March 30, 2023

Episode 218: Rishi Khanna, CEO of Stocktwits

Rishi Khanna is the CEO of Stocktwits, the original social platform for individual investors and traders with six million registered members and millions of monthly visitors. Prior to StockTwits, he was a Managing Director at SS&C where he had overall responsibility for sales, product, operations and strategic direction of a number of businesses serving the alternative assets industry. Prior to joining SS&C, Rishi was Co-Founder and President of Novus, a portfolio intelligence platform for the institutional asset management industry that he co-founded in 2007. Before Novus, he led product development and technology initiatives for Gerson Lehrman Group. Rishi holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Cornell University.

Julian: Hey everyone, this isJulian Torres with Behind Company lines, thank you so much for joining ustoday. We have Rishi Khanna, CEO ofStocktwits, the original social platform forindividual investors and traders with over 6 million registered members and millionsof monthly visitors. Rishi, I'm so excited to chat with you.

As we mentioned before the show,Natalie, really excited about your journey. As, as as ceo, as, as somebodywho's been around companies, scaling companies and really had a, has had a longinsight into what that really means across different in. But in particulartoStocktwits also what it means, now with, with how many trailers are adoptingplatforms, how many people are looking for kind of the, the next big stock or,or big play, or even just looking to diversify their portfolios.

There's so many people getting involvedtoday. But before you get into all that good stuff withStocktwits, what wereyou doing before you joined the company?

Rishi: Hey thanks for havingme, Julian. Fun to be here. So I mean, most of my career I've been anentrepreneur and I've done a couple other startups before in my last, 20 plusyears in the world of tech.

Immediately before I actually was myone. Immediately before Stocktwits was my kind of one foray into a largecorporate public company. I was working on a company called SS and C which isa, a big fund administrator and software platform in the institutional space.So that was, I was there for two years.

But other than that, most of my careerhas been startups, either my own or early stage companies that then grow.  

Julian: Yeah, it's incredibleto think about, what you've seen and, and probably I feel like a lot ofcompanies have a prescriptive way that they grow and, and if they focus on theright things, then you can kind of see or predict how well that company will,go through like scaling challenges or are being able to grow through a macroenvironment.

And I'm curious to what in yourexperience really makes C. Strong, resilient. What kind of factors or, or Idon't know if it's personality traits or types what have you seen thatcompanies have that are successful? Is it something with their operations,their teams? What have you seen that really makes companies being able to takeon that scaling challenge?

Rishi: I mean, I think thefoundation is the people, right? That's where a lot of it starts. And every,every company, or at least, you can kind of segment by industries and stuff aregoing to be different, right? Yeah. How Stocktwits is successful is verydifferent than how an enterprise SAS company might be successful and differentthan how a payments company might be different, be successful.

So, but the foundation there. The peoplestartups are hard, right? And it's not, and I, and I did my first startup in99. I did my second one in oh seven. So, we've had a, we've had a nice run,like in the last like 10, 12 years of, everyone's been talking about the easymoney and, but startups are hard.

And so that, that foundational group ofpeople, the first isn't, the first 10, 20, 50. I think, make, make, yeah. Makeor break the company over the longer term and, and then how you evolve and growyour people, depending on your needs and depending on how you're growing andscaling.

So it starts with the people, it's hard.You need, know, the resilience you need, kind of that mentality to be able tofight through the hard times. And it's not always up into the right, which iswhat we hear about when we always talk about the successes. For every successthere's a lot more failures behind the scenes.

Julian: Yeah, yeah, exactly.Yeah. Just curious, is there any, like early mistakes that you made that you'velearned from that other founders can either avoid or, or prepare for as they'relooking to? I, I focus on different parts of the bit.  

Rishi: Yeah. I think, there'sa couple categories. One I will start with is people you gotta, you gotta.

Figure out the right combination ofpeople in that early team and, you gotta be able to find the right chemistries.Especially, it's one thing if, if it's like maybe three friends coming togetherand starting a company and pulling in, former colleagues and whatnot, where youhave relationships where oftentimes there are then.

People in the earlier days that arebrought onto the team that, don't have those relationships and don't have, kindof that history to build upon. And so, I think you gotta be very mindful ofthat and very mindful paying attention to how things are working at that level.

Meaning, you gotta be able to acceptthat you're not gonna get it. All right. If you're the founder or like thefounder CEO in hiring if you have a hundred percent batting average, good foryou. But that's I don't think I've ever seen that. And I think being able to behonest for, the company, for yourself, for the people involved, like being ableto kind of make the decisions to.

The team healthy and whatever thecontext of that team is. So, I think that's one there. And then, then I think,the other side from a strategy product kind of world side is in the beginning,focus, right? And in the earliest days, in the smallest days when you're 2, 3,4, 5 people, can you focus and can you find the right thing to focus on?

And, and, make sure you don't get toodistracted. We did a little bit, one of my last companies, I think in the earlydays we might have tried to do a little bit too much. And, this goes anenterprise ass business. And, and know, we were catering to our clients morethan we probably should have been in the, in the form of, client X had onerequest, client y had another request.

Clients you had another request. And inthe world of enterprise ass and big ticket, like kind of, subscriptions and onethat you're like, oh, okay, we really want that a hundred thousand dollarssubscription or that $50,000 subscription, we'll build that. We'll build that.That can quickly take you down a slippery slope.

If you're not focused when you're small,as you obviously become bigger and bigger, then you have the resources maybe tohandle that and manage that. But you still need focus. In the earliest of days.So, try not to lose that. And try not to chase the short term victory for,losing the long term war maybe.

Julian: Yeah. Yeah, that,yeah. It's a, it's a great point. And I'm, I'm curious to, if you've seen,obviously we, we know in terms of macro trends, obviously VC money is not aseasily accessible and, and not as easily distributed as before. And, andfounders, I think are, are dealt with the challenge of operating reallyefficient businesses and, and understanding themselves really efficient orreally in depth as.

Have you seen any other trends outsideof VC money? Kind of not, I don't wanna say drying up, but just being a littlebit more guarded. And, in terms of its distribution, what other trends have youseen in kind of the startup landscape? We've also seen no code platforms comeinto fruition and other things kind of enabling kind of velocity of startups.

But what else have you seen in terms ofhow the landscape has shifted, prior covid and then even kind of, post, lastyear and, and with the current events going. .

Rishi: Yeah. And and I thinkwe're still one, one of the things, I'm gonna comment on, I think we're stillin the midst of it cuz you know, now with this kind of macro downward trendthere, it's kind of come up place, but it is the, the concept of remote firstcompanies and being remote, right.

So, I've spent most of my career, notbeing remote, right. Being in offices and, know, while we've had global teamsat places, I've worked, everyone was in an office in a different city, and so,Stocktwits, we. At, at the, in Covid, right? We obviously, everyone wentremote, but we remained remote first and then we ended up hiring with that philosophy.

And so today we're in 18 states andeight countries we don't really have any concentration of it in any city where.We have an office per se. We have a couple offices here and there, but verysmall groups of folks. And that, that's been a challenge I think for mepersonally, just, from a stylistic perspective.

But you know, you get the, I get askedthe question around culture and how do you, kind of stay connected? And we justhad a global offsite, so we brought most of the team together, which was prettyawesome. A lot of us meeting for the first time in person, but. . But I thinkthat learning, and how does that change your ability to operate, your abilityto hire, great team members and scale.

That's why we did it. We got betteraccess to talent when we looked beyond New York City alone. Which is where, we.We're based. And so being able to look beyond and, and find talent I thinkthat's, that's a big aspect of kind of tech and startup world kind of goingforward, how we adapt to that.

Obviously right now we're seeing, even Ithink I saw today, more announcements that, like meta is having people comeback to the OR or suggesting people make more time to be in the office andwhatnot. So we know where that's gonna lead to. Right, right. So I, I thinkthat's a, that's a big one.

Beyond the things that you alreadymentioned. I do. I'm, I'm passionate about operational efficiency andoperational controls and, yeah. And not, being crazy. So it's, it's good to seesome some discipline potentially returning to the space.  

Julian: Yeah, yeah.Discipline. I also think about it like the, the companies are looking a lotmore mature in, in regards to the understanding of, their PNLs and also their,their LTV with their tax and, and, and really just keeping, a lot of thosethings in consideration when thinking about raising money or, or bringing onpartnerships or going through acquisitions and things like that.

And I'd love to see that. And, inregards to the, moving to remote work for the other founders who have done thator transitioned through them who are still going through the growing pains ofit. Where, what was the biggest challenge you saw and how did you overcome inregards to transitioning a workforce?

Was it culture? Was it, finding out howto pay people across the globe or finding, different tax laws? What, what inparticular was, was like challenging for other founders out there and how did you.

Rishi: I think that's, we'refortunate we live in a time, there's a lot of good tools to manage it right?

With, from like payroll and that kind ofstuff. We have, both for our, US base, but as well as our international, thosewere, very solvable problems I think. , the, the, the challenge I was the mostconcerned about and I still am today yeah, is kind of keeping the cohesion andconnectedness of kind of the team and the mission and what we're doing in lanenot losing.

Sure. Losing. The sense of strategy andurgency because you're not connected as much, right? So how do you, how do youkeep that channel open? And we're still figuring out, this was actually one ofthe big things that came up at the offsite cuz it was great for all of us to bein the same place physically.

And we're like, how do we keep thisgoing? Because the connection and being able to. Disseminate information, butin a more impactful way is I think probably the biggest thing we think about.When, when Covid first happened, for a multitude of reasons, we were a smallerorganization, but we did put, what I call two a days.

We had a full team meeting, every day,five days a week, twice a day. So we had a morning one around 11:00 AM call it,and which was more like a standup kind of thing. And then we had like a four, a4:00 PM afternoon kind of checking, which was more like a mental health andlike, how are we doing in this crazy covid time?

We don't do that anymore at that, thatwould be a little crazy. But we did that for, probably a year or a little lessthan a year. , but we do still do a full company meeting every Monday morning.We have a little over 60 folks on the team now. But you know, some people willsay, Hey, it's not particularly effective and it's not necessarily meant to, bea meeting about.

Action items and stuff like that.Rather, it's to keep everyone connected or try to keep that connection. Becausethat connection then helps us, know, make decisions faster, connect faster andas we've grown as well how do we make sure we don't create artificialbureaucracy as a result of it remoteness and, too much process because, okay,well we can't just walk up and go to your desk, so let's put a process inplace.

Like, that's where we. Avoid again forour LR size. If we were 500 people, maybe it's different, but We're notsure.  

Julian: Yeah, yeah. Andthinking about stock widths, how did you give it, how did you get involvedwith, with theStocktwits and then what essentially led to the, youtransitioning into being the CEO of the company?

Rishi: Yeah. Yeah. So I mean,I've known Stocktwits for a long time, right? I was a early user of, of Twitterback in oh seven. And then, I think I created my Stocktwits account in 2010.And I was fortunate to meet one of the co-founders, Howard Linn, who's awell-known vc. And especially in the FinTech world.

We met through a mutual friend and wejust hit it off and became friendly. And so, I was kind of, Stocktwitsecosystem. They did, events every year. And I, I went many years or every otheryear maybe, if I could. And, I knew the team over the years. And, I was alwaysfascinated by the platform.

I, I love networks, I love, communitiesand social and stuff. And so I'd always stayed in the. Kind of orbit ofStocktwits and the Stocktwits team. And as I mentioned, I was at, large Oregon.I was looking to kind of get back to, I think real innovation. I mean, hey, achallenge of being in a 20,000, 25,000 person big public company is, know,maybe you don't get to.

Innovate at the speed or, kind of theway I wanted to, or, or the way I felt I had it, hit me till still too. Andthat's where, kind of came up as a conversation with some of Stocktwits teamand ultimately that's, where the pitch came in to convince me to come join.

And what was exciting is, stock Fitzhas, has been around a long time, right? It's not, it's not a new startup inthe last two, three years, it was four, it started in oh nine. And so, and it'sorganically built this amazing, highly engaged community, which. And social isextremely hard to do, right?

A lot of people try to pay to play andlike you'll pay influencers and try to buy like this and that. We've seen a lotof that in the recent cohorts, but finding real, like being in a bottle forreal social is hard to do. And TZ did that and they had grown an amazingcommunity and what.

really, kind of exciting to me about theopportunities. Okay, how do we now deliver more value to this community? How dowe build upon the conversation and the engagement in the form of, the, thesocial feeds and whatnot, but now, kind of complete or deliver more valuearound someone's trading journey and investing journey And

And you know what, when when I wasjoining, like, I think that that excitement for me combined with, some of theneeds of stock twits operationally and to kind of get it, get it to where itneeded, where it should be. In 2020, obviously the Covid thing was a little bitof a a little bit of a, a, a wrench in the, in the works right.

But but that, that, that's kind of what,excited me to come over and, and kind of, build the next chapter of Stocktwitseven though it has a better history.  

Julian: Yeah, I, it's alwaysinteresting the, the transition of bringing on, a new ceo and we, we've chattedto both, we've chatted to companies on the show who've, who've had thatexperience themselves, who've been a part of that experience.

And what, what ways do you knowcompanies kind of set the expectations for their teams? to make sure that thesetransitions are smooth. Whether you're coming in in your position as someonewho's an outside individual coming in as a ceo or if you're the current founderand ceo, and notifying that your team that you're bringing on other leadershipfor some of those more strategic goals, how do you make sure that you know whatyou set the expectations and that the transition is a smooth.

Rishi: Yeah, I mean, it'salways tricky and I don't even think it's just at the CEO level, right? I mean,at a lot of senior levels, depending, again, on the size of the team, there'salways, a bit of a challenge there. Hey, you maybe bringing on a new, head ofengineering or product or finance, whatever it might be, right?

There's always, okay, how do we makesure we do this right? Communication and why it's happening is, I think alwaysa really important first step. Help everyone understand, okay, why, why are wemaking this change? What's going on? Being, just very simple, concise, clearabout that.

You don't need to, spend too many wordson that. Spend, spend the right amount. Don't, don't try to. Obfuscated orwhatnot. So I think that's, that's step one. And then step two, for the personcoming in myself, in this case, it's, Hey, what do we gotta do? Right? And, andwhat, in, in the case of the ceo right, you're setting kind of the strategy andthe vision for the company and being able to kind of help communicate that and,and share that with everybody is in a in a.

in a way that, you're communicating, butyou're also getting, taking the feedback, mm-hmm. , was that lost for wordsthere? Mm-hmm. , I think size matters because for, stock, were not, again, ahuge company. So at our stage when I took over, we were much, much smaller,right? So, like when I took over in ig, you we, we had to go throughunfortunately a reduction in force, like back in the early days of Covid andstuff.

So really it was a much leaner team. Itwas about 15 people. And so it's, it's a lot easier to communicate and work andcollaborate in. 15 people then it would be, in the hundred or 200 or 500 orthousand, right. Whatever it might be. So, for me, the two main goals were,Hey, why is this happening?

And, okay, what are we gonna do fromhere? And what, what, what is, kind of the strategy and vision. And it doesn'tyet. You don't have to have it all figured out necessarily. Yeah. But, here'swhere we're going towards, here's what we're figuring out. Let's work togethertowards it.

And then listening, especially in theearly days you gotta kind of, take the feedback in and the inputs in. So, .Yeah. I don't, yeah, I think you gotta, you gotta just, understand the peopleand the teams.  

Julian: Yeah. There's so manythings to consider in that, it seems like there's so many moving parts and themore you understand, in that experience and in that transition, kinda, you, youkind of set it up better with, with that understanding, which is awesome to seethat.

It, it's it's not extremely foreign andif it's dealt the right way, it, it can be kind of a, a boost to the company ina lot of ways. And tell, tell us a little bit more about Stocktwits and whatthe company is kind of focusing on. You've got over 6 million users, you've gotso many, active and, and new members joining the community.

And within a community space, like youmentioned, it's so tough to continue. To, keep people around, keep peopleengaged, and offer that value. How have you gone to focus on offering value toyour community? Outside of say, just having general information in a placewhere people can meet and things like that.

And how do you foster community without,doing, honestly doing too much With a lot of companies, they fail at, they failin that regard of, of adding on new features that they're paid plans andmanipulating the business model. Different ways that. We'll leave, leave thecommunity with a different experience.

But what ways are you focusing onbuilding community and adding value? .  

Rishi: Yeah. And to, to thatlast part of what you just said, I will share, it's always difficult to evolveand change when you have a highly engaged, active community. Right? BecauseSure, oftentimes they're, they like, what, they like what's, maybe they wantyour incremental fixes or tweaks or this or that, but you know, they're notlooking for big, massive change.

Or, or, material change necessarily. Butsometimes that's the best thing to do for the broader community. And we seethis all the time, right? Ultimately, like a lot of people, hate change untilthey get used to it, and then it's, then it's all good. Not, not that everychange is right or perfect, but so that, I'll just make that one comment therefor us.

Yeah, I mean, I think we think about acouple key things. One is, again, that, the delivering more value on top of theconversation to our existing community, whether that's in the form of data andtools and content or whether that's in the form of certain capabilities like welaunched, Our subsidiary broker dealer, St.

Invest, we integrated that into theStock Tots product for the first time last year. And this year we're gonna beintegrating, more capabilities on that trading and execution side. But,delivering more value across the investing lifecycle. And, and I simplify thatas a lifecycle of ideation to research, to execution, to portfolio manage.

and back to ideation. And for us, thatloop has social at the heart of it cuz we are social and community first. Andso how do we think about delivering value to help people, come up with betteridea or new ideas to, potentially research to invest in. Right? And then how dowe help them and research it better?

How do we help them leverage, thecommunity and the tribe depending on their style of investing, right? If you'rea swinger momentum trader, you have one style versus a fundamental valueinvestor, which has a completely different style and different needs. Sodelivering value in the form of tools and data and premium content.

That's a big focus of ours this year.But then also, social is hard, right? I mean, like, I think everyone. Kind ofunderstood this from, from Twitter, especially the kind of social we do, right?Where it's not just pictures and kind of sharing things amongst friends. It'sabout information and, and conversation or with, with people you may not know,but may have similar interests as you.

And so we, we think a lot about likekind of the onboarding and discovery process of how do we help people, allthese millions of visitors that are coming to our sites in our apps everymonth, how do we help the newer. . Better connect, better engage, get that,find that value from the platform.

So, the, the things around what we calldiscovery, what many people would call discovery for the user is a big emphasistoo, right? How do we more quickly get you to the things that would beinteresting to you, depending on, what kind of trader or investor you mightbe.  

Julian: Yeah. What are some ofthe biggest challenges that Stocktwits faces today?

Rishi: I'll go back to, oneof the things I said earlier, Stocktwits is a more mature business than a, justa new startup, right. Whatnot. But, our big challenge and it's, probably alittle bit my fault, and I, I gotta, kind of keep improving on that is focus,right?

We have so much opportunity. But youknow, we, we are also resource constrained, right? I don't have unlimitedresources and unlimited, engineering and design and product talent and talenton, our community teams and whatnot. So, I think, our, our ability to kind ofmake sure, focus and prioritize and make sure we're, the things that we'reworking on and the right things to work on.

Yeah. Forget we're not gonna be right ahundred percent of the time, but we, we wanna, have a good batting averagethere. And, and I think, more specifically, because we've grown so much overthe, the course of the pandemic. We've definitely, kind of grown and, and havea different scale of engagement and activity than we did beforehand.

We have the same problems in social orsimilar problems in social as the companies that are significantly larger thanus, right? Because once you reach a certain scale, all the problems in social,look the same. So we're working, hard with, Fraction of a percent of theresources of the, the Twitters and the Facebooks and the, Instagrams and stuffof the world to kind of make sure we're helping, create a great place for ourusers and community.

But it's, it's hard, right? I mean, Iwon't say that as one of the hardest things. And people don't appreciate howhard it is. It's not a solvable problem per se. Yeah. You have to just keepfighting the problem.  

Julian: Yeah. If everythinggoes well, what's the long term vision for Stocktwits?  

Rishi: I mean, if everythinggoes well, we are, we are the global platform for, individual traders andinvestors.

And people are able to come there andthey're able to connect and find their tribes of like-minded styles of investorright-minded. Like-minded goals in investing. That's another important thing.You could, me and you could have completely the same styles, but I might have,my goal is about like being around, like building a fund, for college, for mykids or something.

And yours might be, saving for a downpayment on a, on a house in LA or something, right? Yeah. So, Yeah, there's alot of things to align in investing that affects, people's investing profileand stuff. But, for us, the end goal looks like we are, the global platform.And I think that's really important too, cuz the, the next generation, themillennials and the Gen Zs outside of the US are huge, huge components of, of,our global society.

And so making sure we are, we arebuilding the next, gen global platform for, individuals to, to ultimately buildwealth and. And profit and have fun doing it.

Julian: Yeah, I love that. Ialways love this next section I called my founder faq. So I'm gonna hit youwith some rapid fire questions and we'll see where we get.

So, first question I always love to askreally just to open it up is what's particularly hard about your job?  

Rishi: What's particularlyhard about my job? Making sure, how do I help my team and how do I not, how doI enable them versus. Kind of getting in their way and stuff.

I think, there's a balance thereespecially in our size. So I think that, that's definitely something I'm consciouslythinking about a bunch. .  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. Being thatyour platform relies so much on community and, and there's obviously thecommunity guidelines and, and ways to, address the community and communicate,how do you, how, how do you address bad actors or misinformation in acommunity?

Company and, and how do you do so with,without, I guess relinquishing someone's ability to speak freely on yourplatform because, it, it's a challenging balance on, what is allowed and what'snot allowed, or, or, Or, or is it, yeah. I'm curious in, in what yourperspective is on that.

Rishi: Well, I mean, you, we,we have published, kind of community guidelines and we, we are refreshingthose, kind of, on an ongoing basis. But we do have, kind of community guidelinesof, what you should do. And some stuff is easy and it's obvious, right?

Like, hey, you you can't be on like,threatening people and, whatnot. But it's, that's not the hard stuff, right?The hard stuff is kind of, the ones that are. The gray area in line and we havekind of a few lines of defense against that. And, our first is kind of a thirdparty partners that provide us with technology to kind of help.

And that's probably more around kind ofthe, the obvious abusive stuff kind of spam and things like that. But eventhat, we're always looking, kind of to improve and. And, upgrade. The, the nextlayer is, is the community itself, right? We, we are actually, actively workingon giving the community better tools to help inform us about what's going on.

And so how do we, how do we help thecommunity? help the community, right. Help themselves. And so we, we have workto do there. We've been consciously like kind of building out and, and tacklingthat problem as well. And then the final line is like, kind of, our, ourcommunity and support team, right?

And now we don't have. Hundreds or eventhousands of employees, like some of the other, bigger social platforms do wehave seven people on that team. But, they're actively engaged and we're, payingattention and and we're reviewing all the reports that people are sending inand and engaging in, giving feedback to users, right.

We try to be, where a user may havecrossed the line and maybe they don't think they did, we, we actually givefeedback. We don't Sure. It's not like always automated or something. I mean,there there's that too. But , and, we'll suspend or temporarily like, Hey, we,kind of put you in time out, right?

Yeah. And explain to them and then, ifthen let them back on. If they're good actor, great. And, if they keepviolating, we we we, we take the next action that's necessary, but it's hardand at scale it's really hard. But, we try to publish the rules and try to beas true to it as possible, knowing that we're not gonna be perfect and we'renever gonna be able to.

And like, there's no finish line inthis, in that race.  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. Thinkingabout, thinking about your experience and your background, you've worked withinstitutions, you've worked in, with retail investors and I, I'm curious whatgets you really excited about working with individual investors outside of,working with institutions?

And I have a few reasons, but obviouslyI'm, I'm an individual investor myself, amateur at. But what gets you soexcited about working with your, your current customer base?  

Rishi: I mean, to me what'sexciting is we're closing the gap and we're working on closing the gap ofinformation asymmetry, right? Yeah.

The information edge and advantage thatinstitutions. Have historically had is getting smaller and smaller. Now theystill have edges and they still have the advantage of resources to leveragethose those advantages and edges. But I think as technology, kind of continuesits evolution and, the cost of things keeps coming down right.

I mean, look at, the progress in AI andobviously all the hype over the last few weeks or months around generative AIand open AI and chat gtm, G P T four now, right? There's, there's a lot of,using that as an example, there's a lot of value to unlock that, now becomescost effective to deliver at the individual level.

And so closing that gap of givinginformation and tools and helping people invest. Each generation has kind offallen behind the previous generation in, their exposure to investing and, themarkets and the way the system is set up for us here in the US right, is that,there's really very few places left to build wealth.

And, and the markets and investing isone of those few places. And, and we wanna make sure. Knows about it, hasaccess to it and, can learn from the community. Cuz that's how people learn. Imean, the markets are very much an apprenticeship apprenticeship game to me.Yeah.

And but that doesn't mean your bestfriend is gonna be the person that you're gonna learn from because they mighthave totally different needs or interests or whatnot. So how can we col enableyou to find that tribe and, and give you the tools around it as well?  

Julian: Yeah. I'm so curiousabout your community in particular.

What are some styles that of investmentthat you've seen that you've particularly enjoyed kind of learning and also howhave investing behaviors changed even in the recent years? As crypto assets arebecoming ones that people like to sell and trade, and. People in terms ofinvesting in companies are caring more about E S G and how companies reallytackle the environment, their sustainability and thinking about that.

Yeah. What are some styles that youparticularly were interested, or excited about learning, and then what are somebehaviors that have changed?  

Rishi: Well, so I've, I've,personally, and even actually, most of my kind of career where I've spentactually on the institutional side more.

I've always been in one. I would putlike, a buy and hold investor bucket. Right. I've I've had my Microsoft stockfor 20 plus years, I like to say now, right? And so I'm much more of a bindhole. But what's actually been really exciting and interesting to me and what,what always has been kind of interesting and exciting about Stock Fitz is, onthe trading side where you know, like a little bit, we're technical and dataoriented.

I've been just kind of, following folksand like learning a lot more about that personally. And, and I think it'simportant to learn even if you're a buy and hold person, because. . One messagethat gets lost or that isn't shared enough is, a lot of people say, Hey, justbe in the markets, and that's it, right?

Like, as long as you're in the markets,you're fine. As long as you're in for the long term, that is. True in a veryacademic, a hundred year, 50 year time horizon, kind of, example. But inreality, entry points and exit points matter. And that's where like thetechnicals and the training help you a little bit better to be like, am Igetting in at the right time?

Cuz what, if you bought. At the peak bubble, for example and whatever you own. And then, you didn't get backto par for, I think it was like 13 years or something like that. I don't knowthe exact number. So, 13 years is a long time in someone's life. And depending onwhere you are in your life stage 13 years might really matter.

And if you're at 0% over 13 years,that's not the promise of that. 10% annualized, 8% annualized. for me, that'sbeen exciting to kind of, kind of just learn and see, from people that are reallygood at the, kind of technical side and training side, just what they thinkabout and how they look at it.

That's been one I'm a macro guy, so Ilove reading people that are, kind of, especially right now, right? There'sright who, that's stuff going on when, when it comes to the macro kind ofglobal macro at this point with how the news going on the world of banking andfinance.

But so those have been interestingto.  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. Oh. Beingthat you've had such a wealthy career in terms of the experience you've gainedand, and as a founder, as a ceo, what's something that you've learned or thatyou know now that you wish you learned earlier on in your career?  

Rishi: I've, I've picked thisup a while ago.

The last company I co-founded in Novis.But I'm an engineer by background, right? So I'm a, I'm a cs na, I'm a, I, Iwas a CO and CTO for a long time in my, startups and stuff, and I enjoy it. Ilove the. The creativity, but also the building. Right. And creating. Yeah. Butone of the things I really, took away at Novis, which was an enterprise SaaSkind of business, right?

So I was the CTO and I was building theproduct, but I was also out there Selling is sales learning sales and learningabout sales. Not because necessarily you're gonna be the best salesperson inthe world and you gotta get out there. But sales is really hard. But it is thelifeblood of kind of any activity and organization.

So even if you're not on the sales team,If you're on the product team or engineering team, you need to be able to sellyour colleagues and your peers on, ideas, strategies, product features,whatever it might be. So learning, the psychology and art of selling and, andhow to communicate from a sales kind of like lens and perspective, I think issuper valuable.

Everybody know, even if you'll never, bein sales in your life because you are always selling, even if it's just like,hey, you're going for an interview for the most individualistic role in theworld. I don't know what that would be. But you, that interview is still aselling process, right?

To a degree. So, . That's the one thingI would always encourage everyone to do or figure out how to learn and getexposure to, just to, kind of have that experience. Cuz sales is hard. It is thehardest thing I will say out of everything cuz sales is, psychologically youhave to be ready for rejection 90 plus percent of the time.

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. Agreed.And, and one founder said it really well in this show was that it's just aboutfinding the story and how you really connect with your product because it'sgonna be slightly different from everyone else. The authenticity of it isdefinitely what communicates through, through most messages, right?

When, when you, when you talk todifferent people about the product or what you're working on, it, it exudesthat enthusiasm or at least it, it, it creates that buy-in that, that therecipient feels. Yeah, I love  

Rishi: That's right whereit,  

Julian: yeah, yeah, yeah.Storytelling. I'd love to ask this next question because I think founders andCEOs and individuals who build companies, I love how they extract knowledgefrom anything in their lives.

So there's no, there's, there's noboundaries here. But if it, whether, whether it was early in your career ornow, what books are people have influenced you the most?  

Rishi: What books or peoplehave influenced me the most? I've had, , I'll probably go the people route. Idon't know if I'm gonna name them, but I, I had a co-founder, was still a verygood friend.

And this goes a little bit to the sales,aspect and the ability to, like his ability to connect with people andcommunicate and bring people together. In, in a way that everyone felt likethey were, winning, right? Yeah. Everyone felt like they were getting value outof it but he was also getting value out of it, right.

In some way. I think the learning thatand being able to, bring that to, when you engage with, other people, whetherit's, and that applies to, you don't have to be in startups just for that, oryou don't have to be a founder just for that. I think that ability to, Hey,it's me, you Julian, and maybe we're in a room with two other people and we'retalking about something.

How, am I able to, connect everybody?Are we able to like, make everyone feel like, all right, like we're all winningfrom this relationship and we're all, learning or growing or whatever it mightbe. And being able to do that I'm not, I'm not the best at it. And, and, doingit in a way, where.

you're also, kind of, you, you're,you're in the mix there, right? I think that's, that's the big thing I takeaway. I'm still working on it. I'm not the best at it. Yeah. But yeah, it'll belifelong kind of, pursuit.

Julian: I love that. I lovethat. I know we're coming close to the end of the episode and I want to giveyou a chance to give us your plugs and, and let us know where we can supportand find you.

But before I do that, my last questionis is there anything I didn't ask you that I should have or that you would haveliked to.

Rishi: N no, I don't, I don'tthink so. I'll ask you a fun question. I like to ask people. For music you haveto rank lyrics beats melodies uh, in order one through three. What do youdo?  

Julian: Oh, man. Lyrics beatsmelody in order one through three. Oh, man. Oh gosh, that's a tough one. I'm ahuge music person.

I love it. I would go I would go, beatsare number one. Because no matter what the rhythm of vibration will get you,whether you can understand the music or not I would go with Melody cuz stillwith the language piece you can, you can really just that, that's like the tuneof the mind. And it doesn't necessarily matter about the language piece, itreally just the vibration piece.

And then last is lyrics, of course. CuzI. Once, once you're once all said and done and you're sitting by yourselflistening to music then you really start to digest what the words are beingsaid, and, and you kind of decide in that moment whether you still like thesong or not. I love it. Ally, do thank you so much for asking me a question.

I appreciate that and. And it's beensuch an incredible time talking to you. Not only learn about your experience,but what you're working on at Stocktwits. And tell us where we can find you,where we can find you as a founder, where we can find the company, startplaying and, and being in the community.

Start to find our tribe. What are thewebsites? What are the LinkedIns? Twitters Give us everything we need toknow.  

Rishi: Yeah. So on Stocktwitsand Twitter, you can find me at @rkhanna. Simple enough. And LinkedIn, Ibelieve I'm Rishi Khanna, full name. So you can get me, hit me up in thosespots.

And what I'd say is, hey, if you areinterested in the markets at all, and want to know what the community's eventalking about. We have some really, like, great features that make itaccessible just to kind of keep track like our, what's trending, on, on stocktwits or our sentiment analysis of what's the sentiment of each stock or cryptoor whatever.

Give it a whirl, download the app or, orsign up and and give it a try and just to, kind of, see the markets and followthe markets.  

Julian: Amazing. Appreciate,it's been such a pleasure chatting with you. I hope you enjoyed yourself andthank you so much for being on the show today.

Rishi: Thanks a lot, Julian.It's been great chatting, hanging out with you too.

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