Hey Raj, welcome to the show. How are you doing today?
Raj Goodman Anand (00:05.845)
I’m doing great, thank you very much for having me, I’m really, really pumped to be here.
Yeah, it’s our pleasure to have you here. All right, so I’m a big fan of context actually and I think all our stories, like whoever we are today, whatever we have done in the past, most of that, like what our entire personality is, there has to be a past around that. So who is Raj actually deep inside, behind all the success, all the, you know, startups and businesses and every single thing? So Raj, what are you doing? What are you doing?
Raj Goodman Anand (00:34.581)
Well, it’s a great question. I think I think I know, first I completely agree with you. I think it’s the the background, the the ups, the downs, more the downs than the ups, actually, which make which make us who we really are. So who am I? I am a father and a husband. I was born in Kuwait, but I moved to the UK when I was 20. How many years back was that?
Raj Goodman Anand (01:07.887)
I’m an engineer but got into marketing because I fell in love with marketing and I was I was I’m a geek at heart but after you know pursuing a PhD in AI but at some point someone told me what MySpace and how big MySpace was in the US market. People who don’t know what MySpace is.
Raj Goodman Anand (01:34.517)
for older people, well, back to the younger people, but now we have aged a little bit. But yeah, so I built a clone of the MySpace back in the day and then fell in love with marketing. And so I became a marketeer, but inside me, I’m still an engineer, a geek, somebody who loves, the reason he is loves the outdoor, love to get out there and…
Raj Goodman Anand (02:04.149)
and stay out if I can, doing outdoor things for example. But I also am a passionate about empowering people. It’s a big part of my core is to empower people because I feel I had the opportunity to do so for myself and I wanna do that for the people who deserve to get a chance to shine.
Wow, amazing, interesting intro there. So most of the time, what I’ve seen is like engineers make very good founders, you know, so they can start a business, they can run a business, something like that. But this is probably first time that I’m seeing somebody who’s, you know, turned this whole thing around, marketing. So how did that transition actually happen?
Raj Goodman Anand (02:48.281)
Yeah, so yeah, so I was I was pursuing a PhD in AI 20 years back and about 20 years back and met somebody visiting from the US. He showed me a MySpace and I’m like, wow, this is amazing. I can I can code myself myself. So I sat down, did 18 hours per day and like three weeks I coded a MySpace clone. But then
Raj Goodman Anand (03:14.853)
I had the MySpace clone, but I don’t know how to market this thing. I didn’t know how to sell it. So I went around asking people, how can I sell this thing? And they’re like, oh, you do marketing. Well, what’s marketing? So I then got a, you know, then found the right people, got a mini scholarship to kind of go into, well, I started to go into for a mini MBA, started learning about marketing, started loving marketing. Then I founded my first company, which was a, a
Raj Goodman Anand (03:43.969)
software for social networks, a bit like so we can build that for the customers and them to interact and then help to increase the sales, for example. That’s how we began this opportunity. And as well as lots of travel companies, large travel companies, government organizations. Then I wrote a book about this for business education, about social media marketing, and then I started working for a company in telecom and insurance.
Raj Goodman Anand (04:13.741)
showed them and grew their business from 7.5 million to 45 million. The backup great content and storytelling, and like this is so powerful, we started business doing this. So nine years back, I started Goodman Lantin, which is a content marketing agency helping customers sell better and grow faster.
Wow, so you were doing all the cool things before they were cool. In many ways, in many ways. Like a lot of people think, yeah. Yeah, a lot of people think that AI is just like, you know, is just like a new thing. A lot of people have that misconception. You’ve done that PhD thing. So what was actually AI in terms of business back then and now, like how do you think, you know, both errors are different?
Raj Goodman Anand (04:41.274)
You can say that, yeah.
Raj Goodman Anand (05:02.157)
I mean, wildly different. When I was doing the PhD, we didn’t have enough computing power to actually run these really powerful machine learning opportunities. The neural networks are not actually being powered. They’re all theoretical. Fast forward today, we have, we can compute these large calculations. We have GPUs, we can actually do that, for example. But back in the day, we’re just gonna do it. So it’s all theoretical.
data models. Yeah. Yeah.
Raj Goodman Anand (05:32.213)
But what’s heartening to see is that the theory we learned or the stuff we were researching, that’s been implemented now with some variation, but the core is still the same. The concept is still the same. We still have programming neurons within AI, and that’s what’s heartening to see. I think we are in a very interesting journey. This is the tip of the iceberg.
Raj Goodman Anand (06:01.161)
We’ll see a lot more companies doing this sort of stuff. But also as the computational power increases and costs decreases, maybe the energy prices go down as we were talking about solar energy and nuclear and whatnot. I think we have a fundamental shift in what it will become the future where computational power is going to be so inexpensive that actually we all have our own robots.
Raj Goodman Anand (06:29.117)
you know, working, doing our things, for example, then people talk about, or what’s going to be the future of jobs. And while, you know, it’s still such a, such a lot of things to unravel in the coming days, months, years, that we have, you know, very interesting opportunity here, but equally something very scary as well.
Yeah, exactly. How do you think 10 years from now it’s going to look like, from a marketing standpoint, from an engineering standpoint?
Raj Goodman Anand (07:01.777)
Yeah, it’s like going back 10 years and me saying, well, you know, or let’s say 20 years and me saying, oh, you know, there’ll be a new job called digital marketing consultant, or they’ll be like social media consultant, social media expert. I mean, they didn’t even know what that that was back then. And now we have, you know, companies, industries built on this. Right. So we’ll have so many new things coming up. No one can actually predict it, really. I mean, it’s we can all just guess it. But it will.
Raj Goodman Anand (07:31.849)
I mean, the fundamentals have always been the same marketing, you know, was not called marketing back in the day. I mean, say the time when Napoleon, when Napoleon used to do press releases, but because that’s to get more money for their war campaigns, you know, nowadays that doesn’t happen in that way. And you don’t have because that’s in the way that they are. They were back in the day. We do all in press releases, for example, things have changed, but the fundamental about, you know, building, promoting, it will still be the base similar, in my opinion.
Yeah, so very interesting thing that you mentioned, that you build a clone for MySpace. And I was old enough to use MySpace. So yeah, I’m guilty of that. But one thing that I’m from a product world, so that’s where most of my career was. So just from personal reason, I want to understand a lot of the time when you’re building a product, like a lot of the times, every single advisor you go to, investors you go to, VCs are pretty good.
common these days you go to. Everybody asks for a USP, like what’s your unique selling point, and most people kind of discourage building a clone. So in your opinion, Raj of today, what do you think about building a clone product? And what exactly do you think about it? Like is it gonna work out, is it not gonna work out? Why would people wanna use that? So what’s your opinion on that?
Raj Goodman Anand (08:55.537)
Yeah, so it’s interesting. I mean, if you were to look at the first Uber app came out, firstly, that Uber app was not the first taxi app ever. That’s not the case anyway. And then after Uber came out and showed their business model, there were so many copycat organizations. And some of them did really well. Some of them actually managed to kind of get the market share from Uber in countries and then get to buy their share as well.
Raj Goodman Anand (09:26.581)
So I think at the end of the day, I think ideas are cheap. It’s the execution of the idea which really matters. So in my story about social media software, there was social media like Facebook and MySpace when I was building. But I was not cloning the idea. I was trying to build a simpler way to actually build your own social network. That’s what we were doing.
Raj Goodman Anand (09:55.477)
Cloning can work really well. USPs can be created, but actually what’s really interesting and important is to the execution part of the, um, the idea, the business. And if that’s done well, I think businesses which are replicated can do extremely well. I mean, famously rocket internet, you might have come across them, you know, they were built around idea of cloning companies and it did phenomenally well.
Yeah, totally agree with that and very well aware of that as well. You mentioned execution and I personally think, I’ve read somewhere, so it’s not like my idea, but I agree to that. That ideas are cheap, probably worth zero. Execution makes them nine figure, 10 figures, whatever you want to call them. So it’s all about execution. You started really early on in your career, in an entrepreneurial world, building something. I think at the heart of it, you were an entrepreneur since the beginning. It’s just like you know.
you went down and you sat with somebody and you’re like, I’m gonna do something of my own. So in terms of execution, what mistakes did you think that you made back then that if you were to do the same thing again today, you probably wouldn’t do that.
Raj Goodman Anand (11:08.989)
I think the biggest one was a pinpoint. The biggest mistake I made was not delegating enough. I think a lot of entrepreneurs, managers believe that they can do everything themselves. And that’s the biggest.
Raj Goodman Anand (11:28.281)
let’s call it career suicide one can ever do. It is just silly to kind of do that. The main idea, in my opinion, is to like delegate things to teams internally or externally. So maybe bringing people in the company or agencies outside, for example, but then to elevate them as well, to show them the ropes and then allow them to
Raj Goodman Anand (11:57.013)
grow their careers and I think that’s a really empowering thing to do. But also it makes the manager’s life easier. So if you’re a manager, you’re an entrepreneur, that’s the way to really scale up operations or businesses. It’s not to do everything. That’s not ideal really and it’s not going to allow to really scale the business up as well. So if I did that better when I was younger, I think things have been a little different now. I’ve learned that
Raj Goodman Anand (12:26.593)
That’s one of the things which I’m really keen to talk more about and actually do more of.
Yeah, I think in my decade or whatever career is, every single time I met an entrepreneur, a lot of people have this idea that from training standpoint, it’ll take them, I don’t know, say 15 minutes to train anybody, but it’ll just take them two minutes to tell them just go and do this particular job, so people would prefer those two minutes. They would avoid delegating and they’re just like, okay, just gonna tell you what to do and you can just do it.
But I also think at the heart of it, a lot of people are kind of scared, especially first time founders, second time founders, because they need to learn that. They just, you know, a kind of, bit of a scarcity going on is, you know, like not gonna delegate anything, or more of like, if we step away from our business, it’s not gonna work out. But it’s actually the opposite, right? It’s actually the opposite. A lot of time I think we do hear,
people struggle to figure out what to delegate but not to delegate. Like a lot of people don’t actually differentiate this is what’s delegating, this is not what’s delegating. So it’s, you know, what’s your framework or what sort of a thing that you follow, what model that you have in mind? It’s like, okay, if I need to delegate 100 things, or maybe if I have 100 things and I need to delegate like 90 of them, how would you find those 90 things?
Raj Goodman Anand (13:55.133)
Well, I mean, to begin with, I think the famously the Airbnb’s founder mentioned that first do things which don’t scale really well. And that implies basically do stuff on your own initially. And that’s actually fine to do that. Absolutely OK to do stuff on your own initially. But then later on, is to start to rebuild a checklist of what’s still on the pile of things one is doing and then delegate that out.
Raj Goodman Anand (14:24.109)
So the way I do that is there’s some elements which need a bit more of the founder mindset or needs like inspiration. The business which requires the most inspiration, I would give that to myself to the last point. So for example, many times, you know, a lot of founders would keep the sales part to themselves because for big sales, for big strategic alliances, we need someone with lots of gray hair and lots of experience and the founder tends to be that person.
Raj Goodman Anand (14:54.145)
So that tends to be the last thing to do. Sometimes also, for example, I would say, I’ve talked to a lot of founders who say that the financial focus is still with the CEO of the company. So having a very clear overview of the finances. And that’s actually a good thing to do, because every founder should have their numbers and their fingertips, else they’re in trouble.
Raj Goodman Anand (15:24.245)
So, well, I mean, fundamentally, businesses is about derailing revenue. And, you know, a lot, again, that’s maybe a bit traditional in today’s approach, because like there are a lot of companies who are just, you know, raising a lot of cash and just burning the cash. But even then, it’s worth understanding how much cash is being made in the bank, how much cash has been burned, what’s the run rate, for example. What is the ROI?
Why do you think so?
Raj Goodman Anand (15:54.393)
which I’m making on the cash I’m burning. What is, for example, the, you know, the customer acquisition cost, the CAC, for example, what is the, you know, lifetime value? What’s the LTV divided by CAC, for example? So just these numbers actually really help because then you know, you have a clear understanding of the business and what you need to raise or what you need to like produce in the company to kind of grow the company further.
Raj Goodman Anand (16:23.265)
So if you don’t have the numbers in the mind as founders and CEOs, there’s a problem in my opinion.
Got it. What do you think about, and you mentioned, they get a lot of companies, they raise a whole bunch of money, then the burn rate is pretty high. So what do you think about companies who are raising a shitload of money, actually, like millions and millions, and the burn rate just keep going up because they’re scaling like crazy, hiding, I don’t know, 100 people in 10 different countries or whatever. So what’s your opinion on that?
Raj Goodman Anand (16:55.785)
Well, I mean, I think since we are talking right now, sort of May 2023 and, you know, to raise the later rounds, for example, series C, BCD, for example, it’s really hard. Actually, to raise money is definitely harder than it used to be when doing the pandemic, for example. So what I’ve learned from that is that, you know, obviously some businesses require the cash to
Raj Goodman Anand (17:25.189)
If the fundamentals are strong, there’s still a room to actually build a company which uses its own cash flow from customers to grow the company further. I think that for me is very exciting because that shows resilience. That is a recession-proof organization. They’re built on strong principles, for example, as a company, and they’re really designed to keep growing.
Raj Goodman Anand (17:55.145)
famously, you know, Craigslist, for example, Mailchimp, for example, they’re all bootstrap companies, they’ll kind of grown from the revenue they generate from customers. That also shows that they are super persistent with their like, you know, and meticulous about their growth strategy, they know what they’re burning, they know what they’re producing, they know the customers better than anybody else, because they can build stuff which they were going to buy. And I think
Raj Goodman Anand (18:21.653)
That is a real business which excites me as you build stuff for customers which excites them and helps them grow their business and that is a win-win for everybody.
Yeah, so that’s more on the B2B side of the things. And then you mentioned quite a lot about B2B, so we’re just going through your Twitter, LinkedIn, it’s just all about B2B marketing. What exactly excites you the most about B2B and not B2C? Could be personal preference, but why exactly is that?
Raj Goodman Anand (18:54.757)
I think I’m a bit biased with B2B mainly because from the very beginning I’ve been in B2B. B2B is a scenario where fundraising is less of a focus, it’s more actually building something which is like really going to improve lives of the businesses we work with or they work with. And I think that’s the focus really.
Raj Goodman Anand (19:24.221)
Yes, a lot of B2B companies still raise a lot of cash, but there are opportunities for a lot of B2B companies to raise no cash, be bootstrapped like VR, for example, and still grow their business. There’s a real opportunity in that space. And I think I like as an engineer, I like to focus on building something which is really valuable to everybody involved. The customers, the team members, the ecosystem we belong to adding value. And in B2C,
Raj Goodman Anand (19:53.449)
Again, I don’t blame B2C for this. This is what they have to do, I guess, in some niches is that you have to raise money first because B2C is expensive. But then when the journey starts, the snowballing effect starts, then it really can generate much more cash than B2B as well. So it’s a preference thing. I think there’s no right or wrong answer in my opinion.
Yeah, absolutely. You started Goodman Lentil like probably nine years ago. You were building a startup and another startup and another startup, and then finally land on this thing. And then you kind of stuck with that for like nine years. Why exactly is that so? Because it’s not like you were doing a job. You were actually starting up those companies, then exiting, building and exiting. But this thing looks like pretty close to your heart. So.
Why is that so?
Raj Goodman Anand (20:45.913)
Yeah, so I mean, unfortunately or fortunately, as the company was being built, I went through a lot of personal challenges, mainly with my wife’s health. And sometimes, you know, I think most of the times, the downs teach us more than the ups. So failure teaches more than the successes. That’s just a thing I’ve seen quite often in my life. And when I was doing this company and you know, my wife went through
Raj Goodman Anand (21:14.473)
massive health challenge. I learned that actually building a company with a focus on more than just making money is actually a much stronger company. That is not only a company to generate cash but also a company which kind of gives back to the ecosystem. And so I was looking for what would be my legacy.
Raj Goodman Anand (21:43.169)
And in that time, as I grew in the company, I was thinking about in engineering, we had, when I was doing sciences in school, we had more women. And then I went to university, there’s like one in 50 women, for example, and then go to work and there’s hardly any women in tech. And I thought that seems a bit odd, for example. And then I think about, obviously I have a sister, mother, wife, and then a daughter.
Raj Goodman Anand (22:11.857)
I don’t want my daughter to grow up in an under-privileged society where women are not given an opportunity in tech. So I basically started to think about how can I create something which can give back and empower women in technology and marketing. So much so that 80% plus team members at Goodman Lantin are women. And we are making a change in their lives. And we’re making, maybe for some it’s small, for some it’s big.
Raj Goodman Anand (22:40.257)
But that change is what excites me, which gets me to get up from bed and make a change every day, improve it, grow it much more. That is what powers me. I’ve learned that when there’s a mission behind a company, then it’s got a limit because it’s not about the greed, it’s about making a change. And change is something which is close to our heart. And that’s why I guess it’s nine years I’ve been doing this. And I hope that I take this company to the public.
Raj Goodman Anand (23:10.289)
impact a lot of people in the company for the betterment of their future.
What a vision. You mentioned like 80% of the workforce today is women. Is that a conscious decision that you guys just do not hire male people? Yeah, is that a conscious decision, or is this more like we want to be a company where the majority of the workforce is going to be woman-led?
Raj Goodman Anand (23:39.581)
So I wouldn’t say that it was conscious initially, but we started to realize that actually, if we can bring in the right people, the right mindset, so we do a lot of like our process of hiring is very thorough. We don’t get people in based on the gender or the location. It’s based on the skill sets and the mindset and the core values which match Goodman-Lantin’s core values. So they have to do that. But for example, if someone’s, you know,
Raj Goodman Anand (24:08.981)
has the promise, has a mindset, has a value system in them, but maybe are not at 99 but 98, then we will put it on us to then train them and bring them to 99, for example, 100%. That’s a commitment we have made to ourselves, primarily within to the ecosystem as well, that this is what we’re gonna be doing. And what we’re also doing in this way is to make the
Raj Goodman Anand (24:38.217)
um make the whole whole technology space a bit more um sort of neutral a bit more unbiased because it actually helps to have different opinions uh in in any field um so by having more women in in in content marketing for technology companies we actually focus on high tech companies as our core core business that actually provides our customers a different viewpoint as well also
Raj Goodman Anand (25:07.145)
because we have, and this is something we’ve seen quite a lot of clients saying that our team members are extremely good at taking care of them. So, you know, because we have that ethos of taking care of our team members, it’s exactly the same for our customers. And that is what we bring in together. This is why having a mission is so powerful for a company. Palms has it, Patagonia has it, and we have it, for example.
Okay, what’s like one challenge related to gender equality in tech and marketing that you face? And like, how have you kind of overcome that?
Raj Goodman Anand (25:49.877)
Well, when I was like, I had, you know, in the previous businesses, I had co-founders, for example, there was a resistance, for example, to actually hire women in the company. There was a sort of resistance that they like to be prepared from male developers. I don’t see why that’s the case. Why do we need to be…
That’s very common. That’s very common.
Raj Goodman Anand (26:12.681)
Yeah, it is fairly common, I would say. It still is. I mean, in today’s era, we still are, that’s still a thing. And I think that’s just unfair. And we have to look beyond this. If you want to build a fair society, if you want to live in a fair society, we have to look beyond this and make a change. Don’t take a stand, make a stand, you know, and why can’t it be us?
Yeah, like not taking anybody’s side or anything like that. Don’t have any opinion on that. But I think most of the times, and now that you mentioned this thing, so if I go back, whenever I started working, so in all like 10, 12 years, I have seen like 90% of the people, especially in the tech side, are like male, it’s a male-dominant society. And what’s even more important is the leadership. That’s like 99%.
male dominated, right? So I never get to think about, does that mean women are not good leaders? They’re not good technically? What does that exactly mean?
Raj Goodman Anand (27:20.477)
I mean, you know, and again, this is something which we’ve been working quite a lot with as well. Like we are, we are bringing more leadership, which is a middle management is pretty much all women. Senior management was about 50% women, 50% men, but to, you know, leadership is a very challenging part, right? It’s a very intense experience.
Raj Goodman Anand (27:50.909)
And I think it takes time to get people in that mind frame to be able to accept that. I think it’s going to change quite rapidly in the coming years. We’ll have more women leaders in technology. But already we are seeing the new Twitter CEO is a lady as well, for example. And we are seeing others as well coming in. So things are changing. But sometimes,
Raj Goodman Anand (28:19.361)
something that’s slower than others. And I think this is one of them. But once we start to really, for example, we have this program called the Rising Stars. It’s like we actively find marketing managers in different companies, which are women, and we interview them and we promote them. I mean, there’s nothing for us to gain from that. But just to kind of say that, look, these are,
Raj Goodman Anand (28:48.353)
the role models for the future of the women empowerment moment we are focusing on. Look at these women who have made a change. You can as well if you’re just joining into this workforce or you’re looking to join the workforce at some point. And so we have this campaign on our website, for example, and it’s something which is, that really makes us feel like we are making a change. And, you know, I mean, that’s really important.
Yeah, you know that’s wonderful. Did you guys ever come across pay quality issue as well? The pay gap or something? Because that’s been in the news like, I don’t know, since like, since whenever, it’s just like, you know, every single time there’s a pay gap between the gender and stuff like that. Do you guys go, you know, have that as well?
Raj Goodman Anand (29:41.621)
Yeah, so it’s been in the press multiple times. I’ve read, obviously, about it multiple times. In our company, we have a handbook, which clearly states that there’s no differentiation between a man and a woman. Gender, sex doesn’t matter. We pay the same amount. It’s based on your skill, and as well as the value system you have and the focus on growth. If you have these things, then it doesn’t matter.
Raj Goodman Anand (30:10.857)
doesn’t really matter. I mean, we don’t care about gender as a way to differentiate or discriminate for pay, for example. I just think that’s wrong.
Okay, coming back to content marketing actually, because you mentioned that a couple of times. So, researching on the background of the company and almost like 80% of the thing was around content marketing. So, how do you define content marketing? What do you exactly have in mind? Because a lot of people have in mind, oh yeah, okay, just put the blog out. So, that’s what people think about it.
Raj Goodman Anand (30:49.341)
Yeah, so content marketing is a specialist area where companies can show two things. We can do two things with this. One is thought leadership, really showcase their vision, their current thoughts. And number two is to help them showcase their organization or their mission or their vision by getting more visibility.
Raj Goodman Anand (31:18.253)
So content marketing really is to kind of help using content, using different kinds of content. There’s not only blog posts or written content, but also video production, websites, social media, white papers, case studies, you name it. You really help with thought leadership as well as visibility. And why is that? Like in most cases, us human beings, it’s about a give and take relationship which we have.
Raj Goodman Anand (31:47.657)
If you think of content as a source of knowledge or a source to improve oneself, and if a company provides them the knowledge to improve their lives, then actually it’s like a gift they’re giving them. And that’s like, you know, I’ll talk about a different way of looking at it as well in a second, but that is a way of looking at it as well. The content is a kind of a knowledge, a gift that you’re giving to your customers. On the back of that, you build trust with the customers, and then they want to follow you.
Raj Goodman Anand (32:17.549)
talk to you and then potentially buy something from you. So that’s the psychological thing, the way I look at it. We look at marketing, they might say, oh well, content is a funnel, there’s a top, middle and bottom funnel, and there’s a sort of a whole, a whole sort of, with that loop for example, but we look at what’s actually happening as we’re educating people by content, top of the funnel, then we educate them about our actual offering.
Raj Goodman Anand (32:46.661)
as a product, for example, and then help them to buy from the organization. In many ways, like that sort of the psychological karma thing, you know, the more you can provide content to help your customers, the more they will trust you, the more they’ll buy from you. It kind of coincides with the funnel system which you have in marketing. So they actually go very hand in hand in many ways. But for me, content marketing is a way to educate.
Raj Goodman Anand (33:16.373)
customers and then help them make the right decision on what they can buy, for instance.
Okay, that’s interesting. So from entrepreneurial standpoint, a lot of entrepreneurs, so there’s like a 50-50 split in my opinion. Some people are like, they’re going crazy hard on building their personal brand. They’re putting a lot of content out there. Most of that is a total leadership kind of a stuff. And then there’s the other side of the people that were like just doing all the business stuff, but they’re like not building their personal brand. So.
One thing, so question number one is, do you guys help entrepreneurs or just the companies? And second is, in your opinion, how important is building a personal brand and putting content out there and stabbing yourself as a market thought leader?
Raj Goodman Anand (34:09.581)
That’s a great question. And just before I answer the question, famously Elon Musk has more followers on Twitter than Tesla or SpaceX. They probably have been combined together. So individuals make a bigger impact on top data ship than, for example, than companies put combined they kind of build.
Raj Goodman Anand (34:39.401)
you get people to actually lead with their top leadership content because in organizations, especially we look at the likes of a company, you know, leadership changes, sometimes changes for the better and change for the worse, but that changes. So if a leadership change team changes, then what happens to the brand of the company? So many times, I think that’s one of the reasons why people, you know, still go for
Raj Goodman Anand (35:08.913)
the company’s brand as the entity and Leadership is secondary to it. I think you should go hand-in-hand if you can achieve that that’s absolutely perfect That’s really where we can really sell better But in being practical about it, it’s actually really hard to do that Many many leaders are not comfortable to kind of get out there and do it other leaders For the right reasons are wrong
Raj Goodman Anand (35:37.109)
They prefer that it’s a brand of the company and not themselves. But this is something which, when done correctly, personal brands can make a real impact. But it’s also very challenging to do that because you need to have a great story to tell. You really build a great brand. And that in itself is challenging.
Yeah, speaking of great stories, how do you tell a great story? Like what exactly is great storytelling?
Raj Goodman Anand (36:12.961)
Yeah, it’s actually a great question. I think great stories are, you know, there are different formats, you know, sort of different formats, for example, you know, it’s like the hero story where, you know, things are going pretty crap and then you come in and you save the day, for example, that’s one format. There are different formats for telling great stories, but fundamentally great stories, one thing which is common among great stories is that they’re consistent, they’re clear and there is a…
Raj Goodman Anand (36:42.353)
like a beginning, a middle section and an end section, which is clearly defined. So when we talk about great stories and we talk about great stories for companies or brands, it’s about thinking about what is the story about, you know, what is the story of the company, what makes them unique. So sometimes technology itself doesn’t have a USB. The story of the company and the product put together can be a total USB.
Raj Goodman Anand (37:10.517)
I mean, I just give example of Tom shoes, for example, that Tom shoes gives away shoes to people who don’t have shoes to wear in developing countries when you buy something in the other country. I mean, that’s a great example of a great story. But to make sure that that story is actually resonating with people, people need to think about how do you create a good story and having those those storytelling.
Raj Goodman Anand (37:37.369)
guidelines available, content guidelines available, having a clear value system available, having understanding what to say at each time to be consistent. So everyone who tells the story, this is like the same way as the founder does or as the management does. And I think that’s a very important part of telling good stories is to be consistent and to make sure that they actually align really well because otherwise, it will be all over the place. Actually, it won’t help the company’s story itself.
Yeah, do you think every founder is a great storyteller? Or they need to be? I think they need to be. But do you think everybody is a great storyteller?
Raj Goodman Anand (38:15.417)
No, but it’s not a problem because you can learn that skill. I don’t think like storytelling, founders make great storytellers because they have a passion to do something. They’re in this game because they believe in something very strong. And that passion is generally very obvious when you speak with them. So by default, maybe they’re not great storytellers by training.
Or it can be.
Raj Goodman Anand (38:42.645)
but they can build that skill, they can build that muscle.
Got it. Do you guys train founders to be a great storyteller?
Raj Goodman Anand (38:53.573)
In a company, we don’t. We typically work with B2B businesses, basically. But do we help unravel storytelling? Yes, we do. We do a lot of strategy work with customers. And part of that is to make a boring subject interesting by having a story behind it. Everything we ever create, content-wise, has a story behind it. So make sure that this follows great principles of storytelling.
Raj Goodman Anand (39:23.105)
for white papers, ebooks, videos, whatever you might do because people like stories. That’s how, you know, the primitive man used to like go out and consume information. This is why all the epics are so epic because people love to hear stories and get inspired by it.
Yeah, I think so most of our audience is young entrepreneurs, first time entrepreneurs, people who are like, you know, getting into that particular space. And that’s the whole idea. Like the reason of starting this whole podcast is one because I like meeting new people, doing the thing that I actually love. But the second is I could use something like that. You know, six years ago, me could definitely use something like that. Because at that point in time, the whole starting a company thing was like,
You just need to work like 18 hours a day, and you just need to understand that you have to do everything, like in perpetuity or something like that. And then you learn, no, this is wrong, this is wrong. So you need to build storytelling, you need to be good at sales, you need to be good at hiring. So these are all the other skills that comes, other than just building any single thing, right? So coming back to content, so one thing that I, from…
very selfish reason wanted to ask you because you’re in that space. A couple of years ago or maybe more years ago or something like that, the short form content was introduced. We can talk about the ADHD and whatnot, but the short form content just came into existence and everybody just like, the attention span from an hour, two hours video drop to maybe under a minute or something like that. So what’s your take? Where do you stand on this entire?
short form, long form, you know, content debate.
Raj Goodman Anand (41:15.473)
Yeah, that’s a great question. As I was saying earlier,
Raj Goodman Anand (41:22.893)
If you look at marketing, it’s an ever-changing field. The principles have been the same. There is a sort of a movement towards short span of attention. This is something that’s happening to us. I mean, one of the biggest uses of chatGPT is to summarize things. Well, why is that? Because we can’t be asked to read the whole bloody email or the whole documentary.
Raj Goodman Anand (41:52.837)
so we can understand what’s going on. I think it’s a probably multiple things which are happening here. One is people are just pressed for time in general. There’s a lot of things happening. Number two is there is a, you know, we are almost trained or conditioned to get snackable type of content now, which was not available in the past. I mean, back in the day, you know, for television,
Raj Goodman Anand (42:22.657)
content you could consume, that was it. So now that we have the option, we prefer the shortcut way to like to see things. And I mean, if you look at marketing, a lot of time when marketers tell you is, do what the client wants. So the client wants likeable content, he was likeable content. And in that principle, yes, there is a drive towards, short form videos, summarize content.
Raj Goodman Anand (42:52.929)
Saying that, when you’re looking at especially B2B marketing, as I mentioned before, content is a gift you’re giving to your customers to actually train them or help them educate them. Sometimes short-form content is not good enough for that knowledge transfer or that education part. And so you need to do long-form content. And long-form content also needs to be more thorough as well.
Raj Goodman Anand (43:22.881)
So even if now if you’re looking to do something which is groundbreaking, you have to still read these large research papers, for example. There is no short way of doing it. So and if you think about it, that’s why Google, there is a bare minimum keyword count that Google considers as a good practice to rank better on search engine. So there is still a reason to do long form content.
Raj Goodman Anand (43:50.881)
because it actually does educate people better and that’s what people need when they come to your content.
Okay, how do you create a great quality content? Like what’s the essence of creating a great content?
Raj Goodman Anand (44:05.501)
I think great content is only created when someone can actually add real value to the person. It should be clear, concise, basically adding a lot of value. And how do you add value? Well, as it happens, and no surprises there, you need people who understand the subject really well, has a unique perspective on it, has something just really unique about their thinking or their knowledge or their insights. That’s what great content looks like. And this is why with
Raj Goodman Anand (44:35.177)
you know, suddenly this, I mean, obviously we are in the era of AI or LLM’s large language models, GPTs, chat GPTs coming into play and there’s BARD and there’s everybody else coming into play. And there’s a very big worry by companies that listen, that they’ll make us totally irrelevant, especially with like a lot of agencies. But the reality is, you know, as
Raj Goodman Anand (45:02.741)
technology getting better with AI to generate content, AI is getting smarter to pick up what’s thought leadership content. I mean, just try this out, right? Generate content using chatGPT, and then feed that into chatGPT and get asked to give it a score, and then create something very unique, thought leadership content, which is created by real human beings, high value, maybe there’s a bit of AI involved, but mainly the bulk of it is done by human beings who understand that subject matter and feed that into it, and asked to give it score.
Raj Goodman Anand (45:32.473)
out of 10 or a percentage, and you’ll see that the that unique content scores better. That’s actually giving you a score. Imagine what happens within Google or Bing. This is similar. They have these transformers that are actually analyzing the content type and seeing how good or bad it is. So, probably some content is always going to win, but there’s AI or there’s no AI. It’s a bit like, you know,
Raj Goodman Anand (45:57.697)
when the machines came into play, there was a time when they were doing all hand knitting, for example. But still today, you know, handmade shoes, handmade clothes are still valued much higher than machine-based stuff, right? It’s the same sort of analogy there.
Okay, yeah. So this like very naive sort of question, so yeah, because I’m not as much into the marketing space, especially SEO game and stuff like that. So just wanted to know, all these people, and there’s like this whole bunch of things that are created outside just ChatGPT, so ChatGPT is probably like what people are talking about, but I think there’s a couple of programs called Right Sonic, or this and that, so they were.
based on the same open AIs, APIs, or whatever. And people are creating a lot of content there. So for example, just throwing numbers here, a 2,000 word blog post would need, I don’t know, a week for a good writer to write because they need to research, they need to add value to it, they need to add unique perspective, all of that stuff. AI can write that in one minute, two minutes maximum, depending upon the word count and all of that stuff.
So yeah, totally agree on the quality standpoint. But do you think people creating these content, and because there’s the availability and the abundance of that, and somebody posts that content on their website, they have a higher chance of getting ranked up in Google? Or what do you think Google is going to do, or what they are doing, because you’re in this space, in order to mitigate that?
Raj Goodman Anand (47:36.885)
Yeah, it’s actually a very fair question. Yeah, in the short term, there are lots and lots of videos and TikToks and tweets talking about how they game the system by launching 10,000 articles by AI and they’re ranked number one. Now, that for me is a flash in the pan. It is not, it’s a short term thing.
Raj Goodman Anand (48:06.293)
where things work that way. I mean, Google is famous to kind of change the algorithm all the time and the scoring criteria. It takes literally a flick of a switch from there and then suddenly the website is ranked differently. There is no incentive, if we think about it from the point of view of AI, to rank remixed content using other AIs, for example.
Raj Goodman Anand (48:35.645)
Because if you think about AI, AI is real. If you think of it like a cookie monster, cookie monsters like to have cookies. AI monster likes to have new information that’s unique. They can learn from it and become smarter. There’s no incentive for AI to look at existing content remixed and feed that in. It needs perspectives on things. So yes, there is a case of sudden sp-
Raj Goodman Anand (49:04.917)
bike in like agent or content ranking really well. It’s a matter of time before that thing switches again. And it’s going to be again, talk leadership and quality. There is no other way. There is no other way because for, for, for Aaron, for, you know, I mean, look, look around us. Let’s forget about content for now. Let’s look at, for example, you know, high quality products you can buy. Bag, shirt, shoes, for example, people still value quality and they still value. They were happy to pay extra money.
Raj Goodman Anand (49:34.305)
to buy handmade stuff than to go and buy generic mass produced stuff. And there’s a difference in that, right? There’s a difference in people’s perception. At the end of the day, we are human beings. We have a bias towards talking to other human beings, buying stuff from other human beings. That’s just never going to change. And so I’m not worried about this whole flushing the pan, like AI moment where they suddenly get
Raj Goodman Anand (50:03.605)
ranked really high because it’s going to fall for sure.
Okay, so you think that’s a bubble that people are living in. It’s gonna burst relatively sooner.
Raj Goodman Anand (50:14.361)
Again, it’s logical. It’s just logic, right? I mean, no one knows the future. No one knows the future. But if I was to look at a crystal ball, I’ll say that that’s a short-term thing, a short-termism in that mindset. I think there’s no replacement for high quality content. There’s just none.
Yeah, it’s logical. Yeah.
Yeah. From an insider perspective, what do you think Google must be thinking with all these people generating these AI-based content and just putting it online, kind of tricking their whole algorithm, so to speak? Because as far as I know, SEO and the search engine optimizer, that’s a huge industry. I don’t know, it’s worth $80 billion or whatever. So they’re not going to let it go just away, just like, yeah, OK, somebody just came up with an AI thing, and yeah. We’re done with.
100 billion or whatever. So what do you think they must be thinking? I’m sure they are figuring out what’s the right way to monitor, that’s a human content, that’s an AI content and probably not gonna rank that. So what do you think about that?
Raj Goodman Anand (51:18.793)
Yeah, so I mean, I think this was the question I would say, check out this website called gpt0.com, where they can accurately tell you which content is done by AI, AI plus humans, Baud, chatgpt3, chatgpt4, and give you some really, really clear indications and markings of what’s done. Now, this is just a company doing it, right? Imagine Google’s budget, for example, what they’re spending on the intersection of AI.
Raj Goodman Anand (51:49.042)
I think what’s interesting is that Google understands what’s AI, what’s not AI. It gets it. They probably don’t talk about it openly, but they get it. And it’s a matter of time. I think at this point in time, there is a lot of changes happening, and it’s only fair that people are observing what’s going on. But
Raj Goodman Anand (52:14.617)
always looking at content and marketing quality wins over quantity. It’s almost always the case. And with AI, if the quality is not focused on, I mean, there’s no thing wrong with using AI for generating content, but if the majority of the piece is not done to add value for the end user,
Raj Goodman Anand (52:42.045)
and to really create something which is unique and novel, then it defeats the purpose of content in the first place. And if you look at Google’s algorithm or just look at any search engine, they are mimicking the real-life scenario in the form of algorithms. So what’s PR rankings they had before? It’s the ranking of what website is the most talked about, for example, was linked to, for example.
Raj Goodman Anand (53:12.161)
what has the most content, the most knowledgeable information. That is what is mimicking. So keeping that in mind, I don’t see a scenario where Google will not penalize mass spammers using sort of AI content, for example.
Yeah, that’s a good thought. Coming back to startups and all of that thing, so how many startups did you build? Like three, I think? Three or four, yeah, three. So what were those all about? Like every company, what did you do? What did you exit them? What happened to all of them?
Raj Goodman Anand (53:44.894)
Raj Goodman Anand (53:57.833)
Yeah, so the question you asked me was like, what happened to the startup? So I built two startups. The obviously the last one is obviously Goodman London is nine years old now. I set up a social media software company called quick, which it was a big learning opportunity for me. I learned a lot from it. But I don’t think that was a success commercially that much. Then my second startup was a entertainment based website.
Raj Goodman Anand (00:49.572)
So the first was a treat party company, which became the UK’s largest hen party company. And yeah, I then did an exit in that company. It was actually a good sale for me. So I’ve taken one company from zero to acquisition. The first one was a learning curve and this one, hopefully to take it to IPO.
Yeah, that’s great. All right, so Raj, we have a bit of a ritual on the podcast. So what we do is, and since that’s like since episode one, so what we do is we ask all our guests a question for our next guest without knowing who the next guest is gonna be. So obviously we have a question for you. And after that, also gonna ask you a question, which obviously not gonna be part of the recording, but we’re gonna ask or save it for our next guest, okay?
So the question that the previous guest left for you without knowing who you are, if you could upload yourself as an AI, what kind of AI capabilities would you have?
Raj Anand (01:59.14)
It’s actually a really good question.
Raj Anand (02:04.484)
I think if I was to put myself as an AI, I probably would be an AI which would focus on optimizing for happiness. This is something that I do a lot after that big incident in my life. I optimize for happiness. I optimize, you know, some people optimize for more cash. Some people optimize for, you know, being stronger.
Raj Anand (02:33.32)
I optimize for being happier. So I try to do things in my life which will make me happy and fulfilled. And so if I was an AI, I would certainly use somebody, an AI, to optimize people’s lives as an AI tool to make the life better.
How do you make yourself more happy?
Raj Goodman Anand (02:52.928)
So I used to be a very chubby kid, chubby young adult. I was about 110 kilograms and now I’m about 76. So I do enjoy my, you know, making sure that I do a bit of like working out, you know, stay healthy. I eat healthy. I love, I enjoy, actually I really enjoy cuisines. I travel the world to try different cuisines.
Raj Anand (03:20.324)
I have a job that I’ve just come back from Japan when I was in Cape Town. So I do a lot of traveling and I actually really enjoy that. It’s good for the soul and enriching with the mind. I’m part of the thing called EO, Entrepreneurs Organization. It’s a premium network of entrepreneurs across the world, 17,500 members across the world. So I’m a part of that. I’m part of that also, volunteer my time.
Raj Anand (03:47.396)
as well after being super busy with everything else. But I think it’s again, pretty good for the soul to give the gift of EO to other entrepreneurs. So that’s some of the things I do. But also like with work-life balance, I make sure that I also spend time. Weekends are for my family. I don’t like to take weekends away for work, for example. So all the things I do, I try to optimize for happiness. I have a lovely team.
Raj Goodman Anand (04:16.612)
or a respect and I want to make their lives happier as well. So that is my sort of giving to my team and to my customers, I guess.
Raj Anand (05:04.996)
Likewise, Mudassir, thank you for making this an opportunity. Good to be here and thanks for all the lovely questions you asked today.
Have a nice one.
Raj Goodman Anand (05:13.04)