Episode 32 - Rajesh Gopi - Planning Ahead

Rajesh Gopi (00:00):
The math is very complicated. So we spent more than a year just getting the math. Right? I think my wife is like ridiculously cool. They had to walk maybe like five miles to get to the school every day. Like, so, so I went took an application and fill it up. And I took to my dad saying, Hey, here, here to sign. And my dad asked you, what is this for? He looked at it, he just told an application. So he said, no, you're not doing that. Go get a degree. So I know what this is, but I need to go figure this out.

Young Han (00:36):
Hey guys, I'm young, a full-time dad and a full-time professional with the goal to become home. The best parent possible. The girl dad show is my journey interviewing fellow working parents aspiring to be both good at work and parenting. I'm gonna do this by gathering and sharing unfiltered perspectives from my guest. So join me as I research parenthood one interview at a time. This episode of the girl Dad show is brought to you by two 12, among the many things that I do. I'm also an angel investor. The two biggest mistakes I see founders make when they come to me for investments are one. They don't have a clean cap table. And two, they're unable to clearly articulate how my equity will dilute over future rounds. And more importantly, what my ROI will be when the company exits it's very difficult for me to make my investment decisions out. These data points two 12 solves this problem for both me and the founders for $240 a year, two 12 offers an incredibly powerful cap table management and valuation modeling platform. It is by far one of the most powerful productivity tools I've seen. And I highly recommend every founder sign up modeling, convertible notes, safes price rounds, prorata liquidation preferences, and exit events is a breeze on two 12 founders can then easily share all these complex calculations. And what if scenarios with investors and close around much quicker. They're also giving my listeners 25% off their first year's membership costs. If you use the discount code T G D S at checkout, if you're a founder or investor, you should app get on two 12 as soon as possible. It's an absolute, no brainer. Dilution is real and complex. Cap table management is confusing and expensive. You need to get on two 12 today. What's the point of building a successful company you don't own?!

Young Han (02:16):
Rajesh. Thank you so much for joining me on my podcast today.

Rajesh Gopi (02:19):
Awesome man. Like a pleasure to speak with you Young.

Young Han (02:23):
It's so fun to be able to talk to you about parenting in addition to all the stuff that we talk about with two 12.

Rajesh Gopi (02:29):
Yeah, yeah. I remember like when you and I, one of our first meetings I kind of started getting into parenting and he said, oh, I don't wanna hear anything right now. Let's wait for the podcast before you tell me more. So yeah.

Young Han (02:43):
I told you to save it. I, I was like, save it for the podcast. Save it for the podcast. Don't do anything though. Yeah, well, let's get the listeners caught up to our relationship. So why don't you tell everyone what you do for a living?

Rajesh Gopi (02:52):
So I'm in the startup ecosystem for the past 16 years plus. So living is a very strong word, so it's more of what I do for surviving. So so currently I, I'm a co-founder of a startup called two 12. And the the idea for two really came about because of a lot of the problems that I saw with founders giving up too much equity away too soon. And in the, in the process, they either lose control of the company or they get acquired and the investors gonna pick up majority of the lion share when the company exists. And and, and I've been at the three other startups before and seen this happen over and over, and I've been talking to a lot of other startup founders and I see it's a very common pattern. The problem that I see is that founders are super focused on on the problem they're trying to solve the market they're going after the customers. They want to service the building, their actual product and so on, but in the process, they kind of lose sight of equity, which is the most important piece for which one they're working for, cuz as an investor, the investors really care about the equity component. And but they, but the founders put that in the back burner and not focus on that piece as much. So what I'm trying to do here at two 12 is allow founders to also think about their equity in front and center and, and the reason they're not doing that as well today is because there are no tools and data available at startup friendly price. There are tools out there, but it's much more price here. So they have to cough up say $5,000 to get some of these tools. So, so at two 12, what we've done is we make all these data and tools available, let's say 20 bucks a month, right? So that's a starting price for the cap table. So it just makes it easy for them to understand how the ownership and the company will dilute over a period of time. So, so let's say that's a core piece of two 12 as a, but besides that, I'm also running the managing director for the accelerator called founders post where we help so many other founders come in and help them be laser focused on their next milestone traction and the process. I get to speak with so many founders and understand their problems and I also, or teach so many sessions about equity. So it's like a mix of different things in the startup ecosystem. That's pretty much what I do hopefully for the past three years maybe.

Young Han (05:32):
Yeah, that's awesome, man. And I think that if like you really dig into it, it's so funny because people don't realize how irrefutable it is once you get into a turn sheet. Right. And so how damaging that can be for the founder as they start to get into like the fourth or fifth round of funding and not being able to calculate the dilution that you're going through and, you know, exiting these companies or even like getting acquired or going public is like such a rarity. And then just to find out that you've been diluted so much because, you know, calculating post safes and convertible notes and warrants and discounts, I mean, it just is so hard to calculate that that's great and really understand and fo forecast it. So I think it's really incredible. I mean, the moment I heard about the product, I was like, yeah, this is exactly what needed right now because I think so many founders don't even realize why it's so important. You know, it's like, you're gonna work your brains out, you know, to, you know, build your passion or build your company and, and not even realize what the, the exit plan looks like for you. Right. And, and you kind of don't actually really hear about it either. I mean, not too many people talk about their exits and, and, you know, and then the reality of how little they actually go to the exit. You know, and typically, and it's just one of those things that's really, really fascinating. Why, why do you think that is?

Rajesh Gopi (06:48):
So I think it is because of lack of education, my opinion. So if you think about, okay, how many founders took their company through I P O where the founders still held majority control or of the common shares, at least they're not too many, right. So you can actually count in two hands. How many of those companies you can probably recall typically what happens, the founders come in, they try to solve a problem and they raise one or two round of capital and they get it kicked out because there's no lack of traction. And then all of a sudden the, the ownership dilutes. So for personally, I can give you some examples that I'm very intimately familiar with. So so there was this founder that raised 15 million at a 60 million valuation pre revenue, and didn't hit the traction that they, they thought they'll hit. So all of a sudden there was a down round and the founder CEO got kicked out. They brought in some professional founders, they were also pretty bad. But again, so, and then it went through an acquisition and, but the investors took the money out. So none of the common shareholders got anything. So that's a very typical NFC that happen over and over. And that's because of these mistakes. Right. So I also see a lot of founders coming, saying, I'm, pre-revenue. I need 3 million. So, and I'm like, okay, what do you need? 3 million, what can you do with $200,000? Mm. So they don't understand the fees. And then and, and I see that when I put it this in front of some of my customer and I, and I, I don't give them the answer, but I'll tell them, Hey, this is a tool start modeling your cap table, how things evolve, and so, so there's an example, customer of mine he's raised capital on safes and convertible node, and then he's looking to raise another big chunk on another safe what they don't what he didn't recognize was that, okay. He needs to convert things first, right? So if your investors have not taken ownership person in the company, and then they don't dilute their ownership interest when you take new capital. So so one of the things he did was, okay, so he basically modeled a scenario where he converted the existing investors on a safe and note. And then he raised capital, and then he, he also took another model where he didn't convert them and he saw, Hey, okay. So this is a big difference of say 5% that he was not capturing because his investors were not converting. So he changes plan. So he got into a, a system and then he said, okay, why am I raising this much? So I should be raising much smaller converting everybody, and then raise the higher valuation as a company. Well, so, so these are like trigger points, right? So when, when we, when I, and I keep, keep seeing a lot of founders getting exposed to these kind of scenarios, and there, it's like a, another piece of the brain wiring that gets hooked. And now they're like, okay, yeah, I didn't, I didn't recognize this. So this is new information to me. And to answer your question, I think it's because they don't have access to tools. Today, for example, most to them, try to model this out on a spreadsheet and you can do a lot of things. So spreadsheet is limited in the sense that if you have a pre money save post money, save a convertible node and convertible node in different terms. Now, all of a sudden, you're not sure about the math.

Young Han (10:13):
When it's also really interesting too, about like the the raise and go raise and go milestone tactic that you you use at two 12, but also that you really educate a lot of founders on it. And it's really, really smart. And, and, and I'll be very, very transparent here. I actually never thought about it that way either. And I was like, huh, cuz like even this next round, you know, it's like, why aren't you raising more? And it's kind like, why would I, I should raise what I need to raise so that I can get to the next milestone. So the evaluation of my company goes up and it increases the, the chances of me continuing to succeed and hit specific milestones and grow the company, but also, you know, manage and mitigate too much dilution unnecessarily. It's really interesting. I mean, it does take a little bit of planning and a, a little bit of thought, but the visibility of understanding your dilution and capable is so powerful and so important. I, I have a thesis that I think it's because it's just so complicated. I think that it's so complicated and so advanced that like most founders should know about it, but they get embarrassed about asking questions about it or that they don't understand it. Right. And so I think there's a lot of there's a lot of stigma around just the whole act of fundraising. It's like, it just makes it hard for people to ask questions and, and, and be new to it. So I think that's kind of one of the things that I see, I don't know if you've noticed that at all.

Rajesh Gopi (11:29):
Yeah, it is complicated, right? So the, the math is very complicated. So we spent more than a year just getting the math, right. When you have all these different instruments and you have liquidation preferences, you have provider participation the mat needs to work. And so if so one of the common problems that I see is that investors could go to the founders and say, okay, I'll give you the $200,000, but watch my ROI. When you go to series a series B and exit or series a and exit or series a through IPO, and and these founders don't have an easy answer for that, right? So they typically end up spending like two to three weeks building a spreadsheet model, not building the business, but building a spreadsheet model to answer that question. And three weeks later, they go back to the investor, but the investor deployed capital elsewhere because somebody else gave him the right answer. And now the, the money's gone. So they just wasted three weeks building a spreadsheet model. Right. So, and it is complicated. And you, if you don't trust your spreadsheet model, then you don't, you just don't trust anything. So so now the investor is not confident. The founder is not confident and they end up losing that that ability to raise capital.

Young Han (12:38):
Yeah, I love talking to you about this stuff. I learned so much since I've been working with you at two 12 and just like understanding the product and this space, because it's like, so such an untalked about area for most founders. Yeah. And it's so important. So I really appreciate, but that being said, we went super dense into something that probably most people are like, what so let's talk a little bit about being a parent. So I'm really curious about you as a dad and I definitely wanna ask if you're teaching your kids hyper focused on math and cap people management, but before we get in there, tell me about your kids.

Rajesh Gopi (13:12):
So I have three kids. I so my oldest son, he's actually a sophomore at per Purdue university studying aerospace engineering. My second one is a daughter. She's a junior at high school. And my third one is a son who is a sixth grader in the middle school here. So nice. So three kids super happy about everything that they're accomplishing.

Young Han (13:36):
That's amazing. Yeah. Sounds like they they definitely took off your your intellectual horsepower there and their love for math and math and engineering. Huh?

Rajesh Gopi (13:45):
I think this labor, my wife rushed me. She is an engineer herself. She's also com presents engineer. So she and I met ed while working at IBM. So obviously she also shares in some of the credit.

Young Han (13:59):
Yeah, that's awesome.

Rajesh Gopi (14:00):
I, I think I give her more credit than I would take the credit.

Young Han (14:03):
Why is that?

Rajesh Gopi (14:05):
In the sense it her, her, her thought process is, is very different than what I've seen from other women. I, I think my wife is like ridiculously cool. So and that's one of the reasons I was attracted to her. So she, she has a very different mindset that is very difficult to make get her to get angry. Right. So she doesn't get angry at all. Yeah. so, so that that perspective then even from my side, like I keep talking to my kids about different things. So I come up with different topics. So I remember one son is driving my kids, my, my son he was probably in his second grade and my daughter was in in daycare. So, so those are the times when I spend a lot of time talking to my kids. Right. Okay. Taking them to school. And it's usually about a 30 minute drive to school those days. And, and I remember telling my oldest on about I think this was a credit crisis that was happening. So I would just kind of describe to him what money is. Right. So I was giving the example of Haiti and Dominic Republic and the same island, two different countries, two different economy. And he was like I said, he was in the second or third grade. And and my son was listening to this piece and and we didn't, he didn't say anything. So I was like, good. Okay. This is too complex above about the hit kind of thing. And then a few weeks later I talked to him about the situation in in Greece, I think, or maybe one of those places where again again, some, some economical situation was happening. And then he kind of connected the two together. So he was saying, okay, so that makes sense why this company went into a debt crisis and like, dude, what are you talking about? How do you even pick up these things? So, so he kind of surprised me in the sense, like he was, he was putting all these different pieces together. He was building a story. So that's, that's how I find myself. He's my oldest son, so is pretty unique in that aspect. So he can take very disconnected ideas and kind of tie them together. So again, I don't know, I, I don't know if I contributed to that or my wife con, but that's a good example

Young Han (16:26):
Of, yeah, I'm sure you did. I can't imagine both you guys not contributing to. I mean, what I have found out is like even what you don't do contribute to your kids' development. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, yeah, by default, you are, and, and I I'm sure, I mean, you, you, you are working on some of the most complex problems, you know, and so I'm sure that that, that carries over. Do you do you, do you talk to all your kids about like math and, and analytics and kind of money and all that stuff, or, oh yeah.

Rajesh Gopi (16:51):
Yeah. We talk about different. So you usually when I find so I'm, I'm a very visual person and I, I like storytelling a lot. Right. So, and so, so I, I find certain things and I try to get some insight about some event. So recently, for example, I was telling my kids about so I I'll probably bring some of the Indian aspects. Okay. So, yeah, please. So, so so so there was this album, so a AR Rahaman is one of the world famous music directors out of Indias. So he actually won couple of Oscars for his work in in Slumdog millionaire.

Young Han (17:32):
So, oh, nice. Yeah. Cool.

Rajesh Gopi (17:34):
Yeah. Yeah. So and I kinda look at some of the things that that have happened to some of his albums. I I'm, I'm, I've binge on interviews. So when not the main person, but others around the production. I look at all their interviews and see, okay, what is the learning here? That's pretty much where I spend a lot of my time when I'm not working on two 12 or anything work related. So, so this incident so there was this album called one day month. Okay. So it's basically a very patriotic album. And it was created about 50 years after India, one independence. And so the the person who created this album, his name is bar Paula. And what he did was when he came up with the idea for, okay let's go try to recreate the passion for Indian artisan. So that was the idea, okay. He, he was actually creating jingles for basically he was producing different ads for different companies like SAS or scooters or whatever. And then his dad basically asking, Hey, why do you kind of market India to the Indian citizens? So that was like a much bigger idea at that point. So what Barba did was he went to this artist named and, and, and told him, Hey, this is what I want to get out of this. So why don't you paint me something I want the album cover to be painted. Right. So, and this guy this artist went and painted on a giant canvas like red, orange, green, white yellows. So he kind of put, like, it kind of represents the Indian flag. That's kind of flaming. And what Barba did was he took a picture of that that, that painting, and he put it into an empty CA co cover. So he, he, he put it, he put it inside a cover and shipped it to airman. Right. And and Aman received this, he opened, and he saw this cover and there's nothing inside it, but it was a, was a, a CA cover with this. Yeah. And he was like, dude, okay, this is something different. Right. So basically attacked him in a different vector altogether compared to just going and telling and trying to sell the, so to him, it from vector. So, so I go to my kids and, and when I hear something like this, I go tell them, Hey, okay, so this is what happened. So, so it kind of induces different emotions in my kids or my wife. Oh, okay. This is very interesting perspective. So I, I keep doing things like that. So when I find something interesting, I go talk to them, Hey, this just happened. Right. So that's

Young Han (20:13):
Interesting. So you're like, you're like pulling stories that you that you can use that are relevant to today's time, and then find like the, the lesson in it. Exactly. And so one for you, and you're also looking for those creative ways that people succeed or, or, or create success. And then you're basically creating, like conversation points with your kids.

Rajesh Gopi (20:31):
One hundred percent.

Young Han (20:31):
Yeah. That's amazing. Cause I was gonna say like the whole Haiti and I don't remember what other country said, the economy the economy conversation sounds incredibly dense. Yeah. So it's just like, it's like, why would you even even think to talk about that? Right. So I was just more curious about it, but that is really fascinating. Were your parents like that as well with you?

Rajesh Gopi (20:50):
Actually, no. So so my, my parents they grew up in a village. Okay. and they grew up in a village remote part of south India in a state called Carla. And they actually grew up the hardware. Right. So it is a very typical Asian parent situation where my dad, for example, or even my mom, they and the entire family. Right. So the entire generation, they had to walk maybe like five miles to get to the school every day. Like, and they grew up in like poverty situation, like it was built poverty or poverty line. So, so that's how they grew up. And and I know this haven't asked my dad this, but I know based on my conversation with my dad. So for him, two things really mattered. One was food. So because I know he grew up hungry. I literally hungry and and second was education because he, after his high school, he started off as a stenographer. So working as an executive as a oh wow. And he kind of worked this way to become the manager of a big operation. And and he's seen these two are big problems of his life, right. So one is get good education. The second is makes with this food to eat three or four times a day. So those are the things that he really focused on. And and for me, for example as I was growing up, I was in like did in the mid eighties and early nineties, India was super backward. Okay. So there was no access to information. What are it happened was the information you got was from newspapers.

Young Han (22:34):
Right, so it was even staggered. Yeah. So it wasn't.

Rajesh Gopi (22:36):
Yeah. Cause television came to India early in the early eighties and it took maybe another five years before there was some adoption of television. People didn't know what this thing would do, whether it was a very expensive investment for Indians. So they had to worked their way to save enough money to buy a TV. And once TV came in, okay. It was like two hours of television every day and primarily in use. Right. so the, so the environment was such that, okay, there's limited information input coming in and we just, there's only so much things that we could do. So I, I recall once when I was finishing up by 10th grade and I was thinking, what should I do next? Right. So, so one of the options I had was to get into what is called a Polytechnique, where they teach you to become a labor force. Right. So, so this particular one, I spoke to my brother's friend. He said he he's studying something that made bill tiles. Okay. And he said, okay, you get paid 5,000 repeats per month. Once you learn this, I said, okay, that's pretty cool. So let me go do this. So, so I went took an application and fill it up. And I took to my dad saying, Hey, here, here to sign in a section to say he authorize this. So I took it to him. And my dad asked, what is this for? So he say, this is a Polytechnique course I can manufacture tiles and learn 5,000 Rupe a month. So he looked at it, he just told an application. So he said, no, you're not doing that. Go get a degree.

Young Han (23:59):
Oh, wow. Yeah.

Rajesh Gopi (24:01):
Got it. So for, yeah, for it is very current, right. So there's no, nothing years. Did you get a degree because he, as growing up, he's seen others with degree do well in life so far, it is very clear. Don't don't screw up your life. This is this is not negotiable.

Young Han (24:15):
So do it long term. Yeah. Long term growth and, and success over the short term, right?

Rajesh Gopi (24:22):
Yeah, I think far again, so those are the learnings, whatever education is very important and and make sure that that translates to getting that his foot on the table four times a day kind of thing. I, I think that's what his mindset was. I didn't ask him directly, but I think that's how he operated in.

Young Han (24:40):
Yeah. I mean, I I'd say it's pretty, it's pretty classic, right? Classic. Yeah, yeah, yeah. From, from that generation, for sure. I think that, like, you know, it's a really important thing to like help the kids level up. I do have to ask how much of that has impacted you and your kids. So if you're living a very different life than your parents did in, in

Rajesh Gopi (25:01):
Oh, a hundred percent, man. So again so I think if you ask anybody else from India, like I would say like 90 to 80% above will tell the same story as what I'm saying. Okay. So they, so we all grew up as, as a middle class or a lower middle class, upper middle class it's like five people living in a eight nurse squad footage house or apartment we, we rented those. So it's a very typical scenario that happens in things have changed now. But at least my generation pretty much grew up in that that environment. And we were all looking for, okay, what is the next big thing that we wanted to get into? Where is the arbitrage? Like, where can we differentiate ourselves? So I think in the early nineties, when I was kind of getting into my education, my graduation timeframe electronics was the thing. So television had just come in and there were VCRs that happened and that market was basically booming. And so to me, it was okay. My older brother basically took that route. Right. And he was a fricking genius in electronics. So some are, he picked up. So he used to kind of build television at home. Like he would buy these kids and put television and audio players together. So it was just outrageous what he was doing. And so I thought, okay, maybe that's the only part I have. And so I remember once I was at my cousin's house my cousin Chi's house a bunch of other car cousins of mine had shown up and we were all talking and one of my other cousins ish. So he told us that, Hey a friend of his studied something called computer science. And he went to the us and he's working there and that's all I heard. And this was the entire day. And, and that's it. So like, Hey, so it looks like there's something on computer, so I don't know what this is, but I need to go figure the out. Yeah. So that's pretty much what I did. So after that, then I basically went and found whatever the materials I could get out of computer designs and internet was the first thing that I did,

Young Han (27:06):
Yeah, totally.

Rajesh Gopi (27:07):
Yeah. So, and then to me, it was, Hey, okay, that's the thing that I need to get into. Right. so now that I've been through this process, I've worked at IBM sun Microsystems, motor being part of different startups to me. Like it is very clear that startup is a thing like you to start businesses, you need to own equity in your business and take it through exit build solutions that solve a world problem. So now I tell my kids, what do you wanna do? Don't go work at space or wherever, go start your own business,

Young Han (27:39):
Go start SpaceX. Yeah. That's awesome.

Rajesh Gopi (27:41):
So, so it doesn't have for, but build a company that can be leveraged by basics.

Young Han (27:47):
Yeah. I was gonna ask you that. So I like that you answered it already, so you are pushing them to be entrepreneurial

Rajesh Gopi (27:52):
A hundred percent. So, so I tell them, there's no point going and working for somebody else. You get frustrated, especially when you have a management that doesn't see the vision that you see. So I tell them, okay, you can go do what you want. It's okay. Like, I don't stop you from going and working at space or Virgin Atlantic or whatever, do it, but consider starting your own business. That's where you have more control on how, how you want otherwise. Cause my, my oldest son, for example, he he's an intellect in my opinion. So a lot of when he's these people not performing say, man, that, that guy that girl she's, it's too much work. So what I tell him how I do it, okay. This is really what you gonna happen. You go join any company. You'll be surrounded by a few people who are not up to that part, so it can frustrate you. But since you go start your own business or you can control and manage.

Young Han (28:45):
Yeah. You're, you're too kind. I think the percentages are the opposite of that, but yeah, I think there's a few people that are, you know incredibly motivated and, and inspired. And then the rest of 'em are just, you know, you know, making money. But I am so fascinated by the fact that you actually are pushing them to that. I just assume that, you know, because of the, the degree that they're choosing and the fact that they're in engineering, that you wanted them to go get that kind of stability and, and kind of grow in a, as a company, man, you're the opposite. What does your wife think about that?

Rajesh Gopi (29:13):
Oh, so she is pretty cool again. So to me it is it's just storytelling, right? So to me, it's like I, I tell her stories, so I think that's the, the cool, my wife is she loves to hear my stories. So, so the way I see this is so in general, so again, I might kind of deviate here and there. But there is like a, there's like a bandwidth okay. In which everybody operates and there is noise on top and noise at the bottom. Right. So, so within that, okay, everything is going fine and everybody's kind bouncing around. But sometimes you, you hit the top noise factor or the bottom noise factor, and then that noise factor comes in different forms. Right. So it could be the progress report of my kids show that I came, see a B. Okay. So, okay. So let's go see what happened there. It could be okay. This friend did some weird, so, okay. Let's go see what happened. So that that's it. So I kind of wait for these end to be hit. And, and when they hit then, okay, I get into a story telling more, okay. This happened in my life or this happened to my friend, whatever. So, and then I kind of try to bring it down. So and, and, and I, and I show some of the emails that I received from my customer saying, Hey, okay, dude, you really made me better or made my company better. So, and I show that to my wife and my wife looks at it. Okay. So this makes sense. So, so she's pretty cool and and, and bought into it. And she's perfectly fine with that.

Young Han (30:53):
it's great that both of you guys are into it. I mean, just because it's like the entrepreneurial journey, I mean, it's, so it's so amazing that you're so confident that you want your kids to become entrepreneurs, but it's also riddled with risk

Rajesh Gopi (31:06):
A hundred percent. Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah. I think the rule of thumb is the rule of thumb. Generally, what I've heard is that, okay. An entrepreneur is successful in the fifth startup. So they make all the mistake in the first four startups. So that's where a lot of the investors say, okay, what have you done before in the startup? Because system that's right. I think I've read somewhere that and recent jits won't invest in first time founders. So they, they say, okay, have you started a business before? Or have you been an early employee at one of the, one of the startups? That's the, that's been criteria for them to

Young Han (31:39):
To makes a lot of sense. Yeah. Cause it's super hard. It's super, super hard.

Rajesh Gopi (31:43):
It is. And I think that's what accelerators do. Right. So they are trying to kind of mitigate that risk factor by getting founders access to partners who have done this before, or vendors who help these companies understand some of the nuances of starting businesses. So yeah, to me, that piece is important. You can kind of derisk quite a bit. But still there are founders out there who need some more coaching because a lot of the pieces are not falling in place. In which case, yeah. They may fail the first time, but they learn from it and they're successful secondary. They don't have to wait for four failures before they're successful. So you're trying to reduce it.

Young Han (32:22):
So taking, taking that concept and taking the fact that you want your kids to be entrepreneurs, are you comfortable with the fact that they're gonna fail a couple of times,

Rajesh Gopi (32:29):
Oh, a hundred percent. I want them to fail. Right. So you, you don't learn anything if you don't fail. And I like the fact that even Amazon, for example, so in, in their interviews they pretty much ask where have you failed? That's really what they wanna know. Like if, if you are somebody who's had successes after successes, they don't hire you, they start a criteria for them. So they want to make sure that you failed and and what you learn from their failure. So to me yeah, I tell my kids, okay, until you are 25 years old, I will, you fail like a thousand times I don't care. So just keep failing and learn from it before you get to a point where you're not failing and I keep increasing them, so, okay. You gotta fail otherwise you don't learn from it.

Young Han (33:10):
That's awesome. So then if you had to qualify success as a parent, what does parenting mean to you now?

Rajesh Gopi (33:17):
So to me it is just giving them an environment where they can think through themselves and be confident about failing, be confident about trying experiments and and, and giving them some guidance for, Hey, these are the two limits I was telling about. Okay. So you, you hitting these limits, you're hitting these limits. And I think you gotta be careful cause these are the drawbacks of hitting those limits on either side. But, but giving them that environment where they can think and operate on their own. So my daughter, for example, so she, she likes to interact with people a lot. Right. So she's very passionate about being in front of people and getting to know people. So, so she and a friend started like a nonprofit called co wife.

Rajesh Gopi (34:10):
Okay. Wow. So, so all they do is they basically sing. So they go to different old age homes, for example, and, and they sing have different musical pieces. And, and it makes a difference to the lives of of, of these interviews that are listening to them. And that's pretty much what she's kind of passionate about that piece. Right. And then she wants to get into the medical field so she can help more and more people. But what, what I tell her is the way I look at the way I look at a person's a hundred percent time is I kind of break it up into three pieces. One is the me time, right? So like, where I want to spend my time, you could be watching a rerun of office or, or plays and video games or whatever, and then you have a work component. You need to do something for a living, or if you're a student, you need to study something and then you have a family component. So it's basically three things. So meantime work study and family, and that's your 24 hours and a hundred percent. And, and it's how much percentage you allocate to each piece. So, so what I tell my kids is okay, if you if you are passionate about the work that you wanna do, then your me time and work becomes a much bigger portion of your life. So you can kind of focus on that. So, so my the other day, just last week, I was telling my daughter that, okay. If her goal is to spend more time with people and get to in front of people doctor being a Dr. May not be the, the way to get it right. So there are many ways you can be a marketer and do the exact same, same thing, and you may be able to do it at scale. You may be able to hit say a million potential people than talking to say, 20 patients in a, in a day. Right. So so what I've been telling her can make sure you're kind of passionate about the work that you do so that you kinda eat into your me time. So yeah. You giving more to the work that it.

Young Han (36:17):
Yeah. It's like, it's like allocating, allocating into buckets. Right. Like, and thinking about it more of like in a macro that's great, man. I love it. Yeah. Yeah. I do wanna be cognizant of the time. So let me jump into some of the rapid fire questions I have for every guest. Okay. Sure. If you could give any advice to other parents as soon to be parents, what advice would you give?

Rajesh Gopi (36:38):
I think the most important thing is to have a very open channel. So you should you should set an environment so that they feel comfortable coming to coming to you as a parent and, and talking about their problems. It could be like a small problem, like, okay, this guy kicked me yesterday or through a rocket me to, okay. So this is a problem that I'm trying to solve. And I dunno how to approach this problem. So it could be any of those, but the important thing is that, okay, you should allow anyone to walk in any of your kids to walk in and talk to you. So for example, I see that like some of your videos, your kids just walk in and you just pick them up. Yeah. That is the right thing to do. Right. So they should feel confident that, Hey, it's okay. Like I can go and knock on his door anytime. So that's the most important piece in my opinion.

Young Han (37:22):
Wow. That's awesome. I like that. You're so confident about that. Yep. Yeah. Makes me feel good. If you can go back and tell yourself one thing before having kids, what would you tell yourself?

Rajesh Gopi (37:34):
I think I think spend more time with your wife or spouse. Right. so to me so, okay, so let me kind of break it down from a mathematical standpoint. Right. So wanna tell my my kids, my, my oldest son. Right. So, so when my when we had just our first child he got a hundred percent of our attention. Right. And then when my daughter was born, like his a hundred percent became 50% and from a mathematical standpoint, and then I had my third son, he went down to 33%. So he lost like big time, like 69% or whatever, big, chunky he, he, he lost. And, but whereas my daughter came and she was already at 50 50, and then she lost like a smaller chunk. And when my third son was born, his world of truth is 33%. So he's not feeling one way or the other. But the, the, the person who lost the most was my wife. Right. So she was a hundred percent and she went down to 25%, so we don't talk about it. But so to me to me yeah, like she and I, we spent maybe two years before we got married. But in hindsight, okay. Maybe we should have taken more time before having a family, but our, our situation was very different. So it didn't matter, but thing for, for others who are planning to get have family and children. Yeah. Spend more time with each other, get to know each other.

Young Han (39:01):
Wow, that's awesome. Yeah. I love it. So what's the most surprising thing that you've learned about yourself after becoming a parent?

Rajesh Gopi (39:10):
To me it's not easy, right. Becoming a parent. And especially if you're a firsthand, it's not easy. Like, so there's a lot of curve balls there. But and for me specifically the problem was that I didn't have a lot of support system. Okay. So, so we were, we had just moved in from India. Like we just setting up shop in in the us, we didn't have too many friends or friends that we had didn't have kids. So we were probably the first couple amongst my friend group that had that had a child. So but in India, it's a different story because you have family support that can be tapped into. So to, to us to me and my wife, that was the biggest challenge. It was not easy, like having a kid being by ourselves. So so to me, that was a surprising part. Okay. I thought it would be easy, but it was not easy. Like there, there was a process and I was really young when I had my oldest son and even that mental maturity in me was not there. So I had to kind of quickly ramp up. It took me a while. And, and I know that my wife was super mature, but and, and she would kind of point out, Hey, Hey, you're kind of missing on these 50 things that you should be doing. Yeah. And, and, and it took me a while before. I kind of totally appreciate, I think to me that that was my, that is my experience.

Young Han (40:34):
That's awesome. And then let me switch gears a little bit. What's your all time favorite business book now that I know you love stories, this is gonna be a good one.

Rajesh Gopi (40:42):
Yeah. Yeah. For me, I think Phil Knight's book shoe dog is my all time favorite. Okay. Wow. So he, he talks about how he started Nike and, and how he failed, like kept failing. Like there's like obstacles after obstacles and he just, the company should not have existed today and all the perseverance that he had to end here to make that company what it is today. So it's just an amazing, fascinating book about that journey of Nike. To me, that is the all time favorite.

Young Han (41:17):
Yeah. I can see why that's awesome. You definitely live that kind of lifestyle where you're like, Hey, go get it, you know, and keep trying. Cause that's fantastic. I have one last question, Rajesh. What, what do you do when you're having fun? What do you do for yourself? What's your, what's your hobby? What's what's Rajesh time look like?

Rajesh Gopi (41:33):
So for me, like I try to pick up say two hobbies every six months. Okay. So so previously it was okay. Astro photography was something that that I kind of pick up and then I spend six months just understanding that piece and and spend a lot of time standing the theory behind taking a lot of pictures and, and building these things. So something that is not normal, I try to do something that's difficult. Yeah. and I spend six six months trying to master that piece and I pick two different hobbies every six months. And then I kind of keep up with it even after six months, but now I'm, I'm trying to learn flute like a Indian bamboo flute. Oh, wow. So I'm trying to pick that up, but again, I have a dog here and he doesn't like, Yeah, it's basically, so that's one piece. And I had skate boarding as my second one, but but I got busy with another program of setting up a fun instance. So that kind of took up my time. But yeah, so skateboard is gonna be in the, in the next to the list.

Young Han (42:47):
Hey, well, definitely let me know when you start picking up the skateboard, I'll, I'm happy to ride with you. I, I definitely even show you around a little bit.

Rajesh Gopi (42:55):
Yeah. So I picked up roller blades at the one point, so, so I can roller blade, but now skateboard is a different beast altogether.

Young Han (43:02):
So it is, yeah. I love rollerblading too. So let me know if you wanna roller blade. 

Rajesh Gopi (43:07):
Yeah, yeah!

Young Han (43:07):
We should. Yeah. I love anything with wheels. I just, yeah. Anything with wheels, I love. Yeah. that was awesome. Josh, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me about two 12, your philosophies on life and business. And it's so fun to know that you have like an adult adult kid, like an adult child. Like I never even, you know, like realize that it's just so great to like, hear all the experience that you've had just growing up with it. So I really appreciate you taking the time.

Rajesh Gopi (43:31):
Yeah, sure, man. Pleasure.

Young Han (43:32):
Yeah. Thank you brother. Talking to you soon.

Rajesh Gopi (43:34):

Young Han (43:35):
Thank for tuning to another episode of the girl dad show, we really hope you enjoyed that interview. And as always, please take a moment to review, rate and subscribe. We'll see you next time.

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