On this week’s pod ep we’re combining our traditional guest interview style with the new partner meeting format. We start with the partner meeting and then I chat with a guest.

Here’s what we cover during the partner meeting segments:

  • The connective tissue between the amount of capital a startup raises and future valuations
  • New domestic data that is actually good news, rather than good news masking bad news
  • Reddit NFTs, how it brought 3+ millions users to blockchain and how it’s an example of how web2.5 will play an integral role in onboarding new users
  • Startup Advice of the Week: Pricing strategies

After the partner meeting segments I chat with Alon Talmor of Ask-AI to discuss how his business is using AI to create a Google answers solution for enterprises. Ask-AI is based out of Israel, so we also chat about the current tech scene and startup trends in that area. It’s a great conversation. Enjoy.

Transcript (this is an automated transcript):

MPD: Welcome everybody. I'm Mark Peter Davis, managing partner of Interplay. I'm on a mission to help entrepreneurs advance society, and this podcast is part of that effort. Welcome to today's partner meeting where I chat with a few of my partners about the broader market, venture market, blockchain market, and share a business tip.

One twist for this week is we're gonna try something a little new. We're gonna merge our prior interview format with our new partner meeting. And so after we finish the partner meeting conversations, I will have my first interview guest on tagged onto the back of that. I hope you enjoy

Mike. What's up man? I love seeing you with an interplay background, 

Mike Rogers: dude. It's great. Yeah. It's a big improvement from last week's where I caught a lot of flack from some of the some listeners last week about my podcast from 

MPD: the closet. I heard five comments about it from people who listened. Yeah, it's apparently that was a thing.

Mike Rogers: Isn't, we do this job from where we 

MPD: have to That's right. Digital life, man. Okay. What do you got for this week? 

Mike Rogers: What's going on this week? I'm noticing a trend which is founders coming out with one to 2 million of ARR looking to raise 10 to 15 million series days. And I think while that was the norm last year, maybe even, they were coming out with two, raising 20 million series.

I think VCs are looking for founders to start the conversation with a little bit more of a reality around where pricing is and what's best for the company long term. So if you got 2 million of arr, let's call it, and you're slapping a 10 x on that company, you're probably looking at a 20 ish million dollar valuation now.

I think that seems a bit low, especially for what might be like a really high growth company at that stage. So what's, what should founders expect and what do I think they should do in this situation? I think they should raise five to seven and they should target something in the mid twenties, pre with the high end, 30 post or so.

So they can right size their dilution, keep things somewhere around that 20% range. Get these series A investors interested in understanding that you really know where the market is, where pricing is, and what people are looking for in today's world. And honestly, in my opinion, set the company up for success by not overcapitalizing it too.

And most importantly, keeping optionality for founders as to where they can exit and sell this company in the next few years. The math's pretty simple. If you raise 15 or 20 or 10 on 50, 60, 70 million, then for your investors, a good outcome is gotta be a billion dollars plus if you raise a Series A at 20, 30 million, and a good outcome can be two, three, 400 million.

And by the way, that is a good. So I'd love to see founders have a little bit more realistic expectations around what a good outcome looks like and thus set the bar at the right level when they're going out to raise that certain day. 

MPD: This is a super awesome topic. The high level piece, I think is people just not necessarily recalibrating to the new market, which has already been largely recalibrated for the deals that are being done.

So it's just people coming back into market and they haven't, it hasn't, they haven't rocked. But I think there's beyond this moment in time, there's a really interesting lesson in this that I think a lot of people don't know unless they've been, unless they've been slogging through the venture job for a while, it's that the amount of capital you raise actually dictates your valuation.

The general rule of thumb is the venture capital is gonna buy 10 to 30% on average, 20 of around when the capital's. So if you raise more money, you're inherently raising the bar for the total valuation you're gonna have in the company. And you're also saying, I have to sell for more at exit to be worthwhile for the investors.

Totally. So it's not just an equation of, Hey, can I get more money? Cause more money in the company would be better. You're actually triggering a chain of events by raising at a larger amount of capital that the capital will help you operationally. But this will affect your valuation, your ability to exit a whole bunch of dynamics down.

That can screw up your payouts. Yeah. Because you might have investors that don't wanna sell for a deal that was a good deal because they're carrying at a higher valuation than they should have been. There's all these weird dynamics that come there in the back that I think are out of sight particularly for first time founders, people who aren't living in this deal dynamic a lot.

And it's that connective tissue between the amount you raised and evaluation that I think most people don't. So that should be more trust. A 

Mike Rogers: hundred percent. I think. Incredibly well said. I think the other piece that people don't realize too, is I think a lot of founders think that they are de-risking the business by raising more money.

When in fact, I would argue that at the early stages, here you are, in fact actually introducing more risk to the business by overcapitalizing it and pushing the valuation up because you have less opportunity. To raise a bridge round or a side round or whatever it is, because people may look at you and say, Whoa, your last round was at 80.

I'm not gonna touch this thing here anymore. Versus if it was at 30 or 40, people'll say, Oh, okay. You know what? There's still pri enough wiggle room in there for me to get capital in and have the upside I want. I'm willing to take that risk and when you over capitalize business, most founder end up spend.

And you spend it on stupid stuff and I know people like hear that story all the time. It is real and it happens every day. So when you stay nimble and you stay start up hungry and conservative with your capital, you are actually putting yourself in what I believe to be the best mission to succeed.

MPD: Yeah. It doesn't mean for folks they have to. Raise such a small amount, they're putting the company in distress. It's not what you're saying. You're saying raise the right amount of capital to, to run the company in a healthy way, but don't have that chain reaction impact of creating an outsized evaluation that you can't grow into.


Mike Rogers: and I often say to founders, I'm like, what would you be able to do with 15 that you can't do with seven? And the answer is you end up, There's no way to physically spend the money faster unless you're spending it on things that you have not vetted as really strong places to allocate capital.

So for me, you end up just blowing it. That ends up coming out of your equity at the end of the day when the valuation is too high and you have to recap the company, et cetera, et cetera. So for me, it's. Take in the seven, spend it really ly go spend it the way you wanna spend it and make sure the capital gets allocated correctly.

And then if it's going well, believe me, the capital markets will be there to put more money in the business, especially if you raise it the right valuation. Because then more be like, Great, your last amount was at 30. I'll give you that 50 or 60 now. Cause you've proven all these proof points and you know what, You're right.

Maybe you are ready for 20 million bucks now because you've shown me, to spend. Tell me how you're gonna spend the 20. Okay, that makes sense. Let's go spend the 20. So I think it just, again, back to that chain reaction, you set yourself up for failure on day one when you overcapitalize a company for so many reasons.

MPD: This is a great topic. Thank you, Mike. Cool. My pleasure. Thank you. Chris. What's happening in the markets? 

Chris Zhang: Mpd it's been a few very constructive weeks for the US economy. And I don't mean that everything's. Certainly not true with the tech earnings that we received two weeks ago, but the way I see it, I think things are on the proper path to recovery and the labor market is showing real resilience despite higher interest rates.

So basically for the first time, since pretty much start of this year, good news is good news again. And just to support that statement. Happy to dive into a little bit of domestic data and events. This happened last week. The first one would be nonpharm non-farm payroll that just came out this morning for the most of October.

The headline number came in at 261 K, so out which private sector added about 233 K of jobs. Hourly earnings also increased by 0.4% month on month beating expectation. and the risky asset market. People took that as a sign of a potential soft landing and s and p in the green at least. Last time I checked a few minutes ago, about one by about 1.2%.

Yeah, so it's been weak in here. 

MPD: Wasn't the story that, hey, look, the fed's gonna keep raising interest rates to combat inflation. Yes. Until they see. Unemployment go up, we need people to, they actually are trying to get people to lose their jobs. As horrible 

Chris Zhang: as that sounds, Yeah.


MPD: Now you're saying, hey unemployment is, employment's remaining strong. Yes. As the interest rates are going up, does that mean the feds has gotta keep ratting the interest rates? Or is it at a level where, maybe we can have our cake and eat it too, where we're gonna.

Higher interest rates, lower inflation, and not screw up people's jobs in livelihood. Great question. 

Chris Zhang: So up until this point, the reason why market, one of the reasons why market has been so volatile is that people think the Fed is hiking at unprecedented increments. So 75 is one a hundred basis point at a.

Which will trigger a downfall in the market in a drastic way and will put us in a recession, et cetera. But if the labor market is so resilient as the Fed does this, and Sherman Powell just indicated in the last f o mt meeting happened last week, that the pace of the hike will slow down.

There is a scenario where. Wage will, unemployment will go up, wage will go down, but in a slower than it anticipated fashion, which will then result in a softer landing. That's the term that people use. That means that yes, people lose their jobs, wage will go down, inflation will be down, but everything will happen in a slower fashion.

So that, Find yourself in a spot where everybody loses their jobs and market crashes by 30, 40%. So that's the probably the best scenario we can hope for. And given what we've seen so far, there's, the likelihood of that happening is increasing, which is great news for all of us really. That's 


MPD: I'm hearing from there's some rumblings that there may be a bigger problem coming through the market. I was talking to nobody yesterday in the private equity space, and he's saying, Look, the problem is no one knows where interest rates are going, and as a result, the big banks like aren't lending money, right?

It's all locking up because there's just so much uncertainty, and I don't know if it was a little hyperbole used in the language here, but that has a lot of implications for people's ability to do business by companies transac. It creates a bit of a freeze. I 

Chris Zhang: personally don't think the banks are afraid to lend out money because what happens in a lending market is usually these banks use interest rate swaps to get rid of their interest rate exposure, meaning they can actually lend out rates in floating or fixed rate format.

So if it let out everything in floating, that means as the Fed raises rates, their interest rate will also go. In, in accordance with markets, so that doesn't necessarily impact their balance sheet and their interest rate margins much. So I don't think the banks are necessarily afraid of lending money.

What is definitely true is if they do that means as the fed goes raises rates, the cost of debt will obviously rise for all the borrowers in the market. Yeah, the cause and capital go up and as a result the cash, cash flow, free cash flow will go down in, in corporations and your earnings will go down, therefore your values will go down.

So that's the sequence of the fact that will happen. Okay. 

MPD: What else you got internationally? 

Chris Zhang: So we cover everything domestically and on an international stage. There are two things that I think are, of course beyond the, your usual or Ukraine, your Russia war. Which good and bad hadn't seen a ton of real news and development there.

But away from that, we also had China's Natural Congress that was over last week. Those of you who were following, we also talked about this in our last pod market basically took him 20% dive after c Ping consolidated his. There. After that there's, Mark is in Asia.

We're on a recovery path because there's some rumors unconfirmed that there will be easings in the zero policy previously expected. It may be q2, Q3 X next year, now potentially q1. So that's great. But Taiwan, of course, remains a major geopolitical tension point. If anything, that we got out of that meeting the natural Congress, it's that China stays very firm in in, it's, in its determination to take over Taiwan, certainly now ruling out, military occupation.

And whether that triggers into a proxy or with the us and when that. Is anyone's got. Definitely need to look at that and focus on what, what could happen in the next two years away from China. We have the Brazilian election, we talked about this also in the previous pod.

Lula won over the incumbent. Both Arrow and the transfer of power has started so far. It's been actually surprisingly and that's great news for markets, but there's been very little resilience, very little resistance. None none of the sort of rhetorics that, that, that post arrow talked about previously in terms of either when the election gonna jail or die.

None of that has happened yet, which is good news. We'll. Whether the transfer power's completed, and if so, at least one uncertainty is outta the picture. And that's definitely 

MPD: positive for markets. This is a big deal. Bringing it back to the private markets too, we're always you're talking largely public when you talk about this stuff, but the extent to which we can reduce these exogenous factors helps reduce the risk of an overcorrect.

In the tech markets in particular, right? Prices are already down, valuations are down, things are contracting, but there is a risk that it could over correct beyond probably what it should. If there's just chaos floating around, absolutely. The less 

Chris Zhang: uncertainties there are that no more people can actually focus on the fundamentals of the business instead of the macro environment.

MPD: Percent agree wild times. Thank you Chris. And for those listening, just a quick reminder. Chris is an s e registered ria, so nothing he said should be construed or perceived as financial advice, yada yada.

All right, Brett, what's happening in the blockchain universe? Yeah. 

Brett Palatiello: A couple weeks ago, Reddit launched an NFT project which was basically a bunch of avatars that Reddit users could purchase and use as their profile pictures. That was interesting in and of itself. It actually, I think it onboarded about 3 million new but it's an interesting segue into another topic, which is web 2.5, which is something that we're interested.

It's a web two interface, which is very nice and sleek and similar to what we use nowadays with a web three back end, right? So you get a wallet. Somebody else manages their keys on the back end. They store NFTs, whatever on your behalf. And it removes that friction of people needing to sign up for a wallet, manage their keys, which can be a pretty daunting process.

So this Reddit experiment was a testament to that. Now one thing is, even though it's signed up, 3 million wallets. Only about 300 at avatars were purchased two days ago. So what does this show to me? This shows that people are interested in the technology. But there needs to be a better answer to, Okay, what do I do with this now that I have it?

So for me, NFTs are much more than profile pictures or even art even though there is a very interesting art segment in the NFT world, it needs to be more than that. And people are working on this making NFTs more expressive, generative dynamic. Once you, when you do certain things, it evolves.

They're used to store items. One of the things I worry about and I think the industry at large needs to focus on is not NFTs as images, but NFTs as a piece of technology. Digital files that live on the blockchain. And that in and of itself is really interesting.

Our medical data is gonna be represented as NFTs, so they're going to be very important Object. And people are working on the utility of NFTs, but again, it was a very good experiment, a very good validation of the thesis that Web 2.5 is going to be enabling a whole new cohort of people into 

MPD: the space.

Now, whether or not the world calls you continues to use the phrase web 2.5 months or years from now, doesn't matter to me. What I'm happy to hear is this broad acknowledge. About the user interface and the experience of this market, cuz it's never gonna be commercially viable or widely adopted, at least on the consumer side until there's an easy interface.

You don't need to be a, an engineer or self-talk coder to be able to transact with this stuff. Just the idea that's becoming a universal mindset. Hey, we need to make consumable applications an application. That's gold because this will go from being back end to front. 

Brett Palatiello: Yeah. No, it's and web two, to me it's not really a war between web two and web three.

Web three is just hopefully a generalized settlement rail for, all these different applications. So it allows all different sorts of data, which basically everything nowadays is data, right? My medical data is the same type of data. My financial data, just a bunch of bites.

So now those can all inter-operate on the same rails and it reduces the trust requirements for transacting across different databases. It's Web two point Web two has figured out very good user interface interfaces, whereas Web three has not. So it's nice to see the web two people and people very focused on, the user experience and UI UXs making a transition in the space and making things more familiar with for people.

MPD: Is there someone who coined the 2.5 jar? 

Brett Palatiello: I don't know. I heard it a while back and it made sense to me. I actually heard of it first as a derogatory term. Something that was non-committal to whether, to either web two or web three. So it was not good at anything, just half good at both at two things that they seemed that, that seemed incompatible with each other.

But to me it makes sense. The, there's already these very large communities of people in web two. Why not test these out with those people already aggregated together. I think that's how a lot of people are going to get, either, either get integrated purely directly into the space or are gonna get curious enough to.

Sign up for a wallet and star. 

MPD: Very cool. Thank you Brett, as always. Anytime. 

Chris Zhang: All right, Fong, 

MPD: what do we have this 

Phuong Ireland: week? So this week we're gonna be talking about pricing strategies. This is a topic that I don't think a lot of founders spend enough time thinking about. And it could really set the stage for everything for your company from how your product is perceived in the market, to even the financial viability of your company, right?

So if you charge too much, you won't have any customers. If you charge too little, you'll impact your profitability and it actually might work against you cuz customers might undervalue your product. So it's really worth spending a lot of time thinking about. To start off, let's just establish the basics how you can approach pricing.

There are three ways. The first is cost based pricing, so that's basically taking the cost of how much it takes to make your product and applying a markup. Now, I really hate this strategy because it doesn't take the customer into account, right? Your cost is based on your team's efficiency, your negotiating power, your scale, and a bunch of other things that your customers just don't care.

They only care about what it's worth to them. Second way is position base. So this is looking at the competitive landscape and figuring out where you wanna be relative to your competitors. Do you wanna be the lowest cost provider? Do you wanna be the super premium brand? This strategy I find is really common with consumer brands where they're often a lot of players within the same product category.

Last, the last way is value-based pricing. So this is based on how customers perceive the value of your product. So the bigger the difference between that perception and the price, the more likely they are to buy your product. This really requires you to understand your customer, what they need, and how your product fulfills them, which are all things you need to know.

So regardless of what strategy you end up using, I just wanted to cover a number of common mistakes that you should be avoiding in terms of thinking about your pricing strategy. Number one is not testing enough price points. So there's always gonna be a trade off between price point and your sales volume, and you'll never find that optimal point unless you're testing a range of.

Number two mistake not to make is over complicating pricing. So just keep it simple and straightforward, right? For B2B companies, make it easy for your customers to estimate their monthly costs and calculate roi. Don't surprise them with hidden costs for consumer pro, for consumer companies. Don't make your customers do complicated math.

Don't try to confuse them. It just doesn't. And then last mistake that you should avoid is not considering psychological pricing, which is, which are different ways of presenting pricing that subconsciously drive purchasing behavior. I think some of these, you've heard of some of them, Some of these might be new.

But for example, if you're trying to convey that your product is a good deal and the price point in an odd number, because odd numbers tend to feel cheaper in the customer's mind and then and use the charm pricing strategy, this is the one I think we all know. It's the 99 cents thing, right? 4 99 is basically $5, but it sounds a lot cheap.

Conversely, if you're trying to convey that your product is aspirational or luxury, stick to whole numbers, end the price with an even number and lose it at the decimals. There was actually a study that was done on champagne. The customers were more likely to buy it if it was priced at $40 versus 3 39 75, even though 39 75 is technically.

And then last tactic is that customers are drawn towards the center. So when you're presenting pricing bun bundles, put the option that you're trying to drive customers to in the middle. So it all seems really simple and there are a lot of other psychological tactics too. It's worth spending some time researching because they're all really interesting.

MPD: I love this topic. I think there's an interesting dynamic here. All of the pricing strategies and mechanisms you came up with are ways in which people triangulate their pricing, and a lot of people, I think, will actually pick one of those and run with it. Yeah, that's not what I do. I use it to get context and then I do, The thing you mentioned at the end is trying pricing, but specifically I start by pricing as high as possible in a very manual way.

This is what I always tell entrepreneurs to do, go. Overcharge what you think at pos highest possible price you could do, but do it manual where you're talking to people and then discount down to find that price for every single deal until you find the pattern. And that's very important to do early because man, if you go five, six years of building a company and turns out you could have been charging 30% more the entire time.

It's a big difference in the financial outcome of the company. So you wanna find this out ear aggressively, and. I have my experience. Most people are very uncomfortable with that process of charging too much and whittling down. It's uncomfortable, it's scary. You might lose early customers, but it is the most efficient way to find the actual market price you want to go with long term.

Phuong Ireland: Yeah, I think a lot I didn't cover this, but a lot, another mistake that a lot of customers make, a lot of companies make is that they charge too little, right? They go out and they're trying to undercut their competitors and then, their product looks maybe not as great as the other competitors and they're not making, as much money.

And there's a whole brand perception that is lost as well as leaving a lot of money on the table. And I also think, yeah, regardless, I think the competitive aspect is really important regardless of what, how you come at your pricing. You always need to know what's going on the landscape, how you compare to your competitors, and you always have to reassess it because they're always new competitor competitors coming online.

The marketplace is always changing. So really keeping track of that and making sure that you're price optimized at whatever price point you're. 

MPD: I love it. Super important topic. Hopefully this is helpful to folks. Thank you. Fun. Thank you. All right, Awesome. That concludes our partner meeting portion of the segment for today.

We now have a guest on, I mentioned earlier in the show, we're gonna tag a guest on to the end of this conversation. So with that, I would like to welcome Alon Moore, the founder and CEO of Ask Ai.

Thanks for being here. 

Alon Talmor: It's a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me. 

MPD: Cool. Yeah. Let's start off, You wanna give us a little bit of an overview of ska? 

Alon Talmor: Sure. So SKA is trying to bring the Google or Google answers into the enterprise. We help productivity and customer experience by bringing all the many silos of the organization into one search.

And then providing direct answer. A little bit like Google Answers. If you ask, Who's the president of the usa, Google just doesn't give you any link to a document. Read it and find yourself, Brings you that direct answer to that question. Same kind of technology we're trying to bring in into your organizations so that they get direct answers for customer support, for product, for sales, for r and d, et cetera.

And then helping build the organizational knowledge as. 

MPD: And the tool is a search bar, but it's allow, it's on the back end. It's indexing all of the information in the company across all 

Alon Talmor: of the, Yeah. And the big breakthrough is it also works with unstructured text. Today Slack become, became very popular.

And we all know there's a lot of questions going on Slack that's not really documented anywhere, and organizations don't really utilize that. And then questions repeat themselves over Slack. So we're trying to stop that kind of repeating questions. What we do is we index all the Slack channels.

For instance, customer communications, knowledge-based health center, bring them all into one search. So that if you have a question that was answered by someone over Slack, you can now use that answer. And it becomes, essentially, your org becomes your knowledge base, right? So it becomes 

MPD: less repetitive and more accessible.

Now you're building the company out in Tel Aviv. How is building in Israel. 

Alon Talmor: It's actually very exciting. Israel is becoming a powerhouse for startups for some time now. And we I'm very happy now that, now in this time around in the startup because I'm a second timer. My previous startup was in 2009.

Back then Israel didn't have a very big ecosystem of companies that reached a thousand or 10,000 employees, so we were forced to go to Silicon Valley and start by having first design partners there. Nowadays, Israel has a lot of many unicorns that can be helpful in trying out new. So some of our early design partners like yopo@walkmemonday.com, rms, they're all were very helpful and they're very close to us locally.

So nowadays it becomes like an ecosystem that you can try out ideas first in Israel and then very fast come out out of the Israeli ecosystem. 

MPD: Yeah. When I started in VC in 2006, The name of the game for Israeli startups was the management teams would move to the us, the Valley, New York, wherever they'd leave r and d abroad, and they would run this kind of international company.

That was the format that we kept seeing. Is that still, now that you have a kind of critical mass and density in the organiza locally in Israel, is that still part of the game, or are you seeing fewer founders move to the. 

Alon Talmor: I think right now that's the case. I know that founders still stay with their company here in Israel.

I know that they move to us usually with the sales team. So sales success are typically still built under uso, but the management of companies and the founder themselves right now typically do stay in Tel Aviv. It's like a. It's like a global village right now. You can even sell over Zoom.

So that's a very big game changer. Like in my past startup, we had to really go to New York or to Silicon Valley to sell in person. And today, the CEO can still stay here. So 

MPD: as an Israeli founder, look, there's a thriving ecosystem of VCs out in Israel. How can US VCs be providing material support?

What matters? 

Alon Talmor: So I think the best value, and that's why we out, we actually outreach to a few US VCs is the US market. Israeli market is still, a fraction of the US market and Israeli startups really want to succeed in the US because every breakthrough technology that you're trying to produce, if you make it in the.

Then you'll probably make it in the rest of the world. And US VCs are really helping that by introducing to portfolio that they have in the USA or introducing to founders from their portfolio. So that's, for us, a very big value add that Israelis VCs can't really provide. I 

MPD: appreciate that. All right, so you you did, went back and did your PhD in machine learning after you sold your last company.

What are the big opportunities that you think about when you're looking at playing in the AI ML space? What are we, where's the future? 

Alon Talmor: So that's actually the reason I went to do a PhD. I was at Salesforce when we were sold, I was chief data scientist there and I 2015, I was looking for my.

Next big thing I saw a big change in a big breakthrough in a field called deep learning, but mainly for vision or image processing, but nlp, natural language processing. Was still early in deep learning. I met a professor, Jonathan Barer, was just coming back from Stanford to be a professor in Tel Aviv University and started doing a PhD by understanding that there's gonna be a very big potential.

We were lucky enough to see that unfold. And nowadays we're all aware of G PT three and companies like Open. That are showing very promising breakthroughs. One of the big things that happen in deep learning in NLP is instead of becoming like an anecdote deep learning is really impacting how we work with heavy text.

So now you can take very long documents and summarize them in one sentence. With very high accuracy, more than 90% accuracy. You can take natural language questions and take a document and pinpoint the exact answer with very high precision as opposed to, just a few years ago that was just not possible.

There's many things we can do now with heavy text that was just not possible two or three years. So I think we're gonna see more and more companies making use of that and trying to introduce that breakthrough to industry. Cuz after all, what we have in our enterprise is mostly a lot of text, are all our customer communications, all our knowledge.

All our notes, all our documentation, everything is text. Even the calls we do with customers can be, transcripts, can be converted into call transcripts. So if we can make sense of that, create insights out of that and find good answers, then that can really break through how we use everything and how we work in our workplace.

MPD: So the computers in these situations are summarizing the copy, the text that it's, Are there other permutations of how you see the AI playing in the tech space? Just summarizing the key 

Alon Talmor: output. Yeah, so one thing is sentiment analysis that's improving dramatically. Now we can recognize nuances on, was a customer unhappy on a call, not by just saying words that are negative by the fact that some nuances in how he says.

Changed or his patient drop. We can now analyze turns in the customer communications. Is the customer talking too less? Is the salesperson talking too much? Now we can really analyze a lot of nuances. For instance, in customer tickets, we can now distinguish between questions, product issues, repeating tasks.

This kind of classification is something that NLP helps us do. So there's many kind of practical tasks that modern NLP enables us that are really business goals and really helping the business. 

MPD: All right. I love that. Before we sign off, I wanna throw it under hand pitch here. One question. Your second startup, any advice for first time founders?

What did you do differently this time? That you were very conscious. 

Alon Talmor: That's a great question. One big thing is taking funding because in 2009 we had to bootstrap. So for me, this is a very different game. I think, but the big advice is if you do take funding and my first startup was a 2009, be cautious as to what evaluation and what you take and do you really need it or not.

And I think this time around I was cautious learning the lessons from last time. And it proved to be valuable even though we were offered more for a bigger valuation. We are, I think we made a smart decision but by moving slower and really seeing how the product evolves and how we can sell and how we can really build value and.

Before jumping to very big valuation. I think that kind of advice now seems obvious with current market, but it happened a year ago and we're happy that's what we did. Yeah. 

MPD: Most entrepreneurs do not under fully get that. It's a challenging thing and I think people at their core that just take their derisk in the business by raising more capital.

At higher valuations and own more, they aren't realizing that it's gonna come outta their pocket in most cases, 

Alon Talmor: and influence the sentiment of the company as well. 

MPD: Oh, totally. People start paving over with their cracks and spending money on crazy 

Alon Talmor: stuff. You wanna be always growing. You don't want to go like this.

And then, so that's very shaky. , 

MPD: thank you for the time. Appreciate you being. 

Alon Talmor: Thank you very much. It was a pleasure. Thanks.

MPD: And that's a wrap. Thanks for listening to the partner meeting. If you have any feedback on the inclusion of a guest at the end, hit me up. You can get me on Twitter at npd.


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