Millions of businesses are joining the Alignable network. The Ambassador of JOY, Barry Shore, presents to You the Co-founder of Alignable. Venkat Krishnamurty and Barry discuss how and why Alignable is revolutionizing the Business landscape. Venkat is a successful serial entrepreneur who is also an Academy Award winner, inventor, VC, and professor. You’ll be amazed as Barry and Venkat discuss the foundation of the Alignable program and how it helps over 7 million local business owners leverage their skills. Venkat brings a remarkable skill set as well as a positive outlook for the growth of the American entrepreneurial spirit. He is a uniquely human VC in that he and his wife have 4 sons, 3 of whom are triplets. Yes, this is a very enjoyable and educational Episode. Please feel free to share YOUR views with us, the show is all YOURS!
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Why Are Millions of Businesses Joining the Alignable Network?
Good day, beautiful, bountiful, beloved mortal beings and good-looking people. Maybe you are good-looking because you are always looking for and finding the good and abundance overflowing. You are going to be amazed at this show. Who we have and what we are going to be doing will be transformational for you, and that’s why you tuned in because you care the most in the entire world about you.
That’s great because when you become the best you, you make the world a better place. It’s called enlightened self-interest, and we love it that you are here. The you around the world now, the number is over 320,000 people every week. Thankfully I’m humbled and honored that you invited your friends and family. We introduce our amazing guest, Venkat. We will have over 350,000 plus people reading, leaning in, and finding the pearls that you will be able to utilize in your life to become the best you. The result will be that you will be happier, healthier, and wealthier. Who doesn’t want that?
In this show, we work with the three fundamentals of life. These three fundamentals are, number one, life. Your life has a purpose. When you lead a purpose-driven life, you can have number two. Now, this case is a good number two, and you will go mad. MAD is a wonderful acronym that stands for Make A Difference. You lead a purpose-driven life. You make a difference in the world.
The third fundamental is to uncover the power and the secrets of everyday words in terms. The simplest example is WWW. If you ask anybody, what does it stand for? Variably, it will tell you it has to do with the internet. Factually speaking, they are correct but in our world of the positive, purposeful, powerful, and pleasant, WWW stands for What a Wonderful World, and what a is a word.
If ever you hear the opening bars of that wonderful song that was given to us by Louis Armstrong “Satchmo” right away, what do you do? You smile. You can’t help it. That song has touched not tens of millions or hundreds of millions but billions of people around the planet who go around singing What a Wonderful World.
Whenever you hear it, you smile. Smile is one of the most important words you could ever internalize, utilize, and leverage in your life because SMILE is an acronym that stands for Seeing Miracles In Life Every day. Thank God because COVID is over now, and we are beginning to talk to people again. The last group, I spoke with over 5,000 people in the audience. I’m telling the story about Barry Shore and about seeing miracles the life every day, they are raising their hands and saying, “Barry Shore, I have been out for hours. I haven’t seen the miracles.”
I asked them, “Are you here? Can you hear? Can you stand still? I can’t. Can you walk? I can barely do that. Do you have water to drink, food to eat, a place to sleep, family, and friends? Every single one of those is a miracle.” What’s the proof? Simplest proof. A million people didn’t get out of bed this morning. Do you know why? They died. By definition, if you are reading, you didn’t. You have an obligation to live exuberantly.
Imagine the following. Imagine standing up in the morning, hale and hearty. That’s me. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and that evening be in the hospital totally and completely paralyzed. Not an automobile accident, not a spinal injury, a rare disease to go over my body and render me what’s called a quadriplegic.
Everything from my neck down was completely, totally paralyzed. One hundred and forty-four days in the hospital. I was in a hospital bed in my own home for two years. I couldn’t turn it over by myself. Four years in a wheelchair. I had braces on both my legs, my hips to my ankles, and that was progress. Thank God I’m able to be vertical and ambulatory with the help of a 7-foot walking one.
I still can’t walk up a stair and curve by myself. I have helped 12 hours a day, 7 days a week but you hear my voice. Positive, purposeful, powerful, and pleasant, all because of this one word, SMILE, Seeing Miracles In Life Every day. I’ve got to tell you a quick story. I realize my eight-year-old niece comes over to me and says, “Uncle Barry, can we spell smile SMIEL?”
I thought about the smile. It sounds the same. I asked her, “How come?” She says, “Then it would stand for Seeing Miracles In Everyday Life.” Out of the mouth of babes. An eight-year-old. What was she doing? She was creating the world that she wanted to live in. CREATE is a wonderful acronym that stands for Causing Rethinking Enabling All To Excel because your thoughts are under your control, we call it neuro-linguistic programming but you are the one who’s in control of your thoughts.
These are the six most important words that you will ever be able to utilize, internalize, and leverage in your life, and they are choices, not chance determines your destiny. How you respond in any given situation is up to you. I want to make a mention and warn you in advance that your humble host does use a lot of four-letter words.
Alignable Abundance: Alignable is a network for small business owners. When we say small business owners, 90% of them are solopreneurs and businesses with 100 employees or less.
I even use the four-letter FU word because of the shock value when it’s fun. The four-letter words that we use because we live in a world of positive, purposeful, powerful, and pleasant are love, life, hope, free, gift, play, pray, and swim. They are all four-letter words. The four-letter FU word is FUNN. People raise their hands and say, “Fun is only spelled with three letters.” “Not in our world. The world with the positive, purposeful, powerful, and pleasant, funn is spelled FUNN.”
After the show, when you see your family and your friends, and you have a smile on your face with a twinkle in your eye, you point your fingers and say, “FU everybody.” Remember to add right away NN. They said, “Where did you get that?” I said, “I was reading The JOY of Living with Barry Shore, and he wants to teach the world to FUNN.”
It will allow you to create a conversation. “What did you learn?” Wait until you hear what you are going to learn from amazing Venkat, and you will be transformed by his stories, interactions, and ability to disrupt and bring about benefit in the world. That’s the key to living in life. Remember, living life with purpose and go MAD Make A Difference. He’s a madman.
Before we bring him on, I want to urge everybody to do the following. For the people who are here every week, you know this. Thank you. I have been using it. I get emails from you all the time. It helps you, your family, friends, and all living beings. For the new people, I’m going to urge you to use the two most powerful words in the English language three times a day from now forward for the rest of your life. These two words “Thank you.” THANK stands for To Harmonize And Network Kindness. The Dalai Lama has been quoted as saying, I read in his writing, “Be kind whenever possible.” As he says, it’s always possible.
Imagine you go into your coffee shop. You order a fancy latte. You sit down, somebody brings it to you, say, “Thank you.” You walk into the coffee shop, you order things like a latte, a few minutes later, nobody brings it. You go to the counter. They say, “I’m sorry. I forgot. We will bring it to you.” You sit down, and a couple of minutes go, somebody brings it to you, you still say, “Thank you.” You are walking out of the coffee shop. It’s raining out. Somebody holds the door open for you, and you say, “Thank you.” You are walking out of the coffee shop, and it’s raining, and somebody slams the door on you. You say, “Thank you.”
You are in traffic. You are late for an appointment, and somebody cuts you off, you say, “Thank you.” You get up in the middle of the night, and you stub your toe, and it hurts. You say, “Thank you.” To Harmonize And Network Kindness, KIND is an amazing acronym. It stands for Keep Inspiring Noble Deeds. I can’t think of anyone that I would love to share with you who inspires noble deeds other than the wonderful Venkat Krishnamurthy. Please say hello to 356,822 people around the world.
Thank you, Barry. That was a fantastic intro.
When was the last time somebody said FU to you when you left?
I don’t think I could say thank you after stubbing my toe but I’m going to try that. That’s funny.
Next time when you want to say some other words say, “Thank you.” If I start reading off all of the accomplishments in the bio that Venkat’s mother was kind enough to send to me, it will take the rest of the show. I’m going to mention three things and the three things are number one, he is a devoted husband and father. Number two, he is the Cofounder of one of the most remarkably powerful and beneficial platforms in the world called Alignable, and we will talk about that if you haven’t learned about it.
Number three is that he and his wonderful wife, they are both Southerners, are raising four kids that she did not even kid. Maybe they are because the technical thing about a kid is it’s a young gold that’s moving around and such. There are 4 boys, and 3 of them are triplets. He’s an unusual guy. We are going to dive right in to begin this whole process of you, Venkat, coming from Southern India and, at some point, coming to Southern California.
You came to California, probably went to Stanford or something like that. I threw that in. You see how clever I am. He was living the American dream but not totally fulfilled because he wasn’t married with four kids yet, which is part of the American dream. He also was a person who wanted to build a business. I’m going to give this to you as a softball. Now you might not have thought of this before but the word business is very fascinating. It’s spelled BUSINESS.
Notice something about the word business. The U comes before the I because the essence of business is learning how to provide value for others. When you do that, by definition, you attract people in business to you. It’s overflowing. You open up the flood gates of goodness. You can go out and hustle. That happens a lot, and a lot of times, it’s succeeded. In a real business that is generational and building legacy and ongoing things, the U comes before the I. Let’s jump right in and talk about Alignable, and then we will align ourselves with a few other pieces. What is Alignable, and what brought you to this idea?
At some point in our relationship, you’ve got to make something out of my name. You are the master of acronyms. I need something for my name. Alignable is a network for small business owners. When we say small business owners, 90% of them are five and under employees. We are talking about solopreneurs and small business owners.
Generally speaking, we have folks that are 100 employees or less, and we are very much aligned, if you will, with the Census Bureau of the number of businesses that are small, one person or solopreneurs shops do mom-and-pops and everything. This focuses on small businesses. They don’t like being called small first of all, which is interesting because that’s not who they are. They are business owners.
To clarify what it’s about, it’s about serving those folks and helping build a network that works for them. If you think about LinkedIn, the way this business started might be an interesting way to think about it. I had sold the previous company to a large public company, hanging out there and feeling is somewhat unfulfilled. At the time, I was talking to a lot of small business owners in my community.
I want to emphasize something that he did. He caught himself because it’s denigrating in some way. It’s not. Nobody means it as a slur but it’s that integrating because I’m a business owner. What’s the difference if I have 3, 30, and 303 million employees? I’m a business owner, and I’m here to deliver service. We are going to put in parenthesis from now on the word small. Leave it aside. It doesn’t exist. Business owners.
I quit my job and said, “I’m going to do something that helps business owners.” I was trying out a bunch of different things and talking to the tennis coach, a restaurant, a liquor shop, nail salons, and all these different kinds of people in my community understand their lives. I started building out these packages. What was interesting about it was that as I was talking to them, they all wanted to meet each other. They would be like, “Venkat, I know you are working with that liquor store across the street. Could you introduce me to the owner?” I was like, “What are you talking about? He’s literally 200 yards across the street.”
He said, “I have been to the store. I knocked on the door and said, ‘Is the business owner here?’ The response is, ‘No, can I take a message?’” Do you know why that happens? It’s because they get so much solicitation that is the standard response, these people selling them stuff all the time. What has happened is they have retreated into their shells and are not connected to each other. The kitchen store down the street wasn’t connected to the liquor store up the street, and it was remarkable. I met up with my cofounder by strange happenstance. It was the next morning that I was introduced to him by a mutual friend.
You have not known Eric prior to this.
No. I have not known Eric prior to this. People that I knew, knew that I was thinking about business owners and so on. They were like, “This guy Eric, has been in the same area. You should talk.” I met him the next day and said, “You have been in this area a long time. What gives? These guys don’t know each other. They are down the street. What’s going on?” We started unraveling that thread. We started talking to all these different business owners. I said, “Don’t you have LinkedIn.” They were like, “What am I going to do with that? I’m not looking for a job.” That was their response. I was like, “Don’t you have Chambers of Commerce? Don’t you go and meet there?”
What’s the story with Chambers of Commerce?
The same guy basically said, “I have been to every meeting in the last six months but the owner of that liquor shop doesn’t show up.” We started unraveling that thread. What we found was there were a lot of barriers to their networking. They wanted to meet other business owners in their community but it was like, “Pay me $300 to attend my little networking approach and then come meet people. The person I want to meet is not necessarily there.” Nothing against insurance guys but there’s an insurance guy there. He was trying to sell me insurance. I don’t want to do that now. There are all these barriers.
It was crazy that there wasn’t something for them. That’s what we did. We started building that out. Being an entrepreneur myself, that’s all I have ever done. I have a very high degree of empathy for that phase of your business, where you are by yourself. Maybe you have another person or two you can talk to but nobody really gets you. You’ve got to put food on the table. You don’t get a paycheck. You’ve got to take care of your family. You’ve got to do all that stuff by yourself. It’s fascinating because now we have brought this community together. There are seven million of them across the US and Canada.
Alignable Abundance: Business owners get so much solicitation. People are selling them stuff all the time, so they’ve retreated into their shells, and they’re not connected to each other.
To put things in perspective, you began this with your partner Eric Groves, who was running Constant Contact, which is not a small gig. A very large, big business of people staying in contact through email. When you started this in approximately the year 2014, now we are in 2022. Those people tuned into this in the years 2021 and 2022. Years ago from now, because we will be tuning into this forever because this is a great session, in seven years, what you have been able to do because you thought of the U before the I. You are attracting people. It’s becoming so attractive. People say, “I want to join.” Is that fair to say?
Absolutely. It was very hard the first couple of years. It’s like Missouri, which is the Show Me State. Business owners are from the Show Me State, they are not going to accept what you give them. They want to see the value and are always like, “Are you trying to sell me something? What’s the catch?” It was tough for a couple of years to figure out how to get this particular demographic in but once we figured it out, it went from there. There are 100,000-ish business owners joining every month organically. We don’t spend any money on marketing at all, zero.
Here’s a company that doesn’t spend money on marketing. It’s called WOM, Word Of Mouth. There is nothing more powerful in this world when it comes to building business, and the building is also the U before the I and word of mouth. It’s the most reliable, solid, and the most productive. Tell us about this place called BNI, which seems similar.
There are a lot of networking organizations out there. There are BNI, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, etc. BNI has been around for a while. It’s international. The idea is that a group of people in related industries come together. One per industry like plumber, electrician, roofer, and whatever it is. You form what is called a referral group, and you meet in a very structured way.
The BNI system is that you meet in a very structured way once a week, for example, and start giving each other referrals. In a sense, it is a referral group. It’s contained. It’s a monetary model, so each person has to pay. I don’t know the numbers. It’s somewhere between $500 and $800 a year is how much you pay, and that’s what it is.
In contrast, we are styled very much in the digital-first approach. You come in, it’s free. You can basically network for free. You can meet other people in your community. You can join your industry group. If you are a tennis coach, you can join all the tennis coaches in the country. You are a caterer, you can join the catering group. These are folks who haven’t met people in their industry. You can join those. You can create these referral groups if you want them too as well. We have paid groups. For example, we are piloting a paid group which helps businesses get government contracts.
The thing is, out there in the real world, if you want to go out there and figure out as a business owner, you or yourself. You provide HVAC services, and you are saying, “How do I get a government contract?” It’s hard. We have tens of thousands of those folks, so we are able to hire an expert and provide that service to all of these people who are interested in government contracts.
The value of a digital network is that you break down all those barriers. You can create that BNI style, referral groups. You can create your own network. We have these ambassadors in different local communities who create free networking groups, they get business owners together. You can also have these large groups where you learn from your peers or about something that you need to learn about.
It’s wild because the thing about business owners is they know their business well. If I’m a tennis coach, for example, I know how to teach young kids how to get excited about tennis. That’s my gift. That’s what I give but I don’t necessarily know everything about how to get a loan. I don’t necessarily know how to market my business on Facebook or how to reach the mothers in the community and explain to them how this is beneficial to them. That’s the power of the community. The large seven million community, it gives them access to all of these kinds of resources, other people, etc.
Let’s go back to the idea of the Chambers of Commerce, and I say this with great respect and love. You see yourself as a disruptor when it comes to business. What you and Eric saw was a large, bloated system. I’m using these words called, let’s say, Chambers of Commerce, that at one time probably was innovative and then had peaked as it were in its ability to serve the needs of local merchants.
Let’s not call them SPLs. It’s local merchants. It was not serving their needs again because they forgot that the U comes before the I. They were in business to keep the chamber in business, as opposed to how can I serve local merchants? You are coming along now and disrupting, and even with BNI, which by the way, was started from 1985 to 1986.
Therefore, it has been around for many years. Thank God, it does very well and serves hundreds of thousands of people all around the world but let’s be blunt. In the world of digital abilities, it’s a new world. You are able to bring that new world order in the nice sense to be able to bring that to bear. I will give a concrete example of FTD. Whatever FTD stands for Flowers to Deliver.
If you have somebody who lives in Michigan at the moment but has family and in Acton, Massachusetts, of all places. They want to be able to give service to the person from Michigan that Florist in Michigan contacts their counterpart in Acton. Now that place delivers the flowers and the arrangement to somebody who lives in Acton to do that.
You share the benefit because that’s what happens. There’s no geography. That was in a time when you had telephones and things like that or a fax machine, high end. Now with digital, that can happen with the push of a button, and you are bringing together more than just a florist. You are bringing anything. Almost anything can be done, plumbers and electricians like you said and coaching. This is a breakthrough, isn’t it?
Absolutely. On one of our forums, there was a lady who had a matcha tea shop, and she started it. She had spent some money after the pandemic, which was brutal for this group of business owners. She was like, “I can’t seem to attract customers. What do I do?” She got 200 or 300 responses of people wanting to help her within the space of a few hours. I want to figure out how to help her even more, like figure out coaching and other mechanisms to help people like her. That’s not available, and that’s wrong. The reason why it’s not available is it’s also very interesting.
This is what I realized was a massive opportunity. I took this idea to one of my friends, who’s a venture capitalist. I’m pretty well connected in these circles. I talked to one of them and said, “I’m thinking about this idea. What do you think?” He said, “Start any business, except something that serves the small business.” I said, “What are you talking about? This is a great set of folks. They are entrepreneurs. This is like the American dream. These are the people we should help.”
He said, “It’s hard to acquire them. You are going to spend a lot of money to acquire them. You are going to have to build a business that charges them thousands of dollars because it’s going to cost you thousands of dollars to acquire them.” That’s when I knew I had something because I was like, “No one is going to do this. I’m going to do this.”
He’s smiling as he says it. He said, “That is the key. My friend who’s a big VC who knows everything has money inside the data.”
Whenever you hear something like that, that’s usually an opportunity. That’s not a negative. That’s part of why this doesn’t exist. It’s tough. First of all, they are from the Show Me State. She got to cross that barrier, then you’ve got to provide the value. You provide enough value that they feel referring other people to it, and that’s how you grow.
You then say, “This much value is free, and for those of you who want to pay more, there are some ways to do it.” We can create a business out of it, now that we are at scale. If you are an accountant, lawyer or web designer, then all your customers are on Alignable, so we can give you a great way to reach those folks and provide some a premium membership, advertising, and all these things. At scale, we are able to build a meaningful business but at the same time keep free a lot of these basic capabilities that help these business owners.
The free piece is it’s not a bait and switch type of thing. In our world, we call it freemium. Freemium is like, “We will give you a little bit for free, and then we get you in the mousetrap and get you.” What you are describing, I believe because I have touched Alignable and I love it, is that a lot of it is free. If I didn’t want to have the pad, I wouldn’t have to but I do look at those premium services because they bring me value.
You have been using the V-word, which is the first of your name. I’m going to give you something from your name later but you have mentioned the S word Scale. We are going to be talking about scale, marriage, and kids, and we are going to have a lot of FUNN.
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These are very nice young people who care about making a difference because a portion of the proceeds goes to support veteran organizations where they focus on service dogs. This is the place where you want to go and tell your friends. This has the finest yummiest, and fresh all-natural treats and stuff for your fur baby. Go to their website and do it.
Alignable Abundance: The thing about business owners is they know their business really well, but they don’t necessarily know how to market their business or reach the community.
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Good day, beautiful, bountiful, beloved mortal beings and good-looking people. Maybe you are looking because you are always looking for and finding the good. We have good and abundance our cup runneth over with good and amazing being Venkat Krishnamurthy. Everything you want to know about Venkat, go to my site BarryShore.com, it’s all going to be there. You don’t have to take any notes. Lean in and let it all flow through you and around you this transformative information. You are going to love it. There is a lot to know. Venkat stands for Vibrant Enthusiastic Nurturing Connections Attracting Talent.
I did that during the break. That’s what you do. You inspire. This is so wonderful. You are touching tens and hundreds of thousands of people around the world. There are people everywhere reading from China, India, Africa, Europe, and United States, and North and South America. There are Alignable organizations and groups everywhere in the world because what you have done with the digital platform is there are no barriers anymore.
That’s genius, and it can be done in any language, any place, and any time. It’s up to you to be able to meet that person that lived and works across the street and does it in a gentle setting. I wrote a newsletter for a number of years called co-opetition. It’s very important to understand that you can compete with people and you can cooperate with the same business at different times.
You may compete and cooperate, and that’s what business is about. You’ve mentioned the word community. Again, I pointed out, the community is spelled with the U coming before the I. That’s the point of a community. When you are there to be a giver and to help, you reap a benefit that’s far in excess of what it is you’ve given you. Don’t do it with that thought, “I’m going to give this much. I will give that.”
It’s the ability to share, and then the Law of Attraction kicks in. Let’s talk about attraction. You are attracted to this wonderful woman who became your wife, and together you have four kids. You mentioned them, and I want to talk about them. It’s interesting because you come from India and, therefore, a subcontinent. You are darker skinned, and your wife probably. She comes from Southern Texas, and you have four boys. Three of them are triplets.
That’s mind-expanding. Let alone body expanding. Let’s talk about what it is to raise a family in a state called Massachusetts, which happens to be extremely, in my humble opinion, Liberal. I know because I came from there, and I left purposely. That’s a different story. What it is to raise kids in this environment because it’s not the same household that you grew up in with your wife. It is a challenge, I believe, in many respects. It’s more than a business show because the real business of life is life.
What’s interesting about it is there are some very profound differences. The India that I grew up in was 1992 and before, so it was a little bit different than it is now. It was a little bit more socialist but you talk about this idea of scarcity and abundance. We grew up with scarcity back then. I hated it. I hated that idea of scarcity, and I wanted to escape. That’s one of the reasons I came to this country. I used to read novels by American authors. Science fiction was my favorite, Isaac Asimov. I read all of his books. I used to read these westerns by Louis L’Amour when I was a kid.
I had this feeling of when I would read these books, I would get this sense of abundance and possibility that I never had. It’s hard to let go of that upbringing. It was always with me. That has been one of the really interesting things. If you look at a lot of Indian families in this country, they are very well adjusted but they all are battling that constantly. Their kids are growing up with abundance, possibility, self-actualization, and all these things that you can do in this country, which you couldn’t do when we were growing up. To me, Massachusetts is very Liberal.
We were in California and Massachusetts. Honestly, the only time I felt a little bit of that weirdness was when I visited Switzerland once, and we were reeling our first baby down the road and Interlochen. This couple looked at us with a funny face. Other than that, we have been spared all of that but the depth of it is around how you think about life and kids.
With all my entrepreneurship, realization, self-actualization, and desire for abundance, that was still a big part of how I grew up. That has been, to me, the interesting thing that my wife was bringing to the table, which is like, “This is an abundant place.” People can do whatever they like. You’ve got to work hard. You’ve got to apply yourself. You’ve got to do all these things but that’s what this country is about. You can do that.
You will hear a lot of mixed-race parents talk about issues maybe they are faced with, and so on. My kids are very well adjusted. They have grown up in a great place but I would say that has been one of the biggest struggles is fighting that upbringing, which keeps telling you, “You’ve got to fight a little bit. It’s a competition. It’s all of those things.” I would say that was one of the big challenges.
Let me put it into my words, and you will see if it’s true. Your sons are growing up in an abundant mindset and a much more of a team-oriented environment, which I call together, everyone achieves miracles. That’s the team. There are miracles to be seen and done. In other words, the world that you disrupted a particular industry.
It was dominated. The BNI, Chamber of Commerce, and even LinkedIn but you found your niche, and we know there are riches in niches. For them, because they are only under twenty, each one of them. Their world twenty years from now will look very different. There may well be self-driving cars that don’t bump into each other, which in itself is a whole thought process.
The ability to hit a button on an app or whatever it’s going to look like in those days and a car comes up because they don’t have to own one, who even know is above it. You are talking like Isaac Asimov and such. It sounds like science fiction but it could be science fact, and you are approving it. One of the reasons I want to speak with you and enjoy this so much is that you have proven what can be done with desire and hard work. Like you said before, I loved it when the person said, “No, you don’t want to do that,” and then you said, “Light bulb. Opportunity.” America equals opportunity.
More than any place in the world, it is unique.
This is unique, and we have been founded on certain values. Now we call them Judeo-Christian values, and they are. They are rooted in the fundamental belief that there’s a creator and that the creator is good. The people living in the system we call the United States of America want to contribute to being good.
I recognize by being good and being a giver, knowing how to receive as well but not being a taker is the best part of life, and yet in almost every other country in the world, scarcity breeds taking because there’s only so much. That pie is little. I need to get my share as opposed to understanding the pie is completely expansive. It is enough for everybody.
I can’t speak to India post-1992. I’m seeing some amazing things happening there. I’m hopeful that that’s how kids are growing up there as well now because they hopefully internalize those American values because it’s a much better way to live. It’s a happier and better place.
If you live a purposeful life and go MAD, Make A Difference, you are happier, healthier, and wealthier. I must be blunt. India has over 1.3 billion people, and it’s growing. It takes a bit of time to reach those places that are outside the hubs. To make sure that that’s part that may take another generation or two but that’s not the point. The point is, it will keep spreading. Let’s talk a little bit of geopolitics. India, in my humble opinion, is the greatest hope for the world outside of America. The buffer to China, which is communist. The buffer to Russia, which is bordering on evil. Buffer to Iran, which has a bizarre worldview.
India is the hope of the world. America and India together, and Israel. Throwing Israel is very funny because it talks about one of the largest physical landmasses in the world, India, with 1.3 billion. You are talking about a country the size of Massachusetts. That’s Israel. We have 7 or 8 million people but Israel embodies that can do spare it, and there are no limits.
An alliance of America, India, and Israel bring a lot to the world. That’s why I’m so happy you are here. Let’s talk about the Academy Award because the only thing people know about the academy is the slap heard around the world. I liked Lexington. Inside baseball, I told Venkat. I grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts.
I sold scorecards outside of Fenway Park. I am deep-dyed in the world Bostonian. I was born in Dorchester. I can say Fenway Park, and I can park the car and all that stuff. When I was growing up, even legal seafood didn’t exist. That’s how far back I go. I went to the first one with sawdust on the floor. The point is that what is the Academy Award? Tell us about it.
Alignable Abundance: Alignable is all about the American system of opportunity, abundant mindset, and possibility.
I was doing some research for my graduate degree on how to create three-dimensional realistic things for animation, and because of various contacts, I ended up talking to the folks at Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm. They ended up using the stuff that I had done, the technology that I had invented. They ended up using it for a variety of movies, including Star Wars.
It was pretty cool. It was usually a ton of movies after that. The paper was published, and so a lot of other places around the world didn’t use my technology but they used my work and started doing this. If you think about a dinosaur in Jurassic Park or a digital stunt double in a movie, Gollum in Lord of the Rings or whatever it is, the catch is how do you make the shape realistic and believable.
I took a process that used to take weeks. I used laser scanning, some math, and all sorts of fun stuff to do that job in minutes. You could have hundreds of characters in the movie instead of laboring over 1 or 2 of them. That was the innovation. That happened in ’95 or ’96-ish is around when I published the paper. The guys from Industrial Light & Magic came over at 9:00 in the evening to the graphics lab.
They had me disconnect all the computers from the internet and put black curtains all around. They came in with these boxes and had these mech hats of all the creatures from Star Wars episode one. I saw all the creatures a few years before they came out in the movie. I scanned them in, and I helped them get them ready for primetime and all of that. Over time, the technology got used in a bunch of different movies. I got the Academy Award. It was a Technical Achievement Award. I got that in 2001. That was the Academy Award.
It was great. It was amazing. I enjoyed the programming, math, physics, and all that good stuff but I enjoyed interacting with the artists and the sculptors. That was fun. They think so differently than I do. It was a lot of fun. Getting to see how their brains worked and how I could help them. That was fantastic.
You come from a mathematical point of view. They were coming from the left-brain point of view, and yet you were both creating these new images, which hadn’t been seen before in record time. Tell me what you think about and what’s happening with 3D printers.
It’s amazing. I still have one. I created this 3D-printed sculpture. There’s a company called 3D Systems. It’s a public company. I remember I have this resin sculpture. It cost us like $10,000 or something like that. It was very expensive at the time. That thing now is like tens of dollars. That’s incredible. It’s not that, it was also fragile.
The thing is, you can create these parts that are both cheap, and they are durable, so you can use them for manufacturing. You can use them for all these things. It’s an absolute revolution. It changes the game. I have read a lot about people using it on a larger scale. I don’t think it’s caught on hugely. They are experimenting with houses and buildings. That’s going to be super interesting.
I have worked with a number of high-end dentists who do a lot of implants and such. That revolution is happening for dentists because they make compression and send it to a lab. It would usually take 48 hours, and then they’ve got it down to 24. I helped a friend of mine in Mexico. He has a very high-end dentistry practice. People from all over the country fly in there because it’s a third of the price of the United States but the quality is the same because it’s just equipment.
They are now using a 3D printer and he’s like, “We used to take 24 hours, and that was great. It’s now taking an hour and a half and less expensive.” The answer of America is, in my humble opinion, has been teaching this for many years. It’s called FBC, Faster, Better, Cheaper. When you can do things faster, better, and cheaper by definition, you will be attracting people to you. Why not? Isn’t that what it’s about?
It is. That’s what it’s about, and it opens up possibilities. That’s the thing. When things that were taking you, an artist, in this case, would have taken, let’s say, 4 to 6 weeks to work on this one creature. Now they are working or doing that within hours. That freed up 4 to 6 weeks of their time. Now they can be more creative and start adding a ton of value. That’s what the FBC does. It opens up a lot of potentials to do more and more. That’s why it keeps building on itself.
I am so overjoyed that we are talking because I see you as the bridge. As I said, America, India, we will throw in Israel because it’s a little spice and such. The point is that when you have 1.3 billion people, even if only a third of the population is freed from the shackles of thinking scarcity. Now you are talking about the same population in the United States of America, hundreds of millions of people who are thinking of opportunity, and they are all digital natives because most of the people are younger.
They don’t know what a rotary phone is. They don’t know what a phone is with a cord. They are digital natives. They were raised with this, so they can now have the abundance mindset. They can do ABC Abundance, Bountiful, and Creative. That’s what you are bringing to the table. This is what Alignable is all about.
You are aligning these values that are quintessential Americans, let’s be blunt, not European. American values that many throughout Europe. I would say close to 25% of the European population longs for it. We are not going to get into geopolitics. This one, we will do another show. The American system of, like you said, opportunity, abundant mindset, possibility. If you stumble and you fall, big deal.
That’s the other big thing I love about this country is that you stumble and you fall, big deal. Stand back up, do it again.
I want you to stumble and fall. If you haven’t been falling, what good are you?
That’s part of the culture. That’s amazing.
I’m a little bit hesitant to tell you that we are coming close to the end of our hour together. Here’s what I would like to do. With your permission, even without maybe. I’m going to ask you three questions, and then we will finish this part up. The first question is, will you come back again?
Thank you. The big A. Number two, you have only 80 seconds to answer this. What is your most fervent desire?
My most fervent desire is for American style freedom and abundance to be worldwide.
That’s wonderful. I want you to write that down. I don’t think anybody has asked you the question, and you were clear, concise, and compelling. Thank you. Are you ready for a hug with 358,222 people around the world?
I don’t know how we are going to do it but okay.
This is digital, and I’m going to tell you what HUG stands for. It’s Heartfelt Unlimited Giving. If you have been reading, our amazing guest Venkat Krishnamurthy. In this show, we talk about the three fundamentals of life, which are your life has purpose. You lead a purpose-driven life. You go MAD like him. He’s a MAD man. You Make A Difference.
The third is to unlock the power and the secrets of everyday words in terms like WWW and What A Wonderful World. The result will be that you will be happier, healthier, and wealthier. Who doesn’t want that? You will be able to use the word SMILE Seeing Miracles In Life Every day as my eight-year-old niece says Seeing Miracles In Everyday Life. You will be able to create the world you want to live in, causing rethinking and enabling all to excel.
We urge everybody to use four-letter words. Remember it in the positive, purposeful, and powerful world of four-letter words are love, life, hope, free, swim, play, pray, grow, gift, and the greatest one I think is FUNN. After the show, you see your family and friends say, “What did you hear in that show?” “He this guy wants to teach the world to FUNN.” It will be a good way to start a conversation about business, the U before the I, the opportunity and thinking abundance, and never being afraid to do anything.
This is the United States, India, Israel or anywhere in the world. Go forth and live exuberantly. Remember to use the 2 most powerful words in the English language 3 times a day, even when you stub your toe. “Thank you.” To Harmonize And Network Kindness. A prayer and a blessing for everybody from Venkat and Barry are following. Go forth. Live exuberantly. Spread the seeds of joy, happiness, peace, and love. Go MAD, Make A Difference.
About Venkat Krishnamurthy
Serial entrepreneur, all-round product guy and hands-on leader. I’ve founded and operated multiple startups that have reached a liquidity event through an IPO or acquisition. Alumnus of IIT-Kanpur (CS) & Stanford (Ph.D. in CS) and received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 2001.
Alignable (current business), is the definitive hyperlocal and social network for SMBs. Well funded and hiring aggressively in Boston.
I’ve been on the leadership team at both public companies and startups at every stage, across a number of domain areas. Fields I’ve worked in at significant depth prior to Alignable: Enterprise Software, Computer Graphics, Retention marketing for high ASP products, RFID, IOT, CAD, Manufacturing, Metrology, Orthodontics, EAS/Security.
I enjoy disruptive innovation and have taught a course at MIT on the subject, and also consult/advise at all stages of growth.
I’m passionate about access to quality education for under-privileged (and really all) children. At GK Trust, we’re focused on the education of under-privileged children in India via Gita Krishnamurthy Vidyalaya (Gkvschool.)