definitely want to get into bankable and the whole story around that and your vision for it and all that briefly before we jump into that like you

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Then move down

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You went to a mighty as you mentioned your your bachelor’s and master’s mighty

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It wasn’t a dream of yours to go there

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Was it pressure from retail Your sister harder

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You Enough going there still growing up

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I knew from a fairly early age that I wanted to be an engineer

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Both of my parents are engineers and I liked the idea of building things with my hands

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I was always a you know big tinkerer

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I was a Legos kid I used to build on

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My mother tells a story of when I was a kid and I wanted to understand how VCR’s worked

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And so I didn’t know if it was just the shape of the object that you had to put into the VCR you peanut butter jelly sandwich and stuck it in the VCR and trying to hit play to see if that because the shape is approximately right and then when that didn’t work I you know disassembled and dissected the VCR of course made a whole mess of the thing

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But I’ve always been a fairly you know curious engineered type individual

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And so when I went to high school and I started thinking more seriously about where I want to go to college I think uh you know M I t being both so close to where I grew up as well as being many would say the best engineering school in the world

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It seemed like Hey if I could get in there that would be awesome

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In retrospect I couldn’t have asked for anything better both in terms of the faculty I got to work with

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I think that was so incredible working with some of the people especially in computer science who some of the fundamental you know godfathers creators off what we do

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My lab was advised by you know how label Sen

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Who’s a big you know founder of the creative comments and with somebody a do you know a lot of work with and actually my you know going guys are allowed

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Was Tim Berners Lee just the people I got to sit with and work with and spend time with every day and on touch under cost And he was another one of my deputies

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Now the dean and you know one of the most cited electrical engineers in history

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And to just have those people be your colleagues the people you work with and not even in computer science

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But you know I did things like I studied some linguistics and so I got to know dinner with known John Ski and talked to him about linguistics

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And just to be able to do that and whether it’s music or English or literature art having that kind of resource in that all in one concentrated place was just you know fantastic kind of opportunity of a lifetime to go there to pick up technology and tinker and things like that

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But you actually learn all rounded a lot of other things absolutely

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And also one of the other things I wanted to do as young as you put a sandwich in every see her

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I mean like where is that kind of curiosity coming from right I mean people don’t seem to even explain it man

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And that’s the best way to learn break things and try to break them apart and learn

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And Bilham back were you always like playing with all kinds of things and trying to break things are a hacker Gordon Good It was some of boat

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I was

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I was always I was always good in school

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I like school

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I thought you know I liked learning things

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I like doing well in school and you know again having an older sister who was also always she was always really good and I always thought she was just ripping everything in silent when it’s tried be like her

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So there was that aspect of me

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But there was Ah I guess you could say mischievous side where I was always very curious to push things to the boundaries

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Another thing my mother always makes fun of me for is just asking too many questions

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I was asked questions about everything

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Folks who know me now even still say I ask too many questions

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But I always was just curious about how things work why things work as they do

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And it doesn’t have to just be machines

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Whether it’s about politics or religion are it’s always something I’ve questioned you know the how and the why

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I’m naturally a fairly curious person and I love learning things

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I love learning about people I love learning about my surroundings and kind of understanding yet as much as I can

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And so the VCR you know incident was my question would leave me Leave me to do mischievous things like movies

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Er incident

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Right Well how does this work I guess I’ll have to try it because I wanted to push it to the to the edge so I would sometimes get in trouble

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I would sometimes you know climb up too high on something and not know how to get down

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I foot thing about enjoying the BC

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I would unplug all the wires to see what happened

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And then you know maybe we you know the lights aren’t working or something

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But it was always just kind of a curiosity and a questioning kind of got me into the trouble that I would get into

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That’s a good kind of trouble for sure

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I’m from from a mighty Where did you end up I think you went on to work for Quisling is that the next about yet is over

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I had done a bunch of work in education technology at M i t

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I think I had worked on scratch which wasn’t will teach kids to code that’s you know become very popular and used

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I worked on APP inventor which was the predecessor to dunk a ball which will you know talk about afterwards

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I had spent time working in Google on kind of some open source education initiatives

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I worked a Khan Academy

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I still had a lot of experience working in education technology and a lot of passion about it and love

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Similarly as I love questioning things I love kind of helping people answer their questions

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I love teaching

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So I spent a bunch of time in education technology and then ah Andrew Sutherland is the founder

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Closely was a good friend of mine from M

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I t

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And he left on my T to go work was a full time

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And so when I was finishing up m i t

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He reached out and said a You know you have a lot of passion for education goes let’s in are very early days

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I think when I interviewed a closet there maybe five people there on uh and you know it’s going to be something big and I looked at was letting what it was doing

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And I said This is gonna be something that’s gonna be really impactful on on the world in society enemy with five people they already had you know tens of millions of users and was such a phenomenal platform

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And for me as someone who was excited and curious about start ups and kind of being on small teams

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I said OK what a great opportunity to both you know work on a product that I think is super impactful in the type of environment that I won’t want to work well on

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But also get those kind of learnings that you can only get from kind of being at a start up thinking about business models thinking about fundraising thinking about where do we invest

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Our resource is when we’re very resource constrained on

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And so you know Andrew said Hey you should come spend time with me um and do this

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And for me to be able to do all that and work in education which is something I had a passion for seemed like a no brainer

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Ah and sure enough I went and did that

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And it was It was a fantastic experience

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Yeah I mean Quisling

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It’s phenomenal

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Like mentioned

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I mean they have so much study material and they have now covering like a gamut off not just catered callback all over from in terms of human professional education

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What not It said any particular lessons that you took away as not a phoning member but actually being part of this rocket ship that was growing up

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So I will say when I interviewed there were five people

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They had a couple more before I started because I had finished my masters

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But it was still pretty early

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Um takeaways I think cause it was a really good example of kind of product market fit and really good building something that your users want Did a fantastic job of saying Hey here’s and it started with you know the founder Andrew had a problem where it was hard to study for him sending preference test and he couldn’t memorize all the words

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And so he wanted you know some technology that would remember what words he studied and helped him etcetera

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And so he built a little basically flash card type thing which which was the kind of predecessor the first you know kind of version of was that if you will and what was cool about it is it was solving a very simple problem that a lot of people faced full focus on kind of getting it right for the user and making sure that the user comes first

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And if they have a problem we had built you know we were only a few people

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We had a full inbuilt customer support center

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This was before kind of a lot of these plug and play customer support tools

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We built our own customer support center where we would listen to questions that people wrote in

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We would answer every question that came to us on

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We would really kind of focus on that And what was cool there is for a while you know we didn’t totally know what the business model was

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We didn’t know what the monetization list but we were solving a problem that really that really affected our users and that residents and that allowed us to kind of experiments you know over time with business models with different features on and so on and so forth because we had a product that people were they cared about it really loved

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And that I think you know just learning toe have kind of ah maniacal focus on the user

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Above everything else I think was something that was really good

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That that came out of Quisling Forbes 30 under training

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Did it come after or before while you were actually still Adam Idea

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How did that happen And where does it really mean to you We got into forms after starting after starting funk A bull

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It was based on the work we have been doing unthinkable as well as the precursor that we had built it in my which was called M I t app inventor

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And the recognition was you know we were very very blessed to get recognized for the work that we had done in building bankable and you know myself and my co founder way along with a huge team you know we were just too small parts of a huge team and huge effort at m i t that built an M I

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And Google actually was there initially a collaboration to that built a mighty APP inventor

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And so it was you know really you know it was a great honor to be recognized for a lot of work that we have been putting in basically since my undergrad days

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And I think you recognize both the work that we put in as well as the potential kind of going forward of the impact that a toll like thinkable on that dumb people specifically will have

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And now you know a few years later actually has had Great

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I think that’s a great into bankable

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If you can think it you can dunk it

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Huh Huh What was the initial idea How did you come about that idea I know your work that was left

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And you have a long history of working on educational projects

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Um so I can see how it might have culminated

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Maybe But I’d like to hear from you

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Like what was the initial idea in the vision for thinkable Absolutely

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So I started at a mighty by working on this product called M I t scratch as I mentioned

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And so at the time it was you know very early stages were kind of figuring it out

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Now scratch I think last year had over 100 million people used it

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So it’s it’s just in the last year alone

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It’s it’s you know become kind of the people way that kids learn out of code

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And I think that was really cool and powerful for me

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And it was and so we were thinking about Hey wouldn’t it be cool if we could do something like scratch but actually enable anyone to build something outside of the scratch world

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Something in the real world

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And that became mobile apps

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We made a bet that hate mobile is gonna be in the future

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You know we made a bet that many folks did saying We think smartphones they’re gonna be the future

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If we could empower people to build um for their smartphones that’s going to be so powerful on

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So we teamed up with the team at Google led by a gentleman by the name of Mark Friedman

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And we talked to Mark and said Hey went to be cool due to do that at Mark Kind of came back and said Hey you know I’m working on building the Android operating system and even I find it really hard to build android app

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So I would love to make it easier for anyone to build

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Andrew adapts

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So we built this thing happened mentor and launch you know really fully to the public

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Around 2010 by 2014 we had pretty much grown to be the largest app development tool in the world for non developers

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We had some 4.5 1,000,000 people with built tens of 1,000,000 APS in all of the in old countries

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I think outside of North Korea and we said Well this is really cool and this is way more powerful than just a cool you know teach people to code tool

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So he started interviewing your users and we said Hey who are you What do you do it and about to them today I’m you know I’m just goofing around here

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I’m learning to code

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I’m tinkering but a large percentage of them said Hey I’m a professional

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I’m a business person

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I am somebody who has an idea don’t know how to code And I found AP inventor and so I’m using it he said

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Okay well why are you using us And they said You’re the only tool that’s powerful enough that it does what I’m trying to do but simple enough that I a non softer engineer can actually do it he said OK do you want more things They said yes we would love it if it was cross spot for him

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Martin Iowa s

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It was a lot prettier

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If I could make money off my abs all these things that we weren’t going to do as a research project but as a company made total sense to do um so fast forward to the end of 2015 and we said Okay you know what It’s it’s time to take this out of academia

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If this is going to reach its full potential it needs to be a standalone business where you know we’re not just taking grant money but we’re actually getting our users to invest in us so that we can give them the tools that they want

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And at that point kind of

00:18:02,27 –> 00:18:14,83
I talked to a number of folks who were in the lab who had been a Google local were close if I wasn’t mine and I was very fortunate that a number of folks were willing to start working with me a kind of in part time and adviser capacity season that way

00:18:14,83 –> 00:18:19,68
My co founder uh who was still in Boston at the time said Hey I’m ready to do it

00:18:19,69 –> 00:18:22,08
Let’s move to the Bay Area and let’s get started on

00:18:22,09 –> 00:18:27,52
So he moved out to the bay where I waas um we took like Combinator and you know kind of The rest is history

00:18:27,64 –> 00:18:32,49
Uh couple of things I wanted to touch on where the initial funding team

00:18:32,85 –> 00:18:35,45
Andi like the product market fit

00:18:36,14 –> 00:18:40,58
It seems like you didn’t have to struggle for it but maybe that’s not true at all

00:18:40,87 –> 00:18:46,23
It looks like they’ll grow the you had a product market fit as part of Google App Inventor project

00:18:46,23 –> 00:18:49,81
And then you said like let’s scale this and make it three of business

00:18:50,24 –> 00:18:56,24
Could you share everything around How did you go from 0 to 1 with many struggles to get to that Yeah

00:18:56,25 –> 00:19:15,85
So there were certainly struggles but it is a little different than kind of maybe what the more standard story is Um and that that really comes around 01 part where when we we started the company had a sense of people who would use us and find us useful

00:19:16,34 –> 00:19:18,67
We just need basically a better version

00:19:18,76 –> 00:19:25,02
You know I would consider a better version of our our predecessor Uh made it a little more pretty a little more functional

00:19:25,02 –> 00:19:26,66
We added you know some nice features

00:19:27,04 –> 00:19:30,22
And so there were a bunch of people who came over to us

00:19:30,22 –> 00:19:35,58
I think you know within the first month we went from 0 to 10,000 users or something like that which is awesome

00:19:35,79 –> 00:19:39,54
The difference though is because we came from a horizontal product

00:19:39,54 –> 00:19:50,02
I hear product that had everyone from kids in schools two big giant companies to small businesses to you know people within the U

00:19:50,02 –> 00:19:50,2

00:19:50,2 –> 00:19:51,02
People outside of the U

00:19:51,02 –> 00:19:51,45

00:19:51,44 –> 00:19:54,94
People spoken with people who didn’t speak English versus in a lot of companies

00:19:54,94 –> 00:19:57,95
When you start to say okay we’re building a product for this one user

00:19:58,06 –> 00:20:03,74
We’re only gonna target these users and that because of our legacy we started with the whole broad base of users

00:20:03,75 –> 00:20:11,19
And I think it was actually a benefit for us in the early days because there weren’t that many kind of loco no code platforms

00:20:11,22 –> 00:20:15,55
And so we became a tool that anyone who is trying to build a nap could come to

00:20:15,64 –> 00:20:20,03
And you know if we if we had the features they needed they could build a nap with us

00:20:20,09 –> 00:20:31,16
But it also meant that we had to kind of you know satisfy a lot of different users and use cases instead of just being laser focused on Hey this is the only use case that we have to focus on

00:20:31,54 –> 00:20:33,94
You’ve mentioned by Combinator first

00:20:34,27 –> 00:20:36,99
How was that experience Like I know it’s great

00:20:36,99 –> 00:20:52,75
People say it’s amazing being part of that cohort and you know having the experience of demoed and whatnot any takeaways that to my pass on to people who are aspirants off getting into y Combinator it’s like getting into Harvard and my teen

00:20:52,75 –> 00:20:54,86
Also it is

00:20:54,86 –> 00:21:00,04
It’s amazing how how has elected its becoming how competitive it’s become just like university

00:21:00,04 –> 00:21:02,01
That’s not my Combinator

00:21:02,01 –> 00:21:03,83
It’s It’s a fantastic program

00:21:03,83 –> 00:21:09,47
I was really you know happy to have taken part in it and would definitely recommend it to anyone

00:21:09,53 –> 00:21:15,39
I think the interesting thing is y Combinator people think Oh I I get in And you know it’s all just great

00:21:15,58 –> 00:21:19,64
Uh and it’s like getting into college right You say Oh I’ve got in time I d It’s all great

00:21:19,64 –> 00:21:20,14
I got a tarp

00:21:20,14 –> 00:21:20,76
It’s all great

00:21:20,74 –> 00:21:22,75
You still have to work hard all your stuff to do well

00:21:22,75 –> 00:21:29,28
You have to take advantage of the opportunity you can coast by fell out of college and not interact with any of the people and it doesn’t

00:21:29,29 –> 00:21:32,99
It’s of no value what it does though by getting into my team

00:21:32,99 –> 00:21:36,92
I getting into Harvard in any of these other any any really university in America

00:21:37,15 –> 00:21:44,35
Uh you know they’re all pretty great to kind of gives you kind of presents to you more opportunities than he previously had been still to you to take advantage of them

00:21:44,74 –> 00:21:50,21
And so with y Combinator getting in is awesome and I highly recommend it to anyone who is considering starting a company

00:21:50,26 –> 00:21:53,34
But just by getting in they’re not gonna build your product for you

00:21:53,35 –> 00:21:54,94
They’re not going to get to users

00:21:55,1 –> 00:21:56,22
That’s your job

00:21:56,23 –> 00:21:59,85
What is really good about it I think there’s there’s a couple things

00:22:00,14 –> 00:22:05,35
First off you are in a group of people who are going through the same struggles as you on

00:22:05,35 –> 00:22:11,95
I’m around the same place so having folks that commiserates with people to give you advice on oh I face that problem last week

00:22:11,95 –> 00:22:18,45
Here’s how I solved it and people who can just kind of show you Hey you’re not alone like this is something that everyone goes through

00:22:18,49 –> 00:22:20,2
Your struggles are my struggles

00:22:20,21 –> 00:22:22,4
It’s really nice and refreshing toe have that

00:22:22,41 –> 00:22:23,91
That’s that’s one thing

00:22:24,19 –> 00:22:25,66
I think Number two is there

00:22:25,74 –> 00:22:31,76
Just a lot of really good mentors who can just really help you succeed in your business

00:22:31,76 –> 00:22:36,98
And when you get kind of confused and you don’t know where to turn your like Hey I have this question about legal something

00:22:36,99 –> 00:22:37,83
Well there are lawyers

00:22:37,83 –> 00:22:40,35
You can just sit down with you and help you on

00:22:40,35 –> 00:22:55,32
The last thing is they’re just There’s a lot of random things to running a business that aren’t you know the things you talk about when you’re talking about certain company usually talking about Oh the product and the vision and all that stuff is you know your job as the company founders

00:22:55,38 –> 00:22:59,25
But why Combinator helps you a lot with like you need a deal with the counting

00:22:59,25 –> 00:23:00,07
You need a file

00:23:00,07 –> 00:23:06,52
Taxes need to incorporate your company like who should I talk to How should I do that They’ll give you advice on all of that

00:23:06,52 –> 00:23:11,12
And there’s probably another y Combinator company that has been built to solve that problem

00:23:11,17 –> 00:23:19,35
Yeah and so it’s just a great network of folks that can help you out and kind of all those things together make it a kind of tremendously valuable experience

00:23:19,74 –> 00:23:28,06
Uh do you consider yourself as a local order or no code We definitely fall in the loco

00:23:28,06 –> 00:23:32,5
No code world depends on the case that you talk about

00:23:32,51 –> 00:23:35,18
Uh you don’t need to write any code to use Uncle

00:23:35,18 –> 00:23:39,45
Also were often considered in the you know no code conversations gun

00:23:39,46 –> 00:24:09,6
And if people actually are sort of intermediate to advanced programmers but don’t have the chops to build a mobile app or don’t have the time or whatnot can they do interesting stuff as well Or is it more um okay to people who don’t know what accorded all We definitely see a lot of intermediate and advanced programmers who a lot of them who don’t have mobile app development skills and some of them who even doing just I hate the bull is easier faster better than writing the code by myself

00:24:09,89 –> 00:24:17,8
The nice part about fungible is we spit out under the name native code that then turns into your food that’s built basically

00:24:17,8 –> 00:24:23,34
Except it’s not obvious that was built with uncle versus you know build with just regular native programming

00:24:23,34 –> 00:24:25,45
And I think that’s something that is really great

00:24:25,45 –> 00:24:40,74
And as a result we have a lot of programmers who come to us and say Hey you know I don’t know how toe right Scotland and our job our swifter objective C But I know I want to build a nap so I’m just gonna use some capable and because they have ah programming background they’re actually just really Fast eight using it

00:24:40,8 –> 00:24:47,85
We know exactly kind of how to think about building a product and software and so they’re just very fast at building with us

00:24:48,21 –> 00:24:56,11
But we do intentionally have a lot of advanced capabilities both in terms of the kind of functionality you can build a zealous in the design capabilities

00:24:56,54 –> 00:24:56,98

00:24:57,18 –> 00:24:57,54

00:24:57,55 –> 00:25:10,35
Could you give a just to give a perspective to the listeners Are you know who is interested in this platform like would you give a range of like maybe a very simple app Worse is a very complex out That’s possible

00:25:10,74 –> 00:25:11,84
Yeah I’m happy to do that

00:25:11,84 –> 00:25:15,65
We can also talk about kind of some maps that everyone may know it

00:25:15,66 –> 00:25:21,47
So Instagram for example people what is kind of the main function of Instagram

00:25:21,48 –> 00:25:24,21
You take a photo you can upload it

00:25:24,21 –> 00:25:26,32
You can share with the group of people

00:25:26,33 –> 00:25:29,76
You could have a way to log into your account that kind of stuff

00:25:30,04 –> 00:25:31,75
All of those capabilities existent

00:25:31,75 –> 00:25:32,19

00:25:32,2 –> 00:25:37,49
All of those capabilities you can build similarly let’s say ride sharing app uber or lift

00:25:37,67 –> 00:25:38,98
Um the obviously

00:25:38,98 –> 00:25:43,59
When you open it it displays to you prices that it’s fetching from some back end

00:25:43,6 –> 00:25:46,9
It’s explained to a map with some cars on it off where they are

00:25:46,9 –> 00:25:54,89
And then when you push the request one it says Okay here’s your vehicle um again something that you know is pretty straightforward to build on Uncle

00:25:55,15 –> 00:26:03,46
What’s cool about fungible I think is we abstract a lot of the complicated concepts that are simple but implementation is complicated and we try and extract a lot of that away

00:26:03,62 –> 00:26:06,23
So just taking an example of like image recognition

00:26:06,39 –> 00:26:14,26
Um if you’re suffer engineer and you’ve ever built anything that use image recognition you probably know that it’s fairly hard to do especially on Mobile

00:26:14,34 –> 00:26:16,79
You have to first plug into the mobile native hardware i e

00:26:16,79 –> 00:26:21,54
The camera pull up the camera take a photo then send it to a service

00:26:21,55 –> 00:26:22,78
It’s going to do a bunch of things

00:26:22,78 –> 00:26:27,41
It’s going to give you some results when I’m in concept

00:26:27,41 –> 00:26:28,56
Image recognition is simple

00:26:28,61 –> 00:26:29,57
Take a picture

00:26:29,79 –> 00:26:31,27
Go figure out what’s in the picture

00:26:31,28 –> 00:26:33,22
But an implementation is actually very complicated

00:26:33,22 –> 00:26:35,11
That’s something that we’ve tried to really abstract out

00:26:35,11 –> 00:26:41,92
So we say You know when I click a button take a picture and we just you know naturally we plug into the camera we open the camera we take a picture

00:26:42,02 –> 00:26:43,72
Then you say Go to image recognition

00:26:43,72 –> 00:26:44,55
We have our own

00:26:44,56 –> 00:26:48,07
You know we have an integration that does image recognition

00:26:48,07 –> 00:26:55,63
So you just say And then when the response comes back tell me what it says and boom and like you know five blocks of code in three minutes

00:26:55,63 –> 00:26:56,38

00:26:56,44 –> 00:27:11,97
You built a fully functioning image recognition app and I think that’s what makes lockable so powerful and so exciting Is that these concepts that are simple that take developers hours days weeks months to build because in practice they’re hard to build

00:27:12,02 –> 00:27:18,71
We tried to abstract at all to make it kind of as easy as possible I’m so excited to the passion that you have for this

00:27:18,71 –> 00:27:58,56
I mean what makes this local or no court so important to you mean like maybe touch on the vision of why this is important to you and why this is important to the world Totally So the world of loco no code is important because until recently the we’ve had we when real car carry on basically these super computers in our pockets you have these mobile devices that have gigabytes and gigabytes of stores that can do that have incredible processing power that can you know communicate with any other device in the world in in seconds the only people who can actually harness the power that the phone has air

00:27:58,56 –> 00:28:09,44
These few elites offer engineers and you know there’s some stats out there that I think say you know only one of the 1000 people can or will ever learn to code and a mobile app

00:28:09,45 –> 00:28:16,55
And that to me is mind blowing that 1/10 of a percent of people will be able to control the device that they have in their pocket

00:28:17,59 –> 00:28:25,54
To me that seems not only unfair but it also doesn’t kind of unlock the human potential around us and I can give you an example of what I mean

00:28:25,79 –> 00:28:31,73
You know in Silicon Valley we have I don’t know how many different food delivery app Sevilla right kind of food that we want

00:28:31,89 –> 00:28:45,07
Why Because those the problems that the software engineers in the val you’re facing But let’s take an example of an app that was So there’s this guy in Yemen who didn’t know how to code and on wanted to build an app

00:28:45,08 –> 00:28:48,5
So you see Yemen’s been and Civil Wars has thrown 2015

00:28:48,92 –> 00:28:52,34
Because of that the energy grid it has been a relatively unreliable

00:28:52,34 –> 00:29:03,21
So in 2016 this man on war ah found that a lot of solar power was actually being used in Yemen because solar power was reliable

00:29:03,21 –> 00:29:04,5
It was Yemen are to have a son

00:29:04,5 –> 00:29:05,0
It would you know

00:29:05,0 –> 00:29:07,12
And there was actually a good mode

00:29:07,12 –> 00:29:14,67
Uh there was a good kind of movement to get solar panels assault all over which was great but no one you had to deal with their solar panel

00:29:14,67 –> 00:29:19,22
So how much energy that I have in my solar panel How do I tell my solar panels during the day

00:29:19,23 –> 00:29:22,23
Um you know will it last me during the night All this stuff

00:29:22,25 –> 00:29:28,25
So Ammar who didn’t know how to code decided he wanted to build an app to kind of help him manage his solar panels

00:29:28,44 –> 00:29:43,66
Um and he did that and the end result was over half a 1,000,000 people in Yemen have now use onwards app to manage their home and business of the Minister of Energy gave him an award for helping soul or at least you know alleviate Yemen’s energy crisis

00:29:43,7 –> 00:29:47,61
And this was all this is affecting the entire country of Yemen

00:29:47,94 –> 00:29:52,14
And none of us were working on it because we didn’t know that and we weren’t on the grounds

00:29:52,14 –> 00:29:58,44
Even if we could come up with a solution we wouldn’t have built it in Arabic which Anwar did because that’s the language that people are speaking

00:29:58,6 –> 00:30:06,47
And so by enabling you know folks like Anwar to build APS we are making the world a much better place

00:30:06,47 –> 00:30:10,91
We’re empowering people to solve their own problems and we’re also unlocking creativity

00:30:10,92 –> 00:30:15,12
What’s great about Anwar is not only was this you know awesome story where you’re like cool

00:30:15,12 –> 00:30:16,39
What a great Seidel impact

00:30:16,4 –> 00:30:17,76
But he made a real business out of this

00:30:17,76 –> 00:30:19,26
This was a company that made right

00:30:19,48 –> 00:30:28,63
And so not only is he having a good impact on society results were growing a business here and by empowering kind of people to be creative and create businesses that’s all their local needs

00:30:28,63 –> 00:30:40,25
And problems were kind of unlocking and unleashing the potential that’s latent in everyone around us on all they need is kind of a smartphone and a platform to coat on

00:30:40,5 –> 00:30:53,43
And it’s amazing actually the penetration of smartphones these days the number of people the billions of people in the world that have smartphones we have this powerful technology in our hands want and I use it to help solve even these basic problems

00:30:53,43 –> 00:31:00,15
Like how do we get energy It puts it in perspective help awful this is and how you’re trying to disrupt or make it

00:31:00,16 –> 00:31:02,8
What you call that democratizing cording

00:31:02,8 –> 00:31:18,87
If you will democratizing movement B two c versus beauty Or are you actually like focused on helping the consumers to sort of develop maps out like Can you Are you also looking at how you can help businesses build

00:31:18,87 –> 00:31:22,32
For example there’s app sheets that was acquired by Google recently

00:31:22,32 –> 00:31:25,49
I’m just trying to understand where you fit in in the Alaska

00:31:26,14 –> 00:31:34,53
Yeah I think we’ve been in a cool spot where we see users across the board from the BBC to the very large enterprises are sweet

00:31:34,53 –> 00:31:44,57
Spot is kind of the entrepreneurs and small medium size businesses who have an idea need an app to fulfill this idea but don’t necessarily know how to code

00:31:44,57 –> 00:31:51,84
Nor do they have the kind of crazy money that it requires a higher a software engineer software engineering consulting firm to build the APS that you need

00:31:51,96 –> 00:31:56,38
That’s kind of where you see a lot of value being driven I asked

00:31:56,38 –> 00:32:07,06
But we’ve seen use cases from the kind of very consumer app all the way up to large companies who say Hey I need a nap especially you know internal tools

00:32:07,06 –> 00:32:08,94
I need an app that enables this process

00:32:08,95 –> 00:32:10,48
I need an app to solve

00:32:10,5 –> 00:32:14,12
You know this inefficiency that we have um and use that

00:32:14,12 –> 00:32:21,91
So I’d say you know if you take slack as an analogy or Dropbox where both of those air companies that you know I use like with my friends and I use like at work

00:32:21,91 –> 00:32:24,67
I use Dropbox with my friends and I use Dropbox at work

00:32:24,67 –> 00:32:28,25
I think that’s the type of analogy you see where you know we have this

00:32:28,4 –> 00:32:41,34
I think the term that I don’t know if I like it enough with the kind of pro Sumer terminal thrown around steps where it both for the professional and the kind of sophisticated consume where I think that’s kind of the sweet spot where we lie

00:32:42,24 –> 00:32:50,49
How far are we from Let’s say creating a fortnight unthinkable yes so we have made it depends on again

00:32:50,49 –> 00:32:51,42
This is one of those you know

00:32:51,42 –> 00:32:56,24
We try and be complete in certain ways and then they’re things that mess that we don’t necessarily do

00:32:56,24 –> 00:33:01,84
So for example if you want to build a game on thinkable you can build a fairly sophisticated game on

00:33:01,84 –> 00:33:06,59
We’ve seen you know absolutely built on unthinkable that have launched that I’ve gotten 100,000

00:33:06,59 –> 00:33:08,61
Plus I may use 1,000,000 plus and may use

00:33:08,61 –> 00:33:20,32
We’ve seen that so in terms of being able to scale I think you know we already have that I think in terms of being able to be you know kind of Ah high quality app depends on what you’re trying to build with kind of a fortnight

00:33:20,32 –> 00:33:25,95
If you really care about you know super high quality superfast like graphics and things like that

00:33:26,14 –> 00:33:30,05
You know we’re not necessarily We haven’t developed a gaming engine or anything like that

00:33:30,24 –> 00:33:40,17
But if you’re talking about a good you know two D gaming system that has good physics and all that stuff that’s something that you know we have today than we’ve seen a lot of really great games

00:33:40,17 –> 00:33:44,27
You know the flappy bird type of things like long etcetera

00:33:44,28 –> 00:33:48,67
Most type of games have been built unthinkable and in a very nice way

00:33:48,67 –> 00:33:54,5
There’s an alien Invaders game uh that I saw last month that I really liked whereas you know shooting

00:33:54,5 –> 00:33:59,09
That’s a 1,000,000 eso those types of things you can already build unthinkable

00:33:59,3 –> 00:34:01,52
And so that’s kind of I think you know where we are

00:34:01,52 –> 00:34:10,99
We’ve already seen a lot of that but we’re always working to be better in terms of being more robust making you know better features better design capabilities all that stuff

00:34:10,99 –> 00:34:16,66
That’s something that we’re always working on and I don’t think will ever stop working on or will ever be at the point where we’ll be satisfied

00:34:17,17 –> 00:34:28,94
But we’re always trying to push the boundary of you know how big can your game get How much can you collaborate How you know how good looking can the Appy right design is such a key thing toe

00:34:28,95 –> 00:34:34,55
Any technology that we use these days that you know we’re always investing in how can we make it look prettier Look nicer etcetera

00:34:35,44 –> 00:34:43,14
How just to give a perspective of for how big are you and light in terms of the team size and also in terms of the user base

00:34:43,14 –> 00:34:56,11
Like how do you see that evolving Yeah we’ve got a lot about 15 people on the team but I think our team is a lot bigger than that because we’re very fortunate to have a super robust community unthinkable

00:34:56,11 –> 00:34:58,47
So you goto community unthinkable dot com

00:34:58,47 –> 00:35:20,47
You’ll see you know thousands and thousands of people who are who have accounts for posting questions and giving answers and supporting each others and sharing the acts that they have built in sharing their designs and offering their consulting services That that’s such a big reason why thinkable is ableto you be where we are today

00:35:20,47 –> 00:35:22,46
It’s because of our community and the support

00:35:22,84 –> 00:35:23,83
You know we’ve been super lucky

00:35:23,83 –> 00:35:26,84
We’ve been hired people who have come from the local community

00:35:29,34 –> 00:35:31,86
Um and you know who knows it better than our users

00:35:31,86 –> 00:35:37,47
And so we’ve been very lucky to have that probably close to around a 1,000,000 plus users

00:35:37,47 –> 00:35:43,06
At this point I’m a build unthinkable which is almost every country in the world

00:35:43,07 –> 00:35:45,5
Yeah no we’ve seen seven year olds

00:35:45,5 –> 00:35:46,88
We’ve seen 70 year olds

00:35:47,87 –> 00:35:52,87
Well to see its Yeah Yeah I think we’re coming on top of time here

00:35:52,87 –> 00:35:56,89
Just wanted to ask you a few quick questions to start with

00:35:56,9 –> 00:36:05,21
Where is your Moonshot If you were to sleep tonight and make up for five years and if you have the bankable vision sort off completely

00:36:05,21 –> 00:36:06,65
Sort of evolved

00:36:07,13 –> 00:36:12,09
What do you see that were like in the moon shark for comfortable That’s Ah great question

00:36:12,09 –> 00:36:19,25
I think where I see us you know in a few years is where what I would say the future app ecosystem

00:36:19,29 –> 00:36:26,45
So we are basically empowering anyone to solve the problems around them uh through technology

00:36:26,45 –> 00:36:32,29
So we want to help everyone developed distribute and grow

00:36:32,44 –> 00:36:36,87
Um they’re kind of happy solutions to problems on

00:36:36,87 –> 00:36:49,82
And that’s you know whatever platform you know is the platform of the day Whether it’s you know your iPhone or android or it’s you know your Oculus or you have a thumb chip embedded at some point I don’t know

00:36:49,83 –> 00:36:58,54
Whatever it may be we should be the cool that allows you to kind of build the ass that allow you to kind of harness the power of the technology around you

00:36:58,67 –> 00:37:04,03
I created the whole ecosystem around it allow you to build the aft distribute the app share the apse interact with them

00:37:04,23 –> 00:37:11,41
We should be that kind of central ecosystems that enables love to be in the world way

00:37:11,83 –> 00:37:14,65
I really wanted to spend more time on some of this stuff

00:37:14,66 –> 00:37:18,33
Hopefully will have the chance as a follow up in terms of your routine

00:37:18,33 –> 00:37:25,03
So you manage things so you can pursue your passions both personally and career wise of business wise

00:37:26,33 –> 00:37:30,14
And I think you said your bike to work type of a guy on now

00:37:30,15 –> 00:37:36,54
Some place I saw maybe two like each way that that’s That’s the way I get in my exercise

00:37:36,54 –> 00:37:37,96
I try and bike everywhere

00:37:38,07 –> 00:37:42,6
I am lucky to be in San Francisco which is a uh pretty bike friendly city

00:37:42,6 –> 00:37:46,52
And so I can bike you know toe work to my meetings all that stuff in that way

00:37:46,53 –> 00:37:51,49
You know I’m kind of getting in my exercise during the day and doing a little part in saving the planet

00:37:51,49 –> 00:37:54,75
So a lot of that is a good reason

00:37:54,95 –> 00:37:56,64
Yeah it’s a it’s a routine

00:37:56,64 –> 00:37:59,18
Then it seems like some of these routines help

00:37:59,18 –> 00:38:07,34
You sort of even do get away from stress or have the space headspace to think about things and ideas and so on

00:38:07,59 –> 00:38:23,45
Are there other tactics routines that you found useful for yourself that could help people stay focused on their goals Achieved them what you wouldn’t want to chief Yeah I think I have a few things that I do routinely

00:38:23,45 –> 00:38:30,33
I’d say one is kind of in ah in the morning and at night actually praying that’s like a good kind of thing

00:38:30,55 –> 00:38:38,64
It just kind of set your mind on kind of a higher thing think about kind of things are trying to accomplish and kind of in conjunction with that meditating

00:38:38,64 –> 00:38:40,65
Also just spending a little time clearing your mind

00:38:40,65 –> 00:38:44,53
I think it’s it’s super important to kind of give yourself that mental

00:38:44,53 –> 00:38:53,97
Come um And then I think following the two other things that are trying to do is at times just kind of block off uninterrupted timeto work

00:38:53,97 –> 00:39:06,03
I think especially in the world we live in it’s very easy to be distracted by your you know by the distractions that get you whether it’s you know your phone Facebook politics whatever

00:39:06,74 –> 00:39:27,53
But also just being in in the work society we work at people are very comfortable walking over and saying Hey can we talk Can I help you Can you help me And you’re blocking off time for yourself And the last thing which I think I do which is probably the least intuitive is that I spend time kind of focusing intensely on something that is it work

00:39:28,64 –> 00:39:31,0
Um and so for me that’s music

00:39:31,0 –> 00:39:35,65
So and the reason I think that that’s so important is it really lets you get away

00:39:35,65 –> 00:39:41,05
I think of you you know if you say I’m gonna take some chill time and not think about work but I’m gonna watch TV

00:39:41,05 –> 00:39:42,89
You know there’s still work on one in the back of my mind

00:39:42,89 –> 00:40:07,08
But if I’m trying to conduct a symphony and make sure that the you know trumpet and resumes air coming in at the right place like I’m not thinking about work I’m trying to make sure that the Muslims come in right now and by doing something else intensely it allows you kind of really think about something else and clear your mind and then kind of come back to work and a pro approach it with kind of fresh eyes and fresh and interesting

00:40:07,08 –> 00:40:13,2
That’s been one of the most helpful things for me is just doing something that isn’t work very intensely very intensely

00:40:13,2 –> 00:40:16,94
I think that bottom line I think that’s something everyone can take away

00:40:16,94 –> 00:40:21,82
I mean we often not do that kind of intense work

00:40:21,83 –> 00:40:23,63
I think deep were you might call it

00:40:24,01 –> 00:40:30,23
People are all like trying to multitask and there’s things going on everywhere and feel very productive and busy

00:40:30,71 –> 00:40:34,24
But that’s where uh that’s not read

00:40:34,24 –> 00:40:36,37
The thing is I think I’m doing intense work

00:40:36,49 –> 00:40:42,64
Thank you for sharing that Um and that could be a brief but focused on one of time but very intense

00:40:42,64 –> 00:40:44,94
And then that takes you away from everything else

00:40:44,94 –> 00:40:46,13
But just that one thing

00:40:46,85 –> 00:40:47,53
It’s awesome

00:40:48,19 –> 00:40:52,91
Any books that you’ve gifted that really sort of helped you in your journey

00:40:52,91 –> 00:40:57,9
So far probably still favorite book is Dale Carnegie How to win friends and influence people

00:40:58,23 –> 00:41:08,99
I think it’s just such a great you know it’s a simple book on Basically like How to Be an Effective Human because it’s super applicable to everyone

00:41:08,99 –> 00:41:14,6
In any situation on what I like about it is it’s It’s quite it’s kind of coding

00:41:14,6 –> 00:41:20,25
According Great you know philosophers religious thinkers etcetera and just applying the business

00:41:20,25 –> 00:41:21,01
Let’s on it

00:41:21,4 –> 00:41:28,59
You know it’s important to do all these things you know for because it’s good to be good to people and all that and hear all the moral reasons

00:41:28,59 –> 00:41:32,1
But also things like being nice to people helps

00:41:32,1 –> 00:41:34,57
And so it’s uh it’s one of my favorite books

00:41:34,57 –> 00:41:39,64
It’s an easy read and it just kind of you know the messages air so basic and so simple

00:41:39,64 –> 00:41:45,0
So I’d say that’s probably my favorite one to give people and still one of my favorite books

00:41:45,0 –> 00:41:45,84
So cool

00:41:45,85 –> 00:41:46,45
I agree with you

00:41:46,46 –> 00:41:48,17
Yeah I’ve read it several times

00:41:48,17 –> 00:41:49,72
When still can’t get enough

00:41:50,92 –> 00:41:58,01
You should write anything on a full moon that the whole world can see on its Not bankable but something

00:42:00,35 –> 00:42:03,67
Don’t you write It could be something that you want to share with people around

00:42:05,6 –> 00:42:07,49
Well the first answer was lovable

00:42:07,49 –> 00:42:11,3
When you took that adapts used Bill

00:42:12,28 –> 00:42:17,53
I smile on

00:42:17,54 –> 00:42:22,27
If you look up at the moon and it tells you to smile how are you not gonna smile Yeah that’s a good one

00:42:22,27 –> 00:42:27,04
Feel maybe follow that up with meditate and be vegetarian

00:42:29,44 –> 00:42:31,4
Mysterion save the planet

00:42:31,62 –> 00:42:32,82
I like good

00:42:32,82 –> 00:42:35,97
Having another planetary type figure telling you to save the planet

00:42:36,22 –> 00:42:39,45
Think if I had one word though

00:42:39,45 –> 00:42:43,27
Usually just smile cause my telling you to take a moment and smile

00:42:43,28 –> 00:42:45,95
I think people don’t do enough of that these days

00:42:45,95 –> 00:42:52,66
And and you know you have all these problems and all these stresses and you take a moment and smile you know 90% of them go

00:42:52,67 –> 00:42:53,51

00:42:53,52 –> 00:42:54,33
Yeah totally

00:42:54,33 –> 00:43:04,36
With two on one last question on Dow which is knowing what you know now If you have to go back in time machine advise Darren Saigal in high school

00:43:04,59 –> 00:43:10,51
Anything that comes to your mind that you thought could have been done better or differently

00:43:10,96 –> 00:43:14,57
And the reason I’m pausing is because there’s infinite things that I e

00:43:14,89 –> 00:43:22,83
I think if it’s you know one piece of advice I think the biggest thing is just invest in others

00:43:22,85 –> 00:43:27,4
Um it’s all about people

00:43:27,4 –> 00:43:35,34
At the end of the day everything you do the work that you do the people who teach you the people who help you the people you teach the people you help it’s all about

00:43:35,34 –> 00:43:36,48
It’s all about people

00:43:36,72 –> 00:43:44,12
Um I am where I am because I’ve been very blessed to have ah number of great circumstances but most importantly great people surrounding me

00:43:44,12 –> 00:43:50,19
So I think you know it’s just remembering that everyone including yourself has something to offer

00:43:50,23 –> 00:43:52,01
So get to know people

00:43:52,01 –> 00:43:55,14
You never know how you can help each other down the line

00:43:55,15 –> 00:43:58,9
You don’t know how you will be able to help them someday how they’ll be able to help you

00:43:59,1 –> 00:44:01,11
Uh and even if it’s not helping each other

00:44:01,11 –> 00:44:05,0
Just being a supportive friend and having supportive friends is always is always so valuable

00:44:05,0 –> 00:44:08,78
So I think you know always making sure to take the time to invest in others

00:44:08,78 –> 00:44:09,54
Because that’s that

00:44:09,54 –> 00:44:13,2
I think you know best thing you can do for them and for yourself

00:44:13,23 –> 00:44:16,34
Invest in people and those people wanted to connect with you

00:44:16,35 –> 00:44:18,74
Hope was the best way for them to connect with you

00:44:18,8 –> 00:44:20,95
Linkedin is always a great way to reach me

00:44:21,01 –> 00:44:24,33
Yeah otherwise you can just email you know hello unthinkable dot com

00:44:24,33 –> 00:44:35,52
It goes to me and half of our team members eso always always happy to connect with folks especially ones who come come through your podcast look forward to connecting with them

00:44:35,53 –> 00:44:36,72
Thanks so much