May 2, 2022

Talking Tech w/ K&J #1: Show Intro


Transcript

We'll see how this goes, but I'm excited to have more casual conversations with a friend rather than the usual professional episodes and heavily edited episodes that you listened to Also, you can just think of it as some extra content before we get to the next season. Of the podcast. So I hope you enjoy. If you have any feedback or topic ideas that you'd want to hear then email us@blackenterprisenetwork.fm. you can easily send a message through the website thanks again for listening also apologies for the audio. Our in-person set up did not go as planned, but it will definitely be better next time.

Miko:

Yeah, this is what I'd like to just call talking tech with K and J I am K J U R J. Yeah. And there's just like a. Not an interlude, but just like a show to have in between season three and just like nice to actually talk to someone instead of keeping everything professional. So, yeah. So what are your thoughts on just kind of starting this up? Like, why did you want to hop

Jae:

on board with this? Uh, I definitely want to hop on board because, you know, one, I'm a fan of Mikko, you know, I think she just such a great person and we have good conversations, you know, off of, you know, the podcast. And so I thought it would be great to kind of, you know, come together. And talk about whatever we might be interested in and, and at the time and all that kind of good stuff. And so, you know, I feel like it's a little bit, uh, therapy therapy for me in a way it's just to be able to talk with you, you know, kind of have it recorded so we can look back on, you know, in years to come, what we're worried about when we were 24 and 25 or however old we are at right now. So, you know, that's my, that's my take on it, honestly,

Miko:

too much to worry about. But yeah, Jay, I feel like my audience knows about who I am to an extent, but just let, let's talk about you. So where are you from? Why'd you come to Davis? Yeah, I'll start there a little bit of the

Jae:

back. Okay. For sure. So, uh, once again, my name is Jay and so, uh, you know, I come from Fresno, California. Uh, it's a little small, a relatively small town in the central valley of California, you know, right between the day and. And so, uh, it's pretty nice out there. I went to high school at Edison high school. So, you know, I'm a tiger for life, play some basketball there. I was a part of the engineering program. Graduated from there, went to Fresno state for a little bit where I was pre-med for a short amount of time. You know, a growing thing that you'll see is that I had a different, you know, interest across different periods of my life. And so I went pre-med there and then I transferred to UC Davis after a couple of years, um, where I decided to kind of. Focus my time on business, get a degree in economics and kind of move on from there. And now I'm in the startup space.

Miko:

Yeah. Pre-med to businesses a very big is a big switch. Is it because of like, cause I originally wanted to be a vet and then I realized how much it would cost and the amount of time I'd have to waste to. I was like, I'm not that passionate about animals. Is that kind of the same for you? Just time and money.

Jae:

That's actually pretty similar. Um, you know, it was going into. You know, just kind of like, you know what I want to aim high for, you know, something with prestige, you know, just not allowing myself to not at least give it a, try to see how high my ceiling might be as a person. So I went for it and I did perfectly fine, but kind of likewise to what you were saying, do I really want to spend 12 years in school? Cause I wanted to do dermatology and so all kinds of extra stuff. I'm like, you know, if it's about the money, which, you know, that's, uh, that was a key part of it, as I assume it is for a lot of. I was like, I can make just as much money, you know, being a businessman or, you know, doing business kinds of things and not have to put myself through 12 years of school and not be as passionate about it as someone else who might be, uh, you know, the next person or their spot that I'm taking, you know? So I would rather it be somebody who's passionate about being a doctor and all that kind of stuff to service these patients, as opposed to someone who might be in it for not as noble reasons, which of course I'd still like to help people, but. Yeah.

Miko:

Yeah. So instead of spending 60 hours as a doctor, you can spend 60 hours.

Jae:

Yeah, exactly. And something, I might be a little bit more interested in because I grew up, you know, uh, being exposed to entrepreneurship and, you know, business from my mother. And so, uh, you know, that was just something I was always around. So it felt natural to kind of get back to that.

Miko:

Yeah. I think a lot of people jump into wanting to be a doctor or lawyer. Or a veterinarian because it makes money actually doesn't make that much and hours are really long and tiring. Cause I originally wanted to be a forensic scientist going into like in the FBI and stuff. It's very, very long hours for very little pay. I think you'd be lucky to make 60, 70,000 a year. So to fall into kind of tech and entrepreneurship, very lucky. I don't know. Like I said, for some people it's not a waste of time if they care about it, but for me. I wasn't sure if I cared enough.

Jae:

So yeah, I hear that. I definitely resonate on that with you, for sure.

Miko:

So, yeah. What do you like most about business arch

Jae:

parish? Uh, for me, it's kind of the, the creativity of it. Um, you know, it might be a little bit cliche, but you know, at the end of the day, you know, business and finance, it kind of runs the world and, you know, the things that we're able to do in all kinds of different sectors, whether it's in social impact, You know, tech or, you know, whatever the space is. Um, you know, business is kind of a fundamental piece of all of it. It's how it makes it work. Um, fundamentally as humans, you know, we, we, we, we facilitate trades, you know, from, you know, going far back into ancient times. And so business, it just kind of, you know, different rules and layers of trade that we built up in a way that was more efficient than what we had previously. And so I just find, you know, from a high level, as well as when you get into the details of it, you know, businesses just really interest. You know, you get to kind of use your creative muscles for it. So that's what I think. But how about

Miko:

you? It's a very deep answer probably for, I have to be careful cause I'm trying to get a job, but I tried to get a job once I don't have a job, we probably talk more freely, but. I would say, what I like about businesses in entrepreneurship is just the freedom that can come from it again, just as a kid thinking, the only ways to make the only ways to make money is taking on a really hard, hard ass job. And then getting into college thinking, being a computer scientist or software engineers, the only would make six figures. And then when you get into a startup space or a student startup center, it's just. I don't have to work for them to work for anybody and then even getting in, into the creator space, because I think, and most of my guests say it takes a special kind of person to want to start a startup. But for me being a creator and eventually full full-time creator, I feel less stressed. So, so yeah, what I like about being a entrepreneur, whether they're creative or. Freedom, just do what I want make as much money as they want. It just takes a bit of time.

Jae:

And that makes sense. And that's a key part of it for me as well. Um, you know, I find that, you know, especially I'm more of a creative person just generally, you know, I used to like to make music and all that kind of stuff. And, you know, being in a position, um, like at a large corporation or, you know, wherever you might work out where you, you know, you're fulfilling a specific role and there's hard and fast rules of what, you know, what's yours, your responsibility and what. That just doesn't speak to me. I don't like the idea of, you know, too much repetition. I like an entrepreneurship as hard as it may be to make these pivots and things all the time. You know, it's exciting as well because you get to, you know, face new problems and find creative ways that you would do things that someone else might not do. And like you said, you know, just the freedom altogether. It's really, really cool.

Miko:

Yeah. I think that's probably, at least for me, that was one of the biggest downsides to working in corporate, even if it was just a few internships. Working on a new project. Oh, that's done after two, three weeks. What's next. And then it's just like a never ending thing of working on stuff I'm not interested in. Even if it is something new, it's like, I don't care about it. The company cares about it. And to your point with content stuff, being able to work on something new or learn a new skill every day or every week, it's just, I don't know, more meaningful.

Jae:

Yeah. A hundred percent. And I agree, and I kind of want to go a little bit further into that. As, you know, being able to, you know, when you don't have a passion for something there's only, there's a certain ceiling natural hit and how good it might be able to be when you contrast that to something that you're actually passionate about and that you kind of see that you get, I guess, not validation, but, um, uh, con you know, contentness from, I guess, would be the word, um, you know, being able to do that and something that you're passionate and I believe the ceiling will be higher. Your potential impact and all that kind of stuff with the higher too. So that's just kind of another facet of, I think it's interesting as well. Yeah.

Miko:

I'm trying not to use the P word too much passionate cause I I'm still figuring it out. I think, because this conversation I had with Daron petty, I believe from my previous podcast, it's like a 20, 24 year old now started founder has his own foundation, but basically what opened my eyes like yeah. As a CEO. A bunch of boring, repetitive work almost every day, but I still love it. You don't have to love every single part of your job. And for me, I'm still figuring that out, like literally spend seven, 10 hours a week working on editing one video that doesn't include writing. I'm like, I like writing it for the most part. I like doing the research, but editing it, I'm not passionate about it. So I'm still figuring out what that word means.

Jae:

Understandable, not, you know, I think it's just a. Experience and stuff. And, you know, like, like you said, just kind of getting into things and, you know, it's kind of an entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, cliche to just continue to, you know, just to fail faster and just see what you like, what you don't like. And eventually you'll kind of walk into it. So, you know, I feel at this point in my life, I've kind of found my pocket who's to say, you know what, 30 year old, you know, Jay has to say about it. But as of right now, I think I'm in a decent pocket. I'm excited to see where we go from here. So this is me saying to you, maybe you will find your pocket as long as you continue on. I have my quarter-life crisis. Literally. As soon as that certain 25, like you just kind of look around and like, oh my God, like, what am I doing? I don't know. Maybe it's just a neat thing, but I think I might've over-exaggerated or, you know, been a little bit too dramatic in my quarter-life crisis. It probably won't be as bad.

Miko:

I feel like this generation is very traumatic. I don't know. I feel like there's a lot of pressure to be successful at all. Facets in life, in your twenties, at least in this generation. I don't know what it is. It's really weird. And I don't know. I think we're in good positions to just take things slow, just get the feel

Jae:

for things. Right. I agree. So I wanted to ask her, why do you think that might be the case? Do you have any, um, you know, assumptions or presumptions about why we might be so successful?

Miko:

Some people will tell you it's a black thing of just feeling like you have to work five, 10 times harder than other people. So I'm, in some cases it's true. I've had to do that, but not all the time, but I don't know. I feel like I'll have an answer when I'm 30. It's just weird. I think it's just, you see in the media, they never share. They never share the bad stories that happened in tech and entrepreneurship. They just say that this company, IPO, or look at this young founder, look at Forbes 30 under 30, and then you inherently just feel a little bit intimidated by that. Even if you are happy for those people, you just feel like you should be up there too. I don't know. That's why I stopped going on LinkedIn so much because. Constantly. So is sharing. I'm so proud to now to go on to Google, Facebook and LinkedIn, and one of the senior year. I'm so proud to announce my company got acquired and it's like, wow, you're only 22. Yeah. It's I don't know. I can't really put a finger on it, but everyone's just so driven to chasing constant success. I've learned to slow down, but it comes and goes, feeling comes

Jae:

and goes. Yeah. I feel that, I think. You know, there's a couple of things that might kind of lead into that. So you have on one end, you know, that what the text-based enables for people. So with tech and, you know, YouTube and all of that, all the information that's out there and the opportunities that you know are a little bit, there's a there's less middle or. There's less barriers to entry on a lot of this stuff. And so I think we're kind of in a phase where everybody's like realizing it and sort of as like, you have no excuse to like, not be successful in this and then blah, blah, blah. And then when you get to the LinkedIn part that you were talking about, just social media in general is literally just like a highlight tape for people. It's like, you know, here's the highlights of my life. Like most of the time, they're not going to show the low lights and all the hard stuff. So when you look at it, I got accepted here and I did this and all of that. It's like, you're looking at highlights and it's not necessarily healthy, um, to be able to, you know, see all of these different people, but we're just not made for that as humans. I feel, you know, uh, for many years in history, you only were exposed to the people that were around you and what was happening like in, you know, your geographic areas. So now it's like, you get to see what somebody is doing in, you know, in Sweden or, you know, in Argentina. And it's just like a bigger pool of people when you see. You know, different things that are going on and it can be overwhelming.

Miko:

It is overwhelming. It can be overwhelming, like the amount of tweets I see. Cause I like Twitter and LinkedIn now, but the amount of tweets I see just pushing people to go code is crazy. I mean, I think in the beginning of my podcast, I think I was kind of doing the same messaging, but I've come to phrase the way I say things a little differently. Learning how to code is beneficial, but you don't have to write

Jae:

absolutely. You know, I think that's pretty true too, as well as, especially when you look at positions like product and management and things like that, where you just can't, you're kind of like that middleman, that's able to communicate with, you know, uh, professionals of different backgrounds, which is interesting. I do think it's, like you said, it's pretty beneficial to at least know the foundations of it. So you can't talk to these different people about it, especially if you want to be in the tech. But like you said, it's not mandatory. You can find your way in and, you know, get that experience and, you know, build yourself up to whatever career path like you want to. So product

Miko:

space is a big gatekeeper. Anyway. I mean, I only tried it because apparently was the easiest transition from engineering. So I said, okay. I started applying each other. I didn't know. It was like so popular and all this other stuff and so competitive and so intense.

Jae:

Yeah. And that's that's I was surprised by that as well, like how intense it was and how many, you know, how much demand there was for those jobs. Um, so it was just interesting to see, and you know, who you're competing against and you know, how hard you kind of have to work to kind of even be competitive in that area. So it was just really.

Miko:

What's orals. And why did you kinda how'd you come up with that idea? Right.

Jae:

So else is, uh, the startup that I'm reading. Um, we are essentially your closet in the cloud. And so what we do is we take the excess clothing that you have in your closet, which four and five people complain about closet space in nine and 10 have clothes that they don't wear, and they don't want to throw away. So we wanted to kind of meet you guys and help solve that problem. We provide that, um, offsite space and we deliver your clothing to you, dry cleaned and all of that whenever you need it. And so, uh, in terms of background and kind of how I got here, um, it really began as a, as an initiative to transform your apparel industry to be more sustainable. And so the industry, you know, has pretty interesting metrics to say the least about, you know, environments will impact and you know, one of them, including, um, textile waste is a really important. And so in the U S alone, the figure is in 2018 that we produce around 11 million tons of textile waste that went to landfills. And when you look at places like Ghana, who, um, receive a lot of this, a lot of this waste from first world countries, there's piles and piles of clothing that even when you know the people out there who may need these clothes, they take what they need from it. There's still piles and piles and clothes. And so we need to find a better way to. Deal with our textile waste. And so that's something that we're looking to accomplish with the closet in the cloud. So that enables us to, you know, since we're kind of taking care of your closet for you, we allow you to just at the press of a button, be able to donate it to a local, um, nonprofit or to recycle it. And so, you know, it's not as hard to be a sustainable consumer. We kind of take that responsibility and make it easier on, you know, the everyday. That makes

Miko:

sense. Yes. Orals has been through a lot of changes last couple. It

Jae:

sure has. And you know, it's cool to see where we're at today. Um, we're still, you know, working on the same problem, but you know, like we were talking about earlier, just being able to make those pivots bailing fast and seeing what's the value. And what's not, we're kind of in a neat, in a decent spot, I would say right now, uh, to kind of get a little bit more traction.

Miko:

Yeah. What I appreciate about the journey of oral SIS, you don't. I just kind of throw the ideal way or even just stick with the, the same business plan that may or may not work out. And by that, I mean, oh, I was going to be really mean, I might not. I mean, there's a certain, there's three startups I've seen on campus that they're really kind of just stuck. Doing the same thing that won't work out and you can kind of, when you get it into learning about stars, such generic, if you can kind of see if something will fail or not pretty early on, especially if it's early stage, but I don't like about orals is that you magic keyword, you pivoted to something that can potentially

Jae:

work. Yeah, absolutely. And that's something that, you know, it's really important to me. Um, you know, just kind of getting into it was. You know, you read about, you know, in the situation that you just described, being so tied to your idea and so connected to it where you, you know, you're not able to make those pivots when you need to. And so that was kind of a ground rule that I set for myself is like, we're solving this problem. It's not about the solution that we're trying to push it's about solving the problem and the best way to get it solved in the end of the day. So whatever pivot I need to take to make that work, you know, it's about the impact and not about. Well, we say what we think we can do for you, but it's about what you need for us to do for you, I guess.

Miko:

Yeah. Easier said than done. I mean, for me personally, that's why I don't want to do a startup right now because between me, you and me, I just, I dunno, I can't get out of my own way to change something. I've had my mind set on. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I can do that for content. I like with the podcast of it's too long, maybe. Certain conversations though, don't add to the conversation like, okay, that's fine. And then for the YouTube channel, which is kind of going into a different direction, I'm being more focused on quote unquote downfalls and celebrity controversies and rapper controversy. I'm like, okay, that's, that's fine. But when it comes to, I guess, uh, a business idea that you wanted to have make money and you have a customer and market, all of these plans, how am I supposed to pivot? Like, it's. That easy. So that's why I'm not doing it right now, but for you, I guess, how did you just kind of just put your ego aside and just know that no, this isn't going to work right now, but I can come back to it later. So I know you had a whole crypto thing involving brands and all this other stuff, but it seems like you kind of

Jae:

put that on pause. It is, it is a bit on pause and like, uh, just to answer, I guess the initial question was that, uh, you know, how do I kind of put ego aside, I guess, um, you know, for me, it's, you know, I, I've grown to be an objective person, so I value objectivity and, you know, let's get to the core of the truth. Let's not, you know, put our, you know, our biases into it and all that kind of stuff. And so I, I take, I find real value in being able to take that out and focus on, okay, what's riding front. And how can I best deal with this efficiently and effectively. And so I guess that's part of it that allows me to get my ego out of the way, but my ego is still very much in play, uh, in certain places that, you know, I can't fully, uh, you know, take it out of the equation, but, and that comes in with like, okay, this idea doesn't work now, but let me make sure I save it for when we come back around to it. And so, you know, like you said, when we talk about the crypto play and all of that, um, you know, I still very much a part of the plan. Um, it's just a matter of. Consumers where they are right now and the crypto space and all this stuff that's required for that requires a little bit more education of the consumer. And so that's just a time thing. And so we're just meeting them with what they're, you know, with what they need right now. And then we'll build up to, you know, all the extra stuff that, you know, we researched and we, we find that will be valuable in the future.

Miko:

Customer always comes first. It's very easy to forget that though. A lot of times when I. Wanting to start something. I would just forget about the customer. Cause I'm like this building, this feature seems cool. Building out with this tech seems cool, but yeah. Always

Jae:

remember the customer. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, and that's the, that's the hardest part about it is like it's the customer, like you think all this, this is such a great idea in WIOA and the customer's like, well, I really don't care about this crypto stuff. Like what I care about is that my closet. Or, you know, stuff like that, whatever the problem may be, the customer tends to humble you, you know, your ideas to say the least.

Miko:

So have you talked to quite a few customers? Have you tried validating your idea over the last couple of weeks or so?

Jae:

Absolutely. So we definitely done, uh, a lot more customer interviews and things like that in recent times than we were doing previously. And that has kind of fueled a lot of our, uh, you know, some of the pivots that we've made recently in network really excited. Um, just due to the fact that we actually have that customer feedback that we didn't have before. And we, weren't just kind of like, oh, well, this might be nice. You know, you're getting kind of hard and fast, um, you know, insights directly from the people who might buy it. And so you usually been getting out, talking to people of different demographics, seeing who values what, and our proposition and making sure we're able to highlight that and, um, make that portion of our business more valuable to them over time. So that's just kind of the way.

Miko:

So, I mean, I kinda know, but I just want to ask how come you don't want to be the person that has a full-time job and works on your company on the side, but knowing you post-graduation, you just want to work on orals full-time so why, why is that?

Jae:

Um, you know, I guess the main thing for me is that I think right now the apparel industry is going through. A transformation that I think is kind of a once in a lifetime kind of thing, to be honest. And so I think, you know, there's a culmination of different things that are different technologies and new, exciting things that are coming together, that this is the opportunity to get into it. And, um, you know, be a pioneer in that space. And so, you know, when you talk about crypto and blockchain and all of the different, you know, utilities that these things enables, and especially when you get into in a T space, which we're really interested in over here, Um, we think being able to get in here right now, as things are transfer, transforming, and there's new problems arising that haven't been addressed ever because they haven't needed to be addressed. You know, we think that that's kind of the advantage on taking this action now. And so getting a full-time job would kind of take away from me being able to, you know, put in the hours needed to be a pioneer in that space. Um, as well as the time needed to network and, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, all the founders. Yeah. You know, and I'm a person where, you know, if I'm going to be a part of something, I want to give it my all. So if I'm going to be working a full-time job, I'm going to want my performance there to be great as well. And that just kind of takes away the energy and the creativity that I can bring to what I have on, you know, my, um, you know, startup ventures.

Miko:

I see understand wanting to put all your time and energy into it. I think what scares people with. Leaving their job is just the money. Like how are you going to survive working on a startup? If you don't have funding yet,

Jae:

I understand that fear. I think a cool thing about my background is I, like, I felt that before, so, um, previously, you know, I was into, you know, I want it to be a musician and you know, so I took some time away from school and I was like, you know what? I'm going to focus on this. Full-time. You know, I'm going to, you know, just focus on that. So I didn't necessarily have like the greatest job that I could lean on. And I was like, you know what, I'm going to cut everything out. I'm going to live frugally. I'm going to do all of that and see what does it really feel like to get into the weeds? And, you know, really put my all into something. If I, even if I don't know if I'm not going to, uh, succeed or not, you know? And so having that experience, I think gives me a little bit more of an advantage than some other people who haven't felt those kinds of failures. And so I, you know, as well, I'm really high on the idea of just failing fast and getting it over with, especially in your early twenties, um, when you don't have as many responsibilities and stuff.

Miko:

What are next steps for orals and the next year, and these plans might change because nothing is set in

Jae:

entrepreneurship. Yeah, absolutely. R where we are today, what we think will be our next year. And we hope this works out this way is to get a nice launch, um, you know, raise, you know, go through a couple of accelerators, uh, uh, we're in the plasma accelerator right now. So that's one now. Um, we're hoping to get into some other accelerators that can provide us with a little bit more of the resources and connections that we need to, uh, bring, you know, Or was ecosystem to life. And so, um, that's a key part of, you know, at least the first six months getting through those building these connections and, you know, hopefully in the later six months we can get to a launch and our beachhead markets, um, get even more customer feedback, um, based on our operations and, uh, you know, just continue to grow from there. Um, hopefully we can be, um, be of service to, you know, some of the people who are listening to this in the future. Absolutely.

Miko:

You have a prototype. Um, you know, we're well not,

Jae:

I mean, I want to no later than, um, the top of 2023. So January 20, 23 is, is our aim. Um, preferably we'll be able to get some at the very least like a beta launch and kind of get some feedback on a smaller scale and kind of build there until we can get to like, you know, something that's open to the public. So, you know, I guess within the. Six months we'll have that soft launch. And then from there, we'll kind of get into expanding and scaling to, you know, where investors. And of course, myself as a founder will want to see the company start going. I love the

Miko:

plan, love the planning Bush, and that's all the questions I had to ask about Jay and Oros. But next week we can talk about crypto web three. And if T's stuff that you don't quite,

Jae:

I won't say a whole bunch of. There's some things that I do get, and I do understand, but I think it's just the space that we're in today. It's like, there's something new to be learned every day. And so it's a matter of keeping up with that, which I don't feel like I'm doing the best at, at the moment, but I definitely think it's a really cool space. And I'm excited to be able to talk about that next week, whenever we're talking about NFTs or whatever. Yeah. I

Miko:

have to do my research too. Don't worry. But yeah, that's it.

Thank you again for listening to this first episode of talking tech with K and J. If you enjoyed it, have feedback or have different topic ideas you want to hear in the show, please leave feedback through apple reviews or anywhere else that has reviews where you listened from or feel free to email us on the website. Black enterprise network.fm. See you in the next one