Nihal Mehta is the Co-Founder of Eniac Ventures, a successful seed venture firm that has invested in unicorns like AirBnb and Boxed. Nihal has been a serial founder and an active investor for over a decade.
Nihal is one of the best startup player-coaches out there so it was a blast discussing how his founder experience has influenced his VC strategy.
During the chat, we also talk about some of Nihal's other endeavors, one of which is the India Internet Group (IIG). IIG is a fund based out of India so we talk about the startup and VC scene there.
He also started The 100K Pledge, a website that holds people and companies accountable when they make public pledges to help fight injustice. The site keeps tabs on what they're actually doing to help the cause.
As you can tell, we cover a lot during the chat.
Big thanks to Nihal for joining me on the pod to catch up and share his thoughts on everything.
MPD: Thanks for being here, man. So to start off, do you mind giving us a quick overview of your background?
Nihal Mehta: Yeah. I started, I was born on a wintry day and I will go all the way back. Uh, but I was born in Iowa, which is a whole nother story. Uh, basically serial founder turned venture capitalists.
High-level started five startups a bunch of those failed some of them succeeded But have the scar tissue and muscle memory to to prove it and started angel investing and found three other really good friends from college that were pretty much doing the same thing. And we decided to form a firm together which is ENIAC ventures.
And we started about 12 years ago. And so we're on our fifth fund now. And, uh, you I still think of myself as an and I think we all do think of ourselves as entrepreneur, founder first, not, uh, not investor first. Yeah. I
MPD: think even running a firm, it feels like an entrepreneurial endeavor.
I know the app product might be moving capital, but it's still all the same, a lot of the same considerations. So why did you switch from being an active founder to a VC. It's a common switch, but there's something in the DNA of that. Yeah. So thinking,
Nihal Mehta: it's weird actually, when people say VC, I still get it still triggers me.
Uh, you know, as a founder, VCs are, we were kind programmed to think of them as like vulture capitalists, uh, and that they would really you know, fuck up your business essentially. And fire you as CEO at some point, and steal all your equity. W many of which, by the way not at the end.
But, um, you I never wanted to be really growing up a VC. I think it was just a natural progression of my career. I think once you're an operator through so many cycles and have seen everything, the good, the bad, the worst you know, you kind of, I think naturally evolve into.
Kind of a player coach type of role where, you can put some capital behind a founder, which is, this is probably the smallest part of our job. But really, work with them to realize their potential. And I think that, that's, um, that's what I naturally evolved into, um, I think I was very lucky to find again, three other folks that. We're at the same place in their lives and their careers with similar ambitions. But I don't think we would have dreamed in a million years that we'd have at this point in time, fun five with obviously it's a function of of the market, but with this many unicorns and this stable of incredible founders in this type of brand we just kind fell into it.
MPD: So I think a lot of people will be listening to this before they come into. Right or they know they've got a meeting with you. They're going to hit Google. This is going to show up. Can you give us an overview of the firm? How do you think about any equity you want people to know when they walk in the door?
Nihal Mehta: Yeah. We are, um, generalists seed investors. I think the, the one takeaway is we are pre-product market fit. And so we work really hard. With the founders, we back to get the companies through product market fit and then raise a series a then we're usually coming off the board at the day. So we're laser focused on that, see to a stage, and we've done this so many times, right? We have over 150 reps within Anyak and of course, outside of that, or an angel in our own companies we have so many reps that we think we're, we've become experts at it. And so I think the results speak for themselves in terms of very high conversion rate from CTA.
You know, now also a strong signal for the kind of a community and everything else that comes along with it. But that product market fit stage is, it's, it's, getting through it is ugly. It's nasty, every founder knows. We throw a million things at the wall and nothing sticks.
You do it again, nothing sticks to it. Again, one sticks, then you pivot do it again and nothing sticks rinse, repeat. But, um, we love it. That's where we had fun. So a lot of it is product distribution you know, recruiting PR uh, You helping, uh, business development sales, doing a ton of sales, straight customer sales, lead gen pre sales, and then you know, raising the next round.
So it's like most of our founders call us, third co-founder, without the title and the equity. So that, you that's, ENIAC, we're not really focused on specific sectors. You know, we started really focused on the mobile software space 10 years ago, because that's where we built our companies.
But I think now you know, we're generalists, so we love consumer. We love enterprise. We love dev tools. We love frontier tech, w I just sent a term sheet for kind of, a disruptor to TJ Maxx, like literally like in a. Commerce company for gen Z. So that's not, didn't
MPD: see that coming
Nihal Mehta: right.
Didn't see that coming. We happen to know this founder for over a decade and we know that this is his life's work and we had to get smart in the space, but we're we're backing founders that are you know, really aligned with their purpose. And that can be. In any category.
And they believe they're changing the world in that particular niche. And if we're convinced of that, then let's go. So are you,
MPD: Is that your main thing you guys are focusing on when you're making decisions? Obviously everyone wants it all market size, competitor positioning. Isn't really a team bet for you guys.
Nihal Mehta: Yeah. I'd say it's 90%. Cause the market and the product are functions of the team, a good team will go after a big market. So it's really all about the team. And so now I think we have the luxury to back a lot more repeat founders in and out of our portfolio. So repeat ENIAC founders, we can do all day long because we've already developed a history working history with.
And we know their strengths and weaknesses. Uh, we also love repeat founders outside of men that we've been tracking, for a while, and especially repeat founders that maybe have failed before ideally have failed before or tasted a small amount of success before. So they still have a chip on their shoulder.
They're highly motivated. They can see around corners. They're not making the same mistakes. But yeah, it's a. It's all about the team. And by the way, don't, don't get me wrong. A ton of companies we get back are first time founders as well, that have proven to us that that this is their purpose, on the planet.
And and, uh, and we're convinced that, when you shoot for the stars and fail, you still can land on the moon, but that their trajectory is such that they're really shooting for this.
MPD: You went through before a lot of the ways in which you help founders. And I think that speaks to your experience with all the volume of companies that you guys are backing.
How do you do that? How do you operationalize the support that founders need?
Nihal Mehta: Yeah, that's a good question. We, there's a few different things that. That we do. I think, if you kind unpack some of the things I threw out there, PR is one of the things I threw out there.
We recently brought on this year, as our VP of content, a gentleman by the name of Anthony ha, who was at tech crunch for 12 years actually. And so he is consulting with our portfolio on PR strategy, right? And you know, we're even like producing videos with founders on, with special announcements and introducing them to reporters who will break the news and so on and so forth.
So I think that, those are some of the ways I think one of our secret weapons is also our network. We are actually going to be launching it, relaunching it later this year. And what that is essentially, a little bit under 500. Pretty senior level folks at very large brands. You know, think of this as fortune 5,000 companies.
And, uh, also, a lot of the new garden tech as well. So somebody senior at Coinbase, somebody senior at plaid you know, somebody senior at dapper labs, somebody senior at you know, Twilio w what happened. To really help accelerate, the biz dev and sales trajectories, and Corp dev trajectories of our portfolio.
And uh, you know, that's institutionalized. So like when we interact with a portfolio company you know, one is they can see the network and access them. But we're constantly making connections, and creating liquid. I think a KPI for us is like number of intros per day, you in and out of portfolio.
And it's now in the, well into the double digits per day, but I think just that connectivity amongst the network is I think one of our secret sauces, I remember as a founder, that was the one thing I really, that I wanted from my investor is, find it, give me some feedback, find some moral support, fine, but show me the money.
Like obviously wrote me a check. Give me some customers, like make me an introduction to a buyer and actually helped me close the deal. Because you uh, that's going to help me get through product market fit and that's really going to help me grow my business. And um, uh, so anyway, those are two examples from the PR perspective and the, biz dev sales perspective,
MPD: we had a reporter on recently under the pocket.
Who gave us some coaching on PR. So it's funny, you mentioned that then your new hire, who comes from the industry any big insights or takeaways that you think would help founders something that he's taught you or you knew before that's like a hot tip for PR?
Nihal Mehta: Yeah. Well one is um, especially these days with all the crazy funding announcements, don't just assume.
That like your seed round will get announced, because it probably won't, um, you're gonna need some hook. We recently, tried to pitch a seed round and most of the reward has turned it down and actually one reporter said we offered it up. We said, listen, would it be interesting to see a little bit of the the sausage making, like how we raised the.
And she was like, yeah, that's super interesting. Would you be willing to even share your pitch deck? And so that was the hook for this seat announcement, that will be coming out sometime this fall which is, yes, this company raised some money. Here's how they did it. And um, I think, especially now with this type of velocity, And the market don't expect that, your announcements we'll we'll, we'll we'll garner any type of response from, to the press.
The other thing is don't do not fucking do a web wire do not do this. You know, the standard PR media wire that costs 50 bucks and you do a press release and you send it. And then you think that one, you think that all the reporters are gonna read it and wow. Give you a call and wanna write about it.
One that doesn't happen too. It actually bites you in the ass because once it's out there and is public and is searchable on Google actually no reporter will want to write about it, right? Because they're like, oh, the news is already out there. So like had a web wire. It's crazy entrepreneurs still do that because it's cheap.
And maybe their PR agency is let's do it. Maybe because their periods and sees too lazy to actually like introduce them to the reporter and offer them an exclusive. But anyway, that, those are a couple of kind of PR tips that are still uh, very relevant, today.
It's helpful. I I've always thought your firm has done a pretty good job at the PRS. Which is not easy. So glad you're well,
Nihal Mehta: two of the four partners myself included were former like nightclub promoters, so like we have, we you know, we used to hock kind of paper flyers on the streets to get people to parties.
So I think we have a little bit of that DNA. Was it
MPD: college or post-college or when were you guys doing that
Nihal Mehta: college? Post-college now
MPD: tell me it was like, after.
Nihal Mehta: Yeah, I know. Now we stopped probably promoting parties I don't know, 15 years ago, but that's still part of our ethos, college after college for sure.
But you know, it's marketing, and I think marketing is, I think there's so much we call it the sizzle steak ratio. There's so much amazing stuff that founders are doing. And the companies that are building, but it's not commensurate with what they're publishing to the world to like, make the world aware of what they're doing.
There's something asymmetric of the actual work and the building and like the, the, the media and the awareness of what they're building, because the founders that are doing. Back to this digital state ratio are like all steak, they're like, double MIT or whatever, but they're like heads down.
And they're they're building amazing, great things, but they don't have uh, you know, the sizzle quotient to get it out to the world. And I think to be successful, we need a little bit of both, definitely more steak than sizzle. You know, I'm more sizzle than. But I think you need both, to, to really do something interesting and make the world aware that you're doing something interesting.
MPD: Let me take a different direction here for a second. Look, I've known Vic on your team for a long time, and I know you guys are all buddies at Penn. There's a lot of founders out there that are working with their friends. What have you learned about that dynamic over time? How do you manage that? It's probably better and worse.
What have you taken
Nihal Mehta: away from that? Yeah. It's, it's definitely something we've been working on professionally, so yeah, we've been friends for over two decades, um, we have incredible personal relationship, we're best man at each other's weddings and godfathers to each other's children.
And, um, you I think, uh, when we started working professionally, we had to really. We actually got a coach to help us incrementally work better professionally and realized as a firm, we wanted the parts of the firm to you know, add up to obviously greater than some of the parts.
And uh, I think this coach really helped us in the beginning, identify that identify each of our superpowers. So that we know which kind of partner and superpowers to lead with in certain situations and also have that mutual respect for each other super powers. And we, we definitely have that now, but it definitely takes a lot of time and energy and effort.
I don't think we would've gotten to a really good working professional relationship without a coach, um, and I think we're very lucky to have been friends before we started working together, because I think when a lot of people start working together and then try to become friends, it's definitely a different dynamic, right.
Because you know, obviously the professional is trumping the friendship versus the other way around. So when you're like hanging out with somebody as friends, you can't help to like, Uh, like think about them in the context of work and maybe some, maybe something that they could be doing better or something that you know, you want to give them constructive feedback is hard for you to do that, versus like being in the friend solid friend zone and being able to be very candid and honest and open with somebody.
So I think it's easier TLDR. It's easier to go from friends first to COVID co-founders than it is. From co-founders
MPD: I think this coaching bit you mentioned is a big deal and I maybe it's literally billions has popularized it and then it put on, put it out there. We have a coach on our team that a lot of different folks use at different times, and it's been invaluable.
And ven wise, one of the, one of the companies we're involved with is it constantly introducing founders to coaches and that's become a thing like there's so many executives out there that are getting help. I think it used to be taboo cause it was too closely associated with therapy, which I don't think should be taboo at all.
But it seems like people are grabbing onto it. And there's a lot of people who have talked for a long time about mental health of founders and relationships. I'm glad to see it's professionalizing and people are getting it integrated. Is it something you encourage your founders to, do you ever go into founding teams early stage?
Nihal Mehta: for sure, actually one of our best companies. I ended up hiring a coach for everybody at the company, VP and higher and it's made a dramatic difference in the performance of that company. Because I think especially first time founders for some executives you know, they don't know what they don't know that.
And so having somebody that can really guide them and teach them and provide that feedback to them on a one-on-one level is incredibly powerful. And so, yeah, I, uh, we encourage that you know, it's interesting as a investor VC again, every time I say VC and I cringe a little bit uh, I say as a seed investor, especially our number one job is that, of it.
I'm a therapist, I was talking about getting companies through product market fit, but it's also just like just being there to talk people off ledges and you know, If you look at my SMS, my wife's who's calling you at two in the morning. And it's like, don't don't worry about it.
But yeah, and but that's, it's, and by the way, it's nine times out of 10. It's just being a listening board. It's not even really offering any feedback or suggestions. It's just somebody listened to. I think being a founder is incredibly lonely, a job, where you are constantly stressed.
You're insecure. You're being, you know, crushed from all directions, um, and you're the only one feeling those forces. Right. And so I think, uh, anyway that, so yeah, big believer in coaches and therapists. One-on-one, you know, additional resources outside of your immediate circle.
MPD: That's such a weird role as a founder because there's a filter for every conversation you have, except if you can get to a coach or somebody who you can over time become give it unvarnished. Yeah.
Nihal Mehta: Or founders talking to each other, um, Uh, and so founders having that network like CEO's, and CEO's talking is really important.
I think there's a lot of good networks out there that, that already exists, on that, on on that level. But but yeah, the founders should always have other founders. I know for any act we have a founder slack and it's pretty incredible. What comes out of that, founders just post some random stuff and then they'll get.
Dozens of responses that they didn't expect. That's powerful.
MPD: So I've done a little digging on you before this conversation and I've known about any act while it's not that exciting. Don't worry. Nothing not going to burn here. On your LinkedIn, you've also mentioned that you're involved in the India internet group.
You might've given an overview on that. You've got a pretty prolific spread of activities. It'd be interesting to cover some of them.
Nihal Mehta: Totally. So actually, when we started EVs, interestingly are, are one of our first investors who actually anchored ENIAC was very interested when our first LP is, was very interested in in investing in India.
And so we started in 2008 that's India, internet fund and actually the person that runs it is in India in Delhi has been there since. And actually any act one in India, internet fund one, we're very similar in size and vintage. And interestingly enough, like any act now is, on its fifth bond and we've had, backed 150 companies and we've had 45 exits.
And I mentioned, now double digit unicorn uh, in the internet fund, still on fund one, and then there's a few series A's maybe one B. But nowhere, the same kind of momentum that's in the United States ecosystem. And obviously our ability to like also in four partners at any act and all very well networked and working hard at the U S ecosystem.
So this is something we started back then, and now we're just con um, um, no, not involved. It's really my partner in India. That's maintaining the companies. But we started it at the same time. Which is just an interesting analogy, like the difference in the markets,
MPD: but it does feel like the Indian market is scaling.
No, the outside read on it is it's getting increasingly hot. What's missing. Is it missing the liquidity path or what's the missing ingredient in their ecosystem?
Nihal Mehta: Yeah, I think I think there's a lot of things um, yes, it is scaling now for sure. You know, I think people read India is in between China and the U S not in terms of geography, but in terms of regulations, from the government and actual friction from the government.
So while it is a democracy you know, the government is still controlling a lot of things that make it very hard for startups to break out, and I think that's one of the big reasons why we haven't had, so much success, In an, in with an India, tech is changing for sure. I think the other thing is like the culture of American entrepreneurial entrepreneurship is top of the world has world-class, where you can have, somebody that literally comes from nothing and become Elon Musk, and become.
Jeff Bezos and become et cetera, et cetera. You know, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google you know, these incredible, and we have so many in our portfolio. Um, and I think that chip on the shoulder is so unique to the American ecosystem. That, um, is not afforded elsewhere, um, you don't hear like Chinese immigrant story or an Indian immigrant story to India or to China, um, that kinda makes it big. So anyway, I think there's a number of reasons we could have you know, conversation for many hours on why, but I think those are the two big reasons I think is the culture and, um, in government,
MPD: Yeah, the government reg is this the second time this week I've heard of it.
And the story of the Chinese restriction narrative, we actually just had someone on the pod to talk about that in depth and was very interesting. Is one that's been told in America. I feel like it's news to me that the Indian government democracy is limiting. How, what are they doing over there that needs to be switched?
Are there a couple of policies that are completely wacky? What's happening?
Nihal Mehta: I'll give you some examples. You know, a lot of people are not happy with the prime minister for a number of reasons, besides him rallying with Trump, and besides him, by the way literally, maybe single-handedly spreading Delta, flaring Delta in last fall when due to, um, the elections, which by the way he lost he had rat.
Without masks with millions of people that was like the big inflection point for Delta growing in India. Um, but besides all of that I mean a lot of the stuff, right? Um, I mean recently read India has made it illegal for you to change religion, after marriage. So literally there, the religious tolerance I think, is under.
Is you know, is becoming, I think uh, a real, a real issue. I don't think people are as free as, as they want to be. And so anyway, I think, there's some good things about him, he's arguably a good businessman. But, um, you I think in terms of other things like optically, like Muslim sentiment you know, India basically.
Took over a Kashmere and, uh, escalated that or, and by the way, killed, and displaced, thousands of people. So anyway, again, we can talk about this for hours, but you know, I don't think that I think a lot of things that are going on in that country are, listen, uh, we had Trump for four years, um, uh, you thank goodness he did not get reelected here, you know, this can happen in any democracy. That's what a democracy is. And I think India is just on the, the flip side of that. And hopefully that will change in the next election
MPD: fingers crossed. I've also, this is on topic and, I've always known you to be.
Pretty much a significant social activist, uh, when you're VC, hat's not on doing things of significant merit and impact. I know your wife is also on that trajectory as well. W what's the cause you're most passionate about what gets you out of bed outside of doing your job and taking care of your family?
Nihal Mehta: Yeah, I think high level is just fighting for the underdog, uh, And if there's social injustice anywhere, it means that the little guys, literally I was getting fucked, a little guy needs help, whoever that is by the way. And so I think it's more helping leveraging our skills, whatever we can do.
A lot of it is digital activism. Whether that's, writing or tweeting or organizing Fundraising, you know, things that we can leverage our skills to move the needle on. That's it, but fighting for the underdogs. You know, my wife is doing incredible work. Just like a tiny part of the shadow of activism in this household.
But, she started this nonprofit girls who code 10 years ago and the underdog, there were girls that were essentially Not getting the computer science skills that they needed, to compete in the 21st century. And um, she saw the problem, and created a incredible non-profit and now close to half a million girls have computer science education, uh, half of which by the way are at, or below the poverty line.
And so that's transformational to them and to their families and to their neighbors. From a socioeconomic perspective as well. And her next cause is now fighting for moms. She saw a lot of injustice, uh, independent and in particular, where a lot of moms had to leave the workforce to come home and take care of the household.
And she feels like they need to get compensated for that opportunity cost. And so she's fighting now for equality and prepaid equity for moms that's called the Marshall. For moms. And um, you know, anyway you know, that's her, I think for me, I'm just providing air cover, like, like, like tweeting, retweeting, her articles.
MPD: Okay. But were you an activist type before you got married or was that was it, was it already in your DNA and that's how you guys paired up or was it something that she brought to the table and you.
Nihal Mehta: Yeah, I think I was always like a, a marketer or promoter and also you know, realizing what good causes are and trying to amplify them.
But I don't think well, it's interesting actually, my wife and I met at a Barack Obama fundraiser in 2008, she was throwing the fundraiser for the president and. Deejaying the fundraiser. Actually like literally that's how we met. And it's funny because president Obama will say he, he introduced us.
In a way he did, and so, um, but I think I became a lot more active after meeting her for sure. I don't think I was taking on causes. You know, certainly by, by myself before. So I think sh she definitely brought me into that world. You know, and our kids too.
I remember we brought Sean when he was, two years old, maybe to the women's March, like, like millions of people in a, on an independence mall, like suffocating. And it was like carrying this little boy with a pink hat. I had a pink hat. This is awesome, but yeah, I would definitely not have been there, had our wife not inspired us.
So, you know yeah,
MPD: But you're doing stuff now. You want to tell us a little bit about the a hundred K
Nihal Mehta: pledge? Yeah, sure. So this is last summer actually after George Floyd uh, actually two other college buddies And I got together and said, listen, there's a lot of people making pledges and we've seen this kind of all the way back to Rodney king and Trayvon Martin.
And a lot of it unfortunately ends up being like lip service. Like people give pledges, they say things and it's a blip. And we forget about it, especially with these types of media cycles these days. And so we want to keep people honest and. With these pledges. And so anytime somebody made a public pledge, we would record it and we put it on this website, the a hundred K pledge.
And, um, we also wanted to facilitate people to create their own pledges, essentially for, the economic empowerment of the black community. And you can go to the website now, the a hundred K pledges.com. Creative pledge and pledge to, invest pledged to donate in black communities, you can specify what you want to do or keep it broad.
And it's essentially, a hundred thousand dollars that you will pledge over the next 10 years and we will track it and you can actually see, we just rolled out a progress tracker. You know, there's very large corporations that applied to billions of. I think we're tracking close to 40 billion now.
And we put them on there and their PR teams are reaching out to us take us off, take us off. They're like, no, tell us what you've done. Tell us like all this 2 billion that you pledged, send us updates so we can update your tracker. Cause this is like a public essentially, My co-founder on this, my buddy VJ calls it like the Fitbit for justice.
It's a public, or maybe the whoop for justice is probably a better analogy now where, um, everybody can see it as completely transparent. And I think that, that's what we're frustrated about is all these pledges, all this lip services being created and there's no accountability.
Yeah, there's websites out. We pay for the domain for 10 years. We paid for Google cloud for 10 years. Like it's here, we're going to update every pledge as it comes through. And you know, we're not going to call people out, but the public can see like who's living up to the promises and who, you know, who isn't.
You know, that was a very simple kind of digital site. We built it in a weekend. We pushed it out. We thought it could really move the needle, post George fluid. And a lot of people think that it has. Another example also after the pandemic hit was we launched the site also in just 48 hours called help main street.com.
We realized a lot of our favorite restaurants you know, we're getting crushed and the best kind of way to help. After some research that we did was a no interest loan, which is essentially buying gift cards from the restaurant. So the money goes straight into the bank accounts of the restaurant tours and the owners of those establishments.
And uh, there is no gift card aggregator online, gift cards are incredibly fragmented. You know, you have some with square, you have some. 20 other providers. And so we just aggregated them all and put them on a website and we're still able to help folks find their favorite restaurant and have them buy gift cards every day.
We ended up doing that with this great company in New York called lunchbox. But yeah, that, that was something again that we just saw that there was a need for, and executed pretty quickly. And and also about that domain for 10 years and Google cloud for 10 years. So these are like timeless, projects that, small kind of effort, great ROI, in terms of something that you can create, produce and get out to the world and you know, get a few reporters talking about it and, the traffic starts coming.
MPD: But it sounds like high level look, you've accomplished a lot. You built a great fund. You're having some social impact. You've got your family going. Where do you see yourself heading in the next 10 years? Where does this go?
Nihal Mehta: Yeah, it's a good time to announce that that we're, we're retiring. I think there's a lot of VCs that you heard in the last week that hanging up their Jersey.
We're we're getting out of the game. We're getting old. They can't really see hard to read. That's it don't think you are hanging up our laptops. Uh, no, listen, we're having the time of our lives right now. I think. Feel like we're just getting in, we're just getting into it, um, 10 years from now, we're going to be doing the same thing, more of the same, yeah.
20 years from now more of the same as well. I think we want any act to be, to live to outlook. You know, I think we've got, a bunch more funds before we started thinking about that. The world has changed, post COVID and also with web three, as exciting as it was to invest in mobile 10 years ago, it is to invest in crypto and climate and gen Z.
More exciting probably today. So, uh, more of the same, if we can, continue to help founders realize their purpose. And if we can have, some sort of impact on the world and doing it, through. Uh, our values and our mission on other projects and by the way, where they merge even better, we're investing in a lot of companies that are also incredibly mission-driven or have incredible values.
And so that, that's the ultimate kind of holy grail when, when all your worlds converge, but yeah, listen, continue doing good and And, uh, and helping people realize their potential
MPD: leave off here with one last question. You've had a lot of experience in both sides of this game as operator and investor.
What's one lesson that maybe people don't hear every day. That's not cliche that you wish more entrepreneurs knew. That would be helpful to folks.
Nihal Mehta: Yeah. Good question. Listen, my first startup one bank. And at the time it was a completely humbling and humiliating experience being, you son of an Indian immigrant at the Devali parties, those aunties in the corner where like that kid filed for bankruptcy, you know, and it was embarrassing.
And you know, it took me a while to bounce back from that experience, looking back, that was the best experience of my life, because I think when you face failure, And come out of it. You just come out of it with this incredible invincibility and resilience where everything is upside, like literally the worst thing that could happen to you in business already happened.
And I'm not afraid of that anymore. Like I took the pier off the table and so let's go. And so I think the advice would be, fail fast, you know, do something that you're afraid of. And fail at it. And get back up. It'll take us some time, shake it off. It'll take you some time. Get back out there.
Your body, your subconscious, your muscles have muscle memory. You'll avoid the same mistakes. And you'll do a lot bigger and better the next time around. So fail fast, but putting my ENIAC hat on fail fast. Not on our dime. It fell fast,
somebody else's money and then the next go around we'll back. Yeah. That's
MPD: awesome. Thank you for being on.
Nihal Mehta: Thanks for having me, man. It's great to see you
MPD: as always. It's great catching up in the hall. If you liked what you heard, please look us up with a like or a five star review and feel free to share with a friend. You can find me on Twitter at MPD. And to hear more of my conversations with innovators, subscribe on YouTube, Facebook for any major podcast platform, just search for innovation with Mark Peter Davis.