56% Startup Funding Decline 2023, Indonesia Bans <$100 SKU E-commerce Imports & Founder Fundraising Tactics - E300

· Start-up,Southeast Asia,Indonesia,Vietnam,VC and Angels

“For us sitting in the pre-seed stage, we really haven't changed our pace, but I think for the portfolio companies who are raising seed and plus, we've definitely noticed a slowdown in processes. I do think valuations are coming down and that is something we've talked about on the podcast before. As public markets valuations come down, you have that cascading effect from the public markets all the way down through the different private stages, and normally, it's a six-month lag. We're starting to see that kick in. We're also in the lull of summer where things tend to slow down a little bit on the deal-making side, so this is pretty consistent with what we're seeing in the market.” - Shiyan Koh

“The general rule is things always take longer than you think. If you're going to raise, you need to start sooner. You also need a plan B. You need to figure out if there’s a way you can get to cash flow break-even faster in order to take control of your own destiny. We're seeing that in good and bad ways. In good ways, people have been cutting a lot and some companies are finding out they’re running a little bit too fast and can achieve similar results on a much lower opex space. The bad is that some people won't cut in time and they're not going to make it.” - Shiyan Koh


“A lot of protectionist policies have started to come out. India recently did an export ban on rice, which also has a net transfer of wealth and consumer surplus dynamic. Who benefits and who don't? The winners at the top of my head are the small medium manufacturers in Indonesia. The domestic workforce that's associated with that would benefit. Another thing I think about would be, interestingly, there could be some economic enablers or middlemen who basically are buying these goods in the right, having the regulatory licensing. These middlemen would benefit to some extent because the demand will still be there.” - Jeremy Au

In this conversation, Jeremy Au and Shiyan Koh talked about the ever-evolving Southeast Asia startup and technology landscape. The discussion covers three main themes:

1. Startup Funding Decline: They discussed the significant 56% decline in startup funding in the first half of 2023, as reported by DealStreetAsia. This sheds light on the complexities entrepreneurs face in securing financial support and the need for strategic planning, timeboxing, and adaptability in uncertain times.

2. Indonesia's E-commerce Law: They talked about Indonesia's decision to ban imported goods below $100 on e-commerce platforms and have digital marketplaces seek permits and pay taxes like small businesses. They explored the implications of this move for businesses and those who will benefit (small, medium manufacturers, e-commerce enablers & middlemen) and those who won’t (ByteDance’s TikTok, Chinese manufacturers & e-commerce platforms selling cheap items).

3. Globalization and Protectionism: They shared their insights on the pros and cons of protectionist policies adopted by some countries. They discuss how these measures can impact local companies' growth and competitiveness, raising questions about finding a balance between protecting domestic industries and fostering global trade.

They also shared valuable tactics for founders aspiring to raise, India’s legislation on regulating low-cost, low-value cross-border products and the resurgence of deal volume in Vietnam.

Supported by Baskit

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Jeremy Au: (01:45)

Hey Shiyan, good morning.

Shiyan Koh: (01:48)

Morning, Jeremy. I feel like I'm just seeing you every day this week.

Jeremy Au: (01:52)

You did throw a very nice party at Hustle Fund, to your quarterly friends' mixer that you've mentioned last week. It was good. It was nice to hang out. Everyone was raving about the wine, so.

Shiyan Koh: (02:00)

I just heard complaints from you about the food, Jeremy. Not enough.

Jeremy Au: (02:03)

I just wanted my carbs.

Shiyan Koh: (02:04)

Yeah, not enough carbs, too much food.

Jeremy Au: (02:08)

I know, right? You know, I just want my, you know what the cheapest carb, which is fried rice, the cheapest protein with chicken probably sweet and sour. That's always easy. And then, the cheapest vegetable, probably broccoli, right? There we go. That's a balanced meal right there.

Shiyan Koh: (02:22)

Well, anyway, it was really thanks to our sponsors, Google and Stripe who provided the venue food and drinks, and so I can't really take any credit for the quality of the wine, but I will give them that feedback.

Jeremy Au: (02:35)

It was great feedback and a great session with Pantas, which is your carbon accounting portfolio company. So, awesome to hear about his product market fit pivot. On that note, I just want to do a quick shout out to Stever Robbins. I think he just dialed in to provide some feedback about technical issues with the podcast, and it was helpful because then we were kind of, in the midst of fixing it, so thanks so much Stever Robbins for sharing that feedback. On that note, Shiyan and I were just discussing and we want to kind of open up every episode, if you have a quick question for us, feel free to message it to us, direct message us, and we'll try to always answer them at the top of the podcast before we go into what's rest.

On that note, I think the big news of the week, I'm going to read out the article, so I'm going to switch here. So on DealStreet Asia, the headline is Southeast Asian Startups record a 56% decline in funding in the first half of 2023. So here are a few quick facts that they said. So basically they're saying that right now, startups have secured 403 equity deals with $4.2 billion in total proceeds in H1.

But more importantly, they felt like there was an alarming 43% decrease in seed funding in the early stages, and it's also a factor where the median value of seed rounds is also declining. So on that note, obviously we'll bring out some artifacts from this article, but she and y have thoughts to what Andi has really shared on DealStreetAsia?

Shiyan Koh: (03:53)

Yeah, I mean, I think it's interesting. I think for us sitting in the pre-seed stage, we really haven't changed our pace, but I think for companies in the portfolio who are raising seed, and plus we've definitely noticed a slowdown in processes. So I think that fits with kind of the high level findings of the article. I do think valuations are coming down and that is, I think something we've talked about on the podcast before. As public markets valuations come down, you kind of have that cascading effect from the public markets all the way down through the different private stages. And I think normally, it's like a six-month lag. And I think, we're starting to really see that kick in. I think it'll probably continue to decline a little bit. We're also in the lull of summer where things tend to slow down a little bit on the deal making side, so this is pretty consistent with what we're seeing in market.

Jeremy Au: (04:39)

Here's another quote from Beacon VC Managing Director, Thanapong, who said, "Corrections will persist in the next few quarters and that most private companies will eventually be subjected public market multiples. And he says more specifically, investors are very careful at evaluating any specific investments and are lengthening the decision-making time to reach a conclusion or prepare an investment case for the investment committee. This delay in the decision making process may be at the expense of the survivability of many startups during this fundraising period."

Shiyan Koh: (05:07)

The general rule is things always take longer than you think they're going to take. So if you're going to raise, you need to start sooner. And I think you need a plan B. You need to figure out, is there a way you can get to cashflow breakeven faster in order to take control of your own destiny? And I think we're seeing that in good and bad ways. So in good ways, people have been cutting a lot and some companies are finding like, hey, we were running a little bit too fast and actually, we can achieve similar results on a much lower opex space. I think the bad is some people won't cut in time and they're not going to make it.

Jeremy Au: (05:37)

Yeah, and I think that's something that is, a lot of founders are like scratching their heads a little bit because there's a very kind of YC approach where it's just don't talk to any investors for a long period of time. Focus on business. Then when you go talk to them, go talk to them in one go. And I think that advice works maybe at a YC demo day, but I think once out there, there's that conversation which is how do you build relationship with all the various VC funds without obviously creating a false start to the fundraising process on one end, but also letting you still focus on the business. I think that's where a lot of founders are like scratching their head about how to balance their time as well.

Shiyan Koh: (06:08)

Yeah. You know, I think the advice that we give people is even if you're not actively raising, you should budget, let's say an hour or an hour and an half of your time weekly to maintain relationships. So you could think about that as two or three 30 minute calls where you are either meeting new investors or you're updating people you've met previously just to catch up on the business. And so that gives you a warm list of leads to go out to when you do actually kick off your fundraise so that it's not the first time they've heard of you. And I think time boxing, it basically helps you not let it overwhelm, like what you're doing on the operational side. And calendaring, it basically keeps you disciplined to keep moving towards that.

And I would say, we do that on the fund side as well. We closed our fund last year. We're not raising a new fund for a while, but we do time box potential LP conversations weekly so that we can build up to a good warm list when we actually do go out and raise.

Jeremy Au: (07:01)

Yeah I think one advice I often share is like, Hey, if they want to take you out for lunch or dinner, you might as well take it because if the VC is inviting you, they're probably going to pay for dinner or lunch. If not, it's kind of like a big no-no, I would say, so you might as well try and get a free meal out of it and lower your personal burn.

Shiyan Koh: (07:18)

Focused on the food as always. I see, Jeremy.

Jeremy Au: (07:20)

I'm very food motivated. It's to save as my older child. But I mean, I'm just saying like, you know, you have to get a meal. And in retrospect when I was a founder, I often eat a lot of my meals at my desk. In retrospect, I should have just taken that time just to meet somebody and eat.

Shiyan Koh: (07:32)

I would box it because I think this is like the thing which is like people, they're always like, oh, I'm getting all this inbound from these associates. Like, should I deal with, should I talk to them? Should I wait to talk to a partner? And I think just fixing something that you can do regularly helps you versus being working on someone else's schedule. As a founder, I think you want to basically be able to control your own schedule.

Jeremy Au: (07:53)

Exactly. I wouldn't be doing like five lunches a week, for example, but time boxing it and being clear what connectivity makes sense is really important. There's a, another quote here is Gary P. Khoeng, a partner at Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and india, was looking at an Indonesian market and said that he felt like, do you feel volumes are expected to come down following the macro headwinds and investor conservatism, but he says that he's optimistic cautiously for the end of 2023 and 2024 because he feels that the overall macro has somewhat improved over compared to last year, although there still could be black swan events that may happen.

Shiyan Koh: (08:26)

Well, that's covering all your bases, isn't it?

Jeremy Au: (08:30)

Well, no. I think I resonate with that statement. I mean, I do feel like we're kind of at the bottom. I think in the US, I feel like some folks are starting feel like, okay, deals are starting to come true from my perspective and from their perspective as well.

So I feel like we're kind of at the bottom. You may continue to be stuck at the bottom for a little bit longer but I do think it should improve by next year. So that's what my thinking is. Shi I don't know what you think looking down the road.

Shiyan Koh: (08:56)

I have no confidence in predicting the future.

Jeremy Au: (08:58)

So he is like, I was like I predict carnage and so, you know.

Shiyan Koh: (09:01)

No. Like, hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Jeremy Au: (09:05)

How would you structure that advice for founders who are planning to fundraise? So, hope for the best, plan for the worst. Yeah.

Shiyan Koh: (09:10)

I mean, you know, so you're like, Hey, I have 12 months of runway right now. I think I'm going to go start preparing to raise six months out. I think you just have to think about, okay, well what if in six months when I start that raise either one, the business isn't doing as well as I thought it was going to, or two, like the fundraising environment continues to be pretty cold. What are my options? Knowing what your options are and how you would mitigate that is what I mean by prepare for the worst. And things just always take longer. People don't move on the timeline that you want them to, they move on their own timeline.

Jeremy Au: (09:42)

So I think what's interesting was I think DealStreetAsia put together this two by two, which is showing deal volume versus deal size and I think they said that Singapore's regional leadership, quote unquote, remains uncontested. But Indonesia has faced a consistent decline in deal volume over the past four quarters, but Vietnam has started to see a resurgence of deal volume. Then Thailand has continued to see a drop in funding activity. So there's some numbers here, but those are the broad trends that's there. So Shiyan,, what are country or regional differences that you're seeing from your perspective?

Shiyan Koh: (10:13)

I mean I think there's been a renewed interest in Vietnam, especially with the sort of nearshoring second country, China alternatives initiatives. So, I've always been pretty bullish on Vietnam. I like that market a lot. I think it has a lot of great things going for it. I wouldn't count Indonesia out. I mean, it's possible that deal volume is slowing, but you know, it continues to be obviously the most populous country in Southeast Asia. The government is making a lot of investments into agriculture, small business, supply chain. So I think there's still quite a lot of energy there. And so I think also just from like a sheer number of people who have been working in startups, I think there's just a lot of people with Indonesia experience who are coming out and starting new things. So, I expect that to be a temporary lull.

Jeremy Au: (10:56)

Yeah. I think the interest in Vietnam continues to be driven a lot by that nearshoring. I think there's some mixed news. The big one that came out recently was that Foxconn is going to be investing $250 million in two new projects in Vietnam targeting components for electric vehicles. So I think that's actually a huge investment because it's not just a direct, foreign direct investment in terms of capital, which is of course huge when you adjust it for purchasing power parity, but also I think it's bringing a lot of expertise because Foxconn also brings, you know, subcontractors. There's a lot of expertise around other components that will happen as a result. So I think it's going to be interesting where there's going to be accompanying consumption stimulus on one end, but also a lot of knowledge transfer from China to Vietnam. So I thought it was really interesting to see that happening, especially since it's going to Northern Vietnam as well.

Well of course, I think we see that there has been some retrenchment from global manufacturers in Vietnam because of the softening Western demand, right? So it's interesting to see because on one hand they have this huge investment from Foxconn by the hand. More recently, they just had 45,000 people laid off because Samsung, Apple and Google manufacturers unfortunately had to lay off some folks because of softening Western demand for electronics. So I thought it was interesting.

Let's switch to Indonesia, which you just mentioned. So, the Ministry of Trade for Indonesia announced last week that they'll restrict sales of imported goods priced below 100 USD per unit, air quotes, on digital marketplaces, and that air quote, marketplaces on digital platforms will also have to seek permits and pay taxes like small businesses.

So this obviously comes from both Tech in Asia, as well as Joel Shen, who I think is a great LinkedIn writer, and I just quote unquote Joel from this, from his perspective here. He says here that the allegations are a response to ByteDance's alleged plans to sell and promote its TikTok products to prevent online marketplaces from selling inexpensive goods made, for example, in China. And then he says that ByteDance has denied they opened this cross-border business that will compete with, you know, small, medium enterprises in Indonesia. Yeah. Shiyan, your thoughts?

Shiyan Koh: (12:54)

I think this is pretty similar to legislation in India. And so, essentially, I think you're trying to regulate some of this low-cost, low-value cross border stuff, and it's a transfer essentially to local businesses. So I think Indonesians will end up paying more for this low-cost goods. And then Indonesia hopes to be able to tax basically the import of these things more effectively. Not totally surprising.

Jeremy Au: (13:18)

I think it's part of the wave of protectionism. I think a lot of these policies obviously have started to come out. I think India, like you said, has had a previous one. They've also recently done an export ban on rice which also has a net transfer of wealth and consumer surplus dynamic that's there. So I think, at least for me, my perspective is that, who are benifitting and who does not benefit? So obviously I think the people who do not benefit, for example, would be TikTok ByteDance, which is an e-commerce platform that has previously done that TikTok shop and sale of these Chinese goods in China. So they were successful in that strategy, so they would not be able to play out their strategy. That's one.

Two obviously is that think a lot of Chinese manufacturers obviously don't benefit because they no longer or will have to go through additional regulatory hurdles in order to sell.

Thirdly, is e-commerce platforms selling cheap stuff that you know is high value to the buyer is actually a great way to drive giveaways, drive traffic, you know, drive interest. So I think there's also, marketplaces will also lose ground a little bit because of this. But I think who are the winners at the top of my head, I think small, medium manufacturers in Indonesia will benefit in this. So maybe the domestic workforce that's associated with that will also benefit. But also, I think another thing I think about would be, interestingly, there could be some e-commerce enablers or middlemen who basically are buying these goods maybe in the right, you know, have the regulatory licensing, et cetera.These middleman would benefit to some extent because the demand will still be there. So, the questions is who gets the license and so, so forth. So that's how I think about, who benefits, who doesn't benefit from this.

Shiyan Koh: (14:39)

No, I think you're spot on.

Jeremy Au: (14:40)

Oh, I forgot Indonesian consumers who are looking to buy, unfortunately.

Shiyan Koh: (14:43)

They pay higher prices..

Jeremy Au: (14:45)

Yeah. They're going to pay higher prices because you want hair clips, you want staplers. These are all small items that obviously, you want the cheapest version of it, and that gives you more purchasing power to do other things with your life, so I think it's an interesting dynamic for sure.

I was, you know, reading about the Indian export ban on rice, which was actually like the inverted version of that, which is that India is a supplier of rice, but a lot of the best rice, a lot of rice goes to the rest of the world. I thought it was interesting for me. I was reading another article by Marginal Revolution and he was just, we're walking through that, and saying like, Hey, you know, who benefits? To some extent, you know, Indian consumers benefit because now, If you can't export the rice, I think the prices will drop, but then Indian rice producers lose because now, they're no longer able to earn as much. And because they don't have the ability to export as much, they don't have the profits needed to reinvest in productivity for rice. And so less rice will be produced over time as well, but enough to still have lower prices for Indian consumers. So I

Shiyan Koh: (15:33)

This is like the Malaysian durians.

Jeremy Au: (15:35)

What? Sorry, did you say durians?

Shiyan Koh: (15:37)

Oh no. The best durans in Malaysia get exported to China and Singapore.

Jeremy Au: (15:41)

Oh, you made me panic that you suddenly were telling me there's a durian export ban. I'll be like, me and Nir Eyal will panic and say, okay. No I think what I meant was, yeah, Malaysian durians. I mean, I think that's the fundamental dynamic for globalization, right? I think the big trade here is, hey, you know, we have this industry, local consumers get lower prices because of the net investments and profits that we have from export. It reminds me of going to Sri Lanka and then, you know, Sri Lankan crabs are very popular in Southeast Asia, especially Singapore.

Shiyan Koh: (16:05)

Yeah, all the best crab gets exported to Singapore.

Jeremy Au: (16:08)

Because of the direct flights and because of everything, the logistics. So it's hard to get really great Sri Lankan crab in Sri Lanka, except I just got some good invites. Apparently, some people still managed to get some. So apparently, there's a company called Ministry of Crab that I was just recommended, so looking forward to trying it out next time. So yeah, when you think about all these policies and regulations, what do you think about it? Positive? Fan? Not a fan? What do you think about it?

Shiyan Koh: (16:30)

It's a hard question. I mean, I think from a principal's perspective, I'm generally not a fan of protectionism because I don't think it helps people compete effectively. But I think if you're a big country like India or China and you want to try to provide some sort of ground for your local companies to try to get to a size where they can be stronger, like you don't want them to be pulverized before they can actually effectively compete. I can sort of see the logic there. The question is whether they actually do get strong enough to compete globally, or they can only succeed with that type of protection and they never become sort of world beaters. So I'm a little conflicted.

Jeremy Au: (17:04)

Yeah. I think what's definitely true is you know, growing up in a age where I think globalization, the world is flat, felt like inevitable, felt like we'll keep going, to have less and less trait barriers and less protectionism over time. It almost feels like an era ago right now. There used to be stories, right? It was like, oh, well, you know, the WTO would be pushing hard for more free trade. Those days seem to be gone.

Shiyan Koh: (17:23)

Yeah, I mean, I think the endlessly positive stories of the nineties and early thousands are not playing out right because their free trade disproportionately, negatively impacts certain segments of society. And so then, the question is like, is the right way to protect them through protectionism or is there a different way to kind of reap the benefits of trade, but also ensure redistribution to those impacted groups more effectively?

Jeremy Au: (17:49)

Yeah, I think I was reading an interesting article about how like the rights of the Chinese middle class has come from a substitution, for a lot of that wealth that went to the Midwest and the US for industrial production manufacturing. So I thought this is interesting, kind of like articles, reading, obviously you didn't just go to China. You went to Vietnam, went to Southeast Asia as well. A lot these jobs, a lot of these production output. So I just feel like, I'm still formulating my thoughts on how that plays out for technology because I think technology and startups, you always need to have market size. You need to have different access to different markets and protectionism generally restricts the market size there. Although of course, regulation may not yet exist to regulate your category if you're building it in a new category.

Shiyan Koh: (18:24)

I mean, I think you'll have to see like. I guess the Indians are at the forefront of this, right? Which is do the Indian marketplaces then, as a result of this protectionism, gain in strength and become significant outside of India, right? Then there's a benefit.

Jeremy Au: (18:36)

Do they need to be? I mean, maybe it's big enough, right? You know, look at the Chinese marketplaces. They seem to be happy with the size that they have, right?

Shiyan Koh: (18:42)

I guess. But there's a limit to that, right? I mean, that's why they're all in Southeast Asia running around, right? I mean, Ali is here, right? JD is here. Like, they're all trying to expand their markets, right? So I don't know if you can just say, Hey, like, as long as you conquer India, that's enough.

Jeremy Au: (18:56)

Yeah. I think what's interesting is, yeah, Southeast Asia still generally feels like it's been more open, I would say, it feels like in terms of policies in general. So I think the Indonesia one feels like the first major policy I feel like has been announced in Southeast Asia. I haven't really seen anything from Vietnam or from Singapore that has done a lot. So this is why I think it's noteworthy in the sense that if you and I were talking about another US protectionist legislation, it's like, which one? But in Southeast Asia, it feels like this is the first major one that's come up. And I wonder if, is this a what important of more legislation to come down the pipe.

Shiyan Koh: (19:27)

I think people will watch, right? And they'll see what the impact of it is.

Jeremy Au: (19:30)

Yeah, the good news is they're still under negotiation. So for Indonesia law, right, I think everyone's still figuring out how it works and how exactly is implemented and who gets to qualify, who doesn't get to qualify. I think implementation is going to be a challenge. I think Joel raise a good point, which is like a hundred dollars per unit, but define a unit. Is it per SKU? Per crate? Per pallete?

Shiyan Koh: (19:47)

That wasn't in the details, right? And they're gonna issue licenses, I think that's also another opportunity for sort of graft shenanigans.

Jeremy Au: (19:55)

Yeah, I think they mentioned that in the public release, their primary point of view was that they wanted to do this as well as to make sure it's import taxes. But I think it's interesting that they chose to go approach this with a licensing approach rather than enforcing import tax. So. Yeah, I think it'll be interesting times. I'm sure a lot of people, especially in e-commerce and supply chain Indonesia, is kind of like thinking through all the ramifications of this as well.

Shiyan Koh: (20:16)

Yeah. Well, if we have any listeners who have inside view on this, we invite you to shoot us a note. We'd love to get some inside scoop.

Jeremy Au: (20:22)

Yeah, for sure. On that note, wrap things up here. When you look at the upcoming week, Shiyan, anything you're excited or looking forward to?

Shiyan Koh: (20:29)

Oh my gosh. Well, I guess next week is National Day for the Singaporeans. And so, we can look forward to Air Force jets, parachuters, dramatic scenes of how there was a time when people said that Singapore would make it, but we did. And the re-release of Kit Chan's home. So yeah. It's really funny. When we first moved back, my wife was like, oh, you know, in the US, every little town has its 4th of July parade and its little fireworks display. And she's like, oh, it is just like you took all those tens of thousands of towns and put all the budget into one parade, one fireworks, you know? So everything is gigantic and massive.

So yeah, I mean, I always kind of look forward to it. And I think it is it's interesting to think about what are the stories we tell ourselves about who we are as a nation and where we're headed, especially because we're a young country.

Jeremy Au: (21:21)


Shiyan Koh: (21:21)

And so, I always enjoy National Day, even though it's like pretty cheesy, you got to like lean into the cheese.

Jeremy Au: (21:28)

Lean to the cheese.

Shiyan Koh: (21:29)

What are you looking forward to, Jeremy?

Jeremy Au: (21:31)

You know, I am just looking, I like, I'm such a nerd, but I lined up a bunch of like aI brainstorming sessions and air quotes with founder friends, and we're just kind of like doing a bunch of speculation stuff. And it's less about like, oh some of it obviously is more like what's happening now, what things could be built now. But I'm also doing this for fun. It's like I'm writing this like, I hate to say this, but this minor sci-fi plot narrative, like what does stuff look like in the next 50 to a hundred years if all these technologies happen? So if you have LLMs that are effectively, replicas of human communication.

Shiyan Koh: (22:00)

Are you like, is this fiction you're writing a like a novel?

Jeremy Au: (22:03)

I don't want to say it. This is not the way, but yes, I've, over a late night party last week, a friend's birthday party. I ended up sketching a trilogy of plot points with technology, sci-fi. Okay. That, but whether I will publish or not I won't make, I make no promises. It was just, but it was just a fun exploration.

Shiyan Koh: (22:22)

Fun That's cool. You totally should. It takes a lot of discipline to write a book though.

Jeremy Au: (22:27)

Yeah. But I thought the, I thought it was interesting because I was just like thinking through some of the stuff and I was like, you know what? All the, almost every science fiction novel has the concept of AI, which assumes they're conscious, but almost no sci-fi has a form of AI that's effectively a language model to some extent with peculiarities because it's such a new, novel approach.

So there isn't that separation between are you a robot versus are you a robot as conscious versus are you a robot that we believe is conscious but effectively as this programmatic language? Anyway, that's just one of the things.

Shiyan Koh: (23:01)

So you're like a glitchy robot you're saying.

Jeremy Au: (23:03)

No, I'm saying that humans arey good. I mean, it's like, I was like walking in the forest late at night on a military exercise and I was like sleep deprived and I look at a tree and I saw a baby in there because I was so sleep deprived. I mean, the human brain is designed to see faces and personality and consciousness, so it's not glitchy. The robot is designed to just communicate and provide programming, but humans in view, empathy. Humans are empathy machines and so we can't help but if you look like a pokemon

Shiyan Koh: (23:31)

You anthropomorphize.

Jeremy Au: (23:32)

Yeah, we anthropomorphize robots and I think there's an interesting dynamic, anyway, that's one of my sci-fi slash plot points in the whole thing and I'm just curious because it's not a, it's not, it's a fine distinction that's only kind of emerged honestly over the past 10 years.

Shiyan Koh: (23:43)

Oh, well, I can't wait to read a first draft, Jeremy.

Jeremy Au: (23:46)

You know what I will share with you, but I'm not going to share over the podcast. I'll be just too embarrassed. This is why I think the future's going to happen. Awesome. Well, on that note, see you next week, Shiyan.

Shiyan Koh: (23:54)

Alright. See you next week. Take it easy.


Related links:

Indonesia Will Ban the Online Sale of All Imported Goods Priced below USD100