17 min read
Paul Powers

How do tech entrepreneurs make the wisest and most profitable decisions? In this episode of Wise Decision Maker Show’s “Decision Maker Revealed”, Gleb Tsipursky interviews Paul Powers, one of the people best positioned to answer this question.

Paul Powers is the founder of multiple successful tech-focused enterprises and a member of the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30. He founded the tech innovation and development incubator firm Zoozler, which supports a wide variety of tech startups. Paul is currently focusing his energy on a new tech startup called Physna, which developed a technology to analyze 3D models very quickly and accurately.

Videocast: “Interview with Paul Powers, CEO of Physna”

Podcast: “Interview with Paul Powers, CEO of Physna”

Links Mentioned in Videocast and Podcast

  • The book Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters is available here
  • You are welcome to register for the Wise Decision Maker Course 

 

Transcript

Gleb:  Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of the Wise Decision Maker Show. My name is Gleb Tsipursky, I am the CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts and the host of the Wise Decision Maker Show and today with us we have Paul Powers. He is a member of the Forbes 30 under 30. He is the CEO of Physna and the founder of Zoozler and I invited him to share first about his entrepreneurial journey and why he made the decisions to do what he does.  Over to you, please Go ahead.

Paul: Alright, thank you so much for having me on Gleb.  It’s an honor to be here. Real quickly on my entrepreneurial journey, I started my first company when I was 16 years old.  I have always been a bit of an entrepreneur at heart and that was mostly just a tutoring company. I started off tutoring what I knew, German, and how to play the guitar, I don’t know how to play it anymore, used to be able to. A lot of people would ask if I could tutor them in Spanish, and I thought I would have to learn that language first.  I realized that I would have to hire other people, and they be able to expand there. I grew that company into more of a tech-based online learning company and later on had several other companies that were in that online learning space. 

And when I was over in Germany, it’s a long story, I’ll keep academia out of it, but lived over Germany for a long time.  When I was over there, we signed a big contract with this German-based startup. It was about a 40-million-dollar contract to basically create the high-tech end of this company and I would do that in the United states. And I moved back to the United States, built that up. We had over 20 engineers over an 18-month period. Over the first month at launch we had 200,000 users signed on.  No marketing, It was all organic.

Gleb: That’s great

Paul: And then the second month in, things were getting really exciting and there was news articles that came out in Germany that were very flattering. But then, what ended up happening was the company that we partnered with in Germany ended up having to kill the deal for their own financial problems. So, we ended up having 2 months left of runway and I thought we’d either have to shut it down or we have to turn a profit at that point. So we changed the business around and made it a technology development company, we work with startups and large enterprises worked with the two to develop custom solutions for them. And we worked with AI, AR, different types of mobile applications, and etc. All the while I really enjoyed doing that and that’s what Zoozler is. I founded it there and Zoozler’s done a great job of helping a lot of entrepreneurs along the way and getting them started and getting them connected with solutions and problems making those connections happen and helping to get the solutions built. 

While I was there, shortly out of law school at this point, my focus in law was always in intellectual property, I was a commercial attorney but I was a IP focused one, the big problem the we saw in intellectual property was if anyone came to us with a problem of someone stealing their logo of music or something it was really easy to find.  If it was anything physical, 3-dimentional it was impossible. The only way we would know is after we had damage, like fake Gucci’s made or something like that. 

Gleb: Oh.

Paul: So, we weren’t able to find them and I found that the reason for that was that all the 3-d formats were different from each other there’s no way of interpreting that days.  That’s why we founded Physna, Physical DNA. It’s been a very long and complicated journey and now IP is no longer the only focus of it, it actually helps engineers and designers quite a bit.  What we did was we found a way to take that 3-dimentional data normalize it down into code, sort of bridge that gap between digital and physical, right, So literally adding another dimension into software allowing people to work with 3-dimentioal data in the traditional software way.  What that allows them to do is, it gives engineers tools they didn’t have before like being able to search, having autofill and CAD. So, you are trying to design something and it knows what you are trying to design because someone in the company has done it before. It can identify all the duplicate models you have all the near duplicates, in can tell you where parts are located inside other parts without there being a file hierarchy.  It reduces procurement costs by up to 40%, it increases engineering productivity by up to 400%. In some cases the larger companies and it significantly cuts down on inventory like stock inventory costs.

Gleb: Uh huh.

Paul: Because there is a lot of waste there.  So, there is several different areas where we help and that has been where our work focused has been enterprise and government. Everywhere from the engineering stage to maintenance

Gleb: You were telling me that you were having more business with government agencies recently.  So that’s great, I’m very glad that business is taking off even more than it was before. So, tell me, You have to make a lot of decisions during your entrepreneurial journey.  How did you approach making decision in the first place? What’s your process for making decisions?  

Paul: Well I try to be as analytical as possible.  I think you have to use realism to steer you and optimist to guide you. But I really believe that pessimism is a useless emotion to have if you are going to be an entrepreneur

Gleb: Chuckles

Paul: If you are going to use the steering wheel/fuel analogy, Pessimism is just a hand brake and don’t apply a hand break if you are trying to go fast.  You will get into a crash. So, I been fueled by optimism, fuel by entrepreneurial can-do attitude, but when you are making a decision, it has to be based in realism. That has to be factual and it’s easy for people to call pessimism, realism.  And very often people will say “that’s unrealistic.” Why is it unrealistic? Because not one else ever did that. 

Gleb: mmm

Paul: That’s not realism, that’s pessimism. That’s saying if somebody else couldn’t I must not be able to either. Realism is based in factual numerical data.  This is my market size etc. So, I like to think that’s how I make my decisions. That’s how I like to think of myself. Now, I am a human and most humans have a tendency to make emotional based decisions and later justify it with facts.  That’s what we do as human beings. I’m sure that I am guilty of that just like everyone else is.  

Gleb: chuckles.

Paul: Probably the worst decisions I made in my life Were probably more emotionally driven than factually driven and it’s a really hard balance to hit because you have to look at the data but you have to keep that optimistic view. So, you have to be able to find what’s the optimistic path that still works data versus Looking at data and allowing it to make you pessimistic And then either take no action or the pessimism bothering you so much with that data that it End up saying no The data is pessimism and you make a leap Without data which is just stupid right? 

Gleb: Chuckles “Yes”

Paul: That’s the thing that I try to get around. I tried to keep in mind that data doesn’t have an emotion. I like to think that that’s how I make decisions. 

Gleb: Excellent, so it sounds like you are really focusing on trying to balance looking at the data whilst being optimistic about the future.  Something I was curious about; you were saying that there are people who say that can’t be done because nobody did it before. So do you think that there are a lot of people like that who perceive ambiguity and uncertainty as meaning something can’t be done.  Who kind of confuse those two ambiguity and uncertainty for impossible. Tell me what are your thoughts about that.

Paul: absolutely, I think almost everybody has that. That’s almost an innate human instinct is to do that.  We learn from observance and we observe other people doing certain things. I always think it’s funning every generation has somebody in it that says “We now have exhausted technology.”

Gleb: Chuckles

Paul: This has been Happening for thousands of years. We have figured out bronze that must be nothing else to uncover.  And then there’s somebody else in that generation Who proves that person wrong and that will always be the case because There is no such thing as the end to creativity. It doesn’t make sense logically. There is never an end to new creations. It’s an infinite number of possibilities. So, we are only scratching the beginning of The surface in technology. One of the things I talk to people about gets me excited but typically has people scratching their heads   And frankly if it was the other way around I’d be scratching my head too because It’s something you really have to dive into for a while to get excited about is the concept of the singularity. Really bridging the gap between 2 D and 3 D and what that actually looks like. The first glimpse most of us have had with that has been in augmented reality.  

Gleb: Yes

Paul: not many people have used augmented reality before virtual reality sort of like it but it’s not really the same. It a mix of digital data with your environment around you and that’s kind of like the equivalent of pong, the first video game or one of the first video games that came out. We are going to look back at the Microsoft Hololens and similar products, we are going to view that like pong because digital will be so much more integrated to our physical line.  So, when I look at people saying certain things are impossible. I think it’s because we haven’t observed some things, and I think it in our instinctive nature to assume if it hasn’t been done, it’s probably not worth doing. Part of that is the survival instinct.  

Gleb: Yes

Paul: If you don’t watch your parents eating certain things. You don’t eat them because they might be poisonous.  So I think that Entrepreneurs, we have almost a problem with our brains. You could look at it as entrepreneurs having a defect in a way because we don’t follow a very logical instinct which is survival mode.  Our fears that we have, that keep us from moving are primal. The fear of failure comes from the same part of my brain as the fear of being eaten by a sabre toothed tiger. It’s the same emotion that keeps you from taking certain actions in business because it feels the same to you as going and challenging a tiger. So, I think that getting over that is something that some people have an easier time doing than others.  Also seeing around corners and not only getting over the fear part of it but imagining what else could exist that doesn’t currently exist. And how everything could be better potentially without having that fear impulse that’s something that’s not innate in us, it’s something we have to train ourselves to do.

Gleb: I think that’s very wise. It’s definitely very important to train ourselves to address this fear impulse.  One thing I think about and that’s helpful from the strategy, the research in cognitive neuroscience in addressing this fear impulse is to think about what are the costs of not doing this.  We intuitively think about, what are the cost of an action, what are the risks of an action. We don’t think about what are the dangers of not acting

Paul: Right

Gleb: what are the dangers of not doing the thing.  Has that ever helped you ever to make better decisions and have your seen other people make worse decisions because they haven’t acted?

Paul: Yeah, it’s definitely helped me. I think it helps me personally, It helps in times of very large decisions.  Ones that I am very scared of. I have to say there is a risk involved with every decision, especially major ones. Life changing ones. And the question you have to run through your mind is what is the risk involved in not doing something.  Now, because of that same inability or reluctance to imagine what will happen if you do something right. We also have a reluctance to imagine what will happen if we don’t do something. Because typically if you don’t do something, nothing happens so we don’t see it as a negative consequence and your right it’s not really negative it’s a lack of a positive

Gleb: Yes

Paul: Is that a cost?  It’s up to you. But the way that I view it, I talk to myself internally, and I can’t speak for anybody else, what will you say to yourself in the future if you don’t do this?  Especially if it’s a big decisions. My biggest fear in live is to be on my death bed one day saying “I really wish I” fill in the blank. Right?

Gleb: mmm

I don’t want that.  Regret scares me more than anything.  I would rather to have tried and failed than to regret not trying.  At least I know that it was a failure if I try it. 

Gleb: Yeah, I totally understand what you mean, as an entrepreneur myself, my entrepreneurism is not in the idea space but this is definitely something that I think about a lot. What do I want to not have regretted trying and sometimes I fail and that’s okay.  The costs of failure, we tend to over imagine the negative costs of failure, the research in cognitive science and behavioral economics shows that we are way too much afraid of the cost of failure. We are much more afraid of losing something than gaining something real

Paul: Yeah. I read the same research and it goes back to what I was saying, our brains are wired for survival. It’s not survival that we have to worry about anymore.  Assuming you live in a western country, you are probably going to get access to food and shelter and stuff and you are probably not going to be dying of some awful disease that you picked up off of a rat in sewer.  You are probably going to have overcome most of the normal primal things. Human evolution went on for a much longer time that technology happened, so we’ve got hundreds of thousands of years of evolutions where we are afraid of giant cats. And then all of the sudden we have 100 years where there is no such thing as these cats anymore…

Gleb: Yeah

Paul: You know what I mean, you get the point.  Where we don’t have to worry about animals anymore and what defines success is not I managed not to get killed by someone with a club, it’s I managed to build up a company and thrive. 

Gleb: Mm hmm

Paul: It’s not striving for survival, it’s striving for thriving.  And that requires a total rewiring of your mind and everyone has, I have it to, you are scared to death of what if I fail and a little motivated by what if I succeed. Getting over that, sometimes the data gets you there.  If you look at it numerically, if I don’t do this I will lose 100% of the opportunity. If I do try to do this, I lose thins much of what I am working with and at least I have learned something. The biggest way for me to get over that fear, for me, has been to view failure differently.  It’s one thing that the startup community does pretty well. They start to look at failure as moment in history or lessons to you. And I would say that some of the best things that every happened to me where failures. They were things I did wrong ended up making me learn something and I took a new and more informed approach on a different thing. That I never would have made if I were more successful. I don’t think that I would be where I am today if everything I initially set out to do had worked.  I think I would be much further behind where I am.

Gleb: So, that’s a great point, so I am curious to dive into a little bit of these failure and these decisions that you regret. Decisions that you wish you had made differently.  Can you think of a couple of examples, 1 or 2 decisions that you regret. Decisions that you wish you made differently and what you know know that would have caused you to make the decision differently.

Paul: A number of them, I am hesitant to use the word regret. I really am.   Because I look at the failures and I say “Thank God, that happened to me.” 

Gleb: Laughs

Paul: At the time, say if this happened to me yesterday, I would raise my hand and say this is my biggest regret. What just happened to me.   But looking back, I really do have to stay if I played the story onward it wouldn’t have been as good. But looking back I don’t regret them. The things that were mistakes that I made that lead to the failures I had. So Zoozler is not a failure, it’s a success because we were able to fix the company and get it to a profit within 2 months, that was very hard to do.

Gleb: Mmm hmm

Paul: That was a success, but it was born out of a failure of us being 100% reliant on another company’s financial prosperity.

Gleb: Ah

Paul: and because of that reliance, when they went under, when they lost their funding, we lost ours. Even though we were killing it. We were way way ahead of where we needed to be.  If they were investors in us, everyone would have been doubling down. They had a problem and they had the money taken and so that was a lesson to me. Don’t rely on a third party. Don’t bet all your chips on one horse.  Because I have actually left the law firm and done everything. I’m happy I did, I don’t regret it, but at the time I realized it was a little foolish of me to be that confident in one scenario playing out exactly that way.  Right? Because there are other things that could have happened too that also would have led to problems. 

I’m happy that it happened because it forced me to get in the car and I had to drive, I didn’t have enough time start marketing or whatever.  I had to supply twenty people full time off of sales that I would make personally. We didn’t have a sales team. So, I would get in the car and I would drive around to companies and I would talk to them about their technical issues and basically solve it on the spot.  We would come up with a contract and by the end of the second month of just all day and night driving. If it was nighttime, I would walk into a vape shop, because it was open and talk to them about what we can do to improve what you have going on here even though you barely understand excel works.  It was a big challenge, but we overcame it. That was just a big lesson for me, like hey I can do that! I can sell stuff. In an emergency, maybe shouldn’t wait for an emergency, but I can present these things and sell these things on my own. I don’t have to rely on someone else. So, I not only learned that it’s foolish to rely on someone but I learned that I don’t need to.  I actually can learn how to do these other things on my own.  

Gleb: Ah

Paul: I had been selling but it was a different type of sales, it was much more complicated and nuanced. Because of all the different elements involved.

I feel like the other regrets I have made in life are people I have hired and maybe people I didn’t fire when I should have. That is a good example where emotions, I think, dealing with humans is a very emotional thing, it’s very difficult to view a human being purely numerically because they are a human and you care and you believe in people when there is not even a logical reason to.  And you convince yourself that there is a logical reason to, this intuition. Some gut feelings are good. I would says 9 out of 10 times your “gut” really is part of your brain talking to you and telling you I have experienced something like this before, this might be something good. But the other one time it’s a very bad thing to listen to because it’s very biased. When you were an infant or a toddler some one who looked like that gave you a lollypop and now you associate that, you don’t know why you have the feeling whether it’s logical or illogical.

Gleb: Chuckles

Paul: Some of my biggest regret and I will call them regrets even though I learned from them.  Maybe I could have learned the lesson faster was not getting rid of people when it became clear that they were not going to work out.  

Gleb: OK

Paul: Hiring people, I would say I don’t necessarily regret it so much, now long term and I regretted it at the time and I still kind of wish that I had hired somebody else.  I learned from those experiences and hiring, and firing is something where I feel like I have learned the most. And I have had to learn the most about distancing performance from intuition.  

Gleb: so it sounds like the 3 areas that you learned and you wished you would have known more from the very beginning would be to not put all of your eggs in one basket for that large company, and also to distance yourself more emotionally from the hiring and the firing of people.

Paul: I would tweak that first one just a tiny bit and I would say.  I am totally fine with putting all your eggs in one basket just make sure you are holding the basket. Right?

Gleb: Chuckles

Paul: Don’t put them in someone else’s basket, if all your eggs are in someone else’s basket, especially if you don’t have a really strong relationship and a lot of data about how they work, I think that’s a big risk. 

Gleb: yeah and the other thing I want to bring up was the gut. We make a lot of mistakes, and I think you and I talked about this in the presentation I gave, we make a lot of mistakes when we go with our gut partially because we confuse the learned instincts that we have, kind of the learned behaviors that we have learned over time, good decisions that we have learned to make from those primitive savannah reactions.

Paul: Mmm hmm

Gleb: which you talked about confusing someone who gave you a lollypop or someone who looks like that or someone who has the same name or something like that. 

Paul: Right. 

Gleb: So those are dangerous reactions.  How have you learned, what have been your strategies to distance yourself from those natural emotions that we have when hiring or firing and other tough people decisions?

Paul: I typically find that I just take a step back.  If I have a strong emotion about something, positive or negative, sometimes the guts not always saying Go hire this person, sometimes it’s don’t do this or do this.  I have to take a step back and say, why am I having that reaction (or not having it) Let me try to figure out my gut, you don’t always, but sometimes you do. You can say, I think I know why I feel that way and it’s because I read this article a while back or whatever and then try to take that to the side, I know how I feel.  I know how my gut is going to vote. How is my brain going to vote? So, let’s go though all the data logically, and then Sometimes you have to make a call and it’s not always the brain that wins. This is where I will say that sometimes the gut is something useful, Sometimes I will look at the data and it’s usually because it’s a lack of data.  I don’t like making decisions on a lack of data, I hate that. It’s my least favorite thing to do, because I feel like that’s really like going to a casino to me. Not like something you have control over. 

I don’t like it when there is a lack of data, gut unfortunately when you are doing new things, this is always about doing new things, there is always a lack of data.

Gleb: Sure, you are an entrepreneur, Right? 

Paul: So, I get as much data as I possibly can.  I think about it as logically as I can, and typically my brain comes to a point where you know this could go any number of five ways and any of these two routes could be the right one. And the way to handle that is, at that point you say gut, what are you telling me to do. Your gut will say hay I have a really strong feeling that this is the way to do it. And maybe you know something my brain doesn’t and since it’s neutral, lets do it that way.  

The way to do that safely, I am a big risk taker, my whole life has been about taking risks.  I never go to casinos. I hate casinos.  

Gleb: Chuckles

Paul: That is not a risk, Gambling is not the same thing to me as risk taking, calculated risk-taking is smart. You can’t make anything in life happen or achieve anything positive without risks, it’s impossible, So you have to take risks, you have to calculate the risks.    You have to say, I’m going to go all in on something, but I do that because I know that if this happens, I still can do this, or I am going to go down the avenue versus that avenue because if this avenue doesn’t work it’s easy for me to pivot to that avenue versus the other way around.  You have to think through that strategically, the gut I think should be when you get to a tie. You should say listen to the gut, because there is a very good chance that the gut is a part of your brain that remembers something or is thinking through a thought that is not very front of mind a subconscious thought, that is where the gut is really, your subconscious mind. So, it notices something that you are not thinking of actively. And maybe that’s worth listening to.  But listening to only that in absence of data or despite data I think can be very dangerous. 

Gleb: I think that that’s absolutely a wise approach,  I think you are looking at the data, and only when the data can’t really lead you in one direction or another you are looking at your gut. Something that is also to think about is the gut is wrong in specific clear situations.  So for example, when you are dealing with someone who is obviously not a member of your tribe, whether it’s demographically, or psychographic background as well. We are likely to receive that person in a more negative way that we should and the opposite for the opposite. So there are specific ways where your gut is likely to lead you astray and these are called cognitive biases.  Where your gut is likely to lead you astray. You need to watch out for those in particular when you are considering your gut.  

Paul:  That’s a really great point and I don’t know if this is possible,  but I would think that a great way to overcome that would be to try to proactively train your gut to act a little bit differently, I know where you are coming from there’s also innate positive emotions that we have that maybe we shouldn’t have and all this other stuff.  As you mature, as you experience things, you start to get a new gut, essentially, you have the one you are born with, that has all these problems with it. And you have one from just having done so many things. Like an automatic reaction thing. 

Gleb: mm hmm

Paul: If somebody comes in here and tries to do a certain type of deal with me, I will have a gut reaction to the proposal they are giving me, I wasn’t born with that,

Gleb: sure

Paul: But I have a gut reaction because I have been through so many types of things, I know how to react.  Or somebody calls me on the phone, I have a gut reaction to whether or not it’s a telemarketer. Right

Gleb: Chuckles

Paul: It not something I was born with, I wasn’t born knowing telemarketers. It something you learn over time. I think you can train you gut, maybe there is a differentiation at some point, someone will have to make.

Gleb: Absolutely, The think with the gut, the gut itself, the way it feels, it doesn’t intuitively differentiate between whether it’s a telemarketer or whether it’s a harmful reaction, like let’s say, have a lot more sweets.  In the same way we have learned how to drive a car, but now when we drive a car it’s on autopilot. It feels very comfortable, intuitive, So we need to think about whether this is an area, and this is what the research says, is this an area we have made a lot of correct decisions in the past? We can be confident whether this person is a telemarketer or whether they are presenting a good deal. Or is this a new area I don’t have experience in.  If it is a new area, I don’t have experience in, then it’s not a good idea to trust your gut.  

So, you have learned over your career a lot of good decision making strategies like we are talking about, what kind of advice can you give to others who are starting in their entrepreneurship to help them along so that they don’t make some of the regrettable mistakes that you now wish you wouldn’t have made and so they can learn from your experience  in the future.

Paul: Well I think if I had to give advice on how not to make mistakes I would be to learn as much as possible before you make certain types of decisions.  That’s a statement that I don’t think is going to help people as much because everyone intuitively knows. What I feel I can offer that I have learned that is  a little more valuable is, maybe you can add something, is you are going to make mistakes. You are not going to be able to avoid them, they are going to happen.  There is a big difference though between people who totally fail because of those mistakes and people who make mistakes and are the most successful people you have ever heard of. 

Gleb: Chuckles

Paul: Everyone alive has made mistakes and there not a single human who hasn’t.  The one’s you hear about who look like their life has been perfect, I promise you it’s not, they failed early, they failed often.  The only thing that differentiates people at the end of the day is not that some people will make a mistake and some people won’t. Some people will have a hard board meeting, no they are all going to have problems at some point along the line.  It’s how you deal with it when it happens. So, viewing mistakes when they happen as a learning experience, it’s almost a cliché, people really have to think about that for a moment. When a bad thing happens to you, and I did mention before that my biggest failures have led to my biggest successes, In a way lead to my biggest successes. That’s not automatic. When something bad happens to you, it doesn’t mean that now you are a better person. No.

Gleb: Chuckles

Paul:  Now you have been hurt, right. but if you view it the right way it does make you a better person.  If you say why did that happen, and it also kind of trains your gut because that very strong emotion that you have when something negative happens, it trains your mind to fear certain scenarios that are similar to that.  That is a trained gut type thing. I have a gut reaction to not do this because the last time I did that I lost a bunch of money. So, those are things to learn from. I would say, when you have failures, don’t ever seek out a failure, don’t go looking for failures, I wouldn’t do that but when inevitably they happen, despite your best efforts, and despite everything else that you try to do, try to view that as an opportunity, because sometimes failures are the best opportunities to make a pivot.  And sometimes the pivot will be 100 times better than the road you were already going down. At the moment, it’s not easy to see that, you are emotional and your brain is flooded with negativity and that pessimism is a hand break, you don’t want to go anywhere. You think I fail at anything I do. You have to reignite that engine and give yourself more gas and use that newly found realism to know, I can’t go into that direction that way because when I do that I run into that wall over there that I ran into last time, so, I am going to do a different thing. I would say that the emotional handling of failure is, in my mind, for the entrepreneur is just as important as the ability to avoid the mistakes in the first place. 

Gleb: The emotional handling of failure, I really like that. I couple of other points that I want to bring up that you said is the seeking thriving, seeking to not die but seeking to thrive.  Another one is to not go gambling in casinos versus taking risks. I think a casino is that it is a stupid risk, because essentially, casinos are going to make money on you. You keep making that same risk over time, it’s not a calculated risk, it’s entertainment essentially. Whereas what you are talking about it taking risks where you are likely to make more money rather less money if you take that risk a number of times. 

Paul: Right

Gleb: So that’s another point that I hear you make that I thought was really helpful.  And a third point this was something interesting when you are talking about when you are getting to a point where you are certain about which route to take and you have five routes, to take a route where if you fail you can most easily recover.  And I thought that was another interesting point as well.  

Paul: Thank you

Gleb: Alright, great is there any other final thoughts you want to leave the audience with and remind the audience again what you do and how you do it.

Paul: I would say if I had to sum it up I would say two quick statements. One would be this, leads to failure more than anything in my mind, don’t choose a path, choose a goal and then make a path. That’s a very important way to think and that’s very different than how we are taught to think in school. 

The other thing I would say is, if you are going down a path that’s already been paved you cannot expect to get somewhere nobody else has ever been.  If you have some high aspirations, you have to go places and do things in certain ways that haven’t been done before you inevitably are going to fail over and over again, try to use some judgement in your pursuit of that. 

Like I said, Physna, We deal with 3D models, we democratize 3D modeling and engineering.  That space, unfortunately, was ignored for decades and it cost the world economy millions of dollars a year because they never addressed these problems. We still run into constant crossroads where we have to say are going to put money in this or in that, are we going to build this thing or that thing.  Are we going to pursue this customer or that customer. We have to rely on data, and only when the data is totally neutral and only when the data is totally neutral, and there is no reason to choose one strategically over the other, which is very rare, very rare, Let’s go with a gut reaction. It’s so rare that it’s not really worth thinking about much more likely to be that case that you are just being a little bit too lazy to go looking for the data.

Gleb: Chuckles

Paul: So really go look at the data first. 

Gleb: Go look for the data first, excellent, while this has been another episode of the wise decision maker show and this time, we have talked to Paul Powers, the CEO of Physna and a member of Forbes 30 under 30. And once again my name is Gleb Tsipursky, I am CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts and the author of “Never Go With Your Gut: How pioneering leaders made decisions and avoid business disasters.  Till the next time my friends and the wisest decisions to you.