Podcast with Sharad Part 4
Summary with Sharad Part 4:
Discover the keys to unlocking innovation and success inthe digital age with Sharad Gupta in this thought-provoking podcast episode.
From embracing failure and fostering a culture of learning to the
transformative power of decentralized decision-making, Sharad shares valuable
insights on driving change and staying ahead in today's fast-paced world. Find
out why being the best in your field trumps chasing new careers, and explore
the fascinating possibilities of Web 3.0 and cryptocurrencies. Don't miss this
enlightening conversation that will inspire you to think differently about your
career and the future of technology
In this episode of the podcast with Sharad (Part 4), thediscussion revolves around encouraging leaders to embrace learning and
experimentation, fostering a culture of innovation within organizations, and
reimagining performance management. They also explore the career choices
individuals can make amidst automation and the role of technology in enhancing
traditional businesses. The conversation touches upon the book "Bitcoin
Standard" and its insights into the future of Web 3.0 and decentralized
decision-making. Additionally, they highlight essential software applications
such as HubSpot and SimilarWeb, along with the importance of curiosity,
boldness, and humility in pursuing a successful career in the digital space.
The episode concludes by emphasizing the significance of passion and
risk-taking when pursuing ideas and embracing new opportunities.
[00:00:00] Andrew Liew: so the interesting problem is howdo we encourage leaders to say it's okay to feel like you say take this
project, learn along the way even if you feel I recognize to, at least you try
applying machine learning to this problem, we might not get a.
[00:00:14] Andrew Liew: I got 70% accuracy or 80%robustness, but, oh, we learned that, oh, there's a need to detect this
fraudulent pattern. We just do not know how to accurately diagnose it. What's
your view on that?
[00:00:27] Sharad Gupta: And I think it's, it ties on toa business objective, just add people KPI in business objective how did you
improve your business process, right? And what is the reward people for 20, 30,
40% of their time in doing those initiatives and bringing real change. Even if
it is failed then having the failure comes most of the time because you are
doing it or the heck of it.
[00:00:55] Sharad Gupta: If it is a general, genuineproblem your failure would come either you [00:01:00]don't get the support or you don't get the technology right. At least you would
experiment and you would learn and that's one part, aspect of it. The other
aspect which I believe is also the performance management within organization
the way it is done today, right?
[00:01:16] Sharad Gupta: Annual review hardly capturesthe initiative person is showing. True. Yes, if you have a good boss, he has a
good visibility and he's aligned with what you're doing will reward for it. But
if the boss is not interested, and you are doing it, and you are producing, it
may not be recorded.
[00:01:34] Sharad Gupta: So I, I would say culturalchange in the way the culture and the human resources or the review is done,
and the tools to do that review, will also matter a lot
[00:01:46] Andrew Liew: cool talking along that line. Ialways have this interesting question. I always ask my guests in terms of Skill
sets so let's say, you know in singapore.
[00:01:55] Andrew Liew: There's this chicken rice hawker,right? And let's say his job is being [00:02:00]automated by a vending machine We can now make pre packaged chicken rice food
You know where you've seen on the blocks of housing development block
apartments or condos Now he would have two choices to go like to career path.
[00:02:15] Andrew Liew: One is to be a data scientist orcoder or soft engineer. That means using math or coding to solve a complex
problem. Or the other way, he could actually go into the extreme spectrum of
doing soft skills being a people manager, like being more nuances that. Like
you said, the level 3 or level 4 AI, it's not even being able to do that.
[00:02:37] Andrew Liew: Where do you think this chickenrice hawker should go? And what are the considerations that you advise this
chicken rice hawker?
[00:02:43] Sharad Gupta: Okay interesting question, veryinteresting question, and I met the guy yesterday when I was buying my grocery
and he says, he runs a small shop, and the, And I asked him a naive question
saying that, Hey, what about Lazada now? Why people are coming to you?[00:03:00] And his point was, Lazada doesn't tell youwhy a particular vegetable is good, and why it is, and they don't inform you
when the freshest vegetable or fruit has come, and come and collect.
[00:03:13] Sharad Gupta: And I have my personal repo. Idescribe them that select this versus that. So that kind of personal idea. And
the value add content, add in your case, which you are giving a chicken rice
hawker can do maybe he can talk about five different type of chicken rice,
which are there on social media or on WhatsApp and create his own group.
[00:03:40] Sharad Gupta: And to make people aware thatthese are the five, 10 things, and he probably, he can Connect those five, 10
different vending machines or people who are doing it. So using technology to
their advi, to their advantage in the business, which you are in is more
important. And that's my view because not everybody should be data [00:04:00] scientists.
[00:04:00] Sharad Gupta: If you're a chicken rice hawker,you should be the number one chicken rice hawker, you should not be the. The
millionth worst data scientist. So I think that's my view that why don't you be
utilize technology and do be the best chicken rice hawker with the help of
technology rather than data scientists.
[00:04:21] Sharad Gupta: That's my view. Of course thereis certain jobs which will get eliminated completely and you don't have time to
really adopt. Yes. But in general, that's a thought process I will
[00:04:32] Andrew Liew: take. So in general, like youadvise this chicken rice hawker to think out of the box he doesn't need to
necessarily have to be a coder or AI engineer.
[00:04:41] Andrew Liew: He could basically use what he'sgood at to be like a Michelin five star chef, right? And then apply technology
to increase his reach. And eventually you will survive instead of losing out to
a vending machine.
[00:04:57] Sharad Gupta: Yes, because the vending machinecannot tell [00:05:00] you why a particularchicken rice is. And what are the five different chicken rice hawkers which are
making better rice than this machine?
[00:05:08] Sharad Gupta: And what are the differentingredients? What are the health benefits? And talk more about it.
[00:05:13] Andrew Liew: Cool. That's fascinating. So letme ask you the next interesting question. What is your recent most interesting
or best book that you read about digital transformation and why?
[00:05:23] Sharad Gupta: I think I mentioned about,sorry, there is a multiple book, but I...
[00:05:28] Sharad Gupta: I read one book about aboutBitcoin by Saifuddin Amos and it's about, actually, it's not about digital
transformation, it's more around Bitcoin and how Bitcoin and crypto is going to
change the world. And that opened my eyes about Web 3. 0 revolution, which is
going to come. The kind of I think people would have a spark around internet
technology and how internet technology will change in 1994 or early 2000.
[00:05:55] Sharad Gupta: The similar revolution ishappening on Web 3. 0. [00:06:00] And that bookopened me, opened my eyes towards that. And I would highly recommend everybody.
It's just a journalist reading. You don't need to be technologists to read
this, but it will open that how even a Chinese hawker or a chicken rice hawker
can think about adopting crypto in their day to day operation, even payments
and things like that and make a better chicken rice.
[00:06:25] Andrew Liew: So you mentioned about this bookcalled Bitcoin Standard by Sephardine Amos, I'll put it on my podcast page for
all the audience, you can check it out. Coming back to that, you mentioned
about this Bitcoin standard so in your view that eventually crypto will be
almost as a tradition as traditional asset classes like bonds, equities, and
[00:06:46] Andrew Liew: What is your view on that? Yeah.
[00:06:48] Sharad Gupta: Yeah. And so asset is one, but Ithink the decentralizing of finance. Or even the organization and at some point
of time government. So decentralization of decision [00:07:00]making is a whole theme and a big theme I would say. And building trust around
it, it will be a huge deal.
[00:07:07] Sharad Gupta: Like, why do we pay? 2% to visais a big question, right? And why it is still taking tons of money to transfer
money from here to us. And those are just some minor thing, but even in COVID
time, a lot of countries took so much of policy decisions and people who took
those decisions are right or wrong.
[00:07:30] Sharad Gupta: And they are not even punishedor rewarded for taking the right decisions. And all of those things can be
better managed by these decentralized decision making tools. I would not say decentralized
finance only. But, so it has a great future. Because a lot of our society's
issues are, I believe, the bad decision making is coming because there is too
much power to too few people.
[00:07:55] Sharad Gupta: And if they are not rational orthey are self interested. It's a big problem and you can [00:08:00] create a money in a thin air, right? Andso those sort of issues I think will be solved, but it will be a painful
process because the taking power from those who have power is not so easy. But
eventually I think the right sense will prove prevail.
[00:08:17] Sharad Gupta: Cool.
[00:08:17] Andrew Liew: Okay, so that was veryinteresting thought to our audience out there. Definitely need to check out the
book, get your New Thinking Advice special. Now let's go back to the next
interesting question is what is the number one software application that you
need? Every day. And why, oh, different different applications, different day
of life and and different software.
[00:08:38] Sharad Gupta: I think HubSpot is definitely,clearly I love HubSpot for its simplicity and usage. And anybody who is in B2B
or B2C business would agree with me. So that's a fantastic tool to manage your
sales operation. And then, if you are doing you are into web analytics, and you
are trying to do competitive intelligence around, and low cost or no cost, [00:09:00] I think SimilarWeb is another good toolwhich I use.
[00:09:02] Sharad Gupta: If you are into productmanagement, AHA is a good tool which I use. And obviously, if you are a data
scientist, there are tons of. tools and I won't go there. I would say multiple
tools. Yeah. And Excel continued to be my most loving application.
[00:09:18] Andrew Liew: Yes, that's definitely I useExcel as well.
[00:09:20] Andrew Liew: That's interesting. To thosefolks out there who are really keen to start a career in the digital space to
have such an adventurous life that you just narrate to us in the beginning.
What is your top three tips for them to develop such a career?
[00:09:36] Sharad Gupta: I think number one is becurious, right?
[00:09:39] Sharad Gupta: And don't think and be curious,be bold and be humble. So if you are continuously mistaking, you are
continuously learning and you are ready to, you are open-minded about learning
from your mistakes or from others, mistake, and you are risk taking them, then
you will grow. [00:10:00] I think that's thekey.
[00:10:01] Sharad Gupta: Don't look for safe and easypath because the safety is never, is not there. It's. Think about when I
started with no, I was a risk guy and quant and and maybe a strategy and doing
marketing and it's simply that I thought I'm not going to die if I do
marketing, right? I will, worst case, I'll lose my job.
[00:10:21] Sharad Gupta: And I'll do something else. Yes.That I feel is the right attitude. Yes, it's very easy and losing job and being
self doubt for a long period of time is not easy. But I would say that's the
[00:10:36] Andrew Liew: So it's to be curious, to be boldand be humble. And how do you like, and
[00:10:42] Sharad Gupta: big amount of risk taking
[00:10:44] Andrew Liew: is important.
[00:10:44] Andrew Liew: Yes tell us more about what goesin your mind when you decide to take risks like you decide to okay i'm gonna
take the plunge this is something i gotta try or I got it covered. I don't know
what do you think?
[00:10:56] Sharad Gupta: Yeah I think it comes with apassion of [00:11:00] idea when you'repassionate about things you really don't think about risk because then even
losing looks to be good.
[00:11:07] Sharad Gupta: Not trying something looks veryodd. I think risk taking happens when you are really passionate about something
and then you are ready to do that, take that pledge. And the pain and the joy
of labor doesn't look that painful. And failure doesn't look that painful. So
[00:11:24] Andrew Liew: think about like the joy ofwinning or executing this idea So that
[00:11:30] Sharad Gupta: like for example in my case whenI you know chose to do marketing Yes, I was very bored by doing the same stuff
risk taking risk management and data science And I just wanted to you know, I
want to run away from that be I wanted to do more creative stuff You know how
digital marketing is done And with the idea that at some point in time I will
run my own business or I will help somebody to grow their business.
[00:11:55] Sharad Gupta: And because it's a real skill.It's not sitting in front of [00:12:00]computer and analyzing the numbers. Although it has its own benefit. So I'm
saying like I was very passionate about and curious to learn certain things.
And then then the part becomes very easy and the learning journey becomes much
[00:12:13] Sharad Gupta: That's what I would say. Then inTukutaki, I was very passionate about... Okay, fine I'm more from business
background, but how AI driven product has to be built, how the useful product
has to be built, how to solve real problem of people, not just sitting and
providing PPT and counseling advice.
[00:12:31] Sharad Gupta: Because I was frustrated bydoing that thing in my own life, right? So I, I realized, because then I felt,
always felt like I'm almost half useless because I give advice and, but I don't
do stuff. So you should have a mix of dissatisfaction and mix of a burning
desire to learn something because there is a why you want to do it to be really
able to do that.
[00:12:57] Sharad Gupta: Cool.
[00:12:58] Andrew Liew: That's. Let's put that into [00:13:00] context at that time so you mentionedabout trying to do marketing, trying to use it in Lazada, Foodpanda, and even
then, I'm pretty sure that there is this pressure, right? The money is burning,
it's burning, and then you know that, oh, it's gonna work. But don't you ever
thought about, wow, what happens if the money runs out and I couldn't get a
[00:13:19] Andrew Liew: Have you ever crossed that onyour mind? I'm just curious.
[00:13:21] Sharad Gupta: It crosses your mind. But evenin the job I go for the next job, people are gonna ask me like, okay, you lost
the job because money ran out in the company. But what you did is the thing
which you can earn is not the salary thing is, which you can earn, is the
impact you've created.
[00:13:39] Sharad Gupta: While our, for example, in, inour case, the burn rate were very high. We were acquiring customer 40, $50 at
that time when the order size used to be 10, $15. Yeah. And repeat, were not
uncertain. I analyzed the data. I started use my data science skill over there
as a marketer.
[00:13:58] Sharad Gupta: Generally, hardly any [00:14:00] marketer would build any attributionmodel. I build that and I found out ways to reduce the cost system at. And that
was my learning and value add at that time, right? And because it was still in
fancy how to do attribution modeling. We only, Google used to tell you that
this is your cost per click.
[00:14:18] Sharad Gupta: But what is the actualattribution was not known. But so I devised my way of utilizing my existing
data science skill and marry it with marketing and be useful there. And even if
after that I lost my job or I do something I would have. something solid to
tell and add value in the new organization.
[00:14:38] Sharad Gupta: So accident might happen, butyou should be a good driver. If you are, you say that you are, you're a bad
driver and an accident happened, then who is giving you the car to drive next?
But if you are, have been an excellent driver, accident happened none of your
[00:14:55] Andrew Liew: I really that analogy about beinga good driver, a [00:15:00] good intent andaccident happened.
[00:15:01] Andrew Liew: So you can be driving a FormulaF1 down the Grand Prix and start up, and you have limited fuel, and it's so
fast, you've got a wind, and it's a skyrocketing pitch, and then if you turn
that wheel enough, 45 degrees off, you can get into a accident, and it could be
disastrous, but you mentioned, if it happens, but because you earn that stripe,
you earn that story, and even after you recover from hospital, you can.
[00:15:26] Andrew Liew: Come back to another differentrace, right? That's a very interesting way of thinking about it. So interesting
We're coming to the end of the podcast. So last but not least What is your
request from those that is listening to this podcast? What is it that you want
your audience? To do.
[00:15:41] Sharad Gupta: Just only one advice, I'm,nowadays I'm very passionate about decentralized finance. And and having having
a leading and active sports life. Please spend more time outdoor. Please take a
sport, be it tennis or something. That, that would be one. Get a [00:16:00] life. And be. Learn about digitaltechnology, especially DeFi or more, not just Bitcoin, because a lot of time
Bitcoin is more speculative trade people do, but what is the philosophy behind?
[00:16:14] Sharad Gupta: Understand the bigger picture,where the world is going, in different technologies and develop a range of
skill, not just one. That, that helps you in connecting the dot way much better
than being just a narrow specialist. And I'm not degrading any specialism.
That's very much required.
[00:16:34] Sharad Gupta: But... And that I justprophesize in the product and that you need to have a vertical product. So I'm
not saying that, but even for building beautiful product, you need to be able
to really connect the dots, which are away from your particular narrow domain.
So I would say get a life, get a wider perspective, wider range of skillset,
and learn to look beyond whatever today, [00:17:00]learn to look what's going to come tomorrow or 10 year down the line, whatever.
[00:17:04] Sharad Gupta: technology. What are the changeshappening? And the changes are not just in technology. It's in politics,
changes in microeconomics, changes in everywhere, right? So try to have that
view. Cool. So
[00:17:15] Andrew Liew: it's more get alive, get aware ofthe world get a view, see what's going on in the world, like changes in
technology, changes in how the world works.
[00:17:23] Andrew Liew: Oh, it was really nice to havethis wonderful conversation. Thank you so much. We have come to the end of the
composition and I'm sure to press this button. Stop.