Nicole Mao: Harvard MBA to Battery Founder, Energy Dive & Misconceptions & Do What's Right vs. Easy - E235

· Purpose,Founder,Harvard,Women,Podcast Episodes English

“What’s missing now in the whole ecosystem are recycling facilities, especially in emerging markets. Everyone's thinking about producing batteries. You think they’re sustainable and environmentally friendly, but they can also be very bad for the environment. If they are not handled properly, we are causing damage to the environment. As a company and as inhabitants of this earth, we should think more about how that whole ecosystem can run properly to really have a sustainable future.” - Nicole Mao

Nicole is the CEO and co-founder of Tiger New Energy. Prior to starting her own venture, she worked as a management consultant at BCG. After graduating from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School in 2021, Nicole chose to pursue her vision of helping emerging countries transition to renewable energy solutions by building her company in Bangladesh, a country with a population of 160 million and one of the fastest-growing economies. To address the issue of the supply chain, Nicole's company offers a combination of hardware and software solutions. The hardware component includes manufacturing high-quality green products, while the software and business model innovation component helps low-income communities afford and adapt to these products.

Jeremy Au: (00:50)
Hey Nicole, really excited to have you on the show. Another fellow Harvard MBA turned founder slash bad student. You're building something incredible in the world today, for the future of the world. So could you share a little bit about yourself?
Nicole Mao: (01:03)
Yes. Hello, Jeremy. Thank you so much for having me here and just really make me nervous. I think that's one brave thing that I have ever taken this year. My name's Nicole. I'm the CEO and founder of Tiger New Energy, which is a battery company based in Bangladesh. And those already have two few words, that maybe trigger your curiosity. Originally I'm from China. I went to Harvard after having worked for BCGU for three or four years, then became a Harvard MBA. All the past tests make my parents happy, being a good student, going to a fancy camp company like BCG, being a consultant, going to Harvard, everything they like. Then after Harvard, I really want to get away from being this good student person and wanna do something that I am truly passionate about, which is being a founder and really having my business in emerging markets.

And I visited Bangladesh end of the last year of my university when all the classes went online in 2021, then I get a chance to travel around to see the world and landed in Bangladesh and really see the passion of this economy and see the opportunity in renewable energy. So that's how I started the whole journey.
Jeremy Au: (02:30)
Amazing. So, building out this renewable energy solution in Bangladesh is a tremendous path. When did you ever say to yourself like, I want to be a founder one day? I would like to be entrepreneurial. Were you entrepreneurial as a kid? Did you, I don’t know, sell candy, or were you a good student, how does that happen?
Nicole Mao: (02:49)
I think I never saw that I would be a founder, even though I come from a business family. My parents have been doing business in China for 30 years but when you come from a business family and you think like, okay, I don't wanna do the same thing as my father was doing. So I don't want to be a founder. I don't wanna start my own company. It's too much pressure. So I never started this would be a choice for me. But what really triggers my interest to be a founder is I really like being a founder because I see this opportunity. My first thought is not that I want to be a founder, then I build this business.

It's because I see it's really a great business opportunity and really a lot that we can contribute our knowledge to help the people, help the community and help the economy. So I started this company by seeing first the opportunity. Then, think about if I want to be a founder. So after one year, I start seriously thinking. What does it mean to be a founder? Do I really want to be a founder? And the answer is yes. One is, it's really exciting because as a founder you really put yourself in the situation. So every day to you is like a trouble box.

So especially as a founder and CEO, I remember a very interesting quote from Elon Musk. He said, so in the founder, you are dealing with different troubles every day because it's like a future, right? Your company is like a future. Every standardized question is solved by different parts of your people or organization, and everything is left out to you, it's the most difficult thing other people cannot solve.
So, it's in your hand as a CEO. And this part is actually very interesting to me because I really want to do different things and face different challenges. I don't like a regular routine every day. And so to me, I like to be this like fire saver every day. It's very exciting. And secondly, I think being a founder is a, very interesting journey for me personally to know more about myself because in this kind of situation, especially what I'm doing as a founder in a foreign country, you're facing different challenges culturally.

Also, from the business side and also from the society, from the culture, then I know more about myself, of how I react to those pressures, how I react to different people, to different culture shocks, and to different business challenges. And this part is very interesting because to me I think life is very long and it's a journey about the experience and also it's a journey about knowing more about yourself. And I think being a founder is the best way to learn more about yourself and to do self-development.

And I think certainly, we're always thinking about making an impact and having the freedom to do the things you want. Now, I think being a founder is, it's the best way to give you the freedom to build whatever impact that you want and to hold onto that responsibility. If the business fails, you are the founder. You cannot blame anyone else because you have all the control. You pay full responsibility, but at the same time, you have all the freedom to do anything that you think is right and to attract all the resources to build on what you believe. So I think I really fall in love with the level of freedom, and also fall in love with being responsible for all the decisions that I have made.
Jeremy Au: (06:37)
Wow. Sounds like instead of going for meditation or retreat, you should become a founder to discover.
Nicole Mao: (06:44)
Yeah, exactly. I really think it's also a kind of meditation.
Jeremy Au: (06:51)
So what's interesting is that like you said there's a lot of pressure. You didn't want to do it and then you chose to do it. What made you go over that hump, right? Because a lot of people feel that way often, right? Which is they feel the pressure, they don't want to do it, and then that's it. That's the end of the story, right? So how did you go about getting comfortable with that next stage and taking that step to become a founder?
Nicole Mao: (07:13)
So to me, it's a very interesting thing, it's the reverse. So I choose to do that because I see it's really a great opportunity to achieve my passion. I just have a voice inside me heard like, you should do it. Then I started without thinking about how difficult it can be and how much challenge or pressure I'm going to take on. So I think if I overthink those things, I'll never start it. So I started first. Then every pressure and anything that comes to me, I think my reaction is two things.
I always tell myself, like Nicole, firstly, you need to do what's right instead of what's easy. You'll make all the difference. When something's difficult, I always ask myself like, is there the right thing? So if it's the right thing, I will go for it. And secondly, for all the pressure I tell myself that actually, I think how big the achievement that you can make is always about how much pressure you can tolerate. So when it's large pressure, I always tell myself that, okay, it's a chance for you to go up your tolerance. Then you have a better chance of being a better version of yourself. So I think that's how I overcome the pressure and the things that I'm suffering from or tolerating right now. So I think I can make advice or share my experience with everyone who wants to be a founder.

So firstly don't think about those pressure. If you're thinking about it too much, it’s gonna scare you at the beginning, and also, don't underestimate how much your tolerance can be because it's growing you, you always think that, okay, I'm going to die, it's really too much. Or if you think about that, oh, I'm gonna face this challenge, I might not be able to handle it. Then you back off. I think it's backing off too early. You put yourself in the situation to see how you can overcome this. Then you will find yourself like, always surprised.
Jeremy Au: (09:21)
I love the point about surprising yourself, what's interesting is that you chose to do a Harvard MBA, right? And then you chose to be a founder after that. So during this journey, I guess, were there any things that surprised you about this journey, about Harvard MBA or being a founder? What things surprised you about yourself?
Nicole Mao: (09:45)
Yeah, I think it is a very interesting question, and, being a, one thing I really find that's surprised me is, how useful the Harvard experience can be. Secondly, is how unuseful the experience can be. So the unuseful experience is when you become a founder, you realize all those fancy titles don't matter anymore.

No matter if you are a Harvard MBA or you even, you didn't graduate from high school, it doesn't matter. It's about how can you overcome those challenges. How's your number? How's your monthly growth? How's your revenue? How can you convince your customers to go with you? How can you motivate your employees to go with you? And those things you cannot learn from Havard. So that's why I feel okay, it's the time to get rid of your past achievements and to put yourself in a new learning situation, how to be a good business person, how to be a good leader to firstly, convince yourself, then convince others to go with you and including your investors and your employees, and your customers. Those are very important and the Harvard title cannot help you to do that. And you need to learn that all yourself. And also how to overcome those challenges, how to tolerate those pressures, and how to make the right decision in a difficult business involvement.
All those things we need to learn and to see ourselves as new babies in this world and I also find how useful the Harvard experience can be in lots of things that we learn at school, I think useless actually is very useful because, at Harvard, I think everything when they’re trying to teach you, at the moment you don't understand. It's like why are you teaching me these things? But when you are really in the situation, you realize they are teaching you the fundamentals and everything you need. For example, we have one very interesting experience at the beginning. So it's an exercise to ask everyone to show vulnerability and to share with other people about the difficulties they are facing and to show to ask people for help.

For me, it was very difficult to do at school. And I don't understand why I want to show my vulnerability to others like other people. How can you find people who really care about you? I don't think it makes sense to me at the moment, especially since I'm coming from like a very reserved Asian culture.

I don't think overexposing yourself, especially your vulnerability is a good thing. Also, I think, to me, I have this stereotype, if you want to be a leader, you need to be strong. Especially as female founders, we’ve kind of overdone this. We want to show those men that we are strong and that we can tolerate all the challenges.

I really feel uncomfortable doing the exercise. So at school, I think it's really not necessary. But when I'm in this business activity, I really thank Harvard for teaching us a very useful technique of being authentic to show vulnerability and to ask for help. For example, when I have this new sales director in my company at the beginning, we were kind of in a very tense situation because he was much older than me.

He's almost 40 or 50. So, I tried to lead him and he was trying to teach me things, trying to understand like nothing, I'm in this industry for a long time and I was trying to convince him that I'm your boss and I graduated from Harvard. I know things. So it's not very helpful and I was trying to be like, okay, don't look at everything just because I'm a female and I'm a foreigner. I don't understand. So it's, it's like a big tension between us.

Then, I think there was one time we have this authentic conversation about my struggle and anxiety about the sales number. And the thing is, I really want to understand this market and I really want the sales to be good. And I'm also very anxious about being a female founder in the building, a foreigner in this market especially in the Bangladesh market, and the battery as a man-dominant world. I do feel this insecurity, but my best intention is I want to grow this company. We believe that we have the best product in the market and I really wanna push the sales up and really want everyone to have a good experience with our product. Then after I opened up and show this part of vulnerability and he also started opening up to show me he was honest. Experience or feedback or plans, how he assists the market, and how he thinks about the best plan for us to win and also the best way for us to work together.

Then afterward, everything works out much better and I always learn a lot from them and I feel like those learnings, or like very strong support cannot come by me pretending to be a strong lion, but they will come by me being an authentic person, also showing my vulnerability and asking for help when I need it.
Jeremy Au: (15:36)
And I think that's interesting, right? Because you're building in two parts that are really hard, right? Not just being a founder, but you're building in batteries which is a lot of deep tech slash knowledge slash manufacturing. And you're also building this in Bangladesh, right? So that's geography that is honestly a tough market for anybody in the world. So how many Americans, how many Singaporeans, or Southeast Asians could say they are able to tackle the market? So as you did all that, what things have you learned about building this business, about the business?
Nicole Mao: (16:15)
I think that's mixed together. Like I think learning takes up different parts and different states. I think first is how I feel to build this business in a foreign country. And also the second part is how I think about making this competition and to make the company valuable. And I think the first part, I actually found it very interesting that it's challenging building a new company in a foreign country. And it might be also inspiring for people who are thinking about coming to Southeast Asia. It is challenging because everything you take for granted, you might not be able to find in emerging markets.

So in business, if in America, it's very easy to find a very professional accounting firm or to get every service that you need to get your business writing and you don't need to think about hiring and all those are the main issue. I never saw this could be an issue for me, but in emerging markets, those services are not as available or as accessible as you can see in China or in the US.
You need to figure those out yourself. And hiring and finding good HR could be challenging for you. Especially for us, it's battery manufacturing that involves lots of different parts of the supply chain and many things can be missing in emerging markets. For example, in the beginning, I think it was very easy to find good glue, even for me, but it's a special glue for my battery. Then I realize, no, I cannot find it in a local market. I need to import from China, and when I import and it's difficult because the glue is, it's like needs a special approval from the government to import glue and it takes a lot of time.

This thing, this very small thing becomes a bottleneck for the whole supply chain and everything is waiting for this batch of glue to come in, to run a smooth operation. Then I think this is surprising for me. Even small things can be a bit challenging and everything we take for granted in mature markets is not applicable in emerging markets. Now for me, from my experience, it's Bangladesh. But you can find this as an issue for more countries in emerging markets.

Secondly, in my personal life, there are lots of things I took for granted and I find challenging in Bangladesh. For example, it's easy for me to grab a coffee in Starbucks, but in Bangladesh, I was surprised that it's very hard to find a good cup of coffee. So these other things that, personally I find challenging, but it turns out it can be a good thing because now I have more appreciation towards anything that before, I take for granted. So I think those are the country situation that I find interesting and I find it can be inspiring to other people.

And third, being in an industry that is male dominant and also hard tech-driven. So the technology's involved and they're already very strong competitors in the market. Then how can we survive? Those are the other questions that keep me up at night all the time. And what I learn is one, when we get into this business, we always find before we think a lot about competitions, we think about how we can win, how can we win over those big guys. Now we're thinking more about collaborations. Even though those big companies at the beginning think, okay, they're good at anything, then you realize actually there's always a market niche. And for startups in different stages, we have different advantages.

For example, we are much more flexible than the big companies in terms of the solutions and offerings that we can provide. This is our value to our customers. And this is value to our, we say competitors or partners. So then, we leverage. Then firstly, we fully recognized our advantage. Then, we started building our partnerships with our competitors, now our partners, and how we come up with a good solution and deliver this to customers.

I think those are the things that I learned, very valuable and those are the things I could never know before. And I think the last part is, I think it's super valuable. Before, I always thought it was about the technology, solutions, and about the business model. I think it's still that. Besides, it's all about people. It's how, because even now you have the best technology, but the world is changing. Your best technology can be outdated technology in two or three years. So then, how can you make your company and how can you make your business sustainable? How can you have a very active organization and an innovative organization mechanism?

They can always bring up the best solution to the market and they can always drive innovation and drive value forward. And this, you need a good group of people who are always pushing things forward. Like we already, even if we are already the best in the market, how can we do better tomorrow? How can we win the market in three or five years? I think those are very important. Like if you have good technology, you have good offerings that can make you save forever. I think the word is passed. So we need this adaptive mindset and innovative mindset to keep changing and keep evolving.
Jeremy Au: (22:08)
You talked about technology and business model and folks are very excited about batteries, about how they play a role in renewable energy and transition towards a greener world. What are some myths or misconceptions that people have about batteries and the business model around batteries that people may have? Because I think people are just, like, oh, batteries are really important. Is it my phone? It's an electric car. And then, it's kind of a very high level, right?
Nicole Mao: (22:34)
The most interesting thing that I find and I think it's missing, and I think that will be the trend in three to five years, is people in emerging markets when they talk about batteries, they are thinking about too much of the price, but not the value.

So, for example, the different types of technology in batteries are more expensive, and some are cheaper. So I take an easy example because the technology or things for car batteries, well, are way too complicated. For example, when you buy a power bank, you might be confused that you can spend $5 to buy a power bank and you can also spend $20 or $30 to buy a power bank, then what's the difference? So if you spend $5 to buy a power bank, it can last you, and the time you need to charge is totally different with the, what's the money that you spent, $30 to buy a power bank for your phone. And when you think about lots of people that are thinking about how much it costs at the beginning. They're not thinking about how much it costs per day or how much it costs me per charge. And it actually makes a huge difference in the customer experience. So what we really try to do is we try to educate customers about it, it's not about how much you cost, it's like in total, it's about how much you cost per charge.

And if you think about cost per charge, if everyone's thinking about that, it will drive the market in a better direction. That's every supplier is thinking about good technology and long-lasting products, which is more sustainable and better for the environment and better for the users too. If everyone's thinking about how much it costs at the beginning, then every supplier will be going towards a direction that, how can I cut my cost? How can I make cheap, but very bad quality products? So I think as a customer, when we consume batteries no matter what type of batteries, is it for your car or for your phone, we need to think about it.

And also that's as a supplier. We need to educate the customers and drive the industry in a more sustainable direction. And the second part is, I think what’s missing now in the whole ecosystem is, everyone's thinking about producing batteries. There are lots of batteries, like car batteries and foam batteries, and what really concerns me then is how about the recycling facilities in the society. Right, especially in emerging markets. It's one large, amazing part. So if even for Lithian battery, for that car battery, you think it's sustainable, it's environmentally friendly. But when you think about those batteries, they can be very bad for the environment too. If they are not handled properly, we are causing another part of the damage to the environment, then it's not net zero and it is not sustainable anymore. As a company and also as a citizen of this globe, we should think more about how that whole ecosystem can run more properly to really have a sustainable future.
As a battery company we are now producing, we're supplying the market with high-quality products, but we are also constantly thinking about recycling. Then what can we do on that part to make the whole system run in a more sustainable way?
Jeremy Au: (26:17)
I think definitely battery recycling is a big problem. And I think if you look at recycling in terms of volume, obviously the most is like paper and plastic, right? But actually, if you look at it in terms of what recyclers are trying to do, the highest value item that's coming out of the recycling stream is actually batteries. Electrical waste. Yeah. So there's an interesting dynamic where I think, startups are, they're looking to do a lot of recycling in emerging markets, but the revenue stream is on recycling e-waste. I think one thing you mentioned, of course, is talking about cost per charge, right? And I think at the end of the day, is this an interesting dynamic, where everyone's trying to figure out where does the value go in the value chain? If everybody switches to electricity, right? So what I mean by that is, in the gas wall petrol, it used to be like, okay, the oil and gas people who obviously pump and then refine and then ship. And then after that, there are gas stations in terms of the networks like Shell or BP, et cetera. And then now obviously there's people who are charging at home, people are charging in office, and I, there's actually a whole bunch of startups that are trying to build, like charging gas stations.

So I say instead of a gas station, we have multiple charging stations and we're trying to create these hubs. And then some other people are like, no, it doesn't make sense because if you charge at home, there's like 80% of your battery charge value really at home. Really the value goes to the utility, right?
The electricity utility that's actually making that power. And also there are all kinds of dynamics where when you charge an electric vehicle it actually draws a lot of current straightaways. So there's a big surge in electricity. So actually there's a surge pricing that kicks in unless you do it very slowly, da, da, da.

Anyway, what I'm trying to ask this, a little bit, is when I think about this new world where we move, let's say a hundred percent away from gas, cause I think gas is gone, I think in 30 years to 50 years, right? So it's all gonna be electricity. Like where does the value go, you think in the industry? I guess part of it definitely goes to the batteries because nobody else makes batteries, so that's you. But how else do you think it flows into the ecosystem of society?
Nicole Mao: (28:19)
It is actually a very large topic and there are lots of people that play in the value chain and I definitely agree with you that when all you are gone, then when we pay more attention to the electricity wall, then you realize actually there are also many like remaining issues.

One is battery. Another is the grid for sure. And how can we, and also there are also people who challenge me, like you said, EV it's good because it's charged by electricity, but don't forget how we produce electricity. We use oil to produce electricity in many countries, then how can you solve this issue?

So it goes back to the issue like fundamentally how we make this sustainable energy, how we produce electricity. If we don't produce electricity in a renewable way, then it is not renewable. And I see there are many good solutions. One is what we call, one is definitely solar, and secondly, the wind is catching up and another is a very debatable solution of nuclear power plants. And those technologies are evolving and especially for solar, we can see the price is already, can be comparable to regular generators.

And so the interesting incentive we are doing is we, besides producing batteries, we’re also doing battery swapping stations and now those stations are charging by the grid. And we're doing this implementation about whether we can charge those stations with solar panels. So those stations, it is easier for them to sustain themselves without putting any pressure on the break.
And secondly is then, it gives us lots of flexible solutions. Like how you know, how you put your stations, you need to talk to the electricity departments to see if the grid can be at a good tolerance to your station. But if we can make it to be charged with solar panels, it gives us a lot more flexibility.
So I think fundamentally for the whole ecosystem is definitely very important how we leverage those renewable solutions to generate electricity. And the second part is efficiency. So even though you are using, I always tell people that even though you are using audio to generate electricity, then you charge your EV car waste, that electricity is actually generated by oil.

But efficiency, it's different. So, the efficiency at large power plants, it's 30% or 50% higher than the car engines, and also the carbon emission is a lot lesser. So if we have better technology in those large power plants to increase the efficiency from 30% to 50% and even higher, then it creates even more value to the whole electricity for the said system. And also the last part is even though we use electricity to charge those cars, it looks like that increase creates lots of pressure on the grid. But actually, it's not because there's like peak season and low season to the grid, and the key point is you don't want everybody to consume at the peak time.

And you want a very evened-out consumption of electricity to the grid. And usually, during nighttime, there's low demand. At nighttime, it's usually the time people charge their EV cars and e-bikes. So it brings up the evened-out the consumption to the grid, and you treat every battery and you treat EV cars as the storage assistance for the electricity that is generated by the whole system. So this can also make the whole ecosystem run more smoothly.
Jeremy Au: (32:34)
As you think about that, do you think the world is gonna move towards more like agglomeration or scale economics? Are there natural economies of scale or different parts? I think utilities obviously have the most economies of scale, right? Cause they have the wires, they have the generation, et cetera. So they already handle that. And you can't do power redistribution without servicing a large area. But I think what other areas of the industry do you think benefit from economies of scale or likely to consolidate over?
Nicole Mao: (33:06)
Yeah. I think this also is a very micro question. So I think the largest scale of the economy, we can see one, is how the EV supply chain that we already can see in China. So for example, how much money does it cost you to buy EV batteries, especially leasing batteries five years ago now it's only 20 to 30% or even lower. This is part of the scale. That's how the large consumption and the production capacity can direct down the price and the benefits to the economy eventually that's part very large, equal economic of scale that we have seen. And that's more part of this evidence in the whole economy. And what we really wanna see more besides just the EV batteries or lithium battery price dropping is we wanna see the price of renewable energy dropping, and this can also benefit the economic scale.
Like we see how much it costs you to generate electricity by solar, and how much cost you to generate by wind generation. Also, we see the trend of decreasing costs because of the economy of scale. And I think those parts, the society should spend more effort to work on, because as I said, those are the fundamentals because that's how you generate electricity, then how you use electricity to power up your cars. And also more, more consumptions.
Jeremy Au: (34:38)
And on that note, could you share with us a time when you personally have been brave?
Nicole Mao: (34:44)
Okay. I think that as I said at the beginning, for me joining this podcast is very brave because for me it's the first time I'm joining any podcast. Secondly, after the 45 minutes, I am sure that it is really a brave journey because I didn't expect this to be very technical, and also share so many micro perspectives. And I think a brave choice is definitely for me to jump out of my comfort zone and to piss my parents off by not being a good student, by having started this journey in Bangladesh and being a founder, but I truly think it's a very enjoyable and a beneficial journey because it really helped me to understand more of myself and also help me to see the world differently from a more macro perspective and to think more about what kind of value or what kind of impact that we can bring to the society. I think it might sound surprising to some people, but I really appreciate the time in Bangladesh, in emerging markets.

Because before what I thought really matters to me is a good restaurant, good coffee, a good shopping place, fancy clothes, and high heels, and after being a founder, and living in emerging markets, I don't think those things are available to me anymore. I think really makes a difference in day to day, when I look at those people, for example, I wanna share a very interesting story. Now we move around by rickshaws in Bangladesh and the rickshaw is a three-wheeler car powered by people. And every time I ride rickshaws, I think about those people, what are the difficult tips they have?
How much do they need to spend to buy batteries, and how would the good quality of batteries change their life? And when they smile at me, like those customers thank me for providing those solutions to me by making my life easier. I'm at the happiest moment in my life and it's better than fancy clothes and it's better than good restaurants. So I think the brave experience, might sound like a ridiculous experience at the beginning, but it will make all the difference in the end.
Jeremy Au: (37:14)
You shared that your parents were pissed off that you were not a good student. So what happened there and why?
Nicole Mao: (37:21)
Yeah, I think one is at Harvard, I'm definitely not a person with the highest score and I almost failed my degree. During my last semester, I was already in Bangladesh and really exploring those opportunities.

Definitely spent and pay less attention in class and pay more attention to solving those real-life difficulties, and trying to run this business. This thing made me a bad student and made my parents very worried at that moment. And afterward, I chose to become a founder, not following the regular path to get a decent job in big companies, which also pissed them off. And I think those are very difficult decision moments for me. How do I prioritize things, right? And especially the voice that's helped me to make this choice is, regardless of those people's opinions, regardless of the noise that you have heard what's the right thing to do for you?

So for me, what the things make me feel really happy is I am handling those daily difficulties and I see, I really change things for my employees, for my customers, and when they smile at me when they say positive things they have experienced because of me, because of my company, then I feel like, okay, it's the right thing to do. Then, I cannot make everyone happy. I have to do the things that I think are right.
Jeremy Au: (38:57)
Thank you so much for sharing. That was a very wholesome way to wrap this up. So I'd like to share the three big themes that I got from this conversation. I think the first, of course, is I think sharing your journey from someone who was thinking about the founder journey being way too much pressure to becoming obviously a management consultant to being a Harvard MBA, to eventually choosing to be a founder in battery tech and in Bangladesh emerging markets. And I think there were some interesting reflections that you said about the professional learnings you had about what you learned at Harvard that was useful versus not useful at all as well as the personal learnings about your own lifestyle and the things that you find nice to have versus must have. I think the second that I really appreciated was actually the dive, like you said, into the micro aspects of batteries and the implications and misconceptions that people have. It's just really interesting to hear your point of view on how the industry is changing, but also where the value is gonna go.

And I think some of the common rebuttals against batteries, I appreciate you sharing about how it's not about the electrification of technology and devices and vehicles, but also about the efficiency of it. And I think that's a really interesting point. Lastly, thanks so much for sharing about talking about doing what's right over what's easy. You shared how it meant in terms of picking the country to build, but also in the context of the business decisions you have to make. And also I think sharing is about having that authentic vulnerable conversation, right?

You're a teammate so you're able to actually finally get on the same page about what the actual medium to long-term goals is, right? It's a bunch of humans like you said walking around and working together at the end of the day. So thank you so much, Nicole, for sharing all of that and keep changing the world and keep making us use electricity.
Nicole Mao: (40:48)
Yes, thank you so much, inspiring podcast also triggers me to think about lots of things and at the end, maybe I wanna share one thing more or the inspirations I get from the conversation with you. I think for the people who are trying to be a founder, trying to piss off their parents, I think one thing that you need to be brave of is don't think too much. Don't scare yourself before you're really facing the challenges. Don't think about, okay, I'm gonna have 1, 2, 3, 4 challenges and that I'm not able to make it. You will make it. Just try.
Jeremy Au: (41:28)
Aw, I want a t-shirt now. You'll make it. Thank you so much.
Nicole Mao: (41:32)
Thank you. Thank you so much.