DiscoverAsia Tech Podcast: Ashley Talks
Asia Tech Podcast: Ashley Talks

Asia Tech Podcast: Ashley Talks

Author: Ashley Galina Dudarenok

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Asia Tech Podcast: Ashley Galina Dudarenok shares insights on the Chinese tech ecosystem

http://www.atp.show/ashleytalks
21 Episodes
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313: Edith Yeung on investment and future of blockchain (Ashley Talks 21)
Podcast highlights:14:58 You are investing a lot in China while many of your colleagues in the San Francisco area do not. How does this usually work? -- Each investor has a different style in terms how they want to attract companies. It tends to be easier if you're vertically focused on a particular market, for example blockchain. If you are a founder, it's necessary to find the people who are vertically focused on the products or markets you are interested in. You should know when you reach out who you want to be contacting regarding potential investments.24:24 Turning now to the topic of blockchain, what is your vision of the future of blockchain? -- Multiple parts to this answer. Excited because it represents a change in how we think about the ownership of data. From a technology side, it's changed how people think about a lot of relationships. Obviously distributed ledger technology is not new, but what is new is the idea of tokenization. It helps creators and investors get the capital and resources they need right from the start. China and the Chinese government have been very supportive of blockchain as a technology. What they haven't been supportive of is all the cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs). China is just a huge market that basically any company focused on establishing themselves there will have enough to attract investment.44:25 Let's talk about women for a bit. How did it feel to be a female developer working in this space? -- First of all, we should encourage everyone, not just women to have a basic understanding of coding. This is going to be a building block for so many things in the future. Even if you don't end up being the person writing the code, you will be able to have meaningful conversations with people who do. In China, have met so many great women CEOs and investors. The important thing is to know what you're talking about. It's not about being a woman, it's about being good at what you do.Podcast notes:NOTE: This podcast contains explicit language00:05 Welcome Edith Yeung, Partner at 500 Startups, to Ashley Talks with host Ashley Galina Dudarenok.00:40 Tell us about your journey. How have you ended up in San Francisco Bay investing in so many global startups? -- Born and raised in Hong Kong. Came to the US at age 16 as an exchange student. Stayed with an American family in the Midwest. Have been in the US for over 20 years and started career as a developer building risk-management systems. Started own entrepreneur group in San Francisco using Meetup, which turned into a sort of media conference business. Through this met a partner from mainland China who developed Dolphin Browser on Android. This experience led to wanting to do more with investments and startups, and so here we are.07:14 What are the biggest differences between managing an investment fund versus just investing by yourself? -- As an angel investor, the thinking was why not invest some of your own money to help a company get off the ground. When managing a fund, however, the entire thought process is how do we maximize the return for our investors. As a fund manager, it's necessary to have true conviction your decisions will make a return.14:58 You are investing a lot in China while many of your colleagues in the San Francisco area do not. How does this usually work? -- Each investor has a different style in terms how they want to attract companies. It tends to be easier if you're vertically focused on a particular market, for example blockchain. If you are a founder, it's necessary to find the people who are vertically focused on the products or markets you are interested in. You should know when you reach out who you want to be contacting regarding potential investments.18:38 What are the companies you've invested in that you've liked the most or been most impressed with? Have you had any failures? -- So many. Really, there have been so many. Very much enjoyed meeting Prerna Gupta who is founder and CEO at HOOKED, which is the number one reading app in the US for millennials. As an early-stage investor, it's important to be open-minded about products and services people haven't seen before. You can't try to invest in the next Instagram, this just won't work. As a fund manager, if you see a great investment and miss out, that is a failure. When you see something you believe in, you just have to go for it.24:24 Turning now to the topic of blockchain, what is your vision of the future of blockchain? -- Multiple parts to this answer. Excited because it represents a change in how we think about the ownership of data. From a technology side, it's changed how people think about a lot of relationships. Obviously distributed ledger technology is not new, but what is new is the idea of tokenization. It helps creators and investors get the capital and resources they need right from the start. China and the Chinese government have been very supportive of blockchain as a technology. What they haven't been supportive of is all the cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs). China is just a huge market that basically any company focused on establishing themselves there will have enough to attract investment.34:19 Do you have a favorite startup coming out of China now? -- Again there are so many. If you think about content production companies, right now the power is in finding a way to produce and personalize content online. One exciting company in this space is Castbox. They are very impressive. Another company is Agora. They are doing basically video chat as a service. This is more back end, but it is gaining in popularity.44:25 Let's talk about women for a bit. How did it feel to be a female developer working in this space? -- First of all, we should encourage everyone, not just women to have a basic understanding of coding. This is going to be a building block for so many things in the future. Even if you don't end up being the person writing the code, you will be able to have meaningful conversations with people who do. In China, have met so many great women CEOs and investors. The important thing is to know what you're talking about. It's not about being a woman, it's about being good at what you do.50:52 Moving forward will you continue focusing on China? Will you continue focusing on any specific technologies? -- Focusing on early-stage blockchain-related projects. This will be the focus for the next three to six months. If you're working in this space, get in touch. It's doesn't matter if you're focused on China or not. The number one quality to seek in a founder is to never take "no" for an answer.
308: Benjamin Joffe (Ashley Talks ASH20)
Podcast highlights:11:15 If you look around Asia, what is the most exciting market you see going forward? -- Just because of it's scale, China is the place. There is no comparison to what China is doing in terms of the amount of resources being poured into innovation in China now. India is starting to rise. Indonesia is massive; but it is lacking in some of the basic infrastructure that make technical systems thrive. It's a massive problem to figure out how to offer services in a market and ecosystem that is completely different.32:15 How do you choose the right companies to work with? -- In the end we don't know if we've chosen the right companies. Maybe there are some we've missed along the way. We tend to look for very classic things. Does the startup have the right team? Do they have the skills to build with? Are they coachable? What is their market potential? What is their technology potential? Then we look at their prototype. This tells us a lot about whether the team is capable.54:13 For people listening who might be going through their own dark hour of doubt, what advice can you offer them? -- Keep your eyes open. Try to stay engaged and apply yourself. Don't just get interested in something and not do anything. You don't know where things might lead you. Don't worry too much about your status and just keep pursuing your interests. Ask for advice and don't be afraid to reach out. Also, help others help you. It's really important for founders to be visible and to be recognized as experts in their field. So be part of the public conversation.Podcast notes:00:05 Welcome Benjamin Joffe, General Partner at HAX, to Ashley Talks with host Ashley Galina Dudarenok.01:00 You've done so much in Asia, but you are not Asian yourself. Tell us your story. -- It all started in college with a minor in Japanese and strategy. Ended up doing some work in Tokyo and became interested in Korea and China so decided to stay around in the region. Liked each place during time spent there. In terms of places would want to visit again, of course Japan and Hong Kong, and yes there are lots of other places. What's interesting is that Hong Kong is not very startup friendly due to high costs and lack of talent right now.03:30 How did you end up going into business? Were you a businessman all the time? -- Don't come from a family of entrepreneurs. While in Japan, met many different entrepreneurs and became fascinated with them and their stories. Eventually decided to follow a similar path, and since 2003 haven't had to look for a job. Started doing consulting before being approached by the founder of HAX. Went to Shenzhen and was impressed by the startup environment there. In terms of hardware, Shenzhen is arguably the most amazing place in the world. What's really special there is not all the startups are Chinese companies, and at HAX we work to bring startups from around the world to Shenzhen.10:15 You say Shenzhen is just one of the places driving China forward. What are some of the other places? -- Of course there is Beijing, which is the center of telecoms and for internet. The money is there, the talent is there, and the power is there, which is really important in China as you know. Shanghai is good in marketing and online commerce.11:15 If you look around Asia, what is the most exciting market you see going forward? -- Just because of it's scale, China is the place. There is no comparison to what China is doing in terms of the amount of resources being poured into innovation in China now. India is starting to rise. Indonesia is massive; but it is lacking in some of the basic infrastructure that make technical systems thrive. It's a massive problem to figure out how to offer services in a market and ecosystem that is completely different.16:40 If you compare the Chinese and American tech ecosystems, what would you say? -- If you think about what is Silicon Valley, you realize it's the combination of having access to a large market, the combination of having infrastructure for payment, roads, logistics, internet, it's the combination of access to capital, it's the combination of talent and culture, and finally it's the fluidity in the job market. Can you get a job again if you fail? This is extremely important in containing risk and allowing people to put themselves out there.22:15 There's a lot of talk about China and the US being in a technology war. Who has the upper hand? -- To me this is not just limited to technology. Countries are engaged in economic battles all the time. Not worried about a technology war, but if you're interested in which country is doing better it matters again what you look at. The US is still ahead in terms of research universities, but in terms of commercialization of research, China is doing really well. They are also catching up on research. The momentum is on the side of China.24:46 You've been in business now for many years. What is your passion? -- Like to understand "edgy" things. At HAX we try to map the path from the lab to being a successful company. That's what I enjoy doing. The reason we only deal with hardware is because the founders recognized early on it was critical to have hardware if you ultimately want to influence the physical world. At HAX we help people build companies. We try to find the ideas that are "venture-backable." This means finding businesses that will be able to scale. We really have a comprehensive team to help founders with all aspects from manufacturing, marketing, branding, etc.32:15 How do you choose the right companies to work with? -- In the end we don't know if we've chosen the right companies. Maybe there are some we've missed along the way. We tend to look for very classic things. Does the startup have the right team? Do they have the skills to build with? Are they coachable? What is their market potential? What is their technology potential? Then we look at their prototype. This tells us a lot about whether the team is capable.34:35 In your estimation, is it easy to get startup funding now? -- The joke we have is you can find money if you're doing blockchain and can do an initial coin offering (ICO). Overall yes, there is a lot of money available; but it's not easy to get. The amount of money is not the problem, the problem is getting it in the first place. Certainly the expectations of VCs depend on which stage investor they are. Late-stage VCs might expect smaller returns on fewer investments, whereas early-stage investors might fund lots of things with the expectation only a few will show huge returns. If you want to be a good VC, you need to return 10% or ideally 20% per year over the life of your fund. In terms of the investments that fail, we just want to see people making the effort.44:55 Right now there is so much talk about gender equality in business and in tech. What do you think about women in tech and tech women in China? -- China is more egalitarian regarding gender. It is probably one of the side effects of communism. We've found women are generally more skilled at communication and organization; however, we've also seen extremely analytical and entrepreneurial women. Out of the 200 startups we've backed at HAX, 25% of them have female founders or co-founders. We try to invest in the best teams and it doesn't so much matter whether you're male or female.48:13 On your entrepreneurship journey, what have been some of your darkest hours? What have you learned from these periods? -- The most difficult times are when you start to lose interest in what you're doing and you're not quite sure what you want to do next. Rational decision-making might make you rich, but it can also make you happy. Emotional decision-making can make you happy, but it might not make you successful. The key is to find a balance.54:13 For people listening who might be going through their own dark hour of doubt, what advice can you offer them? -- Keep your eyes open. Try to stay engaged and apply yourself. Don't just get interested in something and not do anything. You don't know where things might lead you. Don't worry too much about your status and just keep pursuing your interests. Ask for advice and don't be afraid to reach out. Also, help others help you. It's really important for founders to be visible and to be recognized as experts in their field. So be part of the public conversation.
302: Olga Oleinikova (Ashley Talks ASH19)
Podcast highlights:13:00 In your career of studying people, what are some things people in business should know and try to apply in their daily life? -- Consider whether you're dealing with customers on the one hand, or members of your team on the other. With customers, follow them. Don't develop solutions that don't respond to a need. Get inside their behavior and don't make them do something they don't want to do. With your team, always listen. Be open and receptive to what you see.24:50 Let's talk about social media. What is your favorite social network and what do you think is the future of social media? -- Today social media is like a shopping mall. Younger people don't watch TV, but they are all on social. This means social media is the most effective way to reach your target audience. The problem for most companies is turning social media interest into sales. In terms of platforms, Facebook and Instagram are the two highest drivers of converting interest into sales.59:00 How does one get on the Forbes' 30 Under 30 list? -- The key is focusing on what matters to you. Do your own thing and find your own path. If you have a path, people will see it and come on-board. Receiving this award brought us a lot of new clients. We received a lot of media and promotion from it as well. It was also a big validation.Podcast notes:00:05 Welcome Olga Oleinikova, co-founder and CEO of Persollo, to Ashley Talks with host Ashley Galina Dudarenok.01:15 What is your story? -- Started current and first business in 2015. Originally from Kiev, Ukraine; moved to Australia in 2012. Came to Sydney to do a PhD in Political Science. The academic journey became a bit boring so decided to switch paths and pursue this business idea.04:15 How was the transition jumping into business? -- As a person, was always entrepreneurial. Always had a mindset for raising money. The area is different, clearly; but in the end it's just about people. Picked Australia for the sense of adventure; no real connections there. Still linked back home quite a bit as most of Persollo's development team is in Ukraine.08:55 Have you always been an over-achiever? -- Thirsty for new adventures; just want to enjoy life. Things just happened and there's a lot of luck involved...and hard work.13:00 In your career of studying people, what are some things people in business should know and try to apply in their daily life? -- Consider whether you're dealing with customers on the one hand, or members of your team on the other. With customers, follow them. Don't develop solutions that don't respond to a need. Get inside their behavior and don't make them do something they don't want to do. With your team, always listen. Be open and receptive to what you see.18:05 You work with people from two very different cultures, Australia and Ukraine. What are the differences you see in how people work? -- Never did business in Ukraine, so keep that in mind. In Australia, people seem more willing to invest in new ideas and products.20:00 Do you find it's easy to do business in Australia? -- Yes, very much. My story is one of being female, being a migrant, and being young. This is an intersection of many challenges but still it's possible to do well. As a woman, there is a lot of support from other women in business. There are networks to provide help and encouragement.24:50 Let's talk about social media. What is your favorite social network and what do you think is the future of social media? -- Today social media is like a shopping mall. Younger people don't watch TV, but they are all on social. This means social media is the most effective way to reach your target audience. The problem for most companies is turning social media interest into sales. In terms of platforms, Facebook and Instagram are the two highest drivers of converting interest into sales.30:00 Is it cost-effective for brands to work with social media influencers? -- It depends. It's certainly less expensive to work with influencers than to do traditional media buys and produce advertisement. Another benefit from influencers is they provide a distribution channel. Finally, they give reviews. But again the problem remains one of turning media dollars into sales. For us at Persollo, we have our influencers include the platform in all their posts.34:14 So talking about Persollo, how exactly does it work? -- Say you're browsing on Instagram and you see a dress you like. You would click on the image and then receive a pop-up with product information and where you can provide your payment details. With one-click you're basically at the checkout.36:00 How do you see the world coming to this integrated retail model with social media and shopping combined? When might we expect this from major platforms like Facebook and Instagram? -- We see some of this already. Instagram recently just rolled out their shopping price tags, but it still requires retailers to have their own brand pages where people go to transact. There still are big concerns with security and privacy. This is where Persollo is different. We offer platform independence.40:40 So then what is your business model at Persollo? -- Currently we offer three plans: starter, expert, and business. These have different features depending on a user's needs.45:20 If right now you had a billion US dollars, what would you create? What would you build? -- Of course invest in Persollo. More seriously, would like to see an investment in AI. Things like image recognition. AI and blockchain are exciting technologies. These things are in our minds.48:00 What advice would you give to entrepreneurs just beginning their journeys? -- Each day choose one thing to empower yourself. Pick one thing maybe you're scared to do and do it once per day. Get yourself out of your comfort zone and unlocking potential you didn't know you had.50:00 How is your fundraising going? -- We just closed our seed round about a year ago. We have about five main investors on-board now. Raising money right now is challenging but it is possible, if you have a solid team and solid product. The Australian angel investment market is pretty small, but it is there and they will support you. Now we are looking for funding in Asia in places like Hong Kong and Singapore. Our cash burn rate now is quite low, we've been able to bootstrap a lot of things and already we're starting to see profit.53:45 How would you encourage more women to get into business? -- Don't think about fact you are a woman. Focus on your business and growing yourself as a human being. Many people are scared of failure, but this is a part of the process. In the beginning there were dark moments for us. Early on our CTO decided to pursue other things and this left us as a group of non-technical people trying to design a technical platform. Luckily we found someone else to work with us.59:00 How does one get on the Forbes' 30 Under 30 list? -- The key is focusing on what matters to you. Do your own thing and find your own path. If you have a path, people will see it and come on-board. Receiving this award brought us a lot of new clients. We received a lot of media and promotion from it as well. It was also a big validation.
291: Ankit Prasad (Ashley Talks ASH18)
Podcast highlights:12:45 What is the Bobble keyboard?28:00 Does Ankit think Asia is a bit more narcissistic in social media? Will places like Europe or Latin America also hop on that train or is it something unique or heavily used in Asia? Also, does Ankit feel that this social media trend will continue and if so, what's next after emojis?49:15 Right now, so many companies out there are obsessed with data to feed future AI machines. In Ankit's view, what is the right way to use data?Podcast notes:00:05 ASH18 - Ashley Talks with Ashley Galina Dudarenok00:10 Welcome Ankit Prasad to Ashley Talks01:00 Ankit programmed his first thing when he was six years old!02:45 Does Ankit think that ingenuity - when it comes to technology, this skill or curiosity - is learned or inborn?03:45 Ankit went and built a company when he was 16. Is he coming from an entrepreneurial background or is his family in business? How does that happen to a teenager?06:15 How did Ankit's parents react when he dropped out of college? Were they sceptical, mortified, excited for him? As a 16-year-old and suddenly placing that financial responsibility for the whole family on his shoulders, was Ankit stressed? Also, was it a smooth journey? What was his darkest moment?12:45 What is the Bobble keyboard?14:50 What is the most convenient or most used feature of the Bobble keyboard?17:35 Where is Bobble keyboard distributed right now? Is it only across India or does it have users from other countries?19:35 What is the business model behind the Bobble keyboard? How does it make money?22:30 Is Bobble keyboard possible to launch on Whatsapp, Viber, WeChat?23:10 What does Ankit think about this new generation of people and this new world of social media, emojis and the Bobble keyboard?28:00 Does Ankit think Asia is a bit more narcissistic in social media? Will places like Europe or Latin America also hop on that train or is it something unique or heavily used in Asia? Also, does Ankit feel that this social media trend will continue and if so, what's next after emojis?32:15 If Ankit had US$1 billion and he could spend it on any technology or any project of his liking to build something new or cool, what would he invest that money in? Following on, what can untangle us from the side of technology that makes us lazy, dumb and emotionless? What could save humanity?35:20 What is Ankit's favourite type of input method when communicating with people?36:10 What are Ankit's thoughts on the future of video content being put out on the web and the audio content that is being shared? Also, is the future audio or video?38:20 When Ankit started his business ten years ago, has it changed now? How has the startup ecosystem in India changed? Is it more startup or technology friendly? Does he see more and more people going into business?45:00 In Ankit's view, the difference between a business and a startup is in its mission48:15 How long can one be called a startup? Is there a time limit to one being a startup or is it more like a mission - one can be a startup even twenty years down the road?49:15 Right now, so many companies out there are obsessed with data to feed future AI machines. In Ankit's view, what is the right way to use data?54:25 What does Ankit think about blockchain technology - its problems and its future?56:30 Cryptocurrency is Ankit's favourite blockchain application so far. Why is he excited about it and how does that translate to his world? Also, is Ankit investing in cryptocurrency himself?59:10 AI is the technology Ankit is most excited about right now. Why? And how would he contribute to this technology's development?61:45 What is Ankit's favourite movie or book?63:40 Who within Ankit's community/family/famous person inspires him and gives him the traditional spark, passion or strength to go forward and keep changing the world for that matter?65:10 Check out Bobble keyboard at the Play Store or App Store
276: Jasen Wang (Ashley Talks ASH17)
Podcast highlights:00:55 Tell us more about Makeblock -- Makeblock is a company whose aim is to help people create. Often people have an idea but need help on the mechanical, software, or electronics side of things. What we do is provide a platform to unify these elements and help people create.12:15 What advice would you offer people in terms of how to get started? What things do you think are necessary to be successful in this field? -- You have to have an interest in what you're doing. Running a business is very very hard, so having that interest is important. Another recommendation is think differently. Many people fail because they just try to copy what someone else is doing and don't bring new ideas and products to market.51:30 If you can leave listeners with some wisdom, what would it be? -- Do things that help people remain in the physical world. Keep building and creating!Podcast notes:NOTE: This episode contains explicit language.00:05 Welcome Jasen Wang, Founder and CEO of Makeblock to Ashley Talks with Ashley Galina Dudarenok.00:55 Tell us more about Makeblock -- Makeblock is a company whose aim is to help people create. Often people have an idea but need help on the mechanical, software, or electronics side of things. What we do is provide a platform to unify these elements and help people create.01:50 The robots people create with Makeblock, can they actually be functional? -- Yes. Our platform has macro-parts that are strong and can be used in many situations. Mostly our robots are used for educational purposes, though.02:50 Tell us about your personal journey. -- Learned design at university with the dream of becoming an aircraft designer. While doing a Master's degree, developed an interest in robotics. After graduating, moved to Shenzhen for the many opportunities there. Had an interest to start own company doing something with robotics.06:40 Has your family supported you along the way? Are there other entrepreneurs in your family? -- A very normal family. Parents live in a very small town where they are farmers. There was not much help they could provide in terms of my career. They supported my decisions, however, and allowed me to do what I wanted to do.08:06 Did you always have success at Makeblock or were there challenging times? -- In the very beginning, things were very hard. In the first three months, you have a lot of passion because you've just started the journey; but after there were problems and difficulties with financing in the first year.10:55 How long has it taken you to reach your current level at Makeblock? -- Left first job in 2007 to join the incubator HAX. It was in 2012 where the first big steps towards Makeblock occured when we raised US$6 million in our Series A funding cycle. In 2017, we closed a US$30 million round.12:15 What advice would you offer people in terms of how to get started? What things do you think are necessary to be successful in this field? -- You have to have an interest in what you're doing. Running a business is very very hard, so having that interest is important. Another recommendation is think differently. Many people fail because they just try to copy what someone else is doing and don't bring new ideas and products to market.15:25 How do you see the market right now embracing your product? -- What we see is that STEM education is really taking off in China. The Chinese Ministry of Education is really putting focus on STEM and also on making. In China alone the market for STEM education is estimated to be worth US$8 trillion. Makeblock is now a leading STEM education company. This is a great opportunity for us. Right now our sales are about 30% within China and 70% outside China. Our other big markets are in America, France, Japan, Germany, and the UK.19:18 One of the things you do is push your staff to innovate and come up with new robots. Why do you do this? -- We do this through our own internal makathons, and the reason is to keep the company creative. We want all our members to be creative. Anyone in the company can join these sessions and each session will have a topic. Teams then think about and actually realize new ideas within the established makathon topic.23:00 What is your favorite robot you've seen come out of these makathons? -- My favorite is the one who looks like WALL-E from the Pixar film.24:29 What do you see right now as the future of Chinese tech? What are some of the more exciting things coming out now in China? -- China benefits from having good factories and very good supply chains, and also some very good software companies. On the hardware and software sides China has a very good foundation. Future products that combine these two assets will do really well.27:00 Based on your experience, which of the two major major Chinese technology companies, Alibaba or Tencent, which of those two are doing better in the Chinese market? -- From my perspective, I think Alibaba has the edge because they provide a lot in terms of e-commerce and supply chain.30:50 How long do you think it will be before AI truly changes our world? -- It will still take time. AI can right now only solve problems in the digital world. In the physical world, we need some really good machines that can work with the AI. The bodies in robotics need to be very smart and very strong. This is what will take more time, the hardware...maybe 10 to 20 years.34:50 Moving forward, what do you see is the future for Makeblock and yourself? -- Our mission at Makeblock is to help people create. We hope in the future when people want to create, they can find the solutions they need with Makeblock. Creating things brings people happiness and we want to empower people with the technology they need to realize their ideas.37:10 What motivates you personally going forward? -- We want to make the world a better place and improve education across the world. This is what motivates us. For me, I look up to people like Elon Musk, who is someone trying to solve problems others cannot. He is a hero.39:00 Let's talk about women in technology in China. How do you empower your female employees? -- Girls and boys have different interests. What we find is that women are doing great work in marketing and outreach at our company. In China, there are a lot of strong female entrepreneurs. Chinese women have a lot of ambition.43:20 You started your journey as an entrepreneur in 2012. Do you think it is easier or harder now to be an entrepreneur in China? -- It's easier, without a doubt. Technology is really popular and there is a lot of support from government and society for young startup companies.51:30 If you can leave listeners with some wisdom, what would it be? -- Do things that help people remain in the physical world. Keep building and creating!
273: Fransiska Hadiwidjana (Ashley Talks ASH16)
Podcast highlights:12:50 How does Fransiska motivate herself to always stay curious? How can everyone keep being curious?22:00 What role does Fransiska want to play in the future of humanity with regards to programming?32:00 What can people learn from Fransiska being strong and successful even as a "minority"? Fransiska's key lessons - believe in yourself and have the right mentorsPodcast notes:00:05 ASH16 - Ashley Talks with Ashley Galina Dudarenok00:10 Welcome Fransiska Hadiwidjana to Ashley Talks01:00 Fransiska tells why she's so interested in STEM and how she went about achieving all these fantastic things09:50 What does Fransiska have to say to people who say tech, math, physics - stuff she's interested in from early on - is not a "girl thing"?12:50 How does Fransiska motivate herself to always stay curious? How can everyone keep being curious?13:50 Who are some of Fransiska's inspirators, mentors, cheerleaders - people who she looks up to and who drive her forward?14:40 Why programming? What's so fascinating about that and what has Fransiska learned along the way that kept her coming back to it?16:00 Can anyone learn technology and what is the future of technology in a general sense?17:45 Does Fransiska think that everyone will know programming? And if so, why shall ordinary people not professionally involved in that be on point?19:00 Fransiska advises where people should start with regarding programming20:30 Where does Fransiska think technology is gonna take us in the coming 5-10 years?22:00 What role does Fransiska want to play in the future of humanity with regards to programming?23:30 If Fransiska had $1 billion available to her and she could build anything in the world, what would this product/project be that she would like to realize?24:30 What is Fransiska most excited about in terms of biotechnology right now?26:10 How is Indonesia unique to the rest of the world? How is doing business in Indonesia different from the rest of Southeast Asia?27:55 Does Fransiska think that Indonesia is the next miracle of China?29:22 What does Fransiska think is the biggest threat to doing business in Indonesia?30:25 Being a woman in Indonesia, Fransiska is an example to many. Does she feel that there are unique advantages/disadvantages for being a female founder, owner and CEO in Indonesia and her particular market?32:00 What can people learn from Fransiska being strong and successful even as a "minority"? Fransiska's key lessons - believe in yourself and have the right mentors34:05 How do you find the right mentors?35:40 What does Fransiska think is the future of this shared economy, second-hand used products and e-commerce in general?37:35 How soon are people gonna turn more into shared economy and reuse great goods? How soon is this shift going to happen?39:00 100 years from now, does Fransiska see people focusing on consumption or people being altruistic beings that are creating a better world for themselves and others?40:20 How in this economy does marketing come in?42:30 On recently being named Asia's 30 Under 30 by Forbes - has this transformed Fransiska's life so far and how does it feel to be a "30 Under 30 queen"?43:30 Fransiska plugs Prelo as founder and CEO of the company
270:  Amy Blaschka (Ashley Talks ASH15)
Podcast highlights:10:06 As videos become more popular, are copywriting and words becoming less relevant? Videos vs the written word25:03 Amy talks about her favourite social media platform LinkedIn and how it has transformed itself into a content creation platform29:42 The importance of being perfectly imperfect and showing authenticity as well as vulnerability on social mediaPodcast notes:00:05 ASH15 - Ashley Talks with Amy Blaschka hosted by Ashley Galina Dudarenok00:55 Amy's story - how did Amy become a business owner, copywriter and brand strategist?06:26 Is writing a skill that can be learnt by anyone? Amy's perspective on this10:06 As videos become more popular, are copywriting and words becoming less relevant? Videos vs the written word14:27 Amy's opinion of ghostwriters and the ghostwriting industry18:36 More about ghostwriting, from having a template, the time it takes and how much it pays24:03 Why hasn't Amy authored a book by herself yet?25:03 Amy talks about her favourite social media platform LinkedIn and how it has transformed itself into a content creation platform29:42 The importance of being perfectly imperfect and showing authenticity as well as vulnerability on social media33:12 What program is Amy using to caption her videos?36:01 Amy answers Ashley's question on whether there is a difference between the way men and women work40:33 How to choose the best internal writer or copywriter? A good writer is also a good listener44:30 What platforms can people access to look for writers? From LinkedIn to TripAdvisor48:06 Amy suggests resources to become a better business writer - Grammarly.com, Hemmingway.com, HeadlineAnalyzer 52:03 What's the difference between a writer, a copy editor and a content editor?53:50 To work with Amy, find her on LinkedIn, AmyBlaschka.com or write to her at Amy@AmyBlaschka.com
264: Sam Waldo (Ashley Talks ASH14)
Podcast highlights:00:51 What is your story? Why China? -- I studied Chinese at university, it seemed a very challenging thing to do. I came to China on a study-abroad and it was obvious China was the place to be. In 2010, I joined a non-profit called Teach for China (link to Chinese language website). What better way to plan for a long-term career in China than to start from the ground up?25:15 How would you define modern Chinese consumers? -- Young Chinese consumers are slowly moving in a more socially-conscious direction. Things you already see are environmental awareness, health, and a desire for a cleaner, more simplistic lifestyle. This is completely brand new in China. One thing you see is companies who try to copy this model don't do too well because they lack the authenticity. This is really important if you are going to succeed in this space.39:30 What has been your experience as a foreigner doing business in China? -- As a foreigner you have a ceiling. There are places you can't go and things you can't do. At the end of the day I'm not Chinese and I'm never going to be Chinese. This will always limit what you can achieve. But there are things you can tap into as a foreigner. Interestingly Chinese people have told us they trust our motives more because we are foreigners. There remains a strong suspicion that Chinese people doing charity work are trying to get rich and famous.Podcast notes:00:05 ASH13 - Ashley Talks with Ashley Galina Dudarenok and Sam Waldo, co-founder of Mantra.00:51 What is your story? Why China? -- I studied Chinese at university, it seemed a very challenging thing to do. I came to China on a study-abroad and it was obvious China was the place to be. In 2010, I joined a non-profit called Teach for China (link to Chinese language website). What better way to plan for a long-term career in China than to start from the ground up?04:18 Teach for China was a eye-opening experience for so many of us because as high-achieving Americans, we assumed we were going to just go to these places in rural China and make an immediate impact. The reality, however, was different. The systemic problems facing our students were much larger than any of us could solve in two years.06:13 We found we could more directly help these students when we discovered so many of them had serious vision issues. You could see how vision-impairment was keeping these students back. So we got the idea to do a small glasses project. We self-funded a small project to get glasses and eye exams to around 500 students in Yunnan province where we were teaching. We consistently found 90+% of students who needed glasses didn't have them. From these early efforts we grew into the non-profit Education in Sight, which we've run since 2012.09:15 We are proud of the work we've done, but to give a sense of scale, researchers who have looked at the problem estimate 30 million students in rural China lack access to needed vision care. This is equal to the entire population of Canada!10:05 After you've given kids glasses, were you able to see results? -- First, research has shown that when done correctly, vision care intervention is equivalent to an additional year of schooling. So this is potentially a very impactful project. That said, when we got started we didn't really know what we were doing and how to, for example, ensure students consistently wore their glasses.13:30 We found in many rural areas lots of misunderstanding about wearing glasses. Some adults still think that if you wear glasses, you will become reliant on them and that it's better to not wear them so your vision will improve. Obviously this goes against modern scientific understanding of how vision impairment works.15:41 Do you have plans to expand and cover other regions? -- We are always looking for ways to expand. For now though our focus remains on Yunnan province where we have the networks.17:30 Now onto Mantra. Tell us about this social enterprise. -- One thing my co-founder and I wanted to do is get ourselves out of the cycle of being dependent on donors for funding. We wanted to break free from the situation where we were always concerned if we would have the resources necessary to carry out our vision.21:58 We started looking at other companies like TOMS, who have really pioneered this buy-one, give-one model. This model of socially-conscious consumption is integral to those brands. We saw the potential for this to work in China where no one was serving this market.25:15 How would you define modern Chinese consumers? -- Young Chinese consumers are slowly moving in a more socially-conscious direction. Things you already see are environmental awareness, health, and a desire for a cleaner, more simplistic lifestyle. This is completely brand new in China. One thing you see is companies who try to copy this model don't do too well because they lack the authenticity. This is really important if you are going to succeed in this space.30:20 How do you build the emotion in the consumer and show you're in this space for "authentic" reasons? -- We worked to build our story. You have to find the way to communicate what makes you unique to your target customer. There is so much content today. You need to have something that can cut through all the other noise, even if it's only for a day.37:20 What is your experience using bloggers and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)? -- This experience has been mixed. We started trying to find people who maybe didn't have a huge following but whose style matched our own. There is no easy formula to know what will work.39:30 What has been your experience as a foreigner doing business in China? -- As a foreigner you have a ceiling. There are places you can't go and things you can't do. At the end of the day I'm not Chinese and I'm never going to be Chinese. This will always limit what you can achieve. But there are things you can tap into as a foreigner. Interestingly Chinese people have told us they trust our motives more because we are foreigners. There remains a strong suspicion that Chinese people doing charity work are trying to get rich and famous.44:29 I want Mantra to be successful so we can show people in China you can mix business and charity as long as you're high on integrity and genuineness. I also hope we can show you can in fact make money doing this type of socially-conscious work.45:50 Right now how do Mantra and Education in Sight work together? -- We do a percentage of revenue. Because Education in Sight is not just providing glasses but rather also training doctors and helping educate people on the importance of vision, we cannot just simply rely on donating glasses from Mantra. So according to our sales at Mantra we will make a certain size donation to Education in Sight, which they will roll into their budget.48:10 What are some of your favorite social brands? -- Let's see, there's Soapbox soaps. I'm a huge fan of Warby Parker.49:53 What do you think is going to be the future of China? -- What keeps me optimistic are the people I've met and been able to work with. The world needs young Chinese people who find more than just commercial success or stability. China is rapidly moving towards being true to yourself and finding a way to be unique.52:36 Do you think China is misunderstood right now in the rest of the world? -- I don't think average Americans, even well-educated Americans, understand China at all. People just don't know what's going on. There is still a long way to go for China to help the world understand it.57:15 How does it feel to be named 30 Under 30 by Forbes? -- I feel I've learned a good deal about myself because of this. I hope it is useful but it struck me how far we still have to go. I hope this will help us magnify our voice and get more resources for our projects.58:26 Where are you going next? -- We are looking to scale. We've done a proof-of-concept basically, now we need to take Mantra from the kernel where we are now and really grow.
259: Nabomita Mazumdar (Ashley Talks ASH13)
Podcast highlights:09:36 Where do you find energy for your passions? -- Everyone needs something that can keep them awake at 2:00am. At the end of the day these communities are people in flesh and bone. Serving them is a wonderful thing.14:48 Why do so many women have a complicated relationship to money in business? -- This is ironic because so many women have experiences as homemakers. Some of the best business skills you could hope for emerge from this work; but for some reason, when women become product-makers or entrepreneurs they become "too feminine" about money and almost shy to talk about numbers.31:28 What is the future for workers who in a very short time may lose their jobs and livelihoods as a result of automation and technological change? -- Bots and robots are inevitable. The sorts of "cookie-cutter" jobs that were designed in the first place for machines and not humans will go back to the machines. These human workers are not yet ready to take on more specialized tasks. We need to change this.Podcast notes:00:05 ASH13 - Ashley Talks with Ashley Galina Dudarenok and Nabomita Mazumdar00:55 What is your story? -- In her final year in college, Nabomita was introduced to an anonymous online community in India. She linked up with the founder and helped establish offline chapters in cities across India and around the world. After four years as a contributor, she joined the effort full-time. These rich interactions taught her product development and business acumen.06:23 What are you working on right now? -- Nothing inspires me more than building a product. Right now I'm working with a human resources (HR) company called comply4HR, which is a human resources compliance company who's entire content is written by people in authority in HR governance. This makes the site valuable because the content is highly validated and curated.09:36 Where do you find energy for your passions? -- Everyone needs something that can keep them awake at 2:00am. At the end of the day these communities are people in flesh and bone. Serving them is a wonderful thing.11:08 How do men and women differ in business? -- Notice that we haven't been talking about numbers or features. We've been talking about people, about women. This is the difference. Women do not think in terms of numbers but in terms of people. Sometimes this harms women trying to launch products or brands where investors and VCs want returns and systematized growth plans. Women need to learn these skills in order to succeed.14:48 Why do so many women have a complicated relationship to money in business? -- This is ironic because so many women have experiences has homemakers. Some of the best business skills you could hope for emerge from this work, but for some reason when women become product-makers or entrepreneurs they become "too feminine" about money and almost shy to talk about numbers.17:35 What can men learn from women? -- Empathy! Women instinctively know what to do next. If men can learn to empathize more and women learn number-crunching skills we can all build a better world.18:50 How have you seen India change in the past 10 years? -- India is right now in a "maker's moment." Almost everyone is building a product. Everybody is adding to the ecosystem. It's a great moment in India right now.20:30 What are some cities in India that everyone around the world should know? Where are the major tech hubs in India now? -- Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai are the major metropolises everyone knows. But also Pune, where they are trying to build the best healthcare platform. India's tier-2 cities are picking up but the major metro areas still rule the roost.23:33 Is it difficult to be a young Indian woman in business in India? -- In India it is not easy to be a woman in business. There are some men who support women. Maybe the number isn't great yet, but things are improving.26:00 Do successful women simply make their mark and demand the world change to meet them? -- Absolutely! Be so lost in following your dream that everybody follows you! Let nothing break you down! We need to showcase successful women. We need so many role models that we cannot help but see an inspiring woman no matter where we look.28:08 What has it been like speaking at TEDx? -- Because of my experience I have learned to see where industries are going and this has allowed me to talk now about the future of work. In my thinking and research on this topic I found in India there are three levels of talent. 1) The Maker's Movement. These are the people who can't wait to build the next best thing. 2) Those people who are stable and want to continue in their jobs so they can keep increasing their assets. 3) Finally, there is a group who know they will likely be churned out after the next performance review. This third group are the people who are expanding the gig-economy. The entire experience of TED has been an education.31:28 What is the future for workers who in a very short time may lose their jobs and livelihoods as a result of automation and technological change? -- Bots and robots are inevitable. The sorts of "cookie-cutter" jobs that were designed in the first place for machines and not humans will go back to the machines. But these human workers are not yet ready to take on more specialized tasks. We need to change this.35:06 What are some examples of products you think are built, as you say, "for humans"? -- Think about it this way. India as a country is too large. We do not need every person to leave the village and find work and services in the cities. We need to make the same quality services available in the village. We need to allow people to live where they want without having to give up on products and services found now only in major cities. This is the kind of pathway we need to build.36:57 Do you think we will find a future where people can opt-out of the workforce entirely? Can you see a future where people don't have to work if they don't want to? -- What a dream! One of my mentors once said we need a society where people do not have to leave their homes and villages to cater to the world. This is how we need to redesign the workforce of the future. Allow people to cater to the world from their homes.39:29 Thinking about the future, what technologies are you most excited about right now? -- Honestly AI and blockchain. They are the paths to the future, but they are not the future. We will likely find even more specialized versions of them. It like peeling an onion, there are always more layers. Expect to see more disruption in data-privacy and security.41:59 Do you think the world understands India's full potential? -- If you've ever traveled in India, you will know India changes every 60 kilometers. There is huge potential in the market because almost every area has it's own unique requirements.44:27 Do you see more young people with a desire to innovate? Or are young people less interested in contributing to industry? -- What I see are young people making things all the time. It's true they often don't know how to make a product work in the long run, but they are super passionate. I want to see young people building responsible products so that they're not just doing "me too's" and copies of other products. Be disruptive but learn how scaling-up works and see how people in the past have moved from idea to established brand.49:09 A totally unrelated question: how have Indian people become so spiritual? How is it you can find incredible spiritual depth in India? -- No matter your religion you have easy access to the scriptures. This level of access to spiritual content goes a long way in fusing people with a sense of spirituality. Buddha says, "your work is to find your work and fall in love with it." When AI takes away our jobs, our work will be to find our work and fall in love with it.
254: String Nguyen (Ashley Talks ASH12)
Podcast highlights:01:00 Starting out on Meerkat, how did String Nguyen build content and community around her video content and eventually get 20,000 followers on Linkedin?13:10 Growing your Linkedin followers to 20,000+ . There's a 30,000 limit on Linkedin followers, how do you get around it? How do you win a Linkedin "top voice" award? It's all about community and growth.44:30 Why did String delete SnapChat? What's the problem with SnapChat for content creators? How does the ROI of SnapChat compare with Linkedin?Podcast notes:00:00 ASH12 - Ashley Talks with Ashley Galina Dudarenok and String Nguyen01:00 Starting out on Meerkat, how did String Nguyen build content and community around her video content and eventually get 20,000 followers on Linkedin?05:00 How do videos convert compared to other platforms? Before you get to conversion, you should build brand awareness? Is it okay to publish informal personal content on Linkedin or does it have to be slick and professional?08:45 In video content creation, it's tortoise vs the hare. Personal branding is a marathon not a sprint. It's a full time job that you have to commit to for the long term13:10 Growing your Linkedin followers to 20,000+ . There's a 30,000 limit on Linkedin followers, how do you get around it? How do you win a Linkedin "top voice" award? It's all about community and growth.14:10 An insight about String's entrepreneurship and her journey. Where did it come from?19:00 How do you become good at communication and ask great questions in videos and podcasts?21:00 String's thoughts on Blockchain and ICOs, including who she follows on Twitter30:00 How do education systems shape our thinking processes and entrepreneurship long term?31:40 What are String's thought on Asia, innovation and entrepreneurship?39:00 Why did String double down on video? What does it mean for SEO? What about sponsored video content?44:30 Why did String delete SnapChat? What's the problem with SnapChat for content creators? How does the ROI of SnapChat compare with Linkedin?52:00 Live Streaming and the future of Video. Ashley and String discuss Live Streaming in Asia, its impact on social media, micro influencers and new retail.
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Comments (3)

我是猫

Very good

Jun 15th
Reply

Tom Duddridge

didn't watch just subcribed

May 13th
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Scott Zhang

Sound good!Nice podcast.

Apr 19th
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