in AI, Art, Business, Friend, Love, Podcast, Product

S2 E4 – KD Deshpande

On simplifying Marketing and helping everyone to create, taking us back to the simplicity of a paintbrush through the power of AI.

Koustubh Deshpande, also known as KD is the Founder & CEO at Simplified. Prior to Simplified, KD founded a mobile marketing startup (which was acquired by Marketo in 2014). Head of product at Uber and had a stint at Facebook. Prior to that, he  was lead mobile engineering at music startup TuneIn Radio. He is a hacker with a master’s degree in computer science and loves to help companies build mobile apps that bring happiness to millions of people every day.

Ideas are like paintings in museums, ideas are useless, act on it, now! Go build it.

Show Notes & Links

Transcript Follows

Madhav SBSS 0:04
Hello boys and girls Welcome to this episode of seeking Sathya podcast. My guest today is Castile dish Pandey also known as Katie. Katie is the founder and CEO simplified. Prior to simplify it, Katie founded a mobile marketing startup, Reza IO, which was acquired by Marketo. In 2014. He was head of product at Uber and had a stint at Facebook as well. Prior to that he was mobile engineering lead at music startup tune in radio. He’s a hacker with a master’s degree in computer science and loves to help companies build mobile apps that bring happiness to millions of people everyday. Katie, thanks for joining the show. Thanks. Thanks, model. Thanks for having me. Here. You had a couple of startups before the current venture? Yes, you I know that you had created resonance solely to market Oh, Could you briefly share one or two lessons from the prior startup experience? Whether it’s a vessel or before that with your professor? Any particular business lessons that you took away from that? Yeah. I mean, definitely, definitely. Hi, everyone. Nice to meet you all. And thanks for listening to models podcast.

KD Deshpande 1:11
So the biggest lesson, or like, there are a couple of lessons I learned along the way. The first lesson is like ideas are what useless, like ideas are worthless. execution is everything.

Because often we we as a hacker, we as an engineer, with the superpower of like coding, we think like, Oh, I know everything, and but we sit on ideas for like, days, years, months, and never act on it. No matter what, whether your idea is like, How silly it is, you know, coding, you know how to build things, just go build it. Because at the end of day ideas are useless or like the without execution. Ideas are just like paintings in museums.

Madhav SBSS 1:59
And is that I have noticed in I think, in your Twitter or somewhere that you have this notion of build in public? Yeah. Is that part of that? You know, motivation to get going and do stuff as opposed to sit on ideas. Can you be more about building public? What does it mean?

KD Deshpande 2:18
Yeah, I’m glad that you asked me that. In fact, several people are curious to know what exactly builds in public and why I’m encouraging building in public. So just to be clear, this is my this is my third company. My first company was okay, we didn’t, I started my first company in 2009. With my professor when I was studying in Arizona State University, I started my second company in 2011. And my third company was simplified. Why started last year in October. So over the years, as a founder, I started this journey alone. There was no co founder when I founded the company, now we have the killing. And so really excited to have one. This idea of building public is scary in first glance, because that means you’re putting everything out there without any filter, and let people make sense, make a sense out of it. So as a founder, if you ask me from my previous experiences, and First In First when I started, started thinking about what should I talk in public, what should I we are always very cautious about how we appear on LinkedIn, how we appear on Twitter, how we’re seasons, but building public is my Okay, and sharing the experiences enjoying the journey, rather than the destination. And it’s almost like you’re dieting, the you’re putting as entrepreneur as a hacker, as a small team, when you are executing. Building in public is just like sharing your progress sharing your ups and downs along the way. So that way, it inspires everyone. For people who are following you, it also builds awareness. But it brings a lot of accountability where you need to go because there is a regime on every Friday we ship our product, new features. So you, if you follow me on Twitter or like LinkedIn, you will see a lot of things on specifically on Fridays, when we talk about it. We share a lot of lessons there are usually people see the overnight success after three for 10 years. But the people see the success stories, but the hardship and everything was behind the scene. Nobody or not many people glorified it or not. I’m trying to lose weight. I’m just trying to share the learnings so that me along the way I can help budding entrepreneurs, hackers, and hopefully inspire more people to go and do something what they like. So follow me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter to learn or go check it out. to the end, what’s new section, you will learn all about what we are building certain numbers and other sites, building in public is more than just coming out and sharing a lot more, not only the good part, make your audience as a part of the process that is all about the building public.

make your audience as a part of the process that is all about the building public.

Madhav SBSS 5:20
Right? I mean, you touched on some really interesting and important aspects of accountability and being open about ups and downs. It’s not just all about the rosy path that you see on TechCrunch, that somebody raised whatever money or somebody was acquired after 10 years of overnight success. So when you you did talk about, you know, sharing everything on Twitter, or LinkedIn or website. In that note, I think I might have read your blog write up that you had a few days ago, where you talk about how you were working at Facebook, and you were like, not super happy, you had this burning desire. And you you’re working on the nights and weekends. And at one point in October of whenever or something like that. You said, You know what, I’m just going to go into this basement or whatever, and just code this idea out, you know, did you actually capture more than that blog? I don’t know if I followed that all the way. But since you started out with the idea left Facebook, and were you actually building in public, all along the way? Or was it related? Yeah,

KD Deshpande 6:25
we’ve been building in building it in public on all along the way. So the story is, like this, I mean, I left Uber, I had a good job at Uber amazing company, I joined Facebook, again, one of the best company in the world. It’s a mecca of product managers, or like product management, I was working on messenger team, amazing, surrounded by one of the best and smartest engineers, data scientists. But then Facebook expects you to put like 200% and when I started working on this thing, before, at the start of pandemic, last year, I started working on simplified, like how my whole idea was how can we bring that simplicity back in the workplaces, for creators, or founders for marketers. And I was obsessed with this idea. I was spending nights weekends talking to marketers, designers. And everybody was saying me like the currency tools are either complicated, or very hard to use. We lost that simplicity of paintbrush, and all like simple video editing stuff. So we we started with that idea. And I joined Facebook, I was still I was so obsessed with this particular idea. Then at one point, I realized that if I can’t give my 200% to the my employer, it doesn’t make sense to just take a fat paycheck and continue working here. And in October was my 35th birthday. So I said, Okay, if if I look back and 10 years, down the line, I don’t want to live in regret that I never tried. So I said to my wife, and she’s been incredibly supportive of my this adventurous journey. So I said, Look, I mean, I would like to do this and give me a year. If I don’t do if I don’t crack this, or if I don’t get what I want. Maybe I’ll go back and work somewhere, someplace. But I want to try don’t want to be in the limbo of this, whether I should do it or whether it should. Should I quit Should I not quit. And thanks to her, she was incredibly supportive of this decision. So I went to my manager and said, Hey, like, thanks for amazing opportunity at Facebook. But I’m, I resigned and next Friday will be my last Friday. And she was like, What like what happened? Like you’ve been doing so well. And I was like, Look, I mean, I told her the same thing. Like if I look back, I don’t want to regret and Facebook, Google, Amazon, Netflix like amazing companies will be always there. But I want to give it a try. And if I fail, at least I knew that I could tell my friends. I can brag that I tried. So I learned a lot so that I was lucky to have like amazing set of people in my network, who I think then had conversation with and left the job. And since then, we are here like we have now been in like multiple places from like Mexico, Canada and Europe. We are still a small And we are getting an amazing set of people together to work on the next generation of productivity collaboration platform.

I told her the same thing. Like if I look back, I don’t want to regret and Facebook, Google, Amazon, Netflix like amazing companies will be always there. But I want to give it a try. And if I fail, at least I knew that I could tell my friends.

Madhav SBSS 10:10
Gotcha. I definitely want to spend a bit of time on simplified and this whole like goes all the way from how you conceived it in what you did after that, but briefly wanted rewind a little bit, just so I know, our audience knows who Katie is a little bit. Could you take us back to very briefly like, Where did you grew up? And what was it like growing up?

KD Deshpande 10:33
Oh, yeah, sure. So I born in a very small town in India. in Maharashtra State, there is a small town called embellishing that I grew up, that I completed my engineering back in India worked there for a couple of years, came to us with like, $2,000. And out of which $700, I bought my first DELL LAPTOP. And I was like, Okay, how I’m going to survive, you got the scholarship, lucky me. started my first company, with my professor in school, in Scottsdale, Arizona, then came to Bay Area, to work for music startup, then work and build that company, I learned so much. Then founder my second company for mobile marketing automation, but the struggle is real. Because I was engineer, I’m an engineer. But with no practical skills, no more network connections, I struggle to raise money was on me. So you can imagine like all sort of challenges, then joined 500 startups, went to accelerator, raise money, build it team, and got acquired in 2015. By a publicly traded company. They were I joined and then was there for three years expanded the product in Japan Europe market. Then, Uber opportunity came in lead innovation and partnerships at Uber. And in my spare time, while at Uber, I started helping small businesses budding entrepreneurs in India. It never took off, but then left over and join Facebook. So by that time, I was already but even though I transitioned like, professionally from an engineer to a product manager, product leader, VP of product, but I never left coding, I was always fascinated by like, tech. And for me, coding is almost like a meditation, you can just go there and build stuff. So always sharpen that skill along the way. And now again, back, right. Everything officer,

Madhav SBSS 13:00
the janitor and the CEO and totally mopey Brewer. Yep. And the coffee Brewer. What was when you were in your teens are growing up? Like, did you have some ambition? Or some like, what is this bug in you? Where did it come from? In terms of starting things creating things? Was your childhood, in some way influenced you? Like, did you have some connection with design and this creativity? Or was it some role models? or What what? Yeah, yeah.

KD Deshpande 13:31
I think it’s a very, I look back. And I often think like, wow, at what point I thought I want to be entrepreneur. In fact, if I go back, like very early in my career, my father is a is an adult advocate. And my mother works in the scientific field. My mom works in the scientific field. So we I come from an educated family, but again, middle class educated family, parents is like just coating, go to good engineering, school and learn. But we had a professor back in my third year of engineering, or like, first second year of engineering, where he kind of influenced me to think bit differently, rather than just like go and code, your c++ program. He was always like, why don’t you create like nice interface in c++? And that’s where probably I feel that my influenced me in a certain way. Then. So I had that already. When I came to do my master’s. I always knew in fact, I many of my friends knew that many of my friends I told them, like many things like hey, I’m kidding. I come here to become entrepreneur. I don’t want to be in that race. And I think I keep I kept reminding myself for years and this is what I came here. This is this is what I really enjoy work. And I think that’s an essential regularly creativity and design. I like to draw caricatures. I like to draw cartoons. I mean, it’s been many years now I haven’t doing that very actively. So I think that was inherited. I mean, creating something fun visual. gives you something like that feeling of accomplishment, feeling of like, creating. I think that that is. That is That feeling is real.

I don’t want to be in that race. And I think I keep I kept reminding myself for years and this is what I came here. This is this is what I really enjoy work.

Madhav SBSS 15:28
Yeah, absolutely. I agree. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why I think product managers just enjoy doing what they do. They have a blank canvas, and you create something and you release it and you see customers happy and delight. It’s just a phenomenal adrenaline rush,

KD Deshpande 15:44
I guess, you know, even today, when someone tweets or someone writes a Facebook comment, even It is like a one user sitting in Nigeria. That gives you that adrenaline rush. Yeah, wow, we are you’re impacting someone’s life, or like someone from Japan sent to us saying, Hey, hi, from Japan. happy to help you. We love simplified. So it’s that kind of thing. We’re still early, we’re still on that journey. But that’s what you need, at the end of the day. More than money more than everything, it just that happiness when you wake up every time you just think and Bill. Right?

Madhav SBSS 16:22
Yep, that just one customer. Life has somehow become better because of you. And your product, I think is the kick you need. So let’s actually talk about your current adventures simplified. How did you get this idea? Like, what is the genesis of this?

KD Deshpande 16:41
Yeah, so this idea came up as an idea was like, very different than I started. So during my so I had after my last, my second company was in marketing, then at Uber at Mercurial, which is like another best company in the world for marketing automation, I worked, I got an opportunity to work with Uber Eats, like small and SMB mid market businesses to like fortune 500. businesses like Coca Cola and Unilever. And one thing everybody needs is marketing. And what I what I realized that there are so many good sophisticated tools for like sending emails and push notification and stuff. But when it comes to creative, creative process, if you look at like small restaurant owner with LinkedIn, or like a pizza chain, they want to have this coupon, they want to have the consistent look and feel on the different Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, everywhere. They don’t have resources at their at their disposal. They’re not technical. And it’s a hit and miss. It’s a struggle. But if you go to like more major companies or enterprise companies, that they have resources, but those are not under Tools, but they’re not collaborative processes, often complex. So I said, Okay, this needs to be simplified. This cannot be like this whole process. So I started with a very simple idea of can we build a really simple WYSIWYG tool, so that way, the small business can just come and create what they want. But it resonated with people, and then evolved into a vision, like how can we, rather than software, can we build a space where you can do more with less? Can you allow you to collaborate with your entire team, or people you love, and foster women foster collaboration, let you unleash your creativity. So that’s the vision we are going after. And now we are building this product or platform, which is easy to use for everyone. You don’t need to learn design technology, video editing, like whatever that you can get started immediately. And simplified is basically simplified as your marketing. It’s your copywriting, a copywriter, it is your publisher, it is your social media person. Its argument, your workflows, you know, and we are using artificial intelligence. So that way we can make humans and knowledge worker faster.

Madhav SBSS 19:20
If that makes sense. So how did you come up with the name? simplify?

KD Deshpande 19:23
Yeah, so great. Great question. Initially, our name was still our business name is TLDR Technologies, Inc. So TLDR Technologies, Inc, is our official business, register a business name. And we explored a lot once we started thinking about we explore field names after Facebook. But this simplification when we ask our users like what do you like, what about what we are building, and every single person said that simplicity that that Ease of Access, ease of usage And you’re reducing, you’re saving me time with this tool. So we’re like, okay, we’re simplifying people’s lives, we’re reducing the clutter. And that’s how kind of it’s okay. It’s simply fun. Life is simplified marketing, simplified design is simplified. AI is simplified. And that’s how we managed to get that core domain name luckily. So but

Madhav SBSS 20:26
yeah, that’s a beautiful story, what what would be your advice to folks, because I know naming a baby, or naming a company is pretty personal, emotional. But then people also spend a lot of time just doing that, as opposed to doing the actual work. Right?

KD Deshpande 20:45
I was saying like, start, start now. And start, like, start today start now start executing. And then if you’re lucky, if you domain, which is an easy to use, just use it for start buildings to like act on it. And then you will be in a position where you will have like resources and all these things. To decide name and other stuff. There are very many examples where people started with some random name. And then they eventually pivoted and got like paid millions of dollars to get the right domain.

Madhav SBSS 21:21
Yes. So what was the first thing you did? Once you decided when you’re at Facebook? That this is what I’m going to do? You told your wife you told your boss, you quit? It’s over? Yeah. Now, what was the first thing you did? Or did you already have a prototype by the end nmv,

KD Deshpande 21:38
we already had, like, I was burning midnight, Midnight Oil since like, start up the pandemic. But when I left, I was like, It’s over. It’s like, you jump from the aeroplane now. or other spaceship. Now, if you have a while getting down, you need to build a parachute unit to assemble a team. Yeah, you’re on your own. But the there were there was this belief. By my family and my friends, they’re like, Oh, you will figure it out? You will, you will figure it out along the way. And pretty much the people who knew me for many years, they were like, yeah, we were expecting like this, this was bound to happen. We are glad that you made that decision. And you come to sort of you realize that that’s what you really want to do. This is where you belong.

Madhav SBSS 22:35
Did you already have customers testing? Or did you have a sense of this is a thing this is gonna work? Or was it like a complete,

KD Deshpande 22:43
I had, I mean, I’m still, we’re still going through that whole pure process or like general average. But we were the philosophy we have used here is we are not building this product in a vacuum. What we’re doing is since like, day one, since I had that idea, every two, three weeks, we get a build up, build something and show it to users. In the early days, we recruited users, I literally went to firearms and places and said, Okay, I’ll pay you 25 bucks. Just I want to interview you. And the nobody showed up on day one. Other days, a couple of people, I interviewed them how they use existing tools, what are the challenges they are facing? And then we build something, show it to them. And they were like, it’s very crappy, it is missing like x 1234567. We fixed those them and then recorded the next set of users and said, Okay, what do you think? Then there’s a Yeah, it looks great. Like one to seven is there, maybe like eight 910 is missing? Then we fix that. So we are in that journey, where we are hydrating. And now we feel with the feedback and the customer appreciation we are receiving. We are getting there. But still it’s a journey. It’s a commitment for next decade. We are on a mission to make creativity accessible again to everyone.

Madhav SBSS 24:10
Yeah, a couple of things that I wanted to follow up on what you just said. One is mission, the word mission as opposed to being a mercenary and running after money. You’re on a mission to do something. And then the second thing is about how did you find this? Maybe early adopters or customers who are willing to give feedback? Yeah, cold calling emails just walking into small businesses. How does? Yeah. So your first question is, is it a mission like missionary versus mercenary? So yeah, you are on a mission to do what you

KD Deshpande 24:43
like, do what you like, start. Make sure that you are honest with yourself, you’re honest with your efforts and build a culture of transparency where that culture of trust so that way you devote your energy to Like things? And then the second question is all about like, how do you recruit your early customers? I would say like first 50 to 100 users. I mean, look at look into your network number one, ask favors from friends saying, Hey, can you do this? Can you look into that and try to find the code, try to go near to your ideal customer profile, which is like who will be your potential customers. And to be very frank, on day one, you will not have any clue that Who is your ideal customer profile, so start with the wider net. And then you will be able to understand, okay, this is kind of my ideal customer looks like, then start, like to recruit them. It’s almost like recruitment process, first and first. First one, then first and first 25. First, 100, it’s all about recruiting all of them. Handle, we’re doing a phone call, maybe, like incentivizing them giving some amazon gift cards, because you’re learning it’s for your advantage. And once you do that, then you understand Okay, what is my ideal customer profile, where people are willing to am solving the problem for these people. And once you hone down, once you find that try to double down on them, like try and start talking their lingo start speaking their own language, their language. So they it will start resonating with them, and then figure out like how you can scale and find more people like you like them?

Make sure that you are honest with yourself, you’re honest with your efforts and build a culture of transparency where that culture of trust so that way you devote your energy to Like things

Madhav SBSS 26:33
Does it help to be near the customer? or it doesn’t matter today in this world, like if you for example, let’s say like you said, You worked with some small businesses in India have a different idea. Someone wants to do something, but they don’t have their customers possibly nearby. Does it matter that they are very far off?

KD Deshpande 26:51
Yeah, I think so. It’s very subjective. If you’re building hardware product, I would say having near is better. Probably I would say before 2019, having it near was like the criteria. Yeah, after 2019 with this whole pandemic situation. I mean, being near to your customer is always preferable, but it’s not mandatory. You can build it while even being removed, but you need to talk you need to go and show it to them. Don’t build it in vacuum. Hmm,

Madhav SBSS 27:25
yeah, you need to show and tell and learn correct nitrate very regularly. I mean, you mentioned something like you’re doing it every three weeks, or whatever it was. It’s phenomenal. Nothing happens inside the building. So congrats, actually on recent fundraise. You’ve raised money from VCs. Could you share about how much have you raised so far? And yeah,

KD Deshpande 27:50
so we raise $2.25 million as our pre seed round from Kraft ventures, then several microphones and some of the best product leaders, including supremely founder, brown, x CPU of over money, good. So from all of them, and our goal is like, first build that incredible people company. Because for I keep calling, saying, you know, we’re still a small team. I keep saying like, people, it’s easy to add, simplify. And well, because we are 100% remote team. So we usually we go and ask people like what, how like, and recruiting is especially hard in remote culture. Because trust goes two ways. It’s not like a one way street. So often we we ask a very simple question to prospect. customer. interview, candidates are saying, hey, come and work with us for a couple of weeks. It’s a paid gig. It’s not free stuff. Of course, we interview that person and say, Okay, come and work with us. Because we don’t want to be in a situation where you join us and one month down the line, you realize that this is not a place for you. Or we feel this is not the right cultural fit. So how can we do this and in a remote setting, when you never made the team, you are not talking to them like face to face. So we try to do this. So we ask people come and work with us. It’s a pair game. work at your own convenience. and deliver show don’t tell.

Madhav SBSS 29:36
Show don’t tell. Yeah.

KD Deshpande 29:39
Come talk to like have that conversation. And then people come and work with us. They get a feel of things. And often there is anxiety amongst engineers saying hold now I’m not in physically present in us. I’m in like, maybe in Canada or in Europe, or I’m in Bangladesh. I’m in India. So timezone setting, just making sure that they feel home, they feel they can work in the remote setting, without any office and other stuff. So we kind of created a playbook. And it’s working well so far. So that’s what we are doing

Madhav SBSS 30:19
great in any any particular tips on how to get like the superheroes like travel or on money Gupta? How do you impress on people who have done this and who are really well established? And when you’re nobody and have nothing to show? Really? Yeah,

KD Deshpande 30:36
I think typically, when you go try to go fundraise, usually people raise it on the basis of like, somebody x is invested. So you should invest. It’s a lot of signal sending. Don’t do that. Invest, like, find people who are genuinely you need them in on on your cap table. You need them on your side, and who who are who are willing to spend more than like they they are the right people for your product. Because I did that mistake in the past where it’s like, okay, let’s get money from wherever you’re getting from. Not every dollar is value addition. So it’s okay to go slow. But getting the right people in the mix is so critical. And don’t be afraid. I think these people are so genuine and they are friendly. don’t spam them because they have like their inboxes already full. Like to follow them on Twitter, like build the relationship or try to reach out to them through some common connection and be precise, what you are looking for. So that way, you can easily tell them what you’re looking for. So, fun story. When I started fundraising, I recorded a zoom loom, where we are like a one, one and a half minute demoing the product. And I send an email saying, Hey, this is me, this is my background. This is what we are building. And here is a link to our demo. Like this is a video. And here is my link to my calendar. Just schedule a meeting if you want to chat. And also the clear bit founder Alex McComb, we got connected over Twitter. And he loved what we are building and he’s like, Hey, I mean. So that’s that’s how you have to be active and on your toes and just build that relationship. Just be genuine. I think there is no no alternative for being genuine and transparent.

I think typically, when you go try to go fundraise, usually people raise it on the basis of like, somebody x is invested. So you should invest. It’s a lot of signal sending. Don’t do that.

Madhav SBSS 32:44
Yeah, yeah, absolutely key. Just to touch on a little bit of the space, in your space, the industry that you’re working with. Do you see? Like, where do you see, for example, Adobe, your parent company in the past? It would be XD or, you know, Canva Trello? Or some of these follies are the same space? Or do you see the great, great question.

KD Deshpande 33:10
Adobe is by far the biggest player in the space. What Adobe did in last 25 years is incredible. And Canva amazing tool like the what can What did in last 10 years. I think that changed the design industry. That changed the it opened the floodgates for every common person to execute. We play in a similar on the similar playground. But our focus is we want we are building a one app. We are not just building the common design platform. We are building a one app for all your marketing. Well, so imagine like you want to do marketing, it starts with marketing brief. Somebody is designing your creatives that somebody is publishing, then somebody is getting reports. Somebody is copywriting. So we are building a tool that does that allows you to do more with less, collaborate with your entire team, and scale your abilities. So we’re building a digital marketing platform, digital creation platform for freelancers, founders, entrepreneurs, or like from these guys to big companies, where there are complex setups. So that’s the kind of different point of view and it’s a one app. You don’t need like five different subsets, subscriptions by different tools. It’s one app where you can go and create your designs you can schedule for publishing, and you can start collaborate with your entire team at a very affordable price.

Madhav SBSS 34:50
Right. Right. I think I might have read somewhere about you your article I think you’re talking about one of the mistakes I made was to go abroad and we’re not Focus on going narrow, inch, inch wide mile deep. Yeah. Is that fair?

KD Deshpande 35:07
Yeah, I think so. I mean, right now, our personal is like Digital’s on the dimension, like, I’m a restaurant owner. I, I don’t know design. I don’t know copywriting. I don’t know marketing. This is simplified and AI assistant comes in handy. I’m a performance marketer at a fortune 500 company, let’s say mobile, I have resources, but I want scale and speed. I want people to work collaboratively, I want to go faster. That’s where simplified comes in handy. So it’s almost like different needs and a different stage. And our goal is to get we cater to both of them as per their requirements.

Madhav SBSS 35:49
Cool. And what would like if you were to go to sleep tonight and wake up five years later, you know, what, what do you think is this world where simplified as fully visualized what they wanted to do? Oh, yeah,

KD Deshpande 36:03
I think that’s a great question. In fact, I’ll do that exercise. But just to come to some impromptu or like what I would like to be, because we as I said, we are not here to just build a software, we want to build a community, we want to build up space, which becomes like irreplaceable part of their marketing stack, like digital content creation stack, where we want to enable people to do more with less collaborate with their entire team, or like people they love and unleash creativity, through videos through images through post through animated stuff. And it becomes like that, like day to day, and Aria assistant is like doing a lot more heavy lifting for them.

Madhav SBSS 36:56
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So if one of the questions I asked, my guess is like, if you were to rewind the clock and go back in time machine, you know, maybe 10-20 years ago, before you actually started any of these things. What one piece of business advice or advice do you think you would give to yourself, that you might do things differently? Maybe this time around, or maybe?

KD Deshpande 37:23
Luckily, no. Let’s say 10-15 years back, if I were to do one, let’s say 20 years back. I will not give any advice to anyone. I’ll just say live life enjoy this moment to full it’s because I got I mean, I was lucky when I was growing up in India like the friends and things were like backbenchers having fun. Not going to college being like a double defaulters, you’re watching movies on every Friday. And finding excuses to not I mean, going, I don’t know if I’m college. imagined imagine like, if you have overburdened that 16 or 20 year old with like business logic and everything. You’ve you’ve

Madhav SBSS 38:09
missed out. Yeah, you

KD Deshpande 38:10
miss out on that innocence. You miss out on that friendship. Like when I call my friends after like 10-15 years, we still start with still just go to the next page as if we spoke yesterday. So when on Twitter, people asked like, just 18 year old or 15 year old? What’s that was you have for me with I usually say like, there’s no advice just like, just get off twitter, go to the real friends. Have fun? Like, don’t overthink, don’t over complicate your life.

there’s no advice just like, just get off twitter, go to the real friends. Have fun?

Madhav SBSS 38:44
Nice, nice. Just talking to your friends and family. One of the things I’d like to know is if have you gifted like a book, or something to friends and family, like any thing that sort of has influenced you in terms of books that you’ve read in your journey. I

KD Deshpande 39:02
mean, one, that’s the one thing I want to improve still, like, I’m not into a lot more reading. I’m all usually watching. Yeah, so I mean, not really, I mean, it’s just like, I would say, like spending time with friends and just playing cricket in small companies in India. That kind of helped shape my, like, early career or like, early childhood just like being accommodative, being that being the leader. They’re, like taking everyone along. I would say that that was the best thing happened in my, like, early childhood.

Madhav SBSS 39:42
And talking about watching Do you have any particular video movie documentary, anything that sort of helped you or helps you? You know,

KD Deshpande 39:54
I usually like like my all Marvel movies. I mean, I I like all indie movies. I’m a big I’m a big Because of this COVID thing, I’ve not been to the MCs or usually I I no matter what I go Friday night and just watch whatever movies out there. I’m also big fan of like all Marvel characters. It fascinates me the creativity and the thought process they put in. Like, and we in fact, our creative assistant name is looking. You can imagine like, so. Yeah, that’s, that’s how that those things influence me that gives me like new ideas about next, these characters in probably imagination animations on those characters are fascinating.

Madhav SBSS 40:42
Sweet. Just last couple of questions, KD one is, if you could write a message on full moon that the whole world can see. It can be anything you want to call out people’s attention to something shouldn’t be simplified co but something else?

KD Deshpande 41:00
Yeah, I think I would say this, this may sound funny. Maybe after the recording is done, I’m going to ask my wife to listen, I’ll probably say on the one like I love my wife. Because you know, right, everyone thinks that. Like you’re not paying enough attention. Or you’re too busy, too busy. Exactly. So I’ll do that. For my wife and my two daughters.

Madhav SBSS 41:26
That’s a beautiful message. I think that is something that’s not said often and should be said I think as much as entrepreneurship. And CEOs and founders are about the mission and making a change in the universe. They’re also about family. And that that needs to be talked about more for sure. That’s nice message. And one last thing,

KD Deshpande 41:48
if people want to connect with you, what’s the best way you can reach out to best way to reach out to me on LinkedIn, or they can follow me on Twitter. It’s my first name underscore my last name first initial or LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the best place you can usually accept a lot of friend requests. And yeah, just be precise. Just tell me what do you need help with? And I’ll be happy to help you in in my capacity.

Madhav SBSS 42:18
Wonderful. What a pleasure. Thanks so much, KD, I really appreciated I know I had a lot more questions prepared. But I also know I want to be respectful of your time. Thanks for taking the time. Hopefully, sometime sometime down the line. We’ll meet again and have a conversation. Yeah, thanks for sure. All the best that same

KD Deshpande 42:36
year. Thank you. Thank you. And please check out for all your one app for all your creativity.

Madhav SBSS 42:41
Absolutely. I’ll put all this in the show notes as well and we’ll put on Instagram and wherever. so much. Thank you. Thank you

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