Creator Lab - interviews with entrepreneurs and startup founders

Revealing conversations with the leading creators of our time. From proven entrepreneurs building the companies of the future, to non-profit founders creating change and the artists shaping our culture - we go beyond the surface to find the nuance in what it takes to turn your ideas, into action.
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Now displaying: November, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
In many ways, Avinash is the king of "the side hustle":
  • Speaker & Advisor - An established speaker who has consulted for some of the world’s largest brands
  • Entrepreneur - Recently sold the education company he co-founded for a reported $10M
  • Writer - A thought leader in the world of analytics who wrote the best selling book: “Web Analytics: An Hour A Day” as well as building a large following on his blog: Occam’s Razor
  • Googler - Leads a team of 70 story tellers, as Google’s Digital Marketing evangelist
I’ve known Avinash for a few years from our time at Google. But in prep for our interview, I realized how little I knew about his personal story. 
  • Who was the real Avinash behind the guy on stage frantically shouting out "THIS SUCKS" to bewildered CEOs?
  • What experiences shaped his outlook and how did he end up in such a unique role at Google?
  • What role did his writing play in shaping where he is today? 
He hasn’t shared much of this before so I’m thankful we had a chance to get personal & discuss his incredible journey. From living in a factory as a kid in India, to building a life in the US, becoming a best selling author & thought leader in his space. 
Here are five things to listen out for:
(1) Early Years - Growing up poor & living in a factory in India
(2) Starting his career - Moving to Saudi Arabia, the US & why he was attracted to web analytics
(3) Writing & Building An Audience - How he built an audience of 150k monthly readers on his blog, wrote a book & landed a high profile role at Google
(4) Starting From Scratch - If he was starting again, how he would focus his time to build his brand and audience again? 
(5) Personal - His fear of being broke, what motivates him & what success means to him personally. 
All show notes and details can be found on:
Time Stamps:
  • Background of how Bilal & Avinash know each other [1m38s]
  • Explaining what his job is to his mum [2m51s]
  • How he got his job at Google [3m44s]
  • Growing up poor in India & living in a factory [5m16s]
  • What he wanted to be when he grew up? [7m38s]
  • Where his work ethic came from [10m31s]
  • Moving to Saudi Arabia & the USA [12m44s]
  • Earning $500/month - still 7x more than he would have made in India [14m16s]
  • What it felt like to be poor [18m10s]
  • How he uses the fear of going broke and losing his job to motivate himself [20m45s]
  • Losing his job again at Silicon Graphics [26m17s]
  • Why it can make sense to take a title & pay cut [28m40]
  • What attracted him to web analytics [29m46s]
  • Taking the plunge to start a company and knowing when it’s the right time to go for it [30m28]
  • Starting a blog and role of personal branding [32m40s]
  • Why he was wrong about people not wanting to pay for a book when they could get it online for free [38m22s]
  • Taking 6months to get to 1000 visitors, now at 150,000 visitors a month [41m15s]
  • Content vs Amplification [43m39s]
  • “If I can listen to 50 podcasts, why should I listen to you” [45m35s]
  • Career limiting moves [51m33s]
  • Owned vs Rented platforms, eg. email vs social [58m39s]
  • Why he gets more engagement from 9.5k email subscribers than 200k twitter followers [1hr47s]
  • Advice for growing an email list [1hr2m14s]
  • What’s motivating him [1hr3m53s]
  • Can you be happy if you always want to stand out? [1hr5m43s]
  • Spending 4 hours a week to learn something new [1hr7m12s]
  • Advice to 18 year old Avinash [1hr8m15s]
  • What success means to him [1hr9m28s]
  • 4 people he mentions: [1hr9m40s]
    • 1) Thomas Baekdal writes about media, analytics, social and broad digital trends:
      2) Mitch Joel is a marketing rockstar, his blog illustrates why:
      3) Seth Godin’s incisiveness and pithiness, and of course his take on marketing is legendary
      4) Kaiser Fung is incredible with big data, advanced math and visualizations
  • Examples of failure [1hr10m38s]
  • What matters most [1hr15m5s]

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