The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
392: Why Steli Is Always Looking to Understand the Person Behind the Message (People Research Episode)
Mar 1, 2019
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In today’s episode of the startup chat, Steli and Hiten talk about why Steli is always looking to understand the person behind the message.

Sometimes when we receive a message, it difficult for us to understand the true meaning of that message. And one of the reasons why we don’t is because we lack context around who the messenger is and why they are saying what they are saying.

In this episode, Steli and Hiten talk about why it’s important to understand the person behind a message, how doing so can help you understand the message better and much more.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
00:00 About today’s topic.

00:27 Why this topic was chosen.

03:41 Something Hiten and Steli have in common.

04:36 How Hiten researches new people.

05:01 Why Steli researches the people behind a message.

06:37 How Steli can’t respond to a message without context.

07:23 How finding something negative about a person could affect our ability to receive the message.

08:14 Why Hiten likes to understand the person behind the message.

09:20 How understanding the context could help you understand the message better.

10:25 How there are a lot of messages out there in today's world.

10:42 What understanding a message boils down to.

3 Key Points:

We are careful about who we bring into our lives.
I’m trying to understand who the person is.
I’m much more curious about people than I am about things.



Steli Efti: Hello, this is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah and today, at the start of the chat, I'm about to be surprised.



Steli Efti: Yeah, Hiten doesn't know what we're going to talk about. The reason for that is that just as we wrapped up the last episode, the recording of it, I remembered a conversation I had and I was like, "Oh, my God. I need to record an episode based on this with Hiten right now." I think you all will enjoy it. Here's the topic: Recently, I had a friend visiting me in New York for a few days over the weekend. One thing that happened three times during those three days and then led to a discussion we had, was that, at different points in time, he was telling me about somebody's content that he enjoyed. So he would say something like, "Oh, do you know so and so?" And I would go, "No, never heard of them." "Wow, they have amazing YouTube videos about this topic and I've watched a few of them and I learned a lot." So, they would pull up the videos and try to show me those videos or he would try to show me these videos, and my instinctive reaction to that was to go, "All right. Who are these people? What are their backgrounds?" You know, would ask a bunch of questions, not about the content of the video or the person was presenting it, but about the person. Like, "Who is this person? What is their background? Where do they live? What are they working on? Why are they qualified to talk about this? What's the context behind this?" And he didn't know, so I would start doing some research on my phone. Very quickly, I'd be like, "Oh, interesting. This person actually, who is giving now these sales negotiation videos on YouTube that are really well-made, but he actually started in the online dating how-to-pickup-artist world." You know, I did a bit of research. Ah, interesting. A lot of these guys started in the kind of pickup-world and then they learned all about body language and all about influence and manipulation. Then they'd branch off to other stuff. It's interesting. They always use "charm" in their brand names. It's like the "charm on demand," "the art of the charm," "the charm of this." Charm is always a key word for people coming from the pickup world. And I kept [inaudible], "Oh, he lives there," and "He's done two little things that didn't work." "Oh, a startup that didn't work at all." And, "Oh, this,

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