Neil Patel

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Vijay Krishnan, a seasoned entrepreneur and AI expert, embarked on a remarkable journey from his roots in India to the heart of Silicon Valley. In this blog post, we delve into his experiences, academic background, early fascination with artificial intelligence, and the evolution of his entrepreneurial endeavors.

From pursuing a degree in computer science at IIT Bombay to cofounding a successful startup and eventually becoming the founder of Turing, Vijay’s story is a testament to the intersection of passion, perseverance, and foresight.

Turing has attracted funding from top-tier investors like WestBridge Capital, Foundation Capital, Stanford StartX, and Plug and Play Tech Center.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Vijay Krishnan’s journey from IIT Bombay to Stanford reflects a lifelong passion for AI, ignited by early exposure to probability, statistics, and mathematical modeling.
  • Leaving a secure position at Yahoo, Vijay ventured into entrepreneurship, driven by a desire to pursue the American dream and explore the untapped potential of AI.
  • Vijay’s first startup witnessed multiple pivots, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and market focus in navigating the unpredictable entrepreneurial landscape.
  • An acquisition and tenure at Foundation Capital provided Vijay with a comprehensive understanding of the entire business cycle, from startup inception to acquisition.
  • Turing’s vision extends beyond a remote talent platform; Vijay envisions it as a global giant, rivaling tech giants like Google and Microsoft in reshaping the future of work.
  • The success of Turing is rooted in sound unit economics, emphasizing capital efficiency without compromising on rapid growth.
  • Vijay underscores the importance of market-first thinking, emphasizing speed and growth rates in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.


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About Vijay Krishnan:

Vijay Krishnan, based in Palo Alto, CA, US, is currently a Founder and CTO at Turing, bringing experience from previous roles at Foundation Capital, Revcontent, Rover (Acquired by Revcontent) and Flipora.

Vijay holds a 2005 – 2007 Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science @ Stanford University.

With a robust skill set that includes Software Engineering, Mobile Applications, Public Speaking, Software Design, Software Development, and more, Vijay contributes valuable insights to the industry.

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Connect with Vijay Krishnan:

Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:

Alejandro Cremades: All righty hello everyone and welcome to the dealmakerr show. So today. We have a very exciting founder. You know a founder that has done it a few times and very successfully so we’re gonna be talking about rebuilding scaling financing. All of the good stuff even even acquisitions too. You know his previous company got acquired and today do we have a very inspiring discussion ahead of us so without further ado. Let’s welcome our guests today b j krishnan welcome to the show.

Vijay Krishnan: Thank you Alejandro glad to be here.

Alejandro Cremades: So originally born in India give us a walk through memory lane. How was life growing up over there.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, well it was good. Um, my um I lived in a few different cities in India growing up I got my bachelor’s degree at Iot Bombay starting computer science with specialization in machine learning. So I’ve been in the ah machine learning area for a long time now about 20 years long before it was cool and a bunch of nice work I did there eventually got me accepted into the Stanford and that’s when my us journey began.

Alejandro Cremades: But long, long, long long before it because Ai has been you know now everyone is talking about Ai all the founders are saying that their companies have Ai you know all of that stuff. But what what attracted you into the world of artificial intelligence and machine learning to begin with. What got you excited about it.

Vijay Krishnan: Yeah, so I really enjoyed a lot of things to do with the um Probability statistics. Um, ah, mathematical modeling and concepts of this sort and it was um, rather fun to see a lot of those ideas.

Vijay Krishnan: Ah, being put to a lot of practical use to I mean at that that time machine learning couldn’t quite solve the set of ah problems it could solve today but there were still some very very um, early signs of ah cool things. It could do like text categorization some basic forms of Nlp some part of. Ah, speech tagging um classifying ah different ah datasets things like that recresion and so on and it was very exciting to um, ah to sort of um I guess. Um, ah, it’s satisfied ah of ah both maybe some of my nerdy mathematical side and also the pragmatic side like I didn’t want to become a pure mathematician or anything ah like that and ah while it also add some nicer depth to it that was more or less it in the early days.

Alejandro Cremades: So you did the the degree in Bombay first and then eventually you came here for grad school at Stanford. So what got you? you know to really be excited about the idea of coming to the us you know to pursue the american dream.

Vijay Krishnan: Yeah, at that I mean at that point ah I was very excited about the state of ah, um, you know, um, about machine learning I had done ah a bunch of good research ah got got some nice papers accepted in conferences and journals which were well- cited. And ah my plan at that point was to go to my Phd in in an application of machine learning very likely to do with text or search or ah Nlp. That was my original intent when I came here and of course I applied to a bunch of good universities with strong ph d programs. Um I was fortunate to get accepted into Stanford. So that’s that’s where I came.

Alejandro Cremades: Was it like a big culture shock you know, seeing all the innovation. All the all they all the good stuff you know happening around you.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, I would not call it a culture. Ah shock. Yes there I mean there’s no doubt ah that the um, ah that ah, um, ah like ah good so grad schools like the ah like Stanford. End up having a very high density of ah the smartest ah researchers in the world. A lot of the world reowned faculty members whose textbooks that that the author are used in computer science classes. All over the world and so on. So yes, it was um, ah yeah, it me it was it was great. I loved it.

Alejandro Cremades: So then so then eventually you graduate from Stanford and you find yourself in Yahoo and they’re a Yahoo you were part of the Ai team and this was the ultimate the most immediate step to you becoming a founder. So what were the sequence of events that needed to happen because look I know that. In India there’s tremendous pressure for getting incredible degrees. You know, either becoming an engineer or a doctor so you definitely were were able to check the box on the engineering side and then also you come to the us and you join a very you know, credible and and and reputable company. So you know in the eyes of anyone there back in India. They would have thought that you were going absolutely nuts for giving your notice and going into the unknown with launching your first business. So what were those events that needed to unfold for you to feel at peace with the idea of you know, taking charge of your own destiny.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, yeah, it’s an it’s an interesting question. You’re you’re definitely right about a lot of things you said here? my I mean my immediate family I think was was very supportive but you’re you’re definitely right about the reaction of a lot of the others I feel like ah. 2 things 1 is I don’t think I have ever been highly subject to social influences I almost get an internal kick out of ah cases where. I feel like I disagree with the with a big chunk of the world or ah with someone else and I feel I’m right in my view or or I have ah given it enough ah thought or something else. So I don’t think I’ve been as much subject to social pressure as ah, many others and second I think this was um. Yeah I think we we were in the ah right environment like if I’d gone to some of the grad school. Maybe I feel like even if I’d gone to mit I don’t think I would have quite got the kind of exposure at least in this short timeframe to understand what it takes to. Ah, translate um, good technology and good ideas into viable businesses I think yeah, but I think both my cofounder and I were very very excited about this and yeah I um I yeah I guess at that at that point.

Vijay Krishnan: Ah, they were all ah they were also investors ah willing to fund us so and it honestly looked like a no brainer I guess my attitude was um, what is the worst that can happen. Um, maybe two years later later I’m I’m back at the same job. But ah, that’s not a bad place to be.

Alejandro Cremades: So so you went at it with personalized recommendations now this company. Ah you guys pivoted and rebranded. You know a bunch of times. What? what? what was pushing that and and how hard was every single time you guys pivoted and rebranded the the the company.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, I mean ah pivots are certainly expensive right? like I think at first as first time entrepreneurs clearly we didn’t know everything we we happened to learn some years later yeah yeah we did personalize. Ah, we started off doing personalized search then we did. Personalized content recommendations. Um, that was largely consumer facing and then eventually be bent on to focus on this in a b two b context and that is when we got acquired. Yeah I mean pivots are certainly not ah um, certainly I mean certainly not ah ideal if it’s possible to properly de-risk things ah have a 5 ive-year view of ah where the world is going ah etc and if it’s possible to um.

Vijay Krishnan: Ah, to March and execute without having too many 2 sentences that that’s always more desirable since um, um, the the fact is when when you are forced to pivot. You do end up destroying some value in the process.

Alejandro Cremades: Well, the good news is that in the process you guys ended up building something of value. You know that it was perceived of value to to others and in fact, the company ended up getting acquired and it was reported for thirty million bucks or so but. How was that experience because I’m sure that obviously first company first takes it, you know, pretty amazing. Ah, but but but also gaining access to having that visibility into the full cycle of a company you know like going from start to finish. So. Make us insiders. How was how was life going through that acquisition process.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, yeah I but I mean I would say the whole company like it reminds me of something I think I heard Peter Thel say that if ah if you’ve just run the company and failed. You may not learn much about it because there’s probably a lot more ways to fail ah than the specific way you fail. If ah, um, you know somehow you are at the perfectly right place and right time and you have too much of a smashing success. Ah, there may be a lot of key things. You do not learn along the way as well. But. If you have a fairly difficult time somewhat bumpy ride but you manage to make it to the other side you you probably learn a great deal I think that is probably how I would characterize my experience running a previous startup until the point of acquisition I think um. Are a lot of key things. Um, like for example, focus on markets First above all else and um so on ah that ah the and recent of the world were used to sitting but having actually run a company say. Ah um, figured out what works what What doesn’t work. Um, what creates value looking at the experiences of fellow founders around me etc I think ah did um, sort of ah help me ah, ah, learn at a much deeper level what this whole thing was about the kind that would have been difficult to.

Vijay Krishnan: Learn entirelyly from books or from ah you know this this kind of ah received knowledge.

Alejandro Cremades: So once the company got acquired then you guys say you know obviously after that integration you guys took some time off and then you thought it was a good idea to perhaps take a look at at how were things like on the other side of the table and you went to Foundation Capital as an entrepreneur in residence.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, in.

Alejandro Cremades: And and that was the immediate step to touring But what why did you guys think it was a good idea to um experience the vc side of things and what were you guys doing there.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, well we we basically hung around a little bit there I think in our specific. Yeah yeah role we didn’t have very much by way of classic venture firm responsibilities or any of that we. We mostly hung around. We. Um, the the foundation capital folks ashu and his colleagues were definitely very helpful to us as we were brainstorming different ideas and everything. So yeah, at at that point really our comparison was all right. We are doing this. We are figuring out what to do next. In a cafes or at home order of here. We are doing this in the offices of Foundation Capital and the foundation was actually quite ah, helpful to us. They made a lot of nice connections as we were brainroming different ideas. They were like okay you should probably speak with these 5 people I’ll make these intros and all of which was very helpful.

Alejandro Cremades: So how was that like now obviously the second time at it. You know the first time you did so many pivots and rebrands and you know to make sure that you got to write on the product market fit. But now you had a good understanding on on on when and how you know to test on validate whether or not an idea has legs. So. How did you guys go about validating the concept the idea and incubating it for what would end up becoming touring.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, yeah, yeah, great question. Um, ah, ah so ah I guess by far our most important learning with having run up. Ah prior startup was that market factors matter above all else if you’re playing in the right, right. Ah, quote unquote a plus market and I’ll define a plus market in a moment. It may be the case that um even when you have a somewhat crude ah Mvp customers. Love it and they are all over it just because. It solves a very very important pain but pain point for them that they have a lot of money to ah to spend to to make that pain point go of it I mean you you ah you ideally want to be um, ah. Ideally, an a plus market is one where ah your ah customers have a very very severe pain point and have a lot of money to ah, pay to make that specific pain point. Go so ah yeah, by far I think the most important thing we learned was that this is ah something that you want to de-risk and. Ah, we spent a lot of um and ah one of the key things we had also learned is there. Um, again from a previous company is that once you raise capital and everything it’s suprint like ah everybody’ is measuring you ah based on how fast you are running. Um, the reason startups get valued at a lot of ah multiples.

Vijay Krishnan: That may seem crazy to some people is that the growth rates are very very high and everyone is doing the calculation hey this is ah you know, ah growing 3 or 4 eights every year ah if I get into today even if I pay a crazy multiple three years later I’ll look like a genius given the trajectory this is on and that is the the sort of calculation. Everybody is doing so the point is that. Once you start a company you want to be in a mode value sprinting um as hard as you can and it becomes difficult to engage in this fundamental first principle thinking regarding should I be in this market at all should I be doing this should I be doing that ideally you want to try and derisk that as much as possible. So in our case. I think spending a lot of time talking with different customer clients understanding the ins and outs of various businesses etc were very helpful at some point. Ah I got curious about the recruiting business I learned a great deal about the the ins and outs ah of a lot of recruiting businesses of varying the varying sizes. I learned a great deal about it services ah a business of very varying sizes. Also the unit economics what the inputs and outputs were I had friends that were running it who basically told me everything about it. Um, they were perfectly comfortable if sharing relatively more ah confidentential information as well. And. Ah, talked with execs at large companies, etc. And ah we we talked with prospective clients. We talked with various others. Yeah, we we must have at least had I would say 100 plus conversations with various ah of valuable people during those few months taken notes.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, developed algorithm thesis better etc. Um, before we felt like um this is ah one company that that could become really big. It could become a unicon. It could even become the the next Google.

Alejandro Cremades: Um, well let’s talk about that moment when was that moment where you were like this is it.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, yeah I would say a few months into it as we were going deeper and deeper into this we we were evaluating some other other ideas as well when it comes to applications of Ai and machine learning. Ah.

Vijay Krishnan: I think the two ah the 2 key things that swung it in favor of for turing perhaps not entirely independent of each other were that um number one there was a very very strong founder market fit here. So there were other ideas we we explode and having to talked with customers and everything I think we. Developed a fairly good understanding of them like for example, one of the things we explored was um, ah tool an Ai for sales tool and we will be considered a few different combinations there. But what we realized was that. When it came to this particular problem. There was just a much much stronger founded market fit like in a prior startup we had worked with a lot of talented software developers in different parts of the world like we had worked with talented software developers in Russia Poland um Serbia China Romania the Middle East ah various folks like this we we had had some of these problems firsthand in our prior. Ah company. So while we had a Silicon Valley team they were also supplemented by this distributed team of really talented software developers and. Contrary to what everybody said we could make that collaboration work and ah ultimately the fact that you are ah getting this a plus talent from different parts of the world did make it ah did make the ultimate combination. Very deadly. So I feel I I feel like this checked off a lot of valuable boxes.

Vijay Krishnan: Like you might have heard of if you’ve read Peter Thiel’s book 0 to one. He uses this phrase called secrets and by secrets what he means is what is some profound truth that you understand as a founder that very few people understand but which could be the basis for a multibillion dollar business I think our secret was that we really really understood. The. State of ah ah, remote talent and in different parts of the world. We had a strong intuition regarding what quality of talent existed. Um at what price how they could be sourced how they could be vetted how you could make the remote collaboration itself function and I think. We strongly believed at that point that given the challenges everybody had with the local hiring in the us this was the only way to solve the problem like this was our very counter. Um I mean maybe at the moment it doesn’t look all that ah novel. But at that point. It was ah it was not a thesis that most people believed there were a lot of venture capitalists who said no this can never work I feel everybody should sit in the same office. That’s only where work can get done and everything and a lot of them passed on us to be fired in the in the early days but the point is. This was the one important ah thing we we we we strongly felt like we understand this a lot better than most people among most other people in the world though. Ah we did not predict a pandemic or anything but we did predict that continuing to talent shortages and continuing treasures around that.

Vijay Krishnan: Will force companies to go down this route and the companies who become early adopters here will start gaining a competitive advantage Othersas will have to follow so to not be left behind and we were going to write that wave.

Alejandro Cremades: So I guess for the people that are listening to really get it. What ended up being the business model of touring How are you guys making money.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, yeah, yeah, so ah so we um ah I mean we are a 2 wo-sided platform right? So on 1 hand software developers from countries around the world can sign up. They can take our programming tests. Our tests in various tech stacks and also our skills of our soft skills and leadership skills that helps us build a detailed profile off them and the value proposition to them is if you’re a really talented developer live anywhere you like in the world. And still be plugged into the very best job opportunities in the United States and in the ah world at large now because we have the now this value proposition turns out to be very very appealing in a lot of countries around the world particularly developing countries are a value proposition to clients. Ah, um, ah, ah that we can help you with very very high quality by cost ratios and um, either in the context of ah remote hiring or if you wish to have a fully managed software projects run for you. So we we do both of these that ter turning and. Value proposition is that because we are drawing from this global talent pool. We are subjecting everyone to rigorous vetting. You can have a superstar team comprising the top 1% of the world is the software developers in any of these capacities either if you wish to manage them directly with remote hiring or in a fully managed software project.

Vijay Krishnan: So at the end of the day you are going to get very high quality work at very reasonable costs.

Alejandro Cremades: So so I guess saying Also how much capital have you guys raised to date.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, ah we’ve yeah we’ve I mean we’ve raised ah something like ah I think one hundred and forty hundred and fifty million in funding in total now.

Alejandro Cremades: When I understand that the the last valuation on that was 4000000000 that was a reported by Forbes I believe it was you know amongst the others which is really remarkable I guess a how? how was also the the journey of going through all these different rounds and and getting those investors involved. Because this was not your first rodeo so you knew how to go about corporate governance and how to get the right people. You know when it comes to the structure of the business.

Vijay Krishnan: Right? right? I think the most important thing by far is ah um, ah well the the number 1 thing as I already mentioned to you is try to make sure it’s a business value playing in an a plus market. But if you if you actually have that out of the way then the the next thing is. Cash in on the a plus market and try and get the most rapid growth possible because um, growth ends up attracting capital at high valuations and smart in a deployment of that. Ah capital can get you even faster growth. And ah, turn attract. Ah more ah, good capital at higher evalluations. So um, ah capital can be a very good nice ah sort of ah multiplier on on growth rates and that’s ah, a nice virtual. You know, virtuous. Ah um, cycle to be riding when possible. So I would say this is by far the most important thing. Yes, there are ah um, there are certainly ah lot of the antiquities when it comes to ah the the compliance and the legales and everything but ah, but honestly I think that is ah less important than this portion. Yeah, you want to make sure you’re carefully managing this. Um, ah this capital ah put in service of ah growth growth intern ah going on to raise more capital and ideally if you’re doing this in an efficient business with excellent unit economics. Ah ah you know, rather than a fairly shaky business that is just sort of ah.

Vijay Krishnan: Writing on cheaper capital. Um, yeah, ah Capital can be a great multiplyer.

Alejandro Cremades: You know, kidding now for you guys. So you see with capital come Scale. So as you’re thinking about scale and looking back. What would you say was same the most challenging. You know thing that you encounter you know when scaling up the operations you know, perhaps a globally and and how did you go about overcoming such challenge.

Vijay Krishnan: Yeah, so I think a lot of the ah but when you often a lot of the attractive opportunities in the world when come come when you try to do something novel that ah because if you’re doing the exact same thing as everybody else. You probably don’t have much of an alpha to begin with so does speak in in finance speak that is and if you’re doing something novel. Ah it’s almost by definition. Ah it is ah it is hard to hire for that kind of a role it ah ah almost ah nobody has done a lot of the key things. That the ah role demands there needs to be a very high degree of first principle thinking and this is always ah challenging right? Like if you look at the if you look at what most jobs are um about ah in ah in the world. Ah, they are very much at this large corporation that has this well-oiled machine and you know you ah you learn how to ah pull some so specific levers in that as a sort of a cog in the wheel now if if you’re a startup that is trying to do something novel that vicious to achieve high growth rates. Maintain high growth rates. There’s a lot of this needed this suddenly creates some challenges 1 more challenge also which is maybe very closely related to what I just mentioned is in the fact that a fair amount of constant innovation is needed. It is not like you’re overturning your business ah inside out.

Vijay Krishnan: But a lot of things ah things in terms of novelty of approaches etc like um like a certain type of innovation might give you 2 or four quarters of growth but at every stage of ah growth you need to think Ah um, long and hard about what is going to get you the next stage of growth. It again requires this high degree of ah. Ah, first principle thinking novelty innovation and all that which is ah which is never easy and of course in a business like turing There’s a lot of other complexity too. We are not a pure tech business. There’s operations as understanding of various countries. There’s understanding a lot of things but it is precisely that kind of complexity that makes it an attractive opportunity in the first place if it were very easy. There will probably be a lot of businesses that do this well already.

Alejandro Cremades: So Obviously you know like with the with the growth and and scale you know, Obviously that’s that’s that’s what people would typically do they raise money and they grow like crazy now in your guys’ case I know that Capital efficiency has has been a really big Deal. So I Guess how has that approach you know, perhaps same. You know, limited or impacted you know, ah the the way that you guys have gone about growth.

Vijay Krishnan: Um I I would not say it has limited ah things in any specific way right? like there is ah 2 ways to think about um this right ah think about ah capital ah efficiency itself right? like there is 1 type of ah ah capital. Um, um, ah 1 type of instance. But you’re explicitly sort of ah um, ah, being capital efficient and dialing back on growth itself. But ah, but you may get capital efficiency simply because ah your fundamental business is a sound the unit economics are extremely good and consequently. There is a certain natural kind of capital efficiency where which does not really come at the expense of growth I would very much put turing’s business in that particular category like in contrast right? like maybe let me tell you what is this other type of business again. A lot of good businesses have been built like that. But I think we are playing a much in a. Um, ah ah this ah? um, um, yeah, ah like for example, let’s say you have the ride sharing apps etc right? These are these are businesses that are very very capital intensive. It is not the of a you. Um I mean you’re ah, constantly kind of playing chicken with your competors trying to drive them off the road and things of that sort. That is not this game at all like in the here I think the fundamental unit economics are so good that there’s no question of ah playing any chicken you could grow at a certain rate. Um, ah without injection of a lot of capital you could grow ah a lot faster rate with the injection of capital. So.

Vijay Krishnan: This again I would I would say comes down to the um you know, Um, what I just talked about earlier when it comes to a plus markets and secrets. So If you’re playing in this a plus market you’re playing in. Ah there is something very very novel. You understand about the market and its unit economics and ah everything. Which means ah the there are fewer people maybe executing on this as well as ah, um, as possible. There might exist ah good opportunities for businesses that are just inherently have excellent unit economics.

Alejandro Cremades: Now Now for this, let me ask you this? Um, you know obviously with raisingcing money. Um bringing on investors bringing on customers bringing on employees vision is a really big one. So if you were to go to sleep tonight vj. And you wake up in a world where the vision of touring is fully realized what does that world look like.

Vijay Krishnan: Well in that ah vision of ah turing ah I guess they would literally be if if that is fully realized we would probably be um ah as big as ah Google or ah Microsoft they. Virtually every this thing um, um, um, ah virtually every um I mean ah talent of most hiring most of team formation. Most project execution would happen this thing happen via our turing almost the same way. Ah, people go to? um.

Vijay Krishnan: Awws or Gcp or azure are for a cloud compute ah, people would be doing the exact same thing when it comes to talent all the way around the world. It would probably be a world where almost every team is a remote distributed where there’s no ah strong preference for geographic proximity. Just say that I’ll ah let people pull the best at 20 people for this job wherever they are in the world and that’s how every team functions by default and the ah economic activity itself is ah nowhere as much. Ah, ah. Constrained by this thing. Um, yeah, you know by borders and physical proximity as it is today.

Alejandro Cremades: So let me take you now back in time I’m gonna put you into a time machine vj you know we were talking about the future. We’re gonna talk about the past but doing so with the lengths of reflection. Let’s say I put you into a time machine and I bring you back in time to 2008

Vijay Krishnan: And.

Alejandro Cremades: You know is that moment where you’re starting to think about a world where you could become an entrepreneur a world where you could bring a solution to a problem that you were seeing but let’s say you know that’s the moment where you know maybe you just gave your notice at the Yahoo. You know it’s time for you to it’s scary. You know what? they you don’t know. Ah, what you don’t know. Obviously yeah, you don’t know what’s in front of you but you’re now leaving the headquarters there. You know the office where you were working out of Yahoo and right there coming out of that building. You know you’re right there right now you know with that younger self and you’re able to stop on the tracks that younger vj. And you’re able to have a sit down without younger vj and you’re able to give 1 piece of advice to that younger self what would that be and why you know when it comes to launching a business.

Vijay Krishnan: Or it. It would by far be a market above all else. Ah the um of I think Rose Andresen that that said that in an a plus market. Even a biggrade team with b gri technology could do very well of course that’s not to say that not to take anything away from a plus ah teams and technology but the um, the fact that the market is a lot more important while the um, um, ah while. An a plus team with a plus technology and a bgrade market is probably going to fail or probably going to really struggle to get ah get to some kind of an exit. So my number one um, ah message here here would ah really be focusing on the market above all else particularly focusing on unintuitive ah market insights that come ah that. Combines a mix of a mix of um domain knowledge and skill and everything certainly when when starting my first company and as is the case with a lot of ah people without a lot of um, industry experience. Ah, we we tended to sort of focus more on problems that we considered cool and interesting from a research perspective. Um, but ah, um, at that time. For example I don’t think we even gave a lot of ah thought to hey if you wish to do personal search.

Vijay Krishnan: Is this ah, best done as b two b or is this best ah than as b two c if it’s b two b what are we going to charge what are we going to sell to I don’t think that that thought crossed our mind as much at all. Um I think it it is factors like those that are everything when it comes to um whether you can build a giant. Um. Ah, business or not and 1 thing we know right from? Um, how investors think about these things that if a company doesn’t have any short at being a unicon. It’s probably going not going to even attract a series a because of the inherently risky nature of investing. Um, ah the the way venture capitalists think about investing is they they ask themselves something like is there at least a five or ten percent chance something is going to become a uniccon if ah, if so it might be worth investing in if it has no chance and it’s probably not something you even want to touch so the um.

Vijay Krishnan: Ah, yeah, at that time maybe but one of the things again which people had sort of told me but I don’t think I had fully maybe internalized is that there’s no such thing as ah, slow and study in the in the technology game I mean technology. Yeah changes so fast If You’re not growing rapidly. It’s very very likely you’ll become obsolete in a couple of years. So Yeah market first and speed above all else speed and growth rate above all else.

Alejandro Cremades: So vj for the people that are inspired now. Love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, they can connect with me on Linkedin or they can email me at

Alejandro Cremades: They say enough well b j thank you so much for being on the dealmakerr show today has been and on earth to have you with us.

Vijay Krishnan: Um, very nice speaking with you aleandro.


If you like the show, make sure that you hit that subscribe button. If you can leave a review as well, that would be fantastic. And if you got any value either from this episode or from the show itself, share it with a friend. Perhaps they will also appreciate it. Also, remember, if you need any help, whether it is with your fundraising efforts or with selling your business, you can reach me at [email protected]

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Neil Patel

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