Neil Patel

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Satyen Kothari has raised capital, sold companies, and now wants to help others to build their own wealth and enjoy more peace of mind. His latest venture, Cube Wealth, has attracted funding from top-tier investors like Beenext, Asuka Holding, and 500 Startups.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Lessons from being a first-time founder
  • Satyen Kothari’s top advice when thinking about starting a business


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.

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About Satyen Kothari:

Satyen Kothari has spent the last 20 years conceptualizing innovative products and services, building/consulting/ with businesses, and designing user experiences that become differentiators.

At present, Stayen is the Founder and CEO at Cube. With his team, they have the vision to change how consumers create wealth with simplicity – their objective is for money to be a source of happiness, not stress!

Engagements: Apple, Yahoo, AOL, Intuit, Cisco, First Data, DHL, Alias, frog design, Seedfund, What’s On India, Prime Focus, ThinkLabs, Stanford University, Maastricht University.

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Connect with Satyen Kothari:

Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:

Alejandro Cremades: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the dealmakerr show. So I am thrilled with the guest that we have to I mean we’ve we’ve been working on getting this episode for a while in the books. But now it’s happening so we’re going to be learning about building scaling financing exiting all of the above. And without further ado. Let’s welcome our guest today sajin kodari welcome to the show. Hello. So originally born in India give us a little of a walkthrough memory lane. How was life growing up there.

Satyen Kothari: Great to be here. Alejaros.

Satyen Kothari: How it was a very different India for 1 this is in the seventy s I’ll age myself proudly and I grew up in Bombay which is as you know the financial capital. It was a very quiet sleepy bombay comparative to what it is compared to what it is today.

Alejandro Cremades: And if.

Satyen Kothari: Grew up in a very simple middle-class family. Everybody’s an engineer and entrepreneur mechanical engineers at that time so engineering is in the Dna for sure I remember sitting with my father when he was designing his machines for his factory and he would always ask us for input. Um, me and my younger brother which was always a nice way to get the young mind flowing with ideas I begged and begged for many many years to get my first lego set and I played the hell out of it for 8 years after when I got it. Was the only game I had which I would play like rush home from school and just keep playing so no surprise in the 8 standard. You know when I discovered computers and programming I fell in love because it felt like it was a lego set with no limits on the number of pieces. I could do whatever I wanted so you know from that simple entrepreneurial family background came the love of building and the love of solving problems and lots of lots of lucky breaks later now I’m proud to say I’ve been building for all of my adult life.

Alejandro Cremades: That’s amazing, obviously problem solving engineering. So I guess what brought you to the us because you came to Stanford and and that changed everything for you.

Satyen Kothari: Absolutely ah so every every indian boy at that in that era definitely dreamt of ah, escaping to the us if they wanted to have a ah career which was without any. Politics is that without any bribery corruption unless you inherited ah a business from your family in in my case that wasn’t an option so it was definitely the dream to just get going and living a better cleaner life. You were recognized for your merits as opposed to the people you knew and what you were willing to do so I think everybody in my engineering batch had this dream. Um I was never shy of questioning the status quo so nobody in my college had. Even applied to Stanford from what I know and I know for a fact, nobody had gotten in and when I told my friends I’m applying they were like come on right? what’s the chance I said yep but what’s the difference the maximum they can say is no right? An attitude that. Absolutely has come useful as an entrepreneur many many hundreds of times. Maybe so I applied and I was very lucky I did well in my gres I had a senior year project in Ai which is now the hot thing but this was twenty five years ago at it Mumbai.

Satyen Kothari: I was doing well in my college level rankings and I was in absolute shock when I got in I remember screaming probably the only time I’ve screamed in my life I have a joy for sure and that was great. Except for there was one fact which settled in in a couple of hourss which is I had no money to go to Stanford I didn’t even have money for the plane ticket. But you know I’m a big believer alejandro that if you keep working if you keep working and you don’t worry about your failures. At some point things click for you and I’d had many many failures before that even ah, too many to even recount. Maybe I’ll write a book someday a life full of failures that’s a fun title but everything clicked I got about 8 loans and scholarships including one two even for the flight to 1 ne-way flight from bomby to California and you know after that it was just me believing that I can achieve more and more and more so that was the ticket to start my Silicon Valley Journey and I was ah absolutely ecstatic and very very lucky to be there.

Alejandro Cremades: So let’s talk about the ticket receiving a ticket for starting things. So you know after Stanford I mean or during Stanford you did some internships and 1 thing led to the next and then all of a sudden you know you find yourself starting your first company. You know I’m sure that you know. Your family back at home was like suchin. You know you got into such a good university maybe go into corporate and and do a little bit more that the risking side of things. But why did you think that the idea of trapio was meaningful enough for you to really take that leap of faith and and go at it for the first time as an entrepreneur.

Satyen Kothari: So Alejazro I’m sure you’ve had so many guests and many from Silicon Valley and they must have said this you know there’s there’s an energy in Silicon Valley that is contagious right? Everybody wants to build and everybody has that excitement and that optimism that. Oh anything is possible and the ecosystem in the valley supports that optimism there are people willing to write your check when you have achieved nothing pretty much. Of course it’s easier to get it when you achieve something. But even when you are 0 it’s it’s you have no excuse. So you’re right while I was at school I interned I was very lucky to intern at Apple just before Steve Jobs came back the second time so it was in the dark days of Apple and I learned so much about ux design. So my computer science masters was cs ux and then ah entrepreneurship. So I learned so much about ux design then I worked at a couple of companies. The famous silicon graphics at that time now at that point I was building software or designing software for helping video game makers now that was something my father could not believe. He’s like you’re getting paid how much to sit and play video games all day after you studied all these years I said dad I don’t know but there’s a plan here and I’m really enjoying it. So I think it’s almost like I train my parents to say trust me or give up on me I don’t know which one it was.

Satyen Kothari: So when I started my first company topezo I think they were just like well this guy’s going to do whatever he’s going to do. He’s not meant for the straightforward path. So I don’t think they were surprised ah, at least they didn’t tell me anything. And and the reason for topezo is straightforward. This was web one dot o the first dot com days. A lot of my friends were starting ecommerce companies. My classmates had started Google egroups ah so weather underground like a crazy number of companies. I didn’t want to start an ecommerce company because I just didn’t understand that was not my Dna selling things online but the idea behind tropezo came saying what if we can build software which can help all these people selling things online partner with each other and I started it with my ex boss at the firm I was at frog design. His name is Thor Muler and we just hit it off from day one I remember when he was walking me to my welcome lunch with the team and he said quite innocently, what’s your plan I said well my plan is to quit and start a company one Day so I can’t believe I said it on my first day of the job. But it turned out he and I just partnered together to start that.

Alejandro Cremades: That’s amazing and and and you guys were doing marketing automation there and you even raised the money from shopbank I mean back then you know the the vc space was not as developed as we have it today. So I’m sure that it was a little bit different but you know as they say you either succeed or you learn because the. Oh come that you guys were hoping for. You know you were not able to to get there but I’m sure that the lessons that you got were even you know more valuable than you know than because you you really learn when you don’t achieve the outcome that you had hoped for and so I guess for you, You know what happened there? Ah what? what was the breakdown. And then also you took some time to reflect and and and what was that reflection and and thought process like to lead you to the next thing right.

Satyen Kothari: Ah, absolutely It’s a great question and I think many many entrepreneurs would have gone through that that journey and it’s a very dark lonely journey. Ah, in hindsight you can reflect on all the mistakes you made. But in the moment itself. You know it’s it’s it’s this whirlwind you’re on, you’re getting money coming in or you’re not getting money coming in if you’re getting money you have to spend it. You have to do justice to it if you’re not getting money. You’re stressed out about it because you have a responsibility to the team and I made so many mistakes I made incredible number of mistakes there. The funny thing was we actually got the money from softbank after the dot com crash and we got a lot of money 12000000 and we were actually starting to break even but that was one of my other lessons one is ah my limitations and skill sets right? Because. Things had been on an upward track for me after Stanford Jobs Etc so I just thought I was invincible and there was a personal lesson of humility saying the the world is not that easy. But the second lesson also was that sometimes macrocondition are bigger than you because of the dot com crash. There was nothing we could do even though we were doing better as a company than ever before. But just there was no light at the end of the tunnel so we had to do the best we could as a company to get out of it to get our investors something and it was a very hard lesson for me to take I was very upset I was very resentful because I was so tied.

Satyen Kothari: Emotionally to the company. But I think there were wiser people than me on the board who said this is the only path and and we had to take it and I know I took it a year off to just reflect on where I’d gone wrong. What I love doing in that journey. What I hated doing in the journey. So that I could build better the next time around on the best years on my of my life because my daughter was born that year

Alejandro Cremades: That’s it. That’s the biggest success without a doubt now they say that kids you know they’re like startups too. You know, however, you know there’s no exit and you only break even with it late you sleep at night. So yeah. Now now now now in this case, you know for you such and you took that time to reflect you know and and then you know to think about other ideas you know and 1 thing led to the next and then all of a sudden you find yourself you know pushing what would eventually become a massive success sitru statements so give us the the way that because especially coming from.

Satyen Kothari: Right.

Alejandro Cremades: From Shotsha Fall I’m sure that you really thought this you know big time.

Satyen Kothari: Absolutely so you know there was a big gap in the middle way I said as I said I reflected a lot on the things I liked what I didn’t like what I was good at what I wasn’t good at I decided to work on my strengths most importantly and for about. Eight years I had a very hands-on consulting business in the valley where I had clients as big as Yahoo American online Cisco and very small startups and the reason I did this was alejandro that I realized my passion was in building software and building. Great design software. And since I’d been the Ceo of topezo for I’d learned a lot of business lessons as well. So this trifecta was very powerful speaking to the business stakeholders speaking to engineering teams but also speaking to product design teams which represented the user. So I said. This is my skill set. This is what I want to hone more and more so in those 8 years each of the projects was typically six months to 1 year so very deep dive hands on and I really I think honed my skills on all 3 areas. So cumulatively once I think I counted that the work I did along with the teams I worked with ah touched 100000000 users across 50 countries. So that’s a pretty big impact as a learning thing as well. So those things combine and along with that i.

Satyen Kothari: I had to work on my user interface on how I worked with people. Ah you know it’s it’s when you ah when you’re the Ceo or the boss too early you you don’t just know you haven’t come through the ranks to understand the lessons as a consultant because I had no political agenda in any of the companies I couldn’t get a promotion. I was always trying to do my best work but it also meant I had to deal with very different people with different different priorities, different agendas different styles I think those 8 years without any pressure of of needing to needlessly please somebody but at the same time not pissing off people. The same time not having any power over them I think really helped my people skills as well and my style of management. So all of that led to of of leap of confidence and it also coincided with a very special time in indian history. And my history where one day we just decided because my daughter was young but what’s the point of staying in Silicon Valley my journey here seems to be plateauing in the sense. It’s not that exciting anymore. Let’s just go back to India and live a ah adult life there I landed in India and I said there are 3 main areas that that are worth. Solving for here 1 is civic causes because of all the problems I mentioned earlier second is anything around digital payments because everything was mostly paper based that time when I moved I was shot everything needed forms, lines, checkbooks, etc.

Satyen Kothari: And third was real estate. So I played around with the real estate part I didn’t have the courage to deal with the civic system the real estate part became too hairy and dirty with so much black money. So then I settled on on payments and that was the genesis of citrus payments.

Alejandro Cremades: So what ended up becoming the business model of a citrus payments.

Satyen Kothari: So citrus payments had two legs at the very start and then we expanded dramatically one was the fact that in India there is a very unique set of payment options that are available apart from your typical credit card debit card. We have things such as net banking. Um, which is a direct debit from your bank which can come into the merchants account via the aggregator those needed individual pipes to be built with each bank. Um, as we progressed in the journey more and more payment options came up prepaid wallets upi etc. So. India is not as clean as the west in the sense if you just connect a credit card processor. You’re done There’s a lot more going on there so that was one angle of kind of the infrastructure plate and on top of that very excitingly and we were the first in the country to do this. Was we wanted a so unified checkout layer across all of our merchants very much like the Paypal experience in the west but of course localized for India and this sounds easy conceptually but it was really hard to launch Alejandro because. Each merchant was so possessive about their user data. You’re like we don’t want it going in any centralized database and we had to work very hard to explain to merchants saying this is a end times benefit situation if you get Thousand merchants.

Satyen Kothari: Each one of you benefits from 999 of the others who’ve brought in users because everybody’s checkout becomes easier. So your your drop off rate abandoned cart rate goes goes down ridiculously and we were very fortunate that the right wave of ecommerce was happening online. Payments was happening online businesses was happening that we the right merchants. Loved this idea. We lost a couple of big accounts who refused to use it I think we made sure that they regretted it later ah, but that was I think our main thesis over the 3 existing. Competitors who are there.

Alejandro Cremades: And obviously for the company you guys raised a bit of money I mean you raised a little bit over 30,000,000 prior to the acquisition and one pattern that they that I’ve seen here you know with you is that you’ve been able you know always to get incredible people um to get around you I mean you’ve. On the first one you know on the investor side. You know you got people like Softbank on on citrus payments. You got people like seoia and and basically you know those are like super tier one you know investors. How did you manage to get those investors on board especially coming.

Satyen Kothari: Yeah.

Alejandro Cremades: From you know the previous you know experience you know of the previous company that wasn’t you know the outcome desired.

Satyen Kothari: Absolutely um, so you know so softbank I think it was without any credentials of either success or failure so you were very proud of that as a team I think it was again the timing of the market saying the dot com had market had collapsed so there was. Value in software infrastructure and that’s exactly where we were and that really helped and of course the Vc on the other side we had the very very well-known id rise on a board. Ah one of the top entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley and she took a leap of faith on us as well. So that’s absolutely needed in the case of citrus I think it was me and another partner who conceptualized it and then we had a third partner join but me and the other senior partner. We just said well on day one we are just going to fund the company. Let’s not worry about the money. Let’s go fund it ourselves to because we have confidence this will grow I think that confidence comes from having experience in the startup space and that domain um I think when you approach everything with that confidence a lot of things align for you. Ah Sequoia loves loves. Payments. Of course they are the original investors in Paypal Klarna ah stripe everybody right? So they understood it very well. So when we met with Mohan but nagar he said I get it I remember a very very key moment when we met with him and he said I get it.

Satyen Kothari: I’m going to give you a term sheet but I think you guys asking for too little I think you’re going to need more money. It’s and he was right of course and this was just our first after our angel investment from ourselves our first check where I think we were asking for 600 k and he just gave us one point eight million he said you if you want to build this. Build fast build it securely. It’s payments security reliability robustness is very important. Do it the right way. Ah so again, his experience paid out and that was amazing and then we went on to raise with some amazing people again like be next terru sato guys second investment in India. Ah, and now he runs bx which is five six funds all over Southeast Asia and Japan they turned out to be incredible partners because they got us some strategic investors from Japan who were running a payment gateway there as well. So you know the dominoes start clicking together. And I think overall we raised actually a little bit less than what you mentioned I think yeah about 25,000,000 if I’m not wrong.

Alejandro Cremades: Gotten but an amazing outcome because eventually you know 1 thing led to the next and you know you guys were doing about 20000000 users processing billions in payments and then pay you comes knocking. So how was that the process this would be your first exit your first acquisition.

Satyen Kothari: Right? So so there’s a bit of a backstory there right? and I’ll I’ll fill you in now. It’s easy again to share it So a couple of things that happened during the journey of citrus pay that help lead to this.

Alejandro Cremades: So I’m sure that that was nerve racking. So how would say going through that process. So.

Satyen Kothari: 1 is in the early days we were getting a socks knocked off by pay you because they were being paid. They were subsidized by the parent company which had deep pockets and we were a startup with very finite money so ecommerce in India was heating up and every ecommerce account pay. You was winning by undercutting us on rates. So I remember we had 1 meeting where we just said we can’t win this war. We don’t want to sell at negative unit economics. So we actually strategically chain directions and we said we will not touch ecommerce anywhere simplified checkout layer was better for repeating transactions. So we said why? not we go for all the things that indians buy regularly so movie tickets flights bill payments all of these other things you have to do regularly versus do I shop on this website or this website so that we did a non-ecommerce target segment. What it did was it made us very very complimentary to what pay use portfolio was just for survival. It wasn’t just thinking oh they will acquire us this for this was for survival. The second thing we did is we saw I remember Vivaga in Vietnam for for some conference. And I remember just seeing some data point flash on somebody else’s slide saying India is 2% mobile and 98% desktop transactions and I said ah that makes sense because that was what our data was but what we realized is it was a very tiny market and.

Satyen Kothari: Everybody we knew in India was buying a smartphone this was two thousand and twelve thirteen and that is where the future transactions were coming from so what we did was when we went back I called for a general brainstorming meeting with with actually the sequoia people. Our senior sales guys everybody else said guys we need to. Push hard into mobile and I don’t have the data to back it up. It’s only 2% but the trend is very inevitable and rightfully everybody pushed back quite a bit and we went back and forth with the discussions but we vent with it and we were the first in the country to build out our entire mobile ah mobile Sdk for checkout. Ah, so you know an example of where your instinctive experience kicks in and it’s validation sales guys negotiated with us and said we are not going to hit our quotas if you make us sell mobile and we said okay, that’s fine. Ah, and this again was a very strong compliment to pay you because pay you did not have that mobile focus. So. That came in and third was the lightweight partt at money Twenty Twenty 2015 Copenhagen ah um, ah a friend of mine told me hey there’s a party that’s being thrown by pay you do you want to come I’m like I don’t think I’m invited. We are we are giving them a hard time in India. Said come on ah can’t sneak in. It’s a party I sneak in and at that time their Ceo was Lauren and I introduced myself quite cheekily I said Laro I’m the guy who’s giving you sleepless nights in India with my team and Lora said ah it’s you and we just hit it off.

Satyen Kothari: And then he was showing me the things that he loved in in ui patterns etc at the party itself and at the end of the night he’s just like tomorrow I would love to have a glass of wine with you. Are you up for it. So of course and I show up for the glass of wine and he’s brought his entire top executive team.

Alejandro Cremades: Wow! yeah.

Satyen Kothari: Um, like all right. This is a different agenda and that just was the seed. It took them a long time being a big company but this was early 19016 then to start coming around more formally via investment bankers who were connected to them as well and then. Then the deal started taking place and it was definitely a tense tense situation because everybody wasn’t even sure whether we should sell we were doing well we were doing two and a half billion dollars in payments in 5 years everybody’s like why do you want to sell and I remember just talking to each stakeholder individually and saying. Guys this is a life changing amount for ourselves for our team members by the way everybody in our team had eesops from the office boy upwards ah so and in India we don’t have a strong history of m and a ah we really should should take this. Um, by the way that reckoning was also right because this was 2016 and seven years later now that is still the biggest all cash deal in India it was 130,000,000 straight all cash. It was a lot of zeros.

Alejandro Cremades: That’s amazing and it was how much that’s a lot of zeros so what does say what? What? What? What? What does someone that goes you know to from India to the us with without without money. No money for the plane ticket you know having to. Scramble and figure out you know things to to really having that kind of exit I mean what? what was the first thing that you did you know when you finally had you know those zeros in your account too.

Satyen Kothari: Yeah, well I To be honest I did not do much because by then I’d made my peace with the fact that there are a lot of things that make me happy money is an important part of that but there are a lot of other things as Well. And I was very fortunate that consulting business that I mentioned had made me quite a bit of money it had helped me buy my dream house in Bombay on a mortgage but I still was living my dream house found a lot of joy in my daughter in my friends I Love Cars. So even before the exit. I Just said Okay, you’ve worked hard for my birthday I just gifted myself a very fun car. Ah so I think the biggest I jokingly say this. But it’s true. The biggest impact that exit actually had in my lifestyle is I didn’t have to worry so much when I was booking flights and hotels too late. I was like okay you can afford it now. It’s okay, if it’s a little higher. Ah exactly exactly. Ah.

Alejandro Cremades: Ah, so now now now you were able to procrastinate I love that I love that? Okay, so so now let’s shift gears here because you know it took really not not a long time. You know for you to um to close these same transaction and then to go out it again and now that’s what you’re doing with cube. So. Walk us through Kube because now at this point you know you’ve you’ve done you know quite a few companies and you know you really understand you know when an idea has legs or not you know, achieving product market fit all of the above. Ah y cube.

Satyen Kothari: Yeah, so there are 2 kinds of entrepreneurs right? The the smart ones who who understand a domain build all their network and connections in that domain and keep building one company after another in that one. Right? And I think those are the smart ones because they can keep scaling up to bigger and bigger companies. Once you are payments expert. You become build 1 company another 1 another one and then there are the idiots like me who who think life is short ah doing the same thing again and again is not living a full life. It’s not exciting enough. So each of the companies I’ve done is different cube I mean it’s still in fintech but it has nothing to do with citrus because it is wealth tech and the problem statement is something that I faced again growing up my entire team face growing up which is if you’re a middle class person anywhere in the world. Let alone India. Nobody guides you or helps you on to get on the track of financial freedom. You can do a lot of research on your own your bank guy will try and sell you some stuff somebody will try and sell you stuff but nobody takes it as their core-responselicing I will help you get there in 2030 years and this is a problem statement that resonated deeply with me when I was young because I had insecurity around money because we didn’t have money each time my dad and mom hardworking people tried to put money in the stock market. It was always too late when the market was at the top they didn’t do it in a discipline because nobody taught them right.

Satyen Kothari: And I saw that story repeat again and again I started investing my own money in dollars at an early age when when I was in the us I made so many mistakes because I was reading forbes magazine reading articles and and obviously the people who manage money are smarter than me. This is what they do. So this problem statement gravitated towards me and I said okay maybe this is my last company I want to build something that lost the ages well beyond me while because it has purpose something in the likes of you know what? what fidelity does or what? Ah even a Costco does in a very different way right. So we we look at these models as opposed to a Netflix I say okay, what if we could build a very simple platform that helped everyday people understand finance without the jargon find very high-quality products without needing to do their own research because we’ve done that for them. Very simply onboard into the right portfolio mix and then track it with very simple terms as simple as this is how much your portfolio is worth and this is your profit or loss literally the two things I care about right? I don’t care about anything else if I’m an average person and if you were to build this system. And we wanted to build a long-term company. How do we make it also a profitable company so this is the mission of quebe we service indians across the world. We’ve got many many people asking us if we can do it for other countries because they love it. We don’t have the bandwidth bate who knows maybe you find the right partner someday who can take.

Satyen Kothari: Take this with us and we we manage about 2000 portfolios. We have an incredible retention rate of 82% 5 years now out so people once they trust us they don’t leave us and we take that very seriously we do our best. And we have a very unique proposition in the company me and my team always invest our personal money in every product we show into to our customers and this is what keeps us honest, we are literally eating our own dog food. Um, but it’s not literally sorry that’s the wrong use of the word but you know what I mean.

Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, yeah.

Satyen Kothari: So I love it. My team is very passionate to towards a long-term goal of doing this the right way we have a value system. We call the three I value system that I instill when we started it because India has a a very famous term called jigad which means oh ways to get around things which is nice. But it’s also used as justification to bend the rules and we said we are not going to do that. So our 3 eye system is integrity intelligence intensity. So but number 1 is always paramount. Whatever we do. We want to sleep well in the night we want to take care of our users. So very happy to report after after doing this, we are just entering our fourth quarter of cash flow positive in over in ah and with a nice nice road map of where we want to go from here.

Alejandro Cremades: That’s fantastic Now imagine you were to go to sleep tonight and you wake up in a world where the vision of Cube is fully realized what does that world look like.

Satyen Kothari: I think for me that would be 1 of the happiest days of my life because it would mean that all the hardworking people I’ve met in my life. Everybody right? It can be from a waiter to an engineer to to somebody who’s an artist. We’ve helped them at. Get to a level of comfort of mental peace as they as they keep working year after year. Not just for them. But for their families for their children because Alejandro there are so many good easy ways. Clean ways to make money in the world. Problem is nobody wants to tell them to you unless they are earning a fat commission and and if we can break that cycle and we can help all these people say laugh a little bit more you know, enjoy the nice bottle of wine a little bit more because they know they didn’t get lucky in some crypto. Gamble or in Las Vegas but they actually plan their steps properly using cube to to get there that would make me the happiest because working hard making money and then suffering ah around worries for money is absolutely unfair and it’s a very solvable problem.

Alejandro Cremades: I love that now you’ve obviously done a few companies at this point. So let me let me bring you back in time. Let’s put you into the time machine. Let’s bring you back in time to that moment where you are in Stanford you have innovation happening. Everywhere around you. You have all your classmates going and starting their own companies. All of that good stuff and you have the opportunity of having a sit down with a younger self with that younger such and and you’re able to give that younger self one piece of advice. Before launching a business. What would that be and why given what you know now.

Satyen Kothari: Ah, you asked this question I literally have have goosebumps on me right now because you know I have no regrets in life right? Whatever I had to do in the moment was because of the situation but very often I think back to school and I think if if. I had to do it all over again I would do it very differently going back to Stanford and and again I have reasons why I did it the way I did as I said I had a lot of insecurity around money. So I had to rush through school to pay off debts I have money and what I did was I was just studying like crazy I had my work. Ah. And I was not focused on getting the maximum that that amazing place can offer so ah, my famous stories are once I was cycling in the late evening and I saw just saw a sign with said free pizza. So I breaked I locked the bike I said okay, dinner’s taken careir of and there was this guy talking on stage. Like ah when will stop talking because that’s when they serve pizza. It turned out it was Jeff Bezos but I just took the pizza and went home I just like dude I can’t talk hear anything else literally so the computer science department another story used to have something called tgif because they were. They were like these are smart people. They should interact with each other. Let’s give them some food some some wine and they’ll talk I used to go every Friday evenings to eat the free cheese drink the free wine and go back to study while literally behind me 2 guys larry page.

Satyen Kothari: Sergey Brin was saying how man search is broken. We have to fix it. These are some ideas and I was like guys you’re geeks I’m just going to go home after this after this free food. So if I could change it I would take way more time I would have more confidence in myself saying something you put in the hard work. You’re on the right track. Slow down take everything beyond just the classes which are amazing that this place has to offer meet more amazing people be inspired by them who knows maybe you work with them. Maybe you work for them doesn’t matter. This is the place to learn and and to be honest. I think I’m going to go back to university just to do that Alejandro this is my dream now. So this time around I’m going to do it right? because if I make a mistake I like to correct it.

Alejandro Cremades: Wow I Love that. That’s so powerful. So for the people that are listening such and I will love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so.

Satyen Kothari: Um, um, write to me on on my cube address sahian at on I’m on Twitter as well bit of a bulky handle saty underscore seven seven happy to hear from anybody. And I hope all ah everybody all of your listeners, especially the hardworking middle class professionals start their financial freedom journey soon because they deserve it.

Alejandro Cremades: Amazing! Well serant. Thank you so much for being on the deal maker show today. It has been an honor earth to have you with us.

Satyen Kothari: Same here. Amazing session. Thank you Alejandro.

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