Swish is an accomplished young entrepreneur who has won awards, struck product development deals and published a book. Most recently, he's been focusing on growing a company he co-founded called Surf, which lets people passively earn from the data they share whilst browsing the web.
This conversation for our Gathering podcast, introduces Swish's company and relates their team growth to 40+ people over the past couple of years plus funding story (investments from Hootsuite's Ryan Holmes and then former Dragon's Den Investor & Round 13's founder Bruce Croxton took them from Vancouver to Toronto.)
Swish shares his vision for Surf, why he values a distributed team and enables remote work at his company plus his thoughts on how Elon Musk is handling Twitter's re-organisation and much more!
Spend time with this conversation - here's the full transcript
Browser extension Surf, data privacy, and rewards
Qasim Virjee 0:11
Welcome back to gathering start welds podcast that is all about how people support teams. We're gonna take a little kind of side angle on this. There's lots of ways to pull in that theme with this episode. This is episode 10 of the podcast series. Today I'm in studio with swish Goswami. And he is the CEO and founder, co founder, co founder. Yep, he is the CEO and one of the cofounders of surf, which you can find on the web at join surf.com. Correct? Why did that stay in my domain name?
Swish Goswami 0:46
Our advertising is working, like dead surfing or no joined?
Qasim Virjee 0:52
Swish, it's awesome to have you in the studio.
Swish Goswami 0:54
Thank you appreciate it.
Qasim Virjee 0:55
So let's just clear this up. So you told me am I right? That serve is essentially a browser extension that rewards you for browsing the interwebs? Correct. Okay, what does that mean, man? Yeah. So how do you get rewarded? And are certain things? Do you get rewarded for more things than others? Yeah,
Swish Goswami 1:14
no great questions,
Qasim Virjee 1:15
get porn all day, you want
Swish Goswami 1:18
to double your points, I've gotta go. For the last 10 to 15 years, you know, we've been giving our data to Amazon, to Facebook to Google for all these companies for free. Right. So we felt why not build a system where you get something out of it, where instead of just giving your permission to be tracked and to share your data, you actually get something back, we give people points, they can use the points in our marketplace for items for gift cards for exclusive discounts that you can find on honey giveaways that you can enter into with your points, you can donate your points to charity, there's a lot you can essentially do with your points. We tried as much as possible, though, to make it incredibly passive. So we don't want you to go to specific websites, we don't want you to click specific links. We don't want you to watch ads or take surveys, the goal is just browse like you normally do. And you as long as you're sharing data, you will get rewarded. And we looked at the average amount of time people browse the internet for it's about two hours per day. And we're rewarding people based on that on like an earning system that is kept out weekly and monthly.
Qasim Virjee 2:17
So is the data that they're sharing with you and potentially advertisers. anonymized
Swish Goswami 2:23
Yep, all anonymized. When a user signs up, they don't even provide their first and last name to us. We don't ask for that information. We don't ask for any personally identifiable info. And then we asked for things like age, gender location, just to be able to get high level demographic data. So we know where to bucket you when we share data with companies. But we do one more scrub, even before we share data to make sure that there's no you know, PII that slipped into your data, no email, no address, maybe that might compromise your personal identity, identity. And sorry, so
Qasim Virjee 2:53
you haven't been hacked by Chinese. Not yet. Mobius farms where they have like 5000 phones at all how
Qasim Virjee 3:00
Data privacy and control in the digital age
Swish Goswami 3:03
Thank God, thank God, I'm hopefully after this podcast, it doesn't happen. That would be terrible if it did. But no, for now, we've been fine. And you know, we have a pretty incredible team, like my CTO, his entire background is in network security, he sold to companies before that one was Pertino. to cradle point that he built in the Bay Area, he has eight patents within the network security space, everything from mobile content categorization to deep packet inspection, he lives in breed this. So I think we built a really good team that, you know, we're now over 1.5 billion data points have been collected in the last eight months from how many users how many data points are collected by each person by each person, it really depends, right? Under browsing. And by data point, I mean, you know, the URLs that you go to the videos, you watch the publications, that is all actions or interactions, that's what we call it. And that is a data point. That's what I mean by it. And so, you know, we are ingesting right now about 5.7 million interactions per day. And all of that data is being stored, obviously, because we want the ability for people also to delete that data if they ever wanted, right. And so, you know, we are GDPR CCPA compliant, we let people come to us and say, hey, you know, I want you to delete everything you know, about me, and we'll actually go through and actually do it. You know, I know a lot of companies say they will, but they actually don't get they don't know,
Qasim Virjee 4:18
you're like yeah, of course, we don't even know where it is. They don't even
Swish Goswami 4:22
know what their data infrastructure is, let alone like how to go about actually extracting that individual person's data. We know how to be able to do that, because we built our entire system from the ground up with that in mind. So that's another key benefit of having this sort of system. People are
Qasim Virjee 4:37
so scared when you approach the topic of kind of data. Oh, yeah, data sovereignty. But, but like at the same time, everyone's so forgetful and oblivious to what their history online is, you know, and it's interesting because not many companies that kind of like yes, create value out of like data, but also do it in a way that's like interactive and fun. I have not seen anyone I might Just be like, yeah, ignorant. Yeah. Like, I haven't seen anyone to kind of spin on his head. Like, you know how many people I talked to these days? We're not internet old schoolers, right? Like, right here like me that don't know how to look up their history in their browser. Yeah. Yeah. And they can't even conceive of like, I'm like, Yeah, you know, what was like, oh, yeah, I was looking at that, like, last Thursday at 3pm. Like, I can remember. Yeah. Yeah. Like, I know, I can I can dig it up. Yeah. But people are like, I don't even know what the hell I was looking at. Because I guess the brains get fried. Sometimes. The social media swipes is
Swish Goswami 5:34
way too much way too much noise. That's fine. I mean, the beauty about surf is that we are trying to make things very easy for you to do. So. One of the key things beyond even compensation, we very much focus on its transparency. So even like when you go through a terms of service, for example, like we have the long form version, but when people go through our onboarding form, we actually forced our lawyers to build a one paragraph statement that summarizes the terms like pay him quadruple, literally, oh, my God, because they were like, Well, this has never been done before. And how has it ever been done? concise? Like, yeah, literally, I can't put down 10 Or six or seven bullet points that summarize what a 13 page document says. I mean, I had to do that in college. Get your degree lawyer. Yeah. So I don't get it. So we did that. Because we want people to know what they're signing up for. And we want people when they come in to know that we're not just trying to be another company that takes your data and monetizes it. We're trying to be a company that monetizes your data gives you something back, but more importantly, is a data partner for you that works with your interest and wants you to be in control of your data. So if you want to go in and pause the extension, you can do that if you want to go in and delete places you've gone to, that you don't want to share information on, you can do that. If you want to blacklist websites, like never tracked me on these web sites, you can do that as well. We're trying to put the control kind of back into your hands, and then let you decide what you do and don't want to share if you want that ability.
Qasim Virjee 6:56
So I'm going to internet old school org and I'm also pretty ignorant. I
Swish Goswami 7:00
love that word, by the way. Yeah. About all
Data privacy regulations and their impact on companies
Qasim Virjee 7:03
Swish Goswami 7:15
Well, it's GDPR, GDPR, and CCPA are the two most dominant form of regulation to stand for. So GDPR actually, is something domestic privacy regulation, I would imagine that the G is probably something like gross or something I don't even know. And then CCPA is the California Protection Act. So the cool thing about both privacy regulations is that they're essentially letting people, you know, go about their own day, but they're requiring companies to, you know, let people request their data, delete their data, download their data, and have to fully explicitly consent to sharing their data. And so
Qasim Virjee 7:51
this was where the whole apple thing came about.
Swish Goswami 7:55
It came about a year and a half, actually, after GDPR came into effect. But they are very linked to each other. Right. It's just everything is pushing toward the privacy conscious world to work towards a world where people will have the final say, right. And in that world, so many companies now have had to radically shift their strategy to be able to still collect data. Yeah,
Qasim Virjee 8:15
I mean, it's a crazy thing, just to think that the majority of you mentioned, you know, Google and these other collectors of data. Yep. The data drives the advertising. The advertising is what pays for the infrastructure. Internet, you know, and it's a whole thing of like, oh, who said that? If you're not a customer? You're the product, the product? Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so this company, is how old now?
Swish Goswami 8:40
We're four and a half years old. Because we were previously called true fan. Tru Fn, which is something I started when I was 20 years old. And I literally wanted to build a product that helped brands find who their top fans on social media where this was an influencer? Kind of yes, yeah, it was like a database. We had like, a bunch of profiles and competitor profiles that you could come on. And you could be like, hey, Reebok, and look at Nikes top fans and figure out who these people were on Instagram and Twitter, you could look at your own top fans, we had a lot of filtering capability. So you could be like, you know, who in my audience on Instagram has the keyword vegan in their bio, zero to 100,000 followers is in Toronto, and it's not verified. And it'll quickly take your 30,000 followers and boil it down to 40 in a matter of seconds. So we did a really good job building, you know, a system that was easily easily filterable and easily summarized. But at the same time, we were heavily reliant on third party API's. We were heavily reliant on Instagram and Twitter to continue to give us that sort of data. And again, where the world of privacy is gone really pushed us to have to focus on okay. We can't be relying on Instagram and Twitter, we need to build our own data set. You know, everybody else is trying to do it. Why don't we build it in the best way possible, you know, by compensating people for their data, which isn't something a lot of people were thinking about back in 2020 especially Let's do that and figure out if we could get a head start on the zero party data.
Data privacy and entrepreneurship
Qasim Virjee 10:06
Well, people don't even kind of look at that, that question of even their credit card processor, their credit card company. Yep. As being a data tracker. Oh, yeah.
Swish Goswami 10:14
I mean, there are companies like drop in Toronto, for example, to drop some rewards, or younger master FunJet, Derek foget the deed. I mean, candidly, I was a drop user back in college. And I remember not really knowing what I was actually signing up for, and drop. I mean, they've done a lot of good things. But one of the things that I think they could definitely do a bit better at is being transparent with the users that they actually sell purchasing data through a separate company called chordify. It's not maybe a separate company, it's a separate entity. It's a different name altogether. But a lot of people who are dropping users have no clue what carta phi is. Yeah,
Qasim Virjee 10:48
so drop, let's just spell it out. So drop, am I correct in assuming that it is a Will you tell me what it is? It's
Swish Goswami 10:55
a cashback program. So it's like a modern day racket when you basically go buy something from Banana Republic, and you'll get dropped points back, you play certain games, you can go on their mobile app, and you can, you know, do surveys and you get dropped points. And then with those points, you get really good. It's not a credit card. It's not a credit card, though. But they do allow you to get more points when you link your credit card because they want to get access to your purchasing data. They want to know where you're buying stuff from. So they can then go through, codify and sell that to hedge funds and private equity firms that want to understand what 20 to 24 year old males in Toronto are buying on the internet each week, each week,
Qasim Virjee 11:33
which is why Derek fungsi was on, you know, BNN or something?
Swish Goswami 11:36
Yeah, I don't know, I don't know that much. I haven't followed honestly, in the last year and a half what they've been up to, I think, you know, they've gotten up to, I think 4 million downloads, they've done an incredible job, especially on mobile. But again, I mean, drop is, you know, in some aspects quite competitive with us as well, right, because we're trying to be a Rewards app that is fighting for a very different value set than they are, you know, I think for them, they're more focused on obviously just extracting purchasing data at whatever cost and then being able to then go and sell that, again, in a way that I don't generally sometimes think is fully fair to the end consumer. And on our end, we're trying to make sure that a consumer first knows what they're signing up for, is actively going and you know, agreeing to our terms, but more importantly, is actively getting on boarded in terms of knowing here's the type of data we collect, here's what we do with it. And then once they kind of come into our ecosystem, we give them a ton of ways to be able to use the points they get in order to for to get value. And so it is a little bit different, but it is, you know, kind of complementary in some aspects to Okay, so sorry. You said you started true friend when you were 2020. Yeah, four and a half years ago. And somewhere in the mix. You wrote a book about being Yes, I know. Oh, my God. Yes. I started that book three years ago. So I got the book deal a year after a year of building true fan Kogan page reached out over LinkedIn, which is the main platform that I kind of built an audience on, especially when I was in college. And they reached out and said, hey, you know, we know you starting this business, you know, we're kind of a year and a half. And now, we'd love for you to write a book about being a young entrepreneur. And like, you know, how do you think about managing a business while you were in school? Because I kind of was doing stuff in school as well in college before. University, University of Toronto, okay. And you dropped out, I dropped out of my second year after my second year, sir. Why did you ever Oh, man, there's so much that kind of went into that decision. I think one, I wanted to be a lawyer going into university. I debated a lot in high school. I was on the national team for Canada for three years, went to two world competitions. My brother is a lawyer currently, but he was also a world champion debater. And, you know, I wanted a master debater. And that's sort of the classic joke.
Qasim Virjee 13:37
I'm a dad. Wait, that's not really colorful. But
Speaker 3 13:39
yeah, the dad joke. It's, you know, it's not a dad joke for your kid.
Swish Goswami 13:44
It's a cool dad joke. But I wanted to be a lawyer. So I thought, hey, let me join this program peace, conflict and Justice Studies at the University of Toronto. And I kind of fell out of love of being a lawyer, a kind of six months into university, and I thought, hey, maybe entrepreneurship is what I want to try my hand at. You're lucky happened quick, right? Yeah. Oh, it did it. Did it. Did you become a lawyer? No, no. But you eventually figured it out? Oh, many lawyers, senior partners. Yeah, we're losing their hair, and tons of money, but they're stressed out stressed out, right. And that is the worst is to be stressed out, especially in a job you do not want to do. And that's something I kind of realized six months in that I'm like, I don't want to do that. Yeah. So you know, I made the active decision to try to build a business and my first year I tried building company called FoodShare, which is why, you know, what we were chatting about before the podcast about taking leftover and excess food was really something that resonated with me, because that's what we tried to do with FoodShare. We tried to do it for college students, they could get access to leftover excess food from coffee stores from restaurants. You know, we didn't really have much of a technical experience, which is probably what limited us because we weren't able to actually build a full fledged product quick enough. But there is an incredible company in London called olio. Oh, well, I Oh, that's doing that idea. But again, this is just like the first foray. I hadn't entrepreneurship, just thinking about problems that either I or my kind of friends were facing and saying, How can I go about solving them? So that was kind of the experience, by the way, long story short of, you know, thinking of the idea for surf back in the day called true fan. And then obviously, a year and a half in getting the opportunity to write a book and thinking, Okay, what do I write about? Because I still felt like a beginner in so many aspects and I still do but it was cool to be able to write the book while I was also growing surf at the same time and then finally releasing it this year. Entrepreneurs
Qasim Virjee 15:32
are always beginners it's the entre you're always starting something you know, every day is a new challenge. Yeah. Okay, so you get started, you write a book, you kind of like rethink some things and get going with this company. Or re get going. Yes, company. When, what's the story of you know, how it became something other than yourself for yourself and your co founder, who's your co founders, my co founders
Entrepreneurship, funding, and growth
Swish Goswami 15:59
on a Claire, he was a he's been an entrepreneur for a while he was 15 years old when he built an app called under the radar. He went on Dragon's Den got venture funding on the show became the youngest Canadian to get venture funding on Dragon's Den and the rink the the app he built with a ringtone app that only people under the age of 21. can hear. Is that a thing? That's yeah, yeah. Because as you grow older, kind of the vibrations and frequencies that your ear can pick up are actually limited. Yeah, so he
Qasim Virjee 16:23
built so husbands can hear their wives. 45
Swish Goswami 16:27
litre I do. That's actually one of the jokes on the show. But um, yeah, he built this app, it went viral with anything. He'd beat Angry Birds at one point, which is kind of crazy in Canada. And it was top 10 and a few other countries. And then he went off to Stanford management sciences and engineering with a concentration in data science. And when I came up with initial idea for surf, I was like, You know what, like, I think you'll be the right person for this. And I decided to call him up and we excited to build it together. That's wicked. Yeah.
Qasim Virjee 16:55
Okay, so in terms of growing from two people, how did that play out in the beginning?
Swish Goswami 17:00
Yeah, in the beginning, it was tough. I mean, we made definitely some errors right away. Like, I think, for me, I looked at a lot of my friends, and we're like, okay, CMO, CFO. We'll figure out your role later, but you're an executive. And like, I just started handing out executive positions to friends of mine, you know, which is like a terrible way to go about it. But again, 20 years old, hadn't really no experience of building something successful at that point. And so I felt, you know, like, I wanted to build something with my friends. And I wanted to get them to feel very committed to this. So I thought, Okay, let me just give you a really good position and see how that goes. And obviously, you know, within the first four or five months, I quickly figured out, you know, who's actually committed, who actually wants to do this, who's actually passionate about this problem and who's not? Right. And that was a big wake up call for me then to be saved. You know, okay, do I wait, do I give them another chance? Or do I just let them go and just part ways as friends, hopefully. And so the good thing that I did is I did part ways with a few people, you know, especially within the first six months to say, hey, it's not working out, you know, you and I are better off as friends. Let's just continue going down that path. And that was really nice to be able to do that.
Qasim Virjee 18:01
Um, what about money? So how did this company get funded? Yeah,
Swish Goswami 18:06
I mean, so initially, you know, one of the things we did, which I thought was awesome is that we went through and bootstrapped for the first six months actually, just to get to the point off to loi, like letter of intent, as well as getting our visualization of our product built out on envision, which, again, doesn't cost anything, it's a non functional wireframe at the end of the day, and then also to be able to get early customer feedback, like testimonials. So the best thing that I think I did early on was just validate the idea in like, the most feasible way possible, so that when I did put together a pitch deck to raise money, I wasn't just raising money off an idea. I was raising money off, like, here's the idea, here's how the idea looks like, here's the feedback and testimonials we got. And by the way, we have to loi right, it's a far more compelling pitch. So we were able to raise $750,000, after six months, we raised it from 24 angel investors. And the way I actually got these investors is through my background in college when I was interviewing people through my podcast and also through LinkedIn. So I powered networking, our networking, literally, I was networking my ass off in my first and second year of college. And that network really helps later on when I built a business and said, Okay, I need some people to put in a 10k check a 25k check. I wasn't asking for 500k off one person. I was just getting small checks from individuals and putting that together into around. Yeah.
Hiring and product development in a startup
Qasim Virjee 19:23
And then so you had some cash together to hire some people hire some
Swish Goswami 19:27
people? Yep. Hired mainly within product. Because that's, again, what we were kind of lacking. I think on the marketing side on sales. You know, we were we were pretty good. Like, you know, between me, my co founder as well as one of our other friends who joined early on, Scott. We were pretty good on that front. But we definitely needed to hire more engineers. So we exclusively use that money to hire engineers. We actually raised money from the founder of HootSuite Brian, so we moved the company to Vancouver, and we started in Vancouver and we lived there for about a year and a half until Bruce Croxon from around 13 capital and Toronto said he wanted to put check in and decided to move the company out to Toronto and we've been here ever since. Wow. Wait, this is all during the pandemic? No. So this, this would be 2018. When we started, raise the round in 2019. Bruce let us know late 2019 to come to Toronto, we come to Toronto late 2019. Amazing time by the way Raptors won. Oh my god, like best time to move to Toronto, or I guess move back because I was a college student here. But move back to Toronto was then. And then yeah, pandemic, Ed. And that sucked.
Unknown Speaker 20:29
Time to double down on product development Exactly.
Swish Goswami 20:31
Like the amount of time I was spending on just being on hand tactical CEO. Oh, my God, like I just, I just worked pretty much all day. Yeah. So
Qasim Virjee 20:40
and then as you've grown your team in the engineering side of it, how did hiring change? Because it sounded like at first, it was kind of whoever's next to you, your friends. Yeah. People around you. Yeah.
Swish Goswami 20:51
Yeah, I think I started to do a little bit more of the hard work with hiring, which meant, like actually doing multiple rounds of like, you know, like due diligence and evaluation. And the good thing is, again, I started building up quite a bit of a following on LinkedIn. So like, it wasn't like we had like this lack of candidates really,
Qasim Virjee 21:08
like posts on LinkedIn, you guys need a senior engineer, and people like yours
Business growth, culture, and leadership
Swish Goswami 21:12
are literally like we do like O'Hara $1,000. If you could recommend us to somebody who is a senior engineer, right? And we get a ton of people interested. Yeah, we incentivize. Yeah, we did like a bounty type thing right away, you know, right away for especially a lot of these technical roles where we really wanted someone to vouch for that individual as well. We tried as much as possible to attach an incentive to it. But yeah, I mean, first round was always either a technical interview, which meant, you know, onic, or my CTO, and Andrew doing that interview, our second round interview was typically going to be like more of a fit, are you like a culture fit? And the third round interview was meeting the entire executive team. Like, all five of us, were going to be in front of you asking you questions. And typically, that's a 15 minute kind of interview, but just to see how you how you chat with the executive team, how you vibe with the executive team. And I think that was really good. Because, yeah, it did slow down our process by maybe a week and a half, like, we weren't able to get an offer out until like, two weeks after we first chatted with someone. But it meant that, you know, we did feel very confident about the people we were hiring. And even if it didn't work out, I didn't regret it. Like I had done the initial work to feel like, okay, this might be a fit, you know, and I decided to at least do that versus like, Okay, I think I think you're fit Let's go, you know, like I would have hated to have done that and then regretted later on Yeah. And
Qasim Virjee 22:27
keep like, the churn is not worth it. If you can manage exactly,
Swish Goswami 22:31
especially at a later stage, like especially where we're at now. I think people do notice that as well. So what's your headcount now? 42 People
Qasim Virjee 22:38
42 People see we're over doubled in the last two years, 13
Swish Goswami 22:42
people at the start of the pandemic, so yeah, wow, like, kind of tripled. So it's been pretty, pretty incredible. My role has shifted, I think, also throughout the pandemic, which it'd be nice, you know, like, I think when I look at the start of the pandemic, I was really in charge of marketing. Like, that was my main focus, like I was CEO, while also running the marketing team, which was like two other people. And then I think, you know, throughout scaling the business now, obviously, we have a dedicated head of marketing. My role is really become fundraising, top line sales. And then honestly, what I call just finding alignment, like making sure that our executive team is aligned on what we need to get done for a quarter or for a year, right. And I'm the one obviously, not only getting their input for quarterly goals and yearly goals, but I'm holding them accountable to it. That's become my job. Yeah.
Qasim Virjee 23:29
And through this experience, last couple of years, what's the update to the book?
Swish Goswami 23:35
I mean, the cool thing is actually, the book was initially supposed to come out in 2020, which would have been basically like two years after I started surf. And I don't feel like I actually was ready. Like when I was funny, because the book got postponed because of the pandemic. And we had to go and actually rewrite parts of it this year, because we released it in May of 2022. And they were like, hey, well, there are a lot of sections in here that need to get updated, because we're talking about 2020. And like, you need to update it for 2022. And you also have weird predictions about like people working from home. Like, obviously, people are working from home now because of the pandemic. So like, you just need to update it in the Add a section about pandemic. We didn't just do that we just went through the entire book and updated the entire thing, because there were some things that I wrote in the book that I just don't agree with anymore. There were like nuanced samples of the I think one of the things candidly is I wrote something which was like, hire fast, like, you know, fire fast fire fast. And that's like a myth, in my opinion, like, I know, a lot of people say it, but I would rather like hire slow, and make sure you don't have to fire someone, you know, and like, like, yeah, give second chances. Obviously, I think the firing fast part is important because like, you shouldn't, if somebody's not working out and you've given them multiple chances, you will need to pull the plug at some point. That is your job. Right? But I don't agree with this idea of hiring fast. Like I just don't agree, especially you know, in the early days where every hire is going to make an impact to your team's culture, especially if your 510 People were one On Rotten Egg could fuck the entire thing up. I really think that you need to take your time in picking the people you surround yourself with. Yeah,
Qasim Virjee 25:06
it's true, because it's kind of funny when you're building a business, especially at scale like that, and you're capitalized and is not Bootstrap. And everything relies on being able to leave her. Yep. The Collective. The Collective is really, really important. Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting, because like, a lot of people think of businesses is kind of these, you know, widget factories, and you're kind of like, you could be very functionally aligned with your, with your hiring and your firing and putting people into the jobs. But it's something that we're talking about on this podcast a lot with people is really about how culture and culture defines organizations. And it's so many founders, especially in technology companies, get started on the product market fit, and the product evolution. It's funny, I've mentioned a couple times that like we as start, well only got into media production as a SKU. Right, well, multiple SKUs, but as a business, because so many startups that pass through our doors, wouldn't invest in marketing. So the first stage of that, for us was building out a podcast studio, it has evolved into this wonderful place that is that we're sat in today. And then we have a full on stills in motion facility around the corner on Niagara cool, where companies like Nick's shoot their catalog, yep, yep. So that all came because the companies that were resident here that we were like, peer to peer mentorship, you know, putting them in offices together kind of thing. Early Stage 10 people, you know, outfits. They weren't thinking of marketing until maybe 100. People headcount? They were like sales, customer success, which really was customer retention. Yep. You know, like, let's fight to keep these people so justify to the investors that we actually have customers buy into the next round. Yeah. And all the founders are running around like chickens with their head cut off focusing on on all sorts of things that that really took them away from speaking with customers and developing these, the network effect. So it's really, really interesting that like, through this series, I'm looking at this, and we're seeing the same problem that so many companies where culture is not really manifest, because conversations don't really happen. And everyone's so focused on like, goal setting and accomplishing goals to move forward to move forward to move forward as software companies especially especially, yep, that yeah, they don't look at that culture fit until, you know, founding teams executive branch can breathe. Yep. Like, wait. Yeah. Wait. Yeah. 20 people, too many people. 20 people doing
Lean startup principles and corporate social responsibility
Swish Goswami 27:39
anything? Yeah, yeah, it's doing it. Yeah. Yeah. And it happens, it happens. It happens. And I think, especially with the layoffs you're seeing off right now. I mean, it's just funny because people are making fun of like, Twitter, for example. And like, Elon is management and stuff. I actually think the worst name basis. Yeah. Mr. Musk? Sorry. I don't even know Chief Chief twit officer. I don't know what a second cousin evil my second cousin. Oh, God, as you pretty cool cousin to have, in my opinion, if you could invite them over for Thanksgiving. Can you imagine? So cars of Elon, how has your winter so far? This is fun. I gotta leave. Yeah, five. But I spent three and a half minutes here. Yeah. But one of the things I actually think is really cool is if he can pull this off, it actually would make a really cool case for a Lean Startup, like in the sense of, you know, he let go 75% of Twitter's employed. And he's now trying to operate this business and multibillion dollar business still, if he could pull this off. I mean, it's a slap in the face to companies like Google, for example. You know, in the sense of, yes, they have an amazing culture. But do they actually need that many people to run their business?
Qasim Virjee 28:43
Okay, there's two sides of the coin. The context, of course, is we're talking about public companies. Correct. So there's problems with this discussion. It's a very loaded discussion, because, you know, public companies, of course, are subject to shareholder interest above all else. And the idea that, you know, the false notion that you can have exponential gains is a constant reality. And then these companies do all sorts of dumb shit. Like, they don't pay taxes anywhere, right? Oh, great. You're helping society. You're not paying any taxes. Oh, but you're hiring so many people. So our governments are going to like, you know, rub massager back for you. Yeah. And you white, whatever, you greenwash. I don't know what the phrase would be, but you basically run your money through. Yeah, you know, some country that's going to turn a blind eye. Yeah. Personally, I think that's dumb shit. Yeah. And I think that every, like, so many companies are on the hook for this, you know, like, we have a lot of societal issues, especially in a country like here where we could talk cavalierly about this, and the states can't talk about this because they don't really have social welfare. Now, it's a difficult topic, but here I mean, I kind of see an onus on corporations any size of corporation to kind of respect the public good. And realize that their staff and the teams that create value at that A company are part of a larger ecosystem. Companies should fit into an economy, they should fit into a society. But we have a new vo kind of what do you call it this like corporate imperialism? That is, you know, unfortunately, all over the world. But so we're talking about this example is interesting for me because I look at, you know, Twitter and I say, Okay, you're right. If you could run leaner, there's lessons Yeah, there. But at the same time, you look at a company, that there's so many examples of public companies that have kind of gone through this before, tried to run lean, and then had to like innovate through acquisitions. And then, you know, they're not relevant in five years, or 10 years or 50 years. And they don't have the talent pool internally to innovate, to grow and stretch the brand. So there's different ways you could look at it. Yep. Twitter's a weird one. Because like, do we really need Twitter? You know, it's one of those things, it's like, there's a lot of money being thrown to bring it back into your company, there's lots of money available for means of advertising to customers, right? customer acquisition is an expensive proposition in the modern world. So if the role of Twitter is to be an efficient way for advertisers to make money, maybe at some point, it's at odds with the mandate of a company, which is, you know, to provide untethered or open access to audiences for users. Yeah, sure. So if users are competing with advertisers for market share, that's fucked up. Right? This is a problem with the whole internet right now. Right, right. I'm just going to call it I'm gonna go. Like, when I got online in 1995, man, yeah, you know, the web was really a place where we saw democracy at work, you know, and everyone was, was really excited on the web, to not think of themselves as consumers or creators, we were all creators. And even launching a website requires a little bit of knowledge of HTML. Yep. Syntax is gone. You know, no one knows about that codes, writing code. And everyone's on these, like, you know, hyper monetized social networks, and not even on the open web. So it's kind of interesting, because I wanted to tie that back to, to what you're doing, because it kind of is interesting, because it's relying on a web browser.
Swish Goswami 32:31
Yep. Yep. Right now it is. We are hoping to, you know, be a little bit more independent going forward as well. Like, we're gonna have a mobile solution come out. That'll come out on iOS in January, Android three months after that. It'll compensate you for your mobile browsing mobile app usage data, the hope we handle apps
Qasim Virjee 32:48
as well, apps as well. But the mandate is not to say, yeah, what is your profile, your identity, your data outside of those walled gardens?
Swish Goswami 32:57
No, because, again, so many people aren't going to leave right now, at least that's my hope, is like, you know, I just don't think people are going to leave them. They're too comfortable in them right now. But that's why our hope isn't to push you and create a whole new browsing experience for you yet. I mean, maybe that's something we do down the road. But for us, our goal right now is to compensate you for your current browsing experience, right? To compensate you for where you currently are comfortable. Let's make you even more comfortable with what you edit what it is you're sharing every day.
Remote work tools and communication channels
Qasim Virjee 33:28
Yeah, no one ever thanks me for browsing.
Swish Goswami 33:32
Right now you get to, you get to actually earn something from your browsing. It's
Qasim Virjee 33:36
super interesting. There's a lot of ways to skin that. But I'm really interested in in kind of drilling down in your culture, your organization, the 40 plus people that work with the team. How dispersed are they? Oh, they're all in Toronto
Swish Goswami 33:49
in Canada. So fully remote team. Most of the sales and marketing team is here in Toronto, and a lot of our engineers are either in Vancouver or Kelowna, British Columbia, do
Qasim Virjee 33:58
you get or are you going to be me? It's all new days. Are you? Are you planning for? How there are in person? touchpoints?
Swish Goswami 34:04
Yep, yeah, so we are looking at a kind of this hybrid model, I think everyone is really but this hybrid model where we would have kind of, and we actually did this pre pandemic, so we're probably just gonna go back to it, where we have deaths at co working spaces, right. So if you want that in person kind of feel in, you know, accelerate Okanagan, or if you want to do it at, let's say, 111 Toronto, because we were at 111, before the pandemic, you know, you can go in on a Wednesday, Thursday, and you can interact with other team members that are there, but you don't have to, it's not going to be a requirement because our culture is incredible. When it comes to working remotely. We figured it out. And
Qasim Virjee 34:40
what tools you guys rely on for communication outside of like, yeah, code commits, yeah.
Swish Goswami 34:44
Oh, my God. Well, I we the cool thing is a few things. Number one is we try to limit communication channels first and foremost, because I hate it when a company is like, well, we use notion and we use JIRA and we use Slack and we use Cohen and we use this and we use that and we use this asana Trello. I'm like There's way too much going on. Like there's way too much going on. Right. And like all pigeons, we go to the gym at the same time. That's it like it's at the same way that consumers are getting over kind of whelmed and inundated by so many social media apps and all the communication happening there. The last thing I want is for my work to also look like that. So for us, everything goes through slack from a kind of communication team perspective, JIRA exists for the devs, obviously, and that's more of their working space, if you will, we have notion for the sales and marketing team, which is honestly the JIRA for, you know, the non technical people, in my opinion, that's how I see it. Notions great though they, they have the kind of the ability for you to like, smarter Google Docs, basically, the ability for you to kind of work on these notes that are really easily changed. And you can make them kind of your own. And you can add video anywhere you want. And you can make the video stretched out and look a certain way. And it's very creative. It's more for creative people than it is for JIRA, which is like very kind of, you know, your technical, you're a UX developer, your front end developer, you want to just look at all the tickets that are open, and what tickets you need to put up in, in that priority list. So those are the three main platforms we use. The things we do, however, is we do calls right so we have the Monday marketing the Monday meeting, right? The Monday stand up, if you will, it's called sync up that we do at the on the Mondays. We have stand ups on Google Hangouts. So we do that on Google Hangouts. Don't use Slack for its inbuilt calling. We do that only if you want to call with another person right away. So if you want to directly call someone, which by the way, like that's another rule that we have is like if you can always message someone just message them, don't call them. Right. Like that's our thing. It's just message people. Because if people are in a flow state, exactly, you don't want to break their flow state, right. So that's why even limiting calls has been one big priority of ours, making sure that if you book a call, it's ideally 15 minutes, if you can justify that, that would be incredible. And you need to put the meeting agenda into the calendar, right? Literally, I told people like if I ever send you a calendar, right, and the agenda is not in the calendar, don't show the phone be like yo, duty? Well, you could do that. For lunch, you could do that if you wanted to, but just message them, right? Like, Hey, can I quickly chat with you like, and they'll let you know, on their own time. Hey, right now, it's not good. Three hours from now let's book something at 4pm or whatever, right? And that's fine. But I don't like it when people just you know, like, and it's something that happened to us two, three years ago. It's people just randomly call me, like on my phone or to slack. And I'd be like, no, no, I don't want to talk to you right now. I'm sorry. Like, I'm writing emails. I'm cranking through email. I
Remote work challenges and team building strategies
Qasim Virjee 37:20
love when people call me. I love it when they call me. And they're not in my calendar. Yeah. Especially if they offer me air duct cleaning service.
Swish Goswami 37:29
Sometimes they don't even offer me anything. I don't even know what the hell they're offering. And I'm just like, Okay, why are you calling me anyways, that's one big priority we have, it's the 15 minute meetings, if you can try to message people don't even book a meeting. And then, you know, another big thing we're trying to do as well as past the Monday meeting, we have a Friday call, obviously a team call, every two weeks, we do a Friday chairs where we play a game as a team. And along with that every three weeks on a Thursday, we'll have a hopes and fears session. It's like a paranoia session where anybody in the company, whether you're an intern, or an executive could raise doubts and hopes that you have about the company about the company, not about life. Or you could be about life, too. I mean, during the pandemic, we had people share more personal stuff as well, which we're very open to, but we do try to prioritize. Okay, let's talk about the company first. Like what are things that you feel super hopeful about excited about? What are the things that you're anxious about doubtful about? And it's good, because I'm writing all of these things down. And a lot of the department heads are writing these things down. So they can then go book one on ones later, and actually have an agenda of like, okay, well, you mentioned this on the hopes and fears session. Do you want to talk more about it? Well, that's cool, right?
Qasim Virjee 38:34
I like that idea. Because it's kind of like you need to provide forum for critical feedback. And it's difficult. In a way, it's difficult when it's in silos to start that conversation. Yep. Because it's a bit of a power play. Like I don't ever really bitch out something. Yeah. But there's all together, then there's no ego. And
Swish Goswami 38:51
if the founders are leading the charge, right, like, early on, when we did these sessions, candidly, it was really me and my co founder talking for like, 80% of the session, because people didn't feel comfortable to be like, Oh, can I actually sit on the company in front of the founders? Like, can I? But like, when we're actively calling things out, right? And when other people
Qasim Virjee 39:08
are like, Yeah, I'm afraid of this issue. And you're like, I'm afraid you're gonna get five. Yeah.
Swish Goswami 39:14
That'd be terrifying. But no, I mean, we literally take any piece of feedback, you know, and, again, the cool thing is, well, during the pandemic, is when I was even sharing things that were more personal, right, like, you know, like parents going through a divorce while the pandemic is happening. I'm like, holy crap. No, no worries at all. But But like, stuff like that, like took a toll, because I had no way to even get kind of my friends around me really like, like, I could have like one or two friends over. But like, I also didn't want to compromise a lot of them because they were seeing family members and stuff. And I didn't want to like get them sick or anything, and I don't want to get sick myself. So that was really tough, but then being able to go to my team and say, Hey, guys, I'm dealing with this. And to have the team say, Yeah, you know, this is how I dealt with my situation. It opens up they're feeling now that I can also share something like that. Yeah.
Qasim Virjee 39:57
And it's kind of cool. I think this is something I'm hearing from bunch of people whose, you know, the pandemic fucked up work life balance in so many water person, right? Yeah. And to go full on into supporting this idea that like, Okay, you're all remote, we're all remote. But that also makes it difficult for us to turn off work in life. So setting these protocols for like notifications and making sure that people don't feel like stressed or anxious about, you know, being on call for each other even. Maybe even set some of the tone to be able to like drop the guard when when it's time to. Yeah, so that's good. And have everyone be there for each other as important, right, especially in early stage when you're founding something. Yeah. And you need to again, depend on each
Swish Goswami 40:39
other. And that's the number one reason why people don't leave companies is because of the bonds they've built in a company. Right? It's not the money at the end of the day really like you hope, isn't it? Yeah, I mean, cuz a lot of times we believe for even money that's less or kind of an equivalent offer. But the reason they leave is because you
Qasim Virjee 40:56
hear that from a young chap, you see, because there's so much fear right now, with attrition and churn in so many different types of companies. It's on one side, you've got all these like public stories of big tech companies calling Yep. Also, one thing about that, a lot of the calling is a percentage of net gains in hiring from last two years. Right. Yep. So there's that it's Yeah. But regardless, like with all that happening, you know, some people of course, yeah, have fears about it. But a lot of people that are telling us on the mic that this part of this series, that they're seeing a lot of staff chopping around constantly, and feeling. A lot of times, I think you're right, because what I'm hearing is that a lot of the times the reason for that chopping around, partly it's money, and increasing costs of living and stuff like that. But it's as people are feeling withdrawn from their teams by being remote, when maybe they weren't before. You know, they're kind of like saying, well, what's the difference between this company or another company? Yeah, I'm just a mercenary. Exactly. Especially if you're a high end engineer. Yeah. And you're gonna go in and solve problems. Yep. We've heard this from someone recently that like, if there's no more problems to solve, or that adrenaline rushes in there, because they don't have peers at the organization. They just have underlings. Yep. Yep. And they're not driven. Yeah, they feel like a contractor. They don't really feel like an employee of the company. Right. Exactly. Yeah. So it's cool to hear that from not only someone who's younger, but also someone who started a company as a remote first company. Yeah.
Hybrid work environment and remote work policies
Swish Goswami 42:29
We literally remote first company. So let's go back to this.
Qasim Virjee 42:32
What are you anticipating in terms of bringing people together in person?
Swish Goswami 42:35
Yeah, I think so. The goal is, you know, have this hybrid work environment where we probably in 2023, will map make it mandatory to go into the office, at least one day, a week, at least one day a week. And the good thing is in Toronto or in Kelowna, people can go and decide what that day is going to be. You know, I think we're leaning towards Wednesdays because Wednesdays tend to be the middle of the week. It's always a good time to kind of rally up on the start of the week, when and how you want to end up strong. So we feel like, hey, Wednesdays is going to be the day where if you're in Toronto, you have to come into the office, the hump day serve. Yeah, exactly. So that's gonna be our one day and then I think past that we're definitely excited about doing a retreat. That's something I wanted to do pre pandemic. Yeah. And I never got the chance to do it. And I think it'd be fun, go to the beach or go to Kelowna. I've ever read a quote, most of our team members in Toronto haven't been there. I think it would suck obviously, for the devs that are in Kelowna. They're like, great. We're home. But it'd be fun because they could show us their city. Maybe we go to Tofino, maybe we even go down to Vancouver, I don't know. But it'd be fun to do something in Canada, but do it out in the west, you know, in nature, that would be the goal. So I really want to do that. And then again, if you're looking for a pure in person environment five days a week, you're not going to find that at our company. And that's why it has become a hiring question we ask as well is like, what is the ideal work environment for you is one of the first questions I asked her interview. Have you found a number of people in those interviews say that they went on person? No, no, I maybe this is just I'm like self selection bias here in terms of resumes, and like also past experience, and who were like vetting and putting to the next stage. But at the same time, I just find that most people like this hybrid work environment, I honestly haven't found a single person that have come across saying I only want to work in the office. I've had a lot of people say I missed the office. And I would love to be able to go back there. And like work a couple of days a week. But I've never heard someone so far tell me I would only want to work in the office. Because there are obviously benefits to working from home. Yeah, of course, especially on some days where you just don't wake up on the right side of the bed. Do you really want to get up? And like especially if you have to drive in traffic to get into downtown Toronto? Oh my god.
Qasim Virjee 44:33
Yeah, wait till you have kids. That's first of all problems. It's like single people probably wake up on the road. They're not married. I
Swish Goswami 44:43
got married. I actually I don't have a girlfriend either. So I'm very happy about that. But then
Unknown Speaker 44:48
you'll discover the wrong side of every side of the bed up down.
Qasim Virjee 44:55
That's interesting, though, man. It's cool to hear that like you're finding people that are embracing Seeing this way of working there, they're seemingly excited to, to live it and live through it. Yeah. What is your take on though you're hiring in Canada, people going outside of our time zones. They have like, hey, swish, I want to live in Bolivia, man, or I want to live in maybe just a bad example.
Swish Goswami 45:18
Yeah. And I think about Bolivia to Tom. Yep. I'm, we're fine with it. We had a few people when the pandemic ended, who wanted to go and they wanted to do like a Europe tour or Asia tour or backpacking, stuff like that. And we're like, Yeah, go for it. One thing, too is we have a two week mandatory vacation policy now is last year, I instituted a two week minimum vacation policy, and most of our team members did not go on. But yeah,
Qasim Virjee 45:39
people won't go because they try and bank it. Yeah. Or they're like, oh, it's not the right time, right.
Side hustles and career growth within a company
Swish Goswami 45:44
But like, now, it's two weeks mandatory. And I don't care, you don't have to go anywhere, just two weeks, you have to take off. Don't don't work like you out of our system, go play fortnight, I don't care, like do something else. But you're not working for two weeks, at least you can decide when. So we had a couple of people do that. And then they decided along with that to go travel around. And again, I mean, it's a virtual work environment, if you can make the hours work. If you want to get up at 5am in the morning, work till 2pm. And jump out and get along with your day, go for it. If you want to work at 8pm and work until 5am and then go to bed and then wake up at 2pm and have that afternoon to yourself to travel, go for it. What's your take on side hustles I'm fine with that as well. Again, this is coming from a person who like I speak on the side, obviously, and I speak a lot about surfing data ownership that is complimentary. I've written a book, obviously, I post on social media, I have a Formula One podcast, and I'm launching next year. I'm all for side hustles. You know, I love that. The most important thing though, is when I like a, I want to see work and performance not hinder, obviously. But be like, I want to make sure that people know that. You know, if possible, let's try to figure out a way to get your side hustle intertwined in the company. So what I mean by that is, you know, actually one of my employees is a guy named Ali Malik, he, you know, actually also not technically dropped out, but I think he's taken years off school now he's probably gonna go back eventually, I think. But Ali started as a product intern. He's now a product owner at the company. And He's launching a podcast. And the cool thing is, when I when he talked about the podcast, I was like, you know, you should run this by the team, because I actually think there are a couple of other people that might be interested in joining. And he did that. And Sarah, on our customer support team said, I want to be a co host can I come on as a co host, she's from London, she just moved. And she is a perfect candidate. She has incredible voice, she has a great background, specifically within this niche as well that he's trying to build the podcast and, and so they decided to build it together. So that's why it's like whatever way you can try to intertwine your side hustle into the company or let let people know, don't be afraid to share it. Because I know sometimes people are afraid to share what they're working on outside of work. Awesome.
Qasim Virjee 47:47
Yeah, this came up recently, as well, in a conversation that we had for the series, where I was saying, imagine the value that can be generated if people use that kind of entrepreneurial zest for side hustles to add value to their job, you know, like so many people assume it's very, especially in large company, you're gonna get slotted into a functional role. And then you kind of assume that okay, you got to do this before you can do something else. Yeah, often cases. If you only do that something else, eventually you might actually benefit the organization far more. Yep. And to have those compete against each other can be difficult. And I have to mind of employees run their own side business as well. Have you had anyone yet come to you and say, You know what? Swish? I'd rather do this for my job. Yeah. We had like, the thing that we're doing every day. I love this. I'm good. But I really just killing me I want to do so yeah,
Swish Goswami 48:39
I've had there was a guy, Matt, who's on our team he achieved. So he just left like, about a month and a half ago, he got a job at Apple. And apples has been a dream company. He told this to us. Even during the hiring interview, he was like, you know, we asked him like, what is the dream company for you? And he said, Apple, and they were like, you know, great, Ben, he got this incredible offer. And we gave him all the best were like, You know what, this is awesome. We actually looked at his offer letter even too, because we were like, let us take a look at your offer letter and like, advises you on whether or not there's some things you should push back on. You know, and he trusted us to that point, like me and my CTO, Andrew, because we have that sort of relationship with them. But But Matt started out as a growth marketing intern, he joined our marketing team. And then I think a year and a half into running kind of a lot of performance marketing campaigns. He was like, You know what, I'm good at this. But it's not what I want to do what I want to really do, it's down product management, I want to join Andrew's team, and I want to eventually be a product owner. He had no technical background, Andrew looked at him, interviewed him for the role just like anybody else would, and decided to bring him onto that team. You know, and so we're fine with people moving departments. We don't want people doing it too often. Like if Matt later on like a year and a half, you know, said hey, I actually want to do customer support, I'd say yes, but you know, really, really like make up your mind here because you can't be shuffling around that many times, especially because we're not a 500 person or a 5000 person team. But I do I am fine with people coming in realizing, Hey, I actually want to do something else and sticking with the company and just doing it internally. Totally fine with that. So
Business growth and market downturn
Qasim Virjee 50:08
what, what do you think is coming up in the next couple of years for you guys,
Swish Goswami 50:12
I mean, hopefully we're going to reach a million users. That's the hope by the end of next year. Right. So we're currently 250,000 users started the launch the extension eight months ago, you know, and we have about 50, data customers, Netflix, L'Oreal, Electronic Arts, HP, Amazon Prime gaming. So the hope is to get to 100 customers by the end of next year. So 100 customers over a million users, that would be the goal. We're currently as an extension available in Canada, the US and the United Kingdom, we just launched in the UK two weeks ago, it's our goal for the end of 2023 is to launch in six more regions, Spain, Italy, Portugal, the Philippines, India, Brazil, those are the countries that make up the majority of our waitlist. And we're hoping that, you know, other countries in the EU are quite enticing, because of GDPR. You know, Italy, Spain, Philippines, Brazil, and India are quite enticing just because of how big those markets are in scale. And so we're excited to hopefully get a lot of our user growth just by that expansion as well. And then the final prong is the mobile solution, like I mentioned, that's it, those are kind of the main priorities for us and 2020. So in
Qasim Virjee 51:13
terms of in terms of the team growth that you'll expect during that period, I don't
Swish Goswami 51:18
I don't anticipate too much, I think we've hired well enough. I think if anything, the only hires we likely will make will be on the mobile development side. Because we have currently two mobile developers, we might need one or two more people, especially when it comes to Android, which is a totally different competency set really then than iOS, unless you're building something that's cross native, which we aren't because it is a very kind of siloed project, when it comes to ingesting data looks very different on Android and on on on iOS, and then the second would be sales, right? And then get all the sales hires we would make going forward are entirely revenue based. So you know, we have specific milestones, if we hit those milestones, it'll unlock the ability to hire additional salespeople. But just like anybody else, I mean, I'm obviously worried, right? Like I'm, I'm looking at kind of our revenue numbers, and I feel good about our current burn. But I mean, obviously, you know, if this market downturn continues, like in seven, eight months, for example, goes by, yeah, we might need to make some changes, we might need to make some changes. But obviously, the hope is that a, you know, we get our kind of goals to the point where we need to be in order to unlock the next round. But be I'm hoping the market downturn gets better in 12 to 14 months. That's the hope is that things don't continue to look like this, you know, 24 months out. Well, hopefully,
Qasim Virjee 52:32
we're all in the same soup on that. Yeah.
Swish Goswami 52:34
I mean, it's just crazy, though. Like, I know, a lot of people asked me, they're like, hey, you know, you started the business. Like, what a crazy time I'm like, Yeah, cuz like, I feel like I've really only had a year and a half of like, normal environment to like build in, you know, like otherwise, for the pandemic. Yeah, like a year and a half. And then like the pandemic head, and I had to learn how to build a company while going through the pandemic, which was already fairly new for me personally. And then I also had to now go through this market downturn, so I just genuinely feel like I have spent, like, 1015 years building. And when it's only been like, four years.
Qasim Virjee 53:09
That's the crazy thing about entrepreneurship. It's kind of like the pandemic is almost an accelerator. Yep. If it's one of your first experiences in building a business, because, fundamentally, you know, I think that old world of Product Market Fit being everything, and having the biggest shop on the high street is gone. Yep. Especially in a digital economy or digital first economy. Yep. And especially, where, you know, this convolution of reaching the customer, because of competing factors, and like users, fighting for market share with advertisers and stuff, makes it even more difficult. So yeah, if nothing else, it should be fun, the challenge should be fun. And
Swish Goswami 53:52
I've learned way too much. Like I feel like I've gotten like an MBA just through the past four years. So I know that, you know, whatever it is that I come out of this experience learning I definitely will be able to utilize that for another business or even just a side project that I want to build up. Like I just I've learned a lot even just about not only building something but also like managing people, which was something I thought were kind of intertwined, but it's not like being a good entrepreneur and being good manager. It's like two very separate things. Oh, for sure. Very separate thing.
Qasim Virjee 54:21
Building an organization is is something definitely that requires focus and attention and entrepreneur really can afford themselves that for that purpose. It feels slow and cumbersome and tiresome. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I'm quite certain that you'll continue sharing your story as we go along. And I'm looking forward to the second book coming out with
Swish Goswami 54:42
these learning not for a while honestly not for I have way too much respect for full time writers. That process was crazy, like way too much work. But very rewarding because I feel like my kind of 18 to 24 year old mindset is kind of stored within a book now which is kind of cool. Like, hopefully when I'm in my mid 30s, mid 40s, mid 50s, I could look back and say, Well, that's what, that's what's switched on. And hopefully, I'll look back and think that's an idiot. I'm gonna keep learning and hopefully get a bit smarter than two. Oh, it's
Qasim Virjee 55:12
an ever growing process. Yeah. Well, it was a pleasure. Thank you. Honestly a pleasure chatting and I look forward to more conversations.
Swish Goswami 55:20
Same here. Thanks for coming in, man. Appreciate it. Thank you.