Kashish Gupta has already raised tens of millions of dollars for his fast-growing data startup. In fact, they are hiring to keep scaling this year. The venture, Hightouch has attracted funding from top-tier investors like Bain Capital Ventures, Y Combinator, ICONIQ Growth, and Amplify Growth.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Building the right board dynamics
- The future of data activation
- A different approach to selling customers
For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
About Kashish Gupta:
Kashish Gupta is the co-founder and co-CEO of Hightouch.io, the leader in Data Activation. He spends every day helping companies realize the full value of their data and their data teams. He’s been working on startups for the last 4 years, was part of Y-Combinator, and loves working on both product and go to market. A fan of racquet sports and karaoke, he’s passionate about using reverse ETL to make data warehouses actionable. Kashish attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned an MSE in Robotics and a BS in Economics from the Wharton School.
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Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro: Alrighty hello everyone and wo up to the dealmakerr show. So today we are going to be really enjoying. You know the episode with his founder. You know, definitely. We’re gonna be getting inspired with how he has built scaled financed. You know all the above. So I guess without furtherdo. Let’s welcome our guest today. Kashirs Gupta welcome to the show. So let’s do a little of a walkth through memory lane here because you were born in India in a small town there but you grew up actually in Atlanta so tell us about that journey and also how you land at six years old and.
Kashish Gupta: Hey Alejandro thanks for having me excited to be here.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah, so um I was born in a small town 4 hours northwest of of Delhi in Harana and there I mean I guess like the way I grew up was very different compared to most of my peers here especially in Silicon Valley um and to be honest.
Alejandro: And all the above.
Kashish Gupta: The mentality has always been There’s nothing to lose. So if you talk to a lot of the founders that have a similar background. Um, their answer is always well if I fail what happens I just go back to normal nothing really changes. Um and that kind of ship on shoulder mentality has been pretty pretty dramatically impactful because there’s really nothing to Lose. Um, my background was really I moved to the us when I was six years old my dad was an it consultant so we moved around every 3 to 6 ix months and so we lived in a lot of different states finally settling in Atlanta and then I grew up in Atlanta throughout middle school and high school. Um. Also moving a few times within Atlanta and just really reinventing myself over and over and then I went both.
Alejandro: And how ah how how was how was it for you by the way because you know I know that your dad was working at Ibm and then also he was the owner of of a gas station. So I’m sure that. You know you were able to really see you know him going through the apps the down. So how was that exposure for you as well.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah I mean you definitely see what hard work looks like because he was working two jobs. He’d always wanted to work on a small business and so he’s always been like do I want to start a gas station a restaurant like that kind of stuff and he ran that gas station for None ears and that gas station is literally what put me through college and was able to pay my college my like like my college tuition. So I’m super thankful for that and just seeing how like a small business operates actually does give you a good mentality for like running business thinking about things like accounting and like things like how to get more customers. Um, and. I would say that like like and an interesting thing was like I didn’t really learn english properly until none grade so around none grade is when like my mind stopped thinking in hindi and started thinking in english and around none grade is where I like really properly got like competent in english. So. Going from like that world where like if you talk to me Today. You wouldn’t recognize um that I grew up like in ah in the in a household that didn’t speak english um to what it is now is like I think it just like changes your perspective on like where are you starting where you are so the same goes for my dad right? like he grew up in a single bedroom household with None brothers. Um, and now. Like he’s doing really well for himself. It’s like each generation compounds and we see that pretty consistently I hope especially with immigrant families that the parents that come over they compound over None generation their kids compound and then the next year generation compounds to so I just feel like I’m part of that journey still.
Alejandro: Now in your case, you ended up doing computer. You know on the computer side and and computer science. You even went to wharton I know that education in India is a really important thing. You know there’s a lot of pressure for becoming a doctor or becoming an engineer.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah, yeah, well, it’s interesting because my dad had been doing it his whole life. He actually told me not to do computers and he convinced me that I should study something other than computer science because it T is always back office. Um, and.
Alejandro: I’m sure that your parents are very proud to see that you went to warton.
Kashish Gupta: The opposite happened when I actually went to pen I started off as Warden Um I was studying business and I found that like computer science just a lot more interesting to me and I wanted to pursue that long-term and so then I went back to my dad and said hey look like I think things have changed computer science is actually front office. It’s the most interesting part of the job Now. And that’s where like all all the fun is so I started studying engineering against really my parents’ wishes. Um, they kind of wanted me to be like out of the norm and I think everything kind of like goes back to like the way it should go but it ended I ended up studying both both business and computer science and I think that’s. Also like fundamentally pretty useful because there’s a lot of people that can build and there’s a lot of people that can sell. But if you can do both of those 2 things. Um the impact you can have on a business is way different.
Alejandro: Steve jobs right there. So so good stuff now now in your case when you were you know coming out of of school or or even still you know when at school you did you know, get your feet with in the venture capital world. You actually went to besamer.
Kashish Gupta: I.
Alejandro: Amazing! Vc one of the top tier entities out there. But how was that experience for you because now you know obviously you are on the other side of the table but I’m sure that being on that side of the table you got exposure to the.
Kashish Gupta: 50
Alejandro: Pattern recognition to what they look in people and and all of that stuff. So so what? what was that experience like for you.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah, so I guess 2 things None is um, it was game changing I was basically paid to learn and talk to founders every single day. So it’s like every day you wake up and you’re like all right? What’s my thesis. What do I think is interesting and then you’re paid to like literally read about that topic all day. Reach out to some really smart people in that space all day and then talk to those smart people and learn from them about what the next interesting idea is so the aspect of just being able to learn consistently about many different industries was amazing and then you’re right? The pattern recognition of like what is a good business what do you think about. when you think about like ltvd cac or like ar burden multiple like what do you think about um for like general like triple triple double double that kind of stuff like all those patterns you see over and over and the cool thing is that I was able to see it for many different types of businesses. So like just a broad understanding of like healthcare hard techch ecommerce and b two b saas knowing those businesses in and out actually helps you like for example at high-touch. Now when we’re selling to those businesses because we have both b to c and b two b customers. It’s pretty awesome to like have a sense of how those businesses work what drives topline for them versus bottom line how they think about data as a cost center versus a revenue center. Um, all those like really business fundamentals like seeing them in the real world is just way better than in school. Um, so that was a game changer and the last thing is like. I learned that I could have a lot of fun investing. But I didn’t feel fulfilled until I was None building so it’s really similar to like going to Wharton and then saying no I just want to build too and then studying computer science. The same thing happened there too where I was like working as an investor um helping the partners find good deals. But ultimately I knew that fulfillment would come when I was building something myself.
Alejandro: And obviously you went to warton you studied in the class of Professor Tyler Ry who I love you know and and actually have had the pleasure of going and guest lecturing with him for many years but you know None thing that he does very well is preparing his students for the real world of. Ah, becoming on entrepreneurs know I think that in this case for you, you were alluding to it that that you were really you know more fulfilled on the on the building side and and I guess that you know with Professor Rai you had the exposure of.
Kashish Gupta: Um.
Alejandro: Having your you know business plan towards the end of the year you needed to have you know something a little bit more tangible towards having a company and stuff like that that prepares you even more for the entrepreneurial world. but but I guess walk us a little bit through that journey of really realizing the investing society is probably not so much for me.
Kashish Gupta: To me.
Alejandro: I Got to go you know and build something on my own and what was that a process like from incubation all the way to lunch of high touch.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah, oh yeah, so that’s actually quite a long journey. Um, the starting point was actually like post-graduation I had the choice between like going and pursuing a job and so what I was looking for was software engineering jobs because I wanted to build and then. Ah, travel idea I had at the time which travel is a terrible business. No one should be doing travel. It’s a really low margin business. Um, but the idea that we had was so compelling that people just kept saying I want to use your product I want to buy your product like please give me your product I’ll pay you money for it. So that smell of product market fit is actually what drew me to starting the travel business. And at that time it’s called carry travel. So the business called high touch is actually carry technology inc and it used to be a travel company from like 2018 october until around March Twenty Twenty one or sorry March Twenty Twenty um that’s the business that we raised the seed round on and did I see for um. And it was basically an Ai travel agent that would book all your travel over slack and over text messages so that was that was where where where we started. Um and that’s where we first got like real customer demand but never made any money because the margins on travel were like sub 3% um, and the the journey of starting that is actually probably like the one that was like significantly more difficult um getting investors to put money into a travel company is really hard um getting users for the travel company is hard because they just care about price and then getting people to ultimately then there’s a huge ops problem of actually building the travel agency. Which is partially Ai and partially human beings. So then you’re also solving a large off problem not just technology problem so that was quite a bumpy road I would say that given that we were a travel company. We were doing like maybe like a few hundred thousand dollars transactions per month and so we were able to get that to a fairly interesting spot and then. Around 2020 January is when we started exploring new ideas outside of travel this was before covid because we wanted to do something that had a lot more like revenue potential to be very honest, we felt that users were happy with our product but they were not willing to pay for it and we wanted to find something that people would pay for so we were pivoting into customer success. And that’s when covid happened and then we did a full hard pivot out of travel into customer success and then there’s a longer story that I can go into if you want but it’s from customer success to customer data to then what we do today which is data activation and.
Alejandro: So then let’s talk about what you guys are doing today at the high touch. So what is the business model for the people that are listening to get it.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah, so it’s a really simple tool. We take data from any database and send it to your saas tools things like salesforce Marketo Facebook ads gainsight anything you have in your company and the idea is that anyone that has a sql query in their company or any sort of bi dashboard they can sync that data. To their saas tools like salesforce so you don’t have to write code at all to sync the data from database to saas. Um, it’s like an easy to set up tool takes like 5 minutes um it’s all Saas so you can use it online for free. Um, and we see like hundreds of companies already using this to get data from their databases into places like salesforce.
Alejandro: So for you guys a February 2021 was same when you had full visibility to product market fit what was that like okay.
Kashish Gupta: Um.
Kashish Gupta: So um, interesting thing is we raised the series a in December of None um before what we would call product market fit so December Twenty Twenty weird a series a it was at a $75000000 valuation and. Investors were very bullish from the business they thought there was clear product market fit because they were seeing clear customer demand asking to buy the product on the other hand me and Josh None of my co-founders our definition of product market fit is actually not someone’s willing to pay me dollars for my product because there’s a lot of ways that you can convince someone to pay you money for a product. Our definition for product. Market fit was. None person should be fully onboarding on to our product every single day without any human being helping them so every single day one person logs on onboards on the product successfully sends data from left side to right side and they didn’t have to ask anyone on sales to help them do that um that to us is real product market fit because it means you have inbound demand. So people finding out about you often and the product is actually fit to serve the inbound demand and convert those users. Um, that’s happened in February Twenty Twenty one and that’s when we really felt like this business is something that we can sustainably grow and that’s something fundamental to our business like all 3 of us as founders metatus and Josh. Really believe in growing an inbound-riven business. Um, where hundreds or none of customers adopt a product over time. Not just a few enterprise customers.
Alejandro: So up until now how much capital have you guys raised 54000000 and you were talking about being already at a series a financing cycle where you guys pivoted to to really finding the business model that you guys have today. So what was that process like because.
Kashish Gupta: Um, about $54000000
Alejandro: Typically when you raise that kind of money and you still don’t have it right? and you’re still kind of like pivoting you can lose people and then you know that sense negative signal to the market you know which is not not really good. It could be catastrophic. So how did you go about.
Kashish Gupta: Um, yeah.
Alejandro: Really walking the invest the existing investors through that journey with you so that they kept the excitement high and so that you could get them. You know also excited towards you know, financing you all the way until you are today.
Kashish Gupta: Um, and.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah, so the interesting the thing that we did well is we didn’t hire aggressively at all until we found reverse etl which is the business we’re working on now and we didn’t actually like it was just 4 people. It was just 3 founders and earnestn our none hire um up until we raised the series a and. Actually we’re doing reverse etl data activation full time. So that’s the that was the $12000000 round and that’s when we started making our none like none hires mostly engineers to build out the data activation product with us and take that to market so we would say that we truly went to market with that product like starting November Twenty Twenty and then. February is when we had like true inbound for that product. Um, and we truly started hiring around the same time November Twenty Twenty after we were at the series a so predis. Ah.
Alejandro: So then so so so tell us tell us then about preemptive rounds because here you go, You know you get you get the investors I mean you didn’t go too crazy as you were saying. Finally, you were able to really hit it on the nail and then.
Kashish Gupta: Yep.
Alejandro: And then all of a sudden then you know, preemptive rounds start to happen for you guys. What? what is that preemptive round for the people that are listening to really understand it and how did it happen for you. All.
Kashish Gupta: Depth dip.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah, so preemptive. Just means that a round happens before you raise the round. So I might tell investors. Oh we have plenty of runway. We’re going to raise the around next year and that investor might say well I would like to pre-empt your round and have you raise it earlier and. In exchange for that I’ll give you a valuation that’s similar to what what it would have been a year from now. Anyways, so it basically just means like before you get to the revenue stage at which you wanted to raise the next round or the progress that you want to raise the next round at some investor says they’ll raise give you give you a fundraise earlier and so that’s what happened for the series. A again we were just 4 people. We had a few customers and a working product. Um, and we had none of pipeline so we had like I think it was like almost like a million dollars of sales pipeline of deals and customers that were saying I like this product I want to think about buying it. Let me talk to you about buying it and for each of those. We basically just wrote down. Certainty that that person would close and at what price tag. Um, and so even though we didn’t have any meaningful revenue at all. Um, based on the deals and pipeline. You actually could see that expected value was like 250 k or like None k revenue which at that time was a reasonable amount of revenue for a series a company. I don’t think that’s like any reasonable series a revenue by any like normal standards but in that market it was and so that’s actually how the series got preempted is because we had done a lot of go to market. Um and had a lot of customer pipeline to prove that there was customer demand even though there were not like as many closed customers at the time.
Alejandro: And as they say Kashhis with the money in there’s expectations you know and obviously there is a monitoring and you know you see the investors they’re going to want to have ah a seat a set at the board and a sit at the table and have you know a say when it comes to the strategic guidance of the company. So.
Kashish Gupta: Better.
Kashish Gupta: M.
Alejandro: When it came to really building the board and making sure that you had the the people that you knew you know had you know what the company needed. How did you go about really selecting this this candidates to come on because I know you guys were extremely selective there.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah, so we we interviewed our board. Our potential board members very aggressively in both the series a and the b like we did have a multitude of firms we could have worked with which was nice because then you’re not just deciding between evaluations. You’re deciding between people and these people are going to be with you for None ears of your business right? It’s like. Same as your cofounders are going to be with you for a very very very long time. Your board members will be as well. Um, and we selected them on a few criteria the first and foremost being they should care more about winning the market and number of logos than revenue. So when we selected amplify for our series. A. The reason we were so convinced we wanted to work with them is because we knew they were so aligned on winning the market at all costs and focusing on number of customer growth rather than dollars of revenue. Most board members will come in the company. They’ll say all right I need to see this revenue for this much cost I need to see this revenue next year for this much cost. This is what I need to see every single time. And they don’t care about anything other than dollars in um, that eventually becomes a good mindset like at a later stage like series c or series d but at an early stage what you really care about is when the market in such a way that in future years your inbound will grow so dramatically that you’ll have revenue for future years so you care about monetization being a possibility. And then you care about growing the number of customers really fast that will then refer more and more customers so amplify was really aligned on this concept of grown number of customers above all else and they said that we will continue to finance you as much as needed in order to make that happen. Um, and then when we get to a good spot with number of customers then we can think about monetizing them. Um, so we really agree with this. And the none criteria was belief in product. Let growth over sales. Let growth. So again, a lot of investors will say hire 10 salespeople the 10 sales people will make a million dollars each of revenue boom that’s $10000000 revenue and that’s like how you grow a company and you just keep stacking salespeople and they keep stacking um revenue and that’s like pretty much how people grow. Um, we have this belief that like a that only works if you do outbound and our business inbound-driven and b like we don’t want to build that kind of business where you’re linearly growing with a function of salespeople we want to build the kind of business exponential something more like a github or a jira where tons of people can just come inbound and all use your product. Um and all pay you money online. So belief in plg and the inbound motion. The bottom’s up motion was really important to us and that bet actually did work out right? like we have a ton of data people onboarding our product every single day using it for really simple use cases and they don’t have to ask anyone for permission. They don’t have to buy anything from us. They’re just using it so that belief that we could be a bottoms up growth. Company. Ah. Investors are not aligned with that. They’ll continue pushing you in the wrong way like go hire a bigger sales team go make more money so we rigorous for the series a and the series b and collecting investors that way and just like ask them like a lot of questions around How do you think this business grows how many salespeople do you think we need.
Alejandro: So so in that re in the in.
Kashish Gupta: Do you think self sort of checkout makes sense for this product category and so on.
Alejandro: And what about board dynamics because she’s what have you learned there.
Kashish Gupta: Um, we are an interesting breed a founder because like I think we will continuously push ourselves harder than the board pushes us I don’t know if that’s going to be true forever. But so far. That’s what we’ve been seeing. Um, so like if you look at what me and t just want from the business. It’s like it’s like this and what the board needs is like this right? So our actual board dynamic is getting the board aligned with what do we need to do to see None x or ten x growth. Let’s talk about that and that’s all we care about. It’s not how do we protect? Downside. how do we grow like linearly it’s always like how do you grow None to 10 x um, and so far like I guess my belief is this that founders have the most information about their business even more than they’re bored so you as a founder can actually say I think I can grow None x this year whereas the board only needs to see three x. And so as long as you’re in that state where the board with the founders actually have better information about the company than the board does I think the founders need to push the board to like grow faster and find ways to do that and invest have more like invest more money. Um to make that happen and then at a later stage. It might be a bit different like the other dynamic that’s been helping us a lot is the board has a lot of maturity around like when to grow the team. So they’ll say hey you should hire an executive team to run all these functions because you can’t do it anymore or they’ll say hey like we should hire. Um, specific roles that we didn’t think of hiring like a finance lead or a partnerships lead so on. Um, they’re really good at pushing us in ways that help us think like a bigger company than we are. Because in like six months we will become that bigger company and they’re good at making us make those decisions six months in advance that they’re fully ramped decisions by the time the need happens.
Alejandro: And one of the things that that I heard you say too is that as part of the culture that you guys are building you never sell what do you mean with this.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah, so every salesperson that joins high touch. The None thing we train them on is you’re not going to sell which is counterintuitive. We want them to have a consulting mindset rather than a seller’s mindset and Calvin French Owen from segment has a really good blog post about this on his blog. Um, about. Like early stage sales being consulting and helping people figure out their problem and how to solve that problem rather than selling them a product. So here’s a good example of this. Um, you come to me, you tell me I want to send data to salesforce but I don’t have a database a lot of sales teams would find a way to hack together some solution and sell you some smoke and mirrors and then get the revenue from you. Our sales team says no, that’s not ah, a good use case of high touch I actually recommend using zapier I recommend using some other tool that’s not high touch to solve this problem undoubtedly in six months the customer comes back and says I trust you because you told me the right thing for me at that time now I have a database now I want to buy high touch. Can you please help me buy high- touch. So what we care about is. Find the right solution for that customer for their problem regardless of whether we make any money it or not build that trust because we truly believe that every single company in the world will buy Hychet at some point and and that’s the mind shift shift. That’s like that’s different from other companies. Um, not everyone gets to say at some point everyone will become my customer. A lot of them. It’s zerosum game like if you go by zapier you can’t buy high touch later on. Um, but that’s not true for us for for us. It’s that everyone eventually graduates into a stack where high-itch is the way to get data into their saas tools. The question is just when and when does their business become mature enough to need that and so we train our sellers on consulting and we’ve seen that like. None of times where like public companies will evaluate high touch. They’ll say they’re not ready None to twelve months later they’ll say they’ll they’ll come back and they’ll say you help me out when I wasn’t ready for you now I’m ready to buy you here’s $200000 and we’ve seen that like None or 4 times now. So we know that mentality works. Um, and then furthermore. The sentiment that people get in market about you as a company and you as a brand is that these people are real and they’re only going to sell me something real. So another thing we train on. Um, if the product doesn’t solve the problem loop in an engineer have them solve the problem and then only do you ever charge the customer so you might say. Want to automate like the creation of opportunities in salesforce and we might say oh we don’t have that today but you can hack it together. Um, instead we’ll say no like that’s actually not available today. Let me loop in an engineer engineer will join the call on a Tuesday they’ll ship the feature by Thursday and by Friday the the customer is using that new feature. That lets them automate creation of salesforce opportunities only then will the salesperson ever say all right is it working for you if so how much can you pay? Um, they’re never selling something that doesn’t work and the engineering team like loves this kind of stuff like they just like have so much fun getting on those calls solving the customer problem like Lightspeed and then.
Alejandro: I Love that I love that and for the people that are listening to get an idea on the scope and size of the operation anything that you can share around perhaps number of employees or anything else that you feel comfortable with.
Kashish Gupta: Which are to customer. Um.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah, totally um so 2021 sorry 2020 yeah 2021 we grew from 4 people to 40 people and then twenty twenty two. We started at around 40 and now we’re about 90 people and the year is like halfway over. So.
Kashish Gupta: Employee growth has been really fast. Customer growth has also been similarly fast. Um, we started from 4 customers in 2021 and ended the year at almost 200 customers and now we’re approaching something like 300 customers and we hope we can get to like more than 500 or around that much by the end of the year
Kashish Gupta: Um, and all of these are like reasonably sized customers because the thing I didn’t mention is that most of our customers are pretty mature companies and they have this thing called a data warehouse in the company. So when we say get data from any database into your saas tool. We usually mean a data warehouse something like a snowflake or a bigquery. Um and a data warehouse is interesting because it’s a central repository of. All data the data in your company. It’s not just a single database. It’s usually like a conglomerate of a bunch of different databases and mostly enterprises switch over to this paradigm of using a data warehouse and so most of our customers are like mid-market and enterprise and we already have like a few of the fortune None using us too. So.
Kashish Gupta: Building the kind of business that’s bottoms up inbound driven. We’ve literally just done like None or 2 outbound deals ever out of None customers 200 customers that we have um, building an inbound bottoms up driven business but still selling to enterprise and midmarket it’s like ah it’s like a contradiction so when you tell people that’s what I’m doing. They think it’s not possible. Um, but that’s like precisely. What’s been happening for the last year and None ars Um, and so now we just have like a lot more conviction around being able to sell to bigger and bigger companies. Um using the exact same product that we built two years ago
Alejandro: So I love that now. Imagine you go to sleep tonight you wake up in a world where the vision of high touch is fully realized what does that world look like.
Kashish Gupta: Um, yeah, um, it’s a world where every single person in the company in any company can use data to take to take action. So you think like what? Ah what is a bi tool right? A bi tool is a place where you look at your data and you see the analysis. You don’t do an action. So high touch is the tool that everyone in the world can use to take action on data whether it’s me running a marketing campaign me finding users I can upsell on sales me finding users that need support from support. Um, anyone in the company can take that action themselves regardless of knowing Sql or knowing about data.
Alejandro: It is amazing.
Kashish Gupta: Um, and so it’s really about making that accessible. Um and then hopefully like using that data to drive some business impact. So like why do I care about that marketer being able to take data and then personalize the email campaign is because they can convert more users if they personalize the email campaign or the salesperson can sell people better contracts that have cost more money. Because they have customer data that says this person is using this feature so end of the data. It’s all about using it to accomplish something and then that person having full control and agency over using that data to accomplish that business impact.
Alejandro: Now imagine I put you into a time machine and I bring you back in time because she’s perhaps at that point where you know you were you were coming out of besammer you were figuring out. You know what you wanted to do you know on the building side imagine you were able to have a chat with your younger self. And you were able to give that younger kashis None piece of advice before launching a company. What would that be and why given what you know now.
Kashish Gupta: Ah, that’s an interesting question. Um I mean there’s there’s a ah few things that I always share with other founders if I was to share something with myself back then um, the thing that got us through. None pivots to get to high touch was the understanding that our downside is limited and upside is unlimited. So. It’s like a really simple concept right? like if I fail. What’s the worst that can happen to me and if I succeed what’s the best that can happen to me and if you see like only a little bit of badness and a lot of goodness on the downside and upside cases. You you go for the upside right? So it’s simple as that and we are lucky that like for example, like in the early stages when the when we’re pivoting we didn’t know if our business was any good. Um, if the business didn’t work. We would all be able to find decent jobs and be reasonably successful. So the downside case was always like pretty good. Um. Besmer even told me they’re like look run your business. This is awesome if it doesn’t work just come back and work for us. This job is here. We’re not We’re a pretty stable fund. We’re not going anywhere right? So the downside being limited was pretty awesome and then the other one is like most people are actually really down to help you if you just ask. So regardless of how like little time they have or how famous they are they actually will respond to your email and help you as long as you give them a really good way for them to leverage their time. So if you say that in 5 minutes you can help me make a huge impact to my life I will give you those 5 minutes no problem it’s really about making sure that you give me high leverage on my time and then I’ll happily give you my time. So. Having that mindset of like everyone is here to help me if I reach out to them and give them a good reason to do so um, that helped us a lot because we always ask for things that we shouldn’t be able to get and we always had like customers ready to talk to other customers ready to talk to investors ready to buy our product um earlier than the product. Was even there.
Alejandro: That wow that’s a really profound there cashish I mean I’m sure that you are you know, definitely inspiring to a lot of the people that that are listening here now. 1 thing I wanted to ask you is for the people that are listening and that want to say hi what is the best way for them to do so.
Kashish Gupta: Yeah, my email is [email protected] it’s KAShISh and http://hiitch.com so happy to meet anyone through the podcast there and for me like I mean there’s a lot of stories to share around like finding product market fit the questions that we ask our customers. Always really happy to talk about that journey of finding poto market fit. Um, and now that we’re scaled from like None people to 90 people. Um, there’s just a lot of new learnings around like how to build teams. Um, and how to grade those teams and how to then like grow those teams like None thing that people always wonder is like what is the job of a founder. And what is the job of a Ceo right? and it’s really easy to get distracted by like I need to do this None thing like acquire that None customer acquire that one like like like hire or whatever it is um the way I think of it is like the executive team is here to accomplish this year’s goals right? So whoever we hire. Um, if they’re the right team and we’ve done a good job of hiring them. They should be able to accomplish this year’s goals because we’ve set goals that are reasonable and like tractable and we’ve given them the tools that they need to solve those goals us as founders are here to then increase the total upset of the business. So is this business going to become a $5000000000 business a $10000000000 business fifty or a hundred. Um, and if we just keep asking ourselves that question over and over and over and we ask ourselves. What can we change in our business to make that happen. So None thing that like my one my close friends who’s also a founder like taught me is if you’re growing 2 x ask yourself what would I have to do to grow 4 x and then see how close you can get to that. Right? So like let’s just for hypothetically let’s say you’re going from Ten Mill Twenty Mill of revenue what do you have to change about your business to go to 40Mill that year is it more hires is it more money spent. Um is it higher acv is it more customers. What is it write it all down. See what you can do to actually track towards those goals and then your your team will be executing from 10 to 20 you’ll be building the plan from 20 to 40 and you’ll land somewhere in between so you might land at thirty Mil revenue instead of twenty mill revenue because you thought about what it takes available.
Alejandro: I love that because she’s wow amazing. Well hey you know super nice. Having you what an honor and thank you so so much for being on the dealmakerr podcast and today kashish.
Kashish Gupta: None thanks for having me alejandro.
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