Philip Buckendorf

Co-founder & CEO, Airspace Intelligence

Philip Buckendorf is the Co-founder and CEO at Airspace Intelligence, a company that develops products that transform the way airspace data is being used.

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Rohit Mittal: Hi, I’m Rohit, I’m the cofounder and CEO of Stilt. Today, we have Phillip with us.

Philip Buckendorf: Hi. 

Rohit: Philip is from Germany and is the cofounder and CEO of Airspace Intelligence. And Airspace Intelligence is helping airlines be more efficient with their routes. Kind of like Google Maps for aviation.

Philip: Correct, yes. 

Rohit: And Philip has been working on this startup for a couple of years, but originally he is from Germany and has moved around the world quite a bit. So you told me you have have been in the UK, you went to Spain, you were a professional golfer in your previous life. Tell us a little bit about that.

Philip: Yes, so, basically coming out of highschool, I knew that I wanted to give it a shot and see how. I mean I basically won the British championship in golf.

Rohit: That was after your high school?

Philip: That was after high school yes. And then I wanted to see if I can compete professionally. And, but at the same time, I also wanted to get a college degree and go to university. So, I did both at the same time and looking back it was a great life experience because like playing sport professionally thought me a lot about life, I basically had to run my whole team of like coaches, physio. I had to communicate with sponsors at a budget for the whole season. So it was a really interesting experience, but at the same time it also allowed me to get an academic degree and go through that. So, it was a really great experience.

Rohit: And you studied in UK?

Philip: I went high school in the UK, and then after that I went international relationships, or international relations. It was basically a mix between business, economics and political science. And yes.

Rohit: Were you traveling a lot during your golf time?

Philip: Yes, it was basically weekends was always travel, and than summer was just back to back tournaments, whenever I got a few free days, I was just heading out to my coach and there was a lot of training.

Rohit: And how did you get into golfing?

Philip: How did I get into golfing? Good question. It started probably around the age of 12,13. Before I was playing field hockey, so not ice hockey, but hockey on grass, it’s not that well known probably around most countries.

Rohit: India national sport.

Philip: Yes, so definitely know it, but I think americans don't know that well. I did at the age of 12 like most of my friends of my team were leaving to different teams and so I was like looking for new sports opportunity. My dad was playing golf and he took me out to the course on the weekend and yes, I fall in love with the game.

Rohit: And you are form Hamburg, in Germany?

Philip: Yes, just slightly north of Hamburg, like what is Palo Alto to San Francisco, like 45 minutes out of Hamburg.

Rohit: Got it, so you spent a lot of time there, and then you went to the UK boarding school.

Philip: Yes, I went to boarding school there that had golf academy, that kind of allowed me to focus a lot on becoming a better golf player but also not neglecting my academics.

Rohit: And, just curious over here, how did you decide to go to the UK? Because you wanted to pursue golf?

Philip: I would say it was set of different factors, so one was definitely the opportunity that I can dedicate more to sports, golf in that case, in my case. And the second part was because I grew up as only child. When you have like brothers and sisters, you have a lot of competition like inside your family. And when you are only child you don't have that, so I always had to look for that competition like externally and the boarding school is great, because it's a very competitive environment in that sense. 

Rohit: So you did that and than you went to spain for your undergrad degree.

Philip: Yes.

Rohit: Do you speak Spanish also?

Philip: I actually don't, I can understand Spanish and I got around with it, but college was all in English, and most of my friends were from all over Europe, so we just spoke English most of the time. 

Rohit: So, going from golf to a tech company, how did that transition happen?

Philip: Yes. So, basically my dream during college was to become an economic researcher, and that was like, if I would have looked at what my kind of career looks like at some point, it’s like definitely like research, around like politics and economics. Put it like geopolitics. So, I went to work briefly at the German government and economic research. So, just found that all my assumption about doing economic research or political science in kind of in a research position were wrong. It was exactly the opposite of what I was hoping for. There was like so little trigger to action and so at the same time a friend of mine was post playing with a few startup ideas and more and more pieces came together. We also had like one very young founder who gave a guest talk at our university, which was very inspiring for me, kind of a life changing moment actually. And, yes, so we decided to give the idea a shot, and started the venture, and we kind of took it from there.

Rohit: How did you decide between going to work for the German government as an economic research, to pursuing golf even further?

Philip: Sorry, I was not clear about that. So, during like 3 years of undergrad studies. Towards the last year really became clear to me that I was a very good amateur player, but I was not very good to compete on professional level. That is exactly what I wanted to find out, that's why I decided to turn professional, like to see, can I compete on that level on that level or not. And for me is there any realistic chance that if I do my very best, that eventually in like 5 or 6 or 7 years, I can get into the world's top hundred. And after those 3 years it was clear to me that even if I do my very best I will never accomplish that. 

Rohit: So, you graduated from college and how did the cofounders. You had cofounders right?

Philip: One cofounder when we started in the very early phase of the company back in Europe.

Rohit: How did you meet?

Philip: How did we meet. We met through a common friend, actually my cousin. And got introduced to each other, and started the company as we kind of shared the same passion, the same drive. And from there we eventually, we were just planning for like a two week trip to Silicon Valley, and stay here for 2 weeks. Got a lot of exposure, because we stayed in kind of like one of those hacker houses. It was like a full tourist trip kind of thing. And after the 2 weeks, looking back, it was for us, we learned more than we could have possibly learned in a whole year back in Europe. Like the rate of learning was so high, that was very clear to me, and personally, I was like, if I want to do kind of this entrepreneurship thing, that really just was at that stage, I want to do it properly. And that is kind of how I always look at things, if you have to do something, you have to do it properly. And I was like, I know nothing about this, and if I am staying in Europe and I will learn at such a slow pace, so let's get here. So after the 2 weeks, flew back to Europe, packed my stuff and I basically just moved here. 

Rohit: And this was after you stopped working for the German government. 

Philip: Yes, yes.

Rohit: And how long before, how long did you know your cofounder before you decided that you are going to work together.

Philip: We probably knew each other for like 6 to 8 months at this stage. 

Rohit: And he was on the same page as you, in terms of starting?

Philip: Yes, so he still had a business back in Germany, so he was basically phasing out all the projects he had in that company and than followed me here.

Rohit: Got it, what was his skillset compared to yours? 

Philip: So, he was more focused on the product and marketing side, where I was more focused on the product and business side. And then while we were here, we met our third cofounder. And he stayed in the same hacker house we were in, we became friends, and as we shared basically rooms, he brought the technical aspect to the team and so we felt like we get along off work, play tennis, and a lot of outside work, and so kind of team up on this venture and than he came in as a cofounder.

Rohit: And that co founder is from US or?

Philip: No he was also from Europe. He was from Belgium. 

Rohit: And you play tennis not golf? 

Philip: Yes, he was a very good tennis player actually. I love ball sports, so we played tennis in the free time. 

Rohit: So you met your cofounders. Came to hacker house, 2 weeks, after your learnings about startups and starting companies, what idea did you guys settle on, what was your first company? 

Philip: So, the theme was always around understanding what are consumers likely to purchase next. And, the whole idea was driven around this thesis that we started in early 2010, we started really living for a first time in the world where you can get anything, at any time, basically instantaneously.

Rohit: What year was that?

Philip: I would say this stuff happening in 2010, we started the company in 2010, but the fact that is true that you can do anything at any time instantaneously.I would say that basically start whole on demand economy. Uber started I think in 2009. Instacard was around, Amazon Prime started developing, we had like day shipping, same day shipping. So what that recommend, supply in terms of commerce that is as good as it can get. I can get anything, anytime when I need it. What hasn't been solved to move from proactive to reactive commerce. And what I mean by that is like reactive commerce was like, I am hungry, I need something, I place order, I need cab, and so the next phase transition in commerce was to move from reactive to proactive commerce. Commerce tools we were engaging with they start understanding our needs proactively and fulfill them as logistics has been solved. 

Rohit: Got it and how did you manifest that idea into a startup? So your first company was called Downtown?

Philip: Yes, the way I like to start companies, I look at like a high level success or change that happens in the society. It can be a change or can be an opportunity through technologies that become available, and in that change I am trying to see, like, where real problems, I am passionate about, but that are real problems and that they exist. And than how good are these problems is basically a first chapter to accomplish solution and is along that thesis and that market. So, as we wanted to basically long term was like how can we build the ultimate commerce tool that understands for all commercial needs a person can have. Like, when they occur, even before they occur, so that was the dream, the vision that we wanted to go. So we wanted, in first place, we had to understand what other markets to do switch, predictable markets, for example food is very predictable market, people tend to stick to same preferences. They are not changing from being vegetarian to eating a ton of steak next day. People actually like to go to the same restaurants and also people eat in the same times during the day. It is not like you suddenly have breakfast in 4 o'clock in the afternoon, right. So, we basically settled on a go to market, to basically build an ordering tool for restaurants, that understand when consumers is walking by the restaurant, based on the geographical context and understand what you are likely to order at that restaurant. This is a way you can stay out of the line and from their perspective actually I was offered to upsell you on a lot of things. And for the consumer, you are basically have a concierge experience when you visit. Particularly for quick serve restaurants, the waiters are basically non existent, you have like a digital water on your phone. 

Rohit: Basically you created a software for restaurants and an app for consumers.

Philip: It was technically a digital weight around the phone, so you were pulling out the phone, it was reading you are already at the restaurant, considers the restaurant where there is no waiters, and it was already saying like, well they probably will come back and it will synch the dish that you are very likely to order, instead of you screening the whole menu. Click the dish and maybe add a drink that would go well with that dish. Check and payment was all facilitated through the app and than the restaurant was receiving the order and it even understood at what table you were seated, because we used [17:29 inaudible] under each table, which communicated with the phone. 

Rohit: Did you start in Europe with this idea or did you start with some other geography?

Philip: We were, the whole brainstorming and market research part of this happened back in Europe and the building up and the first customers, this was all happening in Europe and US. And then we also raised our [18:00 inaudible]. Our first restaurant was Cuppa Coffee in Palo Alto. The perfect spot. Half of the investors from the first round said reach out to us because they saw the product in Cupa cafe. Because it is a known caffee where all the investors hangout. And, they really liked the product and reached out.

Rohit: And so you started with one restaurant. How long did you work on this idea? How did it go after you launched? 

Philip: Yes, so, we launched in maybe 2014, or summer 2014, and we saw like from day one like rapid growth. So, we believed that we had product market fit, 6 months later turns out that we are far from product market fit. Because what we anticipated to be product market fit was not product market fit. We had a lot of customer traction, but super hard to scale across restaurants. So we wanted to start selling to more restaurants. And even though we could show great case study it just didn't work, the sales, the distribution, just never selled. And, so we tried that probably for a year and a half, and we had like one year of year and a half left of runway. And so we were like what to do, this clearly does not work, and we were shifting gears, what we are good at? We were good at building like everything that faced toward consumer. Understanding the consumer, make sure they have a seamless ordering process, all of that I think we were like really very much ahead of the curve in terms of commerce applications and user experiences. And, how can we cut out the part which we are not good at, which is the merchant and acquiring merchants, so we were looking, what are markets that are simple in terms of predictability and although it sounded for everyone outside like a massive pivot, actually wasn't that much.We actually moved into the baby market, which is super interesting, because the family with a newborn has to search like 197 products in the first year of the child. Yes. So huge frequency of purchases and secondly there is a very clear kind of theme around the products family or parents were ordering. There is like, either wooden toys or plastic toys, but it is not that you would split from one toy to the next necessary versus a certain like willingness of how much you can afford, or like a level of what you can afford in terms of products. Not one that you buy like stroller for 1500 dollars, than the next day you would buy the cheapest possible [21:10 inaudible] on the market. So like consistency about that. 

Rohit: Got it. From here we will discuss about more question on how did you figure out some metrics that you have been tracking that made you realize that something is working or not working. And, also, maybe talk a little bit about ideas that you went through because maybe you have considered other ideas. But we will continue with the baby story first. 

Philip: Yes.

Rohit: Ok, so the baby market is very similar to the restaurant and consumer ordering at those restaurants. 

Philip: Through the kind of the lense we were looking it was very similar. 

Rohit: Got it. What was the baby product?

Philip: It was an app for parents that allowed them to basically order and coordinate all the baby products they need to have. So it was basically taking care of the search and information stage, if you know parents they are in a lot of search for the product for their child. And that takes a lot of time. And so we were aggregating all the relevant information at the right moment in time. So we did education part and than presenting product options that we believe were a good fit, given what they were purchasing basically before and what we feel their budget would be and needs of their child would be. Presented it to the parents, and then we have the option to basically order the product through the app and that would arrive in front of their door like 2 days later. 

Rohit: So you were also taking care of the logistics of delivering it? 

Philip: We drop shipped everything. 

Rohit: Ok, so you had partners behind the scenes, and someone just needed to order in the app and it will just show up at their door. And you maintain that relationship with the customer?

Philip: Correct.

Rohit: So, as you, just want to dig a little deeper in moving from the restaurant thing, to the baby product app. What did you consider other things during that time? WHy did you eventually ended up choosing this market, this area?

Philip: So, we tried to really how to make restaurants work, and at some point you are just getting to the stage where as a founder you feel like you have explored every possible option. 

Rohit: Do you remember any metrics you were tracking at the time that made you think in what is the number of orders per restaurant or how many consumers ordering?

Philip: Yes, so what we were tracking was orders per restaurant and reorder rates. That was like a value proposition to the restaurant, average ticket sizes, and then we were comparing that with what the average ticket sizes were at the restaurant. Those were the key metrics we looked at, and all metrics like consumer facing were looking pretty good. But the metrics of how long does it take to like onboard a restaurant, how long does it take to sell a restaurant, and how long is a sale cycle, like, those numbers looked really, really bad. That was a main issue.

Rohit: Ok, so you decided no the restaurant thing, you were talking about how you got to the baby product market.

Philip: Yes, so we had several team members that actually had a child, so they were kind of facing that problem first hand.

Rohit: And how big was the team?

Philip: We were a team of 8, maybe 9. So they were facing the problem first hand and than also by just, we did basically, we had like a first idea that might be interesting market to get into, and then we basically tried to talk to any new parent in our network. And tried like upside down to understand the economics of the market, like how and where I spent money right now, how I order these products? What the experiences look like.And yes, so we had to move fast, because we were like a team of 9 burning money, we have only so many months left, so we cannot do like a year of a market research, we probably did that in 4 to 5 weeks and then we said let's give it a shot and see what happens. The whole period was a total wild phase in the company, because my cofounder who was the CTO of the company had a car accident, he was in a coma and he had to basically relearn all of the core abilities from walking, eating, all of that. So, it was a really, really tough phase, it was actually the hardest period I went through in my life, I would say. So, we were in the midst of a pivot, my cofounder was basically going through a massive like rehabilitation in his life. And, at the same time we had only limited runway left and the likelihood of raising additional money wasn't too good. 

Rohit: That cofounder thing is also emotionally very challenging for other founders in addition to all the other challenges that a company faces. 

Philip: So, I must say in our case it was because we always build a team very much like a family. So, actually doing part of the rehab, the way we operate as a company, we operate out of a residential house, where, so part of the team was living together, even at a scale of 9 people. So, he did part of his rehab back in the house, and this was like an amazing experience, not only for him, for the whole team, it was really feeling like a family. And, yes, very taing in terms of energy, we were not only running a startup and going through a pivot. We also did part of the rehab inhouse basically for a fellow team member, but it was a, it built a very interesting culture.

Rohit: Yes, totally, as I am thinking about it, it also tells you that the co founders are really good. Because you guys stick together through good and bad times and try to work together to solve the problem, someone would need to pick up his work, or the part of his work, or the part of his work with really good cofounders it just happened seamlessly. Is he ok now? 

Philip: Yes, I mean, given the accident he had and the injuries, his whole recovery is phenomenal, it is a miracle for everyone involved. 

Rohit: As you are doing the second part, the baby app. How did that go, how did people receive it and how long did you work on that? 

Philip: I mean, this is when we know when we got into this, we know there is something we have to make work in 6 to 8 months or it is over for us. In 6 to 8 months we managed to build a really good product, we managed to get traction from early adopters, but it was not traction on a serious level. And given that we have already gone through several [29:35] rounds. That was kind of the next milestone. We were not profitable, there was no way for us to become profitable. So, yes, after like basically fighting until the very last day. At some point it is over. 

Rohit: And it was in what year?

Philip: That was like end of 2016, early 2017. 

Rohit: So you shut down that company, and the company was based in the US, everyone was in the US, did you go back to Europe?

Philip: Yes, so we shut down the company, in I would say a very orderly way. Liquidated the remaining assets, paid all the bills, found amazing following opportunities for us as a team. And after that I went back to Europe, took a little bit of a break. Basically day one, or the first week of shutting down, I knew eventually I would like to start a new company and I also knew how I would want to start a company with, which was 2 of my fellow team members. And eventually my dream was to basically bring back all of the team, but you cannot start a team with 9 people. So I knew who I would like to start the company with, but we just didn’t had an idea yet, and it was like I also need a little bit off, so my 2 now co founders and I did a bit of consulting for a year, a year and a half. And while we were brainstorming ideas, and waiting till we get excited about something.

Rohit: You did the whole thing twice and still decided to not take a big job at a big company and relax for a little bit, or move into a different path for good enough period of time. You were consulting because you were waiting for the next idea. I am trying to understand the psychology of you wanting to start companies.

Philip: Yes, during this consulting gig, we got pretty much good insights. I mean, before that I never worked for a large company, and like through the consulting for very large companies we could get pretty good insights of how things are done and it was like very quickly clear to me that, that is not the path it would be fulfilling to me and plus people there would probably start hating me. Yes, so we knew we want to start a new company. 

Rohit: Is your family very entrepreneurial, or maybe not if not immediate family.

Philip: No, anti entrepreneurial.

Rohit: Ok, interesting. And very entrepreneurial, starting multiple companies. And, so you decided that you are going to do consulting, and you did for?

Philip: I had all this learning basically from my first company and I knew what I wanted to do separately in the next one, which is before scaling up team, raising money, I really like to have a market deeply studied and have the rest of the company as much as possible. And even build like a very good product already and maybe have like initial customer interest. So that was basically the game plan and than go out eventually and maybe raise some money, but hopefully terms and in ways where we don't have to raise multiple seed rounds, because that is a really big pain, but that we can just do one seed round, because we did the rest of the company a lot before going out to raise money. We basically used time where we did consulting to basically understand the market, because we did consulting basically in the industries we are exploring. So that was basically our hack in, let's understand the industry inside out, by being consultant and even being paid for it. And than when we see something, we try to figure out a way if we can prioritise it and if we can ship it and turn it into a company.

Rohit: Got it, fair enough, and as you were doing those projects, you came across this industry, where you currently started the company, which is in stealth, so we won't go into details, but it is aviation related and it is again in terms of switching from restaurants and consumers and selling baby products to doing something in aviation. How did that come about? It seems like a very different type of product than what you did before. 

Philip: Yes, so basically since the ending of the previous company, late 2016, early 2017, for a year and a half consulting. Basically all of our consulting projects. At some point we basically started choosing that way. It was mostly around routing. So how can you route an autonomous system in environment from self driving car or self driving vehicle in agriculture. And so we very much focused on that, and asking yourself what are other industries in autonomous driving where you need routing and how is it solved there. Nobody looked very closely into maritime, and.

Rohit: Maritime is like shipping containers that kind of thing.

Philip: Yes, and how our ships routed and we looked into that, and we looked even closer into aviation, and spent a good 6 to 7 months to dig deep into aviation. We basically went to all operation control centers, airlines, air traffic control centers, talked to pilots, talked to flight dispatchers, traffic controllers. Basically took us all inside out, and yes, tried to understand where we can get for what we want to build and find a way how we can get access to the data and found a really compelling piece in the industry that really hasn't been solved yet. 

Rohit: Got it. Do you feel comfortable talking about the problem what you are trying to solve or no?

Philip: No. 

Rohit: Ok, I will continue, I was about to ask you what is the problem the industry is facing, and maybe some numbers, but we will skip that part. So you talk to all these people in aviation and than when do you actually start the current company?

Philip: I mean basically started in kind of a gradual way, for us it was more of a hobby project in the beginning. This was like beginning of 2018 and first half of 2018 was us talking to the industry, and than it was how does the regulatory part look like. Where can we get the data, and we had that solved in summer 2018, and we had to build a little bit of a prototype of what we try to accomplish. We were basically trying to understand, what it would take to turn that into real product and airline would want to buy. So, we had conversation with some airline and we knew all the pieces we need to understand. And we were feeling out can we raise that capital that we needed and also managed to do that and yes. So, end of 2018, early 2019 we started building out the team, turning prototype to real product, and yes. 

Rohit: Cool, so now things are going well. This time you have really found product market you are close to.

Philip: This industry, some of these, in any industry you have technical risk and market risk, and what we are basically building there is only technical risk. And that if we can deliver what we are building, there is no way that any operator that flies aircrafts from A to B would not use it. 

Rohit: The market need is very clear, so it is about executing technically. These are what are called hard tech companies. If the tech can be solved the company can do well. So you have been doing startups now for 4 years or so. Coming from Europe doing a company in the US, you have gone through multiple visa situations to be able to do that. Is there anything, how did you do that and did you face any challenges?

Philip: Challenges yes, and it’s like, applying for visas is always a very tedious process, and it is a high risk and high pressure moment because I had many moments where we had the whole team here, raised money and my visa was expired, I had to apply for a new one, had to go back, have to go through interview, what if they don't give it to you, what if you don't get accepted. Yes, this is not fun, and if you are traveling in between, do they let you at the border, stuff like that. And we’ve all been in these moments and yes, they are intense. Visa, yes, not fun. 

Rohit: What visa are you on right now?

Philip: I am on O1 visa. It's my Second O1. And probably planning to apply for a Green Card at some point in the future. 

Rohit: Got it.

Philip: And I wanted to, I had more of a family situation, I wanted to wait until my fiance and I get married and apply for the green card together rather than doing separately.

Rohit: Now that the rest of the team are they European, or US citizens?

Philip: Yes, most of the team is European, and one framework we had in the previous company which worked really, really well. One company in retrospect and try to what worked well and what didn’t. One part that really worked well, we could build like a really good engineering team in Europe and then have to set up the whole team travel between Europe and the US probably once every quarter and than for this company we knew we wanted to do the same setup again, because it worked so well and we have access to very good engineering talent in Europe. We have wanted to do that again, and so, traveling to Europe the team from Europe also traveling here quite a bit.

Rohit: Remote work is now being more popular and people are doing things.

Philip: Yes, back in 2014 it wasn’t, it was quite novel and people were telling us this could never work, and you can’t build a team remotely. I think the communication tools are good enough and the biggest challenge is time zone difference. That is a big one.So you have to try to figure out to have enough time overlap. And than outside of that the biggest thing is how to get the team frequently enough, and as long as you get everyone in the same room 4 to 5 times a year, maybe 6 times a year, that is kind of the critical threshold. 

Rohit: Got it, are there any other things that you learned during your startup journey that listeners can use any insights you got along the way as you started multiple companies and raised money from investors.

Philip: So, I think one of the key learnings and looking back from the first company what is key thing you want to do is make sure you are derisking and also putting the sake of the company in your own hands, and I think there are too many first time entrepreneurs, they don't understand that their negotiation leverage, no matter if it is with investors, customers, convincing powers towards new members to join is really diminishing if you have to build a company that has to raise money. Like the way I look at raising finances is that it is a great option to do it, but you always want to put yourself in a position where you don't have to. You can perfectly survive and build what you have to build without raising money, it would just take a little bit longer.

Rohit: One additional thing, investors hiring a team especially in the US, and it is even more important for non US founders is you don't have a network here. So when you moved here first for 2 weeks and than when you moved later how did you sort of go about building a robust network in the US?

Philip: I think this is the beauty about silicon valley or the US as a whole. I don't know the US as a whole to make that statement actually. If you perform well and you execute and deliver, and it's just a matter of time before you start building an organic network of people. And I am very antisocial person, I don't like to go to meetups and stuff like that, but even as me as a very antisocial person, I started building like a little bit of a network. But it takes time. I think there are too many foreign entrepreneurs, who hope to come to Silicon Valley, stay here for like a few weeks and have like a critical network, seed round or have other accomplishments they want to have done. This is a matter of weeks, it is a long game, it takes years. 

Rohit: And building honest and trusting relationships is always important.

Philip: Absolutely. And one of the things that non US founders may have challenges with is maybe finding mentors or people you can go for advice. 

Rohit: Have you found those people in the US or Europe and how did you go about finding them or how did they sort of became a part of your mentor network or advisor network. 

Philip: In our case it always happened naturally. I would really prefer to have hands on investors. Or if you look at a round, and you raise a round, you want to have a mix of hands on and hands off investors, but you definitely want to have some hands on investors, and when you raise from someone who is hands on investor, it is really about the personality. Can you see that person basically become your mentor. That is how I personally look at it and that was the case for the first company and that is the case for this company where you want to have someone. Especially for a younger founder, it is super important to have someone that is A, having the right experience to provide you with the right feedback, experience, to provide you with the right insight, right advice, but also willing enough to spent enough time with you to understand your problems in depth enough. I think that is a common problem in SIlicon Valley that the advice you are getting is very high level and for that reason really not specific enough for your actual problems. And so for that reason I would actually narrow down the people who you are receiving advice from and make sure you motivate them and what their format is to spent enough time with you and understand your business in enough detail. Because that is only how you accomplish the quality of advice.

Rohit: No, that is actually a really good point. And also a good point for us to say thank you to you, I know you have to leave, but thanks for coming and talking.

Philip: Thanks for having me, ti was fun.

Rohit: And it was super helpful for me to learn about your background and excited about your new company. Thanks.

Philip: Thanks for having me. 

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