KP Unpacked

KP Reddy Unpacked: Dealing with Sunday Scaries

April 02, 2024 KP Reddy
KP Unpacked
KP Reddy Unpacked: Dealing with Sunday Scaries
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Fresh off of a week talking with startup founders and AEC executives in Miami, KP is BACK to dissect his list of eleven key takeaways he posted on LinkedIn while sipping his first cup of coffee on a Sunday morning. Learn about the power of venn diagrams and how you can leverage them to startup success, why you NEED to spend more time outside of industry events, just how tough a public startup pitch can be, in addition to other nuggets.

Want more discussions like this? You can connect with KP Reddy at https://kpreddy.co/ and follow him on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kpreddy/!

Speaker 1:

You are listening to the Shadow Network with KP Ready, your gateway to innovation in architecture, engineering, construction and real estate, with a sprinkle of startups that are making a difference. In between, check us out on YouTube at Shadow Partners. Never miss a live stream fireside chat or talk that we got going on with the industry's most interesting innovators and leaders every single week. With the industry's most interesting innovators and leaders every single week. You can connect with KP Ready and other innovators in the AEC and CRE industry in the Shadow Partners community. Go to shadowpartnersco to learn more. Today. All it takes is a few clicks for you to make a difference. Welcome to the future and welcome to the Shadow Network with KP Ready. Welcome to the Shadow Network with KP Ready.

Speaker 2:

All right, welcome back to Unpacking KP Ready. This is my opportunity to ask KP. What were you thinking when you posted that on LinkedIn? You know KP Ready. If you don't follow him on LinkedIn, you should be KP Ready R-E-D-D-Y on LinkedIn. Lots of insightful posts every day on LinkedIn. You should be K-P-R-E-D-D-Y on LinkedIn. Lots of insightful posts every day on LinkedIn. All about innovation, ai, different aspects of the direction, the technology that shapes the built environment. You probably don't know me. My name is Jeff Eccles. I'm a senior advisor at Shadow Partners and this is my opportunity. Like I said, once a week I get to sit down and ask KP about a post from LinkedIn. So, kp welcome.

Speaker 3:

Thanks for joining me again today. Good to see you.

Speaker 2:

Going really well. Good to see you. We actually we did a version of this last week where we were both sitting. We're sitting side by side in the same room. That was pretty bizarre.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we didn't know what to do? We didn't know whether to look at the screen or look at each other. It was very weird.

Speaker 2:

It was very uncomfortable, it was weird, it was very strange I prefer doing it this way.

Speaker 2:

Well, yeah, so this way, how many miles away are we? A thousand miles away, or whatever it is? Yeah, Well, so we were in Miami last week. We did a couple of things there. We had five of our, and I think part of this post that we're about to unpack sort of harkens back to that experience last week. So let me start by reading it. It's a little bit long, but I'm going to read through the whole thing and then we can go back through it and unpack it whatever way that we want to. So it starts out Sunday Scaries first cup of coffee edition. This is what KP wrote.

Speaker 2:

I spent the last week with startup founders and AEC innovation executives of Miami last week. Here are a few takeaways. Number one you can be great at storytelling, but you need to make sure that you actually have a compelling story to tell, Fair enough. Number two build a Venn diagram to understand what your true differentiator is. Start with yourself, then with your company. Number three spend more time outside of industry events. I have been glowing this week from the NVIDIA Developer Conference content. What was your key takeaway? Number four Miami is a fun city. Not sure if I could live there. I saw more rain in Miami last week. That's what I've seen.

Speaker 3:

I saw more rain in small dogs.

Speaker 2:

This is absolutely true. Number five public startup pitches are tough. Yes, they are. Number six look, if you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip? Who said this? I know who said this. Number seven focus, forwardness and follow-up from events. Focus on a few strong relationships. Be forward with your ask and aggressively follow up from events. Number eight how aggressive. When my kids played competitive soccer, they got $50 for every yellow card and $100 for every red card $100.

Speaker 3:

Actually minus $100.

Speaker 2:

Oh, minus. Okay, sorry, minus $50 for every yellow card and minus $100 for every red card. So how much do they still owe you?

Speaker 3:

They owe me the rest of their lives. But I'll tell you they got good at like not getting. They got yellow cards but they didn't get red cards.

Speaker 2:

That's good. So they were aggressive, but not aggressive.

Speaker 3:

The boundary of the referee right Like that's. That's what it is right. It's so much subjective so you do have to get comfortable testing the boundaries and adjusting appropriately.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely so in that one to strive for yellow cards. Number nine shout out to jordan wilson for being such a great resource for the aec startup community. Yes, big thanks to jordan. He hosted us for lunch, our founders and our innovation leaders. So thank you, jordan. Number 10 if you haven't watched the movie Air, I highly recommend it. If you are a Gen X person like me, the soundtrack is great and nostalgic. And number 11, what was the first concert that you went to? Mine was Rush says KP. So there you go. 11 points from the Sunday Scaries first cup of coffee edition. Where do you want to start? Do you want to go all the way through or do you have favorites in there?

Speaker 3:

I think you know, obviously we have. We always have kind of limited time. But I think the aggressive thing is super interesting because I think it applies not just to startups, it applies to engineering firms or corporates as well. Right, like I don't want to be too salesy, I don't want to be too, I don't want to be too. Insert the blank. Right, and I think you, it's not your choice, right, you have to be as aggressive and be a good listener and react appropriately.

Speaker 3:

It's like I said with my kids, like playing soccer, like yellow cards are okay, red cards are not okay, and if you're not getting a yellow card, you're not trying hard enough, right, so you don't want to push somebody to the point where they're like just unsubscribe, I'm tired. You don't want to piss people off, but you do want to be challenging. Right, when they say, hey, this is not a great time, you don't just hang up, say, hey, well, when is a great time? Right, and I don't know. Like, well, can I send you a text and can we figure it out? Do you have an assistant?

Speaker 3:

And I think people forget that aggressiveness is a and a bit of a. I would say it's part of being passionate, it's part of caring. Like when you're pissed off about solving a problem and you're trying to like solve for it, aggression is kind of an indicator that you are actually doing the work. If you're super passive, you may not believe, you may not believe, you may not believe, and if you don't believe, the market, the customers, all of it figures it out Right. And so I think you know I've been definitely more than once been uh, I've been told I'm too aggressive and I'm like I'm sorry I give a shit, like if you don't give a shit, that's cool, like I don't have to talk to you, I'm going to hang out with the people that do give a shit. So sorry, you know, and I think there's not enough of that, and part of progress and moving markets and showing leadership is just that it is. You have to show it's an early indicator of success.

Speaker 2:

There's very few passive founders that have been successful right yeah, I think that's a good lesson and we see this all the time in our startup incubator. You know, and one of the first things, whether it's my, my grad students or it's our actual incubator, one of the first things that I say is you know, if you get to the end of this and nothing has changed, there's a problem. Right, you came into this with an idea and you have to be. You know, we, we talk about in the incubator, you're pushing the founders to, to make a hundred cold calls or you know, whatever, whatever metric is out there but but be aggressive about having these conversations and then adapting and adjusting to what you're hearing, what you're learning, and so if you started here on day one and at the end of the incubator, whenever you graduate out, essentially if you're in the same spot, there's a problem. You were not aggressive, you did not go after, you did not adjust and adapt. Um, so I think I like that idea because you know, we've had founders before.

Speaker 2:

In fact, I was had a conversation earlier this week with a pair of co-founders from a past cohort that you know have almost radically changed what they've worked on, but they're, they are finding success because they have been aggressive they're. Part of their legend is that shadow summit back in october in atlanta. They were having so many conversations and you know they weren't being obnoxious or anything like that. That's why they were there to have these conversations with with presumably their, their ideal customer profile. They actually followed someone into the restroom to say, hey, can, can we have a minute, not in the restroom, but can we grab a minute of your time? They were aggressive about that. They got a yellow card. Right, that's their legend. They got a yellow card for following someone into the restroom, but they didn't get a red card for cornering them in the stall. So that was good.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, and I think that's the. You know, I don't know. I think you know, as an investor I have to look at early indicators of success and you start to see a pattern of what that is. And it's not that day one. Everybody has it in them. But you know, they might be a little bit standoffish, especially if they came from a corporate environment. They might feel like aggressiveness is for salespeople. God forbid someone be a salesperson, right. But I think it can be a learned behavior and what I always tell people is like if you actually care about what you're building, you will have zero issues unleashing kind of those aggressive traits and if you don't, you might want to question are you working on the right thing?

Speaker 2:

might want to question are you working on the right thing? Yep, yeah, james clear, the author of atomic habit, says that every step forward is is a vote for your new you know, fill in the blank, your new business, your new life, etc. And then you know if, if you believe right, if, if you, if this is something you care about, you're going to keep taking those steps forward. Right, you're going to be aggressive about moving forward. You have to be. Yeah, you have no choice. 100. So one of the things that we talked about a little bit was the NVIDIA developer conference. You want to unpack that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think you know we all get very myopic into what we're working on, and I think there was a follow-on post. People asked me, like what conferences am I going to? And I was like, well, I'm kind of focused on either tech or kind of broad market. You know customers and I think in the broader market of what we look at in our day job is that ultimately it's the developer owner that pays for everything, and so if you're not educating the owners and developers about innovation, it's a missed opportunity. So you know I think you know this this fall, you know we're doing this aec zone thing at CRE Tech, which has never been done, which is all about putting architects, engineers and contractors in front of the developers and owners and asset owners to show off what they're innovating.

Speaker 3:

You know engineers and construction companies and architects can talk about, oh, we're so innovative. I'm like, great, I'm gonna put you in front of your customers and you show me how innovative you are. Right, like, show me how you can pitch. I've had some of these AC from you want us to stand at a booth and pitch.

Speaker 2:

Literally said that last week.

Speaker 3:

You want to make a difference, you will. If you don't want to make a difference, go turtle up somewhere else, right? So so I think I'm focused on those areas asset owners, investors, kind of at a broad infrastructure investors and on the other, just pure play tech. So, whether it's the NVIDIA developer conference, I'll probably go to Dreamforce because Salesforce is doing just so many things with AI and I've got a great relationship with the C-suite there. So they're a bit insistent that I come. But I think that you know I'm not going to go to the rest of them. It's just I don't get the point, you know. It's just really.

Speaker 3:

I know post pandemic, I went to a built worlds conference and it was fantastic because I hadn't seen anyone for two years. So it was like meeting up with all friends in one place. One plane ride to hotel nights. I got to meet up with everyone. But then at some point, a lot of these you know Autodesk University I stopped when Autodesk University five or six years ago. There's nobody new to me, there's no new narratives. It's the same old, same old. So I think it's like you know, in a world of resource constraints, both on time and capital, it's really important. You know, that's why I started going to South by Southwest several years ago. I didn't go this year.

Speaker 3:

You have to take a break from the tech crunch, disrupt stuff, the YC demo days, like I mean, I think there's just a lot of stuff outside of our industry that we should be spending time at. By the way, not every event is about networking. Sometimes it's actually about learning. Yes, god forbid, right, so, like, that's why I've just been, um, uh, you know, the nvidia developer day stuff was just such a massive learning experience and if you didn't, if you didn't like, if you're not watching and rewatching everything that they talked about, you shouldn't even be in technology. Like, how can you not? Like it's one of those shame on you moments AI narratives, nvidia narrative and you didn't invest. I mean, I've probably invested 10 hours into it already and I'm still not done, right, yeah, that is, your job is to keep up with these things. How can you not keep up with these things? Yeah, it's like. No, I'm going to go to AU and hear about the latest BIM update that whatever audit has terribly made. Like, I mean, who cares? Who cares about?

Speaker 2:

that or bought yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, or bought Right, who cares?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. We often hear that the the value of the conferences in the corridors, which there's a lot of truth to that, right the networking piece of it. But, to your point, when NVIDIA or somebody has one of these conferences, they're rolling out the future, and what better place to learn about it? And NVIDIA has just been a lot of incredible news coming out of there the last couple of weeks from their CEO. Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or would you just let it slip by?

Speaker 3:

So it's so funny, my wife's actually from Michigan.

Speaker 2:

It's so funny, my wife's actually from Michigan.

Speaker 3:

So I give her a hard time about Eminem, which I like, eminem, but I'm like OK, michigan, you guys produced Eminem, kid Rock and Ted Nugent Fantastic. She's like that's what you're saying. Oh, and Madonna, that's what you're honing in on. What about Motown? I'm like I don't know, that's not like you give you a hard time about.

Speaker 3:

Motown. I'm like that's not. I can't give you a hard time about that. Like I can't give you a hard time about Motown, but I can about Kid Rock and everyone else that you guys produced. But, yeah, no, I think that ties into the demo day. Like I think it's tough because we have like a hundred executives in the room. Yeah, and I will tell you that those startups, that was their shot. That was their shot in front of that group. These people are busy, they don't have time, right? So either you were impressive and just like they were like Holy crap, like I need to meet you, they didn't. And that was your shot with, I mean, and that's one audience, right, that's one audience.

Speaker 3:

And that's why we're a little bit particular about some of the startups that didn't align with engineering executives, like, hey, don't spend the money and time to fly into Miami Because even if you do a great pitch. They're not going to know what you're talking about.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I would say that we're not a little bit particular. We are particular. Say that we're not a little bit particular, we are particular, but the point is not that they shouldn't be pitching or not that they're not worthy of pitching. The point is, I'll find another opportunity for you to pitch to an audience that has a better alignment, and we've already done that with a couple, because and that's also a good segue Maybe this is a shameless plug, and that's also a good segue. Maybe this is a shameless plug, but Friday so as we're recording this, two days from now, we will have our virtual demo day, where all nine of the founder teams from this cohort of our startup incubator will be pitching virtually inside. Well, if you're watching this right now, right here inside the community, so join us Friday at noon Eastern and you'll see pitch after pitch after pitch, five minutes to pitch, five minutes for Q&A. You'll see those that pitched in Miami and then you'll see those that didn't, mainly because it just wasn't the right audience for them.

Speaker 3:

But we're going to have I mean, we're going to have so many opportunities, whether it's virtual or in person, for our startups to to, to get their word out.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, yeah, that's a good point. I mean we're going to roll into a season of monthly virtual pitches and then and then we're also starting to host more and partner on more of these live demo days, these live pitches at different conferences. We've got the Zwei group coming up in Atlanta at the end of May. I think it is and that's another opportunity. If you've got an event and you're interested in this, that's something that we can talk about.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, all right interested in in this or that's something that we can talk about? Yeah, all right. So if uh, again, if you're not following kp ready on linkedin, I don't know what to tell you, why not kp ready r-e-d-d-y on linkedin? Um, look for this post, and was there anything else you wanted to unpack from this one? I know, I think a little bit long yeah, I think it's good okay, um, look for this post as we're recording this.

Speaker 2:

Three days ago it starts out sunday scaries, first cop, first cup of coffee edition. So again, this is my opportunity, my weekly opportunity, to ask KP Ready what inspired him as he wrote this post for LinkedIn. So, kp, thanks again for joining me for this. It's fun to do these and fun to get into the brain of KP a little bit.

Speaker 3:

All right, we'll see you.

Speaker 2:

All right, thanks everybody.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for tuning in to another episode on the Shadow Network here with KP Reddy. As always, remember, you can connect with KP and other innovators in the AEC and CRE industry in the Shadow Partners community. Go to shadowpartnersco to learn more today. Until next time,

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