If one startup fails TWICE, is it over?

Before the interview started, I said to my guest, “I’m not sure we should do this interview. Your company seems too new; it seems too inexperienced.”

Well, he fired back with his revenues and I said “Alright.” I’ll ask him about his revenue in the interview so my audience can hear it.

Today’s guest is Rajesh Setty. He is the founder of WittyParrot, which allows companies to capture tags and reuse content to speed response and save time.

Rajesh Setty

Rajesh Setty

WittyParrot

Rajesh Setty is the co-founder and President at WittyParrot which allows companies to capture, tag and reuse content to speed response and save time.

 

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner, and I am the founder of Mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart and I am the guy who sometimes can say obnoxious things. For example, I just said it before the interview started. I said to my guest, I am not sure we should do this interview. Your company seems too new, it seems too inexperienced. I don’t think it fits with Mixergy, and then he fired back what his revenues were for this company that was just basically a few months old. What is it? Maybe 24 months old, two years. All right. I will ask him in the interview. He could hear it.

But I should introduce him first. He is Rajesh Setty. He is the founder of WittyParrot, which allows company to capture tags and reuse content to speed response and save time. Let me explain how that practically works. You know you get a lot of email that asks the same question again and again and you have written those answers before. Well with WittyParrot, you have all those prewritten answers sitting there on your screen and you just drag and drop your answers as you need them when you are responding to Emails. More than that your team members other people who are responding to the same thing can drag and drop the same responses so that you are all communicating together.

He is on camera today and I bet he is little anxious for me to also to tell you that it works beyond emails. So I am just going to give you one application. And before I fully finish my intro here I should say that this whole interview is sponsored by AndrewsWelcomeGate.com. Later on the interview I will tell you why if you want to capture email addresses you should try AndrewsWelcomeGate.com. You can peek by just going over to AndrewsWelcomeGate.com. Meanwhile I have to introduce my guest. Rajesh, Welcome

Rajesh: Good to talk to you, Andrew. I am excited about this.

Andrew: Did I come across as obnoxious when I said this company seems little too small maybe we shouldn’t do this interview?

Rajesh: No. No. No. Because as a private company, we don’t share our revenue numbers. There is no way for you to know the revenue numbers. So there is no way for you to tell what the revenue numbers could be

Andrew: I have to tell you. I was looking at the site and I said you know the design looks good, but I could see the pixels. You know today it’s supposed to be all clearly crisp that meanwhile who might ask and say. You look at my web site. It doesn’t look great. Yours look obviously much better. But is aide something there, I don’t know. And then I say you can’t really buy. I have to request a free trial. And then I say of course that you launched a launch fest, a big conference just about 2 years ago, less than 2 years ago. I said you know may be this isn’t a good fit. And then you blew me away when you said Andrew, the revenue this year are

Rajesh: We will cross a million dollars.

Andrew: You will by the end of the year. How far you have come so far this year?

Rajesh: We have come 75% there.

Andrew: Seventy-five. So you are about three quarters of a million dollar for a company that’s how old now.

Rajesh: Yeah, it is less than two years old.

Andrew: Less than two years old. And was I right where I introduced you when I said you can drag and drop answers from Witty parrot in to you Email. Were you feeling like, it’s more than E-mail

Rajesh: [Laughs] yes.

Andrew: I thought it.

Rajesh: As a founder you can do it for Word document power point presentations almost any application social media LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter everything. So basically reusing content wherever you want to reuse the content.

Andrew: All right, this is one of many companies. In fact that’s another reason why I said may be this isn’t a good fit because how could someone run so many companies. But you came to us through a friend of mine, Sasha Gupta, who said this guy runs so many companies and I don’t know how he can do it and you can ask him about how he works with other people to build have them run the company on a day today basis and works with other companies and have them partner. We will get to that during this interview.

But since we talked so much about the high, let’s talk a little bit about your back story and then we will get in to how you built WittyParrot in to this success so quickly with a lot of struggle I think a lot of people in the audience will identify with. But the thing is before you started this, long time ago back when you were right after college; you had an idea for a business that didn’t work out so well.

Rajesh: Yeah, cam I tell the back-story. Before that why I even got an idea to start a company, because that will give the context. So I started early reading early when I was four I started reading books and by the time when I was nine I read about seven hundred books. So my mom will tell you that most of them are useless books. Almost all of them, they were mysteries, thrillers and everything. But then I thought I can write my own book, right. So I started writing one. It was about two hundred pages.

Until that time my parents were thinking that something is wrong but it’s not so wrong that he is falling behind on studies. So we should let him do whatever he wants. Then I started telling them, now I think I wrote my book, now I should get it published. How long will it take to get it published? So because it’s about printing. By the next month or so I will get it printed, right. So and the journey of my life lessons began in those three and half years when I was rejected hundred and sixty times before it was published by a well-known publisher when I was 13-years-old.

Andrew: One hundred sixty times people rejected your book, all before you were thirteen. What was this book about?

Rajesh: It was about a mystery.

Andrew: A murder mystery, and they rejected it one hundred sixty times. You didn’t feel, as a kid, maybe I don’t have what it takes to write, that’s for adults, I’d better move on to other things?

Rajesh: That’s the beauty of it. It happened when I was a kid. I don’t know what I would have done if it had happened to me now, but I kept thinking, as a kid you can imagine a lot of things. So I was thinking that maybe everyone gets rejected three hundred times. So I’m just halfway there! So it’s all about perspective, right? I remember when it was accepted, I thanked the publisher. And he said, “Let me take a look at it.” He started reading the book and he forgot I was standing there. So I stood there for two and a half hours. And he still forgot that I was there. He put his feet up on the table engrossed in my book. Then he looked and said, “You’re still here!” I said, “Yeah, I’m still here.” I was so used to getting rejected that I thought he would say no. I was getting ready to pick up the book and leave as usual, like all the times before. He said, “How much do you want?” And that was a question I was not prepared for! I said, “What do you mean how much do you want?” He said, “I want to publish this. How much money do you want?” I got the shock of my life. That was present in a bunch of things.

When I was seventeen, I got six books published. I worked as a journalist for a local newspaper. This is part one of the story. Now, part two, the black part, happens because I come from India. In India, parents think that their children have to be engineers or doctors. Those are the only two things. So my mom would tell me that writing would not make enough money, and that to lead a good life, I should do something else. But I was already famous with six books and four hundred articles published. So I ignored the comments. Then later my mom asks, “What do you think people will think of me as a mom if you don’t become an engineer or a doctor?” That was a bit of blackmail I was not prepared for.

Still I love my mom so I said I’ll at least become an engineer. There are three public exams. For Class 10, when I was taking that exam, there were 462,000 students. I stood #20 in the state. For Class 12, there 162,000 students and I was #2 in the state. And in engineering, I got quote [SP] ranked for the university. That made me feel really smart, and I thought I should start a company. That’s the backstory.

Andrew: You’re saying that you decided to start a company, because you did so well on your tests at engineering school?

Rajesh: And because of my writing. People would tell me, “You’re so smart. You’re so smart.” So I got to thinking that I was so smart. They said, “You should get some work experience.” I said, “I’ll get it in my own company. I don’t need to get it from another company.” I also convinced two of my classmates to start a company with me, and long story short, it didn’t work. It was a training company. Six months after, I knew why it didn’t work. This is an important distinction for all entrepreneurs, but at that time I didn’t understand. The reason I started my company was because of my writing and academic accomplishments. Think about it. Both are solo sports or almost solo sports. Company building is a team sport. I can’t learn everything that I learned in a solo sport, and then think that I’m an expert in a team sport due to my success in two solo sports.

Andrew: It’s like saying I run well and I swim well so I should be a great basketball player.

Rajesh: Yes. In fact, it’s like I run well, I swim well, I should be able to fly a plane.

Andrew: I see, even bigger. When you started this company, what was the business?

Rajesh: It was a training company. Software, programming training.

Andrew: How did this mistake that you made play itself out? What was the failure that led you guys to close up?

Rajesh: It was basically a steamboat [SP]. It didn’t even get started, really. I didn’t realize that I had no answers outside the business so I had to be very careful about it. It was a franchise organization. We took out office space and then we needed to decorate it, interior decorating and everything. Then the person who gave us the franchise, he came in and told us, “If . . .

Rajesh: …You know, if you want a good interior decorator, I’m happy to introduce you to someone. And then we said, “No, I think we are covered.” And it seems like a very simple thing, but what we didn’t realize was that his wife was running an interior decoration company. And it was a business development, but his wife’s company.

Andrew: I see.

Rajesh: And now, after that, everything went wrong. It was nothing too related to interior decoration, but everything, something was missing. The documents were missing. I didn’t do it right. You didn’t do that right. Only after three months did we realize that I should have at least taken the meeting with this recommendation, but at that time my brain was not that mature. If he was asking, giving us a recommendation, I should have taken it. But it’s…

Andrew: That’s the reason that you didn’t.

Rajesh: Yes.

Andrew: So what about the approach that you had? Look, you’re doing a training company. Were you feeling comfortable enough to call up customers and say can I train your people? And allow yourself to be rejected 150, 300, 450 times?

Rajesh: Yeah. See, basically because it’s a team sport I mentioned, all three of us have to be in there. So, this was going on for four or five months. And imagine the amount of pressure we all had from our individual families to actually do something. Many people– because all of our classmates were in good projects, good jobs, and then we are here thinking we don’t know what to do. We can’t even negotiate a contract. We can’t get something done.

Andrew: Oh, so you didn’t even try? You didn’t even try calling up customers. Did you?

Rajesh: No.

Andrew: No, I see. So, you felt…Tell me if I’m misreading this. It seems like what you felt was, we should start this business because we’re smart…

Rajesh: Yes.

Andrew: …but, we can’t call up customers because this is not the most respectable thing that we should do.

Rajesh: Actually, the training institution itself was not ready for us to call the customers. It had to start somewhere. So, it was like the Friday problem for us to call the customers. The Monday problem is to actually have the training company set up and running. And we were struggling to even get it right because of all the things that I mentioned to you. So much so that by the time it was six months out, the other two people lost interest. And rightly so. And, without the team, there is no company.

Andrew: I see. So then, your first big hit was a company…in fact, why did you ever get back into entrepreneurship after that failure, before we get to the first big hit?

Rajesh: Yeah, it was by accident. So, basically, I joined Citicorp. It became I-flex solutions, now it’s part of Oracle. It was 18 months into it. I got a job in a Malaysian company. So, I thought, I was a software engineer. I think, the job is of a systems analyst, I think I’ll take it. It’s a good jump. It’s a promotion. I completely forgot the word entrepreneurship because as I said, this is a team sport. I don’t have a team, I can’t figure it out. I think I’m not as smart as I thought I was, so I will revisit it 10 years from now.

But three years later, I was in Malaysia, and it was for a large construction company which had…I don’t know how familiar you are with Malaysia, everything happens in groups of companies there. There will be a holding company. There will be one company who will do this, one company will do something else. They both will be working with each other. It’s like a [??] kind of approach.

Andrew: Okay.

Rajesh: So they brought me in as a systems analyst for the IT company that they were starting. And in all the enthusiasm I had, I didn’t even ask them what systems do they have now for me to do the systems analysis. I thought, I’ll figure that out, and it’s a good and bad thing. When I went there and I asked them, “What are the systems people are using?” They said, “Oh we use a lot of software. We use Wordstar and LOTUS 1-2-3.”

Andrew: This is 1994?

Rajesh: Yeah, so I’m thinking, oh my God, there’s nothing to analyze here. [laughs]. It’s Wordstar [??] analyze.

Andrew: And Wordstar, by the way, just a word processor, and LOTUS is a spreadsheet, so what are you going to do in a company that just has those two basic pieces of software?

Rajesh: Yeah, and then the CEO of the company was very progressive, so he said, “That’s why you are here. You are supposed to do other things.” There is a manager who is supposed to come in and he would come and tell us what to do, meanwhile, you all keep doing something until the person reports, right? So, there where I worked in the company was in the small start-up within a big conglomerate, and I said it might take us a few weeks so let’s just go and I understand how the business works. All of those other companies. What do they do? Who are their customers? What do they do on a daily basis? When we were having all these things, I found out the general manager was supposed to come in. He was not going to come in anyway because something happened with his family. Some emergency or something. So I said, “Who will tell us what to do?”

So I went and got an appointment with the group CEO of the Malaysian company and he was very busy. He was running seven companies, right? So I finally got an appointment and when I walked in, something happened that again changed my life. He used to call me Mr. Setty. He said, “Mr. Setty, Carol tells me that you were having some problem. You want to discuss the problem with me?” And I was going to say “yes” but before I opened my mouth, he said, “Mr. Setty, you know this is not the way it works. It seems like you want to bring your problem, put it on my back and go back in your room and relax. You were thinking I would solve your problem. Is that right?” And I wanted to say-, I didn’t know what to respond. I said “this is not how it’s supposed to be.”

By the time I responded, he said, “I can tell from the silence. It seems like that’s what you had in mind. You just wanted to throw the problem at somebody else and walk. I think you have to grow up. You have to do something else. I don’t have the time for this. I don’t have a reason for this. You come back to me when you have some proposed solutions.” And then he left. And I’m thinking, how will I come up with a proposed solution? It’s not my company. And then I walked out and Carol was right there and she said, “That meeting happened.” I asked her, “Carol, what meeting?” “Oh, this is like a pre-firing meeting. So before somebody gets fired, I think he will have this kind of a meeting.”

Andrew: I see. So basically she’s saying to you, you’re about to get fired. This is the meeting before the meeting where they fire you.

Rajesh: Yeah.

Andrew: Okay. But you know, what he said is logical. And I think a lot of bosses need to do that. Say “you came to me with a problem. What you’re trying to do is put this problem on my back. I don’t want your monkey on my back. How about you try and solve the problem and come back to me with a proposed solution?” That’s what he said to you and that’s smart. And so what’d you come back and say to him?

Rajesh: Then I realized that, because I had one failure and I didn’t want to be a serial failure so I said, this time I’m going to get help. I will be humble. I will say I don’t know what I’m doing. And I had collected some money because it’s already two months and they were paying me well. So I said, if I had to use all of the money to get good help, I’m going to use it.

Andrew: All of your salary to hire people to make you a better employee for this company and come back to the boss with a better meeting than the first one.

Rajesh: Yeah, I really wanted to get help to prepare a business plan as if I was the boss. So long story short, nobody asked me for money. When I exposed my well (?) and said this is where I need your help. I need something and I’m happy to pay you money but please help me to put together a business plan. Six weeks later I made another appointment. I had a business plan. This time, before he opened his mouth, I said “Sir, I have a solution.” Because I didn’t want to start off on the wrong mode. He said “I can see that and it seems like a big solution.”

So he looked at it and he said, “This is a really big solution. Why don’t you pick three things that are really most important in this mega solution that you have got, write it on the board and then I will see whether I want to read this because it’s a lot of my time.” So that was my real experience in an elevator pitch but I was prepared for it because the people who helped me had already mentioned that something like this would happen because you need to be ready to succinctly mention what you are planning to do for this company.

Andrew: You know what? That’s such great advice. First of all, to go back and put together a plan and have it be deep and have it be well researched. But the other piece that you were prepared for is also important. I’ve had people come to me and say, “Andrew, here is my 70 page plan” and some of it is just absolute crazy. And of course you don’t want to spend that much time reading everyone’s plan but if they could say, “Here are the three key ideas. Any of these really make sense enough for us to follow through? Yes, great. Now let’s only dig in on those instead of wasting your time with every idea and taking that long.” So what’s the best idea? Take me home with this because I have to get over to the next company. What’s the big idea that really hit home with him and took off?

Rajesh: Yeah. So what I had done is because remember I had done all the research about the companies. So that came in really handy and I assured him how they can get real time visibility on all their projects that are happening, all militia [??] with one click of a button. If they were interested in these few things that I wanted them to invest.

Andrew: Okay.

Rajesh: And I became the interim general manager, the interim general manager.

Andrew: Okay.

Rajesh: And then six months later they dropped the interim, and I was the general manager. So that’s when the intrepreneurs invested in me. You call it [??], but that’s when I have full responsibility and I was back in the game.

Andrew: Yeah, interpreneurship in a word that I never heard outside of college. Where it basically means you are running the show, running a company, or running, in some cases, a division. But you’re running it like an entrepreneur in charge of the profit and loss statement like an entrepreneur would be. But within the company so you have some framework and some protection, and some help.

That’s what got you started then or brought you back into entrepreneurship.

Rajesh: Yeah.

Andrew: Right. So now you launched a few other companies. Before I get to this company, to Witty Parrot, what was the biggest hit that you started and sold?

Rajesh: Yeah, the first company I started was here. It was called Cigmex, C-I-G-M-E-X. So I was the founder, CEO of the first six years. It was a service company, and we used to build content management systems for very large companies.

Andrew: I see.

Rajesh: I took a few million dollars, and then in 2006 I started getting interested in product companies. So I brought in an investor and my friends and some basic partners. I sold all of my stock, Cigmex is over $40 million in revenue now. I left the company. Of course, my friends are still joining it, and then in 2007I started another company called Jiffle now making management for large companies. The company got funded by Accel Partners and it has over 50 Fortune companies as clients.

Andrew: I see it. And I see it now on my screen. All right. So then at some point you had this problem yourself that led you to create Witty Parrot. What is the problem that you had that caused you to create this business?

Rajesh: Yeah. So because like all bloggers, writers, authors, speakers, and company entrepreneurs we get a lot of emails. And whenever I used to speak at an event, especially right after the event I would get like 50, 100 emails saying that you mentioned on the blog post, I thought I’d write to you. Can you send it to me again? You mentioned three resources. What were the names of the companies?

And they could have easily found them. So people make it a point to just send out an email and get it to you really. I’m not complaining against them, but I didn’t have the ability to respond to emails in a very thoughtful way because even if they’re only 50 emails and the combinations were enormous, some people ask about the blog post. Somebody ask about a resource, and somebody will ask for my e-book. And the second person will ask for the same three things in a different sequence. The third person will ask only about the e-book.

Some people will only two things. So I thought how would having Lego blocks on the cloud kind of concept.

Andrew: Mm-hmm.

Rajesh: And then I tried to build it twice, and I failed.

Andrew: What’s the first way that you built it?

Rajesh: It was an Outlook plug-in.

Andrew: Ah, okay. And why did that fail?

Rajesh: Because the person who was building it, they had twins, little twin babies …

Andrew: Okay.

Rajesh: … and one of the babies was not feeling well. So they decided …

Andrew: So they didn’t continue building it.

Rajesh: It would take him like eight months before the babies were back in action. And then he went back to India. So the second time I tried to do it and it was with another company using the whole platform. And it was reasonably successful. The company was called Bakco, B-A-K-C-O and they were amazing. It was an online, offline kind of platform, and they spent a million and a half dollars to build the platform. And I was going to build my software on top of it.

One year or two years later they said that the whole platform strategy has changed, and they’ll make it part of the Middle West. And then they said, “Rajesh, if you want to buy the whole platform, let me know if you want to buy it.” I didn’t have that kind of money. So it failed. And then I was co-founder of a company called iCharts.net, and it’s basically chart that can be embedded like YouTube videos. They make charts.

At that time we hired a C.T.O. who is the C.E.O. of Witty Parrot now. [??] department, and then he was the C.T.O. and I never discussed this Witty Parrot kind of idea with him. And then he was with us for a couple of years, and he got a job as a C.E.O. of another company. It was a good position. We all wished him well, but by that time we had become very close to each other.

And I was one day just in a social gathering. I was sharing this idea, and he mentioned something else because I was just looking at it like a productivity tool. And he was telling Raj there is a bigger problem we can solve than this. Forget about word, productivity. It’s actuating sales because they are responsive, the sales people are responsive having all access to the collateral case [??]

Andrew: This is the C.T.O. who said, “Change your focus. It should be about helping sales people close sales. And by doing that, you’re going to find your right market.

Rajesh: Yeah.

Andrew: How did he know that was the right market to go after?

Rajesh: Exactly. So basically it’s experience. Before he became the C.T.O. of this startup, this was his first startup experience. He was earning $700 million units as the technology leader for ACC Capital Holdings and then Fisher Investments and a bunch of companies, very large companies. And he told me that at one time when he was running a multi hundred million dollar budgets sales people would [??] like that. If he asked for something, the whole entourage would come in and help him.

He became the C.T.O. of the startup. He found that not many people were very interested in responding to him. He was the same person entirely. They would look at the website and said, “This is not a big deal. So I’ll wait. and he said if they had access to a tool like this which would not take a lot of time, they would respond to any and all inquiries because it’s not taking a lot of time.

So then he said if he is facing the problem, somebody like him will be facing the same problem because the sales people on the other side [??] up to sell to all size deals because they don’t have access to the right content and the right time of point of views.

Andrew: I see. I see. So let me see if I’m understanding you right. he said, “Look, sales people aren’t contacting me back. The reason they’re not contacting me back is it takes too long to respond to me, and I’m too small of a person for them to spend a lot of time to respond to. But if they had an easier way to do it, if it didn’t take as long, they’d be more likely to do it. Go talk to sales people.

Rajesh: Yeah.

Andrew: And so you then you create the product with him, or who’d you create the product with that he just described?

Rajesh: He put in the first money, and we became co-founders of Witty Parrot. He becomes the C.E.O. of the company and then we started building a product with our own money.

Andrew: How much money did you put into it?

Rajesh: We both put in $300,000.

Andrew: Okay. And then who all built it?

Rajesh: We had a team in India, and then we started building it. And then we …

Andrew: At first … Sorry, go ahead.

Rajesh: We arranged to raise $1.3 million from friends and family and also some key employees. They invested the money. So we were just like a cooperative society because all of the key employees are big investors in the company.

Andrew: Really? How much money did the employees put in altogether?

Rajesh: It was about a million dollars.

Andrew: Wow. What kind of employees did you hire that had a million dollars to put in the business?

Rajesh: They were all serial entrepreneurs.

Andrew: I see. So you got together with other serial entrepreneurs. You said, “I’m going to hire you. You’re going to continue to work here, and you’re going to invest.”

Rajesh: Actually it happened the other way around. We just wanted to hire them, and they said, “If we’re going to coming, we’ll bring our own money because we want a big share of the company.

Andrew: I see. Wow. Rajesh, that’s impressive.

Rajesh: This is the first time it happened so it’s not like I know [??]

Andrew: It’s the first time I ever heard in an interview here. No one ever said, “Hey, you know what? Not only do I get these other entrepreneurs to come in, but they also put in money.

Rajesh: Yeah.

Andrew: So then you were supposed to build the software.

Rajesh: Yes.

Andrew: I see now the software will work on Android, iPhone, desktop, et cetera. What’s the first version that you built? What did it work on?

Rajesh: Yeah. So we always wanted it to be a cross platform because data has to be [??]. Right now we don’t have an Android with X.M.L, but we have an iPhone, iPad, Windows and Mac.

Andrew: I see. Okay.

Rajesh: [??] all core platforms. So we started the work and one thing of which I’m really happy that we did and it’s helping us tremendously, is that even when we had a piece of paper where we had written down, “How the software will look like?” Our goal for Anil and I was every single day, we both should meet at least one new person and then share our vision and ask them what they think. And not try to defend what we do. But just ask them what do they think and then write down [??]. Like this is what … pick them positively or negatively and in fact half the features are more than half the features are built because of that 700 demos that we give in one year.

Andrew: 700 demos you did! You actually told our producer April [??] in the pre-interview, they were two people who liked it, you and your co-founder. Everybody else wasn’t into it. Why didn’t they, why didn’t they like it?

Rajesh: Yeah. See the thing is that there is a paradigm shift here which is that’s the two challengers we still have but we solved pretty much one of them and the other is yet to be solve. So first is people aren’t used to thinking in [??] like, [??] hour in our [??] is a reusable content block. It could be a piece of text, piece of text with one or more images, piece of text with one or more images and one or more attachments. It could be anything that is reusable.

Andrew: A word for example would be I get the question over and over again, “What software you use to record your interviews?” A [??] what include … description of the software, a link, a list of software which is encryption of each one links to this website where people can get it and may be a couple of images of how they work together. I have that is a [??] but a [??] could also be what my phone number and Skype name is if I have to keep reusing that.

Rajesh: I told that you have got it. In fact, you are telling it better than me. So [??] you get it all the time. So [??] for example I’ve all the meeting places, coffee shops, restaurants where I meet people and in fact it was like lets meet at the Star Bucks and here is the address for the Starbucks. I just drag and drop the [??]. Second thing I do is I learned it from Tim Sanders who wrote the book ‘Love is the killer app’. I connect between 400 and 600 people a year. And I have to do it at that scale, I need each of the person’s information as a [??]. Please meet Andrew Warner, founder of Mixer GE and you can reach him here, you can call him at this number and that’s a [??].

Andrew: I see. Let’s not overlook that is such a good book on interpersonal relationships and how to connect with people. Tim Sanders’ “Love is the Killer App,” the only idea I don’t like from that book is that he says give people books which sometimes is a little overwhelming, it’s like you giving them homework. But, everything about it just make sense how to connect with people like a human being.

Rajesh: Yeah. Tim and I met during my first company. I was new to this country right, so he met me he was at Yahoo! at that time he was the Chief Solutions Officer. And I loved his book and I was asking him, “How did you do this? You know a lot of people, how did you know this?” So he said, ”Raj, it’s fundamental rule in networking, you’ve to give viewer network, [??] viewer network.” I said, “What do you mean by that?” He said, “You connect the right people to each other.” And I was thinking I’ve like 17 people in my network. Okay. “What do we do after that? Because … I didn’t have a big enough network.” And, then he said, “What do you mean, you connect all the right people.” I said, “Yeah, like I have seven or ten of them were maybe 15 but I can do this weekend. What do we do next?” And he laughed and he said, “You’ve to start from what you have.”

Andrew: I see. And that’s one of the things I do like … if you were to give me another book, I can get books all the time. Right? And I prefer mine Kindle, you might send me an actual physical book which should be a problem but if you say, “Andrew, I know you’re interviewing success entrepreneurs, here is a great entrepreneur that you should meet because pa, pa, pa, pa, pa.” And you put that all from a [??], that’s a nice thing, that’s a nice gesture and so that’s one of the ideas you got from his book. I’m imagining … that helped you connect with potential users. Is that how you got? Actually, let me ask it without a yes or no question. How did you get 700 people? … How did you demo [??] to 700 people? How did you even connect with 700 people?

Rajesh: Our golden rule was if he is a person, he can talk English. We will catch him and show him a demo.

Andrew: And you just show a demo in person on the laptop?

Rajesh: Yes. Because earlier it was only piece of paper, showing, “This is the way it will work”, and we were so excited and as soon as we have the version point one, we will show it on our laptop and wherever they are the tool and first two times we failed. So basically we tried to build it. And it was a choice of the tool. I think now it seems like why did we do it. It was we built it on Flash.

Andrew: And the problem with Flash was.

Rajesh: It would annoy people like anything. It would say, Flash needs to be updated, do you want to update now. And people would say, Raj what are you doing, your software keeps asking me to keep updating every day. And I used to say, it’s not me, its flash. He said no. I don’t know what it is. But I am just tired of it. So people would hate it.

Andrew: And you are saying that’s just one reason. Another reason is they didn’t understand the core concept which is your width, which is a container of text or images and or images etc. What other reasons did they come back to you when you showed them the demo that made them say no, not for me.

Rajesh: Yeah the demos were actually. As we progressed in the cycle, demos started becoming interesting. Can you do this? Can you do this for me? How do you create the width. And people started identifying their own use cases. Immediately as I was talking I have not shown you the software you said, let me think. One of the common questions I get is like how do you record your interview? You said you thought about it a bit, but only after we started discussing. But on your own you would not have looked for software because it’s a problem we all deal with and we are used to copy pasting. And we think who will innovate on a copy-paste problem. It’s so simple. Everybody knows. Even my small kids will know how to do copy-paste. Why would anybody do anything?

But imagine a copy paste a global clipboard that is sharable with team members always on available on line and off line at the point of use be it Word, PowerPoint, Email, Social media. So that’s the paradigm we shifted. But nobody will think about it. Like Yesterday I was giving a demo to someone and said she said can I use it now. I need it very badly. I said, if you need it very badly, out of curiosity I want to ask you one thing ? Why were you not looking for it if you are needing it badly? She said, Raj what will I search on? So there is no paradigm. Like I know there is a problem but everybody around me has the same problem. So if everybody is living with it, I thought there is no solution. In fact it didn’t even occur to me that somebody would have solved the problem. That’s the first.

Andrew: I see. So they may be blind to the problem. But more importantly they don’t know how to look for it because they don’t know because of what …

Rajesh: Yeah. They don’t know that this problem would have been solved. He said I think Copy paste solves a part of the problem in some rudimentary way. And everybody is solving the problem with rudimentary copy paste approach. So they think that must be the way. So there is no other thing to look for. And while you are there, I will tell you the second challenge we have. The second challenge is time to benefit with this requires some investment of time to think about which. Somebody has to think okay what should be the wit. In your case you got it very, very quickly. You said what is the common question will people ask.

It’s about recording the interview. I think I got it. So some people get it very quickly. Some people will say what else will I use it for? Now imagine compare this to Skype or Go To Meeting. You sign for Skype, sign up for Go To meeting, the time to benefit is almost immediate. You have the first phone call on Skype, you said I got it. But that’s not the case with us. But once they use start using it, even if they have 15 wits they will not stop using it.

Andrew: I see and they have to invest the time to create 15 wits to sit down and type out those answers.

Rajesh: Yes.

Andrew: You know, what’s the other thing that I learned you learned from this wasn’t all negative. It’s not working for me. One of the things you learned was, people said, I need to learn, I need to be able to categorize It so I can group all these wits that relate to my interview together and all the wits that relate together with people and person in to it and that’s how you created the folders

Rajesh: Yeah. In fact, people would say, I need my team members to use this. So first which means that there has to be a folder they have to share. Then they said what about our resellers, what about our distributors. And then so I said, I need to get our people to use it. I need our resellers to use it. I need our distributors. So all those things we had not thought of before. Even when we were in the [Lands?] conference, we had not thought of it. Only when we started showing it to people we said, “Okay, we need to have a lot of things that need to be built before we go and sell to an enterprise.”

Andrew: Rajesh, what about this? We all hear that we should be talking to customers, and you’ve done it more than most people. The problem that we have is when we start talking to maybe three or four. When the product stinks, and you’re saying in the early version it stunk, the negative feedback is so painful. It’s so insulting that it’s hard to continue. Did you ever feel that?

Rajesh: Yeah. Actually we felt it when the product was not working. We would [??] and then we’d install it, and then it would not work on their system. Because, remember, it’s install. And then, well, you can imagine the number of questions people have. The questions of web, questions of email, questions of Power Point, questions of operating system.

Andrew: Right.

Rajesh: So there was no way for us to think. And then we had six people [downloading?] the software, so it was a nightmare. But what was happening was, while there was negative feedback, there was also positive feedback. And the human brain is something interesting. It can pick and choose what feedback we want it to focus on. It’s selective memory.

Andrew: Uh-huh.

Rajesh: So we’ve just focused on the positive feedback.

Andrew: How did you give yourself the focus on the positive feedback?

Rajesh: Because I always think I have one golden rule in my life which is, at any point in time, I always think, “I am here, we are next.” It’s a simple rule I have. Because I can’t . . . My friend always says, “you can’t change what you ate for breakfast. But you can decide what you’ll eat for dinner.” So I always say, “You know, I can’t change what happened.” But now every moment is a fresh start, so I can say what I want to bring back from the past, take it into the present.

Andrew: Alright, I got to help my audience grow their audiences, and then I’m going to come back and ask you a follow-up question about how you got your customers. It’s not enough to just build a good product. You also have to know how to sell it, and I know you know how to sell it. And we’re going to talk to you about that in a moment, but first, I have to tell you guys in the audience something. Everyone out there is talking just about hits. How many hits do you get to your website? How many people see your articles every day? How many people know that your website even exists? I want to tell you that’s important. Right? Of course it is. But it’s not enough. You get all these hits today, what happens tomorrow? You’ve got to hope that people will remember to come back to your site, even if you’ve written the best article out there. You have to remember, you have to hope that your audience remembers to come back.

That’s not the way to build a business. That’s not the way I’ve ever built my businesses, this one or the previous ones. What I want is a long-term relationship with my customers. I want something sticky, so I know, when I wake up tomorrow, that I’m not starting from scratch, but that I have an audience ready to be receptive to what I’m working on. And I’ve done that. That’s why I created a page that allows me to collect email addresses from my audience if they’re interested, and by doing that, I get a chance to build a longer-term relationship with them. Maybe what I have today stinks for them. Maybe they’re just in a bad mood and they don’t like it. Maybe I really do stink, I don’t know. But at least I want a couple of more shots at the relationships I have with my audience, and you should too. So if you’re building a website, it’s not enough to just get hits. You want email addresses so you have that opportunity to build that long-term relationship.

And if you want email addresses, you can go out there and try to create your own template, your own page, try to collect email addresses that way. Or, instead of starting from scratch, you can put up a buck. That’s right, just a buck, and buy a template that guys who are my friends at [StickerMule?] created for me. I A/B tested against all the things I created and it out-did mine, so that’s what I use on Mixergy. And I want to make it available to you, if you want it. All you have to do is go to, here’s the URL, write it down: Andrewswelcomegate.com. Andrewswelcomegate.com.

And if you’re driving and you can’t write it down, here’s what you do. Just come right back to the site and look in the transcript and you’ll see it there. It’s too important for you to forget. At least try it out. Andrewswelcomegate.com will work even if you’re not a developer, because it’s all powered by Leadpages.net, software that makes sure these kinds of pages work, and work with whatever email provider you have, and stay up, and give you analytics, and all of that stuff. All right. Enough of that. Go to Andrewswelcomegate.com. Rajesh, how did you get your first customer?

Rajesh: Yeah. I love the relationship angle to Andrew’s Welcome Gate. I totally believe in it. In fact, I think there are only two kinds of relationships.

Andrew: Mm-hmm.

Rajesh: One is long-term. The other one is very long-term.

Andrew: [laughs]

Rajesh: That’s the only two kinds. Where every other thing is an acquaintance. Right?

Andrew: You know what? I’ve got to make sure that I have a note here to come back and ask you about the way you connect with people because as, why do I keep forgetting his name, he’s right here in the office. Sasha Gupta said, “Look, the guy works with people so well. He has people run his companies. He’s good at selling. I’m going to come back and ask you about people.

So them how do you sell? How do you get these people to buy from you?

Rajesh: Yes. See, fundamentally what we did we never connected the dots in the future because remember we were showing all these demos looking for feedback, validation, and everything. Many of them continued to ask us, “What happened to the [??] of this product? What is it? So we had a lot of people following us. And the second thing that helped us because people are aware of the problem.

And then the other thing that happens always once we show the software even some people will get interested immediately. So somebody will say, “I like this” and they start thinking like you. You started thinking, well, what could be a [??], but some people will say, “Yeah, but it’s all complicated.”

And when they go back next week or next month when they have a bunch of things and they keep thinking, “Should I be using [??] ? Is it there What [??] and that would have solved the problem. It’s like a late release.

Andrew: Yeah.

Rajesh: So that started happening. So even yesterday somebody was using TechTextFinder and then they switched to Windows [??]. So my friend, he researched and said, “Rajesh, does your software welcome Windows?” And it’s been a few months since I heard when he was using some of the software but he remembered us.

So all the deals that came through were because of all the [??] that we had over probably more than a year. We kept showing and showing and some of them converted to customers.

Andrew: Ah, really. So if someone will email you back and say, “Hey, you know what? This thing you told me about I think it comes in handy now. Does it do this thing that I do?” Then you’d email them back, “Yes.”

Rajesh: Yeah.

Andrew: Here’s something else that I noticed because you have a lot of friends, but it seems like you go beyond. The web page doesn’t show prices. The upper right button says request a free trial. That’s part of your sales process. Why do you do that?

Rajesh: Yeah. There’s a bit of a history and we try everything, right? Because I have [??] in my system. I use it every single day. We assume there might be a consumer play, like everybody from a small entrepreneur. We think anybody, even students will be able to use it. So we said we made a free trial available.

And then we found out that there were hundreds of people download but do nothing with it because of the second problem I mentioned, because it requires some thinking to say what would be a [??] in our system. What are the ten weeks that, people had no patience because people are used to the games and everything where there is instant gratification.

Our software is not instant gratification kind of software. So that’s why we changed that and made it … If it is a company, they’re willing to invest because marketing people are saying, “Why are you not using the latest White Paper?” And then the sales people say, “Oh well, it was too complicated. It was buried in the portal. I just used what I had.”

In fact, there was a company that said it was so [??] for them they were in a sales meeting. This was a 24 team, and it was like how the company has grown over the last 10 years, the year that ended 2011.

Because he’s using the words of a PowerPoint presentation because he said that’s what he asked.

So that’s why we changed the model, the request of free trial, so that we can always have a conversation and tell them that this problem exists that, yes, you create [??]. We might be able to find the use because people think we can go a meeting, like Skype or something like that where they’ll exchange benefit but they won’t.

Andrew: So, Rajesh, do you in these demos that people sign up for, do you create the first wits with them?

Rajesh: Yeah, we had a program called the Jump Start Program …

Andrew: Okay.

Rajesh: … where we show them, because we have been doing this for many, many clients. Sometimes all it requires is open them, trigger them to start thinking in wits. And they’re often returning. They’re like, “Oh, we can create this for that. We can create wits for that.” By the end of the demo they start using the word, wit, as if they invented it.

Andrew: I see. And so that’s why every customer goes through that, but that’s not a cheap thing to do, it’s expensive.

Rajesh: Yeah.

Andrew: What do you charge to make up the money for it?

Rajesh: $300 per person per year.

Andrew: I see. And that’s why you can afford to do onboarding, even for free customers?

Rajesh: I’m not [??] Come to us, anyway. And then we have been building an ecosystem of partners because there are sales trainers, sales consultants. They all want people to use what they produce as the material. Today the sales consultants come in and then they do a lot of work for them. This is the way to answer the question. And then they leave, people will do whatever they were doing before. So all the messaging, everything, whatever they…

Andrew: So how do you make sure that that doesn’t happen to you? If you’re training one person who signed up for a free demo, you want the other people on this team to use it. How do you make sure that they use it, and you don’t just end up being forgotten by the rest of the team?

Rajesh: Yeah, first of all, the moment they experience the convenience, Andrew, they will use it. Because right now they don’t want the inconvenience of creating the vids. But if the vids were already created, it’s super convenient. Like for example, [??] is one of our customers. They use it for their recruitment team. It’s very similar to sales. They are not selling products, but they are selling the company to potential candidates. And they have the same question. What is our policy for that? How do you do this? What are my career prospects? What happens then? They had a bunch of things, all the recruiters they want to keep on moving the cycle. But now they’ll drag and drop, drag and drop when they make it very, very quick.

Andrew: I see. And this seems like a model that works really well for enterprise. If you’re selling high ticket items, that aren’t easy to understand to big companies, you’re better off giving them a free demo, or free… Yeah, free demo, than even giving them the free software.

Rajesh: Yeah. They can sign up for a trial. We give them trial like Oracle is doing a trial with us. So and we always insist that they sign up for a jump-start program. Sometimes they have the budget, there are a few customers who says, “Yeah, I think it makes sense. Why don’t we create the vids?” Because they want sales people to succeed. And if they don’t give them the help, everyone is busy. They won’t create their own vids. Once they see this in action, they will create their own vids.

Andrew: Okay, so the first customers came in from people you were giving demos to, and you were basically giving a demo to anyone with a pulse, but I imagine you started to zero in on your target audience.

Rajesh: Yes.

Andrew: The next group of customers could continue to come that way. I notice that your website is hosted on hub spot. Hub spot is all about inbound marketing. Is inbound marketing another channel for you?

Rajesh: Yeah, we have produced crowdsourced e-books. We produce one every six to eight weeks. And then our books are downloading like Expert Prospecting Tips. One of the e-books. There were 20 or 25 people that give one page tips on how to prospect better. So…

Andrew: So you go to them and you say, “What’s one tip you have for prospecting better?” You take that answer, you get all the answers that you get, you compile them into a book, and that book then becomes a [??] tool. So you put it up on your site, using the Hub spot template which we all know and love on the left side you show the book, on the right side their name, e-mail, etc. And that’s how you collect email addresses, right?

Rajesh: Yes, that’s exactly right.

Andrew: So how do you convert those email addresses into customers?

Rajesh: Yeah, and then, not all of them are potential leads for us. Because sometimes they just want the book.

Andrew: Right.

Rajesh: So you just give it to them, then we don’t bother them. We are okay with it. Because the books are not small. They are 100 plus pages each.

Andrew: Okay.

Rajesh: So it’s like, somebody would have paid money for it. So it’s like the high quality books.

Andrew: What’s the best book, if I wanted to look at one of your examples?

Rajesh: Expert Prospecting Tips. So I’ll send it to you. I have a link for that. So it takes me like hardly any time to send it.

Andrew: Okay. Do you want it put it right now into Skype chat?

Rajesh: Yeah, I will do that.

Andrew: Yeah, after you’re done, I see you’re focused. Okay, so that’s been one of your best ones.

Rajesh: Yeah, then now we are doing a book called how to find great talent. So we’re going after all the big name HR people. And then ask, what is one tip that will help your team to find great talent? And everybody has an answer or opinion. And sometimes they are very, very strong opinions on that topic and our job is to capture it and assemble it, package it. And make it look like really million buck book. And then we give it away.

Andrew: How do you get their answers to be useful? As an interviewer I know sometimes I have to massage the questions, massage the answers until I get something that is both interesting and useful for the audience. What’s your process of getting these answers from people and making sure that they are good?

Rajesh: Yeah, so the biggest creation happens in the kind of people we go to get the answers from. So what happens is if we go to big brand names, they care for their personal brands. So most of the time, i would say 80% of the times the answers are very good. 205 of the time, it’s not that they are not good, they are repetitive. They don’t know what other answers were given by other people. That’s when we work with them and say this has already been contributed. What else do you think will happen? And that’s back and forth back and forth and finally we will get there.

Andrew: I see. I see now on the right margin. I don’t know how I missed this before. Witty Parrot E-Book- sales productivity tips from experts, Witty Parrot E-Book- building highly responsible sales team, Witty Parrot E-Book – Guide to Sales and Marketing Messaging Alignment. So how do you, you are right there. I could see a lot of different people going for this book who aren’t a good fit for you. What do you do to pre-screen them so that you are not wasting time on people who aren’t a good fit?

Rajesh: Yeah, actually they have spot renew marketing automation software that helps us do this because along with the book they will also get, Do you want to see a demo or anything and if they don’t see the demo then we know that they came for the book, which is fine because they might share the book with someone who might be interested in our product. So it is never going to go away.

Andrew: So you just make it available for them. The sales presentation, the demo, if they want it they get it, if not, no.

Rajesh: Yes, Correct. And Sometime people specifically request a free trial. And those are hot leads for us. Every day we get a few of them and we focus on it. E-books are great for branding and then a little bit of lead generation. Remember that I mentioned people are not aware that we exist. So that’s the biggest problem for any start up. Raising awareness that they exist. So the E-books help us solve that problem.

Andrew: I can see that. I love this whole model. This whole thing. I can’t believe it. I know about this before. Obviously I knew about the model I just didn’t realize that you are using it this way is what I mean.

Rajesh: Yeah. It’s a long time for us. We have blog posts and personally I have a blog that 1900 blog posts. And Witty parrot has 300.

Andrew: I saw that. Your site gives you guys more traffic than anything else.

Rajesh: Yes.

Andrew: Your number one source of traffic is your personal blog, right?

Rajesh: Yes.

Andrew: The number two is something called smartSellingTools.com. Let’s see what’s that is.

Rajesh: Yeah, it’s a conglomerate of things that they do as awards for cool software companies. They help a lot of startups raise their happiness.

Andrew: I am writing Sachit [SP] to thank him for introducing me to you. How did I not know about you? This is amazing. The sales people. So now I understand how you get people in, how you built the product. I understand how you get people in the door. So now I understand how you get them to give in their email addresses so that you have an opportunity to pitch them on a demo, which will convert them. How do you get sales people who can sell these strangers on a product that costs $300 a year per person

Rajesh: Yeah. Honestly speaking, Andrew, we never had a problem with pricing. In fact some of them say, why is it so cheap? So that’s a good question. We don’t want to be greedy or anything we want to first sell that $300. The good part about these products that once they see it in action it’s like a see it to believe it kind of software. Their head will start spinning with so many ideas that they will start telling us have you thought of this? Have you thought of that? It’s the awareness

Andrew: So the kick start process is designed to get that ha-ha moment. Right. So is it that you scripted that kick start thing because you still have to put that thought in people’s head, this is how it works.

Rajesh: Yeah and even there it becomes very simple. We asked them what are the top ten questions that people ask you and for which you have to respond quickly. And the best feedback I have got Andrew has nothing to do with the software. There was one sales people, I asked him, why do you love our software. He said I love your software because I can spend more times with my kids. And that for me was felt really good because he used to take back work home like all of us and go back and then there are questions, I have to answer 16 questions and then he used to wait until his kids go to bed and then he wakes up and do it. Now he don’t have to do it. While they are on the call, okay let me make an introduction. I’ll drag and drop and be done.

Andrew: This is Sachit. Sachit, I wanted to thank Sachit in person. He’s right here in the office. Do you see that? You’ve got to get a little closer, even further.

Sachit: Hi.

Andrew: I wanted to thank you on camera for introducing me to him, I had no idea this business existed.

Sachit: Awesome, right? This is great.

Andrew: And before the interview started, I walked over to Sachit. I said, is this real? What’s going on here. Thank you, Sachit. I wanted to thank you on camera and let everyone know that’s how I met you, that’s how I met Rajesh.

Rajesh: Sachit is awesome. He’s also helping me with the “Thank You Card” project. I’m really excited about it.

Andrew: What’s the “Thank You Card” project?

Rajesh: So, it’s basically, I started speaking on the topic of generosity.

Andrew: All right, he’s going back. All right, thank you, Sachit.

Rajesh: So, I started telling people – people always ask me, “What is one thing that will make an entrepreneur successful?” It’s a common question people ask, and there’s no right answer for it. Each entrepreneur is different, but I think I have an answer, like every successful entrepreneur will have an answer. It will come from my world view. I think that every entrepreneur has an oversupply of good help that he or she can access at will, I think there is a really good chance that they will succeed. What do you mean by good help? Like me, I figured out what I didn’t know. And then I was thinking, “I wish I knew this.” Or “I wish I knew someone who knew this. And at that time, at will, if I could combine and demand that help, even if that is for a fee, then I’ll be mostly successful.

So, then how do you get that help at will? Right? So, for that to happen just like in a bank, you will deposit money and you can withdraw it at will. Suppose if you deposit good karma, lots and lots of it, you can access it at will. Which means, way before you become an entrepreneur, you’ll help hundreds of entrepreneurs to succeed. So, you have a bank of good help available to you, to draw upon you. And that was the topic of my talk which is called, “Practical Generosity Quotient.” Like IQ, EQ, there’s a practical generosity quotient which is the ratio of capacity you added to the capacity that was needed by someone to move the needle in whatever else they were doing.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s one of the things you told April too in the pre-interview. You said, “I make a daily ritual of making the needle move for someone, every single day, I want to move -” – so what does that mean? Actually, here through an example maybe you could explain. How did you help someone today move the needle?

Rajesh: Yeah, somebody was looking to write a book. So, basically because I’ve written 14 books, I get this, “You know, I’m thinking about this idea to write a book. Where do I get started.” So, I have dozens and dozens of resources plus a template which has worked very well for me, a book proposal template for me. I’ve used many templates, but this one is a killer app, just like you mentioned with Andrew’s Welcome Gate. You did a lot of [??] and then you pick the one that works great. And I have one secret template, no longer secret because anybody who asks, I will give it to them. But I’ve got it covered as a [??] and it took me literally 15 seconds to drive and drop the weight: And this is how you get started, and these are the 25 steps, this is the proposal template. Why don’t you fill this out for me, and then I’d be happy to take a look. It helps to improve things.

Just like you have Andrew’s Welcome Gate, I have a concept called Welcome Herder. Because hundreds of people ask me this question. I don’t know who is serious and who is not. If I send them this weight[??] , if they actually complete while studying the weight, and really proposal template which only one out of 100 will complete, then I can spend time with them, so I can scale my personal 1 on 1 time.

Andrew: I see.

Rajesh: [??] are very happy with the information. Because they were not interested in doing it anyway, the timing was not right, they don’t have everything, they will re-visit it later. But this Welcome Hurdle, helps me pre-screen who I spend more time with.

Andrew: I’ve seen a lot of successful people do this: They want to help people, but just the right ones. So, what they do is when someone asks for something, they put what you call a welcome hurdle, which is some obstacle that makes sure that only people who are serious will get through. Okay. So, that’s the first, what’s the second?

Rajesh: Yeah. So, again, on my side, people keep pitching ideas and say, “I’m going for funding and I want to see how to get it right.” I have a concept called, “laying the breadcrumbs.” So, I take them through the breadcrumbs concept, because if you want to explain an idea to someone, sometimes we start with where we are. And, that’s the biggest mistake that we can do. We have to start with where they are, and bring them to where we are. So, laying the bread crumbs means you go to where they are. That means, immediately, if there is a salesperson, you are to use an analogy that sales people will understand. Thus, laying the bread crumbs. And then we keep going one after the other. Say I have an entrepreneur. Lay the bread crumbs so that he can explain it far better than what he was able…

Andrew: I see. Oh, it looks like we just had some issue with the connection. Let’s give it a moment to connect. There we go. Sorry, we lost the connection there for a moment. Alright, I think I see what you are talking about. So, you want the “Welcome Hurdle” and “Laying the Bread Crumbs.” And, what you are saying is the reason that you connect with so many good people is you’ve laid the bread crumbs with them over the years.

Rajesh: Yes.

Andrew: And that’s why you are able to run these companies. Because you have all of these connections that allow you to draw on the right people to have them help you run your company.

Rajesh: Yes. People always ask me “How do you do so many things?” Like being involved in so many companies. And, I write books, I write for Huffington Post, Winterbeat [SP], and RealStory.com. Plus, I teach courses, and I create books like “Gratitude” and those kinds of things. I actually created a course about it. It’s called “The Art of Leverage”. Like, how do we think in leverage? I’ll give you an example. So, whatever it is that you want to do, whatever it is, something meaningful. I always ask, “Andrew, what would be second reason for doing it?

Andrew: Okay. Oh no, it’s the connection again. By the way, I’m trying to look up “The Art of Leverage”, and, I don’t see it here. Sorry, so you were saying, what’s another reason.

Rajesh: So I ask them, “What’s another reason?” As I push people, they can come up with five to seven reasons for doing the exact same thing.

Andrew: Okay.

Rajesh: And then I say, “That’s the first principle in leverage.” Find multiple outcomes for the same activity. And like that, I’ll …

Develop them. So, I always say, the first thing is find three reasons to do something. It should become second nature. As you start thinking “Why am I reading this book?”, what would be a second reason to do it? Maybe I can post a blog about it. There’s your second reason.

Andrew: I’m losing you here? What’s the reason why you would want to have all of these different reasons?

Rajesh: Because time is finite. There are only 24 hours in a day. If you can get multiple outcomes for the same hour that you are spending you automatically have higher leverage.

Andrew: I see. So, you want them, and you want us and anyone else who is taking that course to understand that if you are going to do something anyway, make sure that you have multiple outcomes that you can get form doing it. Five different outcomes is what you are aiming for. That’s how you can increase your productivity.

Rajesh: Yes.

Andrew: Got it. All right. I feel like I’m looking at the time here and I know that we have gone over an hour, and I should call it a day with this interview. But, I don’t want to end it without saying “thank you” to you for doing this interview. How do you feel it went for you?

Rajesh: It was awesome.

Andrew: Did it move the needle for you?

Rajesh: Yes. Very much. You are an amazing interviewer, so, It doesn’t even seem that we’ve spent an hour.

Andrew: Good. I’m glad at the way you took my issue before we started. I really appreciate the way that you were open for me saying “What is this? This company is too small.” And then you came back. And I find that really good people like that. They like when I get really open with them, instead of trying to protect feelings excessively.

Rajesh: Yeah. It was that way exactly because we had a private company. There is no way for people to know, and there is no customer information. There is no way to Kaiser is a customer, Viamet [SP] is a customer, Siemens is a customer, so there is no way to say that.

Andrew: Are those companies Witty customers?

Rajesh: Yes.

Andrew: Ah, impressive. You can put it up on the site.

Rajesh: Because they are big companies, it would go through a PR cycle. Months and months.

Andrew: Ah, yes, you can’t just put it up.

Rajesh: Yeah. We don’t want to do anything that we shouldn’t be doing.

Andrew: I even looked at your traffic. Your traffic is not that large, but that makes sense, considering you are selling to Enterprise. It’s pretty lumpy, which means that you get pretty big traffic swings. I’m looking at SimilarWeb. So, that didn’t help tell me anything. But, talking to you did tell me something. I’m really glad that we were able to do this interview. I should say to anyone out there. If you are interested in doing interviews, and you are wondering how to do it, I will help you do interviews. I really believe that the best way to get to know someone is to ask them questions. Right? Yes, you can do a lot of research online, but as you saw, all my research and all my staff here wasn’t able to help me understand this company nearly as much as one conversation.

And, so, if there is someone out there that you admire, and you want to learn from them, and you want to spread what you learn to the wider audience, I’m want to help you do it. I’m trying to figure out exactly how. But I’m starting already with the little that I can do to make sure that you are up and running. Wait, why do I make me sound so small. I will make sure you know how to interview. Here’s all you have to do. Go to InterviewYourHeroes.com, and I’ll help you out. I want to see lots of people interview people that they admire.

Of course, the company and the site that we have just been talking about is Witty Parrot. And, its available at wittyparrot.com for anyone who wants to check it out. I urge anyone who’s out there, even if you are not into this product and you think it’s not for you, I think you should at least take a look at the website to see how they are marketing it and what they are doing because I think it’s really clever. And, I didn’t discover a lot of what was going on there until we had this conversation. All right. Thank you so much for doing this.

Rajesh: Thank you so much for taking the time. I enjoyed it. It was a sheer pleasure.

Andrew: It’s great to move the needle together. Thank you all for being a part of it. Again, if you have anything of value out of this, find a way to say thank you. I’m going to do it right now. Thank you so much for doing this interview.

Rajesh: You are very welcome. And, thank you so much to you, too.

Andrew: Right on! Thank you all for being a part of it! Bye guys.


  • Dave

    Congrats Rajesh, Great product! #motivation #sticktoit #dontquick #wittyparrot

  • Wonderful story Rajesh. Rocking tip on getting leverage form what you do! Thanks for sharing.

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