Superpowers School
Superpowers School - Self-Improvement Podcast for Tech People
E104: Self-Help - Engagement 2.0: Virtual Events to Keep Everyone Hooked and Involved - Lux Narayan (Entrepreneur & Author)
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E104: Self-Help - Engagement 2.0: Virtual Events to Keep Everyone Hooked and Involved - Lux Narayan (Entrepreneur & Author)

Lux Narayan (Entrepreneur)

With the rise of remote work, online learning, and virtual gatherings, staying connected has never been more important. However, as a facilitator, it’s difficult to create virtual experiences that are as good as face-to-face events. Asking 100+ people a question but only being able to acknowledge a handful of responses can leave your audience feeling disengaged.

In this episode, I speak to Lux Narayan the co-founder of StreamAlive. His platform is a facilitator’s best-kept secret. It uses an innovative way to boost engagement in virtual events. Lux also shares his entrepreneurial journey and some interesting stories of how he wrote his book as well as how he ended up working for one of the most famous Bollywood actors on the planet!

Lux Narayan

Lux Narayan believes that “So, what do you do?” is a tough question to answer and should certainly not be answered with the current title on your LinkedIn profile. In 2021, he published “Name, Place, Animal, Thing”, an Amazon bestseller- to help people answer this dreaded question. He enjoys mining the intersections of various spheres of life and work, speaking of which… He is the CEO and a co-founder at StreamAlive, a category-defining, fun and engaging web application that helps livestreams and live events on Zoom, YouTube Live, in-person, and everything in between literally come alive. With the ability to plan, track, increase, and analyze engagement simply through the live chat, StreamAlive’s goal is to help presenters and creators move their audiences from bored-away to blown-away. Prior to founding StreamAlive, and prior to a creative and personal break, Lux was a co-founder and the CEO at Unmetric right up to their acquisition by Cision, the world’s largest “earned media platform” that’s now a part of Platinum Equity, a $20bn+ private equity group. He is a perpetual learner of “stuff’ — from origami and molecular gastronomy to stand-up and improv comedy. He enjoys reading obituaries and has given a talk on the TED main stage – on lessons from 2000 obituaries. This talk has been viewed over 2 million times and translated into every majorly spoken language.

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👉🏽 StreamAlive: Click

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Transcription:

[00:01:00] Paddy Dhanda: Dear friend, Thank you so much for listening to the Superpower School podcast. I'm your host, Patty Dander, and on today's episode, I have someone who I feel is becoming a really good friend of mine and it's amazing the power of social media, and connection in general. And I think that's gonna be a theme of this episode.

I have lux n Ryan, who is the co-founder of Stream Alive, he's an entrepreneur stream Alive, is an audience engagement platform to then be able to run live sessions really effectively. It's a product that I've been using and I just wanna make it clear this episode is not sponsored by Stream alive in any way whatsoever.

But I think the insights that Lux has are gonna be really relevant to every one of us who are listening to this episode today. So Lux, welcome to the show.

[00:01:52] Lux Narayan: Hey, thank you so much, Patty, for having me. And by the way, the feeling is entirely mutual on fast becoming friends and yes, I think it's a testament to the kind of connectivity that, that social and other things channel, but exactly my feelings, my friend.

Thank you for having

[00:02:06] Paddy Dhanda: me here. Oh, you're welcome. Lux, what is the superpower you're gonna bring to this particular episode?

[00:02:13] Lux Narayan: I, I think you kind of beat me to it.

You talked about connectivity and connecting, humans to humans has been something that's important for me in many ways. And the superpower I'd like to bring today is the ability to enable connectivity at scale. Which is when you have more than a certain number of people how do you connect them without still losing that human to human connection?

So connectivity at scale, if I were to summarize that in three words and

[00:02:39] Paddy Dhanda: what an amazing superpower that is. We're talking at the moment how the world is becoming more and more lonely. People are getting more and more depressed because we are losing that human connection. And to have a superpower that enables the opposite of that, I think can only be a good thing for humanity.

Can't wait to talk more about that, but before we do, I know you have a interesting background and story because I'm guessing when you were growing up around that age of seven or eight, your number one career choice was not to do what you do today. Tell me a little bit about that journey and how did you end up to where you are today?

[00:03:17] Lux Narayan: For anyone who's familiar with Indian parenting around the time I was growing up you probably know that what you're gonna do in life is largely dictated by the social infrastructure around you and parents and folks. You kind of almost presented two choices at that point, at least where I grew up, it is like, do you wanna be an engineer or do you want to be a doctor?

 Which is not to say those are the only two themes. In fact, I, I did a talk afterwards about how that's pretty constricting in terms of how we should be looking at the world, but I grew up in a very tech surrounded household, so to speak, where science and all of that was very important.

Grew up also gravitating towards the sciences. I don't know if that is a function of the environment or the fact that I naturally liked physics and math. So went down that path. Did my engineering, I'm a mechanical engineer by qualification from this place in India called the Indian Institute of Technology, I t Madras.

But I think the most important thing I did was learn to play football or soccer as we call it here in the states and fall in love with it. actually that's b because A is really meeting my co-founders in my previous company and this company I met them in college.

 We were part of the same dom, same hostel, same wing. That's how we know each other. Then when I did my MBA at a place called Im Calcutta, where I think the most constructive thing I did, was meet my wife who's also part of the founding team here at Stream Alive. So college worked out very well in terms of benefits that had nothing to do with the core educational part of it in terms of who I live with, who I work with.

All of that was desired decades ago when I went to college. Fast forward to what we do right now, it's kind of totally removed from what we learned. That's a funny thing, right? All of it makes sense from a rear view mirror now when you look back and say, yeah, sure. That led to this.

And then from there you went to this point. In my case, I had a career in entertainment for a while where I worked for this. Famous Indian actor that everyone in India knows, and a lot of people across the world know as well called Amita Chen. He was my first boss.

[00:05:11] Paddy Dhanda: Hang on, I didn't know this story at all. The Amita Chen, the legend from Bollywood, who I think he's like everybody's idol. When it comes to Bollywood, it's the Chen

[00:05:23] Lux Narayan: you're talking about here, the Chen and for context in terms of people who follow him, thanks to the population we have in India, perhaps.

I mean, take Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and a couple of others like that combine that together. And my first employment letter was signed by Mr. Chen. Wow.

Crazy story on that. When I did my MBA at, IM Calcutta, the norm at that time was for everyone to apply for a job, but I maybe had this bug on being an entrepreneur then. And me and a couple of like-minded or equally foolish friends, depending on how you think about it, wanted to start this event marketing company. We even have a competition within the college to name it, and people that the winner named it Rope Trick.

So we had this company called Rope Trick, which was supposed to be an event marketing, an event management company. Shortest lived company in the history of companies lasted for all of one month because the first thing we did was pitch for business to the earth while Amitha Chen Corporation Limited.

And instead of giving us business, they offered us jobs with salaries and a package that was way beyond what we would've gotten with our GPAs had we applied for a job out of college and plus working with the legendary Mr. Chen. So all of us killed our entrepreneurial aspirations within 30 days and ended up joining the

[00:06:39] Paddy Dhanda: company.

Yeah. And what, what sort of drove them to offer you that job? There must have been something very compelling about what you guys either were offering or doing.

[00:06:47] Lux Narayan: They were they were looking to corporatize the film industry. So the thesis was that there was a lot of disorganization in the industry.

They wanted to bring a certain corporate way of thinking organization. And I guess at that point, it logically made sense to have MBAs joining. And they just started the company. So I was employee number 12, I think, in the company. They just started and they had an internally articulated this plan of hey, we should be reaching out to some of the B schools and looking at folks who might wanna join a company like this.

And here are three jokers who land up and say, can you give us business? And yes, they're all from a reasonably good B School, and they seem already aligned towards what you wanna do. They wanna do events, which is a big part of what A B C L was focused on. So they said, okay, all right, this is a sign.

Let's get these guys on board. So they made his offers. I think that's how it worked at that point. Just right place, right time.

[00:07:38] Paddy Dhanda: Wow. And do you have any examples of where you actually got to meet the great man himself and could you share any

[00:07:46] Lux Narayan: Funny thing I'm originally from South India where we understand Hindi, but not too well.

And therefore, although everyone in India knows of Mr. Chen, I, I wasn't a huge fan of Chen as much as I was of Rajni Khan and some of the heroes from the south. I became an Amitha Chen fan when I worked for the company. The man is amazing. He was a masterclass, not an acting and thing, just in presence.

I'll tell you a couple of stories in that the first thing was when he actually gave me my appointment letter. I. That's the time we actually meet him for the first time. And he's sitting looking as regal as he does behind this beautiful big, I dunno if it's oak or mahogany table with a lot of important looking things out there.

And he has a presence as larger than life, right? He kind of fills the room. And I, I distinctly recall there's a bookshelf behind him. I sit in front and he gets up and I do as well at that point. And then he shakes my hand and says, hi, I'm Chen am without Chen. Like, we didn't know, right?

But it is courtesy to not be presumptuous about the fact that everyone knows who you are. And that first introduction was a masterclass in humility. I mean, he didn't have done that. He knows, we know who he is, that the company has his badge on the door the moment we walk in, but it's a gentlemanly thing to introduce himself and then talk about it.

And then we used to have meetings in his house and things and he would treat us as guests when we come in there. Every evening at about five 30 in the evening outside his house in Bombay, there is this thing where without exaggeration, close to about 250 people gather outside just to get a one minute peek at the man.

The gates opened. He has Z class security, and he just waves at the audience and just says hi to them and waves. And there are people who are traveled far and wide from across the country, from villages, just to catch that one glimpse and say, I breathe the same air as Mr. Baston did. And we were with him in a meeting once when that happened and he just, we were about to leave and he said, sorry, but if you don't mind, you'll have to hang around a little bit longer.

I'll have to delay you guys by 20 minutes. And it was for this, right? So we were standing behind him and we saw this and there are a lot of people who command the kind of audiences. Not maybe the size that he does, but he wears that responsibility with the great sense of humility, which was a masterclass.

I became a huge Amitha Han fan in the one year that I worked in the company.

[00:10:03] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, wow. I was just googling to see how many movies he's made because he's been around a long time. He's about 80 years old now and it's actually over 200 films. So he's had a whole kind of plethora of movies, my most memorable isle which was almost inspired by some of the spaghetti western movies, you know.

Oh yeah. Back in the day clin Eastwood and some of those folks. So they went on to star in, but he just absolutely blew me away in that movie. I think that's where I just became a massive fan of his. And then beyond that, there's just too many to name. Do you have a favorite or two?

[00:10:41] Lux Narayan: Interestingly, I love his songs and his voice and what he brings to, there's a lot of renditions of his father's work.

His father was a poet, his father wrote this beautiful little parable story about these friends. Their names are I recall, right, e b and yes, I remember the song. Now you remember the song. That's a poem or a song written by Haron Chen and Aha Chen sang it with this deep baritone voice with music said by Bali Sagu.

So that to me is a beautiful piece of art because it transcends generations. It's father and son, and it transcends even more generations because Bali Sagus was, at that point, was far younger than Mr. Chen. Totally different genre of music, but he was open to all of that. So it catches a lot of things added over, across generations, working across boundaries in geographies, across genres, and still making beautiful art together.

So lots of movies and surely is a personal favorite as well. But I'm a big fan of his music as well. Yeah.

[00:11:43] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, no, that's a really interesting side that you've mentioned there. And talking about talents. So going back to your story, it sounds like your entrepreneurial journey started and stopped very quickly.

So then how did you lift yourself back up to go into that world again? What happened?

[00:12:02] Lux Narayan: So about a year of working with the Amitha Virgin Corporation Limited it was growing great. It was a great place to be, but exactly what you said, I said, oh, I have killed those entrepreneurial ambitions a little too soon.

And I had some ideas from having a ringside view of the entertainment industry on interesting things that could be done, like direct marketing within the entertainment industry and things. So I actually left to start something on my own, which was a firm that really at that point did anything that we could do to make money, which was sometimes direct marketing, sometimes something else, sometimes events.

And interestingly, we also went back to A B C L and helped them sell their Indian movies in various territories like South Korea and Spain and other places where we discovered there was an appetite. And people wanted the dubbed or subtitled versions of Indian movies because India has the largest movie production facility you just mentioned.

Mr. Chen acted in 200 movies. There are more than 10,000 movies that have been made in India. So there's a huge repertoire of content that was ready to be sold to different territory. So I used to do a bit of that for A B C L and other producers. So worked in the entertainment industry as an entrepreneur for a couple of years.

And then when we had our first kid, this was way back in, in the late nineties in Bombi. Then we had our first kid. And I just felt it was irresponsible of me to live from month to month without certainty on where the next paycheck is coming because, You suddenly have a windfall one month, and then you have nothing happening for three months.

That's fine when it's you and your girlfriend, now wife. But when you have a kid on the way and stuff, you just think you need to be a little more responsible. And that prompted me towards taking up what one might call a regular job for various reasons. Desired to go to Dubai because my folks were there at that point.

Went on a break there and ended up getting a couple of good job offers, including one with an advertising agency called Lintas which has changed his name about five times since. But Lintas was a pretty big name in the advertising world. So worked with Linta at that point and worked in media planning, buying advertising for about seven years which is a whole bunch of different stories rolled into one at that time as well, because that's the time the.com boom and bust and all that happened.

So I ended up working in advertising for about seven years. And then that same sense of, oh, now I wanted to do something on my own kind of setback. As you can see, that's a bit of a recurring theme. There's this sense of dissatisfaction that kind of comes back. Was approached by a very dear friend from college who had been a successful serial tech entrepreneur for some time, and he was starting something new in India, in Chennai at that point in the data backup space.

And he convinced me that data backups are the best thing on the planet and that I needed to get into a tech entrepreneurship kind of a thing. So we relocated from Dubai to India around 2005 to join up with his friend to start a company called Wabo Technologies in the data backup space. And that really was set kind of, cast the d so to speak, for what I've been doing ever since, for the last 18 years, which is being a serial entrepreneur in the technology space with doing different SaaS and products Since then.

That's kind of where it started and had some kind of discernible pattern, so to speak.

[00:15:18] Paddy Dhanda: Yeah. My origins are Indian as well, like my parents that come from Punjab, they came over in the late fifties, sixties. And I do go back to India every now and again, but I really don't have my finger on the pulse in terms of what's trending out there.

And would you say, in today's world and in today's generation in India, that people are aspiring to become entrepreneurs? It as being the number one thing that they want to do because it feels very entrepreneurial in terms of hearing about all these new tech companies that are coming out.

I saw a post the other day on social media and they were listing out. All of the Indian CEOs, right? For all the major tech companies. And there's like loads of them, and I'm like, wow, I had no idea there were so many we obviously know Hai from the Google sort of organization, but then there's a whole bunch of others out there as well.

What is this new generation wanting to be when they grow up? And I guess from your side, having been on that journey, what would you recommend and advise those people?

[00:16:27] Lux Narayan: I think you're absolutely right. There has been a very discernible change in perceptions, options and what is considered a career option, so to speak.

Which also translates into things downstream and upstream, right? It's translated into a lot more flexibility when kids wanna do something different in school or college and the kinda streams. They want to pursue. We talked about a little while back where, when I was growing up at least in the society I grew up, you were expected to be a doctor or an engineer more often than not.

And now that canvas, it was always broad, but it's more broadly acceptable at this point, right? And some of it has come from success stories like the ones you described, because people are gonna look up to Pache or Satya Nadella or the CEO of ibm Han of Adobe and a whole bunch of other names and say, oh wow, those people started here.

 A lot of them are also first generation in Indian immigrants into the states or wherever they live, right? So there is a story there of was born and grew up in India, which is also a lot more relatable for people. I've personally seen the change in the last 15 to 18 years because when we were hiring at my first company at Bamboo, I still remember.

I've had to go and pitch to the parents of potential folks who are joining us because India, as you probably know, is very strong arranged. Marriages are a big thing in India, and they were websites like shadi.com where kids will put up their profiles. And the parents, believe it or not, were worried that when a kid puts up their profile saying they work for a company called Mbu, nobody's gonna want to marry them because that's a no-name company and therefore a startup is like a several steps down when you want to get married and settle down in life.

That is the number one problem we had to contend with for hiring, if you can believe that. Fast forward to now. It's certainly if you say you work in a startup or co-founded a startup or joined a startup early, that's got exactly the opposite perception. Something change at a very societal level.

And I think the prime removal for that is the fact that you have success stories around. It's also the fact that with software as a service, and I mean what we buy, we were one of the first at that point to do it, but there were a few companies in India around the early two thousands who were building products in India for the world.

The logic was that everyone's connected. If you build a great product, it shouldn't matter which part of the world someone wants to use it. And that's true about anyways, web-based product at this point, right? So what's obvious now wasn't at that point. And then of course, other tailwinds came in as well like funding and all the investors started looking into India and set up an office over there.

And there was more and more capital coming in there. A whole bunch of policy changes. And the net effect of all of that was I think it started a lot more grassroots, which is that people saw entrepreneurship as a viable option. And in the last few years you're seeing ramifications of that as well.

For example, in the last few years, it's not been. Total shock and dismay when a kid says they wanna be a content creator, for example. Being a YouTuber is something a kid is allowed to articulate as a potential career option, although the d is stacked against them from a probabilistic perspective, it is entering the mainstream conversation where people talk about it and they're comfortable talking about it.

So I think a lot of things have happened and they've stemmed from success stories because there are, you can point a finger at, look at these people who did amazingly well. They may still be the outliers, but at least there are examples for people to look up to. There are startups that were started by founders from very humble beginnings, and there is relatability from that perspective.

And I think it's continuing to happen. You're gonna see a lot more of that.

[00:20:07] Paddy Dhanda: Yeah. No, I completely relate to that. My son, who's 11 now, when he was about nine, he went at a, I wanna become an influencer, and I was just, Looking at him thinking what on earth? Because for Kid at nine to be telling me that's what they want to do.

And I had no idea what a real influence does. I was completely outta my depth, but now I understand it, and in some ways I'm thinking actually I, not a bad career choice with everything going on with the power of AI and the world changing so much, maybe being an influencer isn't such a bad career choice after all.

But, hey, we'll see. So Lex, I heard you speak on another podcast and you mentioned during the pandemic you wrote a book. Could you tell us a bit about that? Because I think for me, there's lots of different dimensions to you, right? You've got your entrepreneurial spirit, but then there's, there are these other talents that you've got as well.

And just talk to me a little bit about the book. What was that about?

[00:21:13] Lux Narayan: Thank you. Yeah. You could describe that as an extended midlife crisis or multiple talents that you pick,

[00:21:17] Paddy Dhanda: but yeah, definitely talents. Come on, let's be, I take it. Thank you.

[00:21:23] Lux Narayan: I like to keep busy. I like to do different things, and I like to, I have counterweights to what you do at work because entrepreneurship can take a lot out of you in a good way.

But it's good to constantly keep that perspective that it's not all, everything there is to life. There are other things that they need to define you and that you need to make time for, right? From family and friends and hobbies and everything. The book, however, came from the combination of a Brightspace and a dark space, so to speak.

What happened was just to fill in the gap after Bambu, which I did for some years, I co-founded a company called UN Metric in the social media benchmarking space. And that company's journey is one I describe as from a bedroom in Chennai in India to a boardroom in Copenhagen because in the end of 2019, we were acquired by a Danish company, which was acquired by an American public company called Cision in the PR space, which was then acquired by a private equity group.

So long story short, we moved in one month in October, 2019 from being an independent company of about 75 people to having a corporate great-grandparent within the span of one month. And I thought, okay, this is gonna be utter chaos, but then sometimes life gives you lessons. We had a personal chaotic incident with our older son who was on a semester abroad who had a crazy medical emergency with this rare autoimmune disease called Gullen Barre syndrome when he was in Germany.

And long story short, it ended up with us spending the next four months in hospitals and him having to be airlifted from Berlin to the states. And then he gets discharged from a hospital in Jan 2020, and the whole world goes into lockdown a month and a half after, but we are still going to hospital for the next six months.

Reason I bring this up is just to give you a sense of the kind of mental space I was in at that point because there's a lot of stuff happening and when your child is hurting and stuff, that obviously takes a lot out of any parent. And I'm sure you can relate to that.

 Because of all that, I also left the company that I founded that I'd gotten acquired, just needed to spend the time at home with our son and with myself. And I'm glad I did that at that point because gave myself the space from a mental perspective just to have that freedom of thinking and doing what you need to.

But then I also found that I had more time than I had in a very long time. So, there was the ideas behind the book you mentioned had been in my head for many years. You can't see it if you're not, if you're listening to the podcast, but it's called name, place, animal Thing. And I look forward to giving you a copy when you beat in person, Patty.

[00:23:46] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, I'd be honored. I'm already really excited about the cover. Cause I just love the very simplistic visuals for anyone that can't see it. It just got some very strong colors and yeah, just grab my attention immediately.

[00:23:59] Lux Narayan: Thank you for saying that because when we did the cover fun fact I had feedback from people thinking, saying, I think it's a child.

It's a children's book. Rather than a book for adults. And at that point, I had to make a decision saying either double down on it or say No, we gotta redesign the cover so it looks a little more adultish. And I decided to double down on it. It's a cover done by someone in Berlin, interestingly, a visual designer in Berlin.

And the brief to him was to make it look like a children's book, because the idea was it needs to appeal to that child that we've silenced a long time ago and give a voice to the child. So I said, if people are saying it's colorful and looks like a children's book, maybe we've done our job.

What I'd done through on Metric was I had these ideas which had shaped into a talk that I did in a couple of times. And then someone told me, sometimes you need a little nudge. So there's this gentleman who was on our advisory board at this. He died during Covid around that time.

God bless his soul. But at that point he mentioned to me that these are powerful ideas. Maybe you want to bring it out on the form of a longer piece of work, perhaps a book or something. And sometimes that little nudge that someone gives you is all you need to say, okay, maybe there is something here.

And this gentleman Anami that's what he did for me at that point. I travel a fair bit on work because the previous company on Metric had people here in the States and people in India. And I used to fly to and fro at least about four to five times a year. So a lot of long flights where I would jot down these ideas and use those times to, so I had the skeleton of a whole bunch of points to give you a.

Too long didn't read version of the book. It's the title is name, place, animal Thing. And the book is like, if you've read Jonathan Livingston Siegel or Mon Who Sold His Ferrari, or Who Moved My Cheese, it's like a fable or a parable with lessons in between. So it's non-fiction in the guise of fiction.

And the whole idea is in reverse. It starts with thing where it says make more things. It can be physical things like stuff like art and things. It can be virtual things like a podcast that people listen to on, like the Superpower podcast and learn things and do better things. So make more things.

And a framework for how you think about making things. Animals get in touch with your inner animal, which is your body, your brain, your breathing, and all of those things. Place was very apt during covid, which was, you don't need to travel far and wide. Maybe you need to travel near and narrow because most of us have stuff in our backyard that we've never seen.

We probably need to look at those rather than have to travel far and wide. And name is actually to go on a total tangent, you had a podcast issue, some, I think it was Leslie, someone who talked about how to describe yourself in 50 words, right? Yep. Name is basically the fact that when people ask you, so what do you do?

All of us tend to respond with what it says in the top line of our LinkedIn profile, but there's so much more to us as you and I had discovered with each other in our conversations, and I'm sure it's true of. Everybody who's listening to this podcast or not, but we should give vent to those names as well beyond just what we do for a living.

So get, embrace those selves of you that go beyond what you do for a living is a part of name. That's the gist of the book. Became my pet project, became my solo pro project for towards the end of 2020. And funnily enough, what I do now when Stream Alive never saw it coming, but was born from that journey.

 I never thought it would happen, but the idea for what we do now, everything was born from the three months of working

[00:27:16] Paddy Dhanda: on the book. Oh, perfect. I was just thinking there for a moment. I had a recent guest and a good friend of mine, Carrie Nichols. She was also talking about this job title that we use as an introduction and she said for many years she worked in banking and she's always given a job title, but now she's finally set up her own business and she thought, Hey, for the first time ever, I can create my own job title and call myself anything.

And I love hers because it's a chief mischief maker and I just thought that's the best. And she said she's got way more LinkedIn followers as a result of having that job title because people are so curious to know what on earth is that all about? Whereas if she just said, I'm the VP of X, Y, Z, that's just like everybody's got a similar job title.

So there's nothing that engages you with that. But really interesting. So moving on to streamer Live, I have to say for those of the listeners that have never heard of Streamer Live or never used it, I think just a personal endorsement from myself, it's been one of the most valuable tools that we've added to our arsenal from a collaboration and events perspective.

And I'm not just saying that cause I've got looks in front of me, but I came across your so application. Very soon after it was launched, it was on one of the kind of marketplace websites, which is App Sumo. And we were lucky enough to get a lifetime deal on it back then. I'm gonna get you to explain what it does in a moment.

And I say we, because some of my listeners will know. I co-host a monthly meetup called the Visual Jam with my good friend Grant Wright. And we have a whole bunch of creatives who join that every month. And we were really looking to see how we could boost our collaboration the experience for people that were coming to those events.

And when I came across your platform, it was just a no-brainer. I was like, this is exactly what we need. And hence we made that step. And it's been phenomenal. So look, tell us what is Stream alive and how can it help people? Tha

[00:29:21] Lux Narayan: thank you first of all, Patty, for the endorsement. It means a lot, especially coming from you because visualizations are a big part of the platform as we'll.

Explain in a minute and when I stumbled upon your community when you saw you using it, and then actually couple of us on our team attended a couple of your sessions and workshops and they're amazingly inspiring. so thank you for what you do from that perspective too.

And if Stream Alive helped in some small way in making those better in terms of connecting people together. We are super flattered and super happy. Thank you. I mentioned Stream Alive was born so there are two stories actually. One goes back to 1979 about my grandfather, and we'll bring that in later because I was actually thinking about this and it has some influence on what we do in Stream Alive.

But first, let me pick up where we left off, which was, we talked about the book. I didn't know the first thing when I wrote the book and stuff in the end of 2020. I didn't know the first thing about writing a book, editing a book, and marketing a book. Let's keep aside the fact that you might read the book and say he still doesn't know the first thing about writing a book.

But let's keep that aside for a second. I signed up for a bunch of classes and these were understandably online classes at this point. But even now with the world returning back to sort of normalcy and being in person, it's still online classes because it's difficult to get a distributed bunch of people who want to write a book in the next quarter at this point in time, to be in the same physical location.

They're probably much better off meeting up online. So I signed up and paid for six different classes across these different subjects, writing, editing and marketing books, right? Class sizes ranged from 11 students to 1,200 students for the how to Get Amazon to Love and Bless your book class, which is delivered on YouTube life.

The other classes were typically more often than not, run on Zoom, mostly Zoom meetings. If you had less than 50 people in the room, zoom webinars, if you had more than a hundred, there were two or three sessions that actually were run on Facebook Live. So in effect, I got to attend classes on YouTube, live on Facebook, live on Zoom meetings, and Zoom webinars.

And I think one other platform that I can't remember at this point, but a whole bunch of live platforms, right? I actually counted, I attended 56 live sessions in a 90 day period. So two things happened. One was I learned a bit about writing, editing, and marketing a book, which I took forward into writing and publishing.

Name Please Animal Thing. But the second I saw Patterns, time and again, I saw that the first session more often than not, would always open with the presenter saying, Hey, where's everybody joining from? And there are 300 people in the room. Of which about 140 people actually respond to that because people enthusiastically type.

I'm in this place, I'm in Birmingham, hi from Basking Ridge, and so on and so forth. The presenter, eyeballs, four of those responses and says, we got Patty from Birmingham. We got Lux from Basking Ridge, we got Joe from Chicago we got John from Chennai, and I knows the remaining 136 people who so painstakingly put their answer.

But that, if you think about it, is something that all of us are used to have seen and have come to accept because, hey, what else can you do? If the presenter read off every single thing, he would sound like a geography teacher who's reading off the names of the places in the world. But it's pretty rude if you think about it.

I mean, if I were to ask you a question and you gave an answer and then I absolutely ignored your answer, you wouldn't be too thrilled about it unless you are one of 200 people, in which case you're okay with it because you're like, Hey, what else can you do? He's gotta pick and choose, right?

Rewinding back to my grandfather. My grandfather was the first public speaking teacher in Chennai in India in 1979. He started the school called the Effective Public Speaking Institute, and he had a rule which he used to implement and teach, which anyone who's spoken in public and use to some in some form or fashion, he would say, every five minutes, ask your audience a question and ask them to answer either the first time, ask them to answer by raising their right hand.

The next time, ask them to stand up and answer. The third time, ask them to answer by raising their left hand. And the fourth time, start them off standing up and ask them to sit down if they're saying a yes, right? So he was employing physicality to get a binary response of yes or no, and then he would read the room and say, yeah, two thirds of the group thinks this way, or There are this many left hands and this many right hands.

But essentially giving a collective visualization to the audience just based on physicality of movement. And essentially you can't acknowledge every single person in a class of 40 people, but at least you can acknowledge them as a group, right? So to some extent, I think that was in the back of my head when we saw this over here, or the person would ask a question like tell us how you're feeling today, or what is the number one reason you joined this course?

And people would get their answer and then they would pick or choose one or two people and answer their questions and ask them a little bit more and stuff like that, right? Or they would ask them a question, ask them to scan a QR code, go to a different website altogether, do a whole bunch of browser gymnastics just to answer what they had for breakfast two hours ago.

So it was very obvious that one to many communication was badly broken. And if you think about it, Patty, I mean it's actually 38 years, if you can believe it, since PowerPoint was invented 1985, and here we are. Still having conversations where presenters are talking and delivering monologues.

Our thinking was, isn't it high time? We had a dialogue where the presenter could listen to the audience. So that's kinda what we do. We solve for that. And the way we do that is in an online session, let's say take Zoom as people put things in the chat stream, alive intelligently understands that.

So in the first example of, let's say the presenter is asking people, where are you joining us from? As they type their answers stream alive, ingest that plots it out on a map that is accessible to the presenter. So all the presenters doing is showing their browser screen, which has a map, which within about one 10th of a second of a person saying Hi from Birmingham, puts a little blue dot on Birmingham so that Patty is marked on the world.

And something powerful happens when you tell people, I see you, I hear you, I acknowledge you. It just helps people connect a lot better and it's certainly in our opinion, a lot better than the default of ignoring people. I can go on and on, but I'm gonna pause here and hopefully that explains why and how we build what

[00:35:34] Paddy Dhanda: we do.

No, and that's exactly the problem. I've used other apps, not bad mouthing them in any way cause they're really useful, but like you got mentee, you got Slido. These are other apps that we sometimes as presenters will ask our audience to scan that QR code or go to a URL and answer some questions.

It can be a poll, it can be some form of brainstorm. And it means that if I'm sat at home and I'm nice and comfortable and I've joined this virtual session, now you're asking me to pull out another device because I may only have one screen. And I'm having to now log onto my phone, open it up and go take this extra step.

When I was expecting to do everything in this one tool, and I think you've hit the nail on the head, like the friction. When we remove friction from any kind of experience, it just makes things so much easier. I'll give you a quick example of that. I had a website, my own website that was hosted on a particular platform, and I was thinking like, I would really love to build up my newsletter following and my newsletter list.

And up until now I've used this one platform, but it's not very well designed to capture people's email addresses. It puts a little popup on the screen every now and again, but it just felt like it was just a distraction for people. Well, now I've moved over Tock. And for anyone that doesn't knowck, it's a way of publishing newsletters, but it's designed very much for that purpose to be able to capture people's email addresses in a ethical way.

 It takes out all the friction. There's no nasty popups. It's literally you go to the site and it's there as a input box and it just makes things so much easier. So when we design to remove friction, I think it makes things so much easier. But stream alive, how does it do it?

Because it's quite clever the way you manage to make this a seamless experience. Could you tell us a bit about that?

[00:37:41] Lux Narayan: Certainly. And just to react to what you just said big fan of stack here as well. I love the fact that you use CK for a lot of things beyond what it was originally designed. So yes, you have your newsletter on ck but if you also host your entire podcast on CK as well.

 So you publish all the podcasts on CK and Sub is relatively new to the podcast games. So you're using it for all your publishing, if I gather right? Exactly.

[00:38:07] Paddy Dhanda: And I've only just recently moved over there, so I talk about the newsletter. I haven't actually published one yet, but I've written some content that I'm hoping to be sharing with the listeners.

So please do look out for that. And I just wanted it to be simple, even as a creator, like to take the friction out, even for myself and the fact that this platform has newsletters, kind of a blog capability plus the ability to host a podcast, it felt like the right thing to do.

So that's why I've moved over. It

[00:38:37] Lux Narayan: makes so much sense. And it's about friction. They eliminated the friction for you. They eliminate the friction for the people who are following you. Because now I know that whether I want to listen to your podcasts or read those blogs that you're soon gonna be publishing and those articles that you're soon gonna be hitting, it's all gonna be on the same place.

And then that makes it easier for me. So I think friction is super, super important in you're designing products as you mentioned. That was a singular driving force for us as a product. So all those other products you mentioned they're all amazing products and they were some of the earliest products.

So Slido, minty and others were some of the earliest products in the audience engagement space. And they literally created that space and they're pretty amazing. What happened was they were designed for the physical world for in-person meetings. Because when you're sitting in an auditorium, yes, of course you scan your QR code, you do that at Stream Alive as well for an in-person meeting.

When the pandemic happened, suddenly everyone went online and they used the tools that we had for a physical world, for the virtual world because we didn't have any other tools. That's how it happened. So our central guiding principle became, don't ask people in a meeting to go to another product.

They're already in a product, which is Microsoft Teams or Zoom or Twitch or YouTube or WebEx or whatever, and they're already overwhelmed and confused and distracted and things and stuff. So don't send them off to a browser because they're gonna look at what Kim Kardashian is doing and never come back to your meeting, right?

So keep them here and make it easy for people. The central thesis became a very simple one. If you think about it. Don't ask people to go to the product, bring the product to the people. Which required a fair amount of engineering, heavy lifting in terms of our ability to integrate with every platform.

Because here's a fantastic thing, right? Every online meeting and streaming platform, whether you're a live streamer or a slide streamer, which is what I like to describe, people who present on Zoom and other platforms, every platform, Google Meet, zoom, Twitch, YouTube Live, LinkedIn Live, Facebook Live, WebEx, what's common to all of them?

They have chat. So I think it was if we can build a platform that integrates with the chat in each of these places, and that became a bit of an uphill task because each one is engineered differently. In the case of Zoom, we had to join as a bot in the case of something else. You joined with an API call, but it's different for each platform.

But if we solved for that, how amazing would it be? Because people don't have to change a thing, they just type in the chat like they already are. Like you have a poll and you have four things and people type. Yeah, I like one or two or three or four. And the poll is reading off that. How are you feeling today?

Happy, sad. Amazing. Awesome. And is reading those words and populating a word cloud typing where you're joining from. Hi, from this place I live in this place. It's looking for locations plots you on a map. If you think about it, my grandfather's thing had a binary thing, but now with the internet you have so much more color in the chat and therefore shouldn't you have a lot more color in how you visually represent what people are saying?

 The beating heart of stream alive is these visual interactions that are powered in real time by what people are saying in the chat. And it's based off the platform chat. Or if you're on an in-person event and I have to tell you this, Patty, I think you'll love it. When I go for an in-person event, let's say I go for an event over here that is talking about how to use TikTok to generate B2B leads.

And the keynote speaker there is Gary Chu. I go out there and I listen to the session. I'm not here to listen to Gary because if I wanted to listen to Gary talk about TikTok, I can probably find that on a YouTube video. I'm here to network with the other people who have a similar bent of mind, but here I am sitting in this conference room with a hundred other people on.

I can't have a conversation with them because I would end up disturbing the flow of the presenter because I get shushed by a whole bunch of people. But if Gary was on Zoom, I could do that because you could have a parallel chat. So we all talk about getting inspired by the real world and taking it into the virtual world.

We saw a case for the reverse where what we do for a in-person meeting is actually create a chat on your phone. So you click on a URL and you go into a chat where you can talk about anything under the sun, except when the presenter is asking a question like, where are you joining from? Your chat interface changes to request you to answer that question in the chat.

So we just launched a hybrid version now. So just imagine you have 200 people sitting in person and you have 500 people who join the session from Zoom. The Zoom folks are typing in the Zoom chat. The guys in the room are participating on a mobile chat, and everybody is the same. Nobody's a second class citizen.

Every single voice is heard and that's really a core proposition. Move audiences from 95% ignored to 95% engaged, which is what you do by simply acknowledging people. What we built is a platform that plugs into chat as a vehicle across platforms and the real world and hybrid to give every single person's voice and opportunity to be heard as a visualization that pops up on screen so that nobody's ignored.

On that

[00:43:32] Paddy Dhanda: point, I've actually just formulated an article that I'm gonna be writing for the newsletter and it's the exact same point because I talk about. When we go on holiday, at what point do we actually feel like we're on holiday? That is actually happening, right? Is it the moment that we book the ticket or is it the moment that we pack our suitcase?

Or is it the moment that we leave the house? Or is it the moment that we check in our luggage? I think for me it's that moment that now I've given my luggage to you, it's on the airplane. It feels like this is actually gonna happen now. Right? There's no going back unless I mess up, unless something happens between me checking my luggage in and getting to the gate, I'm pretty much guaranteed now to go on that holiday.

And I think when we think about meetings, whether they're face-to-face or virtual, when people come to those meetings and if they're not engaged in those first few seconds, unless they've had that check-in, I think people don't feel like they're part of that meeting. I've been the same, I've joined these sessions and if I'm just there as an observer in the background, whereas some of the people are being engaged, I kind of switch off and like you say, get distracted.

Maybe Kim Kardashian, or in my case, I'm trying to think which singer I would be distracted by, but I'm not gonna say it cause my wife might listen to this episode anyway, but I think that check-in is really important. And up until now it's been really difficult to do that.

And I was saying we use Stream Live on the Visual Jam. We use the global Map. And the way we used to do it was we would have a Miro map on Miro as an application, and we would ask people to jump onto the url, stick their sticky notes on a big visual map. Now, a couple of problems with that.

Firstly, not everybody wants to now jump onto another tool. It's a bit of a learning curve for some people. People were asking us, how do I create a sticky note? How do I type into it, this, that, the other? So there's a learning curve there. But the other thing was, depending upon when you join the meeting, you may have missed the url.

And so people are joining late and they're saying, Hey, where's the URL for the tool? And by the time someone's listened to them and actually given them that url, we've moved onto the next part of the session and we've stopped that engagement. And so for us it's been a great use case where we put the map on there straight away, and people are typing and it's all being done in real time, and we're seeing people's names pop up.

That's great. The other thing that's been really useful we had a guest recently who said I'm happy to give a prize away. Right during the session and we normally give prizes away afterwards. we do like a competition on the Visual Jam, but he said, but it's gonna be really difficult cuz you know, you're gonna have x number of people on the session.

Unless you've got a mechanism to pick a winner quickly, like it's gonna be difficult. And we looked into Stream alive and you've got a really nice feature on that now, right? Where you can randomly pick a name and it takes all of the names that are on the Zoom meeting, put something to a big wheel and then you spin the wheel and it stopped someone by random.

That was genius and it really helped because we didn't have to do any kind of additional manual effort or labor to set that up. It was very easy and it actually is quite visually appealing, seeing the wheel spinning, why. One bit of feedback on that looks is. We'd be cool if we could have sound effects when the wheel spins cuz I was going.

That was my bad sound effects. But yeah, that would be really cool just to add that extra little element. But that's a small thing. But no really nice. I think, seeing that in action for us and it worked was great. And by the way, this guest didn't just have one prize, they had 10 prizes, so I had to spin the wheel 10 times.

[00:47:28] Lux Narayan: Quick couple of points on that. First of all, thank you for using it. All of one month old. It's a feature we call the winning wheel, where you can define the criterion saying anyone who's commented once or twice or answered this question that you asked five minutes ago. So we're building more and more filters on it and I think sound is absolutely essential.

Thank you for that tip. You will. Hear and Inspired by Patty Ch. Sound went. I'm gonna take the recording and take the chch You just did and play that out there and stuff. But I was just about to say, we love the way you use the magic maps in the beginning. You brought a very pertinent point about Miro, which is also an amazing product by the way.

They create for collaboration and brainstorming and everything. For something like just saying where you're joining from, we think it can be lot simpler because when you're doing to the post-it, exactly what you said happens, people who are late to the party don't know what's being served, and you gotta go to a browser tab to do it.

So you're still disconnecting from the audience because at that time I'm not looking at your face or what's happening. I'm on the browser tab. And I love the way you do your maps. If I recall right, the sessions I joined you actually play banga music during the time that you have the initial thing as people are coming in.

That's so cool. So I think sound is important. That's a lesson I took from your implementation of the maps because it had sound and maybe we should bring in more sound on the platform, maybe arcade kind of a sound as it pins people and things. I'm just taking your feedback , into other extremes saying maybe we should make sounds for the maps as well and bring in sounds.

So people

[00:48:53] Paddy Dhanda: I've got tons of ideas for you look like. I'll throw a couple out there right now. I think even for a meeting, if you could ask the audience to suggest some songs and you could almost build a playlist dynamically based on the responses and maybe people can upvote, downvote, and then.

If there was a quick and easy way for us to then, I dunno, click on a YouTube link of those songs or even, we then have some time to very quickly create a playlist in the background. We can then play that because for us and the Visual Jam, people are always asking us like, a, what song is that?

But I'd love for people to be able to choose the tracks that we put on because when we're doing some of the activities, we put some background music on and I think again, music is so powerful to change the mood of a person. If we want people to be high energy and try and really ramp the energy up, then there's obviously that kind of fast, impactful music.

But then equally, we sometimes wanna slow things down, and I think music is wonderful for doing that.

[00:49:53] Lux Narayan: I think you're gonna love this. If you've logged into Stream Alive in the last four days. Nope. All right. There's a new feature that launched four days ago called Link Library.

Which reads through the text reads through the chat and pulls up all links that people shared and then automatically filters them into, these are LinkedIn profiles, these are u YouTube links, these are Twitter handles, and these are Spotify links. That's one category we have there. We don't yet have the ability to say, combine all of these into a playlist, and I think you should absolutely do that where it says, this is the vibe of this tribe, so to speak, but right now it would pull up those URLs that people have saved and you can click on it and play it, and you can hit a share button and share that as collateral with the entire team.

So first cut towards the vision that you just described. At least that first step is just got launched four days ago. We still hasn some distance to do to go before we deliver what you ask for. We'll get there, Patty. I think that totally makes sense.

[00:50:43] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, look, that's an amazing feature on its own. I'm just thinking about so many use cases just there.

Like one of the great powers of crowdsourcing is knowledge. And especially in the Visual Jam, I'm always amazed even when we have some very, big experts, like these are thought leaders in their field giving a talk. There's always people in the audience who are then suggesting additional resources.

 Could be a book, could be a YouTube video, it could be a TEDx talk. But imagine you've got like 300 people on this Zoom meeting. Those links all get lost in the chat, and unless you download the chat, you lose those links. So you've gotta be very quick. And I think what you've just mentioned there is an invaluable feature because being able to very quickly and easily pull out all of those links in one go.

 What a great feature. I'm really excited by that.

[00:51:36] Lux Narayan: It's exactly what you described, Patty. There's so much of wisdom in the crowd that we lose. in those 56 sessions that I attended while writing the book, there were at least a dozen where I had these oh moments because I hadn't downloaded the chat.

Mm-hmm. In a Zoom session and it, there wasn't a recording for some of them and therefore links that people had shared as great books to read or great authors or great designers. And here is someone who does X, Y, Z service. I lost all those links. So the other thing we did with Link library is you don't have to activate it.

 Once you have let's stream, streamline into the meeting, it's automatically during it to the entire session. You can invoke it any time you want. Because it's that central thing on when you have a session with many people, it's not a speaker telling everyone that I have the knowledge and you're here to learn.

It's just a speaker. The speakers, in our opinion, always a facilitator and is the excuse for these people who are like-minded in some ways to get together and they have so much of knowledge and ideas and tastes to share with each other. We need to be harnessing it a lot more. And especially in this world that's getting more and more algorithmic and things.

We need to bring that humanness front and for. Which is actually a collective representation of everything we've been through, right? Your story has, I can't think of any other Stream Alive user who starts their session with, right? You probably don't have any other podcast guests who started their career with our Chen, but so each of us has our own little story that we bring to four in these sessions, and we should be capturing it, man, right?

[00:52:59] Paddy Dhanda: Yeah, no, well said. And so looks, in terms of the future of Stream Alive, are there other exciting features on the roadmap that you can share exclusively on the podcast?

[00:53:11] Lux Narayan: So a few features we are building. We put a target to ourselves saying every month we need to build at least one new visual interaction of sorts.

And a lot of them are improved, one. So thank you for giving us the sound part of it because one thing is already ticked off after this conversation today for the winning wheel and maybe some of the other features, but. Really conversations like this are what shape, what kind of features you wanna do.

I mean, the winning wheel is born through a couple of conversations where people said it's a pain to manually enter the names of everybody. Can't it happen automatically? So we have someone who is using us in cohort based courses and at the beginning of the classes they ask people, let's say I'm running a course on storytelling.

And I say, how good of a storyteller do you think you are on a scale of one to five, where five is Steve Jobs and one is this baby who can't speak, what kind of scale do you think you are in? Right? And hopefully they come up with maybe an average of 2.3 and they end the class after going through what you are to teach them.

They go to 3.5 or something like that. If they go below where they started off, you've got some recording thinking to do. But, so we are building a feature for that, for example, called pulsing points, which is gonna capture the numbers that people put in the chat, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and render it like you don't put those.

This is where we date ourselves a little bit. You don't put those graphic equalizers that come up in the old tape recorder decks where the colors just zoom up and down. Oh yeah. I love those. I love this. So a visualization that when someone types a one, the one jumps up and down. When someone types a three, the three jumps up and down.

 There's something beautiful about cause and effect, right? When you type a button and something happens on that screen that happened because you type something, it's actually a little dopamine. Rush that happens, right? So imagine the whole thing dancing based on what the audience is saying and then saying, okay, time up.

The average is 2.3. So this is a feature called pulsing points. We have this fetish about naming all our features with alterative names. So magic maps, power poles, pulsing points, transient thoughts, winning wheels, everything has to have a , double thing. So please bear in mind anything you suggest to us has to be ative in nature.

That's a first filter. Jumping jackpot is something we're doing as well, a bringing a bit of Vegas. So the winning wheel is a wheel function. Why can't we take the same thing into a jackpot where everyone's names just gets spun in the jackpot. So it says Paddy ls, John, Tina, and so on. And then finally slows down and ends up with John's name and John wins the prize.

So another visual manifestation of that. We are doing a bunch of word-based games, so imagine you could type something that is core to your product. So for example, you're about visual jam and therefore visual thinking is important. So you could say visual thinking and stream, I would jumble that up and make it an anagram.

And in a break it puts up the anagram and the first person who types visual thinking in the chat, it just explodes into confetti and says Tina, that's absolutely right. You got it right. Filling in breaks with little fun anagram games that are based on the core proposition. It's also weird to put a message back if Stream Alive is about engagement and visualization.

Those may be two words I feed into the Anagram machine, and as people are figuring that out, they also get their message off. It's about this. So bringing fun, really, right? It's like the winning wheel. Also, there's something very childlike about seeing a wheel spin and it brings back memories of childhood, seeing it slow down and the physics of it.

So trying to bring all of those is gonna be a central theme around all of the features we're doing. We're also expanding platforms. So we just launched Twitch and Google Meet very recently and as of day before yesterday launched Hybrid. So you can't actually use Team alive on Zoom plus in-person teams, plus in-person.

 The vision is anywhere people meet, live in groups of more than 10 people. We want to enable many to many conversations and ensure that the audience boosts from 95% note to 95% engaged.

[00:56:54] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, fantastic. And I just wanna throw in one other awesome feature that you've got in there. As a host or the facilitator, you actually produce some really nice analytics off the back as well of the meeting.

And you have things like who was the most engaged person in the whole meeting and you do like a chart almost. And you can keep that to yourself. You don't have to reveal that to the audience. And I also love like the feature on YouTube where you can see a little graph underneath the video to see at what point were people most engaged, and again, when was the chat at its most busy during the session.

And it gives you a little graph of that as well, so you can see, was it when I asked this first question or was it during the dancing or whatever you're doing on your meeting. I think that's really good as well. It gives you some insight into what did cause some great engagement during the session.

So I think that's really important. I love the way you've done that as well. In terms of your future vision for the platform. What would you like to see with Stream Alive happen? From this conversation onwards, if in a year's time with sat back here and you look back, what would.

Success look like for this year for Streamer life? Is it just about growth or is there something other than that for you?

[00:58:15] Lux Narayan: So this year it's a function of the stage of company. Just very quickly to react on the analytics point that you mentioned, Patty. That's another thing about Journeys.

Previous company and metric was the social media benchmarking space was an analytics platform. So to some extent we have a bit of an analytics hangover, which kinda spilled into Stream alive in some ways. So I'm glad you liked it because I think it can be pretty useful to plan for a better session next time around based on what worked and what didn't.

 Which is a good segue, so there's a lot of plans for Stream Alive on the roadmap as we discuss in terms of product and making. Presentations better and stuff, right? So we joke internally, sometimes we say the motto is Maga in some ways make audiences great again by giving them a voice and making them heard in some ways.

Right now at this stage of company, it is gonna be a growth number where it's gonna be maybe in a year. Because what we are seeing is a lot of people who sign up for Stream Alive are signing up because they saw it being used in some other sessions. Someone is an audience at somebody. Each time you use it on the Visual Jam, I think we have a couple of signups that happen because people look at it and say, wow, I want a slice of that for my next session.

So thank you for that. Therefore it becomes the challenge becomes how do you get more and more people to discover it? And we've been under the radar. You are one of the first people who discovered us. We went public in December and I think you discovered us that month. So you're one of the early users and you've still been quiet for the first six months of this year.

We're gonna become a lot more vocal from the 1st of July in terms of putting content out there, helping people discover us a lot more and things we're solving a few things before that, like, building an emulator so you can see how it's gonna work so that you get that wow moment much sooner than having to wait for your next Zoom meeting to see it in action.

Things like that before we actually go all out. But it's gonna be a target in terms of numbers, we are hoping that in the end of this year, we'll have more than 10,000 presenters using Stream Alive. Right now we have about thousand 500 and we want to hit way above 10,000 because. It then catches a velocity and momentum of its own because those 10,000 people will present to, maybe if you take an average of 50 you're gonna have 500,000 people exposed to it, and some of them will sign up.

 So it's gonna be a number like that. But the larger term aim is something like this. Patty, I'm hoping that in about three years time from now, if anyone experiences just like I studied in college at a time when people are still using, if you remember those transparencies that they would put on overhead projectors and it would be on a for those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about, it's like a sheet of paper where someone would've written something.

It would be put on a little light box device that would project light through it and put that on the wall. And that's how you see it's called a transparency, right? I'm sure none of us have seen a transparency in the last five years in the same way. I'm hoping that in about three years time, none of us will have to attend or hold a session.

Where we don't give a voice to the audience, whether it's in person, whether it's virtual, whether it's live. It would almost be considered rude and obnoxious to have a session where a person continues to speak, unless it is a five minute session, in which case they can be excused. But for anything more than 10 minutes, you need to have a conversation, hear the audience as well, and the norm becomes one of conversation and dialogue as opposed to monologues is really what I think the wrong term aim is.

You wanna change how people fundamentally communicate in large groups.

[01:01:23] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, it's a fantastic mission and vision. I love that looks, before I jump onto my final question, it's so refreshing seeing someone who's working in tech, actually listening to the real users of their product and the fact that you attend.

Other presenter sessions, like you mentioned, you came along to the Visual Jam just to see how we use it. Maybe you'll pick up some insights around what more you could do with the product and then you listen, you mentioned the spinning wheel where you've listened to some of the real users and then taken that feature up and built it.

I was only joking about the spinning wheel and the sound effects, but hey, if you do it, that would be awesome. I would be, it's

[01:02:03] Lux Narayan: happening. It's happening.

[01:02:06] Paddy Dhanda: So that would be absolutely amazing. Just to finish off something listeners often ping me and say, Paddy, what resources would you recommend on this subject or that subject?

I'd love to hear like just some of your favorite resources that you could recommend for people. It doesn't necessarily have to be about the superpower we talked about today, because I know you're a very diverse. Divergent thinking guy. You think a sort of about a lot of different things and your background is very diverse as well.

So yeah, I'd love to hear like some of your recommendations.

[01:02:38] Lux Narayan: So happy to follow on with a list of maybe URLs or things if that helps. But I think the biggest recommendation I would give is real life. Lot of things that we do at Stream Alive and that I do in the other things that I like to do are inspired by things you see in the physical world, in real life and increasingly in a world where we are all talking Chad g PT and things, I think we forget that we are living, breathing carbon life forms that are existing in Ether and moving around and interacting with each other.

 There's so much inspiration over there for me that really is the biggest thing and just to give a little more legs to what I'm talking about. I'm a big fan of standup comedy. I fancy myself as a comedian. Do sets once in a while and stuff and when I can.

 And I love it. So the reason I bring that up is I not to brag or something, but just explain how it changed my perspective on one simple thing. Before I started doing standup comedy, when I'd be in an airport, I would be clamoring to finish my last email because wifi is ridiculously priced and therefore I don't want to pay for it on the flight, and I want to finish it before I get on the flight.

And I would be oblivious to everything happening around me. Now when I'm going for a flight, I have my phone open because I have my notes open or notion open. And I'm writing ideas that happen from things that people are doing because all of it is comedy for them. And airports one of the best places to get inspiration for standup comedy, right?

So suddenly that changed my lens on how I look at the world. I suddenly started looking selfishly and greedily for material initially, but just made me a lot more observational and a little more in the moment as opposed to being totally disconnected from my environment. In August last year, I was in Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival and it was one of the most magnificent things that I'd seen.

I saw people engaging their audiences in different ways and having conversations. I saw improv shows, I saw so many different things and came back a whole bunch of inspiration and ideas for in general, for life and for Stream Alive as well, right? This year on August, I'm gonna be there as well.

Hey, side note, I'm gonna reach out to you to hopefully on my way between London and there, drop in at Birmingham and say hello if that works for you. But a

[01:04:44] Paddy Dhanda: hundred percent we're gonna make it happen.

[01:04:45] Lux Narayan: Yeah, we'll make it happen, my friend, but things like the fringe and festivals, when you go for a, I told you that the QR code based.

Application of how people interact using a mobile app. And our thing is entirely chat based. The reason it's chat based is because I've been shushed in more events than I can count for talking too loudly when someone is talking on stage. But hey, I pay $350 in network with the guys in this room and not to listen to this guy because the guy on YouTube with exactly the same talk.

So there's so much, I mean, stream alive, the inspiration is born from the virtual world, but we are increasingly taking lessons from the physical world, right? You're taking Bangla, which is a fantastic Punjabi dance form into an opening icebreaker when you're doing things right.

I think there's a lot of inspiration just in real world stuff that we've unfortunately started discounting increasingly because of the kind of things that we are seeing online and at the risk of sounding very old school in this, my biggest thing was look, would be look around you.

 There's tons of things happening that can be photoed for everything from work to life to a whole bunch of other creative inputs as well. Wow. I'm

[01:05:52] Paddy Dhanda: gonna say, looks I've done by the time this episode gets published, we'll have done well over a hundred episodes and out of all of the guests, like you're the first person to say exactly what you just said there around, look to the real world and look to your surroundings.

 I think that's a really useful insight because even when I was talking about my newsletter and I'm trying to get that off the ground, one of my big challenges was, am I gonna have enough material on a regular basis to be able to share with my audience, what could I possibly talk about every other week in that newsletter.

And since I've had this idea in my mind about the newsletter, I've been much more intentional about appreciating what's going on around me. Similar to you. We went recently on a few conferences abroad and I was very observant around what was happening around me, what I was seeing, how people were reacting, how they were talking, and that idea of the check-in with your audience very quickly that all I got inspired by the fact that we had to wait for almost an hour and a half to check in with this particular airline.

The lady in front of us had actually fainted, so I had to rescue her. Oh wow. So it was a very traumatic check-in for me. And when we talk about friction, it was probably the worst example ever of checking in. But it was great because it became really good inspiration for that particular newsletter. So, Thank you for sharing that.

I really appreciate that. Lx we've run out of time and I can't believe how time has flown. I normally schedule these sessions for around 45 minutes and we've blown that out of the water.

[01:07:40] Lux Narayan: I'm sorry, man. I'm sorry.

[01:07:42] Paddy Dhanda: No, don't be sorry. Don't be sorry. My editor's gonna kill me because I now have some support in editing these episodes and I tell them typically every episode's around 30 to 40 minutes, so this one's a double episode.

[01:07:56] Lux Narayan: It's like an Indian Bollywood film. It has to be a lot longer. There

[01:08:00] Paddy Dhanda: you go. That's our excuse when Amitha buttons involved. That's it. It's gonna be an epic episode and that's exactly how I feel This episode has gone for me personally. I hope everybody listening has also found it as equally as useful and insightful as I have found it.

Lux, thank you so much for giving your time today and sharing some of those stories. I feel. A lot wiser than I did at the start of the episode. So thank you,

[01:08:26] Lux Narayan: Patty. Thank you for having me. Thank you for supporting what we do. I'm glad we met in the virtual world. I look forward to in keeping with the theme of what we just spoke meeting you in the physical world very soon.

So I look forward to that. Thank you, Patty.

[01:08:40] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, you're welcome.

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