Rohin is an independent strategy consultant (specialising in education and learning) and founder of an education technology start-up.
The majority of Rohin's professional work experience has been as a strategy consultant first at Monitor Deloitte and then working independently for a variety of firms. His experience has focussed upon public services (including education), healthcare and technology as well as a number of private equity due diligence assignments. Rohin also spent nine months on secondment to Cabinet Office in 2012 in order to scale National Citizen Service.
In 2017, Rohin founded Think Smart with the aim of tackling the career guidance problem. Think Smart uses problem solving that is sourced directly from professionals in a variety of jobs in order to help people at different stages of their career path think about their next steps in a more informed way. He has worked with clients in Europe and Singapore to date. Rohin also used his start-up experience to help found a new generation mortgage lender: Generation Home. It will allow young people to more easily get onto the housing ladder through the concept of group mortgages.
Rohin has long been passionate about education and spent eight years as a governor of MidKent College, a further education provider based in the Maidstone and Medway areas. He supported mainly on board strategy, understanding the students and their holistic needs and all things digital.
Rohin has an MA in Economics from King's College, Cambridge and an MBA from INSEAD where he was lucky enough to study in both France and Singapore.
Thank you so much for joining us on discover economics. How did I get here? So just who for what is an economist, there's an economic lens for every topic that you can possibly think of. The economists in our podcast are motivated by a desire to change the world. And their belief that better data and better understanding are key to achieving this change. I'm very excited and enthusiastic about learning more about what economics can offer us as a society. And what are the options when it comes to careers for young people. It's been an absolute delight to do this series. And to learn more to indulge my noisiness and to get to ask so many questions. The questions I'm hoping you as listeners will also have wanted to ask to thank you so much for listening. So today on the podcast, we have Rohin Aggarwal. Rohin is the founder and CEO of thinksmart, and education technology startup, which I'm sure will talk a lot about today. He is passionate about increasing social mobility, particularly in education. His work experience spans asset management, Public Policy and Management Consulting, and he has been a governor at one of the UK's largest further education colleges for four years. He holds an MA in economics from King's College, University of Cambridge and an MBA from NCR, where he lived both in France and Singapore. Welcome Rohin it's lovely to meet you. And I'm looking forward to finding out exactly how you want to your Thank you. Thanks for having me. No problem. So I'm going to start at the beginning. So this is where I imagined my little wiggly lines for going back in time and an old fashioned TV programme. Can you tell me a little bit about where you grew up and what were you like at school? Okay, yeah, so I grew up in an area called the Medway towns. It's like a suburban area not far from London, kind of about, you know, 45-50 minutes commuting and classic kind of commuter town. So particularly Dickensian Rochester, that's not far from there, or 15-20 minutes from Canterbury or Greenwich. So it's a pretty nondescript suburban town that you'd read in the, you know, start most novels I see and say, yeah, in terms of school, I think it's just a question of whether like sport friends variety of languages, nothing in particular that would have you know, an in the subject of this has to do with economics, but nothing really, that would have pointed me towards it. But I was always interested in business, new businesses. So my classic immigrant story in a vendor in a corner shop in in the Medway towns, and you grew up just sort of seeing that, but I think that probably did. seeded some of that interest. Where you made to work there, then your time off and after school. Yeah, without getting them sued? Yes, don't do that. I was a voluntary, I definitely definitely did help out. And I think having like a kind of toddler running around is good for sales just because you know, they can kind of booklets that are particularly tasty and things like that. Oh, I bet that worked wonders who needs advertising? So I do imagine like, because, yeah, I know, I have friends whose parents, you know, run businesses similar to the growing up. And it's funny, like they have both close friends of mine are sisters. And they've both gone into not necessarily finance related, but very business related kind of careers. And you could see it early on. And I was always fascinated by it as well. I was very fascinated by the concept of a cash and carry. Because getting to access that much chocolate at one time. I mean, it's probably why we're still friends, if I'm honest. That's it. And that's all economists. We've got economies of scale, but I remember Yeah, with my granddad going through a cash and carry, just loading it up loading the trolley are taking about Yeah, absolutely. The tech trend has done away with a lot of this. But yeah, okay, so you were interested in business from quite early on then. Yeah, exactly. Absolutely. And I don't know about you, but certainly when I grew up, economics wasn't necessarily a subject at school, did you take it as a subject at school, I was actually very lucky. So I'm kind of working in this area nowadays. But I learned, you know, through discovery, economics, a lot of things that only 50% of schools, I think, offer it free level and so on, but my school was not particularly special. It was in Kent, they have grammar school system, they're not particularly elite schools or anything like that. But we would take economics from you right? Now. Now I find out that that's, like, really, really rare to see. It's kind of interesting, but the fact from the age of 12 watching videos about like the barter economy and opportunity costs and things like that. Yeah. So your age of 12 was very, very lucky. And I think that is just pure luck. And often just because of the teachers available, or the head teacher, whatever, there was no there was no rhyme or reason for that. But often that's the case though, isn't it? Yeah, no, no, I think it seems a bit it is just random. From what I understand. Yeah. What did you think about it the first time because that is quite young to kind of see things that actually are pretty day to day but framed through the lens of it being this is economics. How did you feel about that? What did you think of it as a subject Going back a little bit longer than I'd care to admit. But I think actually I find it quite abstract and a bit weird. So I remember seeing this is kind of where we would be like naughties. Early noughties, it was like, cartoony and I remember kind of like some Flintstone characters at the market like swapping things and think whoo This is trade and you know, you now think about like, crypto currency not long like you wonder like today, year olds get a sense of like, that's the new way of, I don't know, but it's just kind of thinking out loud. That was it and I thought was really weird. didn't really get it and thought probably won't see this. It's interesting, because in your bio on the company page, you said that your favourite subject at school was French more I'll still have a goat not on this, hopefully. But yeah, let's do in some ways wish my career journey would have been no different actually. Had I studied languages? Yeah, absolutely. That's interesting. And not the first time that that has come up in the in these interviews actually, the very first one talking to Rachel Griffiths and she talked about how actually the economics part of her career came relatively late and she'd done lots of other things. And that fed into her economics if you like and that's something that really stood out to me because like I said, I don't have a background in economics but that stood out to me with a lot of the interviews is that instead of maybe coming into this I might have had an idea of economics as a thing on its own rather than actually just a lens to look through but many other things I think that's right and i think probably just listening to you say that it's like the older you get the more you realise about the kind of lens it was I was front loaded my economics career if that makes sense. So I kind of from 12 or 21 did like loads of it. And then from you know, over the next decade or so, right, this is where you can pick a mix so whereas other people actually kind of dabble with it and specialise later and it's you know, you could say that in many walks of life that can be the case so I kind of almost retired from mainstream economics at 21 Wow, when people kind of pick it up so tell me about that early part of your career then what did that look like so yeah from school kind of did it liked it then thought oh, you know, I want to retire by the age of 30 and become a trader x is kind of that classic immigrant background eating value economics and choice and that kind of stuff and then did it GCSE because you just think it is a good subject to do and it will open up honestly like city options and so on. And that was it that I chose for university economics is almost like a vocational career in the sense that it's not like law you know, you're pretty sure to be able to do well out of it and that was it and then I kind of 2008 nine happens when you're kind of on that great path towards Oh, I'm just gonna do that trading job, then that's what stopped me that well, what else do I need to consider? What was that moment like for you then? because like you said, You have pivoted to something quite different. Yes. So a lot of that was the reality of and this kind of relates to things might as you do things B I think often you don't question your personality what you like and what you do so early, it's worse than the workplace was like actually I kind of hate this because you might not like it you know, I still like talking about the new markets or Yeah, we talk about crypto Why does the Bank of England do this or that that's great kind of dinner party or at the pub or whatever it is, but making that your kind of daily life and what that entails is a very different trade off. So that's the bit of those careers that I thought were related to economics were actually just not things that suited me but there's loads of others and that was the point so as soon as the work is made, you know this question a lot, you know, is this something about me? Am I just terrible at work? It kind of made me question all these things but that's because I had quite a narrow minded view of it and ultimately, that is the case for many students because unless you've had the chance or and also have the idea with this financial stability that the guts to kind of say it's okay not to do that career that everyone else thinks is the kind of solid route in life. But that is a scary thing, isn't it? Yeah, of course, because I talked to a few other interviewees about you know, this idea of internships for example and not kind of side things and you know, the whole point of discovered economics is getting a wider range of people into economics. I would never have been able to do an internship right three jobs one of the years I was at university and it's just not possible and it's interesting to hear you say that because I think that there is obviously that kind of feel the fear and do it anyway. Tight mindset, which is great for anyone of any socio economic background. I'm not saying that you can't be like thought but the lack there of a safety net feels different to different types of people. Yeah, I suppose it's a bit like journalism in that sense of what you read of people you can take risks often have that financial background sounds a little bit similar is probably a lot of people who do that. Do it for a reason because they've not come from this kind of how long were you in not more traditional management consultants side, you know, the more traditional economics related roles. Yeah, that probably like first five years of the career, but had tried a bunch of different things. But if you just say, quote unquote, like city type careers, yeah, five years and the first year after the crisis was really interesting. So I got to try a couple of different things. And then management consulting for about three and a half, four years. And he said earlier about, well, he didn't say this outright, I suppose reading between the lines, you didn't maybe feel your personality or you didn't feel like your job? Let you have all aspects of you. Is that a fair description? Yeah, yeah. And I think that because you must have been quite young, when you realise that you're only five years out of university, how do you then make that decision, when you find yourself in a position where it's like, Look, I like this object, I like the you know, quite like the job, it's quite interesting, I still feel that part of me. But there are so many other parts of me that I'm not taking to work every day. And I think the important thing as well as people were younger now is like, the world of work has changed so much that even like tech in the last decade, 10 years good, like free the concept of freelance where maybe the career you do are done like versus what our parents would have thought the case completely changed, like, contains, I was working. So even during that part of my career, there wasn't an option to go and work for yourself, let's say, in an industry where you're like taking a massive punt and doing a startup, but just generally flexible work. Whereas now, that is almost like table stakes. So I think I only realised after some time that that started to develop, so maybe I got off the train at the right point, which is with enough experience to then know that there is actually a whole world of work out there, you can get consistent work and so on. So that was probably if I'm being really honest, that is not something you'd advise everyone to do. And I would say, you know, you need to make sure those alternative options were there. And I think it's risky for me because actually, the industry I was in, I believe it's like cleaning and hairdressing and says as a massive freelance industry actually and it was okay to you wouldn't just say someone who's maybe not come from an affluent background work really hard and economics three, getting the city to just like kind of jacket in and just say I'll roll the dice. That's also not live also realised this particular scenario was in background I'd had that. And I totally agree. And it's it's funny, it's such an economics thing to acknowledge how many factors are at play here the same time isn't it? Is paralysing because you Yeah, exactly. Because your tool to basically do cost benefit analysis. Oh, my God, I can't imagine what the cogs in your brain must have looked like at that. emotion, like kind of just doing something on a gut isn't isn't necessarily isn't necessarily to tell me then if by getting into the startup space, then because you know, you've been doing this for a number of years now. And it's such a fascinating business as well. And I'd love for the listeners to hear more specifically about exits so much for our audience. But what what did those first days look like after you decided to kind of go in this direction, a lot of it, I'm not gonna lie is you just, you just take a punt? Really, you kind of have like, all the issues we've just described? Or what inspired the first idea, which was people make career decisions, what their uncle says that mom might do, or the things they want to do. But a lot of them if you said like, do you have any idea what insert brackets job is they've got an idea, then, you know, from economics perspective, on the lead market side, employers will say, Yeah, but you know, students who come in, they've got no idea. And it's inefficient for us, and they're not very good. And so I just thought, is there some way of like, crowdsourcing from like, the way Wikipedia works? Could you just crowdsource problems and people in different jobs in order to help people solve them and think, Oh, actually, I didn't know midwife, has similar skill sets for policemen or something like this, but so big, but like, that's the grand aim, the grand vision, but then in the end with business, you have to pay money. And I think I've learned from my mistakes that have from any sort of successes. At some point, though, if you really believe in something, you have to just you can't do it, like in the evenings. And on the Sunday, just give it a go to the first steps with testing it with students testing with people, like I was lucky enough to be college governors, you could kind of ask some people within education and some students. And at that stage, you just have to make a call of is this like the constraints of a full time job or probably too much to like, get this ago? So that would be its kind of go through that a little bit testing and then at some stage, you kind of have to be going to do or not? Yeah, I mean, I say that, because I started my own business about nine, actually, almost 10 years ago now. And it was that exact same thing. And I actually got a part time job and efy college teaching part time in order to do that, because you're absolutely right, because there's a lot of startup culture specifically as well that kind of sells this idea of basically burn out. You know, if you're never going to succeed if you do burn yourself out, and because I went through your questionnaire, I was having a good nosy around the site and playing around with it, and I loved it. I just thought to myself, I mentioned earlier He that I had like three jobs one of the years at university one somewhere in particular three jobs. And I was very lucky in that respect actually, and I'm very grateful for it because one of the Jobs was a nine to five admin assistant in an office. So unlike my fellow students actually understood what it was like to work in an office, whereas none that none of them had been in an office. And what I love about your questionnaire is that it totally contextualise is what it's like to really do a specific job. And it's almost doing I suppose, where discover economics is trying to do with economics, which is really get to the nitty gritty of this is what it feels like to do a specific role. And that there's a lot of crossover, like you said, between, say nursing police and, and lots of different things. So it's about finding your element, almost though referencing one of my favourite books there, good old Sir Ken Robinson, may he rest in peace, his book, and his talks are all about that, you know, bringing together the different aspects of yourself into your job. I think that's right. That's, I mean, actually, it's kind of why we're involved with that with our own and others discover economics, because you could solve problems, if you're a civil servant, startup entrepreneur, an entrepreneur, whatever it whatever you choose to be that use those skills. And too often people use labels on industries and jobs rather than just skills as if you just sat stripped back. So I helped co found another startup in the mortgages industry. And we hired mild economics teacher from uni who to error, and I actually that's amazing. He's our Chief Technology Officer nicer to MonaVie. blockchain, like I don't get machine learning. What is this nice to do? You know, even like, what you did at uni, that was called econometrics, which sounds really like kind of technical. And when, if you just let relaible that now like intro to machine learning, that is what it was, he says he can do it. So I had no idea what it is that and the practical elements of it not shown enough, because it's particularly at topic quantities or any investing. They kind of have this kind of ivory tower approach to things and I think that market has shifted in some in this world I lived in now is in education, more info more practical senses, it's not good enough anymore, just to kind of say like, you've got this degree, it's well, how is this literally practical in a in a changing job market? Absolutely. It's so interesting, you say that, because my areas digital skills and the amount of time someone will come to me and exactly that conversation you just had, where they'll come to me and go, I don't understand that this works. I've been in my job, you know, X number of years. And I will very quickly breakdowns. You know, that thing you do every day in person, well, this tool over here just lets you do online. Like if you use all the skills that you use in person, this will work. If you think about it as being a robotic online thing, then it probably won't. And it's so interesting, it's about finding those little switches that we can switch for people, to get them to just put things in context. That's in the end a lot. I mean, I think economics and psychology kind of overlap a lot. A lot of times it's reframing things. And what would you see I can have teed up this question a little bit for you earlier, but given your work in this area, and actually the answer to this question doesn't have to be in this area, it can be in any area, but what would you see so far that you are most proud of boasting about that? I think actually, it's just taking the jump because, you know, since I've not had a paycheck, like a regular paycheck, nearly six years, and it's like, overwhelming at the start, but when you answer that question, I'm kind of proud of doing it and then realising It's okay. That helped morning of like, it doesn't mean that everyone should be doing that. But I'm proud of that I'm much genuinely friends family search, we'll see you I'm just happier. says that, I think for me, that is that is like loads of ups and downs, tonnes of mistakes, tonnes of like, regret. But the one regret I don't have is I don't regret being sat where I was 100%. And it's so interesting, given the competition we just had a moment ago about the options for young people now is that I talked to a lot of young people still, that could very easily start their own business straight out of university. And I think that there's a little bit of the fear has been removed from thought for good and for ill because obviously there isn't this a safety net for a lot of people. And there's obviously a lot of risks, but the kind of push for more of an entrepreneurial mindset in young people in particular, but everyone, I suppose has had the knock on effect, I think of giving new generations a bit more confidence, we can obviously look at the flip side of also seeing that maybe the job market isn't quite as stable as it used to be in that that's a different concern in terms of let's just take a step back a little bit. So again, putting my discover economics hat on, what do you think that economics as a field because obviously you're you're kind of you're in the startup space, your focus is on education, but you still have a huge network in economics as a career choice and you know, all of that side of things and you've kind of lived through it if you like. I don't like talking like this because you're super young and it makes me sound like for generations ruin you. Onchan soon like we've talked about again this is a cliche but feeling a bit of a round peg in a square hole or vice versa. What do you think economics can do as a field to open up the floodgates to different types of candidates to come into that space and you said like city work I think the city in London quote unquote as a whole has that issue. Yeah, that's a really good really good point that was taken by I don't think it's related discovery No, it's there's like a new type of curriculum called core and what they do is teach all of the syllabus but through massive problems like climate change, or actually you could probably teach or maybe overestimating the entire definitely a level but maybe degree syllabus through Coronavirus so like there's there's really cool to us called like Physics for presidents and it's brilliant ones you know you could look at our leadership right now and say oh, they're great at politics or maybe not so great but they're terrible at like last but these courses wine and I think there's something around the US curriculum but combining things that is much better than our own. And I think one thing economics could do so I controversial not I may be totally wrong I don't believe in the in the idea of Oh, we should water down the maths. I found it really really hard to be quite honest. I can what I need to change degree because I found that that's how we look at the world. We live in nounce on the massive whether it's Coronavirus, or Brexit if people understood data and math better, you could argue might help. I think economics should do that. But I think maybe the vehicle through which it teaches things could be real world. So this mean instead of the Flintstones yet it worked very good. However, that's a really good point. It could be climate change could be Coronavirus, it could also be history because actually, I was listening to a podcast about crypto and they were talking about like, well the internet was weird to people say was the first iPhone. So it was the steam engine, you know. So there are loads of like things that will capture like, it's storytelling, I think it's basically storytelling, unfortunately, I mean, again, a reference Aaron but when Aaron and I were studying our final year, the world was ablaze, like it was financial crisis, etc. And we were being taught the same models. Like just it was like a vacuum. It was weird. It was as if they didn't realise what they knew. But they just didn't change anything like Lehman Brothers time to update the curriculum. Yeah, Lehman Brothers came down. And it was just like, just keep teaching the same stuff. But you know, the same stuff is basically still being taught. It's not saying it's wrong, it's just like, it won't capture a diverse group of people. But Sunday, if you flip, we're teaching the whole thing through climate change. And pretty sure you get a very different group of applicants 100%. And it's interesting, you say that, because one of the things I've really enjoyed about this series is interviewing all the different types of economists who are, you know, environmentalists and looking at things through LGBTQ lens of research and the changes over generations and, and family economics and the economics of the criminal justice system. And, you know, there's so many variations, like you said, you can pick a thing, and teach them a whole curriculum through it. And also, I loved what you said about not dumbing down math, I think I spend a chunk of my time because people sometimes come to me and presume what I do is technical or quote unquote, technical, and they're not technical. And I bet you've heard this a number of times, like, Oh, I'm not good at math. And actually, often the same people who say that they are good at maths, they may be just didn't do this particular type of maths, or they don't see what they do every day as being statistics or maths or data analysis. There's just so many ways of looking at math, let's say as a skill or statistics as a skill, I get frustrated with anyone having the idea that they can be ultimately terrible, or amazing at most of these things, pretty much everyone I find is somewhere in the middle. And what's often missing is the confidence and the context. If you feel like you're doing maths, and the context of the math you're looking at, for example, just doesn't connect with you, then you're gonna feel like you're rubbish at it, because you just can't get your head around it. I mean, in a completely different field. I've been doing a lot of work recently looking at like data science boot camps see kind of how the best data science boot camps in the world use. They say they use contextualised data, all that means is you can use the data you've been struggling with at work to learn with that. Versus cows might give you some data set from what I know the World Bank or some news pub, it doesn't really mean anything to you and you sort of learning the same point. But the outcomes on those river to learn with something they're familiar with and what they're doing. And I think, broadly, that applies to actually just education generally nowadays. It's a really good example of something that could probably benefit from that. Yeah. Also, I wonder what you would think given that your involvement with kind of further education colleges and that side of things, that's something again, that I am very passionate about in terms of education is this idea of the separation of academic learning versus vocational learning. And did I see a little eye roll there? When I said the because I do the big Roll up, Look, guys, there's more, that brings us to things together, then break them apart. I completely agree it was always, I mean, one of the reasons I chose to take part in Effie was because it was completely foreign to my inexperience, and you can kind of learn from it. And I completely agree with you because So for example, let's say one of the biggest challenges nephew's English, and maths is getting that to like table stakes level. But again, some of these are quite black sharp, a lot of students are street smart, whatever. Economics is actually a really good subject through which to probably teach a certain level of and right, a lot of these students might want to run their own business, they might go into the professions where they need to do an invoice, they might want to charge customers, they might need to do pricing, all these things are an economist or writing accurately and to the point and, you know, I would argue marketing or messaging, all these things are about finding kind of a fit between your products in the market. So yeah, I can agree, I think, unfortunately, a lot of it is a challenge in the Fie sector, finding that talent to come and teach or being flexible enough to think other different ways in which you can define teaching that could use more online, could you get almost like a teach first method for coffee? Like what what can you do? I wonder as well, because I've seen a lot of Effie colleges that do an amazing job of connecting with business, and getting their students into business. And look, there are some universities are great, and some universities are not so good. I think it's even more challenging for Effie, because there's an expectation of what kind of level of student the company's gonna get. I think that goes back to a real world problem. I think a lot of this comes to of course, if you are going to become Why do you know what maybe seronera and and others would describe it top academics? Yeah, of course, they maybe are a little bit divorced from the data, say it, but maybe actually, they're not. If you look at Nobel Prize winners, often it's applied to very, very real problems. But every day kind of economics is not that kind of, it doesn't need to be that advanced, it just needs to be grounded in real world. And that, that's all to me, the problem is too much is that theoretical syllabus type stuff, which is absolutely important, but the VA, keep coming back to the vehicle through which you teach, it needs to be different. And it takes time effort, it takes kind of a little bit of a lot of it is just that kind of bureaucracy and the kind of a well, it's not really that broke, why bother fixing it? Yeah. And the snobbery as well, I've certainly found it as a really good point, because it's like anything again, if you're able to, like, quote certain things, and it allows you to act as if you understand things to other people. It's so funny, I've come across so many people in my working life, probably a bit like yourself, where I've worked in, in the oil industry in, in London, I worked in media or to The Guardian. And now some of our clients are some of the biggest tech companies in the world, and also social enterprises. And I've come across so many people that a stranger to them would be so impressed. And honestly, it is exactly like you say it's knowing the right thing to see, sometimes not always. But I think that if we're going to make one, if we're going to open the doors in not just economics, I do think that economics as a field is a brilliant place to start for some of those kids that you actually just referenced those kids that are in epi colleges that are smart as hell and sharp, but don't have a traditional academic background until they get to that college. Like if we could scrape away some of the preconceptions that employers have, and certain offices might have about what fits in their office and what doesn't fit in their office week, you know, you could really make a difference in the sector, because you're the Effie landscape, the colleges themselves, there's so much potential there in terms of the student body alone, definitely. And these reference sheets have ended up there just because of background and not having the ability to kind of procedure and think See, the other thing is you don't know if you gave them that. open their eyes gave them the choice to do something five years later, like completely surprised. I'm not even surprised. I'm pretty sure they would end up on a different path. The trouble is facia, absolutely. And something that's come up in other discussions is this idea of a network, I guess, lecturer at Grant's uni. And one of the things I just hammer home to students all the time is connect with your lecturers I love it that you employed one of your lectures like five but this this idea that you might not have a network at home, your family might not have people in, you know in your family that are lawyers and doctors and engineers or whatever circle you want to be in. So connect with your lectures like take the opportunity to network and that whole concept of that type of networking is alien to a big part of the population. And it plays such a role in some elite institutions. Yeah, like honestly people sort of say you know what, that is the number. Since I've been self employed the only I would say the number one thing that's kept me afloat is network. I get that certain institutions and certain business school or whatever it's all about that but but if you can keep in touch and harvest those networks, you realise how much they pay off when you're self employed, because when you sell Have nothing, in my opinion, at least for me, I've had nothing other than might have made you and the kindness of others speaking to people, and so on. And that's sort of and this is the thing about kind of, there's economics, there's theory, and then there's kind of the world skills because again, economics teaches something called network effects. And that's just, I think, but also, probably, I doubt many lectures will say what that means is, is harvest them will speak to it, there's no practical sense. It's like, oh, if I have 100 people in my network, and then there's a network of 1000s, it was at seven, six things of Kevin Bacon, or whatever it is, is that you keep won't explain it. But yeah, totally agree. I mean, the network thing, from a practical sense, probably the best thing you could teach anyone. And so looking at your business right now, it thinks more will include all the links and things in the podcast, because I think there's so much for teachers and students and even parents, I bet there were a tonne of parents who go in and answer those questions for themselves. And just like, hold on, yeah, time to shift career. But obviously, that took time to collate all of those scenarios, you know, there's a hell of a lot of work has gone into pulling that together, what have you learned along that journey that you want people to realise about how everything works? Thanks, Mark. So yeah, as far as being there is a low first thing I'd say is like startup, like, not as cool as everyone thinks. And it's okay, it's okay, if you really like your job, and really want a career because frankly, like, that's probably gonna be, you know, a more stable shot. Secondly is like, you will fail, and that's fine. Or, like, if you don't fail, you probably will at some point, and you know, second time I had to get doing something with the mortgage company, or third, maybe you just get better and better. So it's kind of like, don't be too hard on yourself. And it's like, the other point I'd probably make is, it never turns out to be what you thought at the start, I think, you know, I'm speaking for myself, I'm pretty sure. Because I also have like, had to go investing in some other startups and you learn like now I've kind of founders from different industries. And I think that's just sort of thing it's can kind of consensus across the wall, the biggest thing is giving it a go, where you end up will be very different. I think I couldn't agree more, I'm nodding away, because my experience is certainly the same. And I know a lot of other founders had that same experience. And my other thing I would add is that everything takes you longer than you think it will. I might like, and it's good to plan with milestones like don't not do that. But be prepared to have them go past you. And something that really stands out to me about your career so far. And where you've taken it is the economics really has given you such a solid foundation for what you do, because I can see it even in because I'm looking at it from a kind of digital perspective as well. I can even see it almost in the back end of how your site works, how it's been pulled together. What do you think the economics as a subject let's see has given you throughout your career, not just when you were working in the outfield? Yeah, I was thinking like I this is one question I seem to be asked is still quite hard. It's I think, I come back to math or something about I think that mathematics is a really good skill for most people to learn, but you cannot applied maths. So it's that real world application. There's something about problem solving. The I know, you could, like engineering, I'm sure has that. But there is something about again, like in different contexts, problem solving. So how do you develop economically? How do you help more women into the workforce like that is a problem to solve, which is not all about inflation. So thinking about things in it. So I think economics encourages structured thinking. And then I think the other thing is, if you do depending on which route you choose, you see that everyone is influenced by it. So in startups and business, in the end, whether it's pricing, customer segmentation, all these kind of jargony terms in business, there are always economic fundamentals. So I think you can maybe grasp them. It's not to say it's the best and only route, but it's more malleable than people think. I think it's more just that. It's just that self fulfilling thing, right? In the sense that people who do it go on to careers that are normal money, and people just think it's that factory. But as you can do a lot of different things. I think that's really well put, you alluded to this earlier, and I say this all the time about my own experience, in that I did English and linguistics at university ended up in publishing and oil industry. And now I run my own business, which is digital skills and technology so you don't know where things will take you. And again, it is a big cliche, but something and I find economics similar to something like say politics in that it is this big thing in the knob itself that impacts everything. And any kind of interest in something like that as a subject. I feel it really even if you don't do it formally, it does give you a certain way of thinking about the world. That is a positive thing, and can be applied in loads of different ways. Okay, I'm just thinking because I'm conscious of time. And I don't want to take up too much of your time. So there's a couple of things that I just wanted to kind of ask you to finish up. And this is difficult because obviously, I want to ask the question, are we the, you know, looks at where you are now as well, because again, like I said, I think that your website is definitely somewhere that I think teachers and students should press pause, go visit now. And there's loads there. I think that's, you know, ridiculously high value for for educators, parents, and students. What advice would you give to teachers and parents? Who are maybe looking at their kids in their class, or their own children, if its appearance, and thinking, do you know what, and listen to this podcast? I don't have a background in economics, I'm not really particularly sure what I can do with it. But I get a sense that my kids from listen to these interviews and, you know, finding out people's real life experiences of working in economics, how do I introduce them to it? How can I point them towards economics as a subject that might be an option for them? Yeah, it's a really it's a really good point. In fact, like, I think my cousins are all kind of have that kind of high school age and making decisions and so on, and they get sent to you by their parents. Yes, I have a little talk to them. In March it's funny of some friend where all of them sad I've been dealing with it's sad or not, but I've done something but it's interesting actually, because I did pure economics and then as you get the next generation, then combining management and other customer sustainability and this kind of actually makes exactly the point we're talking about the whole time, which is I was a pure economics OSHA's and then they're like, oh, what about it with this with that with this? My biggest thing is the perfect hybrid, isn't it? Oh, yeah. I mean, like one of my cousin's she's about to go to work where and teachers and study sustainability and it's like, that makes total sense, but maybe a decade ago, so people would have thought that's weird, but I would need to read the news. I would say just have a look at any gardener limb here, including sport. Is that pretty much any article you read? I know people might like boxing as read like Tyson fury and panting Joshua negotiating their fight deal. There will be something there that is fundamentals of economics as gained through his, you know, you may think about the European Super League was a big issue. You may think about Coronavirus, obviously when I think about Rishi, silicon foam, think about Israel and Palestine, all of them will have economic principles. And that's what I think that's what I would say is that you can use them as a way of creating debate and if you enjoy that, right, it might be for you. If you don't, you might enjoy the other aspects and that's totally fine. It really reminds me and I'm surprised I haven't brought this up earlier actually in any other interviews but a friend of mine wrote a book a few years ago now called the misfit economy, and it was actually looking at things like Somali pirates and drug dealers. And just again, I would encourage teachers and parents who may be even you know, you might listen to this podcast and think you're talking about you're really advanced students or you're you're more traditionally going to go to university students I would argue that actually economics is a great place for those students where you think actually they're really smart but they're a bit bored so there may be underperforming and there's a lot here that would be challenging and interesting. I think it's sort of applied problem solving in the purest sense pick anything yeah, just anything weird going on outside your front door is probably got something to do with incentives and the way we organise society which fundamentally will have something to do with economics brilliant, any last thing you would like to tell our listeners about what you're doing now what's next actually, for tomorrow? What do you want to do next? Yeah, I would love for as many people as possible to be listening to have a go that was feedback and have a think about DARS solving real world problems help them to realise actually don't think about careers in such a narrow sense Don't worry about a level option so on and actually you know, can they see that economics principles are applied to any one of those careers actually, in different ways and then I suppose the only other thing is to say it's just give it a go like if you're not sure, have a read of the paper, watch the news, speak to friends about something whether it's a new business idea you can kind of experiment with seeing whether it's for you through everyday discussion, that's the good thing about it. Brilliant, thank you so much. I really appreciate you let me grill you on on some of this stuff. It's lovely to talk about it from yet another like kind of different perspective I think for listeners because you know, I came into this personally with you know, no idea about the range of what was possible and certainly my my kind of views and ideas have changed as we're going through the interviews and with you coming up on my list is kind of people to interview I was like, well, the startup scene thought I know about but they can understand and so it's been amazing to hear you talk about you know, the transition and and the kind of foundation as well. I'm hoping that we can convince you to come back Maybe for our next season, and we're hoping to get some students and teachers to ask questions for our guests. So it won't be me you won't be able to blame me for the questions next time. But we'd love to be able to come back and kind of check in with you if you'd be willing to come back again. I just hope it was useful and interesting. Oh, yeah. Well, it looks to me, that's all I care about. Brilliant, thank you so much. Thank you. And that's that for that episode. Thank you so much for listening. We hope you enjoyed it. And if you want to get in touch with any questions, please visit our website discover economics dot code at UK, where you'll also find loads of useful resources. And if you've enjoyed the podcast, remember to go to Apple podcasts rate and review. Also remember to subscribe through whichever podcast app you're using to view. Always get any new episodes as soon as they're published. See you in the next episode.