Post-AI "Good Jobs", SGX & IDX Capital Market Challenges & USA VC vs. Southeast Asia Fund Performance with Shiyan Koh - E431

· Podcast Episodes English,VC and Angels,Southeast Asia,USA


“‘What is a good job?’ is an interesting question. When we talk about what makes life satisfying, there are three key elements: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Parents often think of a ‘good job’ in terms of how it helps us make money, but that's not the whole picture. If costs go down significantly in various areas, it opens up new opportunities for creating good jobs for ourselves. As Girdley highlights, entrepreneurship has become a viable option. Lower costs enable people to build businesses with fewer resources. Entrepreneurship inherently offers autonomy—you run your own business; mastery—you can continuously improve and avoid stagnation; and purpose—you design a business and a life that work for you.” - Shiyan Koh

"The thing we've discussed before is that we lack a lot of companies in the middle. We have tons of early-stage startups and a few big behemoths, but the heart of the innovation ecosystem is in the midsize companies. These midsize companies and outcomes might not make it to NASDAQ, but they are important because they often get acquired, help recycle talent and experience through the ecosystem, and provide essential liquidity options. There’s a question of whether there are efforts to build a regional exchange, given everyone's focus on dominating their local exchanges?” - Shiyan Koh

"My belief is that there's still a lot to be built in the Southeast Asia ecosystem. I'm excited about the advent of all the LLMs and AI tools given Southeast Asia's role in call centers, BPOs, and other service industries. There's an opportunity to build really interesting companies leveraging these tools. A fun stat I heard, and I wonder which analyst had to dig this up, is that, if you sum the revenue of all publicly-traded SaaS companies last year, it's less than the revenue of the big four accounting firms. This is interesting because services have been pretty hard to penetrate with software. There's a whole class of work that's historically too nuanced to automate." - Shiyan Koh

Shiyan Koh, Managing Partner of Hustle Fund, and ​​Jeremy Au talked about three main themes:

1. USA VC vs. Southeast Asia Fund Performance: Bain’s 2023 private equity report shows that Southeast Asia's VC returns have been lower over the past decade, with median LP distributions of 0.4X for Southeast Asia, China 0.6X, Europe 0.7X, USA 1X and India 1.3X. Shiyan attributed this due to the oversupply of capital - despite an order of magnitude increase in venture capital into Southeast Asia, this influx has not led to a proportional increase in scalable, successful companies, thus leading to inflated valuations and reduced returns​​.

2. SGX & IDX Capital Market Challenges: Jeremy and Shiyan examined the hurdles faced by Southeast Asian companies in accessing capital markets. Jeremy noted the low liquidity on local exchanges, with turnover rates at 32% in Singapore, 19% in Indonesia, and 73% in the Philippines, compared to the New York Stock Exchange's 103%​​. Shiyan emphasized that local regulatory constraints, such as the Singapore Stock Exchange’s requirement for profitability (to protect retail investors), deter many tech startups, prompting them to seek international listings, particularly in the US, where they can list at higher valuations despite ongoing losses​​. They also discussed the role of capital controls in limiting retail investors' access to offshore equities in China and India, driving demand for domestic listings​​.

3. Post-AI "Good Jobs": Jeremy and Shiyan examined the impact of AI on Southeast Asia's labor markets, focusing on how integrating AI with lower-cost labor could create a competitive advantage against purely AI-driven models in the US​​. Shiyan suggested that developing AI-native companies could drive innovation in service sectors like call centers and business process outsourcing (BPO). They also touched on the concept of the “iron rice bowl”—a metaphor for job security and stability in traditional sectors, such as government-related roles, which might be less affected by AI​​. They noted that while AI could make some roles obsolete, particularly those involving repetitive tasks, it might also open new opportunities by automating routine aspects of jobs, thus enhancing overall productivity.

Jeremy and Shiyan also talked about the importance of mid-sized companies for talent recycling, AI’s role in the creative fields, and how global economic trends impact founder fundraising in the region.

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(02:25) Jeremy Au:

Hey, Shiyan.

(02:26) Shiyan Koh:

How's it going, Jeremy?

(02:27) Jeremy Au:

Good. I'm glad to be back in the real world. I just came back from two weeks in the Singapore military.

(02:32) Shiyan Koh:

Do you lose weight when you go to reservists? Marching around in the jungle?

(02:36) Jeremy Au:

I used to.

(02:37) Shiyan Koh:

Is that not what you do?

(02:38) Jeremy Au:

So when I was 18, 21, that's when I definitely did a lot of jungle, a lot of exercise, and now as a middle-aged adult, I spent a lot of time in air-conditioned rooms, obviously working with computers and PowerPoint, Excel and basically when they posted me back for my recent posting, I basically got posted to planning division, like a very high senior So I started my Monday in the military in another air con room with computers and PowerPoint and Excel.

(03:05) Shiyan Koh:

No, disappointing.

(03:06) Jeremy Au:

I know, right? And then they fed me the same way they would feed like an 18-year-old. So like lots of rice, lots of chicken and fish and ice cream and snacks, cream rolls and biscuits. I was like, Oh, this is amazing. I am eating like I'm young again, except I'm not. You know, I'm in this husk of a body still doing desk work. Yeah. So I was like, I was eating for breakfast, like nasi padang, which is like rice and my friends were like, what are you doing? And I was like, yeah, I'm not allowed to eat this at home. And that's like too much carbs and coconut milk. It was my little mini vacation. Yeah.

(03:40) Shiyan Koh:

That's funny. Gosh, you're making me hungry. I've been in the US for three weeks and I just want to eat some nasi padang.

(03:47) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. I know that's all the stuff you can't really find. So yeah. What are you up to in the US right now?

(03:51) Shiyan Koh:

I mean, we had our US Camp Hustle. It's an investor conference that we host annually and it's the third time we've done it. So it's gotten even bigger in prior years. We had our team offsite and then we just had a bunch of meetings and took the opportunity to kind of just catch up with people, see founders, and reconnect with other investors that we work with.

So it's been a bit of a longer trip and whenever I come here, I don't eat any because I'll just be disappointed. So I've had guacamole like five times, and I've eaten a lot of kale salad, fruits and vegetables taste better here, but I'm getting on a plane shortly, and I definitely am going to go home and bachamee, and be very happy about it.

(04:29) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, those are all the good food. So, you know, You and I were catching up, right? And we were comparing the Southeast Asia versus the US tech ecosystem, which is always a common question because I think both you and I have experience in both tech ecosystems. I think that another one that just came out recently was that our dear Terence Lee, editor in chief of Tech in Asia, basically wrote an editor's note and he basically said, Hey, he's quite bearish about kind of like Southeast Asia as a singular market.

And I think he pulls up this chart that we'll put up in the podcast visual, but also put it in the blog, but basically it compares the median distributions, right? So how much money do VC funds make, right? And then it shows basically that over the past eight to 10 years, the vintage of 2013 to 2015, the US is about 1X, India is about 1.3X. Europe is about 0.7X. China's at 0.6X. And Southeast Asia is the worst at about 0.4X. So this comes from the Bain collaboration on the economy. Southeast Asia 2023 report, and basically it's kind of saying like, and the way of saying it is like VC funds are not performing well historically in Southeast Asia.

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(05:31) Shiyan Koh: Yeah.

I think there are a couple things to tease apart there, which is, what is the actual company building and development that's going on. The second one is what is the performance of the venture funds because I think there is they're related, but not the same thing. And so I think one thing to note is between 2024 versus 2004, the amount of venture dollars, 10 X. So there's just like in, I saw the stat for the US and I actually think the stat for Southeast Asia is even starker, right? There’s an even bigger increase in dollars that are flowing into the ecosystem. And think that has the impact of like, does that mean that there were 10X more founders, 10X more backable companies? If we just use the US one, because 10X is a nice round number. And I think the answer is probably not. And so what happened, right? We all talk about ZURP, but the impact is companies raised more money at higher valuations than they would have in a more capital-constrained environment, which drove down returns.

So I think that impact is probably exacerbated in Southeast Asia as well, where I think if you ever review any of the funds raised charts, right? The vast majority of the money went to a small number of companies. And so I think there's just like the math there, the law of like, it's really hard to turn large numbers into much larger numbers versus small numbers into medium-sized numbers. So I think that's one thing that's happening, just like the venture funny stuff. And I think the separate and the more interesting question is around okay, do you think software and the internet and technology, can you build big companies, scaled outcomes and, is it easier or harder to do in the US? And I think building companies is never easy, item one, but there are challenges in both scenarios, which is, I think that in Southeast Asia, we like to talk about it as a region, but the reality is that it's not. It's six core markets, 10, 11, I guess we can include East Timor overall. They're all quite different, different currencies, different languages, different laws, so you don't really get the scaled economies necessarily on a business that you would imagine when you think of scaling, because every time you launch a new country, you actually have to scale like a fair amount of overhead with that.

And then, the US while it is a single country, a single currency, and language. I think the level of competition is higher. And so that's not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison either. But it is true, right? It's would you have rather have 300 million people with a per capita GDP of 45K or our so-called 600 million people, but actually the per capita GDP is anything from a thousand to 60,000 or whatever the number for Singapore is now, except there's only 5 million of them. Think it's a fair comment, but I think they're just, they're not exactly apple to apple

(08:05) Jeremy Au:

You know, you've reminded me that we've discussed this topic in many different formats and I feel like the media is kind of like catching up to some of the difficulties. And I think part of this, like you said, is really the oversupply of capital versus the opportunity set. And now I think people are suddenly trying to build out up the rest of the ecosystem and catch up. So training founders, getting the right playbooks, explaining it, this skill doesn't really work across different countries, at least not as easily as you think it is. And so I think there's a lot of dynamics that I think are starting to become more appreciated. That reminds me of the sort of recent Bain report that came out.

So I'm just going to look at the computer here. Two of my old Bain colleagues, Suvir Varma, as well as Usman Akhtar. So they're both partners at the Bain Southeast Asia Private Equity Practice. And I think this was interesting was that they identified something that we've kind of talked about, which is there needs to be stronger local capital markets. So obviously most Southeast Asian tech companies are headed out to New York or the US Stock Exchange, but for the retail investors, the coverage there is pretty weak. And so local stock exchanges are one of the exit paths for private equity as well as VC, but unfortunately, the velocity of the stock exchanges in the region is relatively low, right?

So the New York Stock Exchange as a benchmark is about 103%. Whereas, the Singapore Stock Exchange is about 32%. And then the Indonesia Stock Exchange is about 19%. And then the Philippines would be at 73%, And of course, Shanghai is at 192%, but basically it's saying that there's a lot of training activity from retail and institutional investors, and that creates the ability for private equity in general, the whole asset class to be able to exit in the, you know, your local company in Indonesia, then maybe the most natural place for you to list would be at an Indonesia Stock Exchange.

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(09:39) Shiyan Koh:

Yeah, I mean, I think, China's Stock Exchange is the third largest by market cap. I know they have three exchanges, right? The main board. And then they have the two smaller ones for smaller companies and startups. And so not to mention the Hong Kong one as well, which is like a fourth available market for Chinese companies to go public on I think there's also the role of capital controls, which is that for Chinese retail and Indian retail, they're actually much more limited in their ability to access offshore equities. And so they need, they demand like someplace to deploy their savings. And so it actually is going into domestic offerings, which is like a really important part of that capital cycle.

And I think this is the other thing that maybe we've talked about before, but it's we lack a lot of the companies in the middle. We have tons of really early-stage startups, and then we have a couple of big behemoths, but really the heart of the innovation ecosystem is like the midsize. And those midsize companies and midsize outcomes aren't going to make it to the NASDAQ, but they're important because either they get bought, or and really they recycle talent and experience through the ecosystem. And they give enough middle liquidity options. So yeah, I agree. This is like, a really good point, but I don't know. I guess I should probably go learn more about this, but I don't know. Are there any efforts to try to build a regional exchange where everyone's trying to dominate their own local exchanges?

(10:54) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. I'm happy to share more about that. I mean, I think you know, first of all, I agree with you about a capital controls piece and the excess. I think the India Stock Exchange has been a destination for a lot of Indian startups. I think it also explains a lot of the excitement because I think people feel like, Hey, when you build a startup in India, then you have the opportunity to list on the India Stock Exchange, but also the ability to list on the US Stock Exchange if you need to. But that kind of glide path doesn't really seem to work very well for Southeast Asian startups.

So again, it's kind of like go big or really go home in that sense. I think the Singapore Stock Exchange is and was, the natural place for a regional stock exchange. I mean, Singapore is a hub. It has a lot of financial density in terms of it, because when you think about the stock exchange, it's not just retail investors, but also institutions who are doing that. You need market analysts to write reports, like initiating coverage or continuing coverage to be like, Hey, should you buy or sell? And of course, you need a list, you need a supply of those companies coming on to generate excitement, and so forth. So it's a little bit like a, call it two-sided marketplace, or three-sided marketplace. But I think you need to get that flywheel really going. And I think the Singapore Stock Exchange has really been focused on protecting Singapore and retail investors. So they don't really want loss-making companies to be on the Singapore Stock I think that's a catalyst list, but there's a whole bunch of rules that basically make it pretty difficult for, I'll say a large-size tech company that hasn't lost money to list on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

And then basically I'll probably have to kind of find the exact numbers later. Basically I think what I'm hearing from a lot of founders is that the rules for the Singapore Stock Exchange are I can list at a lower valuation, but I have to be profitable. But it's so close to the US where I can be still burning net cash and I can list it at a higher revenue. So it feels like I might as well just go one step bound and just go for the US side, and just keep going on the growth engine route and the US and so you end up skipping the Singapore Stock Exchange because it doesn't provide you any of that off-ramp. And obviously I think you can see the dynamics here, which is I can imagine the Singapore government being like, let's protect retail investors. And the other side is very much but why do we even bother the Singapore Stock Exchange if I have to be this size and net profitable in order to raise any capital?

(12:51) Shiyan Koh:

I guess the other one we haven't talked about is ASX, the Australian one. And there's a couple of players that have gone that route as well.

(12:58) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. Australia Stock Exchange has often been a big story, right? For a lot of the Australian VC funds, I think the feel comfortable with that as a destination. What were the companies again, that are listed on the ASX?

(13:08) Shiyan Koh:

I think iproperty, Atlassian was there before, right? They moved to the US exchanges.

(13:13) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. Zero.

(13:14) Shiyan Koh: Zero, but it's a Kiwi company, they're on the New Zealand one.

(13:18) Jeremy Au:

So excited for the Southeast Asia tech ecosystem. It was just been dropping bad news. Everyone's like, I'm listening to this podcast now. And I'm like, okay, I need to stop listening to this podcast and go back to a quiet or another US company podcast.

(13:29) Shiyan Koh:

My belief is that there are still lots of things to be built in the Southeast Asia ecosystem. And I actually am quite excited about, with the advent of all of the LLMs and AI tools and given Southeast Asia's role in call centers, BPOs, and other service types of industries, I think there's an opportunity to build really interesting companies leveraging these tools. So, this is a fun stat I heard, and I'm trying to, I wonder which analyst had to go dig this up. If you sum the revenue of all publicly traded SaaS companies last year, it is less than the revenue of the big four accounting firms. And, I think that's an interesting thing because services have previously been pretty hard to penetrate with software, right? There's like a whole class of work where it's basically like historically, it's too nuanced to automate like every corner case. And so, even if you say, okay what was Salesforce's revenue last year? Salesforce is the dominant CRM provider. It's like what, 60 billion? But instead think about all the customers of Salesforce, all the salespeople that use Salesforce and you multiply it by the salary of those salespeople, right? It's orders of magnitude And so if you can start automating those things away, that's actually a huge opportunity. I think that is increasingly in the realm of possibility. And so I think for Southeast Asia is to think about what are the application level things that you're going to do with these new tools and the types of businesses you can build with a fully integrated human plus AI stack.

And it's interesting. I've had a bunch of conversations with founders over the last couple of weeks that I've been here where people are like, should I build co-pilot for X? Or should I go out and build a full stack company? Am I better off trying to sell a tool to other old-school people? Or Hey, I should build an AI-native company from day one and take that whole profit pool myself? so I don't think that that's like all doom and gloom about Southeast Asia, because one thing we do have is we do have much lower labor costs. And so would you rather have a Southeast Asian plus AI competing at a third of the price of an American plus AI, That's my bull case, Jeremy.

(15:25) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I know. It's like my counter-argument is that it would be like AI is so much cheaper than any cheap labor that is a high-fixed cost structure, with very zero marginal cost. So US, AI, full stack, I'll compete. Southeast Asia labor plus AI, who knows?

I mean, I think the world's so globalized but it actually reminds me of the debate that we kind of like started putting on this chat, right? Which is what's a good job? And I think some business kind of like messaged us, Hey, Shiyan, you and I were discussing like, what's a good job that parents should fight for, for our kids.

And we were like, kind of having that little, so I think people just want to hear more about that. What's a good job in a Southeast Asia context? I think it's triggered by a similar tweet by Michael Girdley. So his thesis was he thinks that the big trends from his US perspective is the globalization of the workforce, re-industrialization of the USA, shrinking of birth rate, the emergence of AI, and increasing US government spending. So he is bearish on self-software developers, accountants, graphic design, customer service, and lawyers. And then he's bullish on anything tied to government contracts or government jobs, healthcare, high-risk engineering, like aerospace entrepreneurship, and anything that touches physical things, and lastly, finance and wealth management. So what do you think?

(16:37) Shiyan Koh:

I mean, I think some of these are universal themes, right? We have the Chinese term "Iron Rice Bowl". So I think people have always talked about working on government-related things in such a manner. So I'm supportive of that. I think globalization is a trend for everyone, not just Americans. It's just that Americans started with a higher cost base, right? So for them, the competition is coming up from the bottom. And then, I think basically, if the job requires doing anything repetitive, plus now if the edge on the repetition was your language skills that's probably all going to go away, right? I would agree with that. I think, though we forget about how much of the economy does deal with in-person and physical things. You're a physical therapist. AI is not going to take your job.

(17:17) Jeremy Au:

Then next is this humanoid robot, it's just like massaging your foot, pressing your acupuncture pressure points.

(17:23) Shiyan Koh:

It's going to be a while. It's going to be a while until those things are automated, right? I think those things are harder. Although some of the robot demos I've seen in the last couple of weeks have been pretty impressive, but I do think there are things like that in-person stuff, which is just going to be harder to automate away.

So I think what a good job is an interesting question, right? Which is they talk about what makes like life satisfying, And there are three pieces: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. And I think when parents say a good job, they're just like, how do we make money? But that's not the only aspect of a good job, I guess if we had to think about it, if costs go down significantly on a bunch of stuff, what does that enable us to do to create good jobs for ourselves? And so Girdley sort of puts entrepreneurship as a bullet there. And I think that's a really interesting one, which is that driving costs down actually enables people to build businesses with way fewer people. Entrepreneurship has those aspects of autonomy. You run your own business mastery. You can actually constantly be trying to get better at it. It's not something that is static or repetitive and then purpose, right? You can design a business or a life that works for you.

So I think people make these bombastic ones where like, Oh, we're going to see the first one-person unicorn, but unicorn is a very rare outcome. And I don't think that's actually most people's aspirations. If you actually said to people like, Hey, you could run a business that did a million of free cashflow a year. It only costs you, I don't know, a hundred K to start up over a number of years. I think a lot of people would take that. They would consider that a good job. Yeah, I think that's the the only sort of additional color that I would add to Gerbly's predictions, which is I do think that part of what it enables, it, It, it actually enables people to shape their lives a lot differently because a bunch of stuff that you might've had to hire a ton of people in the past, you actually can automate, which allows you to be creative and think about what are the customer needs in the market that I uniquely can go address in my ecosystem.

(19:11) Jeremy Au:

It's interesting because, I thought that I agreed, for example, health care, because first of all, is regulated on a per-country basis. So you can't practice easily by moving from America to Indonesia. And obviously you're telling people who are in person. So I think doctors do a good job. Actually, I felt like a lawyer is still a good job in Southeast Asia. So from my perspective, you know, there's so much of your country's law system that's not just about law, right? In terms of the code or the writing of contract, but also about the relationships and transactions that had to be done. And, you still have to strike deals. So I still think law, maybe he's bearish on law in America, but I will feel that law in Southeast Asia is probably more straightforward. And I felt like software engineers do a good job in Southeast Asia as well, because, you're upgrading yourself. You're giving yourself productivity. You're working your way up. I still think that being a software engineer in Southeast Asia si still a decent path if your child wants to go there and has an affinity to that because it's a way to increase labor productivity by using robots, so some of it is maybe like a US context thing, but I would say like software engineer and law is still for Southeast Asia, but yeah, I think accounting is tough. That's a tough job. It's hard to in a computer program.

(20:13) Shiyan Koh:

Well, it's one part of law, right? It's the complex stuff on the margin like the low, the repeatable stuff.

(20:21) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. Divorce law. I mean, it'd be good. I mean, I think Southeast Asia will see more divorce rates over time rather than less. So you can say it's a growth industry on the law side. It is true. Divorce rates are going up. The world is becoming more Westernized or globalized. What is it, like 50% of American marriages end up in divorce? It's a huge sector.

(20:38) Shiyan Koh:

They say that, but I feel like the countervailing force is that people get married later, which, I think should actually improve marriage success rates. You know yourself a little bit better. But yeah, I don't know. I haven't, I haven't or I don't, I don't have an informed opinion on that topic.

(20:53) Jeremy Au:

Good job for your kids. I mean, I think Peter Thiel was basically writing a post, right? He's saying that, hey, the American education system in general is way too focused on math as a skill set for you to become a doctor to qualify you to do well in math compared to other activities. Humanities is an underweighted skill set. And so his argument as well is that with, more robots coming into the workforce, they're going to displace Or improve or augment mathematical ability a lot better. And all your verbal skills are going to be much more valuable in this new environment.

(21:24) Shiyan Koh:

Is that true? I mean, I guess to the extent that people use math as a weeder on things, you're like, yeah, why is that a pre-req? But I mean, doctors still have to do math, right? You have to think about, dosing. You have to think about the rate of blood flow. I mean, there's some quantitative ability in math. It's still not totally devoid of things, but yeah, I mean, I don't know if it's verbal or it's more just like being a human. I don't know if this is an American thing, but yeah. What motivates the other person? How do you get to yes? What are people's incentives? All those sorts of things. I think those things are not really taught in school. And I think understanding how to figure those things out are probably harder for AI to do. Although people have used AI very successfully in writing complaint letters and all these sorts of things that, you're like, Hey, this is this person's parameters. These are your parameters. Help me write a letter that gets me out of this thing. So who knows, maybe that will get there too, but maybe the, the real-time, in-person types of negotiations Maybe that's the last thing to be automated.

(22:17) Jeremy Au:

I'm reading this sci-fi novel series called The Culture by Iain Banks. And basically, it is like AI is so good that basically everybody lives in a post-scarcity, kind of anarchist kind of society because all the robots are just better at humans in every dimension. Just don't bother learning math.

I mean, you can learn math if you want to, but only the computers will do it faster, and better, and they already had done it for you verbally. They're better at negotiating and doing everything. So humans are just kind of like this accessory to a drone AI society.

(22:45) Shiyan Koh:

That's depressing, I mean, that's like, were they not using all their spare time to make great art or pursue more scientific discoveries?

(22:53) Jeremy Au:

When you're showing me that thing about the music that they're making for you, Suno, right? S-U-N-O, and we can generate a song.

(22:59) Shiyan Koh:

Well, Yeah, but I mean, this is all about the average, right? So yeah it allows the person with no songwriting ability to now create a song. But it's not gonna create the next Taylor Swift. Although, I do think people have been launching AI songs onto Spotify. I don't know. We should do a predictions episode, Jeremy. And then our kids will listen to it in 30 years and laugh at us and be like, Oh my God, they were so wrong. They had no idea what the future was going to look like.

(23:26) Jeremy Au:

They'll just blame our parents. Like they trained me to be a software engineer, but it turns out I'm useless.

(23:32) Shiyan Koh:

That wasn't me. That wasn't me. That was Jeremy. That's all was Jeremy's fault. That's my kid's fault. They're blaming me. It was like, oh, thank goodness. I learned to join the government.

(23:40) Jeremy Au:

On that note, actually what I'll do is I want to share my screen, but you told me about that song generation thing. I'll show you what we did.

So you asked me, so you asked me, Hey, Jeremy Suno. So just now I typed in a pop song about brave Southeast Asia Tech Podcast and how startup founders are amazing, showing lyrics. So I just hit the create button. And here's a song, right? Brave voices and airwaves. Okay. I don't know. I don't know if you can hear the sound. Let me press play. Let me see again. Can you hear it?

(24:08) Shiyan Koh:

I can hear it.

(24:08) Jeremy Au:

Okay. So the song, I guess we have to make a BRAVE Southeast Asia Podcast.

(24:12) Shiyan Koh:

You have to add that in the show notes.

(24:14) Jeremy Au:

It’s like the YouTube song. Every morning, we just create a new song. And then they made another, a second version?

(24:22) Shiyan Koh:

It's the same words, but different music.

(24:25) Jeremy Au:

Let me press. This is a sick beat. Oh, this is really good. This is a good song. Good. Okay.

(24:32) Shiyan Koh:

It's good, it already blew my mind.

(24:35) Jeremy Au:

I know. I mean, the first one already blew my mind. The fact that you just mention the company, I plugged it in, but then this second one was pretty good. I got to say that the beat that drop, Oh I don't even know what to say. So

(24:47) Shiyan Koh:

I think it's awesome. Technology is awesome. That's what you should say.

(24:51) Jeremy Au:

I mean, you were telling me earlier that this is your new party trick, right? You show it off to your guests and make songs about it. So should your kids be a musician? Orchestra is a bad idea.

(24:59) Shiyan Koh: I mean, this isn't gonna replace live music, right? If you're someone who's performing in front of audiences, like you're not going to go to a wedding and be like, Hey, look, I made you an AI song or whatever. Like you still have musicians So I think there's still, it's not that you can't have a musical career, you just have to think about which segment you belong and how you think you're going to excel in that thing. But, it's the median, right? I think the idea is like, AI is not going to out-compete you in that one thing that you are like, truly excellent in. But you need to think about that, which is, what is your competitive set? Because all the average outcomes, I think those will get competed away.

(25:35) Jeremy Au:

That's a tough one. I mean, everybody thinks they're above average, right? But, a lot of people are average. So I think I'm above average in singing, but my friends tell me I'm terrible, below average in karaoke.

(25:45) Shiyan Koh:

Yeah, but you're not trying to make a living singing.

(25:47) Jeremy Au:

True, oh I guess there's one way to end. Shall we resume the rest of the song to close out this episode?

(25:52) Shiyan Koh: Sure.

(25:53) Jeremy Au:

Okay. AI is taking your jobs. AI is taking your job. AI is taking your job.

(26:02) Shiyan Koh:

It's not what it says.

(26:04) Jeremy Au:

Okay. All right. Let's see. That's my value add. I added a counterpoint of us, you know, you didn't like my addition?

(26:10) Shiyan Koh:

Alright, Jeremy. Remember how we said that you're not an above-average singer? I think you've just given us data to corroborate that.

(26:19) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. I was like the guy dancing the background and I'm like the background dancer, like dancing horribly and adding counterpoints. There we go. Peace out.

(26:26) Shiyan Koh:

Comedic relief, if you will.

(26:28) Jeremy Au:

Okay, so that's my value add.

(26:29) Shiyan Koh:


(26:30) Jeremy Au:

Okay. All right. Yeah.