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Firing Squad: Koios CEO Tom Sherwood


Can we interest you in voice-driven AI algorithms to offer personality insights for the candidates you're looking to hire? Your current crop of employees? A start-up called Koios is betting that you will. OK, so skills-based insights are all the rage right now, thanks to organizations like Plum, HiringBranch and others, but personality insights? The boys are skeptical, but welcome Tom Sherwood, co-founder and CEO at Koios on Firing Squad to find out what all this witchcraft is about. Does he leave unscathed? Abracadabra, Holmes! You gotta listen to find out.


PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:


Intro: Like Shark Tank? Then you'll love Firing Squad. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to put the recruiting industry's bravest, ballsiest, and baddest startups through the gauntlet to see if they've got what it takes to make it out alive. Dig a foxhole and duck for cover kids. The Chad and Cheese Podcast is taking it to a whole other level.


Joel: Oh yeah, it's your bartender's favorite podcast, everybody, aka the Chad and Cheese Podcast. I'm your co-host, Joel Cheesman. Joined, as always, the crackers to my cheese, Chad Sowash is in the house. And this is Firing Squad. And we...


Chad: You called me a cracker?


Joel: Hey, hey, don't go there.


Chad: You said it.


Joel: We haven't even introduced the guest yet. Let's introduce Tom Sherwood. He's the co-founder and CEO of Koios. Tom, good day to you, sir.


Tom Sherwood: Good morning. Good morning. Thank you for having me on.


Joel: I love when the Brits are on 'cause, they get points for sounding smarter than us right out the gate.


Chad: Which is easy.


Joel: So, Tom, we go fast with Firing Squad. Let's get to you real quick. We'll talk about the company a second, but tell us about Tom. What makes you tick?


Tom Sherwood: Yeah, so military veteran, five years in the artillery, and then joined the big bad world of recruitment that kind of opened my eyes to everything. But, yeah, what makes me tick? Sport, my family. I've got three young kids that keep me on my toes. I'm traveling this week, so I'm embracing eight hours of sleep a night.


Joel: How do you have three kids? You're 15. How do you have three kids?


Tom Sherwood: I am 35.


Joel: I joke. I joke. Tom looks young, everybody. That's Tom. Tell Tom what he's wanting...


Chad: Well, welcome, Tom, first and foremost. But this is how a Firing Squad is going to play out. At the sound of the bell, you're going to have two minutes to pitch, Koios. At the end of two minutes, we're going to hit you with about 20 minutes of Q&A. Be sure to be concise, or you might get hit with the crickets, which means tighten your game up. At the end of Q&A, you are going to receive one of these from both of us. Either big applause. Newton was hit by an apple.


Chad: We predict that you're going to get hit by a huge bag of cash. Golf clap. You're no Einstein, but you just might be able to make this equation work. And last but never least, the Firing Squad. Even Bill Nye, the science guy, is turning his nose up at this stinker. Scrap it and try again. Are you ready for Firing Squad?


Tom Sherwood: Let's do it.


Joel: All right, Tom, your two minutes starts right now.


Tom Sherwood: So, Koios is a psychometrics platform which has been built to remove the need for self-assessment in the world of psychometrics. We set out to change the candidate experience initially. So, previously, people would have experience where you have to complete a half an hour self-assessment. You answer some questions about whether you're the life and soul of the party, etcetera, etcetera. We set out to remove that. So, we leverage deep learning to predict personality based on the acoustic makeup of your voice. So, from just 90 seconds of free speech, we can build a completely personalized psychometric insight report on an individual. So, that could be used initially for your current workforce.


Tom Sherwood: It's all hosted onto one platform where individuals, employees, managers, leaders, people leaders can all see the report. They can see how each other likes to collaborate, how each other likes to communicate. And we also just yesterday released Phoebe, which is our AI assistant. So, you can interact with Phoebe, have a chat with her about people's personalities.


Tom Sherwood: So, for example, if you have an issue about someone's motivation in the workplace, as a manager, I think I can go onto your profile, Joel. Joel, and be like, got a meeting with Joel. He's underperforming. How do I best communicate this whilst keeping him motivated? And it will give you some actions about the best way to speak to you based on your psychometrics. And you can find out more details at getkoios.ai.


Joel: Clearly, he wants a good score from me by telling me that I'm underperforming, Chad. That's not a good way to start.


Chad: Everybody knows that, Cheesman.


Tom Sherwood: I had to pick one of you. I was like, which one am I going to pick?


Chad: Good call.


Intro: All right. I always talk about the name. Yours is one of the worst ones, I think, that we've had on the show. So, Koios, did I say it right? Chad said Koios or something. Is it Koios?


Tom Sherwood: Koios. So, Koios was the Greek titan of intelligence.


Joel: Yeah, and his dad was Uranus or something, right? I researched that. So, anyway, that's good, Chad. That's good. All right. So, Koios, how do you spell it? Is it K-O-Y? Is it K-O-I-O-S? Like, I think there's some confusion in terms of a prospect or someone that wants to learn more about you. Koios.com is not owned by you. The URL that you've used is getkoios.ai. So, Koios.ai isn't even your URL. Like, not since gocanvas.io have we had a URL like this. So, help me understand and sell your name to me and the URL.


Tom Sherwood: So, Koios is spelled K-O-I-O-S. It is symmetrical as well, so it's nice on the eye, according to branding experts.


Chad: There's not another K on it, Tom. It's symmetrical if it would have another K. Okay? So, let's get beyond that. Carry on.


Tom Sherwood: So, yeah, Koios.com obviously isn't owned by us. It's owned by a quite old-school software networking business. Koios.ai is owned by somebody, and we're in the process of looking to acquire that, because it's not being used. The certificates are out of date, so they bought it and haven't used it. So, we have getkoios.ai for the time being, and we are looking at getting the others.


Joel: All right. It's not a great answer, but it is an answer. I'm going to go from sort of tough to I'm going to give you some credit here. You've got some rich experience in recruitment with some big brands. I'm going to drop Snap, Spotify, Apple.


Joel: I think Korn Ferry is in there somewhere. Like you have some really rich experience with recruitment. So tell me about what you've learned in your experience that you can bring over to Koios that has helped build the company and the vision.


Tom Sherwood: I think it's about really valuing the candidate experience. For far too long, internal teams and also as an industry, I think over the past kind of 10-15 years has changed significantly. It used to be all about the client and the candidate was just a commodity. Whereas actually the candidate experience is now at the forefront. And that was something that I learned when I was at Robert Half actually, not Korn Ferry.


Joel: My bad.


Tom Sherwood: When I first started there, it was about championing the candidate. The candidate is king the whole way throughout that. And I think that's something we learned to empathize as the candidate is kind of the customer. And they are the most important part of this. And if you're empowering the customer to have a great journey, and they're enjoying that, and as they onboard into a business, then they are going to be your future leaders. That's kind of what we're kind of using as a founding team. Alex, my co-founder, himself, he works in TA with McKinsey, etc. So we have a very similar perspective from that side.


Chad: Okay, so you talk about... I'm gonna go back to the name real quick. When you guys were looking at Koios, obviously you, is it Koi? It's Koios. There it is.


Joel: Koios, not Kayos.


Chad: Koios, like the fish.


Tom Sherwood: Like the carp.


Joel: Very chaotic.


Tom Sherwood: Like the carp.


Chad: Koios, okay.


Tom Sherwood: Yeah.


Chad: So when you were doing the research on this, obviously, you wanted something strong, like Greek God. But one thing, how much research did you perform on how many companies are actually named Koios today?


Tom Sherwood: Yeah, we looked into it. Yeah. The actual name isn't trademarked. There are a few companies trying to use it. I mean, to be transparent, we actually were originally called, before we came out of Stealth, we were called Culture Labs. And so it was a very, very kind of different business.


Chad: Wait, two words I can spell. Wait, two words I can spell. Okay, carry on.


Tom Sherwood: So we were originally called Culture Labs. And when we were speaking to our investors.


Joel: And they were dot-com too, Chad. They were dot-com too. Anyway, go on.


Tom Sherwood: It's 2023. Come on, guys.


[laughter]


Joel: It's HR. Come on, Tom.


Tom Sherwood: We are changing the industry. We are trying to bring them into the 21st century.


Joel: Carry on.


Chad: Ooh, okay. So just so that you know, there are 13 companies just in Florida alone named Koios. Okay.


Tom Sherwood: Yeah.


Chad: So it's very popular, but you're not looking for popular. You're looking at trying to get discovered. Now back to your...


Joel: Definitely a Google issue, Chad. If you just search Koios, they are not anywhere.


Chad: Oh, God. It's worse than that.


Joel: Yeah. Okay.


Chad: And they had the dot-com. God, I didn't know that. I wish you wouldn't have said that. I'm about to explode right now. So you were in recruiting, which I think is amazing. So it gives that really great experience. But you weren't in psychometric testing. So why didn't you go more toward efficiencies, automation, those types of things that are incredibly cool? You talked about Phoebe, the assistant. Why didn't you go toward that versus psychometric testing? Do you have a background in psychometric testing? Why was this something that you thought you had to do?


Tom Sherwood: I've always found psychology and behavioral psychology fascinating, whether that be in sport, whether that be in high performance business culture, whether that be in a military world. I've always found psychology fascinating from that perspective. And initially we actually set out to do it. It was to do with processes and automation. It was when I was at Spotify, they use testing for their hiring. And they were often taking candidates anything from half an hour to 45 minutes to do these tests. So there was a huge appetite for this information and there was clear value in it.


Tom Sherwood: But the process itself was terrible, which was what we tried to solve initially, which was removing the need for self-assessment, which then evolved into what we're doing today. So we very much believe that talent isn't acquisition. It's not development. It's not management. It's actually that whole journey combined. So even though as of today, we are doing psychometrics for the current workplace. Our talent product is coming in the new year. And we very much see it from the first interaction that that individual has with a business, obviously the acquisition channel. And as they join a business into the talent development and into talent management. And we see that as a full journey that is potentially giving the best psychometrics.


Chad: So all I've heard thus far is the real problem is time.


Tom Sherwood: Yeah.


Chad: Right? Because it takes so much time to complete this. So is that the only problem you're trying to solve for? You're using voice, which I thought is incredibly interesting. And we'll get into that. But do you think is time really the only thing that you're trying to solve for?


Tom Sherwood: It's time, cost. Traditional assessments cost a lot of money.


Chad: So you're cheaper.


Tom Sherwood: Whereas ours are cheaper. And what that leads to is the democratization of access. So whereas previously, if you were to go and do a Hogan assessment or a Myers-Briggs or any kind of assessment such as that, you would go and spend a lot of time, spend a lot of money. And because it was expensive. L&D budgets or coaching budgets were often kept for managers and leaders. And we understood that the value of psychometrics is across the whole organization. If anything, the more junior members of staff, the intern, the graduates have a huge appetite for learning. Whereas if you're a C-suite and you've been doing it for 35 years, you kind of know yourself already. So actually the value in democratizing the information all the way down to the newest members of staff was what we were trying to do. So by reducing the cost, a company can have the whole organization complete their psychometrics and empower everybody to understand themselves. So it is time, but it's also democratization of this information as well.


Joel: Well, time is money, Tom. And you guys recently raised about $550K in pre-seed money. You guys are not even out of diapers yet. You launched the company very recently from what I understand. What are you going to do with the pre-seed money? When is the seed round coming? And what are you kind of looking for? What's the growth plan in this? Talk about the money.


Tom Sherwood: Yeah, I mean, cash is king, right? I suppose from a fundraising perspective, this round that we've just done has been very much focusing on taking our MVP to market. So we've released our beta. We're working with a couple of customers at the moment about rolling that out, developing Phoebe. Yeah, Phoebe was the first version that came out yesterday. So kind of getting that to market and essentially learning the sales journey, but also the utilization of the product within a business. So as we start to learn from our customers about how they're deploying it, we can then have a product-led growth as we go into kind of formal launch next year with the talent product, with the ambition to raise seed in Q1 next year.


Joel: Okay. Walk me through the product. By the way, you said beta, which is beta for our American listeners.


[laughter]


Joel: Just so you know. Walk me through the product for Phoebe for example, if I'm the candidate, am I speaking through the microphone in my computer? Am I talking to Phoebe? Is she talking back to me? And then you're analyzing my voice. Walk me through how the product works from a candidate's perspective.


Tom Sherwood: Of course. So essentially what will happen is so what I'll use the example of the current workforce because they're the people who are using it. So an employee will get invited to the platform. They'll receive an email from their head of people or their line manager. They go onto the platform and they log in, they create an account to put their details in and then they give it a prompt. So you can either record directly into the product. So, or you click through and you can record into it. And we need anything from 90 seconds of speech. We give a couple of prompts about what to talk about, just to give some people some direction. And/or if you want to upload something that you've prerecorded. So whether you want do it in a meeting room or you want do it on your walk home from work, you can then upload an audio file or for accessibility reasons.


Tom Sherwood: So for example, if someone has to speech impediment or they're not comfortable doing speech, we also offer self-assessment as well. If they'd like to, but obviously self-assessment takes 10, 15 minutes. When they go on it, they then click through in the recording, they speak for two minutes. We ask them to speak about their career, what they like to do, what their ambitions are. We then take that data file and we run it through our AI. We then also extract the transcript from what they've spoken about and provide a personality report, which then personalized based on what they spoke about as well. So whereas previously most reports would be, you're an introvert or an extrovert, and here's your file. What we do is we actually take what the person has spoken about and we'll reference that in their report. So for example, if it comes back that I'm highly agreeable, it'll reference something that I spoke about as to why that's an indicator of me being highly agreeable.


Joel: So it's not a skills assessment, it's more of a culture or behavior or demeanor assessment. You're not telling me I'm good at programming. You're telling me that I'm a nice guy who gets along with people and is highly motivated. For example. I'm simple...


Tom Sherwood: Yeah.


Joel: I'm simplifying I'm sure. But that's what we're looking to do, correct?


Chad: Yeah. It's psychology. We use the big five psychology model, which is, openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, and neuroticism. So most people would've heard of Myers-Briggs. But, which is the MBTI, the 16 personality types, that the majority of companies have probably have heard of. But the big five is the more robust psychology model that's been the preferred method for psychologists since the 1990s.


Joel: Yeah. Are those your competitors? And what does a typical client sort of look like? Or what do you hope a typical client would look like?


Tom Sherwood: A typical client is an organization that's looking to invest in their people. Obviously, there's a lot of questions, a lot of conversations happening in boardrooms around how can organizations get more out the current people they have? So part of the way that our insights are delivered is all about enabling people to perform better. So it's not a selection tool. It's not to be used to say, this is a red flag, or this is a bad thing. It's this is their personality. This is how you get the best out of them. So it's enabling everybody to understand themselves and others to improve performance and collaboration, because ultimately within a business one of the or a key people strategy is turning relationships into productivity.


Chad: So explain voice acoustic makeup.


Tom Sherwood: Yeah.


Chad: And what does that actually do, and what does that do for the test?


Tom Sherwood: Yep. The way the model works is when you speak, it's kind of broken into two main areas. You have the transcripts of what you're saying and then how you're saying it. I'm sure everyone's heard the, what their parents used to say growing up. It's not what you say, it's how you say it. It is actually scientifically true. So we break that down. We break that down into two parts. The transcript is cut off, so we can personalize the report, but then we analyze actually how you're saying it. So that's then broken down into two parts as well. So you have the acoustic side, so the volume, the rhythm, the tone, the key that you're talking, and then also the linguistic makeup of the sentence. So the ums, the uhs, the adjectives that you're using is a real key indicator. And there's about 2000 data points that our models are analyzing, and then it produces a prediction of the big five based on that.


Chad: So how do you not see that as a bias method of perspectively trying to classify somebody? Just because I have a different cadence than somebody else does, doesn't mean that we're not the same kinda mindset. So how do you not, especially from females who might be more high pitched, versus like a Joel who seems a little bit more calm.


Joel: Damn sexy.


[laughter]


Chad: But could have a crazy streak. So talk about that. It seems like we're actually injecting bias into the process.


Tom Sherwood: So I'd actually counter that and say it's completely opposite. So the way that we've trained the model is, we've actually done it via academic research. We've gone out and actually paid every respondent, over and above their minimum wage of their country respectively. So it's been trained on anybody who speaks English worldwide, that's not English language from London, that is anybody who speaks English as a first, second, third, or fourth language. They then complete the traditional assessments, so we have their core base personality assessment as if they would've done a questionnaire, they then send us an audio file, which is between, five and 10 minutes long of them talking about themselves. And then Martin, our chief data scientist, who's an absolute genius has built the model to be able to map out the complete structure of the audio of their voice and then their assessment. And that's how we picked up the trends. So with thousands and thousands of hours of data, with these 2000 data points, plus there are key indicators of different personality traits displayed in your voice.


Chad: So how would Stephen Hawking do in this test?


Tom Sherwood: In that, it's just because he had a speech impediment, or lack of ability to speak. That's why we offer the self-assessment for accessibility reasons.


Chad: He could still speak through his computer. So I mean for me, again, it seems fairly subjective from not to mention you're not just talking about human beings and how we speak. You're not just talking about languages. You're talking about somebody from the Midwest speaks entirely different than somebody from the East Coast, west Coast, or the South. So how do you discern between that? Because for me...


Chad: Again, it seems like it's just injecting bias. And I'm not talking about worldwide or gender, I'm just talking about regions. Regions of, let's say just the United States.


Tom Sherwood: Yeah. So when we collect the data, we also collect, the demographic data so we can analyze the performance of the model in that instance. So because we have people with different dialects, different accents to your point entirely, we can, we'll be self-testing the model constantly with this training data. So we'll see, for example, if somebody were, a certain demographic from the Midwest and the model was performing, below where it should be, we can then train more data in into that. And we're completely transparent about all of this ethical use because we know there'll be questions about diversity. So on our website, we actually share all of our data, how we do it, to that extent, to be fully transparent.


Chad: So is this open source?


Tom Sherwood: The model itself isn't, but how we've trained it is. So all of the data we've collected, the process that we've used, so yeah, we're fully transparent around that.


Chad: Okay. So which is a available to anybody so that if they go through audits or anything like that, they can actually use your model. Okay.


Tom Sherwood: Yeah. You can, as I said, you can go onto our website. We know there's gonna be, there are serious questions about the application of AI, within people strategy. And we're also working quite closely, with the British Psychology society as well as we've got attorneys in the US we're working with AI-EU regulation as well, because we wanna be so far ahead of this and be transparent from the word go, rather than people ask questions down the line around how have you done this? We're gonna be, we're on the front foot to show exactly how we've done it.


Joel: Did you mention that text is a way that you can analyze someone? I know Chad said Hawking speaks through a computer, but there are people who just can't speak at all or will type. Is that an option?


Tom Sherwood: Yeah, so you can do self-assessment. So you can actually do the old school version of answering the questions of are you the life and soul of the party? How do you feel in this situation? So the traditional method, we also offer that as an option if somebody isn't comfortable using voice.


Joel: So I know that, Europe and the UK aren't as litigious in nature, but the US has a great reputation of suing everyone, for everything. [laughter] And this feels to me like a lawsuit just begging to happen, not waiting to happen, but begging to happen for candidate or for prospects in the sales process that come around and say like, this looks like it's just too dangerous in terms of getting me in trouble. Because at the end of the day, recruiter, employers, their job is to keep the company out of court. And this feels like a real minefield to me. Convince me otherwise.


Tom Sherwood: So there's one key, really key indicators to this, and there's a law in New York, and also it's part of the EU regulation of the application of AI. Its AI cannot be used for selection purposes. So our model and our report quiet clearly don't give any indication of why you should or shouldn't hire somebody. All it does is show this is their personality and this is how you work with them. It isn't about this is a negative trait, this is a positive trait. It's about unlocking that person's potential. So we're super aware of that. And there is a lawsuit actually happening at the moment to do with a pharmaceutical company in the US that use psychometrics for selection using the old school method, and are currently being sued because an individual unfortunately committed suicide after being rejected for a job by using psychometrics. So we're aware of that and that's why we're about enabling decisions, decision makers to understand the individuals rather than to select them based on...


Joel: What do you want to be when you grow up. In other words, is this an acquisition play? I guess I'm assuming the answer you're gonna gimme is like, "We're just trying to build the best product ever and how things roll out is how... " but is... Do you have an end game on this? Is this a feature? Is it a product? Are you on a three to five year track to get acquired? And if so, who do you think would be a good acquirer? You mentioned some big names, that are McKinsey, I think and some others that are doing this. Is that the play? Talk about the future, the roadmap.


Tom Sherwood: The future is, I mean, big picture is to change the way that psychometrics is used across the whole industry. So, there are the big players such as your Hogan assessments, your Harvard, your Thomas & Co, which are huge. We wanna be the world leading platform for psychometrics and coaching. And if that means that we end up acquiring them, and so be it, and I think there's an opportunity for us to really change the way that this is used and really bring the whole industry of psychometrics into the modern world.


Chad: So talk about your target market. Who is the perfect client for this product?


Tom Sherwood: In theory, any company that has people in, we can work with. I know that's [laughter], that's a pretty...


Joel: The world, Chad.


Tom Sherwood: The world, yeah. We're gonna take over the world, at the moment it's, SMEs we're actually working. And we're having a lot of interest within the recruitment industry actually, of recruitment agencies who are trying to squeeze the best out of their current employees. So for managers who haven't managed before, it's enabling them to make better decisions and to coach their teams more effectively. So initially, as of today's SMEs, anything from 50 to 200 employees where they have small L & D budgets, and they can use this technology to empower their leaders to do better. And as we move into next year and we're able to train more languages, so we have demand from South America, we need to train it in Spanish and in Portuguese, obviously as we go into the enterprise world. And we'll start working with larger enterprises next year, hopefully.


Chad: So SMEs that's a hard market to penetrate, so how are you going to penetrate that market?


Tom Sherwood: So initially it's come through founder sales and we have some very strong relationships, myself, Alex, Martin, obviously through the portfolio of our VCs we're working with. We also got some very strong investors as well, who have angel investors both in the, in Europe and in US. But essentially it's about understanding that companies are quite budget restrained at the moment, and how can they get more out there people with less. And because our technology is cheaper, well, it's more cost effective than anything else out there. And it enables companies to actually perform better. That's part of our strategy is kind of tapping into that, to give them a better future.


Chad: What about geography? You talked about, obviously training more languages, although right now, where's your main focus? What market geography are you trying to penetrate?


Tom Sherwood: UK and US. I'm obviously here at the moment in New York, meeting with a number of customers this week because there's a big appetite over here.


Joel: Chad, this sounds really fucking expensive.


[laughter]


Joel: Tom. Talk about the pricing of the product for us.


Tom Sherwood: Pricing is gonna be changing this week. Actually. [laughter] We've taken some feedback. We're changing the pricing. We're gonna have a free tier which is individual use. As an individual you can do your own assessment you can see your report and that's and that's the limit of it. But then the premium product which the ability to create teams. You have your Phoebe assist, your assistant and will be £10 per employee per month.


Joel: One last one from me is retention a selling point of this product? You've talked about saving time but I'm trying to get to like what kind of what pain are you solving for companies?


Tom Sherwood: Yeah. I think retention is a very clear indicator of effective use of behavioral psychology in organization. Once we have the metrics we'll be able to start showing case studies around that.


Joel: Okay. Okay. I got it. Oh man, that's the bell, Tom. Are we ready to face the firing squad?


Tom Sherwood: I'll Just have a sip of coffee first, go on.


[laughter]


Joel: All right, Chad warm up while he sips his coffee and let him know what you think about Koios or Koios or Koios or whatever you called it.


Chad: Well my first piece of advice would be to rebrand to culturelab.com.


[chuckle]


Chad: Two words that I can understand, that I can spell. It makes it much much easier. I love the fashion forward usage of tech. I mean voice acoustics makeup. I've never heard of that before. I thought that was incredibly cool. I also thought facial recognition was cool until HireVue got smacked with regulation from the state of Illinois right? Trying to solve problems. Time is is definitely a a big problem because you're you are talking about being able to get those in individuals to take the test. And if they're taking 45 minutes to take a test it's just not gonna happen. In many cases you're gonna have high ejection rate right? But cost, today with what you guys are doing most of those companies it's gonna be a race to the bottom if you start talking about cost right?


Chad: Because everybody can scale, it's tech right? It's not paper and pencil anymore. It's tech. So I think the there are more problems that you guys need to dig into to really start to create that business case. Because testing is an incredibly lucrative space but it is also which you already know, probably one of the most competitive because it is so lucrative. So at the end of the day I love that you're looking at the fashion forward stuff. The thing is you are going at a very very high rate of speed. You might want to dig in while you're in New York and have some conversations with some EEOC people. They can give you some possible education. But until then my friend I still feel like this is a HireVue facial recognition situation. We're so early into the tech, not just, not actual tech itself but for us from an adoption standpoint and it's all about adoption because if you can't sell it, obviously it's not gonna get adopted. So until then you guys are still early, you're in diapers. But until you can get a little bit more than just time and cost, I'm gonna have to go with the firing squad my...


Joel: Ouch. Ouch. All right Tom my turn. Tom you're a sports fan. Do you like baseball, cricket?


Tom Sherwood: More of a cricket fan.


[laughter]


Joel: Or is it rounders in the UK? Is it rounders? Is that...


Chad: Cricket. It's Cricket.


Joel: Cricket's. Not baseball. Give me a fucking break. All right. So.


Chad: It's pretty much, it's pretty much the equivalent.


Joel: Quick lesson in baseball Tom. You go to bat and you get three strikes meaning you swing the bat and you miss the ball. At strike three you're out and you gotta go to the dugout, right? And you get three strikes in an inning. I won't go into all that. So I'm gonna give you three strikes about this company that to me says you got your work cut out for you. Number one, your first strike is the name. We've already been over that, we've beat that dead horse. I'm not gonna say anymore about it. You can change the name. So that's the good news. And you're so early in this journey that you can sort of fix that, hopefully acquire koios.ai and remedy some of this. Strike number two, this thing is hard to understand man. I don't wanna say snake oil but voice to know person's personality.


Joel: And I know there's science behind it, like to get my head around this and I'm not the smartest cat in the room, but it's sort of challenging for me to get get my head around how my voice and how I speak can give you data on who I am as a person. That's a little hard for me to grasp. I also don't know what pain really you're solving. Look recruiting budgets are getting slashed, recruiters themselves are getting cut. Everything's getting automated which may be something that you can look into if you automate this whole process in interviewing and what a person's like, maybe that's an angle for you to pursue with the business, but it's not like a skills assessment where it's really cut and dry. You're we're hiring people based on skills. This is a personality trait thing.


Joel: So strike two for me is sort of difficult to understand what exactly pain, what pain are you solving or resolving for me? And number three, Chad touched on it, the diversity, inclusivity issue. Whether you eloquently in a British accent told me why that's not an issue. But I'm telling you people are gonna be scared shitless to use a product like this just because of the fear. People are gonna be so scared of getting sued to oblivion by this product that they're gonna just stay clear of it because the benefits aren't good enough for them to be like I'll risk going to court because I can do this. That's the bad news. Tom. The good news for you is you need to pivot this shit into being a dating app ASAP or make it into like a dating API where I can get an analysis on someone I might swipe right on based on hey they're a nice person. They're agreeable, they open the car door. Like what dating app. This screams dating app to me. You won't have the legal issues. Someone like Bumble or whoever can buy you. Otherwise, you can go sell it to authoritarian governments or maybe any government for that matter that they can analyze their employees on a really strict basis of their demeanor. But otherwise I don't think this works as an employment app, workforce app. And I gave you the three strikes. Why? So just like Chad... It's nothing personal. Pivot this thing to a dating app and you got gold baby. But as it is man, I just I can't give money.


Chad: It's a bigger market, that's for sure.


Joel: Yeah. Like it's not personal. 25 plus years each experience in this industry. Take it for what it's worth. But yeah, you've got two guns on you...


Tom Sherwood: That's Good. Thank you. Yeah, it's good to hear your thoughts.


Joel: I love how the Brits stay polite. Well, Tom we wish you the best of luck. We hope that you can come back on the show in three years and show us how successful you are, that you sold for $100 million and tell us to fuck off. But until then Tom for anyone out there listening who wants to know more about Koios give them that URL one more time.


Tom Sherwood: Getkoios.ai, which is spelled G-E-T-K-O-I-O-S. A-I.


Joel: He spelled get for us, Chad. That's a gentleman. Another one in the can, Chad. We out.


Chad: We out.


Outro: This has been the Firing Squad. Be sure to subscribe to the Chad and Cheese podcast so you don't miss an episode. And if you're a startup who wants to face the firing squad, contact the boys at chadcheese.com today. That's www.chadcheese.com.

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