Sean Murphy | CEO of Pingthings

The Zenergy Podcast interviews global climate leaders with prior guests including the founders of some of the world's largest renewable energy and electric vehicle companies including founders of SoftBank Energy, Azure Power, Ola Electric, and SunEdison. These conversations share industry developments, highlight clean tech investment opportunities, and shed light on how young professionals can increase their chances of employment in this fastly growing sector. We also discuss the energy transition across key emerging markets like India, and explore partnership opportunities for US companies.


00:02 Introduction
Are you looking to become a leader in clean energy and an expert in clean tech? Do you hope to get noticed in the crowd as you pursue a career in this fastly growing industry, you are in the right place to join Karan Takhar as he invites clean energy leaders to share industry development, highlight clean tech investment opportunities and shed light on how you can increase your chances of employment in this high growth sector we will also discuss the energy transition across key emerging markets like India and explore partnership opportunities for the US private and public sector after all this is the Zenergy podcast.

00:51 Karan Takhar
Hello Sean, thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this interview. I've been really looking forward to speaking with you for a few months now, and I'm really inspired and impressed by your work and the work that Pingthings is engaged in and prior to diving into all of that interesting and cutting-edge work, it would be nice to learn a little bit about your backgrounds as well as what inspired you to launch Pingthings in the 1st place could you provide listeners with a brief introduction?

00:01:28 Sean Murphy 
Yeah, absolutely and I've been looking forward to this call as well I'm excited to talk to you and really a little bit about what we've been working on and a little bit of my story, so I guess for your listeners, your listening audience basically popped out of undergrad One of The Wanted to go to Med school got in and then was actually dissuaded from attending, which I think was stellar advice although at the time I was definitely a little bit iffy so I went off to Hopkins, did my graduate work in biomedical engineering, became a senior research scientist there for just a little under a decade and at that point I sort realized that I wasn't cut out for a nine to five job I wasn't cut out for a large organization I went off, I did my MBA which I always joke is my masters of ******** and alcohol and I went across the pond I went to Oxford because it's a year long a little bit over a year, but it's it's not two years, so it's half the cost and it was an amazing experience, like being a extra on the set of Harry Potter and after that I came back and I I started starting companies and the first my first endeavor I was a complete amateur complete hobbyist as they say I had no idea what I was doing and we achieved $0.00 in revenue, but I learned a lot and I kind of doubled down and my next startup. I was the CTO, and that was actually an e-mail analytics company that was well ahead of its time, and we got to bootstrap no investment. We got to about half a million a year in recurring revenue. My co-founder Decided he wanted the lifestyle business, and I wanted to, you know, I was shooting for the moon, and so we parted ways and folded that enterprise. Then after that, I built a data science consulting firm that quickly grew to over a million a year in revenue and was a great success for me. I hated the misalignment of incentives. You bring in people to do work for you, and you offer them kind of a fixed salary that has a ceiling and then there's kind of incentive to work them as hard as possible because that just generates more profit. For quote UN quote, the firm, which is right, this nebulous legal construct that It allows you to take advantage of someone else and say it's just how we do things, so my next I wanted to get back to sort of a venture-backed product focused startup and that kind of took me to Pingthings that's where I am today, so a lot of experimentation and a lot of learning and you know, I look at each startup was sort of at least an order of magnitude more successful than the last one, and Pingthings is actually on track for at least doing that well, but probably better.

00:04:41 Karan Takhar 
Amazing, thank you for expanding on your backgrounds. So prior to starting your MBA and you mentioned you were working at Hopkins and ultimately realized that you weren't cut out for the 9 to 5, right just to provide some more context, how long were you working in this nine-to-five job before you had that realization and what exactly about the nine to five did not appeal.
Made you realize that that wasn't for you.

05:16 Sean Murphy 
Oh, that's a really good question, so I think I always knew that I wasn't quite suited for that, and there are a couple of things like working 9:00 to 5:00. I don't know if you're going to do something you might as well do it well and you might as well put your heart and soul into it and that's not 9 to 5 but unfortunately with that type of nine to five job you get the salary and it's fixed and if you work really really hard and you're politically well connected, you might get a raise and you might make a little more money or ohh, maybe you get a title bump, which means nothing you can't take that to the bank so what I realized Is that when you work that type of job, you're sort of fixed you can only ascend so far so fast It doesn't matter how hard you work or how talented you are, they're sort of constructs that are put in place that prevent they literally put you in your place, and Hopkins did they have a salary curve oh, you're on a salary curve and this is, you know, this the curve says we can only do this much and it didn't matter what you brought to the organization or how many millions of dollars in funding you brought in irrelevant and so I learned very quickly that I'm incentivized by reward and when you're out there on your own, there is an immediacy If I work an hour, I get paid an hour and I love like that was very I don't say addicting, but like I really respond well to that set of incentives So I didn't want the magic money fairy showing up to my bank account I realized that I wanted to go out there and hunt and eat they killed and that was sort of very compelling to me and that a lot of people, actually I would say most people have no idea how money comes into organizations they don't understand the dynamics and how like how they actually get paid and when you sort of got on your own and your hourly or you attempt to build a company you really you have to understand exactly how the sausage is made, because no one's going to the magic money fairy doesn't show up unless you make it show up It took a long time to learn that because you know we're so, I would say a large percentage of the population is so entrained, like, oh, you know, go to college and you get a good job you got to get a good job and a good career, and it's I personally think that's terrible advice you're always going.

00:07:46 Karan Takhar
To be controlled by that job just thinking about there's people who may find themselves in that situation where they're working 9:00 to 5:00; however, they don't feel fulfilled by the work yet, at the same time, don't have clarity in terms of you know how to get out of that positioning is there any advice that you would give to those people and what next step If you were back in that relative position, what would be the next step?

00:08:24 Sean Murphy 
It's a really good question and and I think a lot of this is a function of your socioeconomic class this, particularly the socioeconomic class of your parents, because that sort of sets the norms and expectations, and I was coming from a middle class ish love of my folks and they did amazing going kind of from poor to middle class, lower middle class, which was great, but It was get the job get the job, get the job and and that's not a good idea and when you when there's a scarcity mentality, you seek stability and that stability is sort of sold as a job and a stable job at a good company and I think what I had to do to sort of pull myself out of that was to sort of prove to myself that hey, I could make money I could go and I could do this, or I could do that and I could you know, oh, I just made I made $100 or I made 200 or I made 1000 and I could being able to create an income, even if it's small without that quote, UN quote W2 job was sort of the eye opening item for me, and right you do you take small steps you take you prove to yourself that it's possible and then all of a sudden you realize well if I scaled this, I'm actually going to be making much more money, significantly more money than what I'm currently making, and so why don't I just do that and then all of a sudden you're like OK, this is great I'm hourly, I'm charging a great hourly rate I'm Booked as as booked as I can be see, but this doesn't scale so how do we how do we scale that beyond what I am able to make on my own and you know there are a couple different paths forward but It's all incremental. It's not like maybe some people do go through this, but it's not like I'm going to. You know, I'm going to raise $10 million coming from a State University because at that point you know no one and you have no connections to money and it's very unlikely you don't go from zero to one in a nanosecond you know for me it was proving that these alternatives were possible and then go and build and then build more and build more and build more In that first experience building and becoming an entrepreneur occurred after your MBA from Oxford, correct in terms of full transparency actually know when I was at Hopkins I actually was a pretty competitive dancer and I taught lessons and I taught group classes and that was sort of one of the first experiences where I was like, wow, I could actually make a lot of money doing this and so that was, you know, at the time It was just that it Was a passion It was a hobby It was something I really enjoyed, but I never you know that that ship had sailed for me, so it was thinking about something that was quote UN quote, more sustainable of a lifestyle and dancing is not really something that you know it's very hard to make a good living doing that, and as the you know, as you get older and your age like it becomes even more challenging and I could, you know I could see that in a lot of my coaches.

00:11:41 Karan Takhar
I see, but at the same time, it gave you the confidence and knowledge that you yourself could go out and earn revenue outside of a structure working for, you know, a large company.

11:54 Sean Murphy
Yeah, it was. It was, you know, it was amazing how much money you could make showing people how to shake their ****

11:57 Karan Takhar
yeah, after that, you want to Oxford, and then at Oxford did you get on with the mindset of, OK, I made money helping people learn how to shake their **** which you know yields great returns for those people listening who might be interested in investing in that space you know so did you go into Oxford thinking OK, now you know I know that I can generate revenue outside of working for a large corporation and that's what I want to do, so let's figure out where to apply, what company to build can you provide some insight into your perspective going into your NBA maybe Also, some of the areas that you explored while at NBA helped you develop certain skills that you felt were important, and then ultimately like, how did you find your first entrepreneurial idea?

00:12:54 Sean Murphy 
I'll be honest, right? I loved my MBA, but it's a completely worthless degree if you want to go build companies right because you learn how to build companies by building companies, not sitting in a classroom, so I had an amazing life. I was very happy with a great group of friends. I had a fantastic life, and I sort of said, OK, you know what who you are, at least half of it. They say anywhere like 40 to 60% is a social construct, so it's not just who you are, it's who all the people around you expect you to be, and you sort of fulfil their expectation, so what I realized is, hey, I'm this research scientist at Hopkins If I'm going to be something different if I'm going to reinvent myself, I need to kind of rip myself out from my existing social network and my happy you know this happy place that I've built and I need to go someplace completely different completely new, and sort of reinvent who I am, and you know, Oxford seemed like a great place to do that because I know no one, and as they say, right It's two people, separated by a common language, and that's very true, and the society, even though yes, it is English speaking it is radically different than you know, it's set of assumptions, so it was kind of a really good place for me to go and try to reinvent and.

00:14:20 Karan Takhar
In Harry Potter.

00:14:21 Sean Murphy
Yeah, and in Harry Potter land, right It was kind of a calculated risk or calculated experiment, and so I wasn't necessarily thinking about, like, what type of companies am I going to build. It was more of like if I'm going to be the type of person who builds companies, I need to fundamentally change who I am because my life had been as a research scientist. I could write papers, I could write code, and I could do things that I needed to do as a research scientist, but that was not building a business. That was not building an organization, so I needed to be someone different.

00:15:03 Karan Takhar 
That makes a lot of sense as you were thinking about who you wanted to be. What were some key traits that you're looking to develop?

00:15:14 Sean Murphy
I think it was running away from as opposed to toward. It was running away from sort of a set of expectations and a set of beliefs. Right like you're, we all live in the prison of our own construction, our own mental models, most of which are probably outdated and suboptimal. So I kind of I knew what had gotten me to where I had been wasn't going to take me to where I wanted to go, so it was more about tearing down than necessarily building up in a particular direction as that, you know now that I'm saying it, it sounds like maybe I should have had a better plan I think the first step in that plan was tear down what wasn't working, and so I had to tear down who I was as as kind of who I had created for myself, like this research scientist, person and kind of prepare myself to go and start doing something radically different like you know when you're starting a business, you're recruiting, or you're fundraising, or you're selling so it's just three different mindsets for some of those activities.

00:16:25 Karan Takhar
That is so interesting. Of never really heard someone put it like that, but it makes a lot of sense, and I imagine that it's an extremely difficult thing to do, especially, you know, when you're like in your mid to late 20s your personality is pretty well developed by that point I mean, I'm just imagining for myself like if I were to you know, try and completely transform at this age It would be an extremely difficult process which would require a lot of transformation so like what were some activities or practices Is that you engaged in to help facilitate that change?

00:17:08 Sean Murphy 
When I look back on sort of the cost of the NBA.

00:17:12 Karan Takhar
That year, probably.

00:17:14 Sean Murphy
Let's see, just call it $100,000. I really was outsourcing a lot of that to sort of Oxford as a location as a university, as my cohort of NBA classmates and the folks at I was I went to I was at Hartford and all of the people that I met, and so I didn't necessarily lay out a particular you know. Hey, here's my schedule, because like when you cram A2 year MBA into a year and then you're also living in Oxford and you know, I danced and I had my college and I had my MBA and I literally what would happen is you'd have eight weeks of classes two, you know a week of study, then a week of finals and at the end of those ten weeks everyone was sick, because literally you hadn't slept for 2 1/2 months and you know, Oxford isn't I say Oxford University is sort of a it's a shell It's an umbrella and it's composed of all of these colleges and there are events and let me tell you, shifts flying left and right, and you're constantly making decisions and you're constantly faced with ambiguity and if you don't embrace it, you jump off the bridge of sighs like it's really difficult and intrinsically with, you know, kind of a science and engineering background I was an optimizer right, so I'm trying to optimize every single decision that I'm making and then being in an environment where that was simply, it was incalculable for me to do that It kind of forced me and challenged me to grow, and I think those are very useful traits for becoming an entrepreneur because you never have enough information you never have complete information and you're always under time pressure, so you know I don't know if that was some genius decision from the seed Business School, whoever architected it, but like it worked really well for me.

00:19:21 Karan Takhar
I was laughing because I really relate. I'm at that two-month Mark. We have six weeks left, and it's just been jam-packed with constant opportunities that always present it at you, you know, so learning how to prioritize, and I, too, am someone who thinks deeply about all the decisions I'm making, but it's very difficult in a, you know, such a new and constantly happening environment so thank you for providing more insight I think now would be a good time to talk more about your work at pink things as I was researching your company, and I've conducted a lot of these interviews, a few with people who you know work on the utility side as well as who also have experience investing in the cleantech slash energy power sector technology space and from my understanding and through these conversations, I've learned that there is a significant opportunity to, you know, build platforms such as the one that you're currently building in terms of optimizing and providing more visibility into what's happening on the grid, but essentially would just like to hear more about how you're thinking about the space and also where you feel what gap you feel paying things to be filling within the energy market and the power market In the US.

00:21:04 Sean Murphy 
The gap that we're filling is that right thing we provide a very performant, very scalable, very cost effective time series data platform, right It's designed for data management, analytics applications and AI with time series data typically machine generated or sensor data and so we see kind of the the opportunity here is that with the contemporary grid right, we're going from a unidirectional system where the generated power it Flowed through the transmission system and then it gets consumed It flows from the transmission to distribution It gets consumed and that's it and we're going from that, which is a, you know honestly, it's still a complex system, but energy and power are flowing in One Direction It's like a volcano Volcano erupts, lava flows down from the top of the volcano and it you know when it hits the sea it it's done to now with kind of the big push, the energy transition we've gone from that unidirectional model to a bidirectional model and one that's orders of magnitude more complex and complicated created in the old grid right we had big hunks of spinning metal they follow lovely physical laws you can write the equations for them that govern their behavior and they generate power and they generate nice sine waves and they are knowable systems and now what we're doing is we're we're ripping a lot of those out and right we had equations that told us almost exactly how those things worked, and now we're throwing in all of these semiconductor driven devices these black boxes with dynamic performance characteristics that no one knows and we're throwing those things onto a legacy grid we're violating the original design assumptions and requirements, and we're just expecting that to work, and it's not going to and the patient, i.e., the grid desperately needs monitoring we need to be consuming and using all of those timestamped measurements from all of those sensors that are already deployed and we need to use them to tell us about how the good is behaving what's going wrong, what might go wrong and headed off before it happens because grid outages are an enormous cost on society, so we see kind of the role that we can play as one in kind of foundational to the energy transition, because at its heart the energy transition is going to be a digital transformation of the legacy.

00:23:57 Karan Takhar
How did you identify that this was a need in the first place, as in what inspired this idea to launch a platform which provided that visibility and monitoring of the grid?

24:14 Sean Murphy 
We knew that there was like on the transmission system there's a type of sensor called a synchrophasor or phasor measurement unit. A PMU and it generates a tremendous amount of data. It can generate 200 channels or streams at 30 to 240 samples per second per stream and we knew that there were a lot of those sensors deployed, but a lot of utilities weren't using the information, they weren't we actually have a smart we have a smart grid we just have it turned off and we have it turned off because dealing with that volume of time series data is hard and it wasn't a solved problem and a lot of their existing data systems could not handle that volume and velocity of data of time series data so we saw that as kind of a oh, you know, here is a need we can solve this need Lo and behold, there are just tremendous number of use cases and applications that this data can enable and that what we see you know it's kind of like with the highway if I add lanes to a highway, typically I'm going to get more traffic I'm going to get more cars and so as more bandwidth becomes available and ubiquitously then typically you get sensors that are going to sample faster and faster and faster so that they're able to capture rapid or short duration dynamics on the grid It's kind of an inevitable and we realized that existing systems just weren't up to it so great opportunity.

00:25:59 Karan Takhar 
What were some of the data points and different measurements or factors or variables that the technology that you mentioned that was already on the grid but was turned off and wasn't being effectively utilized by the utility companies? Can you provide insight into what variables got those systems teams were providing to the utility companies that then you guys have been able to harness for the operators and how that helps them?

00:26:31 Sean Murphy 
Yeah, absolutely, so the sensors that I mentioned, the synchro phasers, right what they do, the voltage and current on the power grid, most of it flows as it's alternating current. It's a sinusoid. It's a sine wave, or at least it should be, and in the US, it's 60 Hertz, so it oscillates 60 times a second, and the sinker phaser what it does is it measures that sine wave, let's say, typically 10,000 times a second and then it extracts parameters about that sine wave, like the magnitude and the phase angle, and it does that for both the voltage and the current waveforms, so what it does is it's giving you kind of a high-definition view of the voltage and current on the grid, so instead of getting an update once every two seconds or once every 15 minutes like right the smart meter on the side of your house sends back data like once every 15 minutes or once every 30 minutes these sensors are doing that 30 or 60 or 120 times per second and so it's like going from AM radio to a high definition picture, and you can just see much more of the fast dynamics the grid that was invisible before we're talking about everything from lightning strikes to oscillations to the noise and the behaviour you see before an asset will fail so the kind of the hints of asset failure and so you can estimate asset health, et cetera. We're looking at over 100 different use cases for this data, and the kind of the exciting part is we see it as absolutely instrumental from an energy transition perspective because a lot of the inverter-based resources on the grid, like solar for example, actually create a lot of noise and a lot of problems for the electric grid when they're added and we can see that we can make that visible and when you make a problem visible, then that problem can be solved, and that's exactly what we're doing with a lot of our utility customers.

00:28:54 Karan Takhar
I see that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for expanding on that. In terms of the opportunities and challenges within this space, what do you foresee is one of the major opportunities and benefits which you have already just touched on? I think it would be useful to go further into what the challenges are exactly as it pertains to bringing more solar onto the grid for utility providers and grid operators and how exactly your platform can help those potential customers.

00:29:35 Sean Murphy
Yeah, absolutely, so one big problem that we see in and a lot of the utility experts are talking about now, and all the utilities that we talked to It, 's a phenomenon known as oscillations, and So what happens with an oscillation Is you can think of It with your washing machine you know how, like when you load it up, and It's a little bit off, and you get Bump, Kind of noise from the out of balance washing machine when it goes into its spin cycle where that drum is spinning very fast, but you hear that is an oscillation and that is exactly what's actually happening in the grid, especially when you add these inverter-based resources solar itself is a DC when I shine a current when I put photons onto a photovoltaic panel, you know I generate a DC Voltage or current I have DC power and to match that to the grid I need to then convert that into an oscillating sinusoid and if I don't do it just right I can cause those oscillations to occur and those oscillations ripple across the grid you can actually have one that starts on the East Coast and it makes its way to Alaska these things can have far-reaching impacts and those oscillations they can ebb and flow over time depending on how the load on the grid changes and what new resources either go, go offline or come online and so you can actually have these oscillations cause blackouts and they can trip different devices that will activate when they're not because of that oscillatory behavior so that's something we're seeing everywhere, and because these oscillations are typically from, let's say 2 to 10 Hertz they're much faster than existing systems can see, and we can see them clearly, and we can monitor them over months and years, and so we're getting insight in how the grid actually behaves and the conception of how it behaves is not accurate a lot of folks look at these oscillations singular events and they're not these oscillations are bouncing around the grid all of the time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they ebb and flow and that's really what causes a lot of these problems, so it's not just an unusual event, it's actually happening continuously, but sometimes it gets bad enough to get noticed.

00:32:20 Karan Takhar
Let's see, by providing visibility into those oscillations then, the grid operators can effectively try and mitigate those oscillations, and as a result, would that improve the efficiency of the grid?

00:32:36 Sean Murphy
Oh, it's enormous It's an enormous benefit because right now we are at a relatively low solar or inverter-based resource penetration, right some places like Hawaii are more so than others but we're relatively low, and as we add more, sort of what we've seen is are these problems increase and increase in magnitude they increase in severity they increase in along a lot of different dimensions and fundamentally the complexity of the grid is increasing so if we want to achieve this energy transition where we have this grid that's powered by a lot of renewable energy this is going to be an enormous problem, and it's one of these problems that unfortunately hasn't gotten enough press because it's not just about standing up a new solar plant, right that's great, that's a it's a good first step, but you can think of it like a developer, right someone who develops residential housing right, the developer comes in, buys up land, throws down some houses he or she takes their money and they're out, but then it's the community that sort of has to pick up the pieces and make sure the roads are big enough make sure the schools are OK and make sure the hospitals etcetera You can't just build houses and magic happens there's a lot of infrastructure that's needed to support those houses and that's something that's similar with switching from the grid we used to have to a grid that's really driven not by one or two traditional generators, but by hundreds or thousands of smaller inverter-based renewable resources.

00:34:19 Karan Takhar 
That makes a lot of sense, and yeah, that brings me to a statistic that I read, which reflected how unplanned outages are growing around 10% every year, and that has the potential to cost about 190 billion annually. So by having visibility into these systems, utilities can potentially save a significant amount of money over time. I think that's why when I do talk to our investors and also see some of the trends that are occurring within the different clean tech verticals, this space is receiving a lot more interest in investment.

00:35:09 Sean Murphy 
Yeah, I think I think it's important because, obviously, everyone's on board with having greener energy. But what happens if the cost of a greener grid is such that now the price of energy has gone up by a factor of five will obviously from an energy equity standpoint, that's terrible, right because now all of a sudden you've you're putting a much larger burden on those folks who aren't In a position to be able to pay right, so those folks sort of at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder are going to get crushed, and so I think it's not only our responsibility to create a more sustainable grid but to do so in a way that's not economically devastating, right we need to do it in a way that It allows everyone to benefit from this energy transition, and it doesn't leave certain groups behind and so I think that's something where we can do it but there is an initial cost which people are talking about, just like there is an initial cost to developing all those houses, but no one really wants to talk about the other large infrastructure enhancements that are going to be needed to make that a reality and and and starting to get some play but if we don't, we're just going to watch the cost of energy increase and increase and increase, and that's obviously so much of our today's society and the function of our country depend on one particular price for energy and when it's not there we get a lot of problems to do.

00:36:49 Karan Takhar
You find in your conversations with the people who could benefit from this product, which I imagine are primarily utility companies do they see the need for having more visibility into their systems, and can you just provide some insight into how receptive you've been finding them to be?

00:37:12 Sean Murphy
So when we first started out, let's just say things were different. Now we've seen a much different, a much warmer reception, a much more welcoming reception, I think not.

00:37:27 Karan Takhar
Only do they.

00:37:29 Sean Murphy 
Understand that they are facing a chart like the energy transition is the largest challenge that they've faced as an entity, but they also understand the value of that data, and they're starting to understand that It's not just about applications and use cases but a core competency of the utility, it's not just about electrons flowing and delivering power, but it's about beta and bits and that they are going to have to reinvent themselves as digital organizations like that is a core competency that the utilities who don't will be acquired by those who do and so it's an existential event for them as well.

00:38:16 Karan Takhar
Because the ones who do will then be able to harness those insights to reduce the instances where unplanned outages occur or also reduce the maintenance costs, essentially, you'll give them a financial advantage.

00:38:34 Sean Murphy 
An enormous one, we've projected the capability of saving individual utility 10s of 1,000,000, if not larger amounts of money per year.

00:38:45 Karan Takhar 
Super interesting. Does that take into account the expected surge in solar that likely is going to result from the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act? I think I read a report recently which pegged the 2027 solar installation numbers to now increase by an additional 20% simply because of the passing of RA. So imagine that increased penetration will come with a lot more challenges in terms of integration on the grid.

00:39:20 Sean Murphy 
Absolutely, absolutely and right. With the sort of current push and the current funding, we expect it's only going to accelerate.

00:39:31 Karan Takhar 
This has been really informative. Thank you so much for all of your time. I would lastly like to circle back on a more philosophical question and would love to hear your thoughts as you reflect on your career journey. Is there any advice that you'd give to young people who are making that leap in the decision on which career they want to pursue? Do you have any advice that you would like?

00:40:02 Sean Murphy 
There's so much, I think the single most valuable thing that you can do is to kind of right we operate on these mental models these habits we see the world through these lenses that we've created for ourselves based on our experiences and we're, they're often subconscious we're not aware of them, and being able to bring them to the level of consciousness to be aware of them and really evaluate and enumerate and analyze those mental models that you kind of operate on that's like the step 0, right because then you can deconstruct the ones that you don't like you can emphasize the ones that you do like but typically a lot of that stuff that's going to be out of date it's going to be stuff that you developed and you were at a different point in life that really isn't going to help you get to where you want to go I guess the advice I would give Is that there is an introspection that I think is required and unfortunately, it's not taught I think it's a core competency for being part of this species for being human, but it it's not It's not discussed in any class or school I've ever been in, but it's an essential skill and I would say that's where we start with that.

00:41:24 Karan Takhar
Amazing, now I have a follow-up question. How amazing that answer is. What would that process look like practically? I mean, if you were to, you know, go back in time, and you were, you know, just leaving college and decided, OK, I need to see whether you know my operational mental frameworks are actually helping me reach whatever I you know, want to achieve how do you go about that introspection process?

00:41:55 Sean Murphy
What I did was I found a really quiet, serene place. I got a blank pad, the type that I like to write on, and I would pick some aspects. Give me an example like of an aspect of your life that you're thinking about.

00:42:15 Karan Takhar
Let's say my relationships.

00:42:19 Sean Murphy
OK, so I would like you to know at the top of the pad, you know, it's top
of the sheet of paper, I'd put relationships, and I'd, you know, maybe I'd list all my relationships, and then I would just give myself at least a couple of minutes per relationship to just stream of conscious just and just let myself put on paper or type whatever is more natural, just stream of conscious thoughts, unfiltered about those relationships In particular, you know if we're talking about general categories of relationships If you're talking about relationships with specific people, and I would just dump, and I would vomit my thoughts onto that paper until like I'm just done, and I'm empty and then to go back and start reading through to like oh, that's where I stand on that person, or that's where I stand on that type of relationship there is a lot there that will come out if you give it sort of the time and space and environment to do and once you read it like you might be actually quite shocked by what you.

00:43:25 Karan Takhar 
Right and with the same process applied to career goals, for example.

00:43:31 Sean Murphy
I think it's an amazing start for any of these, like career goals, well, let's start writing about career goals, and then when you get to a point and you stop and you're rereading, the prompt is well, why do I think that what makes me think that and keep questioning those thoughts and because right like a lot of that stream of conscious, what we're trying to do is you have a bunch of assumptions that are built in everything there's relationships to you, know, career advice or career path, etcetera It's built on a set of assumptions, and if you keep like, well, why do I assume that and you keep trying to make those assumptions apparent tangible then you can keep well, I don't know why I have that assumption anymore oh crap, that's an assumption I got from my, you know, from my uncle, where you can actually and once you see where some of these beliefs because what we're trying to do is, we're trying to make visible the beliefs that have built up inside your head that sort of govern a lot of the decisions that you will make because if you can figure out what your beliefs are you can probably change them, but if they're hidden, you can't because you're on autopilot.

00:44:43 Karan Takhar 
Amazing thank you, Sean, sincerely for your time and your insights and for these recommendations. I think I have some work to do coming up, but no really appreciate everything. Yeah, if you have any final thoughts.

00:44:59 Sean Murphy 
Yeah, if I mean if you're a utility or your potential customer, please contact me. We're always looking to add new partners, but just in general, I, you know, you look around, and you wonder why this stuff isn't taught in school. There seems to be a core set of skills that people really need, and they're just not, but if you think about the species and how do we go from where we are today into a better future, there are obvious deficiencies that we and we just keep repeating the same mistakes, and so if we keep behaving in the same way as it's kind of absurd to think that we're going to get out from sort of the set of traps that we keep creating for ourselves, and ultimately I think that starts with education so why do we keep why do we keep doing the same stuff.

00:45:47 Karan Takhar
100% completely agree. Thank you, Sean, for all your amazing insights and free time.

00:45:53 Sean Murphy
Yeah, anytime lovely to talk.

00:45:59 Conclusion
Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoyed the episode. Check out the episode description or show notes. For more information on our guest, see you next time.

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