Be Willing To Learn

Be Willing To Learn

Aaron Hsu

Devin Miller

The Inventive Journey

Podcast for Entrepreneurs

12/9/2020

Be Willing To Learn

It does not matter how much you know, but how much you are willing to learn. And I think growth mindset along the way. I have seen even among my business partners, It's really understanding that you are not going to have all the right answers but if you are willing to fight for it then that's what is going to make the whole difference. I just look back on where I was when I first started this. I did not know anything about business, nothing about strategy, and nothing about building products. Just even being able to dive into it and learn that, I know that that was more important at least to me then just trying to make it work in the long run. I think knowing that goal in mind is huge for any entrepreneur going in.

 


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The Inventive Journey

Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.

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it doesn't matter how much you know but how much you're willing to learn and i i think that growth mindset along the way and i've seen it you know even among like my business partners it's it's really understanding that you're not going to have all the right answers but if you're willing to fight for it then that's what's going to make the whole difference and i just look back on where i was when i first started this i didn't know like anything about business nothing about strategy nothing even about building products and just like even being able to dive into it and learn that like i know that that that was more important at least to me than just trying to make it work in the long run and i think knowing that goal in mind is huge for any entrepreneur going in [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that has grown several startups in the seven and eight for big figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where he helped startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks and today we have another great guest on the podcast and it's aaron i think it's shu and uh aaron uh is the founder co-founder and he'll probably correct me if i mess that up of a blurb and blurp is going to be kind of where you can uh share short audio bites and be able to you know discover create and and i think share as their tagline but he's going to share a little bit about the journey they got to the back journey that got to him to where he's at today and so with that much is a minute of an introduction welcome on to the our podcast aaron hey evan how's it going it's going great excited to have you on so i kind of said where you're at today but let's take those few steps backwards is to give us a bit of that backstory where did you you know where did you come from and how did you get to where you're at today oh man i guess like starting back to where i come from born and raised in utah my parents were the ones who you know came across the seas did the whole immigration story and my dad you know grew up running a restaurant and my mom was nice enough to like stay home and take care of us and yeah i guess um the story to wrap around of where blurp started to really come into place was when i was going to college um it was my second to last year of school and there was all this excitement around entrepreneurship building products and for me i i got excited about just the game design and the computer science because my sister was the one who convinced me to get in to the field and once she did it really opened up like my eyes and how creating and sharing products is something that can really you know change the world and i think lerp stemmed out of this idea that we could really take the content and add the same level expression that you know gifts were giving us to our screens and put it back into these other forms that were popping up during the time like airpods voice assistants and so maybe before we jump too much in a blurb if you don't mind let's go back a little bit in your story because i remember we talked a little bit before the podcast one of the things that you originally were going into school you know having come in you know your parents immigrated or migrated into utah and you i think you went to school for computer science is that right you you've always been interested in computers or parts partially because of your parents and wanting to create things is that about right that's true well the funny thing is my parents thought computers were like a waste of time like they had no like education to really understand that tech is the growing field and there was a lot of job stability with that so the traditional stuff that they wanted me to get into was you know being a lawyer a doctor or which you you probably like lawyers a lot you know oh i like to make fun of lawyers and i always you know there's plenty of good lawyer jokes and there's plenty of good lawyers and plenty of terrible ones but yeah go ahead but yeah so it was just always funny i i feel like i had to fight that internally a lot thinking like okay having confidence that this is something that could work out but my sister was there who she took probably the first hit of like yeah i don't need to be a doctor let's try electrical engineering and she was motivating herself with you know finding internships early and getting early in the field but that's where the motivation came from in studying that so you said hey i don't want to be a doctor i don't want to be a lawyer because everybody hates lawyers so you decided to go into more of computers and software so you went and graduated or you went and studied in school and so what and you know were you you know how did it when you so you went through schooling and you graduated now where did you did you start out right out of the shoot with blurp or did you go work for a big business or kind of where did that play into after you graduated earn your degree what was that next phase of your journey yeah so first year while studying computer science i always saw people told me the same advice you know like to learn what you're doing just go out and do it go build things and that's what i started out doing was um seeing how the app store was literally you know able to distribute anyone's software and put it out there learning mobile development was the first thing i got really excited about the first app that we made that was somewhat successful i would say it was really successful but um it was an app of shyla buff and him yelling um at the screen right well we took his audio clips back then and just put into this app and it was exciting because the minute we put this on that we got a hundred thousand downloads within a few weeks and i think that was one of those times where i was like wow you can literally build the software you know in your room and reach a lot of people doing it and i would say that's where the start of the whole creative side came before that i loved film in that sense and you know youtube was always a fun way to create and share content in that way but that was the first insight in tech that i saw so so you have that first insight now walk me through so you have that insight you say no tech can actually have an impact you can actually do something from you know remotely or from your house or from every wherever you're located and have an impact so you fin i assume you finished earning your degree where did you go after you earned your degree did you have this insight and you started your own company or did you go work for a big a big business for a period of time or kind of what was that transition yeah so people always get surprised that they're like oh wow how long have you been working on blur but well i've been working on it for about four years and part of it was because i didn't really take it seriously since the past year and how blurp started getting involved at the beginning was once we made that app we thought okay wow that's cool and then the other thing that surprised us about that was okay the only way to share these audio clips was to you know take a youtube video slice through it and spend all this time you know putting it all in one place and that insight that it wasn't just valuable to me but it was valuable to a lot of other people who want to share that content with something that made me want to work on blurp on the side for a little bit and you know we just kept building it i found a random kid maybe on that so what were you working on blurp on the side so what was your full time or how did you support yourself as you were working on it working on blurp on the side um yes i was still going to school so this was you know second year of school and then i i was lucky and got an internship at a place called panasonic they make cameras super old big company it was way different from other places i've worked but it was my first taste of oh this is what it feels like to walk in the place and there's a lot of cubicles and you just go in and do your own thing sure so so you're interning at panasonic this is your site hustle is that kind of how you're saying you know you kind of had those as well as doing school so now how did you how did that continue to evolve did you graduate and work for panasonic for a few years turn your side hustle into what you're doing today or how did you kind of start to make that transition yeah so kept working on this on the side and kept slowly bringing people on on the project it's been very in and out as in would tell people about it realize that i had so many skills i didn't have like one of my co-founders who studied in school with me he does design right now but i would you know every few months just tell him hey um how does this look and he would just totally rip apart my design you know and i'm not a designer by trade i didn't have any design background and and it was stuff like that it was supporting trying to move it forward and figuring out what i didn't know through surrounding myself with people um who had different skills than me and then with the whole panasonic thing i knew that wasn't where i wanted to work got another internship at a place called instructure which was a little bit fast-moving they're in that tech company for distributing um software for classrooms and online learning and it was cool to just see how different the culture was to panasonic in the way that it was fast moving the startup was built by you know some college students and this was you know a company with a thousand people at the time where i was like man like you're telling me a couple of kids can really build a business that skills like this big like sure they had like professional people come in later and people help it like it really began with just you know a few kids um down you know the street from us and i was like i don't know and i think that motivation of seeing okay it is possible made me want to keep working on blurb and and as we kept working on it more opportunities just opened up the platform as we kept solving this like initial problem which was just you know not the only find our favorite audio clips we started to realize that it was what those clips did for people as these moments we create by enhancing these moments of sound that was the real value that blurp was providing and once we started like to really focus on that value we we really found our niche and and i would say that's how the whole story evolved and i guess um no no i keep asking your questions and saying i'll keep asking until i get my answer that i want no i'm just kidding i'm you're giving me a hard time so so you working on this you know off and on for a period of several or you know several years you said about four years doing it kind of as a during it or as you're doing the internships with panasonic as you're doing your studying kind of you know have a you know i'd say that's normal for a lot of startups right and there are a lot of in entrepreneurs and since you get really excited about something you work really hard and then you get you know bogged down or you get sidetracked for a bit and then but you can't let it you just can't set it aside because you still think there's a lot of potential and you come back and it takes a bit of that time to really get the momentum that needs to keep sustaining it so you keep doing that now graduated with a degree did you as you graduated did you come out and get a full-time job did you blurp by that time was it a big enough you know had enough momentum that you said hey i'm going to do this full-time once you graduated or how did you kind of make that transition so once you're no longer a student you're not you know no longer living off student loans you're not able to you know you have you get hit with the real world reality that you have to make an income in order to pay for life right so how did you make that transition did you go right to blurb did you continue this for a side hustle for a period of time or how did that go yeah no the whole uh school graduation thing was definitely like i remember looking back and thinking well i'm dropping the ball on my senior project because i'm working on blurp all the time but then um i also had this internship that i really enjoyed the company was great and i did see a lot of potential in knowing that i wanted to push blurt forward but then i also in the back of my mind the strategy for my life was always building the base so i could best tackle it and that's really what led to my decision of accepting a full-time offer with instructure right after school first um it was really to build up that base of income so that i could tackle it because i i still get surprised that people start on it with you know ground zero i think you know some people have a lot of family support they have a lot to like leverage off of that but for me i just felt more comfortable having a base of income before i fully jumped into it and and i think and that lines up you know it's interesting is i've done over 100 episodes now talk to a lot of people different journeys and some people are just hey i want to get going on this i'm going to be all in and i get where that comes from and i'm i'm probably more on the conservative side of hey i want to make sure that i have a landing spot or i'm going to be able to afford life and i you know myself when i graduated from school i had you know i have a wife i have kids i have obligations so it's hard to just completely abandon an income source until you have a landing pad so i certainly get that so you went so if i were to maybe summarize you graduated started working for instructure as a you know full-time job continue to develop blurb on the you know as a side hustle or on the side along with some of the co-founders and other people so now are you still at in structured if you still is that still a is a blurb still it's a side hustle that you're trying to expand did you get it big enough that you're trying to you know mate you made it your full-time job or kind of where is it as of the status today yeah so i guess it contains a story i i think the first time i got really uh introspective myself was about a year year after graduating working full-time build up this income and i was still um living at my mom's you know like because i want to save all this money because i knew that i would one day not be here like i i knew that i would a lot of people say like they get stuck in corporate they they stay there you know but for me i knew that was never the case and i guess part of the introspective was um realizing okay like now that i'm making money i have enough to actually be happy like i was not like spending more and i knew if i kept making more money it wasn't going to make me any happier i think that was like really the turning point of like you know i think it's it's really time like the market's moving right now i see like blurp is growing a little bit like we had maybe just a couple of thousand users signed per month during that time but there was like an inkling of like could be there and we had just integrated into twitch a live streaming platform which started helping us see a lot more growth there too where i'm like i just need more time to focus on it it's not really the money thing that's a limiting thing anymore and that's yeah ultimately i decided to quit our job and before that we did try and raise money and we couldn't too so that was just a little the story of like okay let's try and jump into this and see what we can do so so far to now take that and or give my simple answer so now now it's your full-time endeavor he said hey i you know in order to make a go of this i can see inklings of it going to grow it's going to be a big thing i think i can you know if i put in the right amount of time and effort and resources which i can do as a side hustle it will make no and you know now you have a bit of that money saved up you've been you know working at a normal or a bigger job that has the income you switched over to blur full-time is that about right exactly and that's yeah then we switched over to blur full-time and yeah at that time it was just still me and my design co-founder who was so you know you switched over to it full-time you said okay we've got the money in place we can you know we can keep our head above water for a period of time with the money we've saved from working with our jobs saving income by staying with the parents on those type things you make the jump over how's it been since then has it been everything you dreamed of and it's taken off and just exponentially gone up had it still had those kind of those peaks and valleys or how has it gone since you jumped over full time yeah i want to say like the first three months like jumping in i was like so excited like everything was like exciting because i was just so tired of my job at that point but mostly just because of like how much i want to work on this like i was spending like nights and just grinding on this product trying to get it off the ground and then um yeah i think it was when the third month hit where i was like oh man like is this actually am i doing this right i'm not quite sure you know like i it's not really growing where we want are we spending enough time on this and then we got like we kept pushing through and got lucky one of my friends who was actually running his businesses at the time had um his business sort of fall out and that's where he was like you know i can come in and start helping and he had like an operations and a marketing background which is way different than being my design partner who's you know more on the creative side and yeah like we worked like three more months after that and started really you know tracking our results driving through and that really started helping you know us see more of the direction of where we could go and i want to say it was eight months in we were like okay let's hit the fundraise again and let's try and see if we can start doing that and then you know a pandemic starts to hit us and we're like there's all this uncertainty and we're like well are people investing and three people i want to say rejected us the first month and they were in our field so they were people invested as purely and consumer were like oh are we even like fit for this but no we kept pushing through it you know reaching out to more people and that's where we um start getting conversations with one of them was google the other one was amazon and they started pushing us through to more meetings where they're like oh like maybe these guys will invest and um eventually google falls out a little bit but amazon their team was like super nice and they were some of the first ones to commit to our first round and from there you know all these like other vcs that were sitting sort of on the sidelines started to like really want to commit and that helped us you know close around there and yeah um i guess that was five months ago now so we were we've been able to take that capital and really focus in the business and now we're growing pretty fast i want to say at least in our niche of gaming and live streaming we've been able to really um focus on the creators there and we're going you know one to two thousand times per week on our platform it's been pretty unreal to see it grow a little bit you know and i would say we're still in the trenches as in we've really proved out this use case we know sound sharing within gaming is a big thing and over the next few years we're gonna see if the platform can extend beyond that and um i'm excited to see how that turns out but from what we've seen sound can be you know that medium that connects us and we've seen it share it on tick tock a lot and if we can really show people that this is the universal language that can help people feel more understood create these better moments then you know that's what's going to nail in the spot but yeah i'd say like overall like it was up and downs like to answer your question um forces no and i think that's always how it's going to be right there i've yet to meet a company that just day one they launched it was a perfect executive plan and everything just took off and they never had any bumps along the way so i i think that that probably mirrors you know everybody's experience of those those ups and downs a bit so now is you know and there's always more things to talk about more journey to discuss and we have to every time to do and so as we start to reach the end of the podcast i always have two questions i hit on so maybe we'll jump to those now so the first question i always ask is along your journey what was the worst business decision you ever made and what did you learn from it oh man the worst because i'm sure you get a lot of people who say like i've made so many bad decisions it's hard to pick one i i'll say my worst decision is generally around i want to say people but not in the way that what people like hiring the wrong person or bringing on the per wrong person too fast um i mean one specific case and i won't go too deep into it but like i've brought on maybe three or four co-founders besides the ones working with me today and part of it is that to really like co-founders are like dating you know you really have to know that you're in it for the long run you really have to know that you have the same goals in mind in order to make it work i would say that not rushing into that is a huge thing and i think it's just something you learn along your whole entrepreneurship journey yeah and that was what i think that for me that was one of the things you know every it's a much different situation to be in when you're on the the side of hiring i mean you think oh you know i've i've worked at some companies i've you know i've participated or they've had me part of the interview process i've gone through this but to really kind of get a grasp and understanding of this is how you hire someone and you know and and then being on that and the thing i always learned on the hiring is you know i was always you kind of as especially as a startup or small business you always you kind of once you get to hiring you say oh we need someone we need them quick and we have this role to fill and sometimes you're too quick to hire right or you jump in too quickly because you need that person you need that warm body to actually do the process and you know you hire the wrong person you hire too quickly you don't slow down you don't make sure you got to get the right person and i know for me that was certainly a hard thing to you know a hard lesson learned is hey it's more important to get the right person on and do it a little bit slower even if it's painful during that process to get that right person because in the long run it pays a lot greater dividends oh for sure and that's like the most optimistic way to look at right like yeah the wrong person can hurt a lot but the right people help you so much you know and they make the biggest difference if you find the right person yeah yeah so now i'm going to ask my second question which is if you're talk if now you're talking to someone that's just getting into a startup or small business what would be the one piece of advice you'd give them oh i i always say it doesn't matter how much you know but how much you're willing to learn and i i think that growth mindset along the way and i've seen it you know even among like my business partners it's it's really understanding that you're not going to have all the right answers but if you're willing to fight for it then that's what's going to make the whole difference and i just look back on where i was when i first started this i didn't know like anything about business nothing about strategy nothing even about building products and just like even being able to dive into it and learn that like i know that that that was more important at least to me than just trying to make it work in the long run and i think knowing that goal in mind is huge for any entrepreneur going in no i think that's a very good point and a very good takeaway for people to have well as we wrap up and as as we always run out of time is all good podcasts do and you never have enough time to hit everything but if people want to reach out to you they want to find out more about your journey they want to use blurb they want to be a customer they want to be an investor they want to be your next great employee they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to connect up with you find out more reach out to you definitely check out blerp blurps handles on any of our social medias you can even reach out to me at aaron blurt.com and yeah we we're pretty active on there so feel free to reach out anytime all right well i definitely encourage everybody to reach out i think that there's a lot of uh a lot of uh things to be learned from your journey it's a great tool and i think it's one that can certainly uh help people out and to uh to use video and content even better and to find that so with that appreciate you coming on it's been a pleasure to have you on now for all of you that are listeners if you ever have your journey to tell and you'd like to be on the podcast always feel free to go to inventivejourneyguest.com we'd love to tell your journey and and share with everybody if you're a listener make sure to click subscribe so you get a notification as all the new austin episodes come out and last but not least if you ever need help with patents and trademarks feel free to reach out to us at millerip law thanks again aaron it's been a pleasure and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thanks evan appreciate you having us hey if you enjoyed this episode of the inventive journey make sure to go and check out startups magazine they're an awesome magazine and podcast centered over in the uk and if the magazine is a digital and print magazine where they focus on tech startups and entrepreneurs and they also have a focus on female founders and women in tech so if you want to check out their magazine neither digital or print it's startups magazine startups with an s magazine.co.uk and you can also look up their podcast which is called the serial entrepreneur so go check them out they're awesome and definitely if you like this episode you'll like them English (auto-generated) All From Miller IP Law Recently uploaded

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