In Brief: Shunya One Ep. 8

Lee Keshav, a tech entrepreneur, racing driver and co-founder of IT startup Hello World Labs, joined Shiladitya Mukhopadhyaya and Amit Doshi to discuss Hike messenger and automotive tech. Having been involved as the Design team lead for Hike Messenger from 2011-2015, Lee discusses what the experience was like being a part of that company. They talk about its founder - Kavin Bharti Mittal, Hike’s new wallet feature as well as its future prospects. Here is what Lee had to say:

Hike will eventually turn into a platform very similar to Wechat. From day one we never said we were competing with Whatsapp……[but] a lot of the privacy features you see today on whatsapp are a direct copy of Hike, because when we started building hike we were acquiring a lot of feedback, and the first thing, girls [would say was] I want to hide my profile photo from some people, maybe I don’t want to show I’m online to some people, or I don’t want some people to see my ‘last-seen’. These things weren’t there on whatsapp back then. So we built them first, and eventually whatsapp noticed because people started going on their reviews and saying ‘you don’t have this feature, I’m going to Hike!’. People felt secure on Hike….we added [wifi] encryption much earlier than anyone else.

Over the course of their discussion they talk about Lee’s racing career, what he has learned from it and how tech has transformed automobiles. Regarding how data some times forces one to do things that seem counter-intuitive, lee said: 

I still remember, I was taking one corner and I would be coming in at around 200kmph and I would brake, down shift and then take the corner at 150kmph…..and my car [ended up] skidding a lot, sliding everywhere and so I came in [and thought] it’s not possble to go any faster. [the engineers said], you’re going too slow. I’m like what do you mean by too slow! He [said] you have to go above 200kmph to make the corner....look at the data. This [driver] is taking it at 210kmph....when you go above 200kmph, there will be enough down force for you to be stable. So, imagine your coming into this corner at say 240kmph and all you do is just lift and you take the corner.....and the car was so stable. I couldn’t believe it! It was like it was on rails!

Catch the full episode here: