Tech-Entrepreneur-on-a-Mission Podcast


How the synergy between AI and marketers can result in revolutionary effects on the businesses

Season 2, Ep. 78

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that’s transforming impact marketers can make in cross-channel marketing scenarios. My guest is Vijay Chittoor, Co-founder and CEO of Blueshift.


Vijay has a wealth of experience in AI, marketing technology and e-commerce domains. He was an early team member and the director of product management at Kosmix which was acquired by Walmart to become WalmartLabs. In 2010 he co-founded Mertado and led it as the CEO for two years until it was acquired by Groupon and became Groupon Goods. This prepared him for his new venture, Blueshift, which he co-founded in 2014.


Vijay is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s MBA Program. He also holds Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.


Blueshift enables B2C marketers to automate segment-of-one marketing on every channel.

They’re on a mission to put AI in the Hands of Every Marketer.


This triggered me, hence I invited Vijay to my podcast. We explore the transformation of digital marketing, and the scaled revenue opportunities that now provides to companies of all sizes. We also discuss how AI is enabling marketers to reclaim their creative and strategic role again, and create a flywheel of value that’s pretty hard to stop once in motion.


Here are some of his quotes:

Every few years a technology matures to a point when non-technical people can start using it, and when that happens that unlocks a lot of enterprise value


What's happening is that you and I, as consumers, we are interacting with all these brands on digital and mobile and social. And when we do that, we are leaving behind 1000 times more data than we used to leave behind 10 years ago.


With all the data we're leaving behind marketers, and brands now for the first time have a way of understanding us as the dynamic individuals that we've always been.

Doing that is exciting, but it's also challenging, because dealing with thousand times more data, dealing with 10 to 15 times more channels, that is very difficult for marketers.


Obviously, humans are not best equipped to operate at that scale. Humans are created for guiding how the engagement should be driven, how that engagement should be humanized. Where the machine can really come in is to help the human marketer become excellent at that scale of decision making and make each decision truly intelligent.

That's what we do with the Blueshift platform.


During this interview, you will learn three things:

  1. How thinking differently about key customer challenges allows you to build solutions that have transformative impact because of their simplicity.
  2. That AI alone is not the solution – the synergy really kicks in when humans and AI systems are working well together and even impress the customers’ customers
  3. That to deliver remarkable solutions you have to stay true to your vision – no matter how enticing the short term opportunity is.



More Episodes


How leveraging technology can help to eliminate bad customer support experiences from the world

Season 4, Ep. 154
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to engage your support team and empower them to do their best work. My guest is Justin Winter, Co-founder and CEO of Boostopia.He has been an advisor to over a dozen companies and acted in a consulting capacity with over 150+ consumer brands and technology companies across areas of growth, retention, product, and operations.Justin studied for his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.In 2010 he co-founded Diamond Candles, the fastest growing and largest onlinehome fragrance brand in the world. He lead the company as the CEO for 5 years.In that process he became frustrated with the solutions available to him to deliver customer support that his customers loved. So he decided to set out to assemble a team to lead to build what he wish he would have had during his tenure there.This became the spark that started Boostopia of which Justin is the the Co-founder and CEO. Boostopia is a technology company that helps B2C companies decrease the number of tickets they get, discover ways to efficiently manage support issues, and transform support into a new revenue generating channel.This inspired me, and hence I invited Justin to my podcast. We explore why bad customer support still exists and why the current approach of focusing on the support agent is not enough to solve it. We also discuss the opportunities to turn the support department from a cost-centre into a profit-centre, and the opportunity to increase the wage of support team members by a mere 50% as a consequence of that.Here are some of his quotes:We fundamentally believe that the way to create better customer experiences isn't by getting the latest and greatest fancy ticketing system. It's really about engaging your support team that you have and empowering them to do their best work.Why does customer support, from our perspective as a consumer, why is it so horrible? We all hate talking to customer support. We have lots of frustrating experiences. So, we fundamentally believe that the reason why bad customer support still exists. It's not because companies don't know that that's happening. It's because they don't have an underlying attribution model for understanding how those bad experiences lead to them making less money.During this interview, you will learn four things:How to spark momentum by overwhelming your users with opportunity i.e. give them a clear picture of the value they are creating with your productHow to find balance in your investment between ‘selling what you got’ versus making ‘the next big thing.’Why companies that bet on product-led growth are proportionally better rewarded than those that are sales led.Why you’d drive more value for your customers by instead of helping them be more efficient, help them eliminate the underlying problem all together.For more information about the guest from this week:Justin WinterWebsite Boostopia

Mastering the art of driving a 3-4x uplift of companies coming to your website without dramatically transforming cost

Season 4, Ep. 153
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help marketers to build the meaningful relationships with the right companies. My guest is Riaz Kanani, Founder and CEO of Radiate B2B.Riaz is a mix of marketer, technologist and entrepreneur who worked with cutting edge technologies throughout his career, whether it be the nascent flash/java video space in the early 2000s to combining email, mobile and social media marketing technologies in 2008. Throughout it all, he’s used data as the backbone behind these technologies to better understand how people behave and use these new approaches. In that journey he founded 6 companies and worked for IBM, Lyris, Alchemy Worx and Profusion. He’s also a mentor at Techstars.Today he’s helping to build a better way to do B2B Marketing that increases both average contract values and the speed of closing contracts.And this resonated with me, and hence I invited Riaz to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in marketing automation and why the answer is in choosing a different approach, not in more tools.We also discuss what it takes to succeed in B2B software, and what decisions and mindsets are fundamental to stand out.Here are some of his quotes:It became really clear when talking to those companies that we've become in the b2b or business marketing space, very reliant on content and events to drive lead acquisition, nurturing, email marketing obviously as well. Basically, we were all reliant on exactly the same things, and b2b marketing would become homogenous.And the only way to stand out was really to be doing better creative. And I think that's a marketer’s worst nightmare.I felt that there had to be a better way.The more I looked at it, the more I realized that if you were building a marketing automation company today, you wouldn't build a platform that looked anything like the marketing automation platforms that exist today.During this interview, you will learn four things:That there’s no nice handbook that tells you exactly what’s going to happen with your software business: so, to succeed it’s your duty to hire people that can think on their feetWhy your marketing will become exponentially better if you start thinking about the world as being a list of companies that you build relationships withHow defensible differentiation can be created by blending a strong product with an irresistible business model.That your decision how to position yourselves in a space can create a significant problem around your messagingFor more information about the guest from this week:Riaz KananiWebsite Radiate B2B

The art of creating technology that makes users feel good about themselves

Season 4, Ep. 152
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to radically evolve the way people search and transact property. My guest is Bobby Bryant, Founder and CEO of Doss.Bobby has been in real estate for 20 years. He began his journey in the mortgage business. In 2008, he took one year off to relentlessly study and understand the collective real estate industry, what happened, and what's to come. That sparked the idea to found DOSS.DOSS is on a mission to develop the best technology to make homeownership in America more affordable.This inspired me, and hence I invited Bobby to be a guest on my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the Real Estate industry when it comes to finding and buying properties. We dig into the opportunity to create a win-win approach i.e. a world where nobody has to lose, and how technology and data has a fundamental roll in realizing this. Finally we discuss what it takes to build a software business people would miss if it was gone.Here are some of his quotes:Every industry in the country has become more automated and economical.If you think about the promise of technology it was to do two things. The promise of technology was to save us time and money. So, in real estate, when you think of all of the technological advancements of today, yet the cost of transact real estate hadn't changed.The biggest issue for a lot of people is the barrier of entry of costs to get into a home. Or a seller who has a million-dollar house and to give away $60,000 of their equity. How can we be in 2020 charging the same fee that we charged in the early 1900s?The real estate industry struggles with a win-win. Why does somebody have to lose in this equation?During this interview, you will learn four things:How a position of advantage can be created if we think about win-win i.e. provide unique value to both parties at the table – not just one.Why instead of talking like a rocket scientist you should soften your message and talk like a truck driverWhy the companies of the future are going to be the companies that figure out how to make people feel good, and feel good about themselvesWhy you have to be prepared to pay attention for continuous evolution.For more information about the guest from this week:Bobby BryanWebsite Doss