People, First: Co-founding at super{set} (The {Closed} Session Episode 3.3)

23 min readJun 13, 2022
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What does it mean to be a super{set} co-founder and who do we look for? Why is the Head of Product the first co-founder we bring on board?

Tom and Vivek share what they look for in a Head of Product co-founder and why that is the first hire they make when a new company is out of the gate at super{set}. They are then joined by Pankaj Rajan, co-founder at MarkovML, for a Q&A on his background, why he joined MarkovML, and his experience at super{set} so far.

Everything we do, every company we build is based on a philosophy of “People, Product, Customers” — in that order. We mean it: people first. We don’t build alone. At every company we start, we do it alongside a talented product-oriented co-founder whom we recruit to join us. Our success is predicated on starting with the best outside talent.

Tom and Vivek share what they look for in the very first hire for every super{set} company: a Head of Product Co-founder with grit, humility, organized thinking, and clock speed. They discuss why the Head of Product is the first hire and their views on the Product Manager role and discipline in the context of their decades of experience in Silicon Valley. Finally, Pankaj Rajan joins for a Q&A — about where he was before super{set}, his previous startup scar tissue, what he is doing at MarkovML (super{set}’s new MLOps company), and how his experience as a super{set} co-founder has been so far.

Learn more about how we at super{set} found and fund data-driven companies at

Transcript — Season 3 Episode 3

Voice over: Welcome to The Closed Session, How To Get Paid In Silicon Valley, with your host, Tom Chavez and Vivek Vaidya.

Tom Chavez: Welcome, everybody, to the third episode of season three of The Closed Session. My name is Tom.

Vivek Vaidya: And I’m Vivek Vaidya.

What Makes A Great Co-founder

Tom: We are going to pick up, in a way, where we left off. In the last episode, we were talking about this craftsmanship not critique approach that we have to collaborative company building. We’ve said it’s all about people, so in this session, we want to get into the guts of what it makes to be a great co-founder.

Vivek: That’s right. We’re going to tell potential co-founders what we’re looking for and describe how our craft not critique approach results in collaborative company building.

Tom: So everybody in Silicon Valley is talking a lot about mentorship and coaching, it’s a buzzy thing, everybody has coaches, which is great. Coaching isn’t the whole enchilada.

Vivek: That’s right.

Tom: You got to do, right?

Vivek: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Tom: So, the approach that we have in mind over here is one where we lock arms with co-founders. And of course, there is learning by doing, but it’s all about getting into the dirt under your fingernails and connecting to the grist of company building.

Vivek: That’s right. And it’s also our commitment to continuous improvement. We don’t claim to have figured everything out. We’re also works-in-progress. So through this process, we’re learning and we want to improve ourselves as well.

Tom: By the way, we’ve said that along the way. We need to learn too. Part of what we just need, from the job, is to show up at work every day, learn some new things, make your brain hurt. We do that in partnership with the co-founders that we’re lucky to work with. In the olden times, there was this idea of an apprentice, right? And maybe, these days people worry about the word, it feels… I don’t know, it depositions the apprentice and-

Vivek: Correct.

Tom: We don’t like caste systems. But the concept was a good one, right?

Vivek: Yeah.

Tom: Because it establishes the idea of tutelage and partnership between somebody who knows some stuff wants to share it with somebody who wants to learn that stuff.

Vivek: Yeah. The core idea over there, or the crux over there, which at least appealed to me, was this idea of partnership. Again, going back to what we just said about continuous improvement, apprenticeship, the way we see it, is a partnership that we create between ourselves and the co-founders that we bring on board.

Tom: That’s right. So in a sense, we’re kind of creating a guild, not cult, it’s a guild, committed to the craft of company building. It’s all about people, and co-founders are fundamental. So, let’s get into it. What are we looking for in the core disposition of a co-founder? You want to maybe give us a quick recap, from the sort of keeping the [crosstalk]-

Vivek: Yeah. So there were four things, right? There’s grit, there’s humility, organized thinking, and clock speed.

  1. Grit
  2. Humility
  3. Organized Thinking
  4. Clock Speed

Vivek: Why these four things? Because we have good reasons for all four, right?


Vivek: Grit, because company building from scratch is not for the meek of spirit, Tom. You know that, right? So we look for co-founders that can show up and can literally take a punch.

Tom: We’ve seen a lot of co-founders, right? Who had what venture capitalists like to call the pedigree, that they have the training and the education. They’re show horses, they trot them out for the stables. They look great, right? And yet, when the first curve balls or their first kicks to the gut happen in company building, they bravely turn their tails and flee.

Vivek: Yeah.

Tom: You need grit. You need to be able to take a punch. You need able to stick with it.


Vivek: And then, related to that is humility, right? Startups are built on strong convictions and loosely held opinions, right? So, you need to be humble about the fact that you don’t know everything.

Tom: So another failure mode we’ve seen, right? The very reason we focus on these things is because we’ve seen the perils of what happens when you don’t have these qualities.

Vivek: Correct.

Tom: Co-founders who show up, too cocky, too convinced, too certain. It’s always a path to perdition.

Vivek: It is. We’ve talked about the certainty to knowledge ratio in the past, right? We’re looking for people who have really low certainty to knowledge ratios, right?

Tom: That’s right.

Vivek: So…

Organized Thinking

Tom: Organized thinking. What’s that about?

Vivek: I think, look, there are a lot of people who have the technical chops perhaps to build products, right? But can they organize all of that complicated thinking into simple concepts-

Tom: That’s right.

Vivek: That can be communicated up and down the stack, left to right, to various stakeholders? That’s what we mean by organized thinking.

Tom: Right. There are a lot of great technicians who are virtuosic in certain swim lanes where they reside. What we have in mind here with organized thinking is the ability to kind of come up a level, maybe go to the balcony, and see the whole sweep, connect the pieces of the solution, because a lot of this is about systems of systems in fact, when we’re building our systems of systems. So you need somebody who can kind of taxonomize the elements of the total solution, think clearly about the whole thing while still going deep when they need to.

Vivek: That’s right. We talk about dot connecting, right? Dot connecting as a learnable skill. It’s perhaps not teachable, but it is learnable. And that’s what we mean by organized thinking.

Clock Speed

Tom: Yeah. And the final one is clock speed. And here, we’re going to be careful, right? This is a subject for a separate podcast, the way people dwell on matters of IQ and standardized testing, and there’s a lot of clever test takers out there, god bless them. So we’re not going to get crazy about this stuff, but there is an element to this about clock speed which is about just keeping up and learning fast and being able to process information and connect those dots you talked about-

Vivek: Correct.

Tom: At the speed of light.

Vivek: Yeah. I think that’s really it, right? It’s the ability to process information as quickly as possible to figure out what’s going on and then figure out the implications of what the information is presented means, right?

Tom: Right.

Vivek: That doesn’t necessarily require high test scores, as you’re pointing out, but you do need the ability to process things at a certain clip.

Why We Hire Head of Product First

Tom: That’s right. So those are the bread crumbs we talked about in a prior podcast, and that’s the sort of table setting for what we want to talk about now when we get into the product co-founder. Let’s dwell on this now. So, the first hire we make when we’re standing up a new company is a product co-founder. Why do we do it that way, Vivek?

Vivek: Because the company formation thesis we have at super{set} is all about starting with the product, right? What are we going to build? What problems are we trying to solve? And more importantly, how do we connect all of those problems and solutions into a broader product strategy? Because we want to create large, ambitious visions that we want to execute on.

Tom: That’s right. So look, we’ve been at this for a while and I think it’s safe to say 20, 25 years ago, product wasn’t necessarily a thing. In the 90s when you were starting a company, right? It was somebody with an idea, and then frequently, venture capitalists would bring in a VP of engineering-

Vivek: Correct.

Tom: To “Code it up,” right?

Vivek: Yeah.

Tom: I suggest that sort of in the early 2000s, there was this tilt that suddenly happened where people realized, “Wait a minute. Between the engineers who are coding the thing and the person with the idea or the vision who’s beating the drums and trying to get people to do it, there’s this important middle ground that is really the realm of great product.” Right?

Vivek: Yep.

Tom: Google, we’ve got to have a quick moment of appreciation for them, they launched this APM, Associate-

Vivek: Product Management, yeah.

Tom: Product Management function, and it became a discipline, right? That Google created. I think a lot of companies followed it. Certainly from my own vantage point, it’s clear that there’s this appreciation now for how do you explain, see the whole product, but in an analytic way? It’s not a product marketing, hand wavy thing. It’s an engineering undertaking, but it’s not necessarily encumbered by all of the technical details on-

Vivek: Correct.

Tom: How you’re going to code it up.

Vivek: Correct. And we’ll cover this in detail in another podcast, but what we’re talking about here is there’s something in the middle which is in between the product marketing narrative around what the company does, et cetera, and the Jira tickets that need to be filed to actually build the product. What sits in the middle?

Tom: Right, [crosstalk]-

Vivek: That’s what we mean by product management.

Tom: Now, you’re taking me to a thing. So let’s pick that up, because those Jira tickets and the catalog of all of the features and the things that are broken, it matters, and a good product leader needs to be willing to get into the nuts and bolts of that. The challenge that we see is that there are a lot of folks out there, who carry them, who want to be product people. They carry themselves with that idea, they put it on their resume, and we’ve seen a lot of these folks come in.

Vivek: Yes, we have.

Tom: They’re feature function loggers, right?

Vivek: Yep.

Tom: They catalog all of these things and they keep a list. What’s problematic with just that? If that’s the whole thing, what’s the problem there?

Vivek: You miss the forest for the trees, right?

Tom: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Vivek: And so, we want our product leaders to be strategists and empaths, right? You really need to be empathetic towards the customers for whom you’re solving these problems, right?

Tom: Right.

Vivek: And you need to be able to connect it all together in a cohesive product strategy. I think that’s what these feature loggers oftentimes miss out is that, “Oh yeah, these 10 things need to be done.” Why? How do they connect to a broader story? What’s the overall broader strategic narrative that we’re taking to market? They miss out on that.

Tom: We’ve touched on this briefly in our prior podcast, but we have this discipline that we adhere to around typically three stages for a company’s build out, and it’s all product centric, right?

Vivek: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Tom: So for example, Ketch, the data privacy security company, three stages, comply, control, secure, in that order. That’s the build-out. It’s the narrative, it’s the positioning and posture of the company, it defines everything that we do with customers, and of course, it lays out the-

Vivek: The groundwork, yeah.

Tom: Product strategy, right? Now, when we do that, to your point about how features and functions and logs of tickets and so on aren’t enough, you have to establish sort of the post conditions of stage one, right? As the preconditions for-

Vivek: Stage two.

Tom: Stage two. So, there you have it. The product strategists is seeing that whole suite, right? And they’re laying it out in a blueprint, ideally defined at the founding of the company.

Vivek: At the founding of the company. And I think this is the one kind of big thing we learned from our own experience building Krux is that we crafted that product strategy while we were sitting at your kitchen table many years ago. It really helped us. And I think that’s one discipline where we’re actually pretty non-negotiable about in the company build-outs that we’re carrying out at Superset.

Tom: Now, to build a little suspense, because we’re going to have a special guest come in here in a minute-

Vivek: We are.

Tom: And we just had a very serious jam session with him and other members of our team in this company. We’re looking at that three stage model, and there’s an element to the third stage where we don’t know exactly-

Vivek: How we’re going to get there.

Tom: How it plays out. We don’t know point-to-point and that’s okay, right? Because we have conviction that if we’re laying out those initial steps using this organized thinking approach, right? You’re going to have the sort of flywheel effect where the company, as a learning organism, is figuring out how to get to those endpoints.

Vivek: That’s exactly right.

Tom: Right?

Vivek: Yeah.

Tom: And we’re very comfortable and zen-like about it. You can be a little cocky, right? In stage three. In fact, if you’re not being just a little bit grandiose, you’re not doing it right.

Vivek: Correct. By definition, you have to be grandiose. And by definition, there has to be more uncertainty the further you’re looking out on the horizon because you have more information about stage one right now, right? And what you learn in stage one will inform stage two, but you still need to make those bets-

Tom: That’s right.

Vivek: As to where are we going to go? And that’s what the strategy is all about.

Tom: 100%. So, I said we’re going to build a little suspense here and have our product co-founder come on in here. We want to interview our special guest, Elvis is in the building. Give us a second. We’re going to reset. We’ll be right back.

Vivek: We’ll be right back.

Pankaj Rajan, Co-founder: MarkovML

Tom: We are back. I told you we were going to take a little break, reset, we had a special guest, Elvis was in the building. Are we here to have him now with us, Vivek?

Vivek: Yeah. And we have Pankaj Rajan with us, who is our co-founder and head of product and engineering at Markov ML. Before joining Markov, Pankaj was at Amazon in the Alexa group. And before that, he was an ML architect at Walmart. Welcome, Pankaj.

Pankaj: Thanks, Vivek and Tom. Pleasure to be here.

Tom: Thanks for being here, Pankaj. Listen, before the break, we were talking about product co-founders. You are our product co-founder at a new company called Markov ML. We’re really excited about it. We were talking about what it takes to be a great product co-founder, and one of the questions that frequently comes up now in this context is, well, what about industry expertise, right? And you kind of fit a very well understood model where you come to this undertaking and you have so much experience in this domain. Can you tell us a little bit about how you accumulated that experience and how does it become relevant to what we’re building out at Markov?

Pankaj: Mm-hmm (affirmative). The experience started off mostly because of passion, right? You have to be passionate about something and just do it because you like doing that. So I started doing machine learning when I was in college, 2002. Was fascinated by a robot landing on Mars, how an autonomous robot would work millions of miles away from here. Got fascinated about image processing in general, and spent almost all my undergrad year learning about maths and machine learning in different forms. Sometimes, you don’t understand what’s happening. It was way beyond my expertise at that time. But then, you have to persevere, you have to learn. Did go to some good ML schools, learned more about machine learning, ended up in the US.

Tom: Arguably, at a time when machine learning wasn’t even necessarily a term of art.

Pankaj: Yeah, machine learning was not the term of art. We used to call it soft computing at that point of time. You had to just assign a label to it like what you’re doing. And it was artificial neural networks, now deep learning, which was kind of… The name just went away.

Tom: That’s right.

Vivek: Yeah. As we were saying, you’ve been in Amazon and you’ve been at Walmart working on complex machine learning problems and products, right? How are those roles different from what you’re doing at Markov now?

Pankaj: At a high level, big companies like Walmart and Amazon, they are both huge companies, and there are pros and cons. The thing is that most of the improvements there are incremental improvements. Even though they may be looked at as innovations, but they are incremental improvements. And then, the entire focus is focused on what you can do within the constraints of these big companies, their revenue model, their messaging, what they want to accomplish. And even if you fail there, it’s okay. I mean, you may not get a hike, you may learn something, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s a blip.

Pankaj: Startup is different because A, you really need to have a point of view, the way you want the world to look like, right? A lot of times, you don’t know that. You just have a hypothesis, and every time you have to go and negate that hypothesis. And you have to be very deliberate about it, because it kind of hurts your ego, that this is the world I want to see, but it’s not happening. It’s not happening because. That’s very important. And when you know the because, then you have to go and critique it and see how can it evolve into A, something you’re passionate about, but more importantly, is it a problem? Does it solve a problem that your customers will pay for? And before they pay, do they love it? They won’t pay for something that they don’t love.

Tom: Before you joined us, Vivek talked about great product leadership as strategy plus empathy, right?

Pankaj: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Tom: And so, what I hear you getting to is this question of, well, how do I empathize with the needs of my users, the people who are going to adopt this technology? It’s a trap, right?

Pankaj: Yup.

Tom: That I think great techies frequently fall into. “Uh, customers, use cases, blah, blah, blah. Who cares?” No, that’s the good stuff. And you can’t really be great at that as a product leader, unless you’re constantly, in your mind’s eye at least, empathizing with the end users of the technology while you’re down here at nine decimal points grappling with an extremely technical issue.

Pankaj: Yep. And I think the biggest distinction is also understanding difference between want and needs. If you go and ask customer what they want, they’re going to tell you the moon, and that’s good. By the time you build this moon, they want something new.

Tom: Right.

Pankaj: So, you always have to understand what they need. And as a techie, you always fell into this trap of what they want versus what they need.

Tom: Right.

Pankaj: I mean, there’s a subtle difference between the two.

Tom: Hey, so we’re talking a lot about the big companies, Amazon and Walmart, but before Walmart, you were in a startup, right? And forgive me, I forget the chronology, not quite right, but let’s talk about the startup because you’ve got [crosstalk]. Talk about that startup experience. What’s similar between that and what you’re doing now? What’s different?

Pankaj: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So before Walmart, I was in two startups. Both were legendary machine learning startups, constantly coming in top 10 AI companies in the world. And I’m really proud to be there. Learned a lot from some of the amazing mentors that I got like [Arjit] and Ashutosh.

Tom: Shout out to them.

Pankaj: Yeah. I mean, they’re great people. So the experience is when you join a company as an early employee, the focus is to enable founder’s vision, right? You can compliment it, but at the end of the day, it’s founder’s vision. And you learn a lot like how founders think, how to create a business out of a technology problem. So both of these companies are solving really hard problems, which are unsupervised learning and smart homes. Not an easy problem.

Tom: Right.

Pankaj: Very hard problems. But what is it mean? So, how can you build technology that solves real problem? So, that was my biggest learning at these two places and especially, working close with these people. Walmart was a whole different experience, because now, you’re taking that experience into a big giant company and you’re trying change, which is hard. But these experiences helped me to make that change at a Walmart scale. And the credit goes to my bosses as well, building that trust and enabling that. But after having aggregated all this experience, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, right?

Pankaj: This is a something you just know that you want. It’s not something somebody tells you and you become an entrepreneur. It’s like you inherently, subconsciously, want to do something. An entrepreneur is not about making money. It’s not about being a CEO or a CTO or any of these titles. It’s about creating something when nothing exists. And I always had that urge. And so, I decided to start a company. And that’s where the learning part comes in. Because when you are in this cocoon, in the startups when you are in, lot of things are kind of sorted out. In big companies, even though they are incremental improvements, there’s still the safety cushion. You think, okay, you build technology, it will sell.

Tom: Right.

Pankaj: And that was the biggest learning, going and doing my own startup, it’s understanding, “Hey, this is what I wanted.” I wanted to shape the world view towards the technology. World needs solutions to the problems. So it took me two, three years to understand. But we build great products. We build great teams. We were able to reach a point where there was a problem that customers were willing to pay for. But then, there’s also one thing that you have to realize is there’s a product market fit and there is a problem founder fit. I realized the founder product fit was not there. And the COVID came which was, okay, this is the time to take a break and plan something new.

Tom: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Vivek: So let’s talk about that something new, right?

Pankaj: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Vivek: We’ve been working together for almost a year now actually. It’ll be a year in April. Before you joined us, we talked about the process that we used to kind of collaborate with our co-founders and how this model of apprenticeship exists, this idea of guild that we have, right? And we talked about some of the frameworks and techniques we use over there. So we just had recently, right? A few weeks ago, we had a whiteboard session where we talked about the product strategy and company strategy for Markov. And there were some debates and there were some things, that were not clear to us, that became clear to us. So, can you describe how that process was from your perspective? What did you learn and how that process kind of has helped you with your experience at Superset?

Pankaj: Mm-hmm (affirmative), definitely. I mean, people who know me, Tom and Vivek especially, you know I like debates. It’s not about proving a point. It’s about learning about a point of view. And these debates mostly have been around that. You have to come up with an open mind, you have to be vulnerable, and you have to be open for critique. But at the same time, you don’t have to be afraid of presenting a point of view.

Tom: That’s right.

Pankaj: And you have to be very direct and blunt about it. But it’s about the problem, it’s about the debate, the topic that we are having. It’s not about the person, it’s not about anything else, it’s not about the strategy. And I think through those debates, you get clarity of thought. The clarity of thought is very important.

Tom: That’s right.

Pankaj: And the alignment is also very important, how you align with the overall vision. So sometimes, you can always say this thing, right? “Destination can be same, but the paths can be different.” And we had to make sure even the path that we take is kind of aligned, because otherwise, we won’t reach a destination. So as a company, as a team, as a group of co-founders, it’s very important that we communicate the same message. And those debate sessions, those discussions, those whiteboardings are bringing about that… Not consensus, but kind of clarity of vision. And we learn from each other, right?

Tom: That’s right.

Pankaj: I always like when we go into nitty gritty. Vivek and I are talking about the architecture, Tom kind of says, “Okay, I got it.” Now, this is the big picture, right? It kind of condenses the entire message about what is the message that we want to tell to the customers, for the company? Which is, “Okay,” which makes me think. And then, take a step back and, “Oh yeah, that makes sense.”

Tom: No, and I see you, Pankaj, as somebody with sort of calm, steely resolve. When you have your point of view, you put a stake in the ground and you don’t roll over easy, which is great, right? Because he’s a fiery personality. I have some opinions. As you’re pointing out, the good stuff happens when we’re chopping it up, debating it, fire testing it. No one’s getting defensive or worried about whether or not they matter or not, right? We want to get to… Not the truth because for engineers, engineers don’t care about truth. But we want to get to something that works, right?

Pankaj: That’s true.

Tom: And it’s the playing it backwards and forwards and testing all of those assumptions, seeing where they take us, rolling it back, revising our initial conditions. That’s where the hardcore work in product. And it’s not just product strategy, but product blueprinting, right? Because at the end of that session, we really do have… I mean, in some of the earlier stages, right? It’s probably a little more hand wavy. We’re intuiting some things, but we’re not quite sure. Now, we’ve hung at least three or four actually decimal points off that thing after the end of that session.

Vivek: Yeah, absolutely. So just continuing in that vein and perhaps exploring a slightly different aspect of working in the Superset hive as a co-founder with us, what were you most surprised about when you came to Superset?

Pankaj: I think I wasn’t too surprised because we had a lot of conversations with Vivek and Tom. It was not like…

Tom: We dated for a long while.

Pankaj: Yeah. From the point we started having a conversation, from the point I joined, there was several conversations. I knew that I’m getting into a place where I would A, get the right mentorship, B, I’ll get to work with people who really believe in what they say which is very important. For me, two things matter the most. One is trust, and the second part is openness. And these two things were there in Superset. We’re open about what we are doing, what we want to accomplish, and we want to get. And we are also open about, “Hey, it’s not about what we intend to do. It’s not about execution. It’s about building.” There’s difference between execution and building or creation. Creation is a pre-processor of execution. And that’s the creation part is where lot of companies fail because they’re unable to have a consensus on what to create.

Tom: Right.

Pankaj: I think that’s where you need the partners, and that’s what I got at Superset.

Tom: Listen, we also talked, before you joined us, about what we need from the journey and it’s learning and always.

Pankaj: Yes.

Tom: There’s a kind of mentorship by doing, right? But it’s also important to us that you’re teaching us every day of the week. In fact, I’m thinking back to that session. There was a thing with Monte Carlo algorithms from 20 years ago and probabilistically, approximately correct techniques that I was fascinated by. “Oh, wow.” You turf it up. I didn’t know that people are doing that now in the realm of what we call data vital. One example among 1000s where you’re showing up, not just with a strong point of view, but with an awful lot of industry context and knowledge that is immediately relevant to the build-out. That’s the good stuff. It’s exciting.

Vivek: Yeah, absolutely. And now, just to kind of put this in the context of the broader Superset model, for me personally, if I look at five or six companies at Superset, they’re all using different tech stacks-

Tom: Right.

Vivek: For their own very good reasons, right? And so for me, it’s a fascinating, magnificent learning opportunity. Why do you make these decisions and why are you doing this versus that? Well, we used to do things this way, but look, this much has changed. So, it’s been great learning from all of our portfolio companies.

Tom: That’s right.

Vivek: For me personally as well.

Tom: Hey, we’ve talked about trust and openness. So this is a place of trust right here, right now. I got to ask you, who do you like more? Between me and Vivek. And by the way, before you answer, just know it’s a very career limiting thing to give the wrong answer. But who do you like more?

Pankaj: Yeah. It depends-

Tom: Oh.

Pankaj: What I want at that moment.

Vivek: I’m actually very impressed that you waited so long to ask this question.

Tom: I am a paragon of self-regulation.

Pankaj: Yeah.

Vivek: Yeah. Well done, Tom.

Tom: You’re welcome.

Vivek: I’m so proud of you.

Tom: I don’t know. I [crosstalk]-

Vivek: I’m so proud of you.

Pankaj: Yeah. It depends on what I need to get done. And it’s like-

Vivek: So, he’s a politician.

Pankaj: Yeah.

Tom: But great product also requires great persuasion and communication. Did you see how he just did that, ladies and gentleman? He just straddled that line so perfectly.

Vivek: That’s right. And he made it about us, right? Oh, we started giving each other-

Tom: That’s-

Vivek: All sorts of grief about why didn’t you ask the question before and whatnot. Well done, Pankaj.

Pankaj: Yeah.

Tom: Well, listen, as we wrap it up here, it’s really terrific to have you with us. Thank you, Pankaj for coming in and sharing your perspective. We’ve said, “Mentorship is a two-way street,” and that’s a biggie for us. We’re learning, you’re learning, we’re locking arms. By the way, when you talked about the prior experience and now, your fingerprints are all over this thing. It’s not us coming up with something, bringing tablets down the mountain and… No. This thing that we’re building is your thing, right? That’s important to the overall approach. And I think as we roll forward, what I’m also excited about here in this conversation today is we’ve said, “People, product, customers, in that order. People first.”

Vivek: Absolutely. People first. And just to kind of add to what you were saying about mentorship being a two-way street, we also, Tom, you and I, have learned along the way to give space, and to Pankaj’s point, he felt strongly that his startup, establishing the vision, was very important to him. So, he’s had a huge role to play-

Tom: That’s right.

Vivek: In defining the vision for what we’re doing at Markov.

Pankaj: Yep.

Tom: Don’t get a big head, Pankaj, but Pankaj is also kind of creating the gold standard now at super{set}.

Vivek: That’s right. Setting the bar high.

Tom: Yeah, it’s a very high bar. So, thank you for that. Listen, really great to have you with us and to have this conversation about product and people and how we make it work together at Superset. So-

Vivek: That’s right. So thank you, Pankaj.

Pankaj: Glad to be here.

Tom: Thanks to all of you listening. We hope to see you soon in the next episode.

Vivek: All right. Have a good one.

Tom Chavez: Be well.




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