Renji Bijoy only discovered his coding skills by accident. While studying to become a medical student, he was forced to take a course in Java programming, and he discovered he was good at it. He took to it so much, in fact, when all his med school applications came back, he threw them all in the trash—both the thin rejection letters and the thick acceptance packets.
What followed was an insatiable desire to advance. Though he excelled in his jobs, he continuously sought something more. “I never asked for more money, I only asked for more responsibility,” he says.
Eventually, it became clear he needed to set out on his own, and that’s when Immersed was born—a tech startup that allows people with VR headsets to work in a virtual office space, with features only possible in an artificial world.
On this edition of Founders Journey, Renji tells us about his early experiences as the child of immigrants, how he eventually found his way to leading a tech startup with $12 million in funding—and why playing Halo was integral to the process.
More information: https://immersed.com/
Renji, the founder of Immersed, a Techstars startup partnered with Facebook, HTC, & Microsoft to build VR Offices, who has raised $12M to date. Renji is part of 2021’s Forbes 30 Under 30, received a Master’s degree from Georgia Tech (#3 Computer Science graduate school in the US) in Computer Vision + Machine Learning, was a Techstars portfolio founder (top 10 of 10,000 candidates, top 0.1%), and was the lead software architect @ GreatBigStory.com (growth-hacked to 3M followers in 2 months)!
DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!
Renji Bijoy 0:00
You’re essentially giving people the tools to go and spend their time to ultimately build your company, which is super helpful. And so all that to say doesn’t have to be a paid marketing approach, like 100% be a free channel.
Alexander Ferguson 0:17
Welcome to UpTech Report. This is our founders journey series UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of video at Teraleap.io. Today, I am joined by my guest Renji Bijoy, who is based in Austin, Texas. He’s the founder and CEO of Immersed. Now this is part two of our discussion. Go back and listen to Part one where we heard more about how they’re actually partnering with Microsoft, Facebook and ACC, to build VR offices. how cool that is. And I’m psyched now to hear more though Renji your story like how do you got to where you are today? Take me back like were you just always into technology? And just like I want to be in this space?
Renji Bijoy 1:00
So no, it’s interesting story. So well, as a kid growing up, I mean, low income family, we couldn’t afford much of anything. My parents were immigrants who came straight from India $0 in their pocket, they came to this country without anything. And so they really had to kind of build from the ground up, we did live in a pretty low income area in New York City. And even that was extremely expensive. A lot of gang activity, which is extremely just like unsafe. And so my parents, they then ended up moving us to a suburb in Georgia, because they had some siblings would move down then realize, Oh, you can get a five bedroom home for a third of the price of the house in New York. And so we ended up moving to the suburbs of Georgia, and ended up I guess, kind of growing up there playing with kids in the coldest sack, you know, just kind of open land, whatever. And then I moved into the city for undergrad. So Emory, I went there, I went to Emory for undergrad and then Georgia Tech for grad school. But for undergrad I was actually pre med I was not in tech. I mean, I was I would think about all of my pre med classes. I know Yeah, I I took my MCAT I applied to med schools. I was waiting to hear back from med schools. But I also did do math and computer science for myself, specifically math. So I knew I was really good at math. And they forced you to take one Java class. And so it turns out, I found out that I was good at coding. I didn’t know I was good at coding. I was kind of late because my first Java class I was 20 years old. And so like most coders who are Mark Zuckerberg, when coding things like eight or eight years old, right, Ilan, Musk, same thing. And for me, you know, here’s me as like, two years into being an adult. And I just come across What the heck coding is. But I guess as I look back at my past, there ways that like, my logical thinking, was was sort of, I guess, somewhat of a gifting without me realizing it. I you know, growing up, I played Halo, I was a, as a 12 year old kid, I just, I just never lost, it was nuts. Like, I would play in all the local tournaments. And I was playing against these, you know, 25 year old kids, you know, I’m literally half their age. But here’s just like, little 12 year old Renji, who’s crushing everyone at the turn. I had never been in a tournament where the finals weren’t 25 to zero with me winning, like every single time every second plays, and I was just Yeah, like, I think that for me, I mean, number one, I played a lot, but it was mainly because I think sort of strategy like teamwork. Those are things that, you know, obviously translates my work today. But I know that no, elega you had to make certain sacrifices here and there just to win at the end. The end goal, like things like, oh, like, I really, really want the rocket launcher, but I know that they might see me so you know, I’ll lay off the rocket launcher for a second. Yes, they might go get it but the sniper here and so although they can blow me up with one shot, I know that if I better aim, I can hit them for a little like, it’s like yeah, was a sacrifice for me is not to get the rocket launcher. But the end goal is to get the kill, right? So at the end of the day, it’s like, Okay, well, maybe I won’t get the rocket, the launch I want but you learn how to not go for certain like fool’s gold or whatever. And instead just reach the end goal. If that makes sense.
Alexander Ferguson 4:02
Reggie, you paint a painting a picture here now, for kid gamers that eventually with the skills that they learned gaming can help them lead their own startup
Renji Bijoy 4:12
100% 100%. So like, for me, I didn’t realize that getting deep into gaming was kind of the starter for me to become a lot more tech savvy. So in undergrad Yeah, I mean, 20 year old kid learning how to or 20 year old adults learning how to code for the first time turns out was actually pretty good at it. And so as I was waiting to hear back from med schools, it was like a nine month waiting cycle. And I was just like, Well, I’m not gonna sit here and do nothing. So you know, because I had already graduated that point from undergrad. So I was like, let me just start applying as a software engineer. And I went into those interviews going to them saying, hey, look, I don’t have any experience. I took like three Java classes. But what I can say is, if I don’t learn this job in the first two or three months and do better than the people who have hired here right now you can Like, crazy, I guess the rescue from them. They’re like, yeah, you gave me license to fire it. And so either did a great job. And so for me, I’d like it doesn’t mean I just was handed the job it means I had to prove myself. And I think that I really love the the process I love the challenge is very clear that after just those two, three months, I realized man, I could really create stuff that other people could use. I realized I just I don’t know if I ever want to go to med school. And so I just like I started hearing back from med schools. And I you could tell which ones I got into, I opened them because I knew I’d be tempted to go just because I’ve been training for so long. But I you could kind of tell which one’s the guidance, because it’s a thicker packet or whatever. But I just took all the measures threw in the trash. My parents were so angry at me because again, coming from a low income family and like their son becoming a doctor or I was specifically focused on like neurosurgery or cardiothoracic surgery. And so like for them, they loved that story. And they loved you know, the fact that they wouldn’t have to worry about money that much. But for me, I was there. I was like, Nope, I think I want to go be a coder. And they’re like, heck, no, don’t waste your time. So obviously, they were extremely upset with me today, they’re happy. But back then they were so angry that I didn’t go and go the medical route. But anyways, as a software engineer, I ended up climbing the software engineering ladder very rapidly, I think by the end, so by the time I was, I guess, 20 to 2023. So about the age of 23 years old. So about 18 months out of graduating from undergrad, I hit somewhat of a ceiling in my career, because I’d sort of gone from job to job to job into kind of like kind of climbing the ranks like I would go entry level here to mid level elsewhere to senior elsewhere to lead architect elsewhere. And we started because after about three to six hours, even more like six ish months, at each job, I started getting bored. And my managers would say things like, Oh, hey, like, we can’t give you more responsibility, because we have like annual reviews. But you know, what, we’re talking a year and I’m like, in a year, I don’t know if I’ll be alive, like, you know, like, I have to move now. And so these LinkedIn recruiters would just spam you. And so I’d always respond to all the LinkedIn recruiters saying, Yeah, I mean, and I would always at least like entertain, okay, what would it look like for me to work where else we’re at a higher position. And so going from and I never asked for more money, I only asked for more responsibility. And so, but fortunately, obviously, being a lead software architect at my last job, when I was 23, I was getting paid a lot. And I was paying like 170 bucks for rent, and 170 bucks for rent, because I was in a house with 10 other dudes. And so like, we’re just splitting up rent like crazy. And so I got to save a lot of money. And little did I know, that would prepare me really well for going two years without a single paycheck in order to start Immersed.
Alexander Ferguson 7:33
So you’re jumping the ladder here in there, which is actually you’re actually paying is showing away for others kid gamers that say, hey, you can climb the ladder as a coder and then quickly be able to say you’re going to start your own venture was as simple as that you just suddenly Okay, I’m ready. Now I want to do my own thing was it just just that
Renji Bijoy 7:51
there’s a lot of not being is a lot of not being content with my previous jobs, meaning I was working on products that they thought was awesome, but I didn’t really like it example. So the last job that I quit, it was it was the day after our honeymoon. And so I just like, my wife was like, What the heck and like her family was like, I knew just got married and I gonna quit your job. And so it was kind of it was kind of just not good timing from their perspective to deliver. They know I had a pretty big nest egg at the time. But when I realized that my previous jobs was I just didn’t want to work on time waster apps, meaning like I was most recently a leadoff architect for CNN working on gripping story Comm. And we got to growth hack that so yeah, 3 million followers. It was kind of like a an internal startup that was backed by CNN because they were trying to create a like short three to five minute documentary clip like repository for these millennials to actually engage with CNN on some level, because cnn historically, you know, 4050 6070 year old people who watch their content and so yeah, it was a very addicting application. Cool. man had 3 million followers and then two months, but I just don’t want to work on time with time waster apps with my life. So I ended up jumping ship and then focusing on a ultimately a PhD at Georgia Tech in computer vision, and machine learning. But that also was taking forever. And so after about two and a half years, I quit that and just sort of settled for the masters and then decided to actually start building Immersed.
Alexander Ferguson 9:17
Gotcha. It sounds like you have this insatiable desire to keep moving forward and you start to lose patience. If it takes too long. He’s just like, I gotta, I gotta push more. I got to push more. Yeah, well, I’m
Renji Bijoy 9:29
I’m okay with what I will say is I’m okay with if something takes a long time, but not for no reason. Right? Meaning if the PhD is taking forever, just because the research professors like Yeah, yeah, I just want you to work your longer. It’s like, that’s dumb. Right. So arbitrary. And then working at, for example, these different jobs as a software engineer, if they just have arbitrary annual reviews, especially when someone has proven that they can do a better job even than their managers. I just don’t know why this is not a meritocracy, and why they can’t tend to buy or incentivize people to just want to be more and more, I guess, a liter for lack of better terms, then they were previously right, or at least at least just refine their skills and just do better, better better, because it is moving the business forward. Why would you incentivize that? So all that to say, like, even in the startup world, I can’t force the market to want my product. But as long as I’m not getting in the way, or like, no one on my team, or our users or whatever, like are getting in the way of this progressing and moving forward, like, that’s totally fine. Like I do understand things do take time. But it was just I noticed that in the world that we lived in and sort of kind of this cookie cutter like box sort of world that you’ve been placed in there, just so many arbitrary type things are at least arbitrary for you. Meaning, yes, I’m sure there are reasons why companies have annual reviews, because they’re trying to do this at scale. They don’t know how this doesn’t work for every employee. But that shows that I just wasn’t made for corporate America. Right. It shows that I was a very clear missed it. It made might be arbitrary for me, but it wasn’t arbitrary. For the other nine to five employees are totally fine. They have like a 40 year life plan. I don’t I might die next year. I don’t know. And this is why I’m hustling moving fast until I’m called home. Right. So
Alexander Ferguson 11:07
I love it, though. The this this energy leads you towards starting a murse. Now, looking back for the last four years, you’ve actually raised I think you said over about 12 million over the last four years. Yeah, right. Yeah. Now
Renji Bijoy 11:22
we’ll see. So the first two years is about like a million and a half. Yeah. And then after that, we’ll sorry, the first like year and a half. It was those nothing. But then yeah, I think after that it was like a million. And then last year, we raised 3 million. And then this year, we raised 8 million.
Alexander Ferguson 11:41
So that first year and a half that was bootstrapped. That was just you just
Renji Bijoy 11:44
figure Yeah. savings. I was the angel investor.
Alexander Ferguson 11:48
Yeah. So what was the was the the motivator indicated for you to that all right. Now I gotta, I gotta raise some money.
Renji Bijoy 11:56
Yeah, when my teeth when it was very clear, I needed to hire a team that could do everything. For me, in the early days of immersing every piece of the core technology that we had built in the early days, it was with me, I’d built the agent that was living on the Mac, operating system. And then I also built the initial unity application that ran on the headset. Now it’s kind of a base case. And I built the start using sort of different versions of streaming technology, I had to tweak it for our use case, to get just the prototype working. And as soon as I proved, hey, like this is a and by the way, like immersal is the first company in the world to ever stream a computer screen into VR wirelessly. There were other computer competitions or competitors that had done it wired. But they just, it just never happened wirelessly until we kind of focus on it. Because it for me, again, I was so focused on do people want to be tethered to a desk, like you want a wire to your head, like no, no one wants that. I want to be free, and I want to move as needed. And so I just wanted to kind of invent what that was, we did have patents on that as well, which is really cool. But that being said, I realized I couldn’t build everything, and I couldn’t build it fast enough. This is you know, being early in VR, or at least from attraction standpoint, or adoption standpoint, you’re having to build a lot of the technology that just doesn’t exist. And so if you think about people who build on build websites, and mobile apps and stuff, a lot of the underlying core technology on your computer on your phone, a lot. It’s built, built already by other people. And so you’re just building on top of it. But for us in VR, I mean, yes, there are headsets, that kind of work. And then you have blebbing. I mean, that’s about it. And now you’re having to build all the other kind of unnecessary quote unquote, technology that’s not even relevant to really what your high level value proposition is, just to get certain things to just work. And so I had to build some sort of streaming technology that just worked for our use case where I had to build some virtual display stuff. And so all that to say, like, I guess we the pieces weren’t there that people take for granted the web and mobile world, all these pieces of pieces are there for you. Back then that
Alexander Ferguson 13:56
just wasn’t the case. You bring the light, the fact that the building for VR is still somewhat of a the Wild West, where if you want to just build now, that’s okay. No problems I go down.
Renji Bijoy 14:09
Yeah, think about. Yeah, but think about building like, like a web app or a mobile app, but you have to build the internet first. It’s like, Am I really gonna build the internet first, or to make, you know, Uber, or Lyft, or whatever it’s like, that would really suck if you had to build the internet first. But I’m not saying that we’ve built the internet. What I’m saying is there are a lot of technologies that make and that’s kind of why we have such a deep tech technological moat is because a lot of this stuff is just not open, open box, whatever, they can just go get it from wherever off the shelf, you have to build a lot of stuff from the ground up. And this is four years in the making. And so I think that as I realized that I could just do all of this or to move as fast as I wanted to. From a speed standpoint, from an attraction standpoint, I had to start hiring other people in order to do that. I couldn’t just bootstrap everything forever. I had to go find outside capital.
Alexander Ferguson 14:57
Now what being able to To know your target market and a good product design that does help in raising the funds and having the vision, okay, this is who we’re targeting. And we talked in the last episode that you decided on engineers and coders yourselves basically, like, we’re gonna just build a product for them. And your mentality that was always been kind of like a slack way where it’d be to see the person but to eventually get back to the enterprise. Is that correct?
Renji Bijoy 15:23
Yep. Yeah, so yeah, we call it the B to C to B approach, right? So we’ve actually ran experiment, as far as me doing b2b sales, right? And by the way, like I did during undergrad do sales. And so I that’s why I am not just like a crazy, socially awkward, like coder or whatever, like, I can have a conversation and I could pitch decently well, partly because I, you know, for fundraising, for product, whatever. Partly because, yeah, I had that awesome sales job and undergrad, that was not easy. But I think that everyone should have a sales job at some point, it really develops you in a lot of ways. It helps you kind of learn about, yeah, how do you not just get a participation medal, but in order to like pay your, for your meals, you have to actually perform? Right. And so when we anyways, bring it back to the the whole topic, as I don’t know, like, as I started doing this experiment, between b2b versus b2c to be meaning just put an app on the store or get eyeballs on your product, see if they could upsell this to their managers, I mean, hands down 100 to one like 100x more effective than me doing b2b sales. Because think about it, even just from a logical in hindsight is logical. Meaning me taking a headset, we’re First off, let’s take a step back even before that prospecting, finding Who the heck would even want to talk about this event, getting the meeting, then actually bringing the headset to demo that, you know, to figure out if I can even get it to them, then convincing them that I’m not biased towards my own product, clearly I am. And ultimately giving them a very candid, clear, objective, beneficial review of my product and ultimately pitching to them, hey, you should buy this thing because this is a need that you have, maybe. And so ultimately getting kind of ultimate those hoops, and then them having to once they’re convinced, or getting them to figure out who they need to kind of bring it to, in their chain of command as well getting corporate approval onto the stuff just so many, like, hoops to jump through. But then when you think about the B to C to B approach, and the flip side, the champion internally, already found the product on their own, they already found the value, they are now pitching into their manager who already knows that they don’t work for him, or that person is a worker, they work for their company. So they’re inherently unbiased. And from there, they already know who in the chain of command is the decision maker, right? They don’t need, I don’t need to go find out who that is they do. And so then you have that at scale their prospecting on their own, because they are the eyeballs who are already looking at your application or to using it right. So this is really just like we’re talking, hey, do I want to push a boulder up a hill? Or do I want to just like throw a boulder off the edge of Mount Everest, like, I would pick Mount Everest. Just because like gravity will do all the work, just throw it off the edge of Mount Everest, and it will forget, it’ll it’ll move if my goal is to move this boulder as far as possible, I would pick the gravity side as opposed to me being the one to make this happen, if that makes sense. So all that to say like, I think that probably probably a lot more companies could do a much better job at honestly, ad being able to get a lot more exposure get a lot more leads coming in. If they at least ran an experiment between a b2b approach versus b2c to be granted, it sort of depends on your space. If you’re in like healthcare, or Gov tech or whatever, it might be a little bit different. But what it realized, though, all these people who work at these places, I mean, Facebook does have like 2 billion users, right? So someone’s eyeballs are using Facebook, and someone’s gonna eventually come across as someone knows someone who works at an army base or, or works at a hospital or whatever. And so I wonder if people if they were to just all these big companies, if they were to even just try brainstorming? What could a B to C to B strategy look like? I wonder if they could grow 10 next year in a much, I guess, lower lift sort of way.
Alexander Ferguson 19:03
Or this B to C to B mentality, what tactics Have you found to work to get the attention because in order to get to the event, and B, you still need to get a ton a ton of consumers in order to make that ratio work. So what taxes work for marketing?
Renji Bijoy 19:22
Yeah, so from a marketing standpoint, I think people are too quick to use Facebook ads, I’ll just be real. Like, I’m not saying that. All I’m saying is there is a way to get to them. As far as how scrappy you can be just sort of times right. So for us, for example, it’s really weird and random. I didn’t expect this at the time. But especially back then, but Reddit was a huge source of eyeballs for me, and it was free. I just use Reddit I would post to these, like these different like VR Reddit channels that I didn’t know really even existed. It was really just the crazy crazy, like, out of all the early adopter VR nerds, like a small subset of VR nerds who are like crazy passionate like, hey, like, we’re all Already in the Oasis, you know, back in 2016. It’s like, no, we’re not like they’re kind of psycho, right. And so but when I showed my product to them, they would go nuts and post it all over on the internet on my behalf. And so they were in. So essentially you’re, you’re over time building a small kind of army that just does all of this for you. They just are so passionate about the product that you’ve built, that they will go on Twitter, they will go on Facebook, they’ll go on Instagram, wherever they’ll go. And we have people who posted immersive videos on tik tok. And I’m like, isn’t me like eight year old kids that are on there, but like people are posting stuff on tik tok with them working in VR or whatever. And so now we’re just getting a ton of users come from tik tok to it’s so random, but you’re essentially giving people the tools to go and spend their time to ultimately build your company, which is super helpful. And so all that to say it doesn’t have to be a paid marketing approach. It could 100% be a free channel you just have to go out there and experiment and find who are the people who could very well really expand your message and people who are very well networked, very read it is a huge platform that is slept on people don’t think about Reddit very often. When it comes to Facebook, I think it’s kind of the easy way out but
Alexander Ferguson 21:05
I appreciate that. That that whole mentality of find those those those who are just crazy about that area, get them to be champions to move it on now. One piece, okay is funding and other pieces marketing. But you’ve already stated earlier to truly grow that grow this you needed a team, a good team, the right team of talented team, what would you say, has been some of your biggest lessons learned in growing the team?
Renji Bijoy 21:28
Yeah, number one, I would say is don’t sacrifice on who you hire, right? Don’t make a hire just because you’re desperate for someone to code something just because you’re trying to hit deadlines. Instead, you could make a wrong hire who ends up being someone who had to part ways with longer term and some people don’t even know how to part ways that people also
Alexander Ferguson 21:49
you mentioned that they you you are your super focus on on just the best people. How do you find the best Pete like you if you’re not gonna sacrifice? Where are you going? How are you finding these people?
Renji Bijoy 22:00
Yeah, so it’s pretty crazy. But a lot of the stuff that we do is very counterintuitive. You almost have to find the people who are you’re forced to try to unserved to Unseld them on your company, and they will bust down the doors to get into your company, regardless, right. So what I mean by that is, very intentionally, we have a very low salary cap, we don’t pay crap from a salary standpoint. We are however generous on the equity side, we want people who truly believe in this company. And if they don’t believe in this company, to the point where they’re willing to make large salary sacrifices, then they probably shouldn’t be at your company, they’re probably not going to be there when crap hits the fan, and you need someone to be there in the middle of the night to help take care of this baby. That is your startup, right? I think that people who end up just sort of, you know, trying to show off, oh, we have these benefits and but it’s like you’re already you’re you’re bringing them to your startup for the wrong reasons, your startup should be inherently attractive to these employees to start with. If they’re coming here for the benefits, like if for the salary or for table tennis or whatever, they’re not coming for the startup, they’re coming for the wrong reasons. And so that being said, we had a very attractive compensation package from a salary standpoint, the only thing that was attractive was equity. However, I wasn’t making people, co founders, I was giving them generous early, higher equity, though. And so what that meant was people who and again, that doesn’t mean, I’m looking for only people who desperately want to work at Amherst, I’m looking for people who desperately want to work at Amherst and have already have a crazy successful proven track record, right. So out of the subset of people who really, really wanted to work at Amherst with based on me having hopefully done a good job building a great attractive big vision to begin with and executed on that vision to start with. The hope is that out of all the people who really want to work in America, find that small subset of people, and yes, it might be 400 interviews before you find the one once you do find the one. These are people who, for example, people on our team were getting paid between 200 to 500k at their previous jobs, but they’ve gotten to a point where they’re like, the money is cool, but I’m just not content at Google, or Microsoft or Apple or whatever, whatever. And they’re like, I just want to work on this startup. And I want to be in the VR space. And I wish it was something more practical like productivity, it’s like you find these people were already thinking this somewhere on Earth. Now you just need to somehow meet. And so the question is, how do you find those people you find people who are incentivized by equity, not by salary, they will be a person who will be there and they’ll the night they won’t just be a hired nine to five hand. They would be someone who are actually like co founder type people who will be there through thick and thin. What’s so crazy is back in 2019, we actually ran out of money. And it took me six additional months to find capital. And by the beginning of that six months, I went to my team said, hey, look, we ran out of money. You guys are free to go and find jobs if you want. And seven out of seven at the time said we’re not going anywhere. We’re sitting right here until you get this thing funded. And they just continued coding they started where they kept working as they’re getting paid. And what was cool was Number one that brought me to tears. And number two, it I realized how dedicated my team was, I realized that the nurses not going to feel because we’ve run out of money. Like if you’re able to build a company that doesn’t feel when it runs out of money, you build something that people don’t build. Like that just doesn’t happen. When startups usually fail when when when money runs out of the bank or money, there’s no more money in the bank. So anyways, ended up getting this thing funded and people on the team they like stuck around, if anything, got them the more passion about what we were building. So all I have to say like if you’re able to build something so attractive and build relationships with people who are the top engineers in the world who are okay with an 80% pay cut to work at a company that doesn’t pay them crap, but they are sure that this is going to be the company that is going to be the next Google or Apple or whatever. I mean, you’re going to find the people who are gonna help build that next Google or Apple or whatever.
Alexander Ferguson 25:49
So as as a as a single founder, but yet not by yourself. It’s I can definitely tell you your presence, your energy seems to just want to pull people along. And we could probably talk for another half hour on this but I’m going to close with with with his last question here. As a as a leader, how are you continuing to grow? What books audio books, podcasts? Are you listening to reading and can recommend?
Renji Bijoy 26:17
I think the two things so well, I can recommend podcasts I really loved it loved masters of scale, but with Reed Hoffman, I loved navall Ravi, Ravi Kant thinks it is that last name navall just Twitter na v al, his podcast, which is just straight information, which is so effective. Sometimes I listen to Joe Rogan stuff. The main is the tech people and tech focus people on Joe Rogan stuff. But I think the things that sharpened me the most for startups are going to be Yeah, like I listen to a lot of Y Combinator lectures at Stanford, on YouTube that are recorded on YouTube. Those have been probably the one of the most some of the most effective things for me and my team, you know, I have a kind of a list of books right here that came out that hooked, lean, lean startup, Ready Player to this and more inspiration. And like there’s other books out there that have also been helpful. But I think for me, like, if you surround yourself with the world’s most brilliant people, I mean, you can’t help but to constantly sharpen each other. These are people who also soak in information. They only have to be on your team. They just be other founders of other companies who you’re just sort of networked with. I think it’s so important to have really strong relationships. So
Alexander Ferguson 27:26
awesome. And thank you so much. for your time. This has been a very enjoyable to hear the journey for those who want to hear more about Merce, go back and listen to part one of our discussion, but you can also go to a merced.com. And we never got a chance to talk about you actually buy the domain. We’ll have to do more. Another interview later because that’s a whole story, too. But thank you again, Reggie is good to have you on.
Renji Bijoy 27:47
Thanks so much. So glad to be here.
Alexander Ferguson 27:49
And we’ll see you guys on the next episode of UpTech Report. That concludes the audio version of this episode. To see the original and more visit our UpTech Report YouTube channel. If you know a tech company, we should interview you can nominate them at Uptechreport.com. Or if you just prefer to listen, make sure you subscribe to this series on Apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app.