One of the biggest marketing tools to surface from the pandemic is the famous YouTube chat posted all over social platforms, using Zoom.

And, you couldn’t be online for more than a few minutes back in 2020-2021 without seeing someone promoting a live chat of some sort.

Interestingly, some were doing it for business, and some just for fun, because they were bored.

Episode 104 with Lux Narayan from StreamAlive is all about why we need to rethink how we manage a YouTube chat!

Scroll down to read the transcript of the episode

Prefer listening to reading? Here’s the players!






Read the conversations all about YouTube chat

You’ll read:

  • Obituaries and the whole subject of legacy
  • How Name, Place, Animal, Thing happened
  • What do you do?
  • Better questions to ask in networking
  • How Lux is revolutionising live chat and YouTube

Lux

It feels like I already know you since I've listened to some of your episodes. You sound very familiar, very obviously so.

Wendy

Who have you been listening to, may I ask?

Lux

I listened to the recent one. This was this lady who talked about I'm just trying to remember the topic. I think she's ex Google or something.

Wendy

Oh, Simone. Yes. Human connection.

Lux

There's a book she wrote called the Something Pandemic. The silent pandemic?

Wendy

The secret pandemic.

Lux

The secret pandemic. And I knew I was messing up something over there.

Wendy

Yes, stories we remember.

Lux

I'm very bad with remembering names and things. It's just that part about The Secret, just the title itself was very evocative because it obviously strikes a chord and then when I heard the episode, it kind of resonated a little more because you've seen so many instances of that right over the course of the last couple of years of this parallel thing of people being alone and stuff. But, yeah, the stories resonate as opposed to the names per se. Yes, absolutely.

Wendy

It's interesting, isn't it? Because I was looking at some of the things that you've been getting up to, to think about what are we going to talk about today, what are we going to share with our listeners? And there were a few things that struck me. First thing was, I love that you do comedy, because that means that we're going to get on like a house on fire. If you can put up with my sense of humour, that is. 2000 obituaries. That's a strange kind of hobby to have. How did that all come about?

Lux

The obituaries thing has been a passion as I've travelled across countries, so as I've gone to different places and you obviously subscribe to the local newspaper, which was in the main newspaper in Dubai, the main newspaper in India, in Bombay, in Chennai, and now the New York Times here in the US on the East Coast where I live. Someone told me this decades ago, and it struck a chord saying if you want to read and this was of course a time when newspapers had only one section and they weren't about 5 pounds in weight or something. So they would say, if you wanted to read about man's accomplishments, start the newspaper from the backside because that's usually where the obituaries would be. And if you want to learn about man's failures, start from the front page. And I think that's nowhere as resonant as it is today, because take the front page. It's about the effects of climate change, it's about war, it's about 100 different things that are going wrong in the world. And then you read the back page and you read about accomplishments and things that people did and it just became a fascination. And I think that kind of melded with my previous work life, which was running a company called Unmetric, where we use historical social media data on brands to help brands plan for the future. So essentially, let history be your guide, right? So those two words literally collided over there.

Wendy

It's interesting though, isn't it? Because legacy, we talk about legacies and what we leave behind and for the listeners benefit, we're recording this sport of it's just been a few days since the Queen – Elizabeth died and the media is kind of and social media is just full of conversations and it's all relating to that, isn't it? And we're hearing the 70 years of service and the legacy that she left behind. And actually, I think what's more important is that she was a living legacy because she lived it and it will live on with her. So when you hear people's stories and those obituaries, it is really how people have been touched and affected by feeling closeness or just feeling it in their life.

Lux

When we dug in, it was interesting to see certain things that stood out, right? Like in terms of we live in an era where instant gratification and the desire to accomplish things are a lot earlier. A lot of people want to have achieved everything they want to do in their twenty s and their thirty s and stuff. So it's interesting to see the data and see that most of the folks that, for example, the New York Times feature in the obituaries had done their first significant achievement, I think around the age of 42 or so, right? So that is an instant leon in the virtues of patients. There was so much in the arts, there were so many commonalities. When we dug in and looked at what they'd done and spoiler alert, a vast majority of them had done something around helping others. It could have been helping in a very direct sense of the word. It could have been helping in terms of understanding something or helping to learn something. But the word help was probably the most resonant word, as we dissected the first paragraph of so many obituaries. Actually, the second most common word, the first most common word was John. So that's a hat tip. If you want to name a kid, John is a good name.

Wendy

What's the link, then, looks between art and achieving at an age and helping? Because that's kind of like a cocktail there, isn't it? And I'll explain why I'm interested in a moment.

Lux

I'm struggling to get individual instances, but I remember things like, for example, people who used theatre. This one, I forget the name again, I'm very bad with remembering names. But this one, I think he was a pastor, but he was not remembered as much for that as much as he was for using theatre to help people who had been traumatised by war to come out of it. So he was using theatre as an instrument to help people just overcome trauma. There was someone else who was using different kinds of arts just to help people in inner cities start second careers. I think in instances where those things happen is a little more direct. And there were sometimes people whose art itself helped someone help people see a certain face of the arts or a certain phase of realism or movies or things that they hadn't been attuned to earlier. So it could have been directly from their craft, or it could have been in terms of helping people. But the word help was dominant. And the arts part of especially resonant for someone like me. I'm from India originally, and we're guilty of, at least earlier, fortunately, is changing. Now, insisting that a kid is a success only if they go into medicine or engineering or one of those preordained paths. Right? So things like the arts, when I was growing up, was seen as frivolous, but it was seen as something that would be a definite path towards starvation. So it was just interesting to see that a lot of those folks were remembered and they did some amazing things. It just paints the kaleidoscope that is not so obvious when you're a kid about to start off in college or something like that. So I thought that was fascinating as well.

Wendy

You've lost your Indian accent, I've got to say, that Lux.

Lux

I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Okay.

Wendy

It's quite New York. I would say as well, though, that, you know, if you think about India as a nation, when you think art and culture or sport, you would automatically go Bollywood cricket. That would be the only two opportunities. And I know that that's a massive generalisation but it's much the same as, you know, you're going to be a doctor or a lawyer, isn't it? It's the same thing. So it's good that we can offer way more opportunities now, no matter your culture.

Lux

Absolutely.

Wendy

So, Lux, going from the arbitrary thing, did that give you the idea for the name, place, animal Thing?

Lux

To some extent, actually, the way name place animal thing happened was related to the obituaries, but it was a parallel journey that I was going through during my previous company had given this talk about what was that? About six years ago in Jaipur? And this was a talk on perspective. And often you just dump a whole bunch of ideas and then you're trying to find some interesting narrative vehicle to put them into. And I literally had all these posters that I put saying, these are my 24 21 slides. And I was trying to find a narrative string through all of them. And I just found that the nameplace animal thing was actually a childhood game that's very familiar to people from the subcontinent. I actually realised that those 21 post-its that I had on the wall the night before my talk and in Jaipur actually fit the pattern where some were about places. Somewhere about things. Some were about getting in touch with your inner animal. And a few of them were about people who wore varied hats and were not known for just one thing and therefore carried multiple names in society. Right?

Wendy

Yes.

Lux

And also over the course of life in general, and especially my previous startup, where this was in a prepandemic phase, where you actually meet people in person very often at a conference or a bar or a restaurant or a coffee shop. The standard opening question would be, so what do you do?

Wendy

It stumps so many people. I don't know why it stumps so many people, but how do you get the nameplace animal thing into that? What do you do? Explain it.

Lux

So what do you do? Was a question that vexed me for a fair amount of time because most people, including me, would answer it with the most recent line on our LinkedIn profile.

Wendy

Okay, so what do you do?

Lux

I would have earlier answer that as I'm the CEO and co founder of Stream Alive, an application that helps make live streams alive. Right. Which I still am. But if you ask me the question today, I probably indicate, do you mean what do I do for a living? Or what do I do in life? Which then encourages you to ask more first, understand and appreciate that there are more dimensions to everybody, and okay, let's talk about work and then let's talk about what else you do. Let's talk about your love for comedy and stuff. But it's opening the conversation to that, because very often it's a closed ended conversation where you're just saying, I'm a banker with XYZ Bank and I look at mortgage loans and that's it, right? There's so much more to every person,

Wendy

Context, isn't it? It's putting the context around it.

Lux

Exactly. And when you reframe the question by asking a question back at times or do you say I love mining the intersections of different worlds. Okay, what do you mean by that? So there's my work world where I do this, there's comedy, there is this and I think there's a lot of fun in intersecting those different worlds. So there's different ways to give it. But the thing behind nameplace animal thing. So the book started off as a non friction book which then became, I thought a little too didactic. So cardinal mistake of rereading what I'd written before I finished it and then decided no, I'm not going to read this myself. So rewrote the entire book in my favourite genre, which is allegories it's like a story like the Monk who sold his Ferrari or Jonathan Livingston Seagull, one of those genres. But there's a story.

Wendy

I love Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Lux

It's a beautiful book. I just reread it about a year ago. Yeah, so there's a story and there are interesting nuggets or lessons or things peppered through the story. So the cognitive load is relatively lower and hopefully it's an easier read that way. Right. The thesis behind the book is simply it goes in reverse. It starts with thing which is make more things physical and virtual. Make things like podcast but also make things with your hands. So make things make something animal is get in touch with your inner animal and recognise that at the core we're fundamentally living, breathing cytoplasm. So it's good to remember that once in a while and place was nowhere near as resonant as it was during the pandemic where you couldn't travel far and wide. And a lot of the thesis there is travel near and narrow because there's enough things in our own backyard that most of us have not seen.

Wendy

Yes, the place could be where you feel most at home, where you come from, where you live now, where you want to travel to. It can be so many things, can't it? When you really stop to think.

Lux

Absolutely. If travel is what you want to do because it's a great teacher, there's enough culture and different languages and cultures and things you can immerse in within probably about 20 miles of where you live for most people. Right. That's place and the odd team is name, which is don't just have one badge or one thing you're known for or that you answer when people ask you so what do you do? More importantly when you answer to yourself? Have a bunch of things that get defined by the places you visit, getting in touch with your inner self and making more things that's kind of jist to the book.

Wendy

It's smart. I love that idea that you can… I was taught tricks for networking rather than saying what you do. You can lead up to it by sort of saying, did you have any problem finding the place? Where have you come from? What was the journey like? Do you know many people here? Those sorts of things that sort of gently ease into rather than, so who are you? What's your name? Where do you come from? And what's your inside leg measurement piece? Because it can really put people off, can't it? And there's a certain anxiety when it comes to meeting new people anyway, that you don't want to be sport of oversharing either.

Lux

There's so much anxiety rooted in it because there's an undercurrent of I'm assessing whether it's worth my time to talk to you from this point onwards. Right, so there is that little undercurrent over there which doesn't hurt for good conversation.

Wendy

No, I don't know. I mean, I think it's perspective, isn't it? And it's something that we explore with every guest. You know, there are certain commonalities that I think that all guests are in agreement with me and that is that you need to apply a little bit of common sense to a conversation. But also sometimes you kind of need to be reminded of the most simple things because we can be overthinking some very complex situations when we're at work and involved in other things that we kind of just need to be like children, just be reminded of those things.

Lux

By the way, just on a very related theme, I was very excited to speak with you. Not just because I've heard your previous episodes and loved the way you do it. Also because the central theme that you have, which is making conversations count. Two years back, if you asked me if I knew what I'd be doing right now, I have absolutely no clue. But what I'm doing right now was born from conversation and what it does is facilitate conversation. So getting on a podcast that says Making Conversations Count was like, okay, can I get better than this?

Wendy

I didn't know two years ago either what I was doing. If I would have said to you that as we're recording this, it's the time for the hundred th episode. Two years ago, if you said 100 episodes in, I'd have gone, no, don't be silly. I don't even know what I want to talk about yet. And you formulate ideas as you go, don't you? And you mentioned that you're involved in data beforehand and looking at past data for brands so that they can plan their future social conversations. Am I sport of jumping to conclusions when I think that Stream Alive was kind of born from that experience too, to bring it back to the real world?

Lux

Almost. There's one little bridge we are missing which we actually touched upon. Very interestingly. So that's the nice thing. Everything kind of connects. So the bridge is the book is nameplace animal thing, right? The reason I bring up the book again, is the previous company on Metric had got an acquired towards the end of 2019, we had a personal emergency with our older son, who had to be hospitalised in Berlin, literally airlifted here to the US. He was in hospital for a couple of months. He's good and well now, so everything ended up well afterwards. But this happened a week after the acquisition. So life got pretty crazy because the next three months after our company got acquired were us being in hospitals, and then we came back home and then the whole world went into a lockdown because of the pandemic. So it was just a very, very surreal time. And once the transition happened, I took a break towards the middle of 2020, just realised I needed that and also to focus on things at home. And that's when the book was born, because I had time on my hands and I had run out of excuses for not writing things that were otherwise on postit notes and on different Apple notes and things, and I strung that together into writing the book. Right. This was towards the end of 2020 and I didn't know the first thing about writing a book. You might read the book and say, I still don't know the first thing about writing a book, but I didn't know the first thing about writing a book at that point. So I signed up for half a dozen courses on how to write a book, how to edit a book, how to market a book, how to get Amazon and the gods around Jeff Bezos to bless your book when you're listed on Amazon and things like that.

Wendy

I missed that course where I got the blessing for my book.

Lux

Okay. You know exactly what I'm talking about then.

Wendy

I do. It was the opportunity to kind of let Muddy Waters clear so that you could go, well, what do I want to do with this information? So once you got it blessed, what did you do?

Lux

I'm going to borrow that expression, by the way. An opportunity to let Muddy Waters clear. That's a beautiful way of putting it. That's exactly what happened. So I signed up for I still remember the exact number. There were 56 live streams that I attended over the last quarter of 2020 for these six courses. And these were delivered on Zoom meetings. Zoom webinars. YouTube Live. Facebook Live. Right. Class sizes were anywhere as less as ten people to as much as 1100 for the Amazon Blessings class.

Wendy

Wow.

Lux

So that's what I noticed. There's something beautiful when you recurrently see something over such a tight compressed period, because then you start to see patterns. And I saw a couple of things. The first thing was that the chat flew by faster than the presenter could keep pace. There were conversations happening all the time and they were not being counted because the presenter could not keep pace with what was happening in the chat. It was even crazy when the presenter would ask a question, like a standard opening question would be hey, where are you joining from?

Wendy

Yeah, different locations popping up.

Lux

Exactly. Right?

Wendy

Yeah.

Lux

But the irony was if you got 1000 different locations, the presenter would call out three of those people say we've got London in the house, we've got Mumbai in the house, we got Lux from Jersey in the house, and then ignore the remaining 997 people. Which is kind of unnatural, right? It would be pretty rude of me to ask you a question and then totally be oblivious to what you're giving us an answer. But we do it on a live stream because if the presenter were to read 1000 locations, he should be a geography teacher. Yes,

Lux

That happened time and again, Wendy.

Wendy

I noticed that and wondered how you could fix it.

Lux

The fixing it is what we do at StreamLive. That's why I said the company was born from conversations, from seeing ignored conversations. And we said that's why you saw connective tissue with what we did in the previous company, which is where we used to take unstructured data, as you observed, and give structured insights from that. In a similar way, can you take unstructured data, aka real time chat or chatter that is happening around a live stream on Zoom or on YouTube and give it a structured and visual look? Right? I mean, we say a picture is worth 1000 words, but here 1000 words could be worth a picture. For example, as people are typing, locations show a real time map that maps them out with lights coming up as they type locations. So that's what we do.

Wendy

It's like Santa's Good and bad list, isn't it?

Lux

That's a good idea for a feature. We should probably do something around that. Santa's good. I mean, the whole thing is about making conversations more inclusive. So apertures we change these live streams from a current scenario where 95% of the people are ignored to one where 95% of the people will be included. Where if someone has an answer to how are you feeling today? That answer is not going to be lost among 998 other people chatting the same thing. But it's going to populate a real time word cloud that if a majority of people are feeling happier, grateful is going to show that by having that word bigger. So context aware conversation is kind of what we're trying to create over here because when you ask people where you're joining from, they're not going to say happy or grateful, they're going to be saying a location. And when you ask them how you're feeling today, they're not going to be saying Glasgow or London or New York, they're going to be saying a feeling. So there's context to this which you can actually harness to give a collective voice to the audience by means of a visual. So interestingly, that's our fundamental premise. We make conversations count in terms of counting each and everyday person who is participating in a live stream or a chat. So, again, this was born from the journey that came from the book, from attending live streams. And now it's a full fledged company with many users who are across the gamut, who are teachers, who are preachers or sellers or entertainers, and people doing town hall meetings, trainings. It's just a different way of conversing where suddenly it's two way and it's not just one way. Right?

Wendy

Where have you been, Lux, honestly, because my own workshops, I put a stop to them because I didn't want it to be all about me through the screen. Every workshop that I've ever done has been about audience participation. So they're involved, they need to interact. And it was just too cumbersome to be able to deliver that when you've got multiple people coming through on a screen in the chat. And how can you converse? Because we haven't really learned, I don't think, how to be able to do that volume of multitasking with a little bit of help. It sounds like you fixed a little bit of help problem.

Lux

That's certainly right down our alley. And it's interesting you mentioned the energy and the interactivity that you have in a live workshop. Right. I'm sure you're no stranger to these situations where you ask the audience a question and you say, but let's have a show of hands. That's a great example. You have a show of hands. You're not having an individual conversation with each and every audience member, but you're taking a collective sense of the room, saying, okay, roughly three fourths of you agree with this or have felt this pain that I just described. So you kind of eyeballed the results, so to speak, and that's all that is really needed at times. Everyone knows you can't have an individual conversation with people, so how can we replicate that collective sense of the audience in multiple ways in an online scenario is kind of what we're doing. And it's funny as the world gets back to hopefully, fingers crossed, how it was a couple of years back. We built this for online meetings, but now we have people saying, hey, I've got this big conference happening with 3500 people in December, and I love what you guys do. A stream of live or online events. Can you do it for an offline one? And we're building that out so that paves the way to make it hybrid. So you have half a dozen people on Zoom, and you have a few dozen people in a room, and they both can seamlessly be part of the same conversation and participate as a collective whole. And I think that's a phase of things to come where people are included, heard, irrespective of where they are physically or digitally, that to me, just sums.

Wendy

Up 100% inclusivity, because there will be still people that are going to shield or not want to attend for whatever reason. Geographically, it means that they're not excluded. It opens up the audience much, much wider. And of course, I love an inperson event and the energy in the room. And of course, you can't always look at six screens to see all of the different participants, to try and gauge that body language. But when you're in a room, you feel that energy, you don't have to be touching anybody. And I think that's what we can't transcend over the Internet yet is that physicality?

Lux

Absolutely. And hopefully we'll never be able to transcend that because there's something to be said about that physicality, that energy. Right? So our thinking is you never get there, but how close can you get to that? How much of that can you replicate? How much more alive can you make the stream and hence the name. I'm glad you said what you just said because a lot of the inspiration has been from the to and fro banter that a performer like Freddie Mercury has with the audience. When they sing with each other, the.

Wendy

Mexican waves just start bursting into song.

Lux

Please do. That's gonna be fun.

Wendy

Yes, it is. It's because as a presenter, you can feed off it's. Like you were saying earlier, how are we all feeling today? If there were four options there and you could give me a graphical metric of a good, bad, indifferent, you know, didn't answer, well, goodness, that gives you an indication as a presenter as to how much of a hill you've got to climb today, or if they're present and open and willing. Because sometimes you do really need to sort of pick people up. And as of being online, there is nothing worse than having people on mute and on no video. So you've got these little black boxes everywhere and you have no idea how it's been received. How is that helping anybody?

Lux

But that's the interesting thing, right? Although, and I would love it for every single person to keep their video on and have that feedback loop. Therefore, and I've spoken to comedians for whom that's very, very depressing when they're doing a standup set and they can't even see how people are reacting. And a lot of them had to do that through the pandemic. But here's the thing. People have different degrees of comfort levels in terms of putting a video. They might have a genuine reason because maybe their rooms in a mess or they are comfortable showing, they don't look good on camera, they got bad lighting, whatever, right? But they do tend to be very prolific with your opinions in the chat. So you mentioned Poll, for example. That's a great example, if you don't mind me just diving into that's, one of our pet peeves with Polls. I mean, all those things attended, they would. Have polls. All those classes attended those 56 livestreams. About maybe 15 of them had polls. But here's what they do. They would say, Folks, we want your opinion. We want to know. We want you to be heard. We want to know what you're saying. So here's a QR code. Please scan this QR code, go to this website, enter this code number, and go out there and participate. And then we will show you in three minutes what you said collectively by showing the polls. Not everyone. Every one person who would go out there, two or three people would put their opinion in the chat, and that would be thoroughly ignored because they had to didn't follow the instructions, right? And then so many people put in the chat and the instructions would get barred, and people would say, Where are the instructions? I can't see them on screen anymore. So all of those were inspiring for us because it was very obvious there was something to be solved over here. And then people would enter in the poll, and then there would be absolute silence. And about a couple of minutes later, the presenter would say, okay, you have spoken. Here is what 10% of you said, because remaining 90% either didn't figure out what to do or they put it in the chat. So that's a little thing of where you can actually harness the energy of the audience in a real time way. So what we do, for example, is we put up a poll on the screen, in the stream, live screen, and the presenter says, okay, here the four options. 1234, I want you to type in the chat one or two or three or four. So I can see what you're typing, Wendy, and you can see what I'm typing. And it's not a state secret, so why not everybody see what everybody is typing and we just type it in the Zoom chat or the YouTube chat or the chat that we are in so we don't go out of the room. To us, that was like me meeting you at a conference, asking you a question, and then just as you're about to answer, I say, no, hang on, Wendy, that's a poll answer. You need to go to the ballot box that is next to the cafeteria and put your answer there and come back and continue this conversation with me. You're not going to come back, right? So when people put their answers in the chat, the polls dance. They literally race against each other. And the presenter is almost like a commentator at a horse race or something. Okay? We actually had these entertainers who ask people, what do you want to hear? Do you want to hear jazz or hiphop or rock or pop? And, okay, jazz is winning. Oh, no, no, it's rock. Pop is inching in, and they're almost like people are at a horse race and everyone's looking at the pole and the audience is. So the energy of the audience is literally being synthesised into these poles that are dancing and racing against each other. So those people still have their videos off, and we couldn't see them. They were channelling their energy through participating in the Chat, and that had a real time connotation, and therefore that feedback loop was complete. Right. That kind of ties to the point earlier. You can never replicate the full real world experience, but you can come to a better in between point than what we've been in so far.

Wendy

No. And you've just reminded me of a previous guest, Cathy O'Dowd. She's a lady who the first lady to have climbed Everest to the summit from both sides.

Lux

Oh, wow. I should listen to this one. I missed this one. Okay.

Wendy

And she actually did a presentation at a BNI Global event, which was why I reached out to her to ask her to come on the show. And it was in part because she was presenting through a piece of software that had multiple choice that you could choose, but you were on your phone, and it was interesting to take part that way, but it was also a little bit distracting because you were doing something, like, you say, outside of the room.

Lux

Right.

Wendy

By keeping it in the room. That's a smart move. It was asking questions of, at this particular juncture, what would you decide to do? And you climb an Everest. It's life or death. And I think most of the audience died very early on at base camp. No, but it's that similarity of application that I could see was working that just needed polish, and it sounds to me like you've polished it.

Lux

That's certainly the hope. And what you just described. The way we talk about that is the current approach is one where people are asked to go to a product to participate. The polish that you've talked about is one where instead of asking people to go to a product, you've got the product to come to the people so they don't have to do anything different to participate. It's all about friction. Right. If getting heard requires going through a lot of loops and stuff, you're not going to take the effort because they're not going to do resistance. Exactly. The path of least resistance. I mean, now we're talking about climbing Everest, but yeah, the path of least resistance.

Wendy

Certainly not on my bucket list.

Lux

Me neither. A lot of things I want to do, but climbing Everest is not one of them.

Wendy

No. Strangely, I'm fascinated that you've taken an experience and turned it into a company. I think it's absolutely admirable.

Lux

And like I said, that's why I was excited about being a guest on your podcast, because the company was born from conversations, from seeing conversations gone wrong in a one to many setting across those 56 live streams. And the company aims to solve conversations, to make them a lot more inclusive by giving everybody a voice. Right.

Wendy

Well, I'm just thinking of the amount of people that have actually been turned off by attending webinars and, you know, free sessions or trials or learning whatever it is, because it's quite boring to be sat and listening to and just being spoken to rather than being involved. So I can only imagine that this is going to just pique people's curiosity again to want to get involved, even if it is from the comfort of their own home.

Lux

That's exactly the hope, and that's really why a lot of people have their cameras off as well, because they don't want you to see how zoom fatigued they are.

Wendy

Yeah.

Lux

And you can change that. Maybe that will change as well.

Wendy

Gosh, it'd be boring, wouldn't it? You just stop doing it. You really just should stop doing it if all you've got is blank screens. We're going to carry on that conversation in just a moment. But first, the Wendy Wu tip is all about icebreakers, and there are lots of ice breakers that we use without even giving it a second thought. And the most popular ones are the weather. And how did you get here? Did you find it okay? It's those sorts of openended, friendly, gestured questions that can break the ice and get the conversation flowing. So if you want any more tips, head over to the Amazon store and pick up a copy of my book. Let's get back to the conversation with Looks, shall we? Oh, dear, Looks, I love talking to you, but we've come to the point in the show where I never know what's coming next. So I did do a little bit of nameplace animal thing on you before you came on, so I knew roughly what we were going to be talking about. But this is where I ask you to share that one conversation. Had it not have happened, your life or career would not have changed.

Lux

So I guess I can't remind back to the many conversations that happened from which Stream Alive was born. But we've talked about that. Let me totally shift tracks and talk about one conversation that was pretty important in my life, and this was at the previous company, at Analytic. Companies need to have an independent board member. And I got introduced to this gentleman called Ram Gupta, who has since been a dear friend, a very well known person in Silicon Valley and everything. And he was the chairman of our board at Metric. And the first time we met, I expected him to go into what is your data structures and how do you guys harness the data? What kind of insights do you do? And instead he asked me, what sport do you play? And I said, you mean used to play? Because I used to play a lot of football, or soccer, as they call it here in the States. But I used to play a lot of football and I don't anymore. And then he spent 15 minutes asking me why, if I love football so much, why have I stopped playing? And then I kind of took profusion to know I got into squash. Can you play squash? No, I don't. Okay, why not? And then we got into health. And then he told me one one thing which stuck in my head for two reasons. One is for perspective, and the second is the power of analogies. So he said, Look, Lakshman, at any point in life, you're juggling these three balls, right? And one is a ball of health, and the second is the ball of relationships. And the third one is finances. And spoiler alert, your startup and everything that you think you're so committed to is all around that third ball on finances. Right? Now, the trick in life is balancing all three and juggling them and keeping them up in the air at the same time, which all of us go through. But I'd like you to remember one thing. The one that's around finances is made of steel. So if you drop it, it might dent a bit, but sure, you can pick it up again and use it, right? The one that's around relationships is made of porcelain, and if it falls, it's going to crack. You can take a bit of super glue and stick it back together, but the fissures will show. So the relationships that do not have time to nurture because you're so busy in juggling the ball of steel are going to develop into cracks. So don't ever ignore your relationships. And here's the bad news. The one that's on health, which is dependent on you playing a sport and focusing on your health and taking care of things, is made of glass. And if that falls, it's going to shatter into 100 pieces, and there's no way you can put that together. So please remember this as we go forward, because I'm on your board and stuff, I want you to remember that your health comes first, your relationships come next, and company work and all those things come through, right? So as you get embroiled and think, this is something I use as a mental model because it's very, very powerful and interestingly. Ram became a dear friend and guide and he is the fourth cofounder on the team at Stream alive now as well, because when he started the company, I said, I can't think of anyone better to be on our board than you, so why don't we join from day one and instead of joining us later? And he did. But this conversation is something I constantly remember and which is why I've gotten into playing pickleball, which is also much the rage over here.

Wendy

Pickleball?

Lux

Oh, don't ask. Don't ask unless you got another half an hour or something. Let me put it this way. If badminton table tennis and tennis had a baby, that baby would be pickleball.

Wendy

Okay, just a challenge then, for the listeners. You're going to have to just Google it, I'm afraid. It's interesting, isn't it? It's fascinating how that one conversation and how that was explained to you. Obviously, scenarios, situations, experiences arise and you're evaluating, based on that analogy, of those three things for you to say, where will this lead me to? If I do this, how will it affect the other two? And mixing it up and juggling them as you do to be sure that you keep that balance.

Lux

I think it's a beautiful analogy and at least for me, it struck a chord and yes, exactly what you said. Once in a while it helps you take stock.

Wendy

Yes. No, absolutely. And I wonder just how many of our listeners needed to hear about you and Ram's conversation today.

Lux

I hope you focus on the glass ball.

Wendy

Yes, it certainly made me go, goodness, I've been doing a bit more of that myself recently. And other things just naturally look after themselves.

Lux

They do, right? Yeah.

Wendy

Well, look, you know, you're such an easygoing guy to talk to. I haven't asked you the one last question, which is what's your best joke? If you want to give us your best joke, you can, but otherwise I always encourage listeners to carry on the conversation with guests and come and find you if they want to find out more about Stream Alive or any of the other topics that we touched on, like comedy obituarys in your book, where's the best place for them to come and find you?

Lux

Okay, so the best joke part is I have a five minute stand up comedy set which is on my website. So my personal website is Lux Narayan. LuxNarayan.com And that includes StreamAlive and will be including free access to the application and a free trial and everything. It's totally free at this point, in fact, is at streamalive.com. So please stay in touch with me. Stay in touch with streamalive. Would love to continue the conversation.

Wendy

That would be fantastic. Look, you're an absolute diamond and they're hard to break. Thanks so much.

Lux

Love that analogy. Thank you. That's very kind of you. Thank you.

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