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Why He Left His Startup To Pursue Data Science Tutorials on YouTube (Keith Galli) - KNN Ep. 115

Updated: Nov 3, 2022


Today, I had Keith Galli back on the KNN podcast for round 2! Since our last talk, he left his startup to pursue YouTube and data science contracting full-time. We talk about balancing our work, finding motivation, and maximizing our habits in this exciting episode!

 

Transcription:

[00:00:00] Keith: You don't want the reward to just come at the end. You don't want that dopamine kind of spike just to be like the act of doing something hard. And then like at the end you get a, you know, a prize or something like that. The way that our dopamine systems work, and this all kind of relates back to motivation and all of that, is that if you're, let's say, going on a really long run and running is tough.

Like it's hard to love a, you know, a five mile run, but kind of actively trying to tell yourself like, I love. During the actual process and like the dopamine circuits actually like really read off of that. the way that we're thinking about things as we're doing them, where you very much bake in like this is enjoyable into the experience and try to do that your best that you can, whereas you don't just try to put all the real word at the end.

[00:00:59] Ken: All right. Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Ken's Nearest Neighbors Podcast. Today, I have Keith Galli back for I believe, the second time. Which is again, a rare honor. We've only had a couple guests on for two rounds here. We obviously were very recently at the Salt Lake City Creator Meetup, so we'll probably chat a little bit about that.

Keith also obviously came here exclusively to see me not to go to any wedding or anything like that. So I'm really happy that we could make time to, to get in, hang out and record something. So, Keith, how you doing?

[00:01:34] Keith: Doing well yeah, it's been fun being in Hawaii right now, so this is pretty cool. Nice. First time ever on the island or Oahu specifically? Beautiful spot. And Yeah. I told my friends to schedule a wedding around you, so it worked out perfectly.

[00:01:50] Ken: It's pretty awesome that, that they would do that for me. Yeah. I realize I do have a lot of pull Yeah. Perhaps when we're in the data community than the MIT community, but I felt, felt really good to to hear about that. What, what's been your favorite thing that you've done so far while you, while you've been here?

[00:02:04] Keith: I just appreciate like the pure beauty of this place. For me it's quite cool having like a beautiful beach just over. And then like on the other side, like half a mile, you have mountains. So the combination of long hikes and then go straight to the beach has been pretty cool for me.

[00:02:26] Ken: Yeah, a as Keith learned this trip, I absolutely despise sand . We did go to the beach and I did get some sand on me, but not too many sand filled. Splashes in the water for me. You only cried a little bit. Yeah, there, there's some, some minimal tears. My girlfriend was there to, to, to wipe them up, so it worked out pretty well.

But you know, first I'm again grateful you're here so we could have this conversation. You've been traveling quite a lot recently. You know, you've been sort of doing a little bit of nomad life. I'd love to hear about what that's been like, what your experience has been like. Obviously, I think since we last talked, you.

Working at the startup you're at. Yep. And I want to know about what that transition has been like for you.

[00:03:11] Keith: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, so about a year ago, like exactly a year ago, I left my full-time position at a startup that I was a founding member of. So it was like a four year journey, you know, and lots of ups and downs, but I kind of knew that at the end of the.

I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to pursue the YouTube endeavors full time. I wanted to have the freedom to like not be booked with meetings 24 7. So I knew that eventually it was gonna happen and I was gonna leave this company. And yeah, a year ago I made that leap and I've been really loving things since kind of going freelance, going YouTube full time.

But I've definitely struggled, like with the adjustment as. So the first, like three to five months, I feel like of leaving my job. I was just so burnt out that I didn't even like open a computer. So that was definitely a little bit of a transitionary period. But the past, I would say five ish months now, I've been working on a number of freelance projects YouTube, traveling a lot.

Working at a analytics bootcamp. So there's been a lot going on and I feel like it's been challenging trying to figure out the right balance, figuring out what to say yes to, what to say no to. And it's also like I've been loving traveling. So in the past five months, I've been, I spent a month in Los Angeles.

I spent about a week in Las Vegas. I went to Salt Lake City with the data crew. Now here in. So I've been all over the place, which has been super, super fun. But at the same time, like it's really challenging trying to figure out the rhythm of, of work plus travel and being dedicated, sticking to a routine while you're changing time zones bouncing around nonstop.

So I'm trying to figure out where the tradeoff is because. having a daily routine, getting up, working, you know, going home, working out, whatnot. But I also like, and I think I gain a lot from being in new spots, seeing other people. So figuring out that balance right now.

[00:05:42] Ken: Yeah. I think, at least from my perspective, as someone who also, you know, creates content, does consulting, does all this other stuff, who balance is one of the.

Issues out there, but I still have never felt as burned out doing this type of stuff as I did when I was working at a more traditional job. Yeah. I think the idea of being in control over a lot more of my workflow and being able to say no to things, even if I don't say no to them, that like mindset has been something that I have always had.

It's like, okay, worst case I could just say no. Yeah, and it's very hard to do that in a work environment. I. From my perspective, the people that I see are most happy in their jobs are the ones where they can have those conversations with their managers. and have that type of team and culture around them.

Yeah. But that is probably more rare than it should be. Was that something that you were facing when you were leaving your startup, or was it more that you're. I know you enjoy coding and doing totally technical work, and it seems like you weren't able to really do too much of that towards the end of your career, your stint there.

[00:06:52] Keith: Yeah, I think so. I think the biggest challenges, and I think the most freeing thing about now working on by myself is that I think one of the traits that I most need to work on, or one of the things I'm trying to improve myself is like, I'm always trying to please everyone. And my role when I was.

Finishing up with this company was head of customer success. So I felt a super big responsibility to keep all customers happy, Like do whatever it took to make them happy. And as a founding member of this company one of the challenges was not only I did, I have this kind of role of being responsible for these customers, but I knew how our code base worked.

So like, if something went wrong, , I kind of felt that responsibility that I had to fix it if, if no one else was available to fix it. So I didn't have a good balance of saying no to things. And the biggest thing for me that changed once I left the company is that I am fine saying no, but I felt like I was letting down my coworkers, I was letting down the customers by saying no to specific like requests.

Like, Hey, this needs to be fixed right now. . I couldn't just say no because it didn't just affect me that decision. It affected our team. You know, it lo it made other people on the team maybe look bad or it made our customers unhappy and like maybe it made their managers and, you know, the higher ups at their side unhappy.

So I always felt like it was harder to say no because I was so many more people were affected by that decision. And the responsibility of that decision, like definitely affected more people. But now, Freelancing to others. Like that's where it's really challenging for me.

[00:08:38] Ken: Yeah, I mean I think that that construct in general is something that's so powerful. I mean, so that's something that I know Tina, for example, uses really well where she's on the other side of that, where it's like she's okay. You know? Like we're okay. All, I think anyone in our scenarios we're okay if someone's like ripping into us, like we don't wanna let other people down. Yeah. But if you really want to get yourself to do something.

You sort of put yourself in a position. Where you could let other people down. Yeah. So it's like, Oh, I'm gonna live stream. And if I don't Yeah. You know, I'll be letting a bunch of people down and it's really cool to be able to get power over that yourself. To be able to say, Okay, I can create this construct when I need it to be able to force myself to do something or encourage myself to do something.

But I'm not living in this constant state of, Oh my God, I have to please everyone. I have to be on top of all of this. I can't let this drop because this has these cascading impacts on these other people. And at least for me, that's like a massive lesson that I had to, to pick up as well, is that how do I use this to my advantage?

How do I make it so there's as few positions as possible where it's like super reliant on me, but how do I also make it so that there are places where. , I can build that in if I really need that extra charge. Yeah. But like living in that constant state Yeah. Of I guess it's like stress is, Yeah. Not something that I would ever enjoy.

[00:09:57] Keith: Yeah. No, I agree a hundred percent. I think there's balance to it, because one of my biggest issues is I think it's easy when you have the freedom to go wherever, to do whatever at any time. You just don't get anything done. Like there's definitely. Value in the structure of a traditional job. And there's value in the structure of my full-time role prior to doing this.

And so I've been trying to adopt elements of that. So like, I went off, I don't need to do this, but I went off and rented my own office space cuz something about the nature of getting up in the morning and driving to the office very much helped me stay focused and in tune with what I was trying to do that day in tune with.

My goals. I think there's something to just be said about like, if I have a commitment, let's say I have a deliverable for a free freelance project I'm working on I, or maybe a a sponsored mention for a a YouTube video. I'm about to post. Like, I kind of like having it be like, Okay, I'm gonna have to stay at the office late tonight to do those things.

And then when I leave the office, that's me like turning things. So I've ch tried to adopt that a bit, but I'm still definitely working on being more accountable to some things because it's still a trade off that I haven't fully, even if I give myself a deadline there, it's hard to, I guess, the the repercussions of those timelines, those.

They're just nowhere near the same as they are when you have a manager that's gonna be at your heels if you don't do something. So I think, I think, yeah, I think maybe just adopting some of the tricks that you and Tina I've seen use and others use will be helpful. But yeah,

[00:11:53] Ken: I really like the office thing. I mean, that's something I probably should do, but I haven't gotten around to yet. I mean, I was running some office space but it wasn't, I wasn't using it nearly enough. I think that if, if you can, I think one of the biggest life hacks ever is using physical space to your advantage. Yeah. So you go, you work in this area.

One of the biggest things that, that I've tried to do is I only sleep in my bed. Or, you know, like only do things in your bed that are bad things. Like I try not to ever work in my, in my bed. I'm trying to even read lessen my bed. So like when I get. I'm conditioning myself to sleep.

And same thing, if you have an a, like a separate part of your room where you go and you work, or an office or whatever it is, you sort of switch into this work persona when you step into that environment. And I remember I would do this thing in grad school. I would only study with earplugs in like, no music, nothing.

Yeah. But once those earplugs went in, I was like, it, like a switch flipped. Yeah. And I was like, zoned in. And I like think now. I'm like, man, I wish. Cultivate that, that type of conditioning again, and I mean, we, we absolutely are capable of doing it. Yeah, just take some repetition and time and actually being specific to those different things, but maybe I will actually start doing that again.

[00:13:17] Keith: Yeah. No, I think it's crazy that our brains are very very tuned to some sort of routine, like very, they learn from how. Approach situations and if we do that frequently and always do something like it very much becomes like a flip of the switch. I feel like as far as like our brains go, I think like with the bed example, I think that's a great one where it's like if you are always working in your bed and like you never quite know when is the right time to actually.

Your brain is not gonna be like mentally ready. Like you're just, you're gonna be restless, I feel like throughout the night because you're, that, that cadence, that rhythm, that routine is not there. I think I'm trying to do similar stuff with like, no phone in the bed. Like it's so easy to just like sit and play chess for an hour or two and I just then can't fall asleep.

It's just, it's not good for anything. But it's somehow, it's kind of like an addiction that it's tough to. It's so easy to bring your phone in and just like lie down and chill. But I think conditioning ourself to adopt these routines that we know are better for ourself makes a huge, huge difference.

If you hear about like some of the peak athletes they are so much in a strong routine that like they don't think about anything like as they're prepping for a race or a big event. Like they all, everything. Set up for them. Like they kind of, there's no wiggle room. There's less wiggle room. It's like, yeah, the phone is one thing I'm trying to do.

One thing that I found the same thing with you with the earplugs is I don't wear glasses, but I got a pair of those blue light reading glasses screen glasses, blue light blocking glasses, I guess is the right term. And when I put those on, those are very much. I'm not messing around anymore. I only put these on if I'm ...

[00:15:26] Ken: ... Better watch out.

[00:15:26] Keith: Well, I would wear them in a video, but the reflection of the screen is too tough. Yeah. I'll sometimes, this is a side note, but I'll sometimes if I want to have glasses on and a picture or a video, I'll just pop out the lenses. ,

[00:15:42] Ken: Yeah. That's something I've actually done a lot of work with, so you know, the light here, if I look up. You can see the glare. So a lot of it is where you place the lights and there's Yeah. A lot of nuance to that. So it isn't, But I also got anti glare glasses. I didn't realize that was a thing. And yeah. Who is it? I was Alex, the analyst. His glasses sucked. , there was so much glare in everything and we had to, we had to be creative with how we found try.

So if you're interested in video content Yeah. And tagular glasses the way to go. But I agree. I feel like there's so much of. So much of a system or so much of a structure you can put into place and that eliminates the need for a lot of willpower. Yeah. Right. If you can sort of set it and forget it.

There's so much talk about motivation. How do I get motivation to do this? Or I'm losing motivation. I think motivation should be a very small portion of what encourages us to get to work or to, or to do anything. Right. Maybe like that little extra punch you need to, to get going. In theory, you build motivation actually after you start.

That was one of the most revolutionary things that I ever read. Yeah. Is like actually motivation is a symptom of work rather than a cause of you to, to do work.

[00:16:57] Keith: So I'm curious I just feel like this is beneficial and I'm always like trying to gain more in this area and learn more about these types of things and like what, you know, they do research studies and all of that, like on these types of routines.

I'm curious if there's anything that you've read or listened. On this front that like, like actual research you've learned from I gu well maybe not research, but like even podcasts or something. So like, I'm thinking back, like I feel like I hear Tim Ferriss on his podcast always interviewing people and he's always trying to pull out these like, routine type things that, that help help him.

I learned from like Greg McEwens podcast. He mentioned Michael Phelps and just how Michael Phelps was just such a well-oiled machine. Leading up to every race. Everything was preset. He always did the same thing. He always like, where it became like the, basically the story was like, you know, from like the night before to like the day of the race to the race itself.

Like everything was kind of set. And by knowing exactly how he was gonna approach everything, it was like winning was part of the routine. It just kind of be bake into the routine where it's just, visualized that happening. You visualized everything about him approaching the blocks. And then like the actual act of doing really well just became part of the routine well as well. So it wasn't like he was out of sync ever.

[00:18:25] Ken: I'm trying to think. So, I mean, a podcast I love about that type of stuff is the Huberman Lab podcast. Yeah. He has a lot of stuff on focus and protocols and routines. Obviously the book Atomic Habits is something I've mentioned quite. , which talks about how you actually establish these habits and make them consistent and get them up and running and make them effective.

And then, I'm trying to think, the Four Disciplines of Execution is also a really good book that I, that I love. It talks about, it's more a team focused book. How do you get the most out of teams, But you can use it on an individual level as well. And so the idea is you. large, what they call a wig, wildly important goal.

And then your, your focus is sort of on that. Yeah. It's like a, this, this I ideal. But you then have this layer, which is the second layer, is you want to focus on lead metrics, not lag metrics. So you wanna focus on tackling the parts of the challenge to get to that goal. The like, that is actionable.

So if I wanted to lose weight, for example, I could count how many times I went to the gym. Yeah. Or I could track how many calories I eat rather than tracking on a day-to-day basis how many pounds I lose. Cuz those aren't directly correlated because of water weight and those types of things. Yeah. And so the things you have complete control over is exactly what you eat and how many times you go to the gym.

That's what you should be measuring. And those things will be directly correlated to if you Yeah. Let's not say lose weight, let's say if you're, if you get healthier or not. Right? Yeah. And then the other part about that is, accountability. So you share those things with other people. Yeah, which is what we mentioned before.

And then I think the last part is having like one-on-one conversations and like feedback sessions to, to actually improve upon those. Is this from Atomic Habits? This is from the four disciplines of execution. Okay. But that in theory is the system to make you most Yeah. Likely to achieve those wildly important goals is sort of breaking it down into the structure and having those two different parts of reinforcement.

The biggest thing. At least for me has been the the leading metrics. Yeah. Not focusing on the lagging metrics. Yeah.

[00:20:43] Keith: Interesting. I like that. And I feel like it's very relevant for me because getting healthier, losing weight is definitely things that are on my mind. And I very much look at myself looking at the scale and the water weight is crazy like...

The amount of fluctuation day to day. Whereas I should be just, I think, focused on, you know, the miles I run. Calories I eat maybe, and just go off that and just be proud of consistency in that regard. And I think the lagging metrics will come. So I like that.

[00:21:12] Ken: Yeah. Well, I mean, on that front it's the same thing as going into the office.

Like a a a leading metric you could have for your work. Yeah. Is just if you show up to work. Yeah. Right. I mean someone, a lot of people, essentially the book I was talking about before, , your motivation builds as you go. Yeah. It's called the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. Yeah. And one of the things that they talk about is essentially if you're gonna go running, right?

There's some trigger that once you start running, you're probably gonna, once you start doing it, you're going to, you're gonna just go out and do it. Yeah. And for a lot of people, it's like putting on their first sock to go to the gym. Right. Or like having the running shoes out, That's actually the barrier.

And so once they do that, they're, they know they're going running. Yeah. And so, like for someone, it might be, Oh, I just have to, like, if I get in the car to go to the office, I'm gonna have a work day. Yeah. And I'm gonna dig, take out a bunch of stuff done. And so finding out what that is for yourself and figuring out like what that threshold is, is really, really important.

And figuring out exactly how far you have to go and just like getting through that resistance. Cause once you start working, like, I think for most people, you're. Yeah, like you get five minutes in. That's another big one. It's called the five Minute Rule. And I do this a lot, is I set a timer for five minutes and I have to work for those five minutes and at the end I can stop if I want, but I almost never stop.

[00:22:33] Keith: Nice. Yeah. I'm learning a lot right now. Yeah. Just to, to tie this conversation, I guess like full circle, I also like the The WHO Ribbon Lab podcast and I think one of. Interesting things that I heard on it recently. It was just one of his more famous, I think episodes was on dopamine.

[00:22:51] Ken: This episode is brought to you by Z by HP. HP's high compute, workstation-grade on a products and solutions. Z is specifically made for high performance data science solutions, and I personally use the ZBook Studio and the Z4 Workstation. I really love that Z workstations can come standard with Linux and they can be configured with the data science software. With the software stack, you can get right to work doing data science on day one without the overhead of having to completely reconfigure your new machine.

Now back to our show.

[00:23:21] Keith: And this is something that I'm directly going to apply to, I think my teaching strategy more so in a I guess real world type scenario in a live session type scenario than a YouTube type scenario. But he mentioned where. You don't want the reward to just come at the end. You don't want that dopamine kind of spike just to be like the act of doing something hard.

And then like at the end you get a, you know, a prize or something like that. The way that our dopamine systems work, and this all kind of relates back to motivation and all of that, is that if you're, let's say, going on a really long run and running is tough. Like it's hard to love a, you know, a five mile run, but kind of actively trying to tell yourself like, I love.

During the actual process and like the dopamine circuits actually like really read off of that. the way that we're thinking about things as we're doing them, where you very much bake in like this is enjoyable into the experience and try to do that your best that you can, whereas you don't just try to put all the real word at the end.

So like, don't just tell yourself, Okay, if I go for this five mile run, then I get to eat an ice cream. You don't want to just focus all on the end goal because then it'll be much harder to actually build on the actual task. So if running's the task, it's much harder to build. If you can't get yourself to enjoy that experience at all, you're just counting on this thing at the end.

And it was like very much wired into our circuitry that like, it made a big difference on dopamine and motivation. If, if you learn to. The actual process of doing as opposed to just setting reward. and the way that I'm applying this to like stuff that I do is I tutor a lot of younger kids and I have found myself often trying to like, reward them with a prize or something if they like do well, and I need to find ways where they're motivated in the actual work itself as opposed to just trying to get.

A new Minecraft unlockable that I'll pay for for them if they if they get their work done and don't complain throughout it. So, you know,

[00:25:39] Ken: I think the person who's essentially the master at doing that is David Goggins. Yeah. I've talked a lot about David Goggins on this podcast, but there was something in his book that really resonated with.

And it was the idea that everything we do is training for life. Yeah. Right. It's training for the next time we face adversity, it's training for the next thing that's out there. And so it makes it this essentially continuous process of everything that we do. If it's hard, it's, you know, callousing our mind to, to do better in the future.

And I've started to see that so much with like the jujitsu I've been training. Yeah. Right. I love the fact. Like, someone like beats me in a move. They sweet me, they whoop my ass, and I like get like the biggest smile on my face because it's like, oh, this is training for me to not have that happen again in the future.

And like for anyone who hasn't done it, you just do sucks. You're getting like absolutely like s smushed, you're getting put in uncomfortable positions, you know, if your ears get beat up and some rough stuff happens. But there's always this idea that like, oh, the next thing, like if I can get through this, I can get through the next one and I can get better and I can improve and.

And it's got this very interesting circuitry built in. But on the other side of that, if you don't feel like you can get better or if you don't believe that, that it is purposeful that you're doing this, yeah. You're probably not gonna get anything out of it. You're not gonna want to continue to do it or go back or, or, or have any of these outcomes.

So it's very interesting how intention ties into process, which ties into outcome. Yeah. Right. So having a good mindset going. Versus having a good mindset while you're doing it, which I think a good mindset going in bleeds into a good mindset. People doing it. Yeah. Which bleeds into good outcomes. Yeah.

Like that. It's a fascinating sort of construct. Yeah. I'm interested in, you know, the last couple months obviously we, we all got together as a group. What was your experience with that? Is there anything you took away? Is there anything that you're working on? Perhaps because of some of the stuff that, that we started at our retreat in Salt Lake City.

[00:27:48] Keith: I mean, I just definitely appreciated, I think, at least for me, when you make content in the data space and you spend your whole, like, you know, your, your work is related to data. Your like, like everything that you kind of do is related to data and programming and all that. Like, I'm not consuming a ton of like data science type.

At least on like the YouTube side of things. Like a lot of the people that were on this trip, you know, they're not people that I've seen a lot per se, like just watching their videos. So I didn't really know what to think with about some of these people. But then I think one thing that was just really cool was like actually meeting some of these people that you kind of, at least I kind of wasn't super, like, kind of vaguely oversaw what they were doing, but never really tuned.

Like fully. And so I think this trip gave me a, like a real reason to connect with everyone's channels and contents in a much more in depth way as well as just connect with the individuals making this type of content. And I definitely like gained a ton of respect and really admired a lot of the stuff that people were doing admired hearing about how people approached the work they do.

I think there's a lot of conversations that I had. Kind of around what we've been talking about so far on this podcast, just with like how you find a rhythm, how you keep up with that, that rhythm how you don't burn out. Like I learned a lot from people and I think I kind of came into the trip, not really think I would have a fun time.

It would be cool to be with this group of people, but I think I learned a lot through actually just getting to sit in a very casual setting you know, sitting in the hot tub or whatnot. And just kind of taking in what people were saying and how people approach things. And I definitely was exposed to a lot of things where I'm like, Oh, I see enough of this data.

Like I'm fine if I don't maybe dive into this area. But I think I sparked a lot of interest in different areas and different expertise levels where I feel like there's a lot of like people that we ran into on the trip that were on, like the data engineering side of things. And I definitely like, you know, maybe I will read this. Book that I got about data engineering.

[00:30:09] Ken: Shout out to joe Reese in the Fundamentals of Data engineering book. Shout out to Bright Data. and Matt, he has Hasley. And to, to break data for making that, that trip possible. You know, I, every time we've only done two of 'em, but every time I'm around the other content creators, I'm like constantly ,inspired.

By the things that they're working on. You know, I think it's like awesome that you're doing the freelance work, right? Yeah. You're like, That's not something I've been able to, to really pursue at least at this stage. And it's like, Oh, you know, he's able to make income or drum up the business Yeah.

When he wants to. And I think that that's unbelievably empowering. I've also found it fascinating to, like, I've become friends with a lot of the people in the, in the space as well, right There. I think like three or four different levels of friendship. So the first is like, Oh, I went to college with this person, like the acquaintance or proximity.

And those or those can be good, but they're not the most like, stronger relationships. Yeah. The second is if you are aligned in terms of activities, so Right. Like, I went to college with this person and we both like playing hockey. Like those generally are stronger relationships. Yeah. And you, you hang out with those people on the weekends.

Do what? And then there's this third level where it's like this value orientation where we both have similar visions of what we'd like. You know, for a lot of us, especially in maybe the content creation, data science space, a lot of us are interested in freedom. Yeah. We want to build things. We want to create.

Yeah. And I think that that leads to significantly more driven conversations and really interesting things. And I also think that those are the types of relationships. I am trying to pursue as I continue to grow is because like, if a lot of these people are, have the same value, similar values, and we were interested in a similar like space, like these people probably have interest in doing a lot of the same things either from a business or Yeah.

Professional or from a like leisure perspective that I do. And that to me was, has been like completely blowing the lid off of my. Am I like more like social side of myself? Yeah. Because it's like, oh, like I found people that are interested in the same things. Like it's so cool that we can, Yeah.

That we can like do all this stuff together. And it's been, you know, I had some friends like that in grad school. But even now I've grown sort of apart from them. Cause we've gone in different directions and I would've never thought it was possible to have this many people. that I felt very connected to in multiple ways at this stage of my life.

[00:32:56] Keith: Yeah. And I think that's an interesting way to think about it. I definitely agree. Overall, I think one thing that's interesting is that, I mean, it definitely is challenging for me. Like I went to school with a lot of smart people, but they're very much pursuing more traditional careers.

You know, big tech companies, consulting firms big financial institutions. So they're working on cool things, but it's very, I think it's hard for me to really engage and connect with them on a work-based level. And then by the nature of content creation, the nature of like, it being a very independent effort, I would say in a lot of regards.

You don't have any coworkers or anything. It's cool that this kind of network has become a kind of like a, yeah, a network, a job type community. But I think the beauty of it is I always had trouble building strong relations with coworkers. I thought just because it's a fragile thing, you're tied together by this company, you could be let go.

You know, things can happen very quickly and that like relationship is kind of severed a. I think it's really nice from my perspective where you have that same type of like common goal relationship where you're both, you're all striving to challenge yourself, be creative make content that's useful and impactful to as many people as possible.

But you don't have that like kind of forced connection where you can come together, you can like find the right times to work with people, but it's not like you have to work with them. So are, there's so. I think freeing about that where you can truly be yourself because there's no implications. I mean, I guess you could do something stupid, get canceled and that's a challenge.

But like I think within like reasonable boundaries, like you could be more yourself because there's no sort of like overlooking entity that's gonna like shut you down if, if you have an idea that doesn't agree with. all the creator's ideas or something.

[00:35:17] Ken: Yeah, I agree. And I think that, you know, extrapolating this further to people that are listening, this isn't something that's exclusive to us is, you know, content people or, or people who are educators or whatever it might be.

There's communities that you can self-select into, whether it's a learning community, whether it's some of these other things where people also have this very similar value orientation. And to me that's one of the most impactful and valuable things that you can do is you can seek out. You see things or are interested in things in a similar way as you are.

Because at least from my perspective, the things that we can achieve working together, collaborating, learning from each other Yeah. Is so much more than I could achieve on my own. And also I will say like something that was like fairly surprising, which I really enjoyed. It's just like how independently, like funny so many people were.

Yeah, just the personalities and. The quirkiness and just the ideas. I mean, you see a lot of these people through the lens of their content. Yeah. But I think everyone is authentic to there on the content. Yeah. But you see this other side that's a little bit goofier, that's a little bit more expressive.

Yeah. And I love that. Yeah. And you know, I can get a little bit out there in my content, but it's nice to know that all these other people are not just like absolute stiffs like they possibly could be. Right. People, you'll, we'll see some, some fun content. Yeah. Coming outta the house soon. Keith has some, some good moments in it. I'm quite enjoying.

[00:36:46] Keith: I'm a very serious guy at all times.

[00:36:49] Ken: Big serious, Keith. Well, well, speaking of that, I see that you're working quite a bit in some exotic locations especially through your Instagram.

[00:36:58] Keith: Okay. Yeah.

[00:36:59] Ken: Could you share a little bit more light about that? I think I saw you coding in the desert. Maybe on a snowboard, some. Is that just dedication to your craft or what is that?

[00:37:08] Keith: I feel like I have a lot of fun ideas that I want to tap into, but me just throwing like a snowboarding video. Up on my channel that is dedicated to programming. And Python tutorials might come as a little bit of su a surprise might be a little bit too abrupt of a change.

So I feel like I just have these fun ideas and my way to tap into them is to , throw a computer in there somewhere, whereas I can do whatever I want to do in the world if I have a computer in front of me. So I feel like on some of these creativity I've been having fun with seeing the craziest location.

I can set up a desk and grind out some code seeing the craziest activity I can do while grinding out some code. So it's just kind of a fun way to like tap into that inner nerd, but also like show off some of the the interesting other things. I like it. I haven't posted much on my YouTube on that front.

Yeah. Just quick plug of the Instagram @ Keith Galli. Some fun, fun locale.

[00:38:22] Ken: Nice. Well, I also hear you're quite the renowned Connect Four player. Oh, yes. Can you tell me a little bit more about that? I absolutely dominate my girlfriend at Connect Four. The last like, five games we played.

[00:38:32] Keith: We'll see you, You have to play me and then talk .

[00:38:34] Ken: I don't think I'm good. I think she's objectively bad. I hope she doesn't listen to this one. I,

[00:38:38] Keith: I think the Connect four could be kind of a fun. Story, and I feel like maybe motivation to anyone listening that like wants to start something. The first video I ever posted on my YouTube channel was how to Win at Connect Four almost every time, almost every time.

I couldn't make it too click Beatty I guess. But really it came down to the reason I made that video was that I knew I basically have always liked videos in making video. But the videos that I've made have always been kind of silly and like me and like my three friends and maybe my mom and dad , they might say they enjoy it.

But like, you know, a group that I can count on my hands enjoys the content that I used to make. And I kind of figured out like if I really wanted to grow and really wanted to, to make something out of this, I needed to provide value to more than just 10 people. And so the way that I thought about that at first was like, I love learning.

I love school. I love that. What can I teach others that they could get value out of? And I don't know why Connect four became...

[00:39:47] Ken: You probably faced just this devastating Connect four loss.

[00:39:50] Keith: Yeah, it came, came top of mind and I just knew that I was good at the Connect four game. It was simple enough, not many people making Connect four YouTube videos.

So I just kind of threw this out there. I just recorded it on my parents. We have a ping pong table in the basement. I think I was home for Christmas. I just opened up my laptop, what a rip was just filming on the ping pong table and just taught people how to, to play some connect four more strategically.

And the channel ultimately grew from there. I found other board games as like the next step. Then it was programming connect four and board games. And then it became just programming and python and data science. And I think the fun thing through all that, . I definitely, within my friend groups within circles have gotten this, this title of like Connect four experts.

So like no matter where I go, like if, if anyone sees a Connect four board, like I feel like a lot of bars these days, maybe not a lot, but like there's a lot of bars that have Connect four boards. There's some like Dave and Buster type places that have like big electronic. So whenever I go to one of those places, I have this, this title, my friends like hyping me up.

Try to talk me up as some sort of a Connect four celebrity. So it's, it is been a fun little like side quest. I feel like in my, my personal life being this connect four connoisseur.

[00:41:14] Ken: Yeah. I mean it's a just such a nuanced game that ums. I'm happy to ton of,

[00:41:22] Keith: I was too lazy to learn a proper game like chess. I feel like well, but this allowed me to be good.

[00:41:29] Ken: You go back and do it on settlers of ... Yeah. Maybe, maybe that would be a, that would be a fun one.

[00:41:34] Keith: Yeah. I've thought about it. I've thought about it.

[00:41:36] Ken: Yeah. I think feel like there's a lot of, like for the selection of the initial. Sites, that's where you have the most control.

I feel like that would be where you would optimize, throw some data, data science into the mix about it. Yeah, you could. I mean, there's probably like some algorithm, like pure algorithm or like math formula you could create for it.

[00:41:55] Keith: Yeah, that'd be fun. I think it would be, It's a fun way to tap into some creativity and also still be thinking very I don't know, like very, It's very educational, very academic, very.

You're using your, your brain a lot in those types of endeavors, but you also can kind of get creative with it, so.

[00:42:14] Ken: Yeah. I mean that's kind of how coding is too. Yeah. Right. Where there's...

[00:42:16] Keith: Logical thinking.

[00:42:17] Ken: Yeah. There's logical and creativity and they collide in a very unique way. Yeah. I actually already recorded the podcast for next week, and I talk a little bit about that.

Oh, nice. So anyone who wants to get excited about a plug, we talk about that a lot in the next episode. I don't usually do this. Yeah. But it does fit very well. Yeah. So you're gonna have to wait a week. But Keith, you know, honestly, this has been really awesome. What, what are you working on now? What, where can people learn more about you?

What's, what's the deal?

[00:42:46] Keith: I think the biggest things is one of my biggest goals moving forward. I keep saying this, I keep telling myself I need to say no to more things so that I can actually drill down in this goal, but I want to build some cool projects. I want to like really tap into, I think. Where I'm trying to go with like YouTube content is like, I want to challenge myself.

Like what is the word? I'm spacing on words. I wanna challenge myself, like with my mind. , there's a more graceful mentally, There we go. Yeah, there we go. Mentally is a nice adjective. It's hard in this type of situation that that's a good, I wanna challenge myself with videos moving forward. I wanna like challenge myself mentally where I build something that's Complex project.

It, it uses, you know, the whatever skills that I can throw out there in the coding world. I also wanna make it some sort of like physical component to it where like maybe it's an actual like robot or something like that. Like how can I bring these data science data projects to life? And then I kinda wanna challenge myself on like a personal level where I feel like I always have appreciated watching, like prank channels, Let.

How can I bring that type of like, like it's, it is tough thing to do, to go up to someone and like just say something ridiculous. Like, how could I bring this type of like, personal challenge into content moving forward. So like I think a concrete example, maybe someone will steal this because I'm gonna say it is I want to build a fitness tracker for dogs.

So it's like, it's fun from a mental perspective because it's a challenging project. Like how do I build a fitness tracker? How do I use like an accelerometer to track x, y, and Z components? And then maybe make a machine learning model that like actually tracks what the dog is doing. So how do I do that?

Then package up into a physical device like a dog collar, and then the like personal kind of challenging level is like, how can I get silly with this?

and with that regard, like maybe I go to like Petco and try to sell this fitness tracker at Petco. Like, how can I challenge myself and like really take myself outta my comfort zone and then tie those all into, like, you...

[00:45:08] Ken: You should try and return it to Petco like you purchased it from. There'd be, it's just clearly not lot. From there, you could also, you know, like the prank type. You could have like GPT-3 generate Yeah. Generate like compliments. Exactly. And you have to give them to people in real life. That would be, that would be pretty funny.

[00:45:27] Keith: I've been thinking about a like a GPT-3 generated like poem and going to like an open mic poetry night and just like, it might not make any sense at all. Just rambling that off. I'll have to definitely tap into my. I was a theater concentrator in college. It required like four classes in theater. So off to tap into that side of myself.

[00:45:48] Ken: I just concentrated a lot on theater. It wasn't like a class thing, you were just like theater.

[00:45:53] Keith: Well, when you're coding, all day theater was a nice I didn't know.

It was MIT theater. I don't know if MIT Theater is world renowned, World renowned. It was fun seeing people out of their comfort zones. ? Yeah. The computer scientists trying to grind out some I say grind out, trying to throw out some lines. Get into character. It was a. Quite a ordeal to watch.

[00:46:20] Ken: That's what we should do with the next trip is like, do a improv class together. That'd be fun. That'd be fun. I had a lot of fun...

[00:46:27] Keith: I think everyone loves it and it definitely like gets you outta your comfort zone and definitely a great bonding experience.

[00:46:32] Ken: I think I could legitimately hire someone to come and and do ... That'd be super fun. It'd be fun. Awesome. Well, Keith, this was incredible. I'm glad you came to visit me exclusively. Yep. And you hung out with me the other night instead of going to a friend's wedding. That was really cool.

[00:46:48] Keith: I think I might have went to my friend's wedding. Oh, I think that I might have ditched you that that day.

[00:46:54] Ken: Yeah, I didn't remember it that way. It's okay. But it's been real. And I'll see you again hopefully very soon.

[00:47:01] Keith: Yeah, definitely.

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