Neuro-Insight: Making The Subconscious Conscious with Pranav Yadav

Neuro-Insight, a neuromarketing and neuro analytics company that uses unique brain-imaging technology to measure how the brain responds to communications, pioneers the link between brain activity and consumer behavior, making the subconscious conscious. They help their clients optimize a particular message to showcase and to have maximum impact in the market. Pranav Yadav, the CEO of Neuro-Insight US, takes a deep dive into what their company does in the field of advertising and marketing. Pranav shares the importance of their invented technology in the research process and how lighting up the brain reveals the emotional process of your personal interests.

TTL 557 | Neuro-Insight


I’m so glad you joined us because we have Pranav Yadav. Pranav is the CEO of Neuro-Insight. He is fascinating with what he does with neuropsychology and how it ties into brands. He’s a marketing genius. He’s on the Forbes All-Star Under 30 Alumni list. You’ve probably seen him everywhere. This is going to be a lot of fun.

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Neuro-Insight: Making The Subconscious Conscious with Pranav Yadav

I am here with Pranav Yadav who is a CEO of Neuro-Insight. It’s an international innovation company. He’s an evangelist and a thought leader dedicated to changing how brands and customers communicate. He’s also won so many awards, but I know him from winning the Forbes coveted 30 Under 30 award. It’s so nice to have you here, Pranav.

Thank you so much. It’s an absolute pleasure.

A lot of people would like to know what you did to get onto that list. I want to talk about your background because I know you were born in India and you’ve worked at Goldman Sachs. Can you give us the background of how you got to the point where you work?

It’s a long story. It starts a few thousands of miles away in India. I was born in a town right outside of Delhi. My parents were both doctors for the government. I always tell people that this is not a Slumdog Millionaire story. I was very fortunate to have the resources and the parents that I did, but at the same time, this was socialist India. The money in India literally translates into the money of the west. I didn’t even possess the most remote dream of living the life that I do. When I was fifteen-years-old, I read an ad in the newspaper that said the Singaporean government was going to pick a few kids and give them a full ride to go to boarding school in Singapore.

As every naïve fifteen-year-old would think, I thought I must apply. It became a joke in my family where my parents made fun of me every day thinking that, “You can’t even be the top kid in your class. You think you’re going to beat a few billion other Indians to get to this.” The point was that I didn’t think that I would make it, but I wanted to see how far I was going to be. Understanding where I stand compared to everything else that’s out there is something that I’ve felt strongly about ever since I was young. Long story short, I applied and I happened to get that scholarship to go to boarding school in Singapore. I left my family when I was fifteen to go live there.

By the time I graduated high school, the Singaporean government was kind enough to give me another full ride to go to university in Singapore except I wasn’t looking forward to going to university in Singapore for a couple of reasons. One, I wanted to see what else was out there in the world. Two, it came with a bond. If you do take the scholarship, you have to work in Singapore for six years after you graduate, which is a long commitment at the age of eighteen, four years of college and six years of the bond you’d be committing for the next ten years of your life. I thought it would go to the natural next place, which was India. I started applying to schools in India, but I didn’t get any financial aid or scholarships from there.

I decided the next place is America and if I am to go to America, I would only go to a liberal arts college. It’s because I was so fascinated by the idea that there could be an education system that gave you all the freedom in the world to pick and choose what you wanted to study. In fact, it encourages a way of being that and develop interests across different disciplines. I did what every foreign student does without having the resources to come to the States. I went to the website and looked at the top liberal arts school rankings. I picked the top five and I sent all of them an email. One of them was kind enough to respond by saying that they don’t offer too many scholarships. There is a maximum of one scholarship for a kid from India. The beauty of naivety of youth is that I was like, “You’re telling me I have a chance?”

[bctt tweet=”By telling as many good stories as you want, you have just created entertainment.” username=””]

I happened to get that scholarship and I came to Carleton College, which is in Minnesota. During my time there, I triple majored in math, physics and economics. By the time I was nineteen or twenty, given I was going to a wealthy college and most of my other classmates came from a certain family and resources that they all felt the freedom to go do teach for America or teach course right off when they graduated. These were not options I could consider myself because once I was out of school, I would no longer have the support and the backing of all the scholarships. I would have to make my way into the world myself.

It was around that time that I met another classmate of mine who everybody thought was a legend in college because he worked on Wall Street. He came back, I spoke to him and he told me that he made $12,500 that summer working for two months. I thought that was an absurd amount of money for anybody to pay any college kid. That’s when I first heard about Goldman Sachs. Long story short, two series of interviews and other evaluation processes, I happened to get an internship at Goldman and eventually turned into a final offer where this is how I came to New York City in 2007. That was my journey up until starting my professional career.

I worked as a structured equity derivatives trader at Goldman for a few years. Quite frankly, it was the most remarkable place that a 22-year-old could have been at. Especially in those years, finance had achieved the pedigree that maybe tech has now. At that time, the crème de la crème of the smartest people in the world were all flocking towards financial institutions purely because it was rather a lucrative profession. The people I got to interact with, I don’t know if I’ve seen another set of people who are that bright under one roof at the same time. I also realized the work itself was not something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so I started seeking other avenues.

I made a not so smart move by getting up one day and telling Goldman that I’m leaving. It was particularly tricky because it was the recession, probably the biggest one we had seen. Secondly, I was an international kid at that point who needed the visa or employment to be able to continue to stay. I put myself in a rather difficult situation, but I have no regrets purely because your impulse is not good nor bad. It can only teach you a few things. It taught me not to be impulsive, yet at the same time it taught me how to fight the good fight and get to the next step, which I did by getting into a Danish innovation strategy consulting firm called ReD Associates.

I was one of the first hires in the States and I worked with them for a year until I was about 25 when I was hired to be the CEO of Neuro-Insight that I’ve been running for several years. It was about a few years into running Neuro-Insight, it’s gaining traction and a lot of importance from some of the biggest brands in the world. Forbes noticed some of the accomplishments and decided to very graciously put me on that list.

You had 90 days to stay in the States and on the 89th day is when you took that job. You’re trying to meet a lot of people and you finally did right at the end or you would’ve had to go back.

These stories sound magical when they do work out, but it was equally possible for it to have not worked out. I’m glad that it did.

TTL 557 | Neuro-Insight
Neuro-Insight: 80 to 90% of your decision-making takes place in the subconscious.


I’m interested in what you do there. I’m still very interested in this Scotch room that you told me about and it’s in my mind still. I don’t know if you still have it. Do you remember talking about that?

It’s only growing in size. To make the subconscious conscious here at Neuro-Insight, there’s a natural segue going into whiskey because it does the same thing, so I’ll start off with what we do at Neuro-Insight. The whole trend of what we do is 80% to 90% of your decision making takes place in the subconscious. By definition of the subconscious, it’s below your conscious awareness. As brands spend hundreds of billions of dollars trying to come up with products, services and trying to communicate it to the consumer, “Here’s our product and here are its advantages. We would like for you to try it or buy it, etc.” The whole point of advertising and marketing is to drive some traffic into the store or get sales. The problem is that given 80% to 90% of the decision making is going to be subconscious, the only thing the brand has relied on the past on is asking people questions. By definition, asking people questions is not going to get us to the right answer because 90% of the time people themselves do not know why they are going to make a certain decision or certain way.

This is where we come in and we bust the tradition itself. How questions must be asked in quantitative research. We invented certain brain math and technology, which is validated to be the most accurate form of measuring how someone reacts in a second by second basis as they interact with any media or advertising. We’d begin to see how subconsciously people perceive these communications. We predict brands whether something that they have come up with is likely to work in the market or not. More importantly, we help them optimize that particular message to have maximum impact in the markets. Sometimes you know how to tell a good story, but the only way people are going to respond to an ad is when a certain branding key message is going into people’s long-term memories. Unless and until you’ve done a great job of being able to communicate your branding perfectly, you can tell as many good stories as you want and you have created entertainment.

That’s so fascinating because I researched curiosity and what people are thinking and all the behavioral aspects. I’m fascinated by anything that is predictive diagnostic of how we think and how we react. I’m curious about how this works. I’ve been to some places where I’ve seen them map out the brain in terms of it lighting up on the screen. You put a cap on your head. Is that how it works that you’re doing that with an actual skullcap thing? How does this work?

It does, slightly better than the situation that you would think. We understood very early on that putting gels on people is going to make this a very hard exercise. The technology that we invented is slightly different from what you would have seen as a traditional EEG. It has a similar head cap and a set of visors, but people come in and wear that head cap. In fact, people are happy to do this research than sitting in a focus group and answer questions that they don’t know the answer about. Here, all they have to do is wear a cap, watch TV for 30 minutes and be done.

Think about it this way. If you are in L’Oreal and you have come up with a product that has a target demographic of women between the ages of 28 and 45 and makes X amount of money. Before you spend a few million dollars of your media buy, you want to make sure that once this thing comes out, it is going to have the impact in markets that you like. I recruit that particular audience for you. We usually recruit 50 people per cell to get statistical significance. We use a camera, wear the headset and go through the entire experience. We place everything in context because we realized that context is key in terms of evaluating how something would do. Even if you’re testing a 30-second creative, we place it in the context of a 30-minute TV show, which will have four different ad place and ten different ads and base the response there. We’d go back and tell them, “Your story or the premise of this product is certainly working.” By the time you gained real call to action, your music had dipped and people had decided that this creative was over so they weren’t taking any more cramming it. The way we’d optimize this would be by taking your branding up by four seconds and making sure that you are hitting people at a time where people are most receptive to your message. That would be an example of how we’d operate.

Are you looking at doing and what’s lighting up on the screen? I know when I studied curiosity, we know that dopamine and curiosity will light up the brain.

[bctt tweet=”Most of the people do not have an accurate measure of memory.” username=””]

Dopamine is a hard thing to measure if you’re not using any more invasive technology or if you’re not looking at MRIs. We have to create a scalable technology. We measure the electrical activity on the surface of the scalp. What happens in a normal adult human brain is that the brain specializes functionality. A certain part of the brain lights up when memories are being created. A certain part of the brain lights up when you see something that is personally relevant to you. A certain part of the brain lights up when you see emotional processing. The past hundred years of neuroscience research has confusingly identified these major areas of the brain that conduct functionality. What we do with our research is looking at the different electrical activity on the scalp. We can correlate that activity back to certain physiological measures such as long-term memories, emotional intensity, personal relevance, and like or dislike. That’s what we are measuring and that’s how we’re evaluating all the things that we test.

When you’re testing these things, what things have worked out where you’re like, “This is amazing?” The other things you go, “I thought that was going to be amazing and it didn’t.” Do you have examples of things that are having failure and having successes?

What’s remarkable is that I’ve probably seen at this point over 20,000 pieces of creative and the data around it. As good as I may have become at hopefully telling people in advance that’s something we do. Oftentimes, even I’m still surprised. That proves to me that why this was needed on an ongoing basis to begin with because we do not have the ability to be able to perceive or predict how very small nuanced things end up impacting people’s behavior. One such example is the Budweiser puppy commercial. It was called Lost Dog. It was one of the most remarkable pieces of creative we made that year.

In fact, when we tested it, we saw something strange. We saw an insane level of memory encoding both for vigil and global features such as theme, story and music. It was a long 90-second commercial. By the time we get to branding, which only happens in the last few seconds of the ad, we suddenly see the memory and the engagement dropped considerably. This is where the ad first came out and was getting a lot of popularity. We were like, “That’s strange.” This ad was related to being number one on the USA Today ad meter for that year at Superbowl. Everybody was craving about it, yet we saw a response for the brand that was terrible. Budweiser was not a client at that point. We started having some interactions.

A lot of these reports came out that said, “It’s true that it was a fantastic creative and people shared it, but the truth was that it didn’t sell any beer.” The answer was in our data, which said that they had created a phenomenal story that this puppy getting lost and he finds himself amongst wolves, these horses go and save the puppy and bring him back home. It is a highly emotional story. The music in the background was also phenomenal. By the time they got to branding, they have concluded the story. The music had died down and the red screen suddenly takes over the entire story signaling to the brain that this is done.

For the past many years in advertising, that’s a technique we’ve used over and over again. You tell a story and then a white, green, yellow or a pink screen takes over and then the branding shows up. Given our brains are used to identifying that the story’s over given that screen coming up, people weren’t taking any grant at all. This is one shocking case. We knew that it was a fantastic story and a beautiful creative, but it did not translate into good advertising. We could have edited so that it can work better just by not having that screen or having a transparent Budweiser logo when the horses walk the puppy back into the stable. That’s one example of a shocking thing that we have noticed and we see this over and over again.

Another shocking one, which is slightly darker and sad, is that we have taken a particular Windows commercial, it was called Lina. The creator had featured a lot of kids of color and mostly girls. The creator was like, “Maybe she can be a scientist, maybe she can be anything that she wants.” We’ve taken that commercial and we tested it here in New York. We tested it in Melbourne, Australia. There was no point within the creative that was effective for an American audience. It’s because as liberal as the traditional New York audience may otherwise come to be, what the data showed us was that these people weren’t willing to accept all of these young girls to be scientists, engineers and all the things that they could potentially be.

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Neuro-Insight: We cannot perceive or predict how tiny nuanced things end up impacting people’s behavior.


Whereas in Australia, each one of the vignettes worked particularly well. Here is the subconscious bias that was showcased by looking at a story that was being told by a brand. What’s even sadder is that there was only one vignette that did not work for either one of the two countries. That’s when the managers say, “Maybe she could even be a leader in terms of being the leader of the government or political party.” That begins to show you the subconscious biases that we may have, which if you ask a general person on the street in New York City, they will respond very differently. When we look at the subconscious response, we realized it’s a whole different story in there.

That’s interesting in terms of the perception of what we think of people’s perception is versus what the reality is. We got a lot of attention to a lot of these marketing examples. I teach a lot of marketing classes and I’m thinking of the Gillette commercial comes to mind. What did you think of what happened with that commercial? I’m curious about your insight into what you would’ve done differently for them.

That’s one I’m technically not supposed to talk about, so I’ll skip that one.

That was just one because it came to mind, but there are a lot of commercials that capture attention for one reason or another that are fascinating. You have good intentions but then the audience perceives it some other way. Is there a certain number of people you can research to make sure that this is going to be a valid predictor? What’s the science behind this of how predictive it is? I’d like to know more about how well this works to know if this thing that we decided to go with. We put this cap on, but then when we get out into the real world, how do you determine if your software was correct or not?

We determine this by having done many years of research around it. That’s the one answer. I’m glad that you’re asking these questions purely because most people who would walk into a situation and someone said, “I measure the subconscious and I measure memory.” You must be able to measure memory. Let’s talk about how memory impacts behavior. The truth is that most of the people in the world who claim to measure memory do not measure memory. Do not have an accurate measure of memory or do not have any scientific evidence to showcase that what they measure is a memory. For that purpose, we’ve gone through a very rigorous process to be able to prove that one, that when we say we measured memory that we measure memory.

Two, when we started looking at memory, it is the biggest predictor of change in consumer behavior. These papers are peer-reviewed and published in the International Journal of Advertising. While these two things to me were a total game changer compared to whatever marketing I’ve seen. One, when I first started the company, I realized that we were being held to a completely different standard because we were new compared to what people have been using in the past. No CMO ever asked the question or no insights department ever asked the question, “I want to understand what my ROI off the survey. How closely does this survey predict consumer behavior?” Have they even tried it? They would have known that their correlations would have been probably smaller than 20%.

That said, the question that was repeatedly asked to us was like, “I understand that you can predict a change in consumer behavior and you’ve done validation studies around that. I now want you to be able to show me that you can predict sales in the market.” We worked with the Pink Box, which is the big TV body in the UK who said, “We’re going to get another partner in a company called Ubiquiti that specializes in econometric modeling.” They picked nine categories and they picked two ads in both categories. One ad had performed particularly well in terms of the sales performance in the market and the other not so much. Ubiquiti’s role was to identify all the other factors like the amount of money spent on media, the amount of money spent in creative, and the time of economy that came out in, the star power, etc. Tease out all of these variables and have the creative difference be the only difference between these two ads.

[bctt tweet=”Curiosity allows you to get a multitude of information from different sources.” username=””]

They were given these eighteen ads and these nine categories and asked to predict which ones would do better or sell more in the market. Nine out of those nine cases they were able to predict which ones would do better in the market. We have done a significant amount of work to run correlations between our work and sales and have done industry-wide studies to be able to prove that. When we begin to work with a client longitudinally for a few years and have access to single source data, our correlations to predicting sales have come close to 85% or 86%.

It’s interesting that you even went in this direction because when you were beginning the conversation, you talked about wanting to take a liberal arts degree and you went into math, physics and economics. You have this mind for this very STEM-related thinking. I’m curious, when you had this desire to have this liberal arts education, what pushed you towards going more STEM science type business?

It’s strange because what you think as quantitative is not what I think as quantitative because I grew up wanting to be a movie actor. I grew up doing one play a month. I’ve done an insane number of plays growing up. I danced ballroom in college. I used to sing in high school and I still write poetry and philosophy. This idea that I am solely left-brained or I’m so right-brained is like a pop site idea. It has no fundamental truth to it. If someone says, “Literally, I’m so right-brained I can’t do math.” That stuff is nothing but an excuse to not be able to do math. That doesn’t exist.

I forget what the exact quote by Einstein was, but it was something along the lines of that it is not all observed fact. It is inventions of the mind backed up by observed fact. By that, I mean that in order for you to be a great mathematician or a great scientist, you have to be phenomenally creative. Newton came up with the idea that this apple has fallen, it must be from gravity. He assumed the gravity and then came up with his Laws of Motion, which happened to describe how things would close enough to the surface of the Earth move and those working on the laws. Einstein was a huge fan of Newton. At the same time, he realized that there’s a little more than what we understand what’s going on.

He had to imagine the idea of the space-time continuum. He had to imagine these things for them to go out then and find the math to make it work. This idea of being creative and big picture goes hand in hand with having the actual tools of mathematics and other so-called quantitative phases to be able to make the entire big picture work. I used to be a math tutor in college and I was the guy who used to walk in and say like, “You see this quadratic equation and I see a parabola. I don’t see the numbers here. I see figures.” That’s how I was able to do math and that’s how I see the world. To me, it’s another language. I think you need both.

It’s fascinating that you touch on so many things that are interesting to me as far as creativity. I studied curiosity and I think of curiosity as the spark to creativity. If you want to ask a lot of questions, you’re able to be more creative and it drives that desire to be motivated and driven. It seems like you were a very curious child when your story about you said your family made fun of you. When I was looking at your family made fun of you for thinking of going to this school. When I did my research on curiosity, I found that certain things hold people back from being curious. Some of it is our environment. A lot of it can be family, but there are stories like yours and stories like Elon Musk whose father said, “You’re never going to make anything of yourself,” and then he goes off. Where did that, “I’ll show,” you’re not going to let it hold you back drive come from do you think?

There’s a cultural aspect of it. My parents are as Indians as they get. I don’t think they’ve ever thought of me or claimed to me that they think I’m successful, intelligent, good looking or any of those things that other people may say. That’s because that is just not said in Indian families. The fact that they try to keep your feet on the ground by continuing to tell you that, “Your overly-confident fourteen-year-old or fifteen-year-old self may think that you may find yourself amongst the 30 going to Singapore, but it’s not that easy.” Yet at the same time, these are same people who could teach you to go seek the impossible and work the hardest that you can because that’s the only way that is out there.

TTL 557 | Neuro-Insight
Neuro-Insight: For you to be a great mathematician or a great scientist, you actually have to be phenomenally creative.


I wouldn’t know anything about Elon Musk’s family but for us growing up in India, this duality shows up in every part of the culture. Every culture is defined by its myths, its stories, its music or its ritual. Our myths in India gives you a ridiculous amount of comfort with the duality of being. It gives you the comfort that, “The way that philosophy says that you were never born, you’ll never die and then you’re going to live forever.” Yet at the same time, you wake up every day and you realize that this is the one life that you will have this conscious decision. You put in everything that you can in this life. How do you do both things at the same time?

Strangely, there is comfort in that duality. While my parents made fun of me for applying to these places, they also woke up early, helped me get dressed, made me my food and dropped me to the testing center for me to be able to do those things. I don’t take any credit for that. I think I was just brought up in an environment where my great grandfather was a doctor, my grandfather was an engineer and my father have five degrees. These are all insanely hungry and curious people and value both excellence and achievements in a way that I was just born with. I only have them to thank for. If I will go back to your point about creativity and curiosity because it’s one of my favorite topics too. Creativity to me is nothing but your brain’s ability to connect disparate data sources within your brain.

We all have access to certain information, but the idea that you are able to connect two or three things that otherwise may be different, and most people may not connect is creative. For example, the idea that money is not everything is something that we all know. Even if we may not truly understand or believe it, we are told that from a young age no matter where in the world you are. The idea that MasterCard as a company makes money when people purchase things because they process these transactions. It’s also something that most people know about MasterCard. The fact that a company like MasterCard that relies on people spending money for their success will come up with the campaign that says, “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.” The entire priceless campaign, that’s creativity. These are joining two data sources that otherwise would never have come together. I do think curiosity allows you to get a multitude of information from different sources. It is a fundamental building block of creativity in the way that if you weren’t sure, you wouldn’t even have enough information to be creative.

I’d like to know how you think it ties into our perception. You were talking about perception bias and different things of how it’s different in India. How they looked at things than it is here at cultural things. How can we use curiosity to understand the perception of how others perceive us and how we perceive others? Is curiosity part of that?

As an actor, these were my first lessons of the world. How do you understand perception? I think it all begins with empathy. Most people listen to another person to be able to answer their questions or respond to what they are saying. If you truly listen to get to a fundamental understanding of where this person is coming from. You begin to get through many layers of political correctness or cultural impacts. Deep down with it, if you empathize enough, you realize that if I tried to understand all the circumstances that this person is coming from. This is where this person grew up. This is how his parents work. This is what he faced in school. Therefore with this information, this is the decision he makes. It all makes sense. You begin to realize that there is a ridiculous amount of power in empathy because it allows you to understand and perceive in ways that other people may be perceived if you truly are open to the idea.

I write a lot about perception and emotional intelligence and a lot of things you’re talking about and you’re making some important points. There are cultural differences in what makes people more interested in reading and exploring. I had Naveen Jain on the show. He’s from India and he valued education quite a bit and his family had certain cultures. They valued certain things. It made me think of what you guys value in terms of curiosity there at Neuro-Insight. I was watching one of your interviews for Forbes where you were talking about Philosophy Fridays and that’s when we get back to the Scotch that we teased about. We can find out how Scotch plays into Philosophy Friday and what is Philosophy Friday?

Two things. I certainly believe that the most groundbreaking thing that has happened on this planet has been done by making our subconscious conscious. You see examples of mathematicians who have dreamed about stuff and next they found the solution that they’ve been looking for the past many years. People in different parts of the world, Latin America, some parts of Asia have even used traditionally. I’m talking about 3,000, 4,000 years ago using hallucinogenic to solve different problems, psychiatric problems and other things and get to a meditative state. I don’t correlate any of these things with what we do at Neuro-Insight.

[bctt tweet=”Unleashing your creative power enables you to achieve your maximum potential.” username=””]

I’m just saying that most of the remarkable things in the world have come from making the subconscious conscious in one way or another. When I started the company and I hired my first employee, my promise to this gentleman was that I would teach him everything that I know about life and that was our deal. Usually, on Fridays after work, I would buy him a drink wherever we were. We didn’t have a fancy office then. I was just running the company out of a shared office and different cafes. I would buy him a drink and we’d start talking about life. That will turn into an hour, two-hour and three-hour conversation. As the company grew, it became a routine. As we then got our offices and I built this much talked about whiskey bar, we formalize an event where we told the office to come up with the topic that may or may not have anything to do with what we do here at Neuro-Insight.

People come together. We open a bottle of Scotch and talk about life. To me, that is important because what makes you a great Neuro-Insight employee or great Neuro-Insight representative is not just the bare bones of things that we do on a daily basis in terms of analyzing data and telling our clients what they should do to optimize their creative. What makes these people fantastic is the fact that these people are whole. They get to understand and empathize with a spectrum of people who they otherwise may not have anything in common with. What Philosophy Friday does is base very meta topics and allows all of these people to get an understanding of someone who may be coming from a whole different place. Somehow, eventually, it all comes down to someone recognizing another person like, “I never thought of it this way but I get it.” That is the magic that people leave Philosophy Friday, which feeds into every aspect of their behavior and how we interact with clients. That’s the reason why it happens. It’s probably one of my proudest traditions to have created.

It’s an amazing process because so many people are held back and they don’t want to share ideas. You set the stage for them to feel more comfortable. What advice would you give somebody who hasn’t necessarily created that culture to let people be truly creative and curious to share ideas? Maybe they fear ramifications or people just aren’t listening. Can you have a culture that embraces curiosity if the CEO doesn’t buy into that need?

Yes, my advice to someone like that would be that there are ten to the power of 23 solar systems in the universe, and then to the power of 30 something planets in the universe. We are nothing but a spinning rock in the middle of the sky. We happen to have life on this planet that has existed for billions of years in itself. The original civilization and things that we tie ourselves down by are all of 3,000 if not from that 5,000 years old. With that perspective, when you are running a company, the biggest objective should be to unleash a creative power within humanity to be then able to achieve your maximum potential. That’s what’s brought us here so far.

This idea of work the way is only 200 years old in the context of the billions of years that I’ve spoken about. This idea of the post-industrial revolution work where you wake up at a certain hour, you go to the office, you work for a few hours and then you have a regime around it and having the weekend off is a 200, 300-year-old idea. If we truly want to be successful as a planet, the only way to do it is by seeking excellence, by unleashing our creativity, holding hands and carrying everybody with you on that journey. If that means that you have to take some steps that other companies don’t have to, and so be it. What’s the harm in trying?

That’s great advice. We covered so much ground. This was so much fun, Pranav. Many people could have learned so much from this. A lot of people want to know how they can find out more about you because you’ve won so many awards and you’re on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Alumni list. You’re on so many different channels out there. How’s the best way to reach you?

I prefer the old school, so I’ll take an email. It is Anybody and everybody are welcome to write to me. I will try to get back to as many people as I can every day.

TTL 557 | Neuro-Insight
Neuro-Insight: There is an amount of power in empathy because it allows you to understand and perceive in ways that other people see.


That’s so nice of you. It was so much fun to catch up. It’s been too long. It was nice of you to be on this show. Thank you.

Thank you for having me here.

You’re welcome. I’d like to thank Pranav for being my guest and we have so many great guests on this show. I can’t tell you how many Forbes 30 Under 30s we’ve had because they’re so fascinating. Every time I meet one of them, I can’t wait to have them on the show. The first two guests I ever had were Forbes 30 Under 30s. We got to have a lot of them speak when I worked as the MBA Program Chair at Forbes and they’ve always attracted some of the more unique people from around the globe in that whole list of people, and you could see why Pranav is so successful. I had a lot of fun talking to him the first time we met. This was a fascinating discussion because it ties into a lot of the things that I teach with marketing and a curiosity. I love how they develop that so much at his company.

I see so many CEOs who don’t understand or buy into the need for curiosity as much. I think it’s so important. We want to get the curiosity culture to go right from the top and Pranav definitely embraces that. I have a lot of people ask me about what we offer with the Cracking the Curiosity Code book and Curiosity Code Index Assessment. If you’re interested in finding out more about that, you can go to because we have all the information there, but you can always find everything at the main site of That top menu will get you around from the show to the blog to the Curiosity Code information. I hope you take some time to explore the site, check out more information about Cracking the Curiosity Code, the Curiosity Code Index and look at some of the past episodes. We have so many great guests and Pranav is one of those definitely. I enjoyed the show and I hope you did. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.

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About Pranav Yadav

TTL 557 | Neuro-InsightPranav Yadav, CEO of Neuro-Insight U.S., is an international innovation evangelist and thought leader dedicated to changing how brands and customers communicate. By using the passive, granular insights of neuromarketing, Pranav helps advertisers and media companies make the most compelling connections between product, communication, context, and consumer.

Pranav has won an ARF Great Mind Award, NMSBA’s Neuro Personality of the Year, Forbes’ coveted Top 30 Under 30 for Marketing and recently he was placed on the Forbes All-Star Under 30 Alumni list with Evan Spiegel, Justin Bieber, Donald Glover, LeBron James and Taylor Swift among others.

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