Season 02 • Episode 06

Lomit Patel, IMVU

Overcoming great odds, living out of a car, and a photo finish hiring before the visa runs out…this is the inspiring life story of well-known mobile app industry author Lomit Patel. Many people know of Lomit as the prolific app growth expert, conference speaker, and best-selling author. We dive into Lomit’s inspiring backstory and also receive some amazing parental advice along the way as well! Far less silly, but way more inspirational than our typical interview, you’ll love listening to, and learning more about, IMVU’s Vice President of Growth, Lomit Patel.

Episode Transcription:

Ariel: Hi, Louis Tanguay.

Louis: Hello, Ariel Niedermeier who is the queen of content.

Ariel: And, you are the managing director of App Growth Summit.

Louis: I am, and fortunately, we are not alone, Ariel.

Ariel: We are not alone, we are actually with Lomit Patel, the vice president of growth at IMVU. Thanks for coming.

Louis: He is.

Lomit: I’m so excited to be here with you guys.

Ariel: Just keep talking too, because I feel like, Lomit, I read your stuff all over. Like the mobile industry, but I never listened to you, and you have quite a charming accent. I have to say, I didn’t know.

Lomit: Oh, I appreciate that. I actually grew up in England, so it’s supposed to be British, but it’s been Americanized a little bit. So most people think it’s a South African, or Australian at this point.

Ariel: Yeah, it sounds Australian to me.

Louis: So, that’s basically what elitist sounds like.

Lomit: Exactly.

Ariel: No, it sounds great, so when did you move here?

Lomit: Without trying to give away my age, I moved in the late 1990s, yeah.

Louis: A few weeks ago.

Lomit: That’s right.

Ariel: Nice, so you’re basically an American now.

Lomit: Yeah, yeah I’ve spent more time here than I probably have on the other side.

Ariel: Where do you think the Australian twang comes from though too?

Lomit: To be honest, it kind of came from me needing to adjust the way I used to speak, because I went to grad school in St. Louis in the Midwest. A lot of people didn’t really understand the Queen’s English, so to speak, so I had to adjust. And, in the course of adjusting it kind of just took a whole new twang of its own, right?

Ariel: Yeah.

Louis: So, you went to St. Louis?

Lomit: I did.

Louis: Was that the first part?

Lomit: That was my first venture into the US where I actually lived, yeah.

Louis: So, why St. Louis? Was that a choice? Or, was it a family moved here?

Lomit: No, no, no, no, it was actually a choice. I wanted to come over for grad school, for business school, and I did get into some of the well-known universities like on the East and West coast. But, at the end of the day, I kind of looked at the costs, and it was an ROI decision, because St. Louis was going to be a lot cheaper for me.

Louis: See? He’s always doing ROCE analysis.

Ariel: Exactly, oh, drive that ROI. So, yeah I love that you said the Queen’s English, because I just recently realized that there are many-

Louis: That England had a Queen?

Ariel: No, that there are many different accents within a British accent, and it’s interesting because if you actually look at England itself, it’s quite a small country, but there are so many different accents for all the different regions.

Louis: Yeah, Bristol, or Cockney, slang or-

Ariel: Like Manchester, oh, I’m saying Manchester in a weird way, but the Man-

Louis: Or, the Geordie accents, which isn’t really English, but-

Ariel: Interesting.

Lomit: It is true, yeah in the North, the accents are a lot thicker, and most people don’t really understand it if you’re from the South, like London, and yeah.

Louis: It’s kind of like here, but opposite like… Well, yeah I guess it’s the same.

Lomit: It’s kind of like here like in South they have their kind of-

Louis: The drill, and then in the Northeast you don’t know what they’re saying, because they drop their eyes, they drop the ends of the words, and they just mumble.

Ariel: Actually, you’re right, like the Northeast, it’s kind of like Manchester at like, you know the guys in a Oasis are from Manchester, right?

Louis: Are they?

Ariel: Yeah, Oasis members were from Manchester, if you listened to their voice, it sounds very different.

Louis: Depends on which English person you listen to, you might need some subtitles.

Ariel: Oh, yeah, like The Great British Bake Off, sometimes I’ll watch it and depending on where people are from, I’m like, “I could not understand any-”

Louis: Can you bake?

Lomit: Can I bake? I can cook, but I’m not a great baker, but I love to go and buy stuff that’s baked.

Louis: What’s your best dish?

Lomit: Oh, what I cook?

Louis: Yeah, when you cook.

Lomit: I’m really into Asian food, Asian being like Tai, yeah. I mean, starting off, I still a lot of stir fries and stuff like that.

Louis: Do you have a wok?

Lomit: I do, I do, yeah.

Louis: Oh, look at that.

Lomit: That was actually the first thing I brought when I moved down here, when I started to learn to cook. Because, that was the easiest thing, right, just stir fry whatever.

Louis: That’s true.

Ariel: That’s amazing, I want to get a wok, I don’t have one.

Louis: All right, well, for your birthday I’ll get a wok from Amazon.

Ariel: Okay, from Amazon. Tell us what you do at IMVU, Lomit.

Lomit: Yes, my role as a VP of growth, pretty much encompasses being responsible for all of our user acquisition, retention, and monetization. So, my team primarily just owns the entire customer journey from how we acquire customers, how we can figure out how to keep those customers. And, more importantly, how we can make some money to pay everybody else.

Ariel: Cool.

Louis: Everyone knows Lomit pretty much, I mean, this industry knows you. You speak at a lot of the conferences, keynote a lot of them, you write a lot. You’re very prolific, to doing a lot of webinars, all that stuff. You even wrote a book, plug your book real quick.

Ariel: Yeah, tell us about it.

Lomit: Sure, so I wrote a book called Lean AI, that came out earlier this year. It’s done really well on Amazon, and it’s part of the Eric Ries, The Lean Startup series.

Louis: Yeah, and Lomit is a best seller on Amazon.

Ariel: That’s amazing.

Lomit: It always helps to have multiple streams of income, right?

Louis: Yeah, right?

Ariel: There you go, all those growth channels, right?

Lomit: Yeah, that’s right.

Louis: I know, right, so those are the things that most people do know about Lomit. But, when I was in Brazil with Lomit last year, depending on when you’re listening to this, 2019, we were having dinner after a round table session that we did off the cuff. And, I learned a lot about Lomit as a person, and a lot of people love Lomit, but the thing that I think will help endear them even more to you is the story that you told me in Brazil. And, I’ll let you tell it to everyone now, is how you were actually homeless, and lived out of your car. So, do you want to tell us how that came to be, and we’ll get into that?

Lomit: Sure, just to set the context going back, I came over to the US, went to St. Louis for grad school. After I graduated, most people that come over as international students, get a visa where you have to get sponsored by a company in order to stay around. And, so I had that one year to find a job, and I applied to a lot of companies in St. Louis. In the end, it just didn’t work out for me. I wasn’t able to kind of get a company to sponsor me, and things kind of got pretty bad, because I kind of run out of money at that stage.

Lomit: What I decided to do… Well, I had no choice, really, so I was kind of living out of my car for a little bit. And, I was fortunate, I had a friend who let me sort of stay with him on the couch. And, I had another friend that told me, “Why don’t you just come out to Chicago, because it’s like three, four hours North from St. Louis. And, maybe try your luck here.” And, at that stage I didn’t have… It was a matter of two and a half months left, or whatever, before my visa was going to run out, and then they would come, and pick me up, and drop me back to England, right.

Lomit: So, I moved to Chicago, but what I decided to do, and hopefully some people might find this inspiring, is that obviously things are really hard. I was pretty much at that stage trying to find a job was really, really hard. I was kind of living off one bean burrito a day, because it cost a dollar at Taco Bell and just drinking a lot of water. So, I didn’t really act like… I felt like my stomach was fuller than it was, and then I came to the realization that I need to do something different here to get my first job. Because, I can’t just sit on the laurels saying, “Hey, I have kind of a master’s degree.” And, people are going to just open doors for me, it’s not going to work that way.

Lomit: I decided, instead of trying to go through HR, which is the conventional way of doing it, what’s another way to try and get my foot in the door? And, so I realized one of the companies that I wanted to get a job at, had a bunch of temp positions for front desk assistant. And, I applied for that, and I ended up getting that job, because the barrier is a lot lower. But, the reason why I did that is, because I wanted to put myself in the environment of the company that I wanted to work for. And, I knew that everybody that worked at that company walked through the front desk, and so it gave me an opportunity to get to know other people that work there, and potentially try to network.

Lomit: And, essentially I was kind of betting on my ability to connect with someone that would sort of lead to a position. And, then I was there for like a month and a half, and by this stage I only had a month left before I had to leave. And, I noticed there was a job that opened up, and this time, instead of going through HR and applying, because I noticed that a lot of these jobs got posted internally before they were posted externally. I decided to reach out to the hiring manager, because by that time I had an email account in the company, and I didn’t really know him that well, but I knew him well enough to have spoken to him a few times.

Lomit: And, I reached out, and advocated for myself, and told him how interested I was in the job. But, more importantly, I told him what my true qualifications were. I was more than what he had sort of known me for, and I was really interested. And, by that stage, what I did in that one month, I was really getting ingrained in learning about the product, the culture. And, I’d kind of come up with like a marketing plan to Thompson what I would do if he had hired me. But, then I told him, unfortunately by that stage, I had like a week to go before my visa was going to run out.

Lomit: And, I had another company that had given me an offer, and so I had a little bit of leverage, but I asked him that I would love to work here. But, at the end of the day, I need to make a decision by Friday, and this was Wednesday, so I’ll kind of leave it in your hands. If you feel that could be a good person in your team, then hopefully you can try to move my candidacy forward. I came in the next day, I didn’t know what was going to happen, but he set up eight interviews, and that’s sort of the best way to prepare for interviews, is when you don’t know you’re going to get interviewed, right, you don’t get nervous.

Ariel: Yeah, right.

Lomit: And, so I came in, I interviewed with eight people, and I ended up getting the offer that Friday. And, so I was literally like two days away from were I would have been potentially being deported.

Louis: Wow.

Lomit: Yeah.

Louis: Well, or your status would have been overstayed visa.

Lomit: Overstayed, yeah.

Louis: The actual deportation date is still have to find you.

Lomit: Yeah.

Ariel: So, I mean, obviously there’s a big takeaway in that story around getting your foot in the door. Are there other things you’ve learned about that experience, or skills that you took away from that experience [crosstalk 00:11:05]-

Lomit: Yeah, so one of the things people probably don’t… Maybe some people know, or don’t really notice about me, but I’m pretty shy. I mean, I never grew up thinking that, hey, I’m going to be speaking, and all that. But, I was the kid growing up in school that always asked the question, why, I was always curious. Because, I always wanted to understand why people did what they did, or why things work the way it did.

Lomit: Coming to America, I had no family here, and what that forced me to do was to get out of my comfort zone to try and connect with people, and get to know people. And, what I realized initially when I was applying for jobs, and this is the way to generally do it in England, there’s formalities. You don’t try to cut the line, so to speak. You sort of follow your process, and you wait for somebody to get back to you. And, that’s what I was doing, and obviously no one’s getting back, but I came to-

Louis: That’s like the American way.

Ariel: Yeah, right.

Lomit: Yeah, but what I realized in America is that you have to be entrepreneurial, you have to be the squeaky wheel. And, I kind of got out of my comfort zone for me to even reach out to that potential hiring manager, took a lot of courage for me. But, what I took from that, and getting over that whole fear of doing that once, it kind of set me up.

Lomit: Because, now for the rest of my career, it kind of helped me build onto that kind of confidence where I kind of I’ll always look back at that experience, because the reality is I was at rock bottom. And, whenever I look to take risks, whether it’s my career or other things, what’s the worst thing that can happen? I mean, I kind of came from nothing, I had nothing, so I mean everything beyond that is a bonus, right. So, there’s nothing to really hold me back.

Ariel: I just think your story is so important for right now in our country, but also in terms of like a case study for this industry being resilient, and taking risks, right?

Lomit: Yeah, and I feel that kind of works well, especially in a growth industry. I mean, that we work in for the most part, and I’m just trying to sort of bring it back to… Because, I know right now during a pandemic, a lot of people are going through a lot of hardships, but ironically… And, I’m just trying to say this from my perspective, because I’ve seen a lot of hardship in my life previously that this doesn’t necessarily worry me as much. Because, I’ve built up that resilience from previous experiences, so one of the things that I’ve been doing more of is trying to be more empathetic to other members of people.

Lomit: Not only my team, but across the company to really just encourage them to know that, “Hey, this isn’t the end, the sun’s going to come out tomorrow, and things are going to get better.” But, what I noticed is a lot of people that don’t necessarily have a hard life growing up, or gone through hard experiences that they’re feeling this is a lot worse than people that generally have. I mean, I can just share a little bit about my childhood, it’s a little bit different from most people’s as well.

Louis: Yeah, please.

Lomit: But, one of the things at the time, it didn’t look like I had a great childhood, and most people would probably think it wasn’t a good childhood. But, when you connect the dots, looking back now, it really helped make me the person that I am today. And, one of the things that happened to me when I was young, was that I was the youngest of four kids. And, for my parents, they moved and there was standing a small business at the time, and it was hard for them to take care of four kids.

Lomit: So, my mom ended up sending me back to stay with my grandparents, my uncles in East Africa. So, that’s partly where might’ve got a bit of this twang on the accent as well, so I went through elementary school in Malawi. And, what I would say the fortunate part about doing that was that I ended going to a really good exclusive school where I was exposed to kids that pretty much are rich kids.

Lomit: And, ambassadors, and all of these kids coming from different parts of the world, so I got put into an environment where I started to see more than just the environment where I would have potentially grown up being young. And, that was really powerful, because it kind of opened me up to sort of starting to think bigger from a young age. And, then when I came back, and you spent like maybe two years from my parents for middle school, because I was able to get a scholarship into an exclusive boarding school.

Lomit: So, then I went away to boarding school, and the good thing about going to boarding school again, I was around all of these kids who really came from really super successful families. And, I was able to sort of see these different types of lifestyles that people had that I would never sort of been exposed to. But, the most important thing that I came to realize too, was that at the end of the day, we’re all humans. We all have the same needs, and we all want to have the same insecurities.

Lomit: It doesn’t matter, if somebody were comes from a rich house or a poor house, and that thing has really helped me now over the course of my career. Because, what I came to realize is as being super, super good at what you do in terms of the hard skills of whatever career you go into is great, but that only gets you to a certain level. But, to really get to the top of any career, or in life, you really need to develop those soft skills.

Lomit: And, the soft skills for me really got developed from my childhood, because I was around all these people. So, I was able to create this empathetic view on really understanding people, and being able to connect with them. And, even though I was shy at the time, over the course, I’ve been able to get over my shyness. But, more importantly, I’ve been able to just able to connect and relate to people, and that’s really important as you continue to go up.

Louis: Yeah, look, as our team continues to grow, hopefully, the next hire that we’re doing actually, I’ve actually… My job description is all personality based, I want to hire the next person based on who they are, and their work ethic, their loyalty, and what motivates them. And, if they’re motivated, long story short, we are going to be looking for people that fit the culture that we want to develop, and the fit like the awesome Ariel personality that can-

Ariel: Oh, great.

Louis: … help the team become people that you love to deal with, then the hard stuff like, you know. What we do is easier than what you do, we just put on events, and make them fun, and educational, and we have smart people like you to educate people. And, that’s why I’m doing this podcast, I’m not doing a [inaudible 00:17:42].

Ariel: Yeah, well, I have so many questions I could ask right here about building a really cohesive, great growth team. Do you generally follow kind of that strategy around hiring people that fit the culture, and… Or, what have you found has been helpful with growing your team?

Lomit: Yeah, I think in building team, you want to try to have kind of a diverse set of skills. So, I generally try to hire people that can kind of compliment what I’m not good at potentially, or what I don’t enjoy doing. But, the other thing that I’ve found when it comes to hiring, and I think, Louis, you brought up a good point. I don’t really like to go, just check the boxes like, “Hey, this person had this experience,” or whatever. I try to hire the person for the potential that they can grow into, and-

Louis: Because, you wanted that chance.

Lomit: Because, I wanted that chance, and so whenever I’m sort of interviewing somebody else, I’m always seeing myself, like how hard it was for me to even get that first job. So, I mean, the fact that somebody is even coming to the interview, I want to make sure that I make them feel as comfortable as possible. I’m not the type of interviewer that’s going to try to intimidate someone or whatever, or try to be all-

Louis: Or, ask some weird questions.

Lomit: Yeah, but the other thing, I mean, most people don’t probably go down this, but I’m more interested in kind of what’s their life story. So, I don’t really want to, I mean, I can read a resume, and go through LinkedIn, and have an idea in terms of what they’ve done. But, I’m more interested in knowing what made them become the person that they are today. And, generally I’ve hired people, my team, who for the most part, there’s other people, because generally there’s a hiring committee, right.

Lomit: You have to go through who generally have wanted to know like, “Hey, Vito that hire.” But, I usually stand by folks that I wanted to hire, and they’ve actually ended up becoming some of the best people that I’ve had. And, I think it really comes down to, if you believe in people, and you always expect the best in them. Then it inspires them to want to do that back for you.

Lomit: Early on in my career, politically, you have to hire some people that looked good on paper, because that’s what your managers, or whatever wanted. Generally, turned out not to be the right people for me, because ultimately work ethic is really important. To have work ethic, you have to have done the work in some capacity before, rather than have told other people to do it, or grown up with privilege.

Louis: Yeah, and you have to have self-motivation, so how do you, as a father, since you obviously have gone through the struggles, and now you’re able to provide, and as a father, you want to provide a nice life for your kids. So, how do you strike that balance as a parent to say, “Well, I know if they struggle, they’re going to develop certain character, but I don’t want them to struggle too, because they’re my kids.” How do you balance that as a father, to teach them the good things that they need without making them go through hardships?

Lomit: I was going to say being a parent is hard, because ultimately we all have our own sets of baggages, right, in terms of, from the way we were raised or whatever. And, the idea you want to try to make life better for them than what you’d gone through. But, the other part of trying to find a balance of, if you make it too easy for them, then they could end up not living up to their full potential, because they’re kind of create the entitlement mindset.

Lomit: And, so for me, with my kids, I have two boys, they don’t take a lot of interest in what I do, which is great. So, it kind of keeps you humble, so at home you’re just dad. But, what I try to do is I try to model the behavior I want them to take. Because, I feel kids get influenced more by action than words. As a father, I should be helping now, and doing my fair share with all the chores and all that stuff.

Lomit: I want to have a relationship with them, because one of the things I look back at is when my kids turn 18, and go away or whatever, I actually want them to come back and visit dad, right. So, what is the thing that I can do now to build the relationship where no matter what happens, that we’ll still have that connection. And, so I kind of look at it as the analogy of being like a bank account. I don’t try to make enough deposits into it now, so that one of my sons is a teenager… And, we all go through different phases or whatever, where if I need to make some withdrawals, the balance is still going to be positive.

Lomit: And, so in that vein, one of the things that I always keep saying to myself is, first of all, I don’t get upset at the person. It’s the behavior, so it’s never about you. It’s about the action, potentially, and then the second thing is if the action isn’t really going matter in like five years or whatever, then don’t spend five minutes getting super upset over it. And, so that’s sort of my mindset being a parent, but for the most part, I do a lot of fun things with my kids, but I also… This is one thing that I do a lot, is we travel a lot to different parts of the world.

Lomit: I’ve taken them out of the bubble, so to speak, living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Because, the reality is there’s a lot of people that are in a lot worse means then us, and I want them to see that. And, so one of the things we try to do is get involved in trying to do some volunteering, but more importantly, go and spend time, to see other people that obviously aren’t as fortunate. And, get a deeper sense of appreciation that now that you have certain privileges, how are you going to use that to try and make it better for people that don’t. That’s kind of the question I always asked them.

Louis: Look at this.

Ariel: I just love this conversation, should we play some this or that, what do you think?

Louis: Yes, we should play this or that. We could talk to you for hours Lomit.

Ariel: I just want to ask you about your love language, and all these other things that I always [crosstalk 00:23:34] about.

Louis: Bring it back to-

Ariel: Well, what is your love language actually? I’m curious.

Lomit: Yes.

Louis: I was-

Ariel: And, and already knows the framework.

Lomit: I know it [crosstalk 00:23:40]… Yeah.

Louis: Just in case someone’s listening, and doesn’t know set it up real quick.

Ariel: I will set it up, but I just want to acknowledge the fact that it’s so nice when people already know this framework. Okay, so your love language is… So, there’s five main types, everyone communicates in all five types, but you usually have a top two, and I’m going to list them off. There’s lots of online quizzes you can take to tell you what your love language is, but generally, you can self-diagnose. So, there’s acts of service, quality time, physical touch, a words of affirmation, and giving gifts. So, what do you think, Lomit? Tell me.

Lomit: Yeah, so I know what mine is, so for me, it’s physical touch first. And, then second is words of affirmation, yeah.

Ariel: Words of affirmation is my top, yeah.

Louis: So, basically you and your wife just hold hands, and tell each other, you love each other?

Ariel: Yeah, you hug.

Lomit: We do, and the reality is, for me, that’s something that… Obviously, if you come from a family that’s pretty conservative where there’s not a lot of affection that’s shown, it’s funny people think that you don’t want affection, but you do. I mean, as a child, so one thing that I do going back to my kids is, I’m always hugging them, I’m always like-

Louis: Are they like, “Dad, get out,” or they love it?

Lomit: Yeah, yeah I mean, sometimes they get uncomfortable, but the thing is, I want them to know that I love them, and I’m proud of them. And, they don’t ask the why I express my love.

Ariel: Yeah, they have no doubts.

Lomit: Yeah.

Ariel: Yeah, okay I’m just-

Louis: Do you know what’s your wife’s love language is?

Lomit: Quality time, and then-

Louis: So, you have to balance that out to make sure-

Lomit: I do, yeah.

Ariel: Quality time, and what’s the second?

Lomit: And, the second one is acts of service.

Louis: Well, you have to do two, it is always two.

Ariel: Well, you have to.

Lomit: You have a primary and a second.

Ariel: Yeah, you have a primary, and… Thank you Lomit, see, this is-

Louis: So, that pretty much covers like 80% of them between the two of you.

Ariel: So, emotionally aware, I love it.

Lomit: And, I think Dr. Chapman, I forgot his first name, who came up with that, right? The-

Ariel: I have no idea, I should probably know. I know.

Louis: The teacher has become the student.

Ariel: I know, Lomit, he’s really done his emotional homework, I love it.

Louis: Well, he’s an author, so he has to know about authoring.

Ariel: Yeah, right.

Lomit: Yeah, not only that, but Ariel you bring up a good thing. I mean, a really good point, because the reality is most of us don’t want to talk about our feelings, but for me, it’s really important. Because, I had to suppress a lot of my feelings growing up, so it’s healthy to have an outlet for that.

Louis: Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the world right now, is people don’t want to talk about their feelings. So, when they do, they finally blow up.

Lomit: That’s right, and-

Ariel: 100%

Lomit: … it’s kind of, you go from zero to 60, because you haven’t had the outlet to [crosstalk 00:26:34].

Louis: Yeah, just say, “Well, I disagree with you and here’s why,” and just talk about it. Or, “I don’t like the way you said that, because it makes me feel this.” Instead of like, “You’re a stupid idiot.”

Ariel: Well, we do a huge disservice to people in this society.

Louis: And, ourselves.

Ariel: We don’t teach individuals how to communicate about their deep feelings very cohesively. And, we also stigmatized talking about your feelings, and especially if you’re a masculine, or masculine presenting individual. It’s like, “Walk it off, rub it in dirt.” Like, “Don’t feel anything.”

Louis: Yeah, but sometimes that is a good remedy too, because you also don’t want to complain about it.

Ariel: Right, don’t sweat the small stuff, but I think we do a disservice to males, and masculine presenting individuals around not letting them emote.

Louis: I think that’s changed a lot though, I think it has changed.

Ariel: Yeah, I would hope that-

Louis: I think guys nowadays are more sensitive than they ever were.

Ariel: Which is great.

Louis: Yeah, I mean, I’m a sensitive guy.

Ariel: You are sensitive… Okay, so we’re going to play a little game of this or that, it’s-

Louis: We’re going to end it on a fun note, because-

Ariel: On a fun note.

Louis: … this is Appy Hour.

Ariel: It’s a very complicated game, so just listen to the directions very carefully.

Louis: But, first, I acknowledge, and thank you for sharing your story, and [crosstalk 00:27:48]-

Ariel: Oh, yeah thank you for sharing. See, we’re words of affirming you.

Lomit: Thanks for having me, yeah.

Louis: Okay, so let’s get into some fun game.

Ariel: Okay, so I’m going to say two things, and you have to lightning fast pick one. Don’t overthink it, okay. Teacher, or student?

Lomit: Student.

Ariel: Breakfast, or dinner?

Lomit: Dinner.

Ariel: iOS, or Android?

Lomit: iOS.

Ariel: Texting or calling?

Lomit: Texting.

Louis: After IDFAs, still iOS?

Ariel: Yeah, yeah TikTok, or IG Reels?

Lomit: TikTok.

Louis: Are you on TikTok?

Lomit: I’m not, but-

Louis: I’d like to see Lomit do some of these dances.

Ariel: Yeah, okay work from home, or go into the office?

Lomit: Work from home.

Ariel: Really?

Lomit: For the most…

Ariel: I don’t know, I feel like it-

Louis: Wow, I just saw the [crosstalk 00:28:37] scratch.

Ariel: Well, here’s the thing, I have a bone to pick about this. I was down for it, but now I feel like a caged tiger, and I’m wondering how everyone else in mobile is doing after-

Louis: So, Lomit has a beautiful family that he loves, so he doesn’t mind being at home.

Lomit: Yeah, but I mean, for me, it really depends on your commute, right. I mean, my commute for the most part has always been at least two hours each race. I’m spending four hours in a car, and-

Louis: [crosstalk 00:29:02] want a house, and I assume you must own property to do that to yourself.

Lomit: Yeah, and so I think it’s important to sort of be in the office, but I think that a traditional model where you just have to be at work just for the sake of showing your face is kind of old school. I feel that most people should be trusted to be productive where they are, and in the interim, trying to find ways where you can kind of connect with different team members. So, one of the things that I’ve started doing, is just sort of trying to meet up, and take kind of social distance walks with some folks on my team.

Lomit: Even though they don’t live near me, but it’s been kind of nice, outside of just them on Zoom all the time. So, we try to kind of meet up that way, yeah but having said that, I think one thing that people have to realize, your biggest resource at the end of the day is time. And, so if it makes sense to use your time productively, as long as your commute isn’t crazy. But, if your community is crazy just to get into work, maybe that time is leveraged better by working from home.

Ariel: Yeah, I feel that. Okay, two more, cubed ice cubes, or crushed ice?

Lomit: Crushed ice.

Louis: Is it cubed if you do the little fancies [crosstalk 00:30:14] balls?

Ariel: The big one? Oh.

Louis: Yeah, like the snowball ones, because I have those.

Ariel: Yeah, oh, no that’s not a cube though.

Louis: But, that’s what I mean like, do you mean a solid one block object versus crushed? Or, they have to be cubed versus crushed? So, then if that’s the case then-

Ariel: I think it can either be the big ice cube, as long as it’s in a cube.

Louis: A one part, not little ones.

Ariel: Can I just say that when people have a fancy ice tray that they use, they do talk about it like this. They’re like, “Oh, well I do it shaped like a butterfly, like it’s a-”

Louis: I have a normal they use all the time, I just saved that for when I have whiskey.

Ariel: I just feel like people-

Louis: It just look so cool.

Ariel: Ice cubes are like… It’s kind of latte art, people like… I don’t know, some people are really into it.

Louis: Speaking of that, this is the Appy Hour, what’s-

Ariel: Oh, what’s your drink?

Louis: Yeah, what’s your go-to drink for celebration?

Ariel: If you do drink, and it can be a non-alcoholic too.

Lomit: Yeah, it’s really funny, because I mean, socially I might have one drink, but I’m not a huge drinker, and people don’t realize. I mean, my favorite drink is orange juice.

Louis: He says as he drinks water right now.

Ariel: Fresh squeezed, though, right?

Lomit: Yeah.

Louis: You ever make orange juice at home?

Lomit: No, I generally just buy it. It’s a lot less work.

Ariel: Hold on, side note, you know I tasted Marmite recently for the first time.

Louis: What is that?

Lomit: Isn’t that disgusting?

Ariel: Oh, okay. I’m not… Because, I don’t want to alienate anybody who’s from-

Louis: Who loves Marmite?

Ariel: … the UK. By the way, for anyone who wants to know it’s Marmite, not Vegemite. Vegemite is Australia, and British people will get offended if you don’t know that. But, yeah I mean, it’s so tangy, and it’s got some spunk to it, you know what I mean?

Lomit: No, I don’t like it.

Louis: There you go.

Ariel: So, it’s not like all British people love Marmite?

Lomit: I think it’s kind of a stereotype.

Louis: Were you born in Britain?

Lomit: Good question, so I was actually born in Malawi.

Ariel: What?

Lomit: Yeah.

Ariel: But, we haven’t been talking about this, that’s so good.

Lomit: But, the story behind that was, as I mentioned I’m the youngest of four, and my mom had three daughters, and they were hopefully kept trying to try and get a son. So, my grandmother, her parents told her, “Why don’t you come over here? Maybe you lock my chain.” So, that’s why I was born in-

Louis: And, it did?

Lomit: Yeah.

Louis: So, they were right.

Ariel: Born in Malawi.

Louis: Even though there’s no science behind that, they were right though.

Lomit: That’s right.

Ariel: My goodness, so international. Okay, I have one more.

Louis: Yeah, go for it.

Ariel: Okay, last question, I just want to really make sure to know… I’m just going to let you… And, I’m not going to answer any clarifying questions, soccer or football?

Lomit: Football.

Ariel: He is British.

Louis: Oh, of course.

Ariel: I was trying to confuse him though, if he said football… I don’t know.

Louis: Football.

Ariel: Football.

Louis: Or, if you’re in Brazil, futebol.

Ariel: Futebol.

Louis: Let’s see, so that’s what you can do next time they were allowed to go down to Brazil, and travel again. You should bring the family down, and come back down to Sao Paulo again.

Lomit: That would be fun.

Louis: Then I’ll be a fluent in Portuguese.

Lomit: That’s right.

Louis: Instead of just stumbling around, okay, so Lomit thank you very much for sharing your story, and for doing this. I think it was really important, like I said, everyone knows you from the millions of talks, and books, and everything that you’ve done. And, people love you for your mentorship, and being a nice guy, and I think now people just love you even more. Look at that.

Ariel: Yeah, thanks for sharing your story.

Lomit: Thanks for having me, Louis and Ariel.


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