Transcript | L stands for Learning | Dwayne Samuels (Founder @ Samelogic)
The transcript from my podcast with Dwayne Samuels
Dwayne Samuels 0:00
But we have multiple personas for different use cases. The three we target our product managers, UX engineers, and researchers and product marketing managers. But like one of the areas that don't really get as much attention is product management, you know, and seeing how like product management could be automated with these, these models, these algorithms, make the product manager like a super product manager, right. So I think that's the future. And that's where we're kind of going and just really understand the reasons why people are using your product and like who they are as a person. That's how you build a company, you know, because a company is nothing without people without users and employees.
Max Matson 0:47
Hey there, everyone. Welcome back to future product. My guest today is Dwayne Samuels. He's the co founder and CEO at St. Logic, Dwayne, would you mind introducing yourself and telling us a little bit more about same logic and what you guys do?
Dwayne Samuels 0:58
Yeah, for sure. Thank you for having me on the show, Max. It's a pleasure to be on and great to be a part of the building. So pretty much. Yeah, I think my interest in this field started. When I pretty much went to college, you know, it was around a group of friends who were always always building really cool things. And we entered into this competition that Microsoft had for a student student. Entrepreneurs and like, a computer scientist and engineers, and they called a Microsoft Imagine Cup. And what happened. My co founder and I, at the time, we build this product in from Jamaica, I'm originally from Jamaica, by the way. We entered and we beat every single team in the world, it was 96 different teams. We, and because of that we got you know, invited to many different things around the country or across the world. And, yeah, it just got us thinking, you know, about, like, what would happen in the future, they allowed us to create three startups. And same logic is the last company that we've created together.
Max Matson 2:18
Okay, gotcha. Very cool. I would imagine that must have been pretty validating, winning that competition.
Dwayne Samuels 2:24
Yes, it was a really great feeling, because it will let you know that regardless of where you're from, you can actually build things that you know, are pretty great.
Max Matson 2:35
Not 100% What, uh, what originally got you into building product, and are you technical also,
Dwayne Samuels 2:42
I consider myself a technical and a bit more on like the design side as well. Still, just like still learning sales, the sales side and the marketing side and everything. But I'm, my co founder is way more technical than I am. So I do more of the design, writing in different things, and he controls, you know, like, what happens on a technical side with the technical team. But I would say my love for this kind of started because of my father. My father runs his own company, in the construction industry. And before that, in in the 90s, the early 90s, late 80s, early 90s, he was a manager at a clothing factory, and then Jamaica, the recession, so many companies closed down and he lost his job, you know, he had to, like, teach himself how to, you know, become, like, build something that people want it, you know, so he went into the construction industry, and I've seen him struggle. I've seen him like build things I've seen the way how he conducts the relationships with the people that he builds with, you know, I'm because I on summers, I used to work with him drive around, and everything like that. And really and truly, with my passion for, for software, and for building digital products and kindness made me realize that interactions with people is what really matters. And the software only exists to make that happen a bit more bit faster. And as a scale, you know, so. So I think it started from there.
Max Matson 4:27
Okay, gotcha. That makes sense. I definitely heard that a lot. Right. Having, you know, any close example of somebody that you look up to who is in entrepreneurship is such a powerful force, whether it be a parent or a mentor. Was your family pretty, you know, supportive of you going into software and kind of technology as a field? Yeah,
Dwayne Samuels 4:49
they always knew I'd be technical. Yeah. So before when I was growing up, I actually wanted to be a paleontologist or archaeologist. So Oh. So since I was like three to six, that's what I told my mom. And then when I was around seven ish, one of my friends got his first computer. I went over there a few days, and I realized that, you know, like, there, you can actually build stuff, you can play video games, and also like, learn how to build things. And it just opened my mind to so much more. And then I taught myself how to like code and C++, build websites in HTML, different things like that. And that kind of pushed me into the track that I went into high school. So I was on the general track, but doing computer science in high school. And then when I went to college, I did the same thing as well.
Max Matson 5:47
Very cool. Very cool. And are you still out of Jamaica?
Dwayne Samuels 5:50
I know. So currently, the company is based out of San Francisco. I'm between San Francisco and DC and currently in DC right now. So well, actually in the DMV, just a dc dc. So like, people kind of know, the exact area. But yeah, in the DMV area.
Max Matson 6:06
Very cool. Very cool. Well, what has, in terms of you know, starting your business in America coming from a Jamaican family? Has there been any? I don't know, kind of difficulty with making the adjustment living here running a business here, culturally from from any perspective?
Dwayne Samuels 6:24
Oh, yeah. It's, it's, it's been a very interesting experience, even to this day, my wife who grew up here, she she has to, you know, let me know, like certain on spoken, she had to speak the unspoken rules, you know, I sometimes, but for the for, for for the most part, it's, we share very similar culture. So I think assimilation was very easy. For me, speak English back home, we consume mostly American media back home. And during summers, as well, I spend some summers here to come and visit family. So that helped with understanding everything. And I also like Jamaica, and just being very warm and friendly. It kind of helps you to like meet people very quickly. And it just understand things from many different points of view. So So I think that helped.
Max Matson 7:17
That's awesome. That's awesome. So kind of back to same logic a bit. Were you always have in mind that you wanted to build an AI product? Or was that kind of happy accident?
Dwayne Samuels 7:28
No. So. So we've been having these conversations, my co founder, and I, we've been having these conversations for like, since that time in college. And the last trip, so we went to Egypt one year, and then we went to Warsaw the following year. And then in Warsaw, we saw some, you know, people talking about what the future of product would be, like they showed like, what devices would look like, and everything like that. And Sean and I were talking, like saying, probably in the future, these devices will kind of just learn from you and build the products that you actually want the apps or the experience that you want. So rather than having everyone having the same iOS, it'd be like an iOS, like, that's designed for you. So it wouldn't come with any apps or anything like that. Say, for example, if it knows you want to leave here and go to Miami, and then when you're in Miami, you want to check out the food, and then you know, probably going to vote right? The app would actually have all that in place and set everything up, you know. And, yeah, it's that's the conversations that we're having back then. And then, before same logic, we ran a product that was built, was focused on market research and conducting remote focus groups. And it read emotions from both vocal and facial views. So what happened, we track the 26 muscle groups in a respondents face, and then associate that with one of the seven emotions, and then do the same thing for the vocal channel. But we measure what said, and also the inflection points. And just like the termination of how something is said, and then correlate both both facial and vocal to actually give you like a read if there's any disparity there. So researchers could actually dig in a bit more to see what's happening in this area. So I think that was like the first push we actually had and into the AI space with that product. And then with building same logic, we've taken a lot of principles from that because we are a product that one helps companies to be customer centric, by giving them a product that they can pretty much ask questions or all about everything, and anywhere within their websites. So you attach your mind survey, they respond with either qualitative or quantitative questions. And from that we can gauge you know, like what people really feel about certain things and just turn the product more into not something that's based only on numbers not based only on, you know, clicks and like the time viewed, but also understanding what do the clicks meet, you know? So that's what we're building. I'm seeing logic.
Max Matson 10:28
Right on and that first company, was that correctly?
Dwayne Samuels 10:32
Yes. Okay, got, yes. Yes, well, actually, so the product that we entered the Microsoft Imagine Cup with, that was zaurus, as well. So we had like one product before that, that that I would say like that would be our true foray into the AI space, because we had to do. A bit of the product itself was like a farming resource allocation product. So if one area needed particular resources would try to source say, for example, people, there's a demand in the market for tomato ketchup, right. And the factories don't have enough tomatoes. So which source like tomatoes from wherever to get up to that to that limit? And then the ketchup would be available, you know, but it wasn't as detailed as what we built with the village video survey product. Yeah.
Max Matson 11:26
Gotcha. So that for that first one, I'm always interested to hear kind of these unique applications of AI. Right? What was the big challenge there? I mean, I can just off the top of my head, imagine some when you're dealing with supply chain and all the complication there. But what was the big challenge there?
Dwayne Samuels 11:42
The biggest challenge, I would say is finding the right data sources. Also, the engineering was a bit challenging, I didn't write most of the code. It was Marco mares and Shawn, and Duran, who were writing the code for that. But yeah, it was it was very hard to actually find accurate sources of information. So your models can be like, calibrated in the right way. But yeah, I think that would be was the hardest thing we had to do at that time.
Max Matson 12:16
Gotcha. Gotcha. And then so the second application that one was greatly what was kind of the thinking going into that what made you want to kind of solve that problem of aligning what a person is saying with kind of their, you know, nonverbal emotions?
Dwayne Samuels 12:31
Yes. So actually, um, briefly, as a was a business networking product, um, what you're mentioning the video survey product was the part of before we're building what we're building. Now I see I see a lot. Okay. Got it. But grizzly was a business networking application in partnership with Microsoft. And we build the product in such a way where when you have the app on your phone, and say, for example, you go to a networking session, everyone who used us, you spoke to who has the app on their phones, you'd be connected with them based on proximity. And then when you get home, you can like, see exactly, you can just, you know, add who you've been around, based on what happened.
Max Matson 13:19
Gotcha, gotcha. So it's almost like a kind of like a no touch version of LinkedIn.
For you. Exactly, exactly.
Gotcha. Very cool. I can see how that'd be really useful. I mean, it's kind of like, taking that extra step from those, like, those products where you tap your phone, you know, you get your business card. It's almost like that, but a little bit more streamlined and efficient. Yeah, pretty much. Gotcha, gotcha. Cool. Okay. So let's, let's get back into same logic. So let's talk about what made you want to tackle this problem, right? User feedback and product teams are it's a hot topic, it's something that always comes up, how do you get the voice of the user into the product? Was there any, like experiences in particular that led you to kind of want to solve that?
Dwayne Samuels 14:04
Yeah, it's a problem that I had, you know, it's a problem that, like, every founder that I know, had, getting, like accurate feedback. And just knowing what to build at the right time. It has caused me to make so many of poor decisions in previous companies and on previous teams. So I was like, if I'm going to build something, it has to be something that will solve like, some of the deepest problems and hardest problems that I have when building products. And my co founder like shares the same, the same passion for that as well. So So yeah, so pretty much um, when he was working at off zero, he was on the growth team at auth. Zero. They ran like a few experiments to see exactly you know, what users would actually want. If they're actually clicking on the thing. And also like conducting a small survey afterwards, but the entire process was broken. So we're like, we'd want to see if other people want this. So you'd like we wrote some blogs. We made some mocks. And we shared it on Hacker News, shared it on LinkedIn, Twitter, we had a small blog going as well. And what kind of gave us that, that oomph to actually start writing code. And building this out was when we spoke to him. Yeah, Chanela potty, who was one of the co founders slash founding engineer off at Pinterest. And he's like that, if I had this, like we'd have built, we've built Pinterest so much faster. Yeah. When he said that there was like, Alright, cool, we need to, like, probably build this out. So we build the very first version had like a few testers, and we raised around a funding, and pretty much it has gotten us to the stage where we are, we're still pretty much ironing out like a few things when it comes down to the experience. But we've been using the feedback so far to actually like, make sure the core that we're building can be very malleable and kind of more adaptive. And, you know, just to make sure that as soon as we make UI improvements and start to scale, and start to like automate, manage for things, it just flows as the way it should. So So yeah,
Max Matson 16:21
gotcha. Very cool. And would you mind for the listeners just kind of describing what same logic does from like, you know, nuts and bolts boots on the ground perspective? Yeah, for
Dwayne Samuels 16:30
sure. So imagine you are a product manager, right, and you want to test, a share feature within a dashboard, people have been asking, look, I want to have an easier way to share like these metrics, rather than actually taking a screenshot and sending an email. So if enough people are asking for this, the way you can actually test this is by adding what they call a painted door within the product. So the painted door would be like, a replica of what like the Share button would, would would, would be right, so that it serves two purposes to see if people are clicking, or if people are not clicking, if people are not clicking, that means that probably you should not build it, you know, it makes no sense in building it. But if people are clicking it, and you get responses from them about why they're clicking it, you can see exactly how this Share button should be built, what things still like to share, like different things, you can actually get very, very like surgical with it, to build the best, the best the most cohesive experience for your users. And secondly, that survey mechanism that I mentioned, is something that can be used within the entire product, they can be used to just measure how the engagement or the journey of customers are through various parts of the product, and also very useful for, for for conversion rate optimisation. And also for for testing, for price testing, to see exactly what people think about something, if it's too high, too low, it just makes sure you're having the product should actually breathe with information. And we're giving the product that exactly.
Max Matson 18:14
I see. So it's basically saying, you know, you could go, like, I guess, feature test this with a whole bunch of random testers do this weird, controlled landing page environment, or you could just like have your actual users give you feedback. Right, exactly, exactly. I see. I see. Makes a lot of sense. And are you guys doing anything with the survey? Kind of responses from like an unstructured data perspective?
Dwayne Samuels 18:38
Yes. So what we're doing right now we're building a data lake, to see for the various use cases that people have, what are the commonalities between what they're requesting, and how they're requesting it, what things they would actually like. Because the ultimate goal for same logic is not forever to be a product survey company or, or concept testing company, we want to make it so that products write themselves with user feedback. And that's the ultimate goal. So having something that is it maintains itself. It builds itself based on user feedback, you can build products much, much faster and much more efficient using customer feedback.
Max Matson 19:21
100%. Let's talk about because I have a lot of product managers and product people in the audience. Let's talk about kind of the process without a tool, like same logic for how people are currently doing this. Right. Because I can say from firsthand experience, it's not exactly the most efficient process, right?
Dwayne Samuels 19:38
Yeah, it's not and that gets very fragmented. You know, so, so yeah, so pretty much a lot of people they tend to want I think the best approach that people were using now are ones where you have an engaged community and the community the if you have a building public strategy, you know, people can actually leave their feedback and, like, tell you exactly what they like what they don't like. But on the flip side, when, when things are siloed, nothing really gets done, because no one understands what's happening. And all the data could lead to one person or one department or one team. If there's no cross functionality or collaboration between a lot of teams, it's, it's a, it's gonna be very, very hard. So we're also allowing teams to be more cohesive as well. So that's one of the other things that we're we're kind of pushing with same logic. But at the same time, yeah, it's very fragmented. And the entire process, the all the process needs to, you know, be very streamlined,
Max Matson 20:47
not 100%. I, it's funny, I mean, the listeners will probably recognizes, out of all the podcasts have done this, I think I've probably mentioned data silos, and every one of them, right, because it's such a huge problem. And it's one that I see so many AI products coming around to kind of fix, right, especially with, I think a lot of people are beyond the the scarcity kind of mindset, when it comes to data, it's almost like, we have too much data, there's too much abundance of data, and every department and none of it is talking to each other, and none of it is in the same place and actually usable. Right. So for your guys's perspective, if you were, you know, going to work with a company, what would be your first recommendation for them as far as just getting their kind of data together, getting it into, you know, one concise place where they can can actually leverage it properly.
Dwayne Samuels 21:38
data in terms of what kind of user feedback?
Max Matson 21:42
I mean, I would say holistically. So obviously, like the user feedback, are you guys like, using like an SDK, something like that?
Dwayne Samuels 21:50
For internal, you know, like, we're, we did have an SDK, but now we're just like an integration into your website. So we don't have mobile applicability as yet. But we have pretty much we're, we're just integration with a link or you can actually use Google Tag Manager to sell the product.
Max Matson 22:11
Awesome. Awesome. Well, I know the marketers love Tag Manager, or as you love it, right. Very cool. Okay. So yeah, moving forward a little bit. So in the process of, you know, you working and developing on same logic, what has been some of the most surprising feedback that you've seen coming in from your service.
Dwayne Samuels 22:33
Um, so what we can speak about is cohesively. What we've seen is that a lot of times, people pay attention to what is being said, and not how it's being said, you know, sometimes, for example, like a user could come on and say, like, I can't see a particular feature, or I can't do a particular thing. But when you kind of dig deeper into it, they're probably saying it's not easy enough, or it's not, you know, it's a bit more nuanced than what they're saying, right? So a lot of times, you have to, like read between the lines, and like, probably just like, listen to what they're not saying, I think is the best example. And having that pulse on the product can actually help you to paint a better picture of everything. So one of the persons who live just down this route, because we're going to be not, we're going to be like, a bit more quantitative using like, thumbs up and thumbs down. But it was a Google researcher. The name is slipping right now. But we had a call with him. And he was like, Yeah, we you can't really get a really clear picture of what is happening without, without qualitative feedback. And I mean, to me, like, that was like the bread and butter right there. Because like, you can actually, like paint a really, really clear picture about what's happening. And with a bit of analysis, you can, you know, just see, you know, like in a big picture of what everyone else is saying, as a collaborate as a cohesive group.
Max Matson 24:17
Gotcha. Do you guys use GPT? For that, to kind of help parse that unstructured data?
Dwayne Samuels 24:25
Yes. So we're using we're using GPT for for analysis. In the current product right now, we have the only if people want like deeper analysis, we actually like to be honest, we do all that manually. We just allow it the only thing that's automatic is us. Pretty much just you know, structuring it users is like a self serve experience. So we have like a few things that we need to test first before optimizing it for scale, you know, so we have to Like, yeah, so we're doing a bit of things a bit manually, they're also like to see exactly how the outputs would actually look. And to give us a better idea of how we should actually build or scaffolding, you know, based on the the outputs that are performed, and how things can be improved or a bit more nuanced for this specific use case. But yeah, we're using that.
Max Matson 25:25
Got it. Got it. And you mentioned earlier that you're kind of now dipping your toe into marketing and sales and whatnot, how has that transition been for you? And do you guys have kind of like, an idea of what your motion is going to look like? Whether it be sales lead product lead?
Dwayne Samuels 25:41
Yeah, we're primarily product lead right now. But I think, based on what we've seen happening in the space and how the space operates, for, for bigger tickets, it's going to be a bit of sales lead. But I've been seeing a really nice transition happening in SAS, where there lot there, really huge deals are being closed, like very quickly. So we're seeing exactly how we can understand that space a bit more, that cycle a bit more, because nothing hurts more than having a long sales cycle. That has like a huge ticket value at the end, because you'll always just be it's going to feel like running on a hamster wheel after a while. So things have to happen very quickly. So yeah, we're focused on that. So yeah, hopefully product lead just leads us through.
Max Matson 26:29
Gotcha, gotcha. And are you guys keen in kind of on that product manager persona?
Dwayne Samuels 26:35
Yet? Well, we have multiple personas for different use cases. The three we target our product managers, UX engineers, and researchers and product marketing managers. Product Marketing usually deal with a copy testing. That's making sure the wording is right. Different things like that, to like, target a certain audience. So for UX is, it's all about like usability, and like getting answers around how things to be should be designed like different things like that. For product managers, it could be a myriad of things, right? Product manager has to understand exactly what's happening with what they're responsible for. So they pretty much have like the most use cases for this product.
Max Matson 27:23
Gotcha. Makes sense? Yeah, that product manager persona is always fun, right? Because it's there's so many different responsibilities and roles, and you've got technical product managers, you've got marketing minded product managers. Exactly. And they can be just about anything. Right?
Dwayne Samuels 27:37
Exactly. It's a, it's a very, you have to be a chameleon to be a product manager.
Max Matson 27:44
100% over chameleon? And very, I'd say resilient. Yes. A lot of going back and forth between stakeholders. Yeah. So kind of like reflecting on your journey looking back at at all these companies that you founded? Do you feel like at this point in your career that has been formed the way that you approach entrepreneurship?
Dwayne Samuels 28:07
Yes, it has to, you know, one of the things that I think I've learned the most over the last few years is just like resilience. It's a very generic response. But like, saying it is one thing, but like, experiencing it is like something else, you know, having the grit to push through when things are hard, and having the level headedness to operate, the way you should operate when things are going well, I think, is probably the biggest thing I've learned. You know, I was talking with one of our founding engineer the other day, and he was like, yeah, do you it seems like nothing fazes you. Like, yes, it does faze me at times of time, but, you know, you have to approach everything with a level head, you know. So it's a, I think that's like the the key thing, just being resilient, and keep on pushing through. And if things were fast or slow, just keep the same pace. And when you have that momentum, nothing, you're unstoppable, you know, nothing stop, you
Max Matson 29:13
know, 100% Do you feel like you were that you kind of already had that, that leadership kind of, you know, inside you when you started your entrepreneurship journey, not something that you learned over time?
Dwayne Samuels 29:27
No, I, I even get to this point. I don't even think of myself as a leader. If something needs to get done. Like it has to get done, right? Because there's opportunity there. You know, like, someone has to do it and like, I don't think anyone who's a seal like, honestly wants to be a seal because it's a very, it's not something that's easy. You know, you have like a lot of reward at the end for sure. But yeah, you have to be juggling so many hats, and it's not something that you're you see instant rewards for for the most in the most in the most cases. Right? So I'm saying I'll say that that's, that's that's the case. Yeah, just as I said before it actually being resilient and just pushing forward. So yeah,
Max Matson 30:14
yeah. 100%. So kind of pivoting to like success. Right. So quickly, right, is, at least from the numbers I was seeing is the largest business networking tool in the Caribbean. Right? Was was,
Dwayne Samuels 30:29
Well, I'm sure yeah,
Max Matson 30:30
Dwayne Samuels 30:32
But second, second to LinkedIn, actually. So we had like a huge amount of people using the product. And then we were base were faced with like, a lot of issues, like we pretty much couldn't afford to keep operations up. And we're also looking to pivot into the North American industry. But at the same time, the structure was that we had company wise wouldn't allow us to accept US base investment investment at that time. So we had to understand, you know, what place is the best place to actually set up and everything I think, a year after that. Stripe announced that they're launching stripe Atlas. So that's what we use to set up or an org incorporation in the US. And then from our frequent trips, and like, the things that we've built the people out that we've interacted with, I was able to come to the country, on an O one visa, the whole one is pretty much what they give like Nobel, Nobel Nobel laureates, and like PhD students and PhD, graduates, different things like that. And I wouldn't consider myself like to be an expert at anything. But But yeah, that's pretty much the the roll the grind that happens. So So yeah,
Max Matson 31:53
you're in? You said DMV rep.
Dwayne Samuels 31:55
Yes, right now.
Max Matson 31:57
Very cool. Do you like it?
Dwayne Samuels 31:59
It's a very interesting area. Um, I one of the things I kind of like about the area is that one of our investors, there they were, they ran the city for it. Well, Adrian Fenty. Okay, so that helps me to get a better understanding of like, the culture of the area, the DC area as well. My wife grew up in the area. So she understands like a lot of things happening around and everything like that. But um, between, like, here in San Francisco, I'm more San Francisco person than DMV. Because like the vibe in San Francisco, I don't know, it's like, the weather is nothing like Jamaica. But it reminds me I feel like home there because I can go like 1020 miles to the north, and like, my phone doesn't work. So I can actually like, you know, be like, have some some period of work kind of recharge or like my phone going off, then come back down. And yeah, like the just the entire vibe of the place. It's not really brick and mortar. It's more like, thinking much scale in the future, you know, so. So those are two different things. But apart from that, as well. Here's rich in history, I love history a lot. History is one of the subjects I studied in high school. And the more and more I spend time here, the more and more I have deeper appreciation for American history, and world history. So it's also like having my wife here, it kind of just makes it you know, balances that out, you know, so it's great.
Max Matson 33:33
That's awesome. Yeah, you're right in the middle of it. But in both cases, right. Yeah. Cool. Well, I'd love to kind of talk and we'll get back into, into same logic, but first, I'd just like to kind of talk about you as a founder, what you do in order to stay effective outside of work, right. So like, we talked about, like, the grind and grit a lot. But what I don't usually hear founders talking about is like, being human, right? Like, obviously, you have a life outside of work still, what are some of the things that you do to just kind of like, try and maintain as healthy a balance as possible?
Dwayne Samuels 34:10
Um, I don't believe in balance. It's a weird thing. I mean, because let me explain that. I don't really see work as work, you know, and I don't see, like socializing as being only social, you know, it's an experience and I think, yes, you do have most high times when you need to, like be like, Yes, I'm just have like this, these five hours. I'm just gonna be locked in for a while. But at the same time, you know, I don't I don't really have most of a switch. You know, it's just like, quiet. If I'm having a really good conversation, I need to be having the best possible conversation, you know, from doing something I need to be doing to the best of my ability. It's just that I kind of see it that way, you know. So it's, it's all about like, we're here for a very short period of time. So like treating everything as an experience. I think you kind of see the real beauty and things even when they're not going that well, you know. And you had already think about modes and think about balance, I just think about, like, Am I doing this to the best of my ability? And should I be here? I shouldn't be doing this, you know, so
Max Matson 35:24
so yeah. I see. I just watched the documentary on Arnold Schwarzenegger. He gave a honestly a somewhat similar answer, which is really funny. Yeah. Yeah, no, no, which is like, you know, you have fun, you work, you have fun, and you work and they're the blend. It's not like a lot of things, right. It's like, yeah, no, it's on Netflix. If you if you get a chance. It's actually pretty good. Interesting. Yeah, it kind of also goes into his background as like an entrepreneur and stuff knows a lot more extensive than I knew. But yeah, I like your answer. Yeah, for sure. Thanks. So you know, like a lot of young entrepreneurs, will look up to you to people like you who have had like multiple ventures, let's talk about like, some of the, you know, gritty, difficult parts of that journey, like what has been kind of your guiding force to get through those things? And how have you managed to kind of keep your head above water during those times?
Dwayne Samuels 36:21
Can just remembering why you started? You know? Yeah, it's a very, as a founder, CEO, entrepreneur, whatever, is its ups and downs. Right. And the very first time I experienced like something really, really bad in a company, it was when we had to shutter quickly, because like, we're all over the papers. And in Jamaica, like we had, like, a lot of users. But we weren't weren't turning revenue. Yeah. So we couldn't keep running. And, and yet, we had to, like, get to a point, we had to pull the plug. And I was I was depressed, you know, it was like very something very hard. And during that time, I kind of really, like just had a deep period of introspection to see exactly, you know, what went wrong? How can I prevent that from happening in the future? And how could I like, be a better person? How can I make myself better from that entire experience? And I think, as a person, you're supposed to go through moments like that. Because it's just like music, right? Like, when you play a key, you know, like, the only way you hear that key is because there's an up and down, it's a wave, like sometimes we move faster, sometimes we move slower. But life can all be just good, you know, has a little bit of bad. So just remembering that, like, whenever you have bad moments, good moments follow, usually right after is. That's the experience. You know, that's what makes a story like enjoyable and movies enjoyable.
Max Matson 37:58
So so yeah. No, 100% Yeah, wouldn't be a good story without conflict. Right? Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I, myself, actually, I shuttered my business a little over a year and a half ago as a marketing agency. So I can definitely, definitely empathize with you there. Right. Like, it's, it's hard, you know, killing your baby like that. But it's always about the next thing, right? Exactly. Like, what's going on to the next opportunity? Let's make it happen.
Dwayne Samuels 38:23
Exactly. And just appreciating the moment, you know, like, take it as a learning moment, L stands for learning, you know, right.
Max Matson 38:32
That's gonna be awesome. So, kind of pivoting back a little bit to AI. Right. So AI is becoming more and more ingrained in our lives, right, generative AI has been a big part of that. What are some of the ethical considerations that you think are important, right, because like, Me, personally, I hear, you know, Sam Altman talking about like, extinction level risks, and it seems a little out there to me, to be honest, but I do think there's a lot of grounded, you know, real issues that need to be dealt with in the industry, are there any that kind of stand out to you,
Dwayne Samuels 39:10
I think probably just having like, a more, for lack of, or, for lack of a better, um, wording, I think, more like more diverse models, you know, that kind of understand us who we are as a collective. And that's something that's always been talked about, but the more and more you kind of spend time with these models, you kind of realize that they're like blind spots, you know, and those blind spots affect how well what results come out, right. So not divert diversity only in race, but diversity and like the types of information that is being consumed, you know, so it can actually give a bit more rational answer. And also, you know, just have a better picture of what, what, what actually is in the world Hold. So I think that as well. And also I think this will be like more on the things that should be thought about as well. Yeah. Having not only like emotions, but probably, if we really want to build because the reason why we're building these models is to model how humans speak, how we communicate and everything like that. But having a way to associate like, like, smells with certain things, you know? I think you'd see like some a bit more nuanced answer, I guess, you know, I don't really don't know how to explain this. But I know Yes. One thing that we've kind of like, avoided, like ignored a lot of hearing, obviously, we we can have like only bully's eye touch and smell, you know, kind of our alluded there. So. So yeah, yeah, it was like a, we went off way off tangent. But like, I think that's something that's missing.
Max Matson 41:04
I definitely think like, so I recently read. It's here somewhere super intelligence by Nick Bostrom, where he talks about kind of like, what AGI is actually going to look like. And one of the big one of the models that he proposes for us getting there is essentially like what you said, right? Like lingual intelligence, verbal intelligence, like these are just types of intelligence. Exactly. Our brain is a representation of all of these different types of intelligences interacting, evolving alongside each other and with each other, in a way that when you compare that to like an LLM, it makes it pretty stark. How not AGI that is. Right. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So no, I completely agree with you there. Are there any kind of like emerging technologies, trends, approaches that get you excited right now,
Dwayne Samuels 41:53
um, I really love what's happening in product right now. So if we, if we kind of like go all the way back to how UX kind of was dominated by, or became dominated by, by frameworks, you know, right now, as a team, like a startup team, like when before we had like, all these frameworks, you had to, like, invest so much time in building Oh, like, all these components, all the interactions, every single thing, and these frameworks took over all of that, you know, so you can increase the bandwidth, increase the speed at which you move to build really great products with really great experiences, right. Even for, for design, as well, for user interface design, we've seen how that transition has happened from, you know, from Photoshop to sketch, to now figma, right. And now figma has so many different integration, so many different templates that even someone who doesn't has has like the beard, like the smallest understanding of how user experience design and user interface design is supposed to happen, is kind of automating, they can automate that entire process and like, tell an engineering team, this is what I actually want. And then the engineering team, the front end and back end actually design like that using the frameworks. So we're seeing that happen now for software, right? VS code, obviously. But like, one of the areas that don't really get as much attention is product management, you know, and seeing how, like product management could be automated with these, these models, these algorithms. And seeing how a lot of the work that a product manager does, can be automated to make the product manager, like a super product manager. Right? You know, so that's what I'm kind of really excited for, to see how they can, you know, structure and lead much better understand, you know, like, the pulse of the product, the real pulse of the product, understand the product voice, the customer voice, different things like that, having the product speak to them, and then speak back to the product and the product response. You know, so I think that's the future. And that's where we're kind of going.
Max Matson 44:15
Yeah, 100% agree. I think that's gonna be the next big wave of of AI companies especially Right, exactly focusing in on that that workflow is really interesting. I. So from like, a pure product perspective, how do you see that that role changing, right, because like, with all these kinds of technologies that I think are right on the cusp? I think. So one of the things that I write about quite a bit is the difference between individual value and organizational value, right? And it feels like, like your company is one that kind of bridges that divide, right? Because if you're a product manager, you want to do your job by you know, leading from user, right, like that's just built into the code of who you are as a PM. But then your company and your product is going to benefit massively from that, right? So I kind of see there being a lot of organizational value there as well. But the big criticism that's been lobbed at a lot of AI companies to this point is that they don't provide that organizational value. Do you see this as kind of being the first step into, I would almost say, like crossing the chasm into kind of bridging from just early adopters into, you know, that general audience?
Dwayne Samuels 45:26
So very interesting question. I'm not sure. I'm not sure I'm the thing I'm sure of is that, um, anything that you add a layer of network effects to, and you have all the nodes kind of pulsing at the same time, when you understand why the nodes are pulsing, you have a better understanding of like, what's happening. So I really don't have a I don't think I have a direct response to that question. I have to think about it.
Max Matson 45:59
Yeah. Yeah, no worries. I mean, I think that you guys are answering it regardless. Right. So yeah, we'll see. Yeah. So I do want to point out you, you received the most influential person of African descent award from the UN in 2018. What was that like? Great. I mean, as a black man in tech, as you know, an immigrant in tech. What did that mean to you?
Dwayne Samuels 46:24
Um, it was cool. It was it was cool. So when I got the nomination, I was I was surprised. Because
I don't really think I'm that well known. I don't think I'm well known. I just won. I like building great things. I like having really good conversations. So I think that helps. When I found out I was I was very surprised. I was over the moon. It was it was cool. And I think who was more I was actually more proud to share with share with my parents. Go on. Sure. Yeah. Yeah, they were they were really surprised with that as well. So yeah, it was a very, very cool moment. You know, it's kind of give you some like a little bit of validation. Obviously, you're not. It wasn't a product that you built that for them that why they're saying that. But yeah, it was great.
Max Matson 47:27
Yeah, that sounds like a real parent pleaser. Yeah. Yeah, that's awesome. That's awesome. Yeah. So I'm kind of Lastly, I'd like to ask my guests this. What is your biggest hot take on tech on AI on anything? Right now?
Dwayne Samuels 47:47
Yeah. So I mean, like, everyone is saying it now for like, user centricity. Right? But not just like saying, Yeah, conduct surveys, yeah. Have like focus groups. Yeah, and all that just really understand who they are? And like, why they're doing this understand if, you know, like, do they have a family? You know, or do they have like, what, what problems are they having, and not saying, you're supposed to be a therapist, you know, but like, try to be human, you know, and just really understand the reasons why people are using your product and like who they are as a person. So you can kind of have a more cohesive community. And when the community feels that they're like, heard, not only like for their knowledge, but like, validated for who they are. That's how you build trust. And that's how you build. That's how you build a company, you know, because a company is nothing without people without users and employees. So yeah,
Max Matson 48:41
no, absolutely. It's all about, you know, making the people who believe in you see that you believe in yourself and that you believe in that. Right, exactly. That you take their feedback seriously, and that you're willing to do what it takes to implement it. For sure. Well, Dwayne, this has been a fantastic conversation. Everybody can find that same logic, I'm sure. But where else can they find you on socials? anywhere like that?
Dwayne Samuels 49:04
Oh, yeah, sure. So on Twitter, I'm at Dwayne Samuels, LinkedIn Dwayne Samos a search Dwayne Samuels hardly use Facebook now but yeah, I'm doing some was on Facebook is doing some was everywhere. So see, and the company's app, same logic, on Instagram and at same logic AI on Twitter.
Max Matson 49:25
Perfect. Awesome. You heard him guys, go check them out.
Dwayne Samuels 49:30
Thanks, No problem. Thanks for having me. My pleasure.