Episode 16: Preethi Kasireddy, CEO of TruStory: The Social Network for Debating

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In this episode, I am talking to Preethi Kasireddy, the founder of TruStory – the only place on the internet where you can have truly constructive debates on crypto topics. This is a place where you go to not to argue and prove how smart you are, but to genuinely look for the truth or at least all sides of a particular story. What’s more, you can make money by debating on the platform. Preethi is a fascinating builder. After studying engineering and working 100 hrs/week at Goldman Sachs, she joined the leading VC firm a16z only to realize that she wants to become a founder herself. This made her drop the dream a16z job in order to learn how to code. After a brief experience as a software engineer in Coinbase, she went on to start TruStory with the mission to bring meaningful debates back into society.

Preethi’s Contact

Full Episode Transcript

(00:01) George Manolov:

This is the Borderless Crypto podcast.

(00:14) George Manolov:

Hello everyone. I’m your host George Manolov, and in the series; I bring you exceptional entrepreneurs, investors, hustlers, and thought leaders from the cryptocurrency and Fintech space.

In this episode, I’m talking to Preethi Kasireddy, the founder of TruStory, the only place on the Internet where you can have a truly constructive debates on cryptocurrency topics. This is a place where unlike Twitter, where many people go just to argue, prove how smart they are or simply stick to their initial point. Here on TruStory, people are genuinely looking for the truth or at least all sides of a particular story.

What is more, you can make money by debating on the platform. Preethi is a fascinating builder; after studying engineering and working a hundred hours a week at Goldman Sachs, she joined the leading VC firm Andreessen Horowitz only to realize that she wants to become a founder herself. This made her drop her dream job in order to learn how to code on her own.

After a brief experience as a software engineer at Coinbase, she went on to start TruStory with the mission of bringing meaningful debates back into society. I really enjoyed this talk and I hope you do as well.

Please note that anything that I or my guests say in these talks is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as investment advice. Although during daylight, I’m part of the team behind the crypto lending platform Nexo, at night when I do these talks, I share only my personal thoughts, which in no way represents Nexo’s opinions.

Now, it’s time to get the podcast started in three, two, one.

(02:16) George Manolov:

Before we talk about TruStory, could you please share a little about your experience in Goldman Sachs? I heard from other interviews that you have done that you’ve had a quite intense experience there. This was basically the first place where you worked during college, right?

(02:31) Preethi:

Yeah, I interned there, and I did a full-time job there as well.

(02:35) George Manolov:

I’ve heard a lot about the intense experience there. You mentioned in a lot of times that you used to work anywhere between 80 to 120 hours per week. Since this is a place where a very select group of people go, how did you think about this? How did this affect you professionally? Could you just share, how did it feel? What did you learn from it? Is this something that you would recommend to others?

(03:00) Preethi:

To be honest, my entrance to Goldman was serendipitous. When I was in college, like most other college students, I was still trying to figure out what I want to do, what I want to be, did I want to be an engineer or did I want to do something outside of engineering, all that was still pretty unclear. So, what I did in college was try to meet as many diverse people as possible so that I can see what really intrigues me; even though I was an engineer, what I was doing was that I was going to career meetups and different events on campus that are not engineering related.

I remember going to one investment banking meetup, I got to meet some really cool people from investment banks. At the time, investment banking was still one of the reputable things, it was competitive and cut throat. It was really hard to get any investment banking job, and if you got it, then you’re one of the handful of people from that college that got into it. There’s a whole process for getting into investment banking. You study, you interview, and you have all these books and things that you need to learn for these interviews. So, it was like this cool art of how you get an investment banking job.

With engineering, it was the complete opposite. There’s no sense of urgency because when you graduate with an engineering degree, it’s not like you can’t get a job. Usually if you have an engineering degree, you’ll end up getting some kind of job. Whereas for business students, it was very competitive and so they were starting to think about what careers they want to take on, etc.

So, I kind of fell into that group, on the side. In my nights and weekends, I would hang out with the business people, and through that I met someone at Goldman and he just really enjoyed our conversations. He invited me over to coffee and then he pushed me through that interview cycle, got me an interview. Long story short, I ended up getting an internship there through just hustling and meeting people at Goldman.

Once I got an internship, I spent two months there and then I got a full-time offer. So, that’s what I moved to SF. To be honest, I’m an engineer by training and by heart. I love solving problems. I was a math and physics geek in high school. In College, I also was a math and physics geek. For me to do something totally outside of any of the hard sciences and going to banking is a very different mindset.

Finance is very different from engineering. Finance is not problem solving per se. Personally, I didn’t find that I was super intrigued by finance or investment banking, and as a result I wasn’t necessarily excited about doing my work, so I wasn’t really doing that great of a job. That kind of feeling of: okay, this is not what I want to do, was starting to eat up at me. But at the same time, I can’t say that it was a mistake to go to Goldman, because Goldman has some of the best trading in the world. When you’re a junior, when you are just out of college, I don’t really think it matters particularly what you do, it’s just about who you’re working with and how quickly you can learn in those early first couple of years.

With Goldman, obviously you are the cream of the crop, it doesn’t get any better. Then two, they have an incredible training program for people out of college. Even just for the training and the first year of being on the Goldman floor, and working that hard for 80 – 90 hours a week meant that I was basically working double what a normal college grad would be working. So, in one year I learned what I probably could have learned in three years if I do something else. As much as I didn’t like my work, I still don’t regret it at all because it allowed me to land in a place where I can learn from really smart people, learn really quickly, and it gave me a starting point to build my network as well.

(07:07) George Manolov:

Did you enjoy your time there or did you push through it?

(07:12) Preethi:

I pushed through it. I enjoyed it because of my colleagues; we always were right collegiate. It was a small class, my class on my floor and the tech division was, I think, 6 people. It was a very tight knit; we were in the office all day and all night, so we got right close. So, I enjoyed that part, the comradery. But for me, that was not something I was super passionate about. I can’t say that I hated it, but I wasn’t passionate about it.

(07:40) George Manolov:

After you graduated, you went back to Goldman again, right?

(07:44) Preethi:

Yeah. What I’m talking about now is the collective of my experience. During the internship, it was a little bit easier than the full-time role, because they understand that you’re an intern and so there’s a learning curve, while as a full-timer you just get thrown into the ringer.

(08:02) George Manolov:

Okay. Then at some point, I guess, your decided that this is not the thing for you and you started looking for something else.

(08:10) Preethi:


(08:10) George Manolov:

How did you end up in one of the most respected, if not the most respected, venture capital firms, a16z?

(08:16) Preethi:

If you want the real answer, it was a cold email. I don’t come from a prestigious family, my family’s not wealthy, they’re middle class, and they have no network. So, I’m out here in California alone trying to build my career, and whether it was Goldman, a16Z or Coinbase, a lot of these came just because I hustled for it. It’s the same thing with a16z. When I figured out finally that venture capitalist is something that I wanted to try out or at least understand more, I sent a bunch of emails. One of them was to a16z and I got a reply from them. They started with a coffee meeting, and three months later I ended up getting an offer there.

(09:02) George Manolov:

What was the email like? Was it just text, did you include your profile, how did you approach it?

(09:07) Preethi:

I think it was just text. There was no profile. I was very authentic and honest about what I’m doing, what I want to do and what I can offer. It was about two paragraphs; it was nothing elaborate. I think one of the things I got really good at in college was understanding how to send out cold emails because that was my only way to get any kind of job. Every single job I’ve gotten was through cold email in college. So, I just learned how to articulate my skills and what I can offer.

(09:41) George Manolov:

Where did you get the hustling type of attitudes towards everything you do? Was it from family, school or your friends?

(09:53) Preethi:

I think a part of it is innate, I’ve always been very driven and I don’t like the idea of wasting my time on this planet. I feel that I was put on here to do something and I want to do that. Secondly, I don’t come from a very wealthy family, in fact my family is somewhat poor. So, I wanted to break through that and be able to afford the things I wanted to afford, etc. To do that, I had to work hard. Lastly, I’m the oldest child and there was a period of my life, about 4 years old, where I basically had to raise myself and live without parents. So, I just became a very independent person from the age of four onwards, and as a result I just have this innate drive to just go.

(10:41) George Manolov:

Love it. Awesome. How did your experience in a16z compared to that in Goldman?

(10:48) Preethi:

Night and day! I loved a16z, I still cherish my time there.

(10:54) George Manolov:

Did you work less? Did you work more?

(10:56) Preethi:

I worked a lot for sure, but I enjoyed it. It was something that I was eager about learning, I was meeting really high up people and sucking knowledge up from people that are way smarter than me. So, I didn’t feel like work, it felt like something I was passionate about and I loved it. I would totally go back at another point in my life, I just don’t want to do venture couple right now.

(11:24) George Manolov:

As I read about your story, at some point you decided that you want to build stuff, right? You don’t want to be just at the seat where you review founders, but you want to be a founder yourself, and that’s how you ended up learning to code on yourself and eventually went to Coinbase or discovered crypto. How and where did you discover crypto?

(11:50) Preethi:

It was a slow process; it was not just one aha moment. I actually wrote a blog post about it, where I said It’s not too late to break into crypto. I first got introduced to it when I was at a16z and we had made that investment in Coinbase and I was starting to learn about Bitcoin and understand what that thing was, but I wasn’t obsessed with it back then. I went in and out and kept it on as something that I would learn on the side but not something I was deeply involved with. Then, I went off to learn to code, and when I finally was trying to figure out where I want to go next, I remember talking to Chris Dixon, I just asked him for advice and he suggested that at this stage in my career, I should pick an industry that’s growing and has a lot of potential, because then I can make a big impact there. Also, what I was interested in.

The two that it came down to was either crypto or machine learning and AI. I looked into both very deeply and for some reason, I don’t know why, it was more of an innate feeling, I just chose crypto because something about it was new and different. It was a feeling more than a rational reason for why I chose Crypto, but I just felt like I aligned with the values and the community of crypto, so I decided I want to be part of this. Then, I ended up joining Coinbase as an engineer, and after that I was just stuffed into crypto forever.

(13:22) George Manolov:

I guess at this point, let’s jump into TruStory. For the listeners who don’t know about TruStory; What is it about and how did it come to life?

(13:31) Preethi:

Sure. TruStory is a social network where people have productive debates about various topics, whether it’s crypto, programming, etc. This idea has evolved into what it is today. Originally, what we were building was a product where people can make claims and we would validate those claims using a community of people. So, if you go out and said, Trump said x, y, z, then we’d have a community of people who validate whether that’s true or not. That was the original vision, but when we first launched the product, what we started to notice was that people were way more engaged in the types of claims that related to them, they were more subjective in nature, but were more debatable. So, rather than saying, Trump said this, it was more about Trump saying this is bad for technology or something.

There’s an assessment that you’re trying to analyze, understand and debate something; what does this mean? What does this imply? And how does this have an impact on society? Those are the kinds of things that people were trying to do instead of purely validating claims. That’s when I realized that our users are telling us something else; they’re telling us that they want to use this to debate. That’s when I really took a hard look and decided that we want to give users what they want, which is a platform to debate, so we built that. We released that a few weeks ago and overall, it’s been going really well. So, the platform is the product to debate and we’re just getting started. There’re so many topics to debate already on there and we’re excited to see where it goes.

(15:24) George Manolov:

That’s actually the reason why I got truly intrigued by this whole concept, because I personally got into debating when I was in high school, there was a high school team and I was very interested in politics at the time, I wouldn’t say so much today, but at the time very much; I’d watch public debates on TV, analysts and so on and so forth. So, I got drawn into debating and I used to debate for quite some time, competitive debating in high school and then a little bit in college and I still, up to this very day value, this experience a ton, because it helped me develop my thinking, helped me structure arguments, and helped me to build logical theses probably way more than anything else that I did in my traditional education.

But I never really found a platform or an online version of this debate society. This is what truly got me interested, because at the time when I was debating it was always about me and a few other kids in the club, and I think that’s pretty much in most places where people debate, there’s this limited amount of people who have these interests and you never really had this online place where you have the right tools to argue for genuine, intriguing, interesting topics and finding the right arguments, but also to even train yourself in how to build good arguments.

(16:55) Preethi:

Yeah, exactly.

(16:56) George Manolov:

Therefore, I’m super intrigued about this and How it goes, and in particular I was super impressed about how you’re involving crypto into this whole model. Could you explain this? Because you also have a token that is inside the TruStory platform, right?

(17:11) Preethi:

Yeah. Going back to your first part, I think you hit the nail on the head. One of the things I really want to bring back into society is productive debate, because debate is probably the most powerful way to have a healthy discourse. One of the things that’s completely gone down the drain, the shithole with the current Internet, Twitter and everything, is that you cannot have a healthy debate and conversation. People talk over each other, yell at each other, but there’s no solid arguments. That basically hinders our ability to make any progress in the world. It’s really cool and invigorating to see that there’re people out there who do care about having healthy discourse, and who want healthy discourse, they just haven’t found a place yet. One of the things we’ve noticed is that there’s actually quite a few people who are either high school debaters currently or who were high school debaters. They see this and they’re like: wow, I didn’t realize that the digital version of this could exist. So yes, I totally agree with that.

Secondly, the token; we have definitely involved crypto in this and there’re a few reasons why it’s such an important part of the product. I need to go back and explain the current generation of social networks and what I believe the future of social network is. If you go to the current Internet social networks, Facebook or Twitter, the way they have built their monetization and business models is that they get a bunch of users and then they monetize off user data. So, they’re incentivized to get as many users as possible so that they can have as much data about them as possible so that they can then serve the best ads and make money from ads.

That’s fine and all, that worked in web 2.0, but I think people are getting much smarter now and they don’t want to be tracked and they don’t want their data to be monetized. There’s a shift in people’s mindset; they don’t want to sell their data. I think the future of products and social networks is not going to be by selling data, but by building something that’s intrinsically valuable and monetizing off the value that the actual network built.

In our case, the token is in the system to not only moderate the content, so whenever someone creates an argument, they stake some TruStake and as a result they start earning every time someone finds their argument compelling. So, one; people who are debating productively earn through TruStory.

Secondly, through this debate they’re producing really, really valuable insights, you can’t attach a monetary value on that, it’s so good. It’s just a tiny community now, but over time, as scale as you can envision, the token’s value will be tied to the quality of the information being generated from the product. So, it’s not about monetizing people’s data, but about giving this information a price. This was never possible before without crypto, but now that we can build this entire thing on a blockchain and have a monetary system attached to it, we can finally price something like this and give it a market value. If I can go back in history, I would love to be able to give Wikipedia, the ability to have some kind of value.

It has given society so much, but there’s no way to value that thing, there’s no monetary thing built into it. I believe in this future of networks is that it’s all going to be monetizable and it’s not going to be about people, it is going to be about what’s monetizable on the platform.

(21:08) George Manolov:

That makes total sense. Do you think that one of the significant incentives for people to come to TruStory is to also make some sides revenue or something?

(21:22) Preethi:

That’s definitely one reason, there’s a monetary incentive. You’re not going to make a 10-figure income on TruStory. But it’s a nice chump change that you can spend on stuff. Beside the monetary incentive, there’s the social capital; we’re all status seeking monkeys as this guy, Eugene, would say. So, people are building their reputation on TruStory. Both those reasons are why they’re contributing today.

(21:52) George Manolov:

If you could talk a little about the incentive model or the monetary model behind TruStake.

(21:58) Preethi:

TruStake is an inflationary token and how much it inflates annually depends on how active the community is on the platform. There’re two ways by which we’re generating awards. One, is by inflating the underlying token, so every time you stake and agree with an argument or every time you write an argument, we inflate a little bit of TruStake and give that as reward. Secondly, we’re building this functionality where rewards can also be earned by people sponsoring a debate, you use TruStake to sponsor a debate if you want to see the top 3 arguments for that debate and you can pay out based on whoever writes the top 3 arguments. Those are the two ways that rewards will work on the system.

(22:45) George Manolov:

Where is your and your team’s part in all of this, what is your business model and how do you make this sustainable?

(22:51) Preethi:

The beauty of building the token into the platform is that the users, the team, the investors and the validators were all in this together to try to accrue value to the token. So, if we do a good job, all of us collectively do a good job accruing value to this token and TruStory makes money. One way we can make money is by taking a small fee on transactions. Another way we can make money is hosting certain types of debates or summarizing certain debates, or if you do a good job according to the valuation of the token, then it becomes obvious how we can make money.

This is a huge part of crypto that I think most people don’t fully understand yet, and it’s probably the most powerful part of it, in my opinion. We’re moving away from the model where investors in these companies are making the most money out of their users, to where everyone collectively is sort of sharing that profit and the value that is being generated by the platform, which is how TruStory built to do, to live and to run.

(24:05) George Manolov:

To summarize it, you don’t yet make money, but you have plenty of ways to monetize and it’s going to be a matter of time to figure out what’s the best way to do that.

(24:15) Preethi:

Yeah. The monetization will come from the token and if we do a good job with creating value to the token, then we monetize.

(24:21) George Manolov:

So, you as a team have a part of all circulating supply, I guess.

(24:27) Preethi:

we don’t have a part of all the circuiting supply. Like I said, one way we can monetize is we take a small fee of transactions. Another way is, every time TruStake is being inflated, we may choose to take a small cut of that to fund the development of the product and the platform. Those are examples, we don’t have a pool for ourselves, that’s not the model. We want to tie our monetization to the success of the platform; that means that we should only make money when and if there’s activity on the platform, we shouldn’t make money just because we built something. So, that’s how we envision it.

(25:04) George Manolov:

Do you think that such a platform like TruStory would have been possible before crypto or without crypto?

(25:11) Preethi:

No, because there’s no fundamental incentive alignment. What they have to do is that they have to build something that gets a ton of users and then make money off the user data. That’s a very different way of building a product and business than what we’re doing, which is that we all collectively make money together and if you’re not enjoying the platform and you’re not using the platform, then we don’t make money, and vice versa. The ownership in the monetization is shifting and being more balanced across all the spins and stakeholders instead of just the company and the investors making all the money from it.

(25:54) George Manolov:

This other key part in the TruStory ecosystem, which you basically said, just not in this direct way, that when people stake TruStakes, they’re putting skin in the game, so to say, to the arguments that they’re writing or to the arguments that they’re supporting. So, in other words, they have something to lose, in theory, which in case they support the wrong claim or the claim that is not substantiated strongly enough or doesn’t make sense. So, is this incentive of having skin in the game and the way you have built the system big enough in order to prevent certain groups of people to be changing the debate?

The reason why I’m asking is because as you spoke and as I went through the platform myself, I had the privilege of being one of the first testers this week. As I went through it and started thinking about it; for me, it was intellectually interesting and curious and I’m sure for a lot of people it will be, but over a long enough period of time, if you continued to build it successfully, attracting more and more and building quality type of audience there, I believe that this can be a venue not just for entertaining debates or for debates where people just debate for their own curiosity or interest. But this could also turn into a venue where large public debates or public questions are being discussed.

To give you the reason why I fear that in a lot of ways the existing public debates today in society, in whichever country you go, are not efficient at all. In representative democracies, you have these politicians who are chosen there, which are supposedly experts in pretty much everything. Then they have these debates where they discuss certain topics, they take decisions, but in a lot of times experts or people with specific knowledge cannot really contribute to that debate and their opinions cannot be heard. Because the system is flawed and it’s so 18, 19 or 20th century, the wrong decisions are often being made or the meaningful arguments are not being heard out there. So, I’m thinking that this could be a great long-term venue for meaningful global-wide debates to be happening for very specific policies to be voted upon or discussed on a public basis. The only thing I’m fearing: is there any way for people with interest and with capital to manipulate those debates?

(28:37) Preethi:

We have limits on how much you can participate on the platform, and how much credibility you’ve earned on the platform. So, we don’t allow this. If Trump wants to buy up a bunch of TruStake, he actually has limits in place of how much he can influence any conversation, until he’s accrued enough reputation on the platform. So, it’s not like he can just like come and wreck the conversation. You would have to earn that privilege by writing good arguments in the past, and once he’s done that, then he can have a more meaningful influence. What I’m trying to say is that it’s not just based on money. Even if you have a lot of money and showed up on the platform with zero reputation, what you can do is limited.

Whereas on Twitter, anyone can join Twitter, a celebrity can join Twitter and overnight have 10 million followers. On TruStory, you’ll join choose TruStory, but you’re not going to have 10 million followers. Everything you do is based on how much you’ve earned on the platform, if that makes sense.

So, everyone’s tried off like at the same footing, and I think that’s a huge part of what actually has been making our community successful, because here people from Zimbabwe, Thailand or the Philippines who have really compelling arguments to make. They just haven’t had a place to voice it; they’re not celebrities nor well-known reputable people. Even if they tried to say it on Twitter, because they don’t have necessarily the network or the following, it doesn’t get heard and it gets dissipated. Whereas on TruStory, their reputation is based on the strength of their arguments, so now they feel this sense of being heard and I think that’s powerful. I think very few platforms offer that, if any.

(30:33) George Manolov:

I couldn’t agree more. Again, that’s one of the reasons why I think there’s a huge potential in this. As you’re saying this, I’m thinking of what is the strength that you as a company have over this platform? Because for example, I had a talk with Bill Ottman who’s the founder of minds.com and they’re trying to build this open source social media platform, you can think of open source Facebook or Twitter. His proposition basically was that on Facebook, Twitter, etc. you have no clue what are their algorithms, you have no clue what they do with your data, and you don’t know why you see the things that you see on these platforms. In that sense, as TruStory grows and as you start having lots of debates, topics and arguments, there would still be some sort of algorithm that sorts all of these out and decides what the user will be seeing. So, what is your opinion on this? What is your stance on this? Do you think that they should be open sourced or public information or domain in some way?

(31:38) Preethi:

Our ethos were built on crypto, they are open-source the backend and not hide anything. There will obviously be some parts of the front-end user experience and API that are proprietary. But I think the mindset and the perception of how people feel about these algorithms and being controlled is shifting. So, I don’t think we have a choice, we have to give users that information.

(32:05) George Manolov:

Great to hear this. It would definitely strengthen your narrative, I believe. So, what is your goal for TruStory in the coming year, two or three? What is your immediate goal and longer-term goals as well?

(32:19) Preethi:

Sure. In the next year, I would say our goal is to continue as the one of the biggest differentiators about TruStory is the community, and it takes a lot of thought, effort, and groundwork to build that. Because we have a set of values and guidelines and we have early missionaries in the community who propagate those guidelines, who live out those guidelines and values. So, our goal for the near-term is simply to continue to add more people to the community who successfully follow these guidelines and values. Because the ethos at this early community setting is going to define the ethos of the product forever, so this year we’re 100% focused on getting that community, continue to foster this amazing community and grow that community slowly. We’re now focused on scaling; we’re not focused on trying to go viral. That’s not our goal at all. It’s purely to build this tight knit community.

After that, once we have a solid foundation for this community, then we’ll start to open up the gates and allow the community to further grow the community themselves. A lot of crypto projects do this. In the early days of Ethereum, for example, it was a handful of people who really set the tone and the ethos of what Ethereum was, what they were trying to be, and it was a very different community from Bitcoin. It was much more open, open-minded and welcoming to newcomers, etc. Then, once they did that for the first couple of years, the evangelists from that community went out and expanded the Ethereum community to new people and spread this ethos. This year, we’re focused on that early incubation phase and then over the next two or three years, it’s how do we grow this community and scale this community beyond this first set of people that we have.

(34:20) George Manolov:

Got It. I’m actually excited and I’ll try to find some time to really get involved because I’ve really enjoyed the experience so far. I’ve just signed up, as I said, this week. I’ve seen these very, very intriguing topics out there. One of the values that I believe that TruStory could potentially bring is this idea that I don’t necessarily have the time to research all the topics that are important to me or that matter to me, but at the same time I realize that you need to invest time in order to have an objective opinion on certain things. So, I see TruStory as this place where I can share some topics that I want to get quality opinions on. I know that there will be this highly intellectual community, which is going to give me both sides of the coin so to say. So, I definitely think that there’s a lot of potential.

(35:19) Preethi:

Yeah. That’s what some people do; they find something that someone says online, they themselves might not have a perspective yet, but what they’ll do is that they’ll post it in the app and then tag people and say: hey, what do you think about this? And once the debate starts and you see both sides, then it’s easier for you to build on top of their arguments because it gives you a starting point. We definitely see that behavior already happening in the app.

(35:52) George Manolov:

Okay, sounds good. I wanted to also ask you a few questions which are not really related directly to TruStory. Initially in this conversation, I’ve seen your drive, and I’ve understood your drive of building stuff and devoting your time to things that matter. So, I’d be curious to learn about your daily routine if you have such a routine. How does, for example, today’s day go for you?

(36:31) Preethi:

Sure. Obviously, my days are quite unpredictable. As a founder, I have to deal with that unpredictability, but in the face of that unpredictability, uncertainty and ambiguity, I try to introduce consistency on the edges. What I mean by this is that I usually sleep at the same time every day and wake up at the same time every day, if I can. Every day I usually go out to the gym in the morning before my day starts. I eat pretty much the same thing every day. By these essentials of sleeping, eating and working out, I keep those consistent so that even if my whole day is crazy, I always have these things to come back to and know that I get to reset and start over again.

So, that’s my routine. I truly believe that how much you can do mentally is highly impacted by how physically well you are. Thus, I really care about being active and eating well because that highly impacts how productive I am. If I eat a shitty meal, don’t get enough sleep or don’t go to the gym, I notice a huge drop in my productivity. So, I try to do that almost every day to make sure that I’m at the top of my game.

(38:11) George Manolov:

If we can get more details; do you aim for 8 hours of sleep everyday? And when do you go to bed?

(38:23) Preethi:

I’m a bit weird in the sense that I actually don’t need 8 hours. I’m lucky in a sense that I can get away with 6, so I aim to get 6 hours. Sometimes on weekends I’ll get 8, but I think I’m one of those weird body types where I could do away with less sleep. In college, I did something so stupid where I spent 4 or 5 years getting 4 hours of sleep a night thinking that I was being more productive, but I’ve come to realize that this was such a waste of my time and I should have just gotten sleep because I’m way more productive.

(39:05) George Manolov:

So, at what time do you usually go to bed?

(39:08) Preethi:

I go to bed around 10, 10:30.

(39:11) George Manolov:

Then at 4:00 AM you’re up?

(39:14) Preethi:

Yeah. 4, 4:30 ish.

(39:17) George Manolov:

Okay. That’s intense for most people. Do you have any other practice that you do, other than sticking to the early gym and your regular habits?

(39:39) Preethi:

Honestly, I think people over complicate what makes someone productive. If you eat well, sleep well, work out and you’re active, you get 90% of the way there. I do yoga on weekends just to relax and take a break from the gym, so that’s the other thing I do. But there’s no crazy secret to productivity. People think that they should be meditating every day. Just keep it simple, people have been doing this for centuries. All you need is sleep, good food and being active. That’s how I think about it.

(40:21) George Manolov:

Now, a final question I have, which is a little cliché or, or a lot of Cliché, but I think an important question overall. How do you feel about being a female in a traditionally male industry? As you said, from your very early years, you’ve been into math, engineering and finance. Then crypto and coding. How do you feel about that? What has been your experience with this? And what do you think is the reason that there are fewer females in these fields?

(41:05) Preethi:

I give the same answer whenever anyone asks me this question, which is that: my whole life, I never thought of myself as a female doing X. I just did what I wanted and what I wanted to do was this. I was naturally a physics nerd in high school. Usually, it’s not females that are physics nerds, but I was, so I pursued that interest and I ended up where I did. If I had to be completely honest, I’ve never considered myself a female doing X until I got to about college and Goldman, when people started to ask me this question of; how does it feel to be female and doing this?

I was like, I didn’t even think about that, I just thought I was one of you and I’m just doing it right. I personally just don’t think about it; I just do what I want to do. And in terms of the fact that there aren’t many females, I think it just comes down to interest. A lot of times, females are not interested in being CEOs, they want to do other stuff. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just that there’re biological differences and as a result you have people who are interested in different things, and it’s just that sometimes females are not particularly interested in being an executive per se. But people who are shouldn’t be thought of as an exception, it should just be accepted that we’re a little bit different and we want to be an executive.

(42:49) George Manolov:

Okay, I love it. I think people should just follow whatever they’re interested in, whatever their natural inclination is and maybe we’re overthinking this, but still, I think a lot of people would have thought of this, so I wanted to address it. Preethi, it’s been a pleasure to have this call. Before we finish, just let our audience know how can they sign up for TruStory, and where they can find you?

(43:19) Preethi:

Sure. In terms of trying to sign up for TruStory, you could just visit our website: “TruStory.io”. We have a waitlist sign up there. To reach me, I’m on Twitter at “@iam_Preethi”. I’m available anytime. I’d love any feedback and if people, especially people who have been in high school debate or who have intellectual discourse, we’re onboarding those types of people onto the app, so feel free to sign up and we’ll be in touch.

(43:56) George Manolov:

Awesome. I’ll definitely be sending you quite a lot of referrals.

(44:01) Preethi:

Thanks, George.

(44:02) George Manolov:

Thank you.

(44:04) George Manolov:

A couple of things before you take off. First, if you enjoyed this episode, be generous and share it with your best friends. They deserve it, they will appreciate it and they will be grateful to you.

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Finally, if you have any suggestions, feedback, or anything you want to tell me, you can find me on twitter at “@BorderlessBTC” or my website on “Borderlesscrypto.com”. Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you again, soon.

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