Episode 187:

Startup Lessons and Torch Passing with Kostas Pardalis

May 1, 2024

This week on The Data Stack Show, Eric and Kostas welcome John Wessel who will be taking over as the new co-host of the podcast as Kostas passes the baton. Kostas reminisces about his journey in starting the podcast and details the challenges of getting the show off the ground. He also shares his journey in the data world, the idea for beginning the podcast, and how his curiosity-driven approach to conversations with industry leaders has grown the show into the success it is today. Kostas also talks about stepping back to focus on a new data infrastructure venture, offering advice to the new co-host, John about what he can expect on the show. Don’t miss this episode! 


Highlights from this week’s conversation include:

  • Kostas Passes the Baton as Co-Host of the Podcast (0:24)
  • Reflecting on the Podcast (2:56)
  • New Co-Host John Wessel and His Background in Data (4:34)
  • Kostas Journey in Data (10:55)
  • Rudderstack’s Explosive Growth (21:28)
  • The Podcast’s Inception and Marketing Activities (24:19)
  • Evolution of the podcast (27:22)
  • Memorable guests and experiences (28:29)
  • Connecting with industry leaders and key innovators in the space (33:05)
  • Kostas’ new venture (36:26)
  • Advice for the new co-host (42:17)
  • Final Thoughts and Takeaways (44:47)


The Data Stack Show is a weekly podcast powered by RudderStack, the CDP for developers. Each week we’ll talk to data engineers, analysts, and data scientists about their experience around building and maintaining data infrastructure, delivering data and data products, and driving better outcomes across their businesses with data.

RudderStack helps businesses make the most out of their customer data while ensuring data privacy and security. To learn more about RudderStack visit rudderstack.com.


Eric Dodds 00:04
Welcome to The Data Stack Show. Each week we explore the world of data by talking to the people shaping its future. You’ll learn about new data technology and trends and how data teams and processes are run at top companies. The Data Stack Show is brought to you by RudderStack, the CDP for developers. You can learn more at RudderStack.com.

John Wessel 00:24
Welcome to The Data Stack Show. We’re here today with Kostas, welcome back to the show. I think I can say that we’re thrilled to have you on. And tell us a little bit about your background. And I just came on the show today. Yeah,

Kostas Pardalis 00:38
Thank you so much. It’s a very unique experience. For me, to be honest, my first time as the guest of the show has been so far, one of the posts. So I’m thrilled. I don’t know how it will go. But we have a lot of things to talk about the show itself. Hopefully, we’ll come up with some very funny moments like, what happened in the past three years here with the whole team revealing a little bit about what it takes to produce. So talk about the value of why people do that. I think it’s one of the things that we haven’t really talked that much about me and Derek, like, why would we keep doing these? And we’ll say We’ll improvise a little bit. I think it’s going to be fine. It’s going to be different, but it’s going to be a lot of fun.

John Wessel 01:39
Yeah, maybe some behind the scenes takes a beating.

Eric Dodds 01:46
You didn’t even talk about what you’ve learned, after three years of interviewing, you know, all sorts of data professionals cost. So maybe you don’t want to talk about that. Is that too difficult? I mean, emotionally? No.

Kostas Pardalis 02:00
Like, I, you know, like spending so much time with like, one of the best like, go to markets person was like, No, that’s you, Eric. Oh, I don’t want to produce an episode where you know, like, people will just listen to that episode. And we’ll learn everything, like the best thing they can do. Like goes through all of the 300 episodes. Oh, that’s true. There is so much knowledge in there that I don’t want and it’s fun. I will switch some decimals. That’s right. I don’t like to ruin that experience. So I’ll say a little bit, but I’ll keep it more of the teaser little I’m sorry. My beloved audience. I’ll torture you a little bit. But trust me, it’s for your own good.

Eric Dodds 02:43
Now that is a master that is a Master of Marketing, right? All right, well, let’s, let’s dig in and reflect on a couple years of doing The Data Stack Show. Good. Alright, so this is probably one of the most unique episodes of the show, and the intro listeners, you’ve probably heard a new voice, you’ve probably noticed that Kostas is the guest. So we owe you an explanation. Kostas is actually moving on from being a host of the data SEC show which is very bittersweet, that he’s going to tell us more about his next adventure. And then my good friend John Wessel is jumping in as a co-host. So I guess actually, this is weird, because I have to say, Welcome to both of you. costus. Welcome to the show. As a guest, I think for the first time. Is this your first time as a guest on the show?

Kostas Pardalis 03:46
Uh, I mean, yeah, like on the show. And in general, I don’t think I’ve ever been like a guest on the podcast. So before so

Eric Dodds 03:54
Oh, wait, this is literally your first time being a guest on any podcast. Yeah, it’s your own podcast. Yeah.

Kostas Pardalis 04:00
I’ve only been a host so far. Now. I’m working. So Wow. Excuse any mistakes? We will. I’ll try. I’ll try to be at least as good as all the guests we had so far and keep you entertained and hopefully help you learn a few things. But we’ll see. Yeah, that’s my first time. Yep. All right.

Eric Dodds 04:23
Well, welcome. You’re doing great so far, in front of the mic. And John, welcome to you and welcome as co host.

John Wessel 04:33
Yeah, I’m excited to be here.

Eric Dodds 04:36
Okay, well, let’s actually, John, let’s start with you. So we need to do a little bit of background for both of you. So John, tell us about your background. And how did you even end up getting on the radar of the show and becoming the coast?

John Wessel 04:51
Yeah, so Eric, and I actually work together. Previously, I was working for an ecommerce company. Eric was working As a consultant for us, and we found RudderStack, through Eric in the very early open source days. So I believe Eric, correct me if I’m wrong. I think that companies still have the longest running production. And so we still hold that record.

Eric Dodds 05:18
Yes, that is the last production instance. And in fact, okay to tie this together, full circle, Kostas, you had started at RudderStack. Around that same time, and we’re running products that RudderStack Around the same time, very early days.

Kostas Pardalis 05:37
Okay. And the instance is still there running. That’s, yeah,

Eric Dodds 05:43
yeah. So this is your handiwork, Kostas. Still bearing fruit.

Kostas Pardalis 05:50
That’s awesome to hear. I mean, there’s, that’s, I think, like, outside of, I think, like, people might hear more of my relationship with RudderStack, because of like this show, but yeah, like, there’s a lot of learning and like, very unique experiences that I had a RudderStack. Primarily, because, like, literally, I was there, like from, like the beginning. And it’s always amazing for anyone who has ever, like built something, when like, after a couple of years, like you meet with people, and they tell you, Oh, you know, like, keep using that, or we use that. And that’s something that I hear also, like, what was like from, like, users of RudderStack. I even hear from people but you’d like Blendo, like my first company I started. And it’s one of these things that you don’t really think about when you start a company out doing a startup in general, but it’s very surprising and very rewarding. So it’s always great to see that, like the startup you build, actually, you know, like they’re still out there and like they create something, even if you’re not around anymore, so that’s great. Yeah,

Eric Dodds 07:09
total. So we met a long time ago. You kind of met Kostas, you know, by proxy. Yeah. I

John Wessel 07:19
I mean, I was Eric, I was reflecting on that. And I still remember, this moment, we’re first setting it up. I was in discord. You know, you had a discord group back in the day. And I’m just thinking that maybe Kostas would have been in that same group. And I remember I was working out like nine or 10 o’clock at night. And, and then to me that, you know, your CEO was in there chatting away helping people in the discord group at night. So I went back, and I actually, I did find that like, oh, yeah, I did chat with him directly during the setup in the early days. So yeah, that was pretty cool. But yeah, Kostas, you may have been in that same group as well. Oh, yeah. I

Kostas Pardalis 07:59
remember the discord. I remember also doing the migration to Slack, which was like a big decision back then. Because where are you? Eric, when we did the migration couple before you can now

Eric Dodds 08:12
We ran? Well, you know, here’s startup LoRa for you. We ran both of them for a while. Do you remember that?

Kostas Pardalis 08:21
Yeah, for that? I? So you were you. Okay, you will deal with it? When would you start the migration, but it’s, yeah, it’s interesting, like the size of the problems are, like, different between different states of the companies, but they always feel the same as how big they are. I’m sure like, if you reflect now, in the decision of like, okay, migrating or like, even destroying, in a way like a community and restarting it, like in another medium. Now, you will say like, okay, like, sure, like, well, whatever. Like, it was, like, a couple 100 People like nothing crazy, right? Compared to what is now Right. Yeah. But back then it was like, Oh, wow. Like, can we afford to lose this?

Eric Dodds 09:13
We even consider putting our IPO at risk by, you know, impacting, you know, reactive users out of 117. Totally. So

Kostas Pardalis 09:28
it’s, it’s interesting. Yeah. Yeah.

Eric Dodds 09:30
Okay. So John, give us the brief. So fast forward from there and give us the path from you know, implementing data infrastructure that that E commerce company to today?

John Wessel 09:41
Yeah, so, I guess it’s been about a year now. So started out doing consulting, mainly focused on Snowflake and Snowflake implementations. And then especially, you know, for my time working with RudderStack interested in the customer data space. So that’s what I’ve been up to the last year now.

Eric Dodds 09:59
You Very cool. And when we heard the news from Kostas, I reached out to you and said, Hey, we have this podcast, you should, you should be my new partner in crime. So very excited to have you. Are you on the team? Oh, it’d be here. All right, Kostas. How do we even do a background? Like, have you ever given your background on the show? I guess that’s kind of a weird thing to do at the end, but

Kostas Pardalis 10:23
I don’t know. I don’t remember. Probably maybe fragments of it. Because of like the

Eric Dodds 10:30
right, you have to go back. And listen, that was what you were saying in the intro. Yeah. Like,

Kostas Pardalis 10:34
no matter what I say today, like there’s some you know, like hidden gems, that you have like to go and discover they will probably change your life for the better. You should only do that. But yeah, I can give my background. So Oh, my God, where to start from? So I usually start from like, 2014. That’s when I started, like my first company. Blendo. But okay, obviously, I was doing things like that before, too. So I’ve been like, my whole life in technology one way or another, like, like, grew up with computers, from the 80s to like the 90s, where the Internet came to Greece, where I’m originally from, I remember, like my first actually, I was connecting. So when I first connected to a network, we didn’t even have access to the internet in Greek. So it was like, just like, Look, I’ll be BSS right. And at some point, they brought, like internet connection, and the whole country had one IP, my actual not the whole country’s like the whole provider, the ISP while I was connecting through like one IP, right? Back then we were like, okay, the World Wide Web was very new. They were like gopher stuff that some people might have not even heard about. So I’ve seen technology like it was literally like a big part of my life always, like I studied computer engineering and software engineering, computer science. I mean, there are some points, I was trying like to figure out what I want to do, because I was always between, I want to do a PhD, but don’t want to do a PhD I serve, I was always like, for a couple of years, I was trying to like working or doing like some research at the University in Greece in the same time, like working as a software engineer. And then in 2013, I was like, Okay, I’ll start a company model, your startup didn’t have a lot of context around that staff are actually pretty much zero. Also, Greece was not exactly like the place back then to find people who like to talk about these things. Anyway, we decided to do it. So we started at the beginning, trying to figure out what to build, we were trying to build a product around, like some kind of proxy over like rest API’s. So it was like a developer tool, like the first version of it. And we had zero idea of how to take this to market. So it was brutal. We literally had like zero, like we didn’t know what we were doing outside of writing software. Then at some point, because we left our jobs, we started looking for some funding, super hard like to find funding in Greece, by the way, at that time. We entered like the peak of the financial crisis in Greece. So even if there was funding, let’s say like, it wasn’t even harder, like to find a capital. And that’s where we decided and we got an opportunity to relocate to Israel. Tel Aviv soon moved there. I lived there for a year. That was probably one of the decisions that I don’t think I can communicate how transformative it was for me and like how much it changed my life. It was, I don’t know, like it’s outside of like, what happened with the company, I think like on a personal level and Walter was like, like, crazy transformation, like getting out there in the world and seeing like how the world like operates and how small you are, but like, insignificant, but at the same time, like how much opportunities you have like to do something if you resist that was like something that’s I like kind of a gift that I got from like moving there. And that’s where that idea that we had back then turned into like what Blendo became. So we’ve got access to people about we’re primarily building companies here in the valley. Started like doing some discovery with them. And we realized that Oh, like you know what, like, API’s are cool but like people don’t care that much about integrating with API’s, but they care More is like how to get access to the data behind API’s. And I was like a big problem back then. And that’s how we decided to start building some kind of ETL platform. But focusing on things like pulling data out of web services, which became actually back then I had no idea that we were actually kind of like defining a new category, not only obviously, because at that time, pretty much started around the same time with Fivetran instance data. But it was the beginning of the category creation, right? Sure. Yeah. Wasn’t like a thing back then too, you know, you’d like a SaaS service to go and like, do what was called after a couple of years like ELT, right. And I remember like back then we started the, the big innovation that drove all these things was also Redshift. Redshift was, let’s say, the first in a way, cloud data warehouse that allowed companies of any size, or almost any size, to start getting access to something that before that it was primarily fortune 500 type of companies that had access to Yep. And that’s how the story with Blendo started, when we returned back to Greece at a sample in Cape like growing the business, trying to fake really hard that we are a Silicon Valley company, although we were in Greece. And that took me to 2019. I started looking for opportunities to bring the business here in the valley because we couldn’t grow anymore from Greece. And that’s where I got to the next part in my story, which is RudderStack. So there were like a couple of different opportunities of like, how we could keep like, moving forward with Blendo, one of them was to merge with rather suck. And what happened, we joined the RudderStack team. I came here, I moved here in the Bay Area, and 2020, the beginning of 2020. I joined the team there at a very early stage , so the team in the bay was Summerdale, the CEO, Brett. I think I joined about a week before I came. And then I came so it was pretty much like the three of us outside of the engineering team UX game a little bit later. And then we’d rather Sykes. I wasn’t the founder, obviously. But like I came with a very founder mentality. And I don’t know what it’s like for me, rather like, kind of fields that, like the second company that’s kind of Starseeds and which I always like, has a very special place in my heart. Both because of the things that I’ve learned, but most importantly, like the people that I had, like the opportunity to like to work with some of these people here in this show too soon. Go ahead.

John Wessel 18:19
Yeah, I was gonna ask what are some of your early days memories? So you know, startups are pretty crazy. And in the beginning, but what are some maybe good, or even some close call tight memories from the early days? When you were with the team?

Kostas Pardalis 18:37
With RudderStack? Or with Blendo? Yeah, it was either. I was thinking retrospectively, but either Yeah, whichever comes to mind. Yeah, the thing I mean, RudderStack and Blendo, like, very different experiences. Because the problems that we’re facing, or I was facing, let’s say we’re like, completely different shows. One of the things that I’ve learned by doing RudderStack After Blendo was how different of a playbook and an experience is like to build a company that then there’s like an existing market because RudderStack was doing that. And starting a company that is like actually in the category creation phase. And both have their own pros and cons, right? It’s not like, Oh, my God, like, category creation is so hard. It is hard, but it also has the luxury of less pressure in a way because, like, actually, the fact that the market has no idea what you’re doing is kind of like the great equalizer. And that’s what actually allowed us to do something with Blender, right, because we had zero chances of competing with the companies here in the valley otherwise, but it didn’t matter that the companies were here in the valley because like Markets were like, We don’t care. Like, we don’t know what you’re talking about, like Fivetran. If you talk like them, they will tell you like they reached the point of like, almost like shutting down the company, like, at least once. So it doesn’t really matter how much money you have at that stage. It’s like a very slow process where the market needs to be educated. And that allowed us although being like, so far away, and with much less resources to actually survive for that long and creating bucks, like, as I said, still, like, I talked with people, and they say, oh, Blendo Yeah, like, I, I use that, like, when I was also trying, like, on and I was evaluating that product, too, right? That obviously changed after let’s say, we cross the chasm, as they say, here, like, Stanford MBAs, like after that happened, and the market was like, oh, yeah, like, this is something that we need. Being here at the valley actually was, like a huge, almost like a moat. If you like competing from outside the valley right. Now, with RudderStack, I experienced almost the opposite experience in the sense of like, with category creation, you have like a very slow link See, growth. But with other cycles, explosive, like, there’s a growth that like, I’ve seen the compound in these, like two and a half years that I stayed there was like, mind blowing was like, wow, what will what what is that, like? Better, like for Schomer, they have to share, like, the numbers and all that stuff. But it was insane. Like, it wasn’t an accident of the company. Because when I joined the previous stage, and after, like, when I left was like, just a little bit after we raised our series B. And we went from that to Series B, like, in almost like two years. Which is like, it’s a good proxy to like, okay, like, tell what kind of growth we were experiencing with, with RudderStack. The other thing with RudderStack, that’s, I would say, that was like a crazy lesson for me is that how things are cyclical, in general, because you see, RudderStack was joining like entering a market in existing markets, right? You can call it CDP. You can build whatever you want, it doesn’t really matter. But the fact that you are entering an existing market doesn’t mean that there’s no opportunity to go and do like something like really big and almost starting like a new category or subcategory, let’s say, because what happens with RudderStack is that you had segments that was defined, the category would say, but segments, in a way was like kind of early. And they build everything around like the concept of SaaS, right. But the timing was great for others, like because RudderStack came at the turning point, like in the markets where the data teams came in. And they were like, hey, like, this data cannot leave only like on downstream applications like Google Analytics, or Marketo. Or like Salesforce, we need to have this data also on our data lake or our data warehouse. And actually, we need to warm that. But now we have a different persona that makes us like to operate that. So you pretty much need the new category of products, right? Like to go and serve the market. So that’s what I really appreciate as a learning from being there, like with rather second experiencing zaps, and like a human. To what Yeah, Blendo experience was. Yeah,

John Wessel 24:06
That’s really interesting. So tell us some about the podcast. Maybe think back on the early days as a podcast, think about some of your favorite guests. What are some memories that stick out from the podcast?

Kostas Pardalis 24:19
Yeah, so the podcast gaming. Actually, it was an idea like it was somebody’s idea. Like the CEO for others that was like, know that.

Eric Dodds 24:35
Yeah, it was, I mean, you always said it was your idea. Oh, I know. I just, I just,

Kostas Pardalis 24:44
oh, no, no, it was us. Yeah, it was. Here’s what happened. Like okay, we were talking about what we can do at RudderStack like for like, go to market and like marketing activities rights. So, like everyone was throwing ideas out there. Actually the broadcast was before the podcast and that during like, when we after, like starting the podcast we were doing also like webinars that’s, I have, like some interesting stories to build about that. But anyway, the thing with the podcast was that it was brought as an idea, but no one was like, very excited to be the first. So like, Okay, I’ll give it a try. So, like, why not? I mean, and I started looking at how to do it. I got so overwhelmed by like, trying to figure out like, the production like how, rep like you, how you publish these things. Like, how you go do how you record, I think it was like, Oh, my God, I was, I remember, I was one of these platforms that you find. Like, freelancers like to help with that stuff. And I was going like, through conversations with like, I was like, completely lost. I was like, okay, like, that’s like, I didn’t know like,

Eric Dodds 26:10
The ecosystem was way worse back then. There’s a lot more tooling around it even over the last couple of years. And it was even more primitive.

Kostas Pardalis 26:19
Yeah, it was 100% but at the same time, like also I’m keeping in mind that okay, broadcasts I was exposed to the podcast as like a platform when I came here in the States, right. Like I never had any experience with podcasts before, even like now I think now is probably the podcast getting traction, like getting traction, the traction like in Greece, I don’t know about like the rest of Europe. But I’ve always liked Greece. You started like seeing people doing podcasts and people listening to podcasts. So it was like a very new altar, like a platform for me, right. Like, I wasn’t really listening to podcasts. I didn’t like it, I had an idea of what it was. But like, I wasn’t really into it. And that’s where Eric came at some point and pretty much like, okay, like, she saved me because he helped like find the first agency. I mean, we still have, I think, the same agency that took care of all the production staff, which was like, okay, like, it’s very important. And I think I’ve done I don’t know, like, gobble, I don’t know, five, less than 10 Probably episodes on my own. Before I asked Eric if he wanted to join as a co-host. And the rest is kind of history. I mean, we since then, like, we kept doing it together. And we’ve reached how many episodes now? Like, it’s probably close to 300. Maybe. Now, I think it’s 200 200. Okay, but we’ve never missed a single week. We have

Eric Dodds 28:05
never missed a single week. 100 just books just messaged us.

Kostas Pardalis 28:10
But we’ve never missed like a single week we’d say is for me. That’s amazing. Yeah.

John Wessel 28:20
So what are some of your memories too? Yeah, go ahead. But Eric, fill in for some of your memories too, after a trip cost us.

Kostas Pardalis 28:29
Okay, for me, the bulk cost was still easy, like an amazing tool for learning and connecting with people. As opposed. I had the opportunity to meet with literally, like, some really smart and accomplished people because of the podcast. And not just my connection with them, but also engage in like, very Iona, like, rewarding conversations with him. I I don’t know what the audience thinks about the format that we have. But like, pretty much the format of these podcasts is just me and Eric, under curiosity, there’s no screens. We don’t have an agenda before we start using the app. So yeah, we do like a little bit of like a conversation with a guest just before we start recording of like, okay, what the directions should be and like put some guardrails in being like unbelievably, you know, like random in our conversation, but in general, the, the conversation is like very organic, and it’s driven by like, it’s what I would probably not probably like what I would have as a conversation if I was having a coffee with that person. Right. And actually, at the beginning we had questions. I remember like I was doing that, even like the first, especially like the first episodes where I was doing it on my own. I would have questions. It was really hard for me to like, like, first of all, it felt very fake in a way because I would ask a question, but the way that the question that the answer was coming, then the next question didn’t fit. We will we’re right. Right. Yeah. Then, at some point, it was like, really hard for my brain to follow that. So I was like, I don’t know, I think it’s better to just not have a script and not have questions and just chat and see what we can take out of these. And that’s how it happens. I don’t know, if I can tell, like, one specific guest or like episode that’s, like, I think all of them are like, in a way, like special to me, I think I would make like a i It would be unfair to say that, you know, like, that’s my best episode or something like this. Because at the end, it’s all about, like, the interaction with the people and like the process, and that’s the live TV. How the format evolves. The book actually, like, that’s interesting, like, when we did our first and that was last year, our data council. So I was there with Brooks. And we were doing some, like, live kind of interviews with like, people, I was literally going outside and grabbing people and bringing them in, I was like, Hey, let’s come in and chat. You know, like, I feel something interesting. Or it seems that you’re working on something interesting, or I just want to connect with you and come in and like we can, you know, like, chops. And I think that’s the essence of this. So I know, Eric, if you disagree, but

yeah, I think

Eric Dodds 32:02
You know, we’ve kind of set it a little bit tongue in cheek over the years. But we’ve told guests that in some ways, this shows a chance, it’s been a chance for us to satisfy our curiosity. Yeah. You know, and one thing we haven’t liked, I don’t know if we’ve ever really mentioned this on the show. But in some ways, this is just reflective of the conversations that we’ve already had to your point, but just between us, right, or between, like a small group of people, because we are super interested in, you know, data technology in the process of taking that technology to market, the people behind it. I mean, we talked about this stuff. Before we started the show, we talked about that stuff outside of the show, not just with people on the show. So yeah, I agree with that. It really is just in many ways, kind of recording, recording conversations that we would already have, with the added benefit of getting these people involved in the conversation, which is kind of crazy to think about, you know, John, you were you asked about some memories and, like cost us I mean, over almost 200 shows, it’s hard to pick the specific ones. But, you know, I think one of the things that I think about a lot with the show is how thankful I am that we’ve had the opportunity to connect with who in the data world would be considered legendary, right? I mean, you’re talking about people who have invented industry, defining technologies, that are used to deliver experiences to billions of people around the entire world. And that is just incredible. You know, if you had told me at the beginning of the show, you know, when we started doing this, when we had no idea what we were doing, that was gonna be, you know, that we were going to be able to do that, you know, I would have would have seemed so aspirational and so far away. And we get to talk to those people all the time now, it was just really cool. But I think the other thing that’s been the other thing that’s been really cool to see is that, and this sounds so basic, but those people are just they’re still people, you know, like, yeah, thoughts and opinions and emotions, and you know, they, they’ve done some really cool things, but it’s, you know, they’re still just people at the end of the day, and they have their own story. And I think that’s the other thing that I’ve really, you know, that I’ve really appreciated about the show is that we get to meet these people and not just talk about, yeah, the thing that they’re most famous for that there’s a Wikipedia article about Yeah,

Kostas Pardalis 34:51
yeah. 100% and I think you hear stories that are like, wow, I mean, In, like, it’s like life journeys that are so unique. And it’s a big part of the value that we as hosts are getting from connecting with these people and actually using the soul as a medium to do that. So, yeah, that’s in the end, you have the opportunity to spend enough time with them, but I think that’s like the beauty of the boat, or like the podcast as a platform, right? Like you have, you spend enough time with them like to connect, it’s not just like, hey, like, let me take an interview where I send you like a couple of questions and you send me you know, like, it’s, it’s much more like, it’s, it is like, much more of human connection that’s happening. And that’s how, like, you see, like, people that came back, like more than moms like, to this show, and it’s not so that we were doing that because we’re like, oh, that’s something that’s like, you know, it’s going to increase our numbers or whatever, it was primarily driven by the joy of like, connecting with these people and the feeling of a need like to continue connecting and like using the the platform like to do that.

Eric Dodds 36:24
Yep. Okay, cast this. We’re close to the buzzer here. But, John, and I need to know, you know, you have a lot going on, which is, you know, squeezing your time, which means that, you know, you need to move on from being a host of the show. Yeah, taking up all your time. Are you retired? And you’re just playing a lot of golf, are you? Yeah,

Kostas Pardalis 36:53
I haven’t learned golf yet. If anyone was like to volunteer like to teach really, by

Eric Dodds 36:59
here, it doesn’t take that much time to you know, while they try Money, money,

Kostas Pardalis 37:07
I tried to answer and actually I was impressed, like, how much more difficult it is than it seems like when you watch someone on TV? Yeah. Like they it’s kind of crazy like the kind of coordination that you need like on your body or I don’t have in coordination my body that’s probably like, also like, true, but So yeah, if anyone wants like to teach me happy to spend some time, those

Eric Dodds 37:34
of you in the Bay Area with a golf membership, please reach out to Kostas.

Kostas Pardalis 37:40
I’m available for that. But no, I’m not into the retiring phase yet. I’m starting something new. That’s the main reason that I’m also like, I need to, let’s say take some distance, like from the show, regardless of how difficult it is for me, because it is something that’s okay. i It was part of my life these past three years. But yeah, I’m starting something new. So like after I left Starburst Balega a year ago. I started looking for what is going to be my next opportunity. When I came to the States I came with, like the goal of like, starting a company again, like I have, that’s, that’s the thing that I really liked doing that zero to one thing that’s like, what I really also like, enjoyed that’s why I’m saying that with RudderStack Although I wasn’t like a founder like kind of I was a natural feat because it was added 01 face and to pavement that and that what like really made it like so special to me. So yeah, I’m starting something new. I have the luxury to say, I’m doing something new that is in stealth, which I never had the opportunity to do before

Eric Dodds 39:13
you have that on your LinkedIn. That’s always cool. Yeah,

Kostas Pardalis 39:17
I did it. I was like, I have to do it. Like I have to. It’s a

Eric Dodds 39:23
rite of passage. I mean, you may just go to a company and raise money. Yeah, exactly. Yes, exactly. I

Kostas Pardalis 39:35
going back like to the journey of like, how it started so after leaving started working on like the idea that I had in parallel like looking for a co founder. Lucky to find my co founder in June. You only Michael she comes from he wasn’t text on before. started working together, starting started around October, the fundraising process with our term sheet in December, analyze the whole seed round about like a month and a half ago. Now we’re looking for building molds, instead of button building mode. We are in the data infrastructure space. I mean, that’s what I’ve been doing all these years. And I started, let’s say, from the periphery, as I usually say, like more on the ingestion layer. But what Blendo what was doing, then, rather like also, like data infrastructure piece that does a lot of like ingestion. And then I was wondering about the bill more at the core, where like, the data is like, processed, and monads, I had a huge opportunity to learn a lot about that stuff being around like the creators of Trino. Martin Dean and David’s, I’ve learned so much from these guys. And, yeah, we are building a new processing data processing platform. But I’ll stop share about what the product is because, you know, like, I have like to keep the luxury of being himself. Yeah,

Eric Dodds 41:26
I was gonna say you have to live up to that. In bad weather, it’s time to launch. You should consider podcasts as a channel.

Kostas Pardalis 41:35
Oh, yeah. Like maybe I don’t know. Hopefully, like, that’s like, so will give me the opportunity to talk more

Eric Dodds 41:44
I don’t know, I’ll have to check the schedule.

Kostas Pardalis 41:45
Yeah, of course. Like I’m feeding the schedule.

John Wessel 41:51
Oh, man. Okay,

Eric Dodds 41:52
so I have one last question. For your concepts. And this is a good way to hand off the baton to John, what advice do you have for John? Because he has some pretty big shoes to know, John will be spending a lot of time together. And Kostas has been an incredible co-pilot. So what advice do you have for John Kostas?

Kostas Pardalis 42:16
Ah, well, advice. Don’t think too much. Don’t overthink? In general, try to just be curious and ask the questions that you know, like you, you care about? And, enjoy your time together with Eric. He’s a great buddy to have, like on the show. He’s a great horse. He’s the one who, at least in our case, brings all the fun in the conversation. And, yeah, that’s the only thing like how fun and like, be curious and ask like wishes that you would ask, anyway.

John Wessel 43:09
And don’t overthink? I like it. That sounds like pretty good life advice in general, actually. Huh?

Kostas Pardalis 43:14
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, find your, you know, there’s like a lot of shows out there. The end, I think what matters is to make the show reflect yourself in a way, like being part of who you are, right? Because at the end, like it’s just three or four, like people talking to each other. Right. So at the end, that’s what is going to be delivered. And I think like, if you try to, you know, create like a veneer or like something that you are not like, yeah, like people will see that. Right. Yeah. So to yourself and be curious, you will have the chance to ask questions to very interesting people.

John Wessel 44:01
I’m excited about that part.

Kostas Pardalis 44:02
Take advantage of that. And hopefully, like I’ll, I’ll have the chance to co host in the future as a guest post.

Eric Dodds 44:11
Oh, yeah. You can’t get out of it. That’s easy. I don’t want to be alright. Well, thanks, everyone, for listening. Thank you, John. And Kostas, for taking us on a trip down memory lane. John, welcome to the show. So excited to knock out another 200 episodes alongside you. And Kostas, keep us posted on your self startup. And I want to be the first to know when you’re ready to talk about it publicly.

Kostas Pardalis 44:43
Thank you so much, guys. Thanks, Eric.

Eric Dodds 44:46
We hope you enjoyed this episode of The Data Stack Show. Be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast app to get notified about new episodes every week. We’d also love your feedback. You can email me, Eric Dodds, at eric@datastackshow.com. That’s E-R-I-C at datastackshow.com. The show is brought to you by RudderStack, the CDP for developers. Learn how to build a CDP on your data warehouse at RudderStack.com.