Bits & Bytes Ep. 8 — Just Try It: How We Went from Architecture, Kinesiology & Hospitality to Tech

In this special episode of Bits & Bytes, Sam asks the questions, and Jean sits on the interviewee panel with colleagues Lauren and Kat. We chat about everything from how we got from the hospitality, architecture and health industries to tech and startups to our perceptions of working in a startup before starting at Launch, to, of course, our dream teams.

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Episode Transcript

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Jean 

Hi, everyone, welcome back to another episode of Bits & Bytes. Today we have something a little bit more special for the holiday season, we have everyone from, well mostly everyone from the team joining us and sharing all of it about our experiences our Launch, or there’s not gonna be any dirty laundry being aired this time, but it’d be very,

Sam 

Wait, I only signed up for the dirty laundry.

Jean 

No tea spilling here on this episode. Yeah, so um, if everyone could just kind of go around, give a quick introduction to themselves. How about Lauren if you want to start off?

Lauren Kan 

Sure. Hi, I’m Lauren, I think my official title is Marketing and Community Coordinator. But I’m part of the Programs team, I produce content, manage social media,

Sam 

She edits this podcast, so if she doesn’t like what she says she actually has the power to just take it out and put it back in. Whereas the rest of us just have to live with it. Kat over to you.

Katreena 

Um, yeah, so I guess my name is Katreena, people call me Kat. I’m a Project Coordinator. And I’ve been at Launch for about  five to six months now.

Sam 

Sweet. Five to six months. I’ve been here for six years.

Jean 

Yeah. When you compare, like the time of like, how long everyone else has been working, it’s like, Oh, my God.

Sam 

I actually think I’ve worked here longer than the rest of you combined.

Jean 

Yeah.

Lauren Kan 

Probably.

Sam 

I’m an old fart here. So I mean, if you want to learn about my backstory, and how I came to Launch, just go right back down to the very, very first episode of Bits & Bytes, where we kind of went in at length. So we’re not that interested in my story today. But like, definitely, I think the rest of you girls that have kind of joined Launch in what I call recent years, there’s a lot to be explored here. So I’m super excited about today’s episode. So let’s kind of get into it. But like just kind of popping over, and whoever wants to answer can answer but like, what were you guys doing prior to Launch? Like were you already in tech? Like, what kind of background did you come from? And I know, like, all of its unique because I have a resumes in front of me. I’m kidding. But Jean, why don’t we start with you?

Jean 

Launch is actually my first tech related job. Originally I wanted to get into like criminology, CSI like all that. But school didn’t work out as planned. So actually, most of my experience kind of was all over the place. Most of it is based in the hospitality industry, I’ve worked at a lot of restaurants, mostly serving and management. And actually, prior to joining Launch, I was an Office Manager for Cactus Club. And so that was really fun. But I still had this urge to try to get into the tech industry because I love gaming and eSports particularly, and I thought getting into tech would be kind of a good step.

Sam 

No, you like games? We couldn’t tell from past episodes.

Jean 

Yeah, you can always tell that every time there’s something gaming related on Bits & Bytes, my enthusiasm just goes up.

Sam 

That’s awesome. Well, what about you, Kat, just jumping over to you?

Katreena 

Yeah, I was working in architecture full time. I went to school for architecture. So I was doing high rises in Vancouver,

Sam 

Like designing or,

Katreena 

Yeah, desiging. Designing houses as well, too. So I was doing that full time and then working as a cost estimator on the side. Um, and then also kind of planning out my side hustle, which you guys kind of already know a little bit about.

Sam 

Well, no. So why don’t we talk? Just take 30 seconds – what’s the side hustle?

Katreena 

Yeah. So it’s basically an ethical and sustainable brand that I launched in June 2020.

Sam 

So yeah, literally, just recently.

Katreena 

Yeah, just this year, thanks to COVID.

Sam 

Hey, gives and takes. But how do you get from architecture to tech? Where’s the jump? What was missing? Did you just get tired of architecture or like, what because I don’t see any correlation there, at least immediately.

Katreena 

I guess for me, it was just I kind of wanted to do my own thing. And like, working in architecture got a little bit boring after a while. It’s something like I love design and it’s something I’m passionate about. But, it’s like when you’re in school versus when you’re working in the real world. It’s completely different, which is like most things, right. And so I think I just wanted a bit more autonomy and I wanted to do something a bit more creative and manage my own time, my own projects and do something I was bit more passionate about because high rises and buildings get pretty boring after a while.

Sam 

I mean, you could do low rises and mid rises. No, I’m playing, but I can definitely see what you mean, because, you can be your own not just boss, but you can front-end create as an entrepreneur, but you kind of need more than one person to to build a build a high rise, I’m guessing.  Lauren, what about you? What’s your background? What did you study, actually?

Lauren Kan 

So, I actually have a degree in Human Kinetics. I started out that degree, doing Kinesiology, so the science side of sports and the movement of the human body. And then that kind of evolved into doing half a degree, or a specialization in business. So after graduation, I was working at a Chiro clinic. And I got to do like a little bit of social media and content creation there. And I’ve always just been really into photography,  and stuff like that. So I got to use that knowledge of and passion for photography in that content creation. And so when I left the clinic, I went to a bootcamp called RED Academy, that sadly, no longer exists.

Sam 

Shoutout to RED Academy, love those guys.

Lauren Kan 

Yeah, shout out. It was an incredible time. Yeah, so I did their Digital Marketing Professional Diploma there. And that’s kind of also how I heard about Launch and got into tech, because they’re immersed in the tech industry. We did three projects, and each project was kind of like a case study with an actual startup or organization that was in need of like digital marketing help. And so we got to create plans and strategies for them. And so that was my first step into tech.

Sam 

Yeah. So like, when you like actually applied for Launch, right? Like, I mean, there’s practical reasons for applying to any job, and that’s not necessarily the the angle that I’m looking for, what intrigued you versus I don’t know. I think with a marketing background, you could go a couple cases, I think a lot of people I know that are in marketing go work for agencies, for example, it doesn’t necessarily need to be tech. And in our case, it’s a little bit more specialized, because we’re a nonprofit tech. And we’re not we’re not directly working with, say a product per se. But we’re working with entrepreneurs. So where came the motivation for you to kind of jump in with us?

Lauren Kan 

Yeah, I think the entrepreneurship aspect and working with entrepreneurs that has always had a special place in my heart. I’ve seen in entrepreneurs, a drive and a passion and inspired way of going about things that’s unmatched. And so getting to work with small businesses through RED Academy, it seemed right and I wanted more of it.

Sam 

Yeah. And this is a good free plug for your passion project as well, that you’re working on. Do want to talk a little bit about it?

Lauren Kan 

Yeah, sure. It’s called The Passion Collective. We haven’t officially launched yet, but as I mentioned, I have a passion for other people’s passions, and sharing those stories. Everybody has something that makes them like light up or come alive when they speak about it. So in Jean’s case that might be gaming, or more recently, cross stitching. But you can really like see a whole change in their demeanor when they start to speak about something that they’re excited about. And so the whole idea behind The Passion Collective is sharing those stories and just connecting with people.

Sam 

Nice, that sounds awesome. So stay tuned for that. What’s the handle?

Lauren Kan 

We are @thepassion.collective on Instagram, and we’ll have a website soon.

Sam 

@thepassion.collective so there you go, you work at Launch you get free plugs. But speaking of passion, like Kat I know you were kind of talking about your business and your side hustle. Was that correlated with why you wanted to work with Launch and the companies in Launch as well?

Katreena 

Yeah, I guess kind of my reason was that I wanted to surround myself with more entrepreneurs and more like-minded individuals, which has been super great, because even one of the projects that I’m working on, which you all have heard about, Founder Journey Series has been great.

Sam 

This is another drop here though. So, the public has not heard about this Founder Journeys. So maybe you can give a little sneak preview, but don’t don’t give the farm away.

Katreena 

Yeah. So basically, Ray is interviewing these founders of these great companies, and they explain their journey as an entrepreneur, how they got to where they are, and it’s really motivating and inspirational. And also there’s a lot of things that they go through that a lot of people can relate to as well. So I think being able to work on that and just kind of surround myself with people with the same mindset has been something that I wanted to just immerse myself with and just kind of surround myself with.

Sam 

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So what about you, Jean? It seems like they both had some deep thought where they want to be surrounded by passion. They want to be surrounded by entrepreneurship, but what about you? Where does your use case come in? Did you expect to be working with gamers or things like that?

Jean 

To be honest, when I first applied for Launch, entrepreneurship was kind of foreign to me in a way until I started reading more into Launch Academy, what they did, being an incubator and such for the local community. Considering my background, and thinking back to what I used to do, which is streaming, is almost like entrepreneurship in its own way. Like you’re building up your own brand, you’re building out your own name, you build out your community, and you’re producing content that brings in your customers, but they’re really viewers. And so I think when I started working at Launch, I realized that applying my previous experiences to what I knew from in the past, to what I was learning so much about at Launch, it changed my perspective on the world a lot, of entrepreneurship. And it’s really great to see how many people are capable. It’s not just about you know, like, you’re not born to be an entrepreneur. It’s actually a lot of hard work. It’s dedication. it’s the passion. It’s the failures, the series of roadblocks that you have to push through.

Sam 

Yeah, definitely, in listening to your stories, you can kind of tell, if you’re outside listening, like, “Oh, I want to work for Launch someday,” my encouragement to those listening would be like, try doing your own thing. Chances are 99 times out of 100 you’re probably gonna fail. But definitely, what I look for in team members and people I like working with, whether you’re working with me or somewhere else on the team, is people who’ve tasted things, people who’ve tried things, people who have stubbed their toes trying to start a business or start something nonprofit, or for profit or whatever. Those experiences count a lot and I think they are really underrated. When they teach you in Co-Op in schools and stuff like that, they’re like, “You want to put your best things first.” Nobody wants to talk about the business that you started when you’re unemployed, they got no customers, right. But if you’re able to derive learning from that, and you can somehow articulate that in a resume or an interview, to me that’s super underrated, and super powerful. And then I think the other thing that you guys all touched on is, I don’t believe everybody’s meant to be an entrepreneur, personally speaking, but I think everybody can be entrepreneurial. And there’s a huge difference there. And just listening to what all of you have mentioned, there’s a drive to create, there’s a drive to be passionate about things. And I think it’s something maybe we’ll touch on a little bit later, is this concept of intrapreneurship. How inside companies, people can still create things. I that’s something that we haven’t yet touched on the show. But back to, this world of startups for just a quick sec. Because I think the cool thing about everybody here is that all of you came from uniquely different backgrounds. From architecture, to sciences to hospitality, those things don’t generally meet in a room unless we’re meeting at Cactus Club for lunch. But were you worried about joining tech, especially when you’re not deemed “technical”?

Jean 

Personally, for me, yes. I knew that I was going to be a total greeny when it came to going into tech. Before I started looking into the tech industry, I always thought, “Okay, tech is like devs, it’s always like data scientists,” like you needed a certain type of skill to be in the tech industry. And so for me, looking at my resume, I did have variety of skills from different working experiences, but I didn’t have any technical background aside gaming and streaming. So I was very worried that I was lacking in the experience to be able to work at a startup. But ever since working here for two years now I realized that startups are not just about having that technical skill or technical background, there’s actually a lot of different moving pieces to it.

Sam  

Can you describe some of those moving pieces? This is the re-interview, right?

Jean 

Yeah, for example, I found that one of the things that I learned a lot from my last job before getting into tech was creating really good spreadsheets, tracking systems and such. And for me, I felt like you generally want to apply those skills into like an Office Admin, sort of position. But I realized like working at Launch, I’m like, “Oh, hey, like, I can actually apply these things.” I created a tracking system for all the companies in the Maple Program so that we have a dashboard that we can check to see what’s going on with a company, which stages they’re at, where they’re from. To things such as my streaming experience came into play. Here we are, doing a podcast right now. Normally, I don’t think public speaking is for me, it was kind of one of the challenges that I had before streaming. And through the years of being on live, I grew this confidence to do so, and so now in transition, I can apply those things for our podcast. It’s really crazy how these different experiences I’ve developed over the years, play a role into my position now at Launch, with no technical background, but there’s still skills that I can use.

Sam 

But I mean, you can code right?

Jean 

I can do basic HTML, I can change the color of your website.

Sam 

That’s come in handy more than once, right? What about you, Lauren or Kat? I know some of you guys dabble in design as well. And for sure, if we need to change the color of things, you guys know hex codes and all that kind of stuff. But beyond that, was there a worry kind of like what Jean talked about? Because you’re supposed to be coming to this high tech workplace, supposedly, right? Like, we put quotations on that.

Katreena 

Yeah, I mean, I was kind of nervous, because I was like, “Well, I’ve never done any of this stuff before, and I’m not sure how I’m going to execute it properly.” But I think what’s great about working at Launch is being able to have that option to learn on the job, and get the support you need. I can always bug Alana, bug Lauren, bug Jean, or Sam, Camille. We are kind of a small group, so we’re able to message or talk to each other, if someone needs help or anything, or if someone doesn’t understand something, someone on the team might be able to do it. And if no one knows how to do it, we have the internet, we can Google it, we can all figure it out. So that’s something that it’s a bit different. I think that there was a lot more learning on the job for me. Whereas with my previous jobs, I went to school for it, and so I know how to do it already.

Sam 

That’s a misdemeanor. I think you’re not giving yourself enough credit. I went to school for a lot of things and I don’t know how to do many things, including adding apparently. I miss add all the time. But that’s cool. What about you, Lauren, jumping in, but I feel like you’ve always been a techie of our group in terms of, like you mentioned, different gadgets and stuff like that. But was that to you a challenge or an excitement?

Lauren Kan 

I think that was more of an excitement, I think where the challenge came in, was sort of similar to Jean. But rather than a technical worry, I was a little bit more worried about the industry as a whole. I knew about entrepreneurship, and I had an idea of what it was in my head and from what I had experienced thus far, but the technicalities of the startup industry, learning about funding and investors and that kind of thing has been the steepest learning curve for me. But like, as Katreena mentioned, the opportunity to learn on the job is unmatched. And we do so much programming for the Maple Program that I get to learn along with the people in the program. So that’s great as well.

Sam 

Let’s break it down a little bit more. What were your kind of thoughts into that? I think there’s two sides there. One is the tech industry. And then then I think one is like the entrepreneurship side. We definitely touch both parts a lot, but which side were you more challenged by?

Lauren Kan 

I think it probably would have been the technical side of entrepreneurship, because I like to follow tech trends in terms of like gadgets and stuff like that. So that was almost a no brainer for me, that is cool and something I like to do in my spare time. But I only knew from the surface or what I’d seen about entrepreneurship. And really, it wasn’t as much as I thought I had known. And like you guys mentioned before, people don’t really talk about the hard parts of entrepreneurship, the failures and the things that they need help with. Not publicly anyways. So yeah, I think that was a bit of a learning curve for me.

Sam 

I mean, on that note, what have you seen, and maybe not just for Lauren, Jean or Kat or whoever wants to chime in? What are some of the things that surprised you about meeting these different entrepreneurs that made you realize, “Hey, they’re there, they’re super human, but they’re also human”?

Jean 

I think for me, the biggest surprise was how humanized some of these CEOs and founders are. When you read about them in articles like Forbes, or TechCrunch and  they just seem so far away from you, but then having the opportunity to actually meet these big names from multimillion dollar companies, to the startup that’s just breaking into the industry, you realize they’re just regular people and I think that was like such a humanizing and grounding experience to know that you don’t have to be born spectacular to become someone amazing. Everyone started from somewhere, just like we did and I think that was like the coolest thing to me. Especially with being able to have the opportunity to attend our Traction Conferences. That was where we got to meet some of like the real big names from the Silicon Valley, and just getting to see them up front on stage, it was a really humbling experience. Yeah, definitely. That was one of the best parts so far.

Sam 

Well, actually, maybe for Lauren and Kat, from the outside looking in, what did you actually think when someone used to ask you about like startups? When you said Silicon Valley for some reason, I immediately thought of the show. I don’t know if either of you have watched that show, but there’s definitely bits and parts of that. And then more recently on Netflix, there’s a Korean show called Startup. So what were you guys thinking of? Was it cool offices? The, I don’t know, the plaid shirts and the tight jeans. Like we’re stereotyping a little bit here, but yeah, lots and lots of coffee, ramen?

Katreena 

I didn’t really know what a startup was. But automatically, I’d seen the TV series Silicon Valley. And so that’s kind of what I thought of. A very young company working on exciting things and environment where you have lots of foosball tables in the office, people are just playing games all the time, and then also building cool stuff.

Sam 

I mean, some of that’s true, like the foosball table was almost always occupied back when we were able to go to the office, and it was both a blessing and a curse. Because on one hand, everybody needs to let off steam and you want to build community, and on the other end, that thing is so loud. And that’s before the people start talking. But that’s really, really interesting. I don’t know what it is with the plaid shirts. Hollywood’s done a number on startups for some reason, but I guess Zuckerberg with with his gray t shirts, also didn’t help. But no, that’s really funny. One of the things I think I noticed when working at Launch, and definitely when I started is I expected a lot of younger-ish people too. But what I’ve been most impressed with, both companies in Maple and Launchpad, and just all the people we’ve come across, is the willingness especially for more mature entrepreneurs. We have quite a few of them in our programs as well. And it kind of just shows you that you’re never too old to learn new stuff. Because I would find myself in office hours with with entrepreneurs that have double my life experience. And here I am talking to them about Lean Canvas, or how to hire an app developer or something, but this is brand new to them. But in so many other facets of life and experience, I should be the one writing notes. And there’s just there’s something a little bit magical about the agelessness of entrepreneurship, that definitely I’ve been able to find at Launch. But what are some of the benefits you’ve had working here so far? And it could be with Launch, but I think I want to broaden the question a little bit more. So just being in our ecosystem.

Katreena 

Something that was really cool was everyone is very supportive of each other in a way that’s different than working other industries. Whatever industry you’re in, or even if you’re in a similar industry, you’re not so much competing, you’re supporting each other and building each other up. And I think that community is really great. Also, I like a little bit of like flexibility. At all my old jobs, everyone was so strict with clock in times. Not clock out times, but clock in times, it was very on the dot.

Sam 

Yeah, it’s much more structured that way. And that has pros and cons too, and a topic we’ve tapped in in past episodes are things like work life balance, and it can go one way I think the other way it could go is if you’re you’re not willing to put the work in as an entrepreneur, and you’re taking advantage of the over flexibility, your wallet’s going to be the one that takes the hit in the long run. So yeah, definitely flexibility is key trait in entrepreneurship.  What about what about you, Lauren? What are some of the things that you’ve seen that are kind of perks or benefits to this industry?

Lauren Kan 

I think we’ve touched on it a little bit already, but just the opportunity to learn and to grow. And as Kat mentioned, the willingness for people just to share their knowledge, too. Like when we were in the office, we would try to strategically place where people sit so they could talk to each other. And from stories I’ve heard in the past, the bigger names that have come out of Launch or in tech in general, have come out of community, which is also unmatched compared to other industries.

Sam 

Anything to add to that, Jean?

Jean 

I think personally, what I really enjoy about working at startups and just tech in general is the nature of the industry. We’re always trying to innovate, that’s the key theme. For all entrepreneurs, startups, tech companies. And so in that sense, it actually translates pretty well to even just the day to day workspace. We’re usually the first industry to try different solutions or different techniques, even just thinking about current events. When COVID-19 hit a lot of companies, we were kind of forced to think, “Okay, can we start working from home? Is this something that we can start having our employees do?” And I think because in the tech industry, working from home was already pretty common. We were one of the first industries to adopt that working model. And so we’re kind of ahead of the game in that sense. And I think in a way, the great thing about working in the tech industry is that we’re always going to be leading and making breakthroughs with different new ideas, especially when it comes down to the workspace and how we work. So for me, I think that’s really cool. I mean, obviously, there’s going to be some challenges, adapting all the time. But I think that’s one of the coolest things about working here is that there’s always going to be new challenges down the road, there’s always going to be different ways to improve and there’s always going to be innovation when it comes to working in the industry.

Sam 

In the spirit of community and supporting one another, I know there’s going to be people that are going to listen to this. Maybe they’re young, maybe they’re career changing, and maybe they resonate with each of your past industries and stories, but they want to get into tech, they want to get into startups. What advice would you have for those people? Because I do believe that, and I think this this is awesome that we have everybody here on multiple fronts, because I’m usually the first to admit that in the tech industry, we do have a bias problem. It’s majority male dominated, and I’m surrounded by three awesome females here that are killing it in this industry. But especially for people that, maybe are not the predominant male that I talked about, and maybe they’re not technical, but they want to get into entrepreneurship, they want to get into tech, just like you all of you have, what would you say to encourage them or for them to pick some advice on so they can actually make it a reality? That’s a loaded question.

Jean 

Speaking from where I used to be before getting into industry, my advice is, don’t be afraid. Don’t downplay yourself, be more confident in your own capabilities and your experiences. You never know, what you’ve done in the past how that can play out for the job, or the company that you’re applying for. And if you are really excited to work within the industry, your possible future, employers can see that, they can see that passion in you. And sometimes I think, especially when it comes to startups, what a lot of employers are looking for isn’t just like, “Oh, you have two years experience in working here. And you have to experience the management.” What they’re really looking for is your passion and the drive to become an asset to their team. And I think, especially with startups, our teams are generally very small. So if you’re not someone that’s willing to put on a lot of different hats, and try to go above and beyond, 150% effort into the position or the company that you’re working for, then you might not be a great fit for startups. But if you’re someone that understands that even if you’re lacking in some skill set, or sorts, if you’re willing to put in that effort, and you have that drive to do so, then you will become so valuable to the team and your future employers can see that. So just be confident yourself, and show them what you’re really about.

Sam 

What about you, Kat?

Katreena 

Yeah, I definitely agree with what Jean said 100%. I would say to just go for it, just do it, just try it out. Don’t be scared to fail. You’re gonna fail a bunch of times, don’t care about what other people think. Because that was something too for me, I was like, “Oh, I wonder what people will think, if I start this. Is it a dumb idea,” but honestly, just do it. Because you’re going to find a whole bunch of other people, you’re going to find another community that will care so much about what you do. They’ll be your biggest supporters, you will find people who will be there for you, and who will support you and who will encourage you. So yeah, that’s all I’d say is like just do it.

Sam 

Nike’s really killed it with that marketing.

Lauren Kan 

I agree with everything that’s already been said. In addition to that, I think just surrounding yourself with people in the industry, or just surrounding yourself with the people that you want to work with, or who have similar interests. Who have similar industry goals, career goals. I think that was one of the biggest things that I took away from RED Academy, was we spent so much time together and we had similar goals to be in marketing, and be in tech eventually. But we just created this group of friends, which honestly turned into family, and we spent so much time together. It was so pivotal to have a group of people who kind of understand what you’re going through when you’re trying to apply for jobs, or even just start your own thing. So if you’re wanting to be an entrepreneur, surround yourself with entrepreneurial people, people who have a little bit more experience that can guide you through. But that community piece, I would say is very, very important.

Sam 

I mean, on community, I just kind of have a quick question. I know you guys might have different thoughts. What are your thoughts on, in terms of volunteering in industry-related things? I guess the first question is, would you do it? And the second question is how would you do it?

Jean 

Personally, for me when I think about volunteering, I wouldn’t even know where to start. So unless the opportunity was laid out in front of me, I wouldn’t know where to begin. But if knowing now that there are volunteer opportunities all over, for example, Traction, Conference that we host that is currently on hold. We take in a huge team of volunteers, which is great. And they all range from being students to those are just really interested in learning. Some of them are entrepreneurs themselves. So I think volunteering. It is a really great opportunity for some and I definitely encourage if anyone wants to at least like put their toe in the water when it comes to working in the tech space.

Sam 

Kat, do you or Lauren have anything to share on the volunteering front?

Katreena 

I’d probably say the same thing. If there’s something that interests you, try it out. See if it works. I guess, that’s kind of how I got into tech a little bit too. I had volunteered for the VR/AR global summit at Parq. And that was kind of my first event they had gone to, and I met so many people there, I got to help represent Shape Immersive, talk about what they were doing at the time, and I just met a whole lot of really cool people. And so it really helps. Yeah, like Jean said, getting your feet in the water.

Sam 

Yeah. And then just for those listening that are confused, like Shape Immersive is the company of one of our co founders at Launch Alex Chuang. And that’s that’s kind of how we met Kat, but I’m a little curious, let’s break it down a little bit. How did you find out about, in this case, VR/AR Global Summit?

Katreena 

I guess through Alex. Through friends of friends, who connected us. And then I was like, “What you’re doing is cool. I want to experience that, I want to try it out.” And he was like, “Yeah, sure, go for it. Here’s all the information, I’ll see you there.”

Sam 

Yeah. So I think there’s something, like key there is, I think, unintentionally, even maybe that you were willing to take a risk. Maybe it’s minor risk, it’s a day of your time, two days of your time, whatever. But you were willing to take a risk on something you basically didn’t know much about, other than on a surface level. And I think that’s something that I think often people take for granted, reaching out and taking that first step. I don’t remember if I shared how I got into tech, but really, I was in class, and to be completely honest I was never in class all that often. But I was in class at SFU, and one of the profs had a I can’t remember who was volunteer, it was a job opportunity, but something related to like mobile relations or something like that, or mobile developer relations. And I was like, that sounds cool. I need a job. So then I reached out to my prof, for like the very first time and so like for smart students and most people that might be listening, this is a common theme to reach out to your prof but for me, I never do that. And I’ve never done it since. So that was the one time that I actually just got a little bit out of my comfort zone and tapped in and tried something. And obviously, that move has changed my life. I think to echo both of you, just don’t be afraid to try. I think the benefit, especially if you’re younger and listening to this, is that you’ve got time to try stuff. The worst case scenario is you volunteer at Traction and you realize, “Hey, I actually don’t like tech. I don’t like startups. I don’t want to be an entrepreneur.” Cool. You spent a day on it and now, you know, right. There’s no harm in in finding out you don’t want to do something either. So I think that’s actually a super cool story from Kat. Lauren, do you have anything to add to that? Before we go to Jean’s favorite question.

Lauren Kan 

I would definitely echo everything that you guys have said. And just to add on to your point, Sam. When I was actually applying for jobs, someone told me this piece of advice that I’ve never forgotten and I’ve literally told anyone who’s ever asked me for any advice. And they said something along the lines of: you’re never going to know what you want to do until you know what you don’t want to do. And you’re never going to know what you don’t want to do until you do it. And I think that’s just stuck with me this whole time. Volunteer, reach out, connect, use LinkedIn or whatever tools that you have to just try.

Sam 

That’s awesome. Sweet. I think on that note, I can’t follow up with that. So let’s move on to what’s become a Bits and Bytes classic. So Kat, you’re not with us regularly, so I’m actually going to pick on you to start. Here’s the scenario: if you could create a dream team that you want to build, let’s say it’s a company, but it’s just a team that you want to work with. And it can be anybody dead or alive, historian, celebrity, fictional character, it could be Donald Duck, doesn’t matter. Who would you choose for your team of three and why?

Katreena 

Okay, so one of them would be Elon Musk because he’s pretty cool. And I like Tesla, and so I think he would be really cool to meet him and work with him as well. Um, and then these last two Ariana Grande and Rihanna because I think they’re badass women.

Sam 

Can you imagine Ariana Grande and Elon Musk and a product meeting? Just hold that thought for a second.  Lauren, what about you? You’ve heard this question asked a lot, but this is your first time answering it.

Lauren Kan 

First would be Walt Disney. He’s just the Pioneer for animation. The way that the brand of Disney was built, the way that he was able to build trust for the brand, that’s unmatched for sure. And then another one would be, I don’t know if you guys know, Morgan Harper Nichols on Instagram. She’s an artist and a poet, and just the words that she write, the things that she creates, are incredible, so inspiring and encouraging as well. And also a female entrepreneur, so that’s awesome. I love that. And then the last one might be a little silly, and you might laugh at me, but I don’t know if you know, Maya the polar bear on Instagram. She’s the dog, yeah. She’s a smiley dog. And she is one of my favorite Instagram profiles ever. Just for the morale, you know, sometimes you just need a morale booster.

Sam 

That’s a new one. I don’t know how to respond to that. You’ve left me speechless on a podcast. That’s never good.  Jean, you ask this question every single episode, but you’ve never answered it. So finally, it’s your turn.

Jean 

Honestly, there are so many people that I would want. I have different combinations of teams, but for the sake of kind of a theme of entrepreneurship, definitely Gary Vee. I love his journey from, he used to I think review and sell wine and then now he’s just become this life coach. He’s got a massive big following. And I think the reason why I love Gary Vee is because he’s a balance of being very strict and straightforward. He gives it to you real, but he also has this level of compassion when he does give you advice. He’s like, “Don’t be too hard on yourself for failure. It’s okay to start when you’re older” or “it’s okay to run into these roadblocks.” I just love that he has this understanding that some people need that encouragement. And at the same time, he’s able to just lay it out for you like “Get your stuff together.” The other person is actually a come in a combo pack, because you can’t really have one without the other. And I think actually one of our previous guests also did mention this person as well. So might not be as original, but The Rock and Kevin Hart.

Sam 

A combo pack? Hold up. I don’t know if you can have both the actors well.

Jean 

Okay, to be fair, I’ve heard their friendship is amazing. And I think just answering all for you. The Rock has such a great entrepreneurial mindset. He started off with promotional thing from being a to WWF

Sam 

The wrestling or mania, World Wrestling Federation.

Jean 

Yeah, to becoming an actor. And now he’s an entrepreneur himself. He has his tequila brand. And I love the way I guess, part of it is his great marketing team, but he’s constantly hustling, and I love that, like, the drive that he has, and he’s clearly very strong, a high moral person and I think that he’d be great in terms of leadership and then Kevin Hart, because,

Sam 

You don’t want to be the shortest person on the team.

Jean 

But Kevin is just so funny and when things get rough. If the company comes to a halt, or we go in through a rough patch, Kevin will be there, to lighten the mood a bit. And also come on, The Rock and Kevin’s friendship is just so awesome. Like, you see, The Rock and social media and stuff and just like how they are looking person like, it’s hilarious. And I think having that strong like team relationship would be good.

Sam 

Alright, I kind of feel like Jean cheated. And so I don’t know if I accept her answer. So we can do it again. Also, like I felt so old when when you were describing Gary Vee so I remember when Gary Vee started his wine website like in 1997 or something like that, and I didn’t actually know The Rock as a wrestler. Before that, he was a football player. Yeah, I can’t remember what position he played but but he couldn’t hack it in the NFL. And then he went to the CFL and I think he was cut by the Stampeders or something like that. So I feel so dated when you’re like, “Yeah, before he was in acting he was a wrestler.” I’m like, “Dude.” But anyway, so I think that’s the episode. Thank you guys so much for joining us and sharing your stories and sharing your insight. I hope that for those people that have listened, they can pick up off your experiences real quick round table. I mean, how can people reach out to you? How can they find you or whether it’s the Twitter the Instagrams, plug away.

Jean 

You can find me at my public page, @kireiautumn, that’s my public page for all business related things. And then yeah, if you want to have any business inquiries and such, you can just email me directly at my work email [email protected]

Lauren Kan 

Yeah, you can find me on Instagram at @laurenmkan.

Sam 

Sweet, and Kat.

Katreena 

Yeah, same here. Just find me on Instagram at @katreenatecson.

Sam 

Awesome. Simple enough, except for Jean. We might have to Google or Wikipedia page or something instead. But yeah, that’s a wrap here and we’re looking forward to having more episodes in the coming year. Appreciate everybody. Take care, y’all.

About Lauren

Lauren came to Launch with a background in Kinesiology and Digital Marketing and a passion for photography. She is now the Marketing & Community Coordinator at Launch and produces and edits this podcast.

Connect with Lauren & The Passion Collective

Connect with Lauren on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laurenmkan/

Learn more about The Passion Collective: https://www.instagram.com/thepassion.collective/

About Kat

Katreena has a background in architecture and is currently Project Coordinator at Launch. In her spare time likes to hike, swim, play the piano and eat good food.

Connect with Kat & Perky Buns

Connect with Katreena on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katreenatecson/

Learn more about Perky Buns: http://perkybuns.ca/

About Jean

Jean, who is normally the host of Bits & Bytes, is the Program Manager at Launch. Coming most recently from the hospitality industry, she’s got a passion for video games and tech and is a Twitch.tv streamer with an accumulated view count of 5 million views.

Connect with Jean & Launch

Connect with Jean on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kireiautumn/

Connect with Jean about Launch Programming: mailto:[email protected]

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