EP 314 – Nirali Zaveri – CEO of Friz – We Want to Simplify the Workflow of a Social Media Manager

by | Feb 21, 2024

In this episode of the Asia Tech Podcast, we spoke with ⁠Nirali Zaveri⁠, co-founder and CEO of ⁠Friz⁠, about her transition from a corporate job, to founding a neobank for freelancers to pivoting towards a SaaS platform for marketing tech. Nirali discusses the challenges of scaling her initial venture, the strategic decision to pivot, and the lessons learned from being part of Y Combinator. 
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Some of the topics that Nirali covered in detail:

  • The Power of the Ecosystem and Community
  • The Startup Journey Is a Continuous Learning Curve
  • Pivoting Is Not a Sign of Failure but a Step Towards Finding the Right Path
  • The Importance of Being Customer Centric
  • The Role of Accelerators in Shaping Founders and Startups

Some other titles we considered for this episode, but ultimately rejected:

 
  1. That Passion Is Really Different When You Can Use Your Own Product
  2. The Interface of the Internet is Going to Change Very Soon
  3. It’s Super Critical That Everything Gets Discussed
  4. They Scaled Their Learning Curve Very Quickly
  5. Be Willing to Fail Publicly
Read the best-effort transcript

Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):

Michael Waitze 0:05
Let’s do it. Hi, this is Michael Waitze. And welcome back to the Asia Tech Podcast. Nirali Zaveri, a co-Founder and CEO of Friz is with us today. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Let’s give our listeners a little bit of your background for some context.

Nirali Zaveri 0:22
Awesome. Thanks for having me, Michael. I am someone that’s been building startups since 2020. I really enjoy the startup space, mainly because it allows me to have interactions with so many different aspects of actually working with customers. So before this, I was working in a corporate and kind of just felt that ah, challenging myself wanting to build something. And watching people really interact with that product and control different aspects of the product and marketing, etc. So yeah, that was the main reason why I started building companies to begin with. I started my journey as a founder building a neobank for freelancers. That was mainly because of my FinTech background and learned a lot during that wasn’t super successful in terms of scaling that beyond 5000 customers. But that taught myself and my co founder a lot of interesting things. And then since then, we’ve pivoted into building SAS services for marketing tech.

Michael Waitze 1:23
You’re in Singapore?

Nirali Zaveri 1:24
Yes. Yes, that’s right.

Michael Waitze 1:26
And were you working for this corporate in Singapore?

Nirali Zaveri 1:28
Yes, I was. Yeah.

Michael Waitze 1:29
So look, I worked at a corporate for 20 something years, it almost destroyed my soul. So I’m always proud. And I say this a lot on the show. But I’m always so happy and so proud for people when they’re like, I did this for a few years. And then I was like enough of that. But is it easy to get? What’s the right word caught up into the kind of startup ecosystem in Singapore, like when you go out with your friends and stuff like that, and you’re sitting on like, clubs, street or wherever. And you hear people talking about I founded this, I failed at that. And you’re thinking I could do that, too? Like, is that something that happened to you?

Nirali Zaveri 1:59
Um, definitely. So I was, I had a lot of friends that were founders themselves, and really, really inspiring to hear their stories to hear what life was like, I think there was just so much happening. And they were tackling so many different challenges, whether it was hiring related legal marketing product. And I think that’s what really inspired me because it felt like they were pushing themselves so much. And also being able to access rooms and conversations that the corporate employee doesn’t get access to, mainly because they have kind of scale that learning curve very quickly. So that’s, I think, what really pushed me into into wanting to learn more about the startup space. During my time at the corporate as well, I had the chance of working with many startups. So I think the corporate in terms of whether they should be acquiring certain startups, was also working on partnering and making sure the corporates products could be integrated better with the startup ecosystem. So all of those different experiences, I think, really triggered them for me. So

Michael Waitze 3:09
talk to me about this idea of building a neobank. I mean, getting 5000 customers is not small, I always say it’s not nothing, right. But you decided in the middle with your co founder, who I presume you stayed with? Yeah, we both kind of had this conversation and thought, are we doing the right thing? Let’s pivot to something else. I want to go through this pivot process, right? Because a lot of people mentioned it, but don’t really talk about, like, what that’s really like to sit with someone to go. That’s the thing we focused on for however many times over many years, we were wrong. No, let’s do this thing instead, like what is that? Like?

Nirali Zaveri 3:40
I get asked this a lot, especially in the Asian context. It’s actually very, very normal for companies to pivot in the Silicon Valley like us partners. And they’re working on different things every single week at many times, because as founders, we get those signals, it’s about whether we choose to hear them or not. Yeah, the main thing that caused us to seriously think about pivoting was that we were growing the business. But we had experimented through a variety of different channels on how to monetize from the customers, and how to make the model itself sustainable, I think a period where there was a lot of free money floating around. And so fintechs were really kind of being very gung ho in terms of growth and allocating a lot of capital to grow quickly, but not really thinking about those problems of unit economics, of monetizing the customers and making the revenue model sustainable. We spent two years trying to make our revenue model sustainable, and just couldn’t find a way through. And then coupled with that there was some operational challenges that we faced as well, because a lot of the FinTech ecosystem actually requires partnering with different players. years. And we felt like we didn’t have very strong partners who could help us scale outside of Singapore, into Southeast Asia. And at one point, we were integrated with six different providers for six different aspects of the product. And we felt like we just completely lost control of a final experience was like for customers. And it just didn’t feel like an organic, good way to get product market fit. So yeah, a lot of those things came together. And I think you as founders know when something is not working, and it’s the best tool to move on in terms of making sure you’re being truly your employees, your customers, as well as your investors. That was the decision. I mean, what led to that decision? In terms of the process itself? I think it was a lot of transparency with our stakeholders, so with the customers, with employees, with investors, as well. And I think you’d be surprised to find out that people are very supportive. Your logic is seen?

Michael Waitze 6:01
Yeah, it’s pretty interesting, right? And I hear this story a lot. It’s like, we decided to pivot we had to go to our investors, it was a little bit stressful, because we said, we’re gonna do this. And now we’re just gonna go way over here and do that. And most of the time, people say the investors like, that’s a better idea. Please don’t keep doing this. Go do that thing. The only thing I want to ask you is this though, if you’re building a neobank, for freelancers, were there enough of those freelancers that you thought would use the new product, or that we’re giving you feedback on? The banking thing is great, but what I really need is some AI social media stuff to help me promote myself. Do you know what I mean? Were they part of the clues that you got?

Nirali Zaveri 6:37
Absolutely. So what we realized was that unless we were helping our customers make money themselves, there’s going to be really difficult to monetize from these users, mainly because their work is so irregular, they also don’t mind spending a lot of time finding a solution that’s free. So it was really difficult to make sure we translated that value to them. And what working with freelancers really taught us was that the value proposition and the amount of time money, whatever it is that you’re saving your end customer has to be significant enough for them to come back and pay whether it’s a subscription fee, or like pay any kind of fee in the process. And I think it’s quite surprising how many businesses many startups have sidestepped this entire conversation managed to raise a lot of capital. And then by the time they’re at their series D F stage, they realize, hey, actually, this, this business inherently doesn’t work. Yeah, it’s just so much more painful for everyone. To kind of figure out how to make things work. I don’t personally see anything wrong with it just really quickly, learning those lessons and moving on. And I think even the right investors appreciate that skill set. Yeah,

Michael Waitze 7:57
in a way, it’s like an annulment, versus a 25 year later divorce, which is just so painful, and almost like this isn’t working. Right. Okay, you go your way, I’m gonna go. Let’s start this whole thing over again. So now that you’ve moved into this AI world, like, were you experimenting with AI and generative AI before you started building this side of the business? And I guess, if you were, what was the thing that interested you the most about it, then how does that translate into the stuff that you’re doing for your new clients and new partners, really,

Nirali Zaveri 8:26
so we’re building an AI, social media manager for direct to consumer brands, in the beginning with our previous products, and our marketing flows as well, we’ve already incorporated a lot of automation in house. So we were trying to use AI to better our own processes. And you know, as people as founders, we had been trying multiple different ideas, trying to scale different businesses, my co founder, and I kind of appreciated the importance of growing different marketing channels, and also the challenges of really making sure your social media and your organic conversions and customer acquisition costs are efficient. And so we really tapped on the experiences that we had as founders to pivot in this direction. And it’s been super meaningful because we are really committed to building a product that we love using ourselves. Of course, I think that passion is really different when you can use your own product.

Michael Waitze 9:25
I could not agree with you more like I do the same thing for my business. I like to do things for myself, right? That then I can translate to what I do for other people that work with me. And it’s so much more exciting when I do develop something on my own. And then I can sell it to you. It’s not so much the sales part is that you buy into it more than anything else. Were you involved at DTC brands. So this is a very uniquely ecommerce thing. Were you involved at all in the E commerce space before that if if even if you were like, What have you learned about DTC brands that you didn’t know beforehand? And then how does the AI get applied to what they’re doing precisely?

Nirali Zaveri 10:01
Sure. So I haven’t directly worked on growing an E commerce brand in the past. But I think what I can appreciate as as a founder and a business owner is that you have to be constantly trying multiple different channels from a marketing perspective. And honestly, if you look at a lot of the clutter and the noise that’s out there, a lot of different marketing channels are dying out. Yeah. So it’s, you know, Google search, SEO, marketing, through content marketing through a using referals, etc. There’s just so much noise out there that it’s increasingly hard for these brands to acquire customers. If you look at how people are interacting with the internet, I think the interface of the internet is going to change very, very soon.

Michael Waitze 10:56
Yeah, drastically, actually. Right? Exactly.

Nirali Zaveri 10:59
With AI, we’re going to be using voice assistants a lot more, we’ll probably be using more AI as well. And search as we know it is going to really change. So I think that there are just lots of different things that are going to impact product discovery in the next few years to come. It might be even sooner than that. And that’s what makes this problem very, very interesting to solve and very urgent to solve as well. In terms of the main insights that we’ve had with direct to consumer brands, I think the ability to make a product shine on social media is the best way to to go viral to make your brand known and the best way to acquire loyal customers. So that’s the reason why we’re solving for this marketing problem through this solution. Yeah,

Michael Waitze 11:48
I mean, one of the things that I’ve said for years now is that a lot of startups and startup advisors, frankly, would advise startups and say, your biggest problem is raising capital and managing your money. And I kind of almost completely disagree with this. I always say the biggest problem for any startup is discovery. Right? Because you’re just operating in a vacuum. And sure, maybe there is a finance thing related to this. But more importantly, it’s like, how do people even know you’re out there doing your thing? And I think it’s the same thing with these DTC brands. Right. But let’s back up a little bit. How, what’s your most effective marketing channel? Right? In other words, how do people know that you are doing what you’re doing? Yeah,

Nirali Zaveri 12:24
we’re in this process of just testing out a bunch of different channels at the moment, the channel that’s worked out really well for us is tick tock videos. And yeah, just just kind of talking about the product. A lot of marketers and social media, I guess, not not really influencers, but people that work on social media are constantly on tick tock bills. And so it’s a great way to get their attention to also get their feedback and have them start using our product.

Michael Waitze 12:56
Have you thought about? And I’m sure you have, like, Have you contacted companies like new brands and stuff like that, where they just have they’re consolidating all these DTC brands and using them and companies like them, as a marketing channel into all of their brands, as well as kind of like using your platform to kick onto their platform? Yeah.

Nirali Zaveri 13:15
Yeah, I think that’s definitely something that we’re exploring. We’re also exploring social media agencies that are working with a lot of direct to consumer brands. And they want to find a way for you to maximize their output to these customers that they have as well. So yeah, just a lot of different channels and go to market strategies that we’re testing. We went live only on the 15th of Jan, awesome, early days, but it’s very exciting.

Michael Waitze 13:46
So you mentioned AR VR and stuff like that is one of the marketing channels, but also the way we interact with the internet, per se. Now, Mehta has had the quest for a few years, they’re on iteration three, probably soon to come out with iteration four. And I hate to do this, but like now that apples come out with vision Pro, even though the functionality is more limited, I think then quest if you actually look at it, it’s apple, so people are starting to pay attention to it. Your smile smiling, but how do you think that impacts what’s going to happen with our interaction with the internet as well, particularly in the context of AI, right, that virtual world combined with how you can create artificially intelligent backgrounds and existences, how does that play into the stuff that you’re doing as well?

Nirali Zaveri 14:29
Yeah, I think the most important thing from a marketer’s perspective is attention share Yeah, yeah. Are people want to be spending most of their time and it’s a great thing that I see all of this hardware and improvements as a way for people to be spending more time on you know, in the digital in the digital world. So it’s a great thing that there are all these resources that are driven towards automating and figuring out ways to for was more on digital marketing in general, right? I think the best role or the best position that someone can take right now as a marketer is to future proof your brand. So make sure you’re present on as many platforms as possible. Don’t make any major bets on any one player, just, I think spread your risk. Go broad, repurpose content across many different channels, and hope for the best. And I think ultimately, whoever wins in the tech world does win. But what that has done is kind of raised the it’s enabled a lot more interaction for brands, and ultimately grown the size of the pie. So yeah, I think we’re not making any specific bets on any one player, but we’re making sure our functionality is quite cross functional across social media platforms, across formats. And I think that’s the best chance that we can give to direct to consumer brands.

Michael Waitze 16:00
Yeah, I don’t disagree with you, I think a lot about how do I know if I should focus on Tik Tok? If I should focus on I mean, you know, 10 years ago would have been do I focus on Vine, it’s like, I don’t know what’s going to be around. I just have to know that, like, I’m creating content. That is for social media. And like you, like you said, I don’t want to make a bet on where it’s gonna go. Just that it is going to go everywhere until it works. And then where it works, I double down, right? Can you walk me through? If I’m a DTC brand, just what it’s like, even in a generic way, if I interact with frizz, what do I do? What do I get? What do I learn? And then what’s the prospective output? For me that’s going to help my brand if you know what I mean? In other words, on day one, what do I do and then on day, 10, where am I kind of thing.

Nirali Zaveri 16:44
So the hope is that a DDC brand can automate them hand over a lot of tasks to the first platform. And hopefully, that gives that frees up more time for them to engage with customers directly, and maybe have live events and focus more time on things that require in person or face to face interaction more, right. As a brand, you will just sign up and all you have to do is give us a one liner about your product, you upload your logo, tell us what your fonts are. And that allows us to create a personalized marketing strategy for your company. That marketing strategy is what feeds into all the context for the content that’s created on the platform. So you can set up in less than five minutes. And from there on, we help you to we actually create suggestions for posts that should go live on your Instagram and your Facebook. And we’re constantly adding platforms to that. You can also do a more detailed brainstorm if you’d like. But the idea is that your social media calendar would then be ready within an hour’s time letting you know that frees you up for days of effort, you can then go and schedule all of these posts, view everything under analytics and do more of what’s working like you should. So yeah, we just want to simplify the entire workflow of a social media manager. So different

Michael Waitze 18:06
platforms have different personalities, right? So the things that work on Tik Tok are not like the things that work on LinkedIn. I think that’s a failure. They may actually be polar opposites, right? Where LinkedIn is very professional or meant to be in Tik Tok is kind of whimsical. If I’m just making broad category distinctions. Do you have a way on the platform to be able to say I want to create for both here my logo, here’s my stuff. But create one for LinkedIn that’s more serious and one for here that’s more whimsical. And that’s just automated. So I can tell it like be a little bit funnier kind of thing. And it still gives the right output? Yeah, absolutely.

Nirali Zaveri 18:38
So we allow brands to select which platform they’re building the content for. And then in our back end, the AI is actually designed to have different tones, different kinds of structures, even in terms of figuring out what posts should we’ll do best on on different platforms. We also enable people to repurpose content. So let’s say you know you have a larger form of video content, you can cut that down and break that up and you know, share that on smaller medium, smaller video mediums like tick tock meals, etc.

Michael Waitze 19:12
Let’s say I have a transcript of a video that I’ve done. And I give you that transcript. But I’ll give you just a quote from that transcript and say make a ticket, make a social media post out of this and make it kind of exciting, what kind of slightly serious is does that work as well?

Nirali Zaveri 19:26
So we do have a casual bucket called prompt a post where you can design the prompt that you want. That’s what I wanted. Okay, go ahead. It sounds if you’re querying chat GPD. But what the prompt post does is that it also combines a visual element to it. At the moment, we can only support static images, not video. But let’s say you you upload a brand image or an asset and then you you write a prompt saying hey, I want to maybe summarize this specific thing or I want to summarize this article We’re able to do that and create a caption for you, and an associated image as well. Right now we’re working on improving our canvas editor as well. But we can support many different templates, brand styles. You can replace images, you can also brainstorm text with the AI. So yeah, just just experimenting on a lot of different features and seeing what works best for brands

Michael Waitze 20:23
do you do? So you if you look at behind me, right? Obviously, this was not designed by anybody. It was designed by mid journey. Yeah, and actually, I call this an accidentally gray background. Because it’s gonna go right. But I don’t really remember the prompt that I gave it. I think I just said, like, cool background with some lights and stuff like that. But the thing is, are you also educating people on how to create some of these prompts, then feeding it into these image generation? Engines, you don’t have to generate it yourself. And also the text generation engines to Yeah, you’re not building that whole back. And you’re building an interface to multiple places that you can get the best feedback? Yeah,

Nirali Zaveri 21:00
exactly. So it’s, I think it’s all about making sure that the LLM models or the image generation models that are out there provide the best integrations to workflows, because I think that’s where we’ve we’re seeing the gap. People see the potential of a lot of these models, but there has been a significant drop in the number of users. That’s even on chat GPD has, right. So I think what’s important now is to make sure we integrate all these models into workflows. And yes, we’re already integrated with models that allow you to generate image, images from prompts, choose various different styles, I think we make the whole prompting process much simpler. So there are fewer things to think about. Yeah,

Michael Waitze 21:47
we spent a ton of time actually trying to understand how to prompt Right. Like I said, I did this, but I’m not really sure I remember how to do it unless I go back to mid journey. I can’t even remember what it was. Are you? Actually not just you, but do you feel like there’s this slight overwhelming feature of working in the AI space? Like I think it was yesterday or today that I noticed that open AI came out with now this video generation tool? I can’t remember what it’s called Cara? Sara, I can’t remember it, you probably know. But how do you keep up with all this stuff that’s going on.

Nirali Zaveri 22:19
I think it’s super exciting that there’s so much in this space. And it also doubles down on the fact that there’s so much conviction. And people really see the value and potential that can bring what we’re betting on. And what my team is betting on is actually not really creating the next biggest model out there. Because I think that’s a that’s a fight for resources. Or you can have as much input as possible to train models quickly. What we’re working on is making sure workflows are really integrated into this AI well, and we make it super easy for teams to be able to use these AI products. So I think I’m betting in a big way on that workflow application there. And that’s what’s really going to be the main differentiator not so much being able to compete with what is the fastest model and what’s the most efficient model at this point in time. So yeah, we’re agnostic to plugging into various different API’s of algorithms, coming up with ways for marketers to really use these tools with a lot of ease.

Michael Waitze 23:30
So I want to go all the way back to the beginning of my understanding of the internet, just to make an analogy for you and for the listeners. Because I think you’re doing the right thing. No one today is trying to rewrite TCP IP, right, the Transmission Control Protocol and internet protocol, we just use it. But what we do is we put stuff on top of it. And we’ve been doing it for 30 or 40 years, to make it easy and frictionless for everybody to use. So why go out and try to reinvent that wheel? It’s the same thing, I think with the LLM, like, you’re not gonna be able to compete with Sam Altman in his $7 trillion investment from God or whatever, whoever it is, right? But you can definitely use those tools better than everybody else, or make them easier to use than everybody else. I presume that’s the strategy. Yeah.

Nirali Zaveri 24:14
Absolutely. And I actually because we were fortunate enough to be invested in by Y Combinator. Whoo, Sam open has a lot of ties to as well. He addressed a lot of the YC founders, you know, on many different locations. And he kind of hinted that, hey, we’re gonna continue down this juggernaut path is creating the best models out there. So if you want to compete with us in this area, sure. Go ahead. But I don’t know how many months it’ll take for most immediate Yeah, meats. Yeah, the disintermediate. A lot of these businesses, right. I think being able to stay agnostic in terms of where that infrastructure layer comes from is going to be Critical do that well, are gonna really make the most of this AI revolution, at least in the SAS space.

Michael Waitze 25:08
I mean, I look at I look at what open AI is doing. It’s almost like the, the operating system for artificial intelligence. And if they want to go out and build up, it’s just like Microsoft Windows or Apple’s Mac OS, right? I don’t want to compete with them. I just want to use it to destroy every other business that’s trying to use them, if that makes sense. Can you talk to me about the YC? experience was like, because I feel like it’s really unique. And I’ve not been through it. But at some level, it must teach you things, it’s really hard to learn on your own. Yeah, I

Nirali Zaveri 25:40
think founders spend a lot of time building their business. But going through an accelerator that’s as strong and consistent at producing good quality founders, like YC really teaches you how to become a better founder. And that was my biggest takeaway is it, it condensed learnings that would have taken myself and my co founder, maybe five years into a three month program, it just gives you a lot of confidence, a lot of conviction in terms of, you know, for having the right frameworks and the right thought processes to make decisions. I think there’s a lot of noise and a lot of signals when you’re building a company you’re in, it’s so easy to feel like every problem is is big and very serious. But ultimately, like what advice he simplifies is that, hey, that the main thing is just focusing on your customers and being super customer centric, and everything else, hiring, fundraising, you know, even marketing, all of that becomes much easier, once you know who that end user is, and what they’re what your unique insight is about solving a problem for them. Right. So yeah, I think that I personally, even though YC can solve all your problems. I mean, obviously, we had to pivot, and we’re still trying out a lot of different things post yc. It just helps you to become a better founder, it gives you the best possible chance that you can have to succeed.

Michael Waitze 27:11
Okay, so I want to steal some of your knowledge on yc. In this decision making framework, I promise not to tell anybody else. And I’m just curious, right, but how does it help you decide this customer focus? I completely understand I have my own partners, right? So I deal with them every single day. And you’re right, there is this engineering thought process around? How do I minimize the noise and just focus on the signals? Right? But how do I know sometimes when the signals that the customers are giving me are so unique to them, that it doesn’t scale to everybody else that may want to use your service? Does that make sense, right? Because they may say, this needs to be blue, or we’ll never use it, but everybody else is like green is fine. Right?

Nirali Zaveri 27:54
I think that yeah, that’s definitely a muscle you have to train. For sure. It’s really important know what to keep from customer interviews and what to discard that, again, there’s no secret sauce to this, but it’s just about once you talk to enough users, you see certain trends emerging. I think, ultimately, it’s not what customers say, but their actions that you have to be really, really mindful of. So I’ve been to many customer interviews where someone will come and say, hey, you know, like, I love using this, I can’t wait to get my hands on this product. And then we launch a feature. But they they try it once and they never come back. It’s crickets. Yeah. Oh, they’re not actually paying for the feature. So I think it’s those actions that are that have to be waited a lot more than what someone is saying during a customer interview. One thing that YC really focuses on already teaches you well is to identify what are your key metrics are the key things that really you need to move in the next week, in the next month? And how are you going to constantly run experiments to tweak and iterate on these specific things. What we’ve done from the beginning has been very data centric, we have integrated with platforms that allow us to actually see customer recordings of what every single customer session is like on the platform. So we can see exactly what they clicked on. Where did they drop off? What are they spending most of their time using? It sounds really invasive, but obviously we don’t look at any private customer data, everything. But it helps us to really learn on a very minut level, what’s working and what’s not working. And I think bringing features to market quickly. Without focusing on what really the users telling you doing a customer is actually a better indicator.

Michael Waitze 29:51
So one of the things you said about yc is that you were able to learn in three months what it would take you generally five years to figure out on your Enter with your co founder. And believe me that completely resonates with me. Yeah. Are there ways to take that general learning and that general mindset about I need to learn in three months what it would normally take me five years, even if you’re not at YC? and think, Okay, we want to do this thing. But let’s, what’s the right word, accelerate that learning into just like three weeks, as opposed to into six months. And think about that with your co founder, when you’re trying to build things? If you don’t, I mean, I think

Nirali Zaveri 30:27
surrounding yourself with people that are building companies is, you know, one big way to get there quicker. The second is also just having very, very honest conversations. Especially when you build openings with co founders, it’s super critical that everything gets discussed and that you’re very comfortable with resolving conflict by actually communicating. So I think yes, communicating over communicating and being surrounded by people that are building companies is is a way to really fast track that process. Yeah. And yes, some amount of like being one, hon. When you’re asking for help, is also super critical in terms of making that learning curve go faster.

Michael Waitze 31:16
Do you feel like your friend group has changed since you started building this company? Right? You said surrounding yourself with other founders, right? So that means you’re not dealing with other people that have a corporate job, because when you share with them, they’re just like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. But if you’re with other founders, they’re like, I had that. And let me tell you don’t waste a year on that do this thing instead, you know what I mean? Yeah,

Nirali Zaveri 31:36
absolutely, I think more compartmentalised what I’m discussing with which Facebook group has really changed, but it’s more just making sure that you’re, you know, you’re taking counsel from the right people who have been in that position before. And actually, you’d be surprised, as a majority of VCs don’t really know what building a business’s life so you can really get that perspective, only by actually talking to operators and talking to people who are in the weeds every single day. I’m

Michael Waitze 32:07
just gonna say, Yes, have you? I know this is kind of like an old question. But have you read Ray Dalio book principles where he talks about this idea of radical transparency where you just say like, that’s the dumb idea. Even if you don’t mean you’re dumb. It’s not ad hominem. Right, but like, that’s a dumb idea. It’s never gonna work. Do you understand that concept? And do you employ it as well? Yeah,

Nirali Zaveri 32:27
absolutely. I think it’s it’s super important to be radically transparent. I remember reading this book, but it was a long time ago. Yeah. So I’m interpreting this correctly. But yeah, I think it’s super critical. To be completely honest and vulnerable and be willing to fail publicly as well, it there, there really isn’t any shame in that. Because unless you do that many times, really quickly, you’re not going to find that secret sauce that really works. It’s very, very rare to come across founders that have gotten it right the first time. So it’s having that humility and being comfortable with with feeling publicly, I think,

Michael Waitze 33:07
yeah, it’s way different than sitting inside a cubicle. For me at least. I want to ask you one more thing, and then I’ll let you go. And I say this a lot. Which probably means I’ll ask you 10 More things. But you talked about this idea of content. Compartment compartmentalizing. English for beginners, for me. You talked about this idea of competent

Nirali Zaveri 33:27
Compartmentalizing, yes.

Michael Waitze 33:29
So glad you’re here….compartmentalizing, right? At some point, though. Your startup persona, this person that is just radically transparent, this person that’s just trying to do things faster as person that is just trying to learn whatever they can. Do you feel like it bleeds into other parts of your life where maybe you hadn’t intended it to do so. But you just can’t help yourself, because that’s who you’re becoming, if that makes sense. It really does.

Nirali Zaveri 33:55
Have changed as a person. I am just a lot more decisive. I think I prefer spending time very efficiently, or not spending too long, doing things that are not productive. So yes, it does bleed into how I deal with my personal personal relationships, how I deal with my friends. I think what it does is it makes you very intentional with how you’re spending your time and energy. And people around you start appreciating that once they understand where it’s coming from. So yes, there’s been a I think, a level of my friends and family having to get used to the new you, this new person that’s like constantly optimizing and constantly Sure, and once. I don’t like it when people are indecisive, I get impatient with them. Sure. So it’s also something I’ve had to be more mindful of. But yeah, it does bleed in but I think it’s it’s made me better.

Michael Waitze 34:56
Yeah, it’s done the same thing for me. And in that vein, I wrote down the Word compartmentalised. So I could say it over and over again. I don’t know why I couldn’t do it before. I will let you go. I really want to thank you for your time I learned a ton and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this business builds out. Because I’m a natural user of it. Anyway. Nirali Zaveri, very a co-Founder and CEO of Friz, I cannot thank you enough for doing this. That was awesome.

Nirali Zaveri 35:20
I love chatting with you as well. And yeah, let’s let’s chat more. As we grow. We’d love to share more with your listeners and also learn more communicate this reflection

 

 

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