Today we are talking to Anand Thaker, the CTO and Co-Founder at Pulse Q&A. And we discuss the keys to a great relationship with your co-founder, benefits of passionate problem solvers, and how you can leverage the compounding nature of time to propel your career forward.
All of this, right here, right now, on the Modern CTO Podcast!
ABOUT Pulse Q&A:
Pulse Q&A is a platform dedicated to helping C-suite executives make better strategy, innovation and enterprise technology decisions – starting with CIOs. Today, many of these leaders still rely on one-size fits all reports to drive organizational change. We built Pulse Q&A to change that!
With real-time, bite-sized data gathered from thousands of CIOs in our community, we want to shift the focus away from analysts to the executives making these decisions in the trenches every day. We are proud of the community we have built. By giving our users access to relevant conversations and data, they can now make decisions that actually move the needle
For more information visit them at www.pulse.qa
- Interesting dynamic having remote and in person office
- Very interested in Pulse QA.
- Early on talked to 100 CTOs and CIOs. Asked what bothered them. Don’t have a lot of time. Have to read long reports to see a simple conclusion. They would like to be able to engage with peers in an easy way.
- Pulse is a community of c suite execs. Bite sized polls that allow members to ask that work in the same way. What is the priority of investing in ML next year. Send it out to the audience.
- Started out focusing on CIOs and IT decision makers. Helping executives make sense of all the products out there. 3 trillion dollars spent by software and services worldwide
- 9:00 Talking about SpaceX and Star link. Open up a space trash company
- Steve Case – Rise of the Rest. Last mile delivery. Graveyard orbits. Space becomes an interesting industry. Until now it was just exploration. Construction and Manufacturing. New areas are opening up. New company wants to open luxury hotel in space.
- What are some macro takeaways from Pulse. Didn’t know what CIOs and CTOs would discuss in the beginning. Found people didn’t just start engaging. Initially talked to them. Have had personalities that have helped them out. They had people seed content early on. Once they had seeded content they could get the community going. Discussing fell into 3 categories. Products and services. 2nd was strategy. Many CIOs come from tech background but don’t have knowledge about how to work with company strategy. 3rd was leadership questions. Increased team size. How to communicate with team. Manage their team.
- CIOs engaged on the site for different reasons. Established CIOs go on to help out others. Mike Kale from Netflix only wants to help out and give back. Other CIOs go on and write to be on the same platform as their heroes.
- Audience is decision makers. Go down to director levels.
- They don’t want to read large reports. Gartner. Was the previous service. Publish a magic quadrant. Cater to buyers and sellers. Introduces a conflict of interest.
- Gartner’s will call up other CIOs and then take the information and push it back out. With Pulse they’ve learned that while they lack time they are willing to engage if it is delivered without fluff and see the direct data. Ability to filter data at Pulse. Locations, size, industry etc.
- When they started out they only had pure data. Raw data is great but it takes some thinking to tease out details. Added insights in to the data. Relevant to the person looking at them. If you’re in manufacturing you will see manufacturing insights. Have discussions around
- People don’t want to just answer polls or ask questions. They want to share content and facilitate conversations about it.
- Joel got to meet Mayank in San Francisco.
- How does it make money? Wanted to avoid what Gartner and other such companies do. Don’t want to do buyer and seller. When they get a user in they vet the individual heavily. Must be a decision maker.
- Early on in pulse they went to survey monkey to see how they could create a poll. If you want to reach out to decision makers, how do you do that? Now they have a community of buyers that vendors want to reach. Mark questions from vendors as sponsored questions.
- Product side people want to ask questions. Roadmap and strategy. As they learn what features they will prioritize. Marketing people want to refine their marketing messages. 3rd group is people on the Finance side. Wants to understand what the buyers are thinking.
- Joel is a big fan of Pulse. How do people get to be a part of the community. www.Pulse.QA. IT decision maker. Can use email or Linkedin.
- What was the inspiration behind starting the product. Was working at Warner Bros. Start in management. Joined to build up their mobile engineering team. Game of thrones, harry potter. Lots of amazing IP. Worked on building up their mobile presence. Worked with Mayank at Cooliris back in the day. Was acquired by yahoo. Stayed in touch with Mayank.
- Really important for anybody considering starting a company. People will approach you, in return for stock why don’t you join?” When you found a company with a co=founder it’s like you’re married. Spend more time than you do with your spouse or anybody else. Had a great working relationship with Mayank. Mayank reached out with the idea.
- Went out and started drawing up ideas. Had to build prototypes. Started out with a chat bot. CIOs use messenger. Not easy to get a foothold. Specific audience. Place ads on Linkedin costs a lot of money. Started to get them in through the messenger bot.
- Applied to Y Combinator – winter 2018. Got some seed funding through true ventures.
- Found and run companies because the challenges are great. It makes life exciting. Prefers startups to really large companies.
- Always looking for engineering talent. Good full-stack engineers. Always competing with Google and Facebook. Not always possible with a startup.
- Hire people who are excited about the problem you are solving. Have gone away from vocational training over the years. There’s so much talent out there who have no background in comp sci but would like to be trained on technology of the future.
- Everyone sooner or later will have to deal with technology.
- What are you most excited about? Audience likes to engage in different ways. Noticed that they like to engage in different times. Refines the system that engages them where and when they want to be engaged. Chatbot, Chrome Plugin. Want to fit in to the user workflow. Want to understand what topics and refine the feed.
- The power of AI is in the small increments where you refine things over time. The compounding nature of time.
- A lot of people look back and regret that they didn’t put habits in to place.