Using AI for Better Conversations with Noah Zandan from Quantified

Working on Wall Street in investment banking, Noah Zandan learned a lot about finance and quantitative analysis—and nothing about leadership. The thought of living his life in spreadsheets terrified him, but he found a dearth of guidance on how to be a leader.

His searches for a leadership coach turned up questionable characters and outlandishly expensive consultants. Knowing he wasn’t alone, he realized this was a bigger problem than he originally expected. And he spent years exploring a science-driven solution.

The ultimate result was Quantified, a “conversation intelligence and coaching platform” that uses artificial intelligence and behavioral science to understand your communication effectiveness and train you to be better, whether you want to be a leader, salesperson, or high-performer in any role.

More information:

Noah is the CEO and Co-Founder of Quantified, and a pioneer in applying behavioral science and AI to elevate human connection. 

Under Noah’s leadership, Quantified has become the most-advanced conversation intelligence and coaching platform, unlocking the full potential of leaders and organizations through revolutionary data-driven guidance on how they can better connect with their target audiences.

Quantified works globally with everyone from leaders of corporations, government organizations, and TED speakers, to thousands of future leaders including college and graduate students, veterans, nurses, and scientists.

Noah is the author of Insights into Influence, a bestselling book on the strategies, tactics, and secrets of world class leaders. He has delivered main-stage TED and TED-Ed Talks with over 16 million views, he spoke at SXSW on the Intelligent Future, and he was nationally broadcast discussing the future of personal analytics on NPR All Tech Considered. 

Noah was recognized as one of the 25 Top Global Innovators in marketing and communications by PRovoke, one of the top 100 alumni in technology from Dartmouth, and Quantified was a 2020 finalist for the EdTech Cool Tool Awards in the AI category. 

His work has been featured in Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Quartz, Forbes, and Fortune. He regularly lectures at The University of Texas, Harvard Business School, Kellogg/Northwestern, and Stanford Graduate School of Business on the intersection between leadership communication, behavioral science, and AI.  

Noah formerly specialized in quantitative analysis on Wall Street for Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank, and for Private Equity firm Brentwood Associates. He has an Economics degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. 

Noah is also the founder and executive director of the Rockway Foundation, a non-profit supporting education in underserved areas of Latin America. 

He’s a native of Austin, TX where he lives with his wife and three kids, including 2-year-old twins. 

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!

Noah Zandan 0:00
The way that you communicate has a ton to do with your success in life. You know, professional success, personal success, relationships, friendships happiness, right? I mean, it all comes from this fundamental way of how do we connect with others, and we’re never taught how to do it.

Alexander Ferguson 0:21
Welcome to UpTech Report. This is our apply tech series UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of video at Today I’m excited to be joined by my guests. Noah Zandan, who’s based in Austin, Texas. He’s the CEO and co founder at Quantified. Welcome Noah, good to have you on. Now Quantified is a behavioral science platform that enhances human connection. That’s what I pulled from your website. That’s a fascinating statement. But let’s let’s break this down a little bit how we understand what was the problem that you saw and set out to solve.

Noah Zandan 0:54
So kind of set the stage here, I started my career on Wall Street, I’ve always been a numbers guy, and had one of those investment banking jobs where I’m sleeping under my desk and you know, building pitch books for big transactions. And I got worried about myself, you know, not only was I not living the healthiest lifestyle, you know, basically living in about a three foot zone. But I wasn’t, I was learning a lot about finance, I was learning a lot about spreadsheets and numbers in one tape analysis, but I wasn’t learning anything about how to be a leader. And so I’m working I’m putting these materials together for my bosses to present and for leaders of companies to present and I’m like, well no one’s teaching me how to ever do their job. So like what happens over the long term right? Am I just going to continue to do spreadsheets for the rest of my life, and that scared me. I moved on from investment banking to private equity, honestly, the same thing they really I was accountable to diligence and investment analysis, but when it came time to present or really you know, speak externally on behalf of the company, or anything that I was doing, that wasn’t anything that I was learning how to do, went to graduate school, got my MBA, same issue again, really, really great guidance on how to do individual contributor skills. But if I wanted to be a leader if I wanted to motivate and inspire people that was just left up to chance, and I didn’t want to leave that up to chance for the rest of my career.

Alexander Ferguson 2:15
So you you see this child here like I I’m not getting this anywhere so this has to be this must be a challenge for others. So how did then quantified startups 2012 that you began it? Yeah. And it’s not what it is today. So what was the initial thesis for it?

Noah Zandan 2:33
Yeah, so I was I was selfish in that it was my problem but I was also in an MBA program and it will look at 750 classmates all of whom had similar one so I’m in a similar desire to be leaders and to learn the skills of leadership and we know that the human skills the soft skills that connection skills are so important but the theory has always been that those can’t really be taught they’re just supposed to be picked up along the way. So you know what what I started doing i mean i i wanted to hire a coach right? I’m like, Okay, I’m gonna learn this stuff. I’m gonna go hire a coach. So I did an internet search and the number one person who popped up on Google like had a cat on his lap and just did not look like the type of guidance that I wanted for my professional career. And so I asked a few people I said you know any great coaches and I found one and then I called them up and said hey can can you work with me right can you teach me how to be a better leader a better communicator teach me how to speak externally and represent myself well he said sure. My rates $10,000 a day. So Whoa, that’s a lot of money. I said, Okay, so assuming that I can afford that on my student budget, when can I get a session with you? He said I’m booked up for the next six months I said to myself, there’s something interesting here right I mean, if this is a need that I have that all of my peers have coming out of, you know, the backgrounds that we did and this isn’t I can’t find someone to pay that I feel appropriate in fixing this then this could be a bigger problem that maybe I haven’t even assumed for myself.

Alexander Ferguson 4:03
So you’re trying to set it up to to to find it to fix it for yourself and like wow, this is not as easy as I thought it’d be too expensive. So let’s let’s walk me through the years so when when when you began 2012 2012 what would that what did that first year look like?

Noah Zandan 4:19
So I I sort of said I started my career on Wall Street, right? I’m an I’m an economics major. I love math and science. My dad’s an evaluation research PhD, my sister does psycho analytics. My mom’s a teacher. Okay, so I like I like thinking about things with a lot of structure and a lot of numbers. And I said, if, if I wanted, like, think about how to solve this on a bigger scale than just for myself, then I need to have some pattern recognition. I need to have some data I need to have some proof in some evidence. And so I set out on actually what ended up being a two year journey to go look at a meta analysis of a bunch of computational social science, a bunch of psychology research, a bunch of communication research and said like What what’s behind this stuff? Right? We’ve been studying human interaction for a long time, right? The field of social sciences existed for a very long time. But like, we now are at this ability, we have this ability with data and technology to look at human interactions in a very different way. And Has anyone done that? Right? Has anyone gone and studied? How much does voice matter? How much does facial matter? How much does gestures and words matter? And what are the right ways to do those to inspire or move or motivate people? There’s a lot there, right? I mean, there’s a lot to unpack there. But yeah,

Alexander Ferguson 5:33
you make such an interesting point. Because I’m trying to imagine some of the some of the listeners some of those who are watching this, I thinking, Well, why do you Why would you analyze it so much? It just, it just is like, it just it just it is you feel it, you test it? But you you’re not wrong in the fact that there the data is there whether you want to recognize,

Noah Zandan 5:53
I mean, look, the data is there. And if you think about it, right, it is, this is something from the you know, I have very young kids, right, and they’re learning how to talk, they’re learning how to interact and get what they want from those interactions. And it’s just something we as humans pick up. But if you think about it, the way that you communicate has a ton to do with your success in life, you know, professional success, personal success, relationships, friendships, happiness, right? I mean, it all comes from this fundamental way of how do we connect with others. And we’re never taught how to do it, right? It’s crazy. Like, we don’t, we never try to get better at this thing that has such a huge impact on our personal success, and happiness, and equity, and all these other things in the world. And I was like, well, there’s got to be a way to help people with this, I have this problem, like, let’s figure it out,

Alexander Ferguson 6:41
let’s figure out so you take a very analytical approach to really taking two years to define human interaction, it will

Noah Zandan 6:51
start with I start by hiring all these PhDs and having them look at all of the existing research. And then my father, who’s a co founder has an evaluation research PhD. So we scrape a bunch of videos from the web, and we start showing them to focus groups essentially, right? And asking them all these really interesting questions that people have asked about this stuff like, hey, when Noah talks, do you like him? Would you listen to him more? Would you buy something from him? Would you engage with him, right? And you start getting these patterns of these outcomes, these audience reactions, okay. Then, at the same time, when I started doing was taking all of those same videos, and looking at what words are said, What do people do with their voices and their faces and their gestures. So I was creating a two sided database, right, I was creating on the one side, here’s all of these human behaviors. And here’s the reactions that those behaviors get, and starting to build models, algorithms, essentially, to connect the two. And that’s what I spent two years building.

Alexander Ferguson 7:46
It sounds boom, you’re done. I’m sure there’s more, there’s way more to that to that story. But let’s let’s just assume, okay, you’ve built this algorithm, this connection, this data point, so that effectively you feed something into it and outcomes a categorization of your good, your bad your this is where you need to improve,

Noah Zandan 8:09
essentially starting to become a prediction, right? Because what I could start to say is if you use a certain type of word, people are going to trust you more, if you speak at a certain rate, people will think that you’re more confident, and then you don’t need to ask the audience anymore, because you have statistically significant data on the input side, that you can just take a piece of text a piece of video, a piece of audio, run it through algorithms, and say, Hey, this person’s in the top 10% of doing this behavioral pattern. So we are highly predictive that audiences are going to respond in this way.

Alexander Ferguson 8:38
So you write us read a script for yourself to use them a sales call, or in a board meeting, and you can run through and say, Okay, this language works well or you record yourself doing a prep and you can see, okay, I’m I am good, or I need to change things.

Noah Zandan 8:50
Exactly. Right. And so, it gets past that, well, you know, when you think about how to prepare, right, you’re supposed to speak to a mirror, or you’re supposed to ask, you know, ask appear, right? Or even just self evaluation. None of those things work. They don’t help people, right? It’s so this helps people

Alexander Ferguson 9:06
when you start it, was it just written, or did you already start with voice and facial recognition to be able to for these algorithms to understand,

Noah Zandan 9:17
so I’ve been doing it for nine years. And back when we started the concepts of like autom automated transcription didn’t exist, right? And there was there was definitely natural language processing research, I was lucky to to convince a guy named James Pennebaker here at the University of Texas Austin, to help me with some foundational natural language processing and computational linguistics work. So NLP was pretty far along voice stuff, not really until like the Alexa technologies came forward. And facial stuff has been the third wave of enabling technology for us to be able to do it. Interestingly, when I look at how to get a great reaction from someone in a conversation and connection, the it’s the inverse of the of the factor so the facial factors are the most important Second most is voice. Third most is the content that you use. So the technology has actually been an inverse development from what’s the most important factors in our model.

Alexander Ferguson 10:09
So I’m assuming Oh, as the years of progress, you’ve been adding more of those layers into the technology. So a lot even more success has happened now that you’ve added some of these later, later layers.

Noah Zandan 10:21
So the the models get more accurate, and they get more explainable. And that’s the benefit that we have of, you know, people and a lot of great companies and great researchers, investing in this stuff more and more, there’s so much enabling technology around video analytics now that just we didn’t have nine years ago when we started this.

Alexander Ferguson 10:39
So how are How are folks using it today? Well, what’s the what’s the product? What’s the business model?

Noah Zandan 10:45
So we’ve evolved it, I mean, again, we had this really interesting data set, which you’re, you know, you’re laughing at me and teasing me, because I’m, like, sitting here with my data and my computer, but no real use case. And we initially rolled it out to very, very senior executives. They were, frankly, a little frustrated with the opinions of their team. So you’d go to this big keynote at CES, you do your big earnings call, you’re moving the stock price, and you turn to your head of communications, and you say, How did that go? And they’re also you’re their boss, right? So they’re not gonna say, Hey, no, that was terrible. There you

Alexander Ferguson 11:18
go. Good. You’re gonna be great. Yeah,

Noah Zandan 11:21
it’s a lot like attaboys, right? Um, and so these very senior executives, fortune 500, C suite execs kept turning to us saying, Can you tell us the truth? Like can your data get past the the the niceties? And tell us actually how we do? And by the way, can you benchmark me against these three people that I really compare about and want to beat? And can you start showing me the accuracy of this model and predicting reactions like stock price, so we rolled this out for executives, you know, in the end, I wanted to build products, right. And so there was a little bit of tension of the at the company at the time, we were building essentially a data, like a managed service, data aided coaching business. And we always knew that we had enough foundational data to start building more of a SaaS product. And so over, we used all of that training data and all of that experience in building a coaching business to actually fuel the construction of a world class, SAS Enterprise platform. And that’s the business today.

Alexander Ferguson 12:19
No, there are other solutions that are coming up like Gong and things where they’re analyzing it, but how, how do you view that what they’re doing? recording it versus of your approach?

Noah Zandan 12:28
Yeah. I mean, I love what they’re doing, right? So to take to take all of these conversations and create a system of record for is a really, really powerful thing. Integrating that as you know, the data integration into CRM and other other platforms is very, very smart. We’re sort of, you know, having run sales teams, right, we’re leaving all of the we’re sort of asking for their opinion about something. And again, I told you, I run on science. So we would love to have actual data that I can go look at our systems. And I think the biggest difference for us is we take those recordings we get, we have a lot of that enabling technology to our analytics actually score all the calls, right? And it scores it according to your selling model according to the behaviors of your top performers. So instead of how some of those platforms would suggest a playlist or sort of be taped, for a sales manager, or a sales leader to review, we’re going to surface that intelligence and insights automatically, and say, here’s, here’s what your top performers are doing. Here’s coaching for them to make them even better. Here’s what your you know, people that are at the bottom of the pack are doing, let’s coach them and support them on this path. Here’s who’s certified is ready. And so that automated scoring and the ability to do the behavioral analysis at a deeper level is the biggest differentiator for us.

Alexander Ferguson 13:39
automating the workflow of improvement for each person individually at scale is

Noah Zandan 13:44
Yeah, it’s kind of the last mile, right? It’s like, okay, we we have this record of how people are doing, but can I make those people better? And we’re really focused on the Can I make these people better, because then we know we can create better outcomes, the knowledge is really valuable. But the prescriptive improvement, I believe is, is even better.

Alexander Ferguson 14:02
And as you were mentioning, earlier of the fact that we’re everyone’s on video calls, now sales calls are happening. I mean, your your bot, just like others just effectively just joined the call. And as a is doing that automatically.

Noah Zandan 14:15
It is Yeah, you we’ve really, we’ve tried to build in a way that’s not going to be obtrusive to the rap, it’s not going to be obtrusive to the prospect, you know, you got to make sure there’s consent and you respect privacy and all those other things. But you know, through integrations with zoom and teams, you can just basically place a bot into the room and into the meeting and get great intelligence and coaching and feedback from doing that. And it’s not intrusive at all, it’s integrated into people’s calendars, and just shows up automatically.

Alexander Ferguson 14:41
What’s what was the year timeframe? So he kind of shared that the year that you started 2012 he spent two years on development. So that’s 2014 What was the next phases then of that coaching and then to SAS?

Noah Zandan 14:55
Yeah, so about three years of building a data driven coaching business, learning how to do that. Well. You know, we built a, we built an application that enabled us to do that, right? So we’re doing all of the reporting at scale and looking at all the patterns and doing a lot of data science research, then we then we, we actually rolled the SAS product out initially in higher education. We didn’t take it to the enterprise, we took it to higher education. When I went, I got an MBA, we had a lot of leaders of MBA program saying, Hey, I seen what you’re working on. I’ve seen some of your research and stuff like can you bring that in for our students? And so it was that it was a wonderful thing, because I academic researchers will tell you the truth, right? If they, if they believe it, if they don’t they if they like it, they don’t. So it was this really fertile testing ground for us. So three years of really building the coaching for executives built business, about two years of working mostly in higher education. We had a lot of poll of people that graduated and wanted to take us into their companies. And then in 2019, we started we launched it towards the enterprise, which is our focus today.

Alexander Ferguson 15:55
Got it? Wow. Now, I’d like to circle back to them a little more on where you guys are headed and playing the role now. But going back Did you bootstrap this? Do you just have funds from from your successful working in in finance? So you just applying this or Well, what was that journey?

Noah Zandan 16:11
So we did bootstrap the business? You know, we’ve raised a small amount of convertible debt, just some some good

Alexander Ferguson 16:18
we? Is it yourself? Your your father, I think you said,

Noah Zandan 16:22
while there’s the co founder, you know, so when I say we, I mean we as a company, but also my father and I as the founders.

Alexander Ferguson 16:29
Gotcha. We bootstrapped it. Yeah. And a small convertible debt, I think I heard you say, which got you rolling, have you completely been bootstrapped the entire time, I think customer funded are

Noah Zandan 16:42
pretty unique. So we first two years, we completely funded ourselves. Then we raised a convertible round, started building the coaching business, and we were making plenty of money doing the coaching business. And so we paid the convertible debt back. So sort of said, like, we’re not going to convert this, right? Like, we’ve got a business, this cash flowing, Here’s your money back. So have interesting conversations with investors. And then really, it wasn’t until we felt like we found product market fit, that we run out and raised a couple million dollars of convertible debt just to accelerate the timescale that we’re able to construct it. And so that wasn’t until 20 2020 that we raised, we raised about two and a half million in convertible debt. So we’ve essentially operated the business very, very, you know, operated ourselves and built it off of revenue.

Alexander Ferguson 17:30
Would you do it again? That way?

Noah Zandan 17:35
So, no,

Unknown Speaker 17:36
I wouldn’t know. Okay, no, look,

Noah Zandan 17:39
it’s my I started a nonprofit before I started this business. But this is my first tech company. And you know, I’ve been doing it for nine years, I’ve learned a lot about patterns and execution and speed. And I think I could do it a lot faster again. And I I appreciated that not having, you know, the the not having venture money allowed us to operate at a different pace, and really build our science and build our product market fit at a pace that we were we wanted to learn. But I think that if I were to do it, again, I would certainly consider the option of if we really accelerated some of those product market fit. And you know, the execution and scaling of the business that it would make sense to raise money.

Alexander Ferguson 18:20
Competition is the advent of facial recognition or detection and voice, it’s the technology is now everywhere, which is good as it’s being able to be proliferated. How has that affected or not affected your business?

Noah Zandan 18:38
So I would tell you that there’s plenty of great technology when it comes to natural language processing or voice analysis or facial analysis, right? I mean that, especially transcription, it’s essentially commoditized. Right? And so while we need to be good at that, really what we need to be exceptional at is the algorithms, right, the translation. And then furthermore, even if I just give you the data, I need to tell you how to fix these things, right. And that’s the prescriptive feedback that sits on top of the data. Those are the parts that we have invested in so carefully. We’re lucky right? A lot of times we use a third party transcription, we don’t use our own transcription engine, because there’s big companies, they’re investing a lot in that and have, you know, can commoditize the market and it’s a better you know, it’s much better to make a buy versus build decision there. We do have, you know, like, like anybody, we have competition, it comes from a variety of angles. There’s a lot of individual sort of experts and coaches and trainers that do this, right. If you think about everything from executive communication coaches, to sales trainers, to leadership development experts that a lot of people have in generally individual practices or some firms that do this, and they’re really good. You know, they really are really good. The difference is we we have built a platform with the intention of scale right of really looking at looking 10,000 people 20,000 people 100,000 people a day. Using a platform, a coach could never do that, right? They can sit in front of a room where they can videotape themselves and spread out, you know, a great online course. But they can’t sit there with every person in the course and say, Hey, Noah, here’s your capability. And here’s a personalized learning path to make you exceptional at this. Coaches can’t do that. There are great sales training companies. There’s a lot of great sales tech platforms that do some coaching. And so we certainly see competition from them as well.

Alexander Ferguson 20:26
The focus for you going forward then you say scale that that’s that’s what you’re focused on, right? This world class SAS platform is the words you were sharing. Where do you Where are people? Where’s the mindset right now? I think I saw the most that like video calls, isn’t it? Is it looking at video calls and see how you did in the sales side? Like what’s the use cases?

Noah Zandan 20:50
So the the biggest use case for us probably not surprisingly, is if we can have an impact on revenue, right? And so when companies look at us and say, Well, if you can make my sales team better, if you can make my customer success team, better customer, you know, any customer facing team, we’re going to be able to show a demonstrable ROI on revenue. And that’s the most exciting use case for our clients. You know, we we get to do leadership development work, we’re still doing that in higher education, and across a wide variety of global companies. But really the most compelling use cases and where we’re seeing the fastest growth is in customer facing verticals.

Alexander Ferguson 21:27
As a bet a perfect uphill journey. No, no, no problems. But like where were some realities hit any any plateaus that you hit and had to like overcome?

Noah Zandan 21:41
You know that the hardest thing about running this business, and this has been really a learning for us for a long time is it’s a very, very horizontal use case, right? I mean, when it comes to communicating, this is a fundamental human behavior, we spend 80% of our time at work communicating in some form or fashion. Right. And we’re here to make that a little bit better. But the but the issue is, everybody does it all day, right? And so you have this really wide use case of potential uses. How does a company you know, at an earlier stage, focus on the best ones, what are the right ones to attack, build product for build repeatable patterns of usage and value for has been really the biggest strategic thing for us to figure out? It’s been a challenge.

Alexander Ferguson 22:29
And your team is

Noah Zandan 22:32
how many today? We’re about 20 today.

Alexander Ferguson 22:35
So being able to have the right team to be able to do that. Is there any lessons learned on on kind of cultivating that that team to as you’ve as you’ve grown, and the lessons learned there?

Noah Zandan 22:45
I think the biggest thing for us has been, you know, we had we had a lot of domain expertise in house, right. And so we really built up a lot of research, a lot of communication expertise, a lot of data science at house. And you know, that team has been wonderful and wonderfully foundation of what we do. The second part of that became, you know, product development. And then the third part of that has become go to market, right? So these different phases of team development have been sort of different focuses for me on as we put all these puzzle pieces together to build this out. But I’ve got a fantastic team. And you know, we’re, I’m really excited about the level of talent that I have around me

Alexander Ferguson 23:21
the growth as it’s like building something, first, you have to have the right team members that that can actually create something unique, and it serves a purpose, but then bring it to market and bring value requires other individuals. Has there been any pushback on the marketplace of adopting using this technology in improving their own behavioral interactions with other humans?

Noah Zandan 23:52
You know, I mean, I would say, generally, our users love it, right? I mean, we have NPS scores in the 60s and 70s, from our user base and the R and the admins and buyers are even higher, and from an NPS perspective, so people love it. I think the biggest pushback that we see honestly, is generally from coaches, we’re, we’re doing something that they that they have this deep expertise in, right, and there’s a very personal expertise to what they do. coaches are fantastic. We love coaches, we partner with coaches a lot. But we’re coming in and saying, we’re taking this expertise, this perspective that you have when you see someone talk, and we’re automating that, and by the way, we count every single word, every face, every gesture, every piece of eye contact, right and a coach can’t do that human can’t do that. So sometimes they do feel a little bit threatened by the ability of the technology to do 80 90% of what they’re able to do.

Alexander Ferguson 24:45
Hey, are our coaches going to be added to job in the future?

Noah Zandan 24:50
I think what what I hope to do is standardize and create some science behind what the coaches do, right? I mean, think back to that first story. I told you if I tried to hire a coach and it was, you know, guy on the internet with a cat on his lap, right? And like that guy giving coaching with our platform and the science and the standards and the benchmarks and the validation, he can do an amazing job for his clients, right? I mean, imagine coaching a runner and never able being able to get their time, right? I mean, you would sort of have your theory in your opinion, like that person’s fast in that person’s not, but like, the stats are so enabling for people when it comes to being exceptional at something. And so, you know, giving that to coaches giving that directly to users in the companies is really powerful.

Alexander Ferguson 25:34
What are you most interested in interested or excited about when it comes to the technology in this space?

Noah Zandan 25:45
So the biggest change for us was we were always we’ve been sort of video first, right? I mean, so much of our analytics depend on video, and up until 2020, we were always video as a proxy for what someone would do in person. And so we had to spend a lot of time talking to people how, you know, look, recording yourselves over video is representative of what you would do in a meeting or what you do on stage. And then COVID hits. And all of a sudden, the world of communication is digitized in a way that you know, we’re not going back. I mean, there’s plenty of research done, we’ve done primary research, there’s plenty of secondary research saying that the worlds of selling in the worlds of leadership, I mean, this virtual thing is here to stay, we’ve all gotten pretty comfortable with it. And so that has been really enabling for us, we just I mean, if you think about how many digital interactions, you had pre COVID versus post COVID, we get a ton more data, right, a ton more data and a ton more sample. And more data means better data, and we can help people more. And so people also have much more belief in a digital solution to the problem, because they’re now digitally communicate.

Alexander Ferguson 26:50
It’s that entire adoption of technology across the board, because of COVID. You get it? If I if I’m going to do a video call, well, why not get the video call analyzed? And so I can learn from it and be able to and improve? What can you share of your roadmap of what you’re excited about? coming up for what you guys are doing?

Noah Zandan 27:09
So we’re doing a ton, you know, I mean, I think for us that the real focus, right, and we you asked earlier about one of the challenges, we’re helping people with something that’s really personal to them, right? I mean, this is a this is a personal thing, how you show up on to other people. In the end, it’s, it’s emotional. And so so much of what we want to do is we want to give you that great feedback, we want to give you that benchmarking. And then we want to comfort you through an improvement process, right, we’re here to support you. And I think one of the biggest things for us is we have amazing data about how people are doing, we can boil that data, you know, all the way up to leadership to show how teams are doing and how messaging is resonating, and what behaviors create great outcomes. So much of what we want to focus on, what we do focus on in our roadmap is how do we create a great experience for the user and help to support them through a growth process. And the way that people learn and the way that people create you create lasting behavioral change is a big focus, we learn a lot about that, from looking at our usage patterns, and a lot of our near term roadmap is is really supporting users and supporting their growth patterns.

Alexander Ferguson 28:16
How you how you communicate the data matters, not just saying, All right, you’re a crappy communicator get better.

Noah Zandan 28:24
Imagine walking in, and this is the experience we have imagine walking in with a fortune 20 CEO, and looking at their numbers and seeing they’re in the bottom quartile of the Fortune 500. Right, When, when, when and how they show up, we’re seeing that they’re not authentic or not trustworthy, and having to share that with them. Right? And, you know, sort of every day we’re giving people something 90% of people think they’re better than average drivers, right? So if you were to go pull people and say, Are you a better than average communicator, you would imagine what the results would be. And so we have to be really careful with how we share that with people and how we support people through that growth journey.

Alexander Ferguson 28:58
Hmm. I wonder if a lot of people look, look at the data like that that’s not true. That can’t be true. I’m better than that.

Noah Zandan 29:06
You know, they do. And it’s our job to sit there and support them as they have that experience, right? I mean, they do we all do, right? We’re all well, it’s self perception. I mean, part of what we’re fighting here, right is self evaluation. And self perception is just not that good. Like, we’re not very good at understanding ourselves. And also so much of what we communicate, there’s some really good research about this at Caltech. So much of what we communicate is actually subconscious. I don’t even know if I’m keeping good eye contact with you because I’m just sort of using these behavioral patterns that are ingrained, but I might be doing something that really throws you off. And no one’s ever told me before.

Alexander Ferguson 29:43
Hmm, it’s a whole mind shift for the individual or hard shifted however you want to look at it. That has to happen. Coming to the to the technology for a moment again for a second, what you have developed. I mentioned others could want Are you guys ever approached API connections, etc, so that your analysis could be embedded in other solutions?

Noah Zandan 30:07
You know, we’ve certainly considered it right now, one of the biggest pieces of IP for us is our database, right? So having the inputs of 1000s of videos, and then the videos that have been evaluated in the predictive models, so you know, owning that part of our tech stack is really sort of fundamental to what we do. We’re happy to sort of input videos through API’s, and to export our results through API’s as sort of core part we’re holding true, but, you know, we’re we’re approached very frequently about partnerships and integration. And, and one of the things that we do really want to do is we want to play nicely work well with others, you know, we know we’re really, really good at what we do, but it’s a component of it, right? So if you look at what makes a great salesperson, they need to know what to say, and they need to know how to say it, and then they need to run a good process. You know, there’s analytics that we have on all three of those. But there’s also great companies that do other components of that, you know, sales, intelligence, conversational intelligence, and we really will integrate with that.

Alexander Ferguson 31:09
PowerPoint. So is there any particular guiding principle or word of wisdom that was on a poster board or something that that you kind of hold true and helps you make decisions and go forward?

Noah Zandan 31:24
I mean, I think the biggest thing is we run on science, you know, it’s just we’re trying to be as objective as we can, we’re trying to sort of break this theory based world of human connection. And sort of, as you said, right, the it’s something you just sort of think you have and you know how to do and you’re not going to, you don’t necessarily have this urgency to fix but if I show you the outcomes that you can have in your life, from fixing it, and the power of that potential success for your life, and then if I guide you on that improvement path, using really research validated scientific stuff, that’s a really guiding principle for us is to is to, is to really do this subjectively and do it right.

Alexander Ferguson 32:05
In a lot of my past conversations with with technology leaders, I come to realize that in many areas of our life, technology, we come to a place what we do manual effort activities, said this, what that whatever, but what will go away is our interaction with each other. Being able to empathize, be able to tell stories, be able to interact, that will remain and putting a focus on getting better at that probably is a good idea. Thank you so much for helping me understand the journey that you’ve been on building this and the direction of where you’re headed. For those that want to learn more, you can go over to As far as folks that they’re kind of best fit for what you guys are doing. Anything you can share of like the typical organizations you work with.

Noah Zandan 32:55
Yeah, so so any any leader of a customer facing team sales enablement, you know, Chief revenue officers, were really, really good at helping customer facing teams understand the power of great connection, who’s good at it, how to replicate those behaviors, and how to scale those behaviors across your entire organization.

Alexander Ferguson 33:14
Awesome, awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time. No, great,

Noah Zandan 33:17
Thank you. Appreciate it.

Alexander Ferguson 33:19
I will see you all on the next episode of UpTech Report. Have you seen a company using AI machine learning or other technology to transform the way we live, work and do business go to UpTech And let us know


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