Imagine having the pleasure of working tech, seeing emerging trends, and helping innovators and entrepreneurs bring their products to market. Today’s guest, Carnellia Ajashin from Mind Katalyst, does exactly that. We talk Internet of Things, VR, Augmented Reality, and venture capital funding versus boot strapping.

Please welcome Carnellia Ajashin.

 

Podcast Episode Transcripts:

Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.


Joining us from Atlanta, Georgia. Carnellia invest in tech products for ambitious entrepreneurs that are out to make an impact. And she herself is a tech, innovator and speaker. Carnellia. Thanks so much for jumping on today. Thank you so much, David. Thanks for having me. Uh, now the tech field is pretty diverse.  

So is there a specific area that you’d like to jump into and what type of entrepreneurs do you like to work with? Sure. Um, my catalyst is like my comp my company. We actually work with small businesses as well as a large fortune 500 companies, uh, in our technology area that we focus on is the emerging technology space.  

And so that includes, uh, internet of things, augmented reality, virtual reality. Um, she learning artificial intelligence of blockchain. What I mean blockchain to, um, virtual reality. That’s, that’s a, that’s a pretty big, obviously they’re both in tech, but that’s a wide array of services. Um, is, is there like a common denominator?  

Among the types of entrepreneurs that get into this, this type of field, um, you know, are they, uh, I imagine some are real techie. Um, you probably have some people that come in and, and they they’re on the financial investment side. So do you work with all sorts of people? Yes, we do. In fact, I have a few, actually, it’s funny that you mentioned that because I don’t really have a lot of clients who are in the tech space.  

Um, many of our, I would say about maybe 30% of our clients are in the tech space, uh, originally and others about 70% or so are a small business owners and, you know, executives as such who were just. So regular people who just came up with an idea, you know, who came with an idea about a product that would make a difference in terms of their user base, maybe they were using a small business owner.  

Maybe they were using two or three different applications to solve one problem or to make one transaction. Yeah. Okay. Something has to give here, you know, I really, you know, can’t use, you know, three different tools to do one or two different transactions, not realizing that. That’s a new product and that they’re not the only ones having this, having that same problem, having to use two or three different applications to solve one problem.  

And so, um, and also many of our clients, uh, when they first initially come to me, they don’t really realize that, um, products aren’t just on their mobile phone platform, right. Or they’re not just a software application on your desktop or traditional computer or laptop. There’s other platforms of which you can actually create products on, which is the rest of reality goggles, uh, gaming.  

Uh, it may not always be that it has to be on a, on a mobile device or a computer desktop. It can also be on devices as well. And that’s something that we also encourage clients to kind of look at as well as, as an option for them. Uh, at what point do they come to you? Do they have a prototype or do they just have an idea?  

Um, it’s, it’s actually, everyone’s a gamut. Some people I have a prototype, some people have just a raw idea, uh, maybe a piece of an idea, and we kind of helped them to nest that idea, uh, and to look at, um, like, uh, like I mentioned, the broad spectrum of where the product can actually. Um, be housed, you know, can it be housed as a mobile application or can it be housed as a software application or could it be a video game?  

I don’t want to own a video game platform or can it be a wearable such, you know, or should it just be a FinTech or some sort of you Joel or augmented reality goggles as it relates to platforms. So they come to us with all types of ideas at various stages. And so you help them go through the decision, uh, the advantages and disadvantages of the different paths to take the product down.  

Yes. Yes. The vantage is disadvantaged the product down, but also, uh, how to approach the design process as well as development. Some clients have come to us, who’ve maybe worked with, uh, other development teams prior and have some issues with lots of bugs or the design is not quite what they wanted it to be, or, um, you know, maybe some language spirits, cause they’ve done some stuff done with off shore.  

Uh, so, you know, it’s, it’s all types of, um, variations of how and when clients come to us, And what, but when they do, we actually help them in terms of strategy. So we’re not just about, um, developing a product for them or design the product for them. We also give them an idea of the strategy of the approach to go from idea to market.  

And do you help them with the funding side and getting investments or do they need, need that before they come to you? Yeah. So we actually helped with that as well. We don’t, um, give them funding. I mean, although I am starting my own fund myself because I’m, um, I’m an angel investor myself, but, um, I’m looking into doing the more VC funding later on this year, but we do help with helping them to map out and develop their investment deck.  

Um, you know, really identifying what the key points are for the investment deck. Actually having them to practice with us to make sure that they’re presenting their investment deck and their, um, their pitch, uh, effectively that will help with, um, getting, gaining them access to legit capital funding or angel funding investments.  

Um, sometimes we also help with, you know, deciding whether they should even get that’s what funding at all, you know, it may not be right. Would be the best option for them. It may be that they should just bootstrap, you know, their idea that may be the best. Option for them. So it really depends on the type of product that they’re developing and also the audience of which they’re also looking at.  

I mean, investors really don’t invest in ideas. You know, as we know, we invest in products that have customer base already, or customer acquisitions are already in place. And so for me, my first go to, in terms of my advice to my clients is to really try to bootstrap it as much as you can before going out to venture capital funding.  

So where does, where does your background come from to be able to offer this type of service? Well, my background comes from working in, uh, management consulting, uh, for several years, as well as an executive role, as well as at Oracle corporation. And so I worked, um, as. Um, delivery manager, there projects.  

We did a lot of the financing. We did a lot of the leadership in terms of the various teams and also projects from an enterprise level. So we worked from the idea, you know, finesse and the idea all the way to market and also then to funding. So I did that in that space and then I wanted to do it on my own.  

And that’s what I’m doing now. So you’re the perfect person for me to ask a personal question. So being that I’m in Utah, um, I love Utah summers. I bet I love everything about Utah except for the winter, which is like half of the year. So that’s kind of funny. Right, right. But, uh, I’ve joked. Yeah. With my friends that obviously VR goggles exist, um, And, you know, the, the more complex ones like Oculus.  

So what I need to solve my winter blues, a virtual reality app that allows me to visit the, yeah. I’ve seen these ones where it’s it’s um, the VR and you can just go side to side is. Point me in the right direction to find one that’s that’s more immersive. So, well, you may want to try augmented reality as opposed to virtual reality, because with augmented reality, you’re, you’re kind of like, it’s, you know, you’re closed off it’s, you know, you are part of the environment.  

And so it gives you that feeling that you’re actually there, you may even subliminally think in your mind that, um, you’re being sunburned, who knows, you know, It’s just that intense in terms of augmented versus virtual. So I need to go get one of those, uh, those cages, those encasements, where I won’t come knocking everything off my shelves.  

Right? Yeah. Well, there’s one that I really liked that I’m actually, we’re doing a product on, in terms of platforming and it’s called magic lens. And so, um, that’s one of the, uh, augmented reality goggles then they’re really cool. I think too, you might want to take a look at those. What were they called again?  

It’s called magic lens. I’m making a note right now. All right. My what? I, uh, it’s a magic line so I can take a look at you. I think it’s Mexican. Yeah, well, um, you know, so. I’m curious. There’s, there’s been a lot of headlines with the internet of things, things and liabilities, you know, products like nest, Mike, the microphones and nest products.  

Um, do you have any concerns about, obviously there’s. The internet, the internet of things is super convenient. Um, but what’s your take on the liabilities that it presents? Well, I think the liability, whether it’s an internet of things or an app or a mobile device, I really believe that all of them are liabilities in terms of those are pretty much the same.  

And that’s, uh, in terms of, you know, data migration, not, not migration, but just, you know, just having security around your data. Um, having a security around the extra product itself. Um, I think those types of products, um, issues will always be an issue going forward. However, we have to look at it in terms of, you know, You know, whether it’s going to be, you know, the, the whole issue with Facebook right now, whether it’s going to be a little allegation and Robyn that, and how are we going to have some restrictions in bombing that and going forward in terms of technology products.  

But for me personally, that’s even how we’re actually remodeling our company is to kind of, kind of look at, um, how we can create products that rule protect. The users, whether it’s a physical product for a digital assets, it’s really about making sure that, um, we’re not creating products that are, um, you know, really putting clients, customers, and users in a situation where, um, they’re, um, you know, trading dollars for privacy or trading dollars for, uh, access to, you know, your, their private information, whether it’s.  

Their healthcare information or information about their children or things like that. So, um, for me, that’s a really huge issue, uh, going forward. And I mean, it’s always really been an issue in the background. I mean, but it’s just that, you know, Facebook, you know, kind of brought it to the forefront. So as we move forward, whether it’s an app or whether it’s, um, Internet of things, device, it’s still gonna be the same issue of privacy at the end of the day and security.  

And so that’s something that, um, I know as a, as a company that we’re really, um, focused on really trying to mitigate, uh, as products, most of them like our clients, when they think about their product. And I think about security. So that’s when they say, Hey, you know, um, we’re going to be like Facebook. You know, we’re going to sell ads and, you know, get our product out there and make money off of our clients based on that.  

And this is well before the hearing started coming in congressional hearings with them was Luxenberg. But my point was, you know, you don’t know what they’re doing in the background. And so now we see what they’ve been doing the background. So I don’t think that’s a good model sports. It’s certainly not a good model.  

And everybody knows that now. Things move, move forward. We’re going to see how those things will shape up. You know, what other regulations are going to be needed for tech companies to adhere to in order to get their products out there. So I think it’s something that we all have to kind of keep our eyes on the kind of see how it’s held pales out.  

Yeah. Well, speaking of regulations at the time that we’re recording this podcast, um, yesterday I think it was called amendment 13 in, in Europe or Germany, you know, somewhere over, um, in the European European union union. Um, they passed an amendment that, um, digital companies are now liable for the content that their users upload.  

And so that’s going to open up a huge thing. You huge liabilities, and there’s already huge backlash, um, from, from users, from, from the companies and the users, because understandably, the companies are, are now scrambling saying, Hey, how do we, how do we moderate this? But then the users are saying, well, Hey, this is going to destroy.  

The platform that I enjoy using because they won’t be able to moderate it. That’ll be interesting to see where it, where that takes things. Yeah. Even, you know, things like freedom of speech and those types of things will also be, um, something that will be affected. I mean, whether, you know, depending on what, you know, what your platform is and how you, uh, communicate to your audiences.  

I mean, some people may have some issues with that as well. I mean, it’s, it’s really, I find it fascinating. Um, and, but the thing about it is that. You know, when we’re working with clients, it’s really important that, um, that legal, the whole conversation has had with them about their products. It’s not just about, you know, Oh, I want an app, you know, you’re going to get to that.  

But it’s also about really sitting down and having some consideration and some thought process around, you know, the legality of your products that you’re developing. So. That’s something definitely have to have those conversations as well. Yeah. So in, in the tech field, obviously there’s a lot of cool ideas that come and go and it’s changing by the day.  

Has, has there been any sort of product or concept that, that you really thought would take off, but has already died? Well, yeah, I mean, The thing about us is we’re again, we’re not a dev shop, so, but you know, and I have to say, I reiterate that probably several times a day, potential clients, because they come to us with us.  

I had the screen idea and they were like, okay, nobody’s doing this. Like, nobody’s doing this. And it’s like, when somebody says that to me, it’s like, I mean, it’s, I find it really, really hard to believe it. The entire globe, this world that no one is doing this in any country in the world. I find it hard to believe, but, um, in most situations, um, I think that, uh, the clients typically, um, you know, what we do is we, we get their idea and then we, of course, we signed an NDA.  

That’s part of our process. That’s the first thing that we do so that we protect them and protect ourselves and make sure that we don’t share their ideas with anybody. And they know that they can trust us to not, not to do so. And then we do some research on their idea, you know, to make sure that there’s nothing out there that’s like it.  

Or if there is something that’s like, like it, we kind of, you know, give them an idea of what’s out there already. That’s similar to it. Um, now also we look at the viability. Yeah, that product that’s already out there, um, or with the orthos done out there. So it depends on whether it’s healthy or if it isn’t, we still check on the viability of the success of their product.  

And that’s of course has to be done because nobody wants to spend time, money, and energy on a product that just nobody’s going purchase, you know, so that due diligence has to be done upfront. So we make sure that, um, that’s not going to be in your situation. Uh, we have had situations where clients. In spite of the evidence and information, as you can imagine, uh, still want to go forward because their belief is that this is what it is.  

And I actually have a client who actually had you see money, which I thought was very interesting because she didn’t have a problem. She just had an idea, but she actually had VC money. Uh, From a venture capital funder who gave her money for an idea that she had a PowerPoint presentation and he said, Oh yeah, I’m going to sign.  

I’m going to give you a check for this. Uh, just an idea wasn’t really validated at all. Um, in our opinion, it just, wasn’t a really good idea. Um, it didn’t needed some tweaks to it, which she was not willing to make. Uh, and so I pass on that project because I just, I just felt like it just. I mean for me personally, I, this one want to be associated with something that just isn’t going to make it sense. 

 I mean, we already did the due diligence. We did the research, scan the globe and, you know, gave her her report show that it just, it’s not going to fly. So you’re Zan. We found out that she offshored her product. Yeah. To some company out over in, um, Asia, um, had a lot of issues with that. Um, and now her product is still not, um, hasn’t been, um, I don’t see it anywhere on Apple store in anybody’s store at the moment.  

So I don’t actually went forward, but we do do that deal geologist. And then beginning, we do give advice on the viability of your product being successful prior to you spend time, money, and energy on it. Have you ever had the opposite happen? Um, you know, a good example would be, uh, the doorbell. It was on shark tank and they passed on that.  

And then now it’s reading and it’s worth a billion dollars. Have you never had one? Uh, and you don’t need to give the specifics of the product or the client, but have you ever had an opportunity that he passed on and then later found out that it had some success behind it? Absolutely.  

I will not say any names. I’m just like kicking myself. We did that. Yeah. So absolutely. We definitely have had those types of projects as well. Is there any, is there anything that you, you. Can take from that learning lesson that you’re able to apply. Sure. So for me, I guess what we can learn from that, uh, opportunity or experience was that, um, you know, even though, you know, you do your due diligence in terms of making sure that, you know, the product is viable, uh, does not necessarily mean that, um, in all cases, rather that it’s not, um, You can’t market it in a way that will get it some traction from clients.  

Um, it’s really, um, a gamble in that sense. I mean, we, you know, we gave you the data. Um, we make our decision, the client makes their decision to, to go forward together, literally. Um, and like you said, we just have to kind of, um, Kind of, you know, you know, maybe, you know, if our crystal ball to kind of, you know, maybe hopefully I’ll make some better decisions going forward, but yes, we have had some of those types of types of projects, but that’s my, my, I guess my only takeaway with that situation is really to evaluate it a little bit more and deeper because the other thing too is it’s not just the product itself is also, I actually want to make sure that the team is strong, right?  

Because you know, you could have a great product. But then you don’t have a very strong team, or you may have a CEO who is unwilling to bring in a CTO, or you bring in the right people to make his team, uh, fluid and agile and, and competent, you know, because he, maybe he or she feels that they, you know, have all the answers and don’t want to, um, bring anybody else’s influence or pains in.  

So, you know, you want to make sure that the team is also that. So when we’re looking at it and evaluating. Uh, what types of projects or products to invest in or to work on? We’re looking at, you know, the whole gamut. Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes, you know, you gotta there’s, even if there is the right team, you also have to make sure that they are enjoyable to work with too. 

 Sometimes he just isn’t worth it. Right? Absolutely. Well, that, that, that too. That’s what I meant by team. I mean, it’s, you know, You know, some people would just, uh, just, just, it doesn’t matter how, um, how nice you are. Um, it’s just, it’s very difficult to work. So, so I’m offline. I had asked what one of your greatest achievements is, and you said I’d like to reply. 

 You said my most humble achievement is taking time off to raise, raise my kids and then return to your career. So, um, you know, why don’t you talk a little bit about that? Yeah. So, uh, yeah, so I was, uh, working at Oracle and, um, um, got engaged in, uh, um, decided that he started a family and, uh, uh, I started thinking about it, really, what I really wanted to do, um, during the time when I was with my children.  

Um, so it was homeschooling my kids, um, Had the luxury of doing that and spending quality time with them. But in the corporate setting, I just didn’t feel really satisfied with Paul was doing my work, where I had to be work. You know, I don’t know. I probably, uh, you know, um, 60 hour weeks of on times, and I just didn’t want to have that experience with my children, you know, and having children  

So. I had to re assess how I was going to live my life going forward. I knew I definitely wanted to still be in it because I absolutely love the industry. And I love what I do, but I had to rethink and pivot on how I was going to do that. And so being with my children, I also started my business. Um, alright.  

Time, small one project at a time. Uh, and then as my children grew, the projects grew. And so, um, I, I, I’m really grateful to that opportunity that I had to, uh, experience that with my children. And also, and while I grew my business. Yeah. A lot of our entrepreneurial listeners are probably considering homeschooling for their kids as well.  

Do you have any insights or advice on your experience through that homeschooling process? Oh, wow. I loved it. Uh, I would say, uh, get, get the support that you need. Um, don’t just, um, for, for me it was a mountain. It wasn’t just about being at home. Um, I felt that, um, you know, life and everyday experiences was far to learn the experience.  

And so, um, you know, my children would, um, would teach. W w will they be learning how to code on things like scratch and app and thinner and things like that. And then I would have them go out to various schools and teach other children how to do that. And so they would do it as part of summer camp. And my children were doing it as young as eight, eight years old.  

Um, so, you know, it gave them an opportunity to learn how to present, give them an opportunity to learn how to code. Um, it gave them an opportunity to negotiate, um, our contract with some of the school districts that I’ve worked in. So my, my, my children actually learned the process of what it’s about, like to be an entrepreneur.  

Uh, what is it like to actually present it in front of an audience and teach them something? My son in particular, I’d love to tell this story. He was about eight years old and, uh, the first week he had a bunch of. Other students who were also eight years old, he taught the class scratch and I’ve been vetted pretty confidently.  

And then the following week, he had a bunch of middle schoolers and high schoolers were much bigger than him and they were looking, you know, and, and when he came in from the classroom and he began to try to get their attention, they looked at him like, Where’s the teacher, like, who are you? You know? And he had a very intimidating look on his face and he was very nervous.  

He was scared. He was shaking in his boots. And I didn’t say a word. I just sat there and I watched him and then just, you know, cause I didn’t want to be with the parachute mom and I’m certainly not that. And I just sat in and watched him and as he. Began to show them his competency. Then the students started to come around to see that, okay.  

He knows what he’s talking about. And so, you know, to me in homeschooling, really for me, was about, um, living in doing as opposed to just, you know, pen and paper or e-learning online. It’s also about getting out there in the world and learning how to. Be self sufficient and doing, and doing and doing something physical, allowing yourself to learn and grow through that.  

Yeah, that’s cool. You know, my, my, uh, my oldest son, he’s a, and he’s getting into coding now and I think it’s cool how they’re introducing coding to kids now because they, they try to make it more interactive because understandably kids have a different attention span and they’re, they learn differently.  

And so it’s cool to see how they introduce. Bots and tablets and, and they make it more of an experience instead of the technical, you know, if else statements that they, they yeah. Teach them the concepts through hands on experiences, and then they can graduate to the next level and go to the more technical stuff.  

Right. Yeah. So does he do with any scratch or app inventor or any of the other tinker and all the others? You know, I don’t know the names of all the ones, the class that he did. Um, he just finished a three week class, um, last week and it was called Mesa something. Um, and so I think it was, you know, some sort of, um, uh, Credentialed group that goes through and help schools out.  

And does this little, like little traveling circus kind of thing. Yes. Yeah, but he’s, he’s done, you know, he, uh, they got, they have Osmo on the tablet and do things like that. So, but, but it’s been cool to see just how they take a different approach to it, to, like I said, to teach them the concepts instead of the literal.  

Code, and then they understand how to structure it. And then that way, when they do get to the complicated stuff, they have something to associate it to. Right. And they have a leverage, they have a starting point of understanding. Um, that’s why I really like, you know, the, um, scratch rather than our, with just, you know, the they’re in the background, they’re still getting that if then statements and you know, the different types of functions, functionality, but they don’t really realize what they’re doing.  

Right. And that that’s actually what’s happening in the background. So it actually has a really good user experience for them. And I think it’s, I think it’s wonderful. Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny. It’s funny. He’ll come home and say, dad, I made my boss say this and just be some random thing. And then, and then what was it?  

He said it, he goes, dad, I made my body. I say, I’m a Savage.  

I love it. Well, what do you think has contributed to the success that you’ve been able to experience? Do you have a secret sauce or just something behind the scenes? That’s maybe not so much literal experience, but just work ethic or, you know, commitment. Yeah, I think it’s definitely that, you know, work ethic commitments as well as education, you know, for me, I am very big on educating my clients on the process, you know, like, how does this work?  

You know? Um, as I said, 70% of my clients are not in it or have never been in it just, maybe they’re a marketer or maybe they’re a CEO of a company or, um, a chef or a Baker or a financer, you know? So. You know, we have to handhold them. Yeah. Do the process of, you know, how do you go from idea to market? So what is a wireframe?  

You know, what’s a design spec, you know, um, What’s, you know, how, how do we go from, you know, how do we even understand what a frame is and how all the Intercom, you know, lines go from one screen to the next, you know, what a design changes for change requests, you know? So those types of processes and those types of functions that you go from idea to market in terms of developing your products. 

 Um, you have to be taught and also, um, handheld while you’re going through that process. And so for me, I take that process very and enroll, uh, very serious in terms of, you know, really making it, uh, approachable for them and not something that’s daunting. And, you know, look, you know, just develop this and, and, and I don’t know, want to be a part of this.  

You have to be intrinsically a part of this and you have to be at this a collaborative effort, and we’re not going to, you know, talk over your head. We’re going to make sure that you’re involved in the process and make sure that it. Yeah, you’re learning as you go along and, and, and that as enjoyable as possible.  

So that’s the, I would say that’s when people talk to you about me, that that’s probably what they was talking about. The fact that I actually helped them through the process hands on way, whether it’s an education process, as opposed to not. Gotcha. So, you know, that’s contributed to your success. And then I also like to ask the, the, the question on the opposite side of the coin of our guests.  

Um, has there been any, uh, learning experiences or refer points in your career when I’d asked you this offline, you had, you had actually talked about, um, W one of the good things. So, you know, leaving your career to, to raise your kids was a good thing. But you also mentioned that was a hard decision to do, um, talk to us about the position you were in, in your career and why it was a hard decision.  

Oh, wow. Yeah, it was hard because I, you know, my whole life I had heard. Yeah, on the news and my family and friends and my parents’ friends talking about, you know, when women approach, you know, childbearing ages or, or they have children, you know, that, um, they have to, you know, make a hard decision, you know, whether to, you know, work and, and take your children or, um, and then when you go back to work, then your salary will be, you know, you won’t start back at the same salary you had before you had to kind of start at the bottom and kind of scratch your way back at the top.  

Right. And so I was always concerned about that. Like, is that going to be me? Is that going to be, yeah. Am I going to be in that situation where I am? I’m not going to be able to get back to the level of income or position that I had prior to leaving corporate America. And so, you know, making that decision from a financial perspective was a challenge for me. 

Uh, and then also once I made the decision and it was hauling my children, I thought, okay, how long am I going to stay out? You know, because long you stay out, um, typically, uh, in other industries, um, you’re not able to get back in because no things have changed. And you know, the educational aspect of what you were doing is completely.  

Changed from when you come back into the industry. And so I made a conscious effort to stay abreast of what I was doing and then start my business, you know, slowly and incrementally as, as my children started to grow. But initially it was extremely hard because I was afraid of, you know, losing out on, you know, um, uh, what mobility, finances.  

You know, to try to increase my finances. I was afraid of those kinds of things being the situation going in. So that was, that was a very difficult decision to make. So having been through all that now and seeing what you’ve been able to accomplish, is there anything that you would tell your younger self or maybe our listeners that could help them kind of, um, get, get through those tough decisions?  

Yeah, I would, I would say definitely, um, that you should not, um, makes your decision on money. Uh, and also the ability to get back into, uh, your field, where you were. I think if you stay abreast of where your field is going, uh, and, and still have one foot in, as opposed to both feed out, I think it will help you to, uh, when you are able to get back in fully, uh, you’re not.  

You know, having to be so behind in terms of where things are going, that it’s almost, you almost have to go back to this college to get to get back in. So I think we still have a pulse on what’s happening in your industry while you’re also managing and handling issues with your children and family. I think you have a better opportunity to get back in and kind of get that it’s up to speed pretty, fairly quickly.  

Yeah. Is there anything in tech that really excites you? That’s that’s emerging and around the corner. Wow. So that’s a good question. Uh, I would say, well, for me, it’s that, that’s why we’re in the emerging technology space, because I love to stay on the cutting edge of not that for me is exciting. Um, as opposed to like a legacy type thing.  

Systems and things of that nature. Um, I, I’m very, very interested in and excited about the potential of machine learning and automated reality. I mean, I think it was just at the cusp of where it can actually go, um, and even virtual and augmented reality for me, that was even mixed reality. So it’s, it’s, it’s just expanding.  

Um, and we don’t even know where it’s going to go. And so for me, yeah, that’s the exciting part about this whole thing is, you know, kind of anticipating how. Far and how much we can push the boundaries to see where we can take it. You know? Um, I was even doing some investigation on a product that I’m working on, um, in the space of, you know, we look at, you know, including augmented or virtual reality in therapy, you know, and mental health.  

And so for me, you know, mental health and then. You know, virtual and augmented reality for me is I find that to be very fascinating in terms of, you know, how and what that’s going to be doing in the future. We don’t know. So I’m just really helping people get over phobias and things of that nature. It’s just the beginning stages.  

I’m ground level zero, but where can, where can we take that? Like, in terms of, like you said, you know, where people could actually feel like they’re in one of vacation in the, in the, uh, in the middle of a winter in Oregon or. Uh, Utah, you know, so, you know, those types of emerging technologies for me, we’re only at the beginning stages of where they could actually go.  

And so I’m very, very excited about looking at the potentiality and also looking at where we’re going to take it in the future. So it’s very exciting times. So when that product crosses your desk, I want to be, uh, I get the first right of refusal. Yes. I will make sure you are one of the main data test days on that.  

Do you put, um, you know, I’ll ask you one other question then, and then we’ll kind of start wrapping up. Um, do you put any faith into the concerns that people like Elon Musk has with like AI and bots taking over the world and, you know, we’re past the point of no return and, uh, ended up just, you know, you know, where I’m going with us. 

 Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, it’s interesting, I don’t know about taking over the world, but I do have some concerns with, you know, um, and I think this has always been the situation with, you know, jobs and. Um, you know, the overall economy, you know, it’s not other people or other cultures taking jobs. It’s a lot of the jobs that are going away is because of technological advances.  

Um, people don’t really mention that and it’s, it’s more so put on another group of people. And so I could see that as a big concern, um, because also we just don’t have enough people skilled to. A be in the tech space or even a two to create, to create tech, but also too, you know, um, man, the tech that’s already being created.  

So, you know, I think for me, those are really biggest fears and concerns. I have more concerned about that than robots and such taken over the world. And I think we have more tangible things that we have to be concerned about. That’s being taken over then. You know that our lives are blessed, but I do have also a concern with us as consumers, you know, allowing technology to kind of rule our lives.  

I mean, I, I lost my phone for a couple of hours and I,  

Oh my God, what am I going to do? I couldn’t reach my son. I couldn’t reach my daughter. It’s like, you know, you know, I’m an Uber, but I didn’t have my phone. You know, I was very, yeah. And that was, I was laughing at myself. Like this is so sad that I was really scared that, I mean, like, what am I going to do without my phone?  

You know, I think that’s all of us, right. It’s a little bit, we’ll have our devices with us for a certain period of time. Um, I think we all would be a little nervous and that’s pretty sad that this is where we’ve come to, but. Yeah. What do you do? Yeah. And so quickly too. I mean, I, I have a love, hate relationship with technology, you know, I, I appreciate it.  

It’s convenience. Um, it I’m in the tech space, loosely doing search engine optimization. It pays the bills, but you know, as soon as like five o’clock hits, like sometimes I feel like I want nothing to do with them.  

Exactly.  

You know, one thing, um, that is interesting. You talked about automation and jobs and, and this opens up a whole other conversation. So we don’t need to dive into it. But two points that I thought have been brought up that have been interesting is, um, You know, a robot tax, like a robot employee tax, um, to help offset some of the lost wages from income tax  

Um, and then, uh, a universal wage. Cause like you pointed out us as consumers, you know, as, as automation takes over and it. Chips away at that middle income class. A lot of people talked how we need just a base wage, just, just to keep the machine going. Yeah, I’ll leave it at that. Unless you’ve got a comment because that’s going to just open up the hall, you know, I would love to dive into that.  

Um, you know, if we can do whatever session or something like that, because I think for me personally, that’s really, really a big issue. And I don’t think it’s talked about a lot. I mean, it’s unfortunate that, um, You know, it’s just, it’s not, but I mean, for me, I do like the text. Um, I do like that, the idea of, okay, but like you said, in terms of just.  

No workers and labor, just the workforce that’s out there. We need to really try to figure out another solution around that, um, that where people can be educated on, you know, you know, technological advances as well as, um, not replaced or displaced, but. You know, trained, you know, and, and keep their jobs. So, um, yeah.  

I have a lot of opinions about that. And like you said, I don’t want to open Pandora’s box on that, but, um, I’d love to talk about that, you know, when we have more time. Yeah. Well, as we start to wrap up, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you do in your downtime? Wow. My downtime, I. That’s a vacation I’m in one place.  

Yeah. Mean, yes, Atlanta is hot, but we’re landlocked. There’s not a lot of water here. You have to kind of drive way out to find some water. So I love to see bodies of water and be in bodies of water and the around bodies of water. So I typically like to travel, um, Uh, not too far distance because I mean, we have the jungle Island and things like that, but it’s about maybe five or four hours away from where I am.  

So that’s what I do. Um, kind of on vacation time. Um, I have a four day work week, so, um, I typically get out of town. There is an evening and kind of come back on Saturday or Sunday, Sunday morning, and then I’m really big on jazz and hip hop. And, um, you know, that those are my. Two favorite tunes, types of music that I love.  

Um, uh, let’s see. Um, you know, I’m an Instagram fan. I love to watch. And will Smith’s Instagram. I think it’s really fun. Um, Gary V I absolutely adore. I think he’s just incredible. Um, you know, Gary, right? Gary V yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I think part of his charm is just how brash he is. Exactly. Yes. And I absolutely, I live for that every day.  

gotta, I gotta, I gotta tune into my Gary V. for the day. Uh, so that’s pretty much how I spend some of my downtime. Well, well, you mentioned Instagram, um, you know, that kind of gives us a good option for our little, our segue out of here. Why don’t you put out your contact information? Um, feel free to throw out a quick sales pitch and, you know, tell us how our listeners can get ahold of you.  

Sure. So, uh, Instagram and LinkedIn, um, we’re at mine’s catalyst. That’s catalyst with a K. So it’s M I N D K a T a L Y S T. Our website is the same, um, mindkatalyst.com, uh, Ryan, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. And, um, and, um, that’s how you can find this. Uh, typically, like I said, we work with clients to go from idea to a market.  

Um, if they have a piece of an idea or a little bit of an idea, we helped them to finesse that idea to make it more viable, uh, for success. Um, and then we go into design development and then we go to lunch. Well, we helped them with and watching process. We help them with pitching you’re pitching deck advice, as well as coaching around, um, pitching in front of venture venture capital.  

If that’s the route you want to go on, uh, and then also we help you with, um, you know, how to really bootstrap your, your product idea. Um, they’ll save you a lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of energy. Uh, and then when you do eventually go to, uh, go out through a venture capital fund and you have more of a viable opportunity to do so because you have client acquisitions in place.  

Um, That you can actually show how to get traction for, so, yeah, I think it, a it’s a unique space you’re in, um, you know, I’ve had BC companies approach me about buying my company before and, and ultimately I declined, but you know, being in those discussions is, is a different experience. And so I think it’s unique that you can offer that heads up.  

Um, so Carnellia, last thing before you go, we surprise our guests with a random question generator and we have a very official tune here that I’m going to hit play on. Okay.  

Beep boop random question generator. All right. So yours is what do you rather have to sit all day or stand all day? I would say stand I’d rather stand all day than sit. Because being at my computer all day, that’s pretty much what I do already. So I would rather stand all day. Yeah, I do the Varidesk. You got one of those adjustable decks?  

No, I don’t. I, a lot of my clients have that and I, they look so good. They look really relaxed and even though they’re standing and here we go, our listeners can’t see on camera, but maybe you kind of woo. Let’s see, Oh, do fruit. When I did that, I messed up our internet. Well, I don’t know if you could catch it going up or down, but I, yeah.  

So you can like, I’ve had it for a couple of years. Yeah. It’s can be a couple of years. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Well, Carnellia, I appreciate your time. Thanks for jumping on today. Thank you so much. I appreciate you, Damon. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you. 

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Carnellia Ajashin: Big Business Trends

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