051 – Asking Why with David Seto

051 – Asking Why with David Seto

David Seto- podcast

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[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

What is so powerful about the question, Why?  Is the path to success a straight road or a crooked and winding path?  How is skateboarding related to corporate finance?  Join us for the circuitous answers on today’s podcast.

Hey there Innovators!  Today’s interview is with a guest from the future.  I won’t spoil the surprise on that one.  I love to elicit questions.  I believe that questions are essential to life, and I’m in good company because Voltaire said,

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”

I am fond of the idea that answers are very short lived while questions can be self-perpetuating and almost immortal.  If I ask, “How does water fall?”  You could say, “Under the influence of gravity, water falls at 9.8 m/s^2.”  That answer takes less than five seconds to say, but if I accept the answer, that’s the end of my curiosity in that direction.

However, it turns out that the answer just given is only a small part of the processes possible with water.  By hooking a water hose up to a speaker or mixing water with Ethylene Glycol or watching water drop into sand, hundreds and thousands of new questions arise each leading to more questions.  Our guest today calls this the search for “Why?”.  This simple word can lead to the farthest reaches of outer space or to the inner universes of atoms, nuclei, and even stranger things…

Here at Table Top Inventing, we believe that the best questions don’t have simple answers.  Complexity and the intricacy of the real world can be a vehicle to a never ending stream of inspired questions.  Questions are the beginning of a quest, and quests can lead to all sorts of interesting places.

Our after school Inventor’s Guild classes in Thousand Oaks, Hesperia, and Orange County are designed to be the genesis of intelligent questions not simple run-of-the-mill answers.  To learn more, email classes@ttinvent.com or visit InventingZone.com.

Today’s interview was recorded on a Sunday from a guest on Monday.  How is that possible?  Well David Seto is an interesting character, and I connected with him while he was in Hong Kong on Monday which was Sunday afternoon here in California!  David has tried everything from law to finance and is now trying his hand at entrepreneurship.  He grew up in NYC, and his parents literally owned and operated a “mom and pop” store.  Let’s find out how a kid from NYC grew up to be a curious coordinator of corporate finance.

About David

davidsetoDavid has over 25 years experience in the field of finance, working in New York, Hong Kong and Beijing. His career began in 1987, when he joined the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and, after completing my MBA, later worked at the boutique economic forecasting firm of Nakagama & Co. on Wall Street.

He joined HSBC in Hong Kong in 1995 as Treasury Economist and was subsequently appointed to head up sovereign risk analysis for the Asia/Pacific region. By 1999, he, along with the Fixed Income Research team, ranked third in Institutional Investor’s annual survey of Asian analysts. He has been quoted and appeared regularly in printed and televised media throughout Asia and the world. While in Beijing, David have conducted hundreds of presentations to Chinese and foreign corporations, financial institutions, and boards of directors.

David is the Founder and Managing Director of Figure Eight Consulting Limited, a firm set up in 2004 which provides financial expertise to small and medium sized enterprises. Figure Eight’s coverage encompasses the key areas of corporate finance including accounting, budgeting and capital raising. During 2009 to 2012, in the role of CFO and shareholder, he successfully helped lead a key client, ICD Ltd, on a corporate merger and acquisition, raising almost USD10m for the shareholders.

In 2013, David began to explore the new world of 3D printing, specifically in the field of training. He co-founded 3D Roundhouse Ltd, which has been sponsoring in Beijing and Hong Kong a series of discovery and networking conferences called 3D Printing Roundtables. These meet ups have brought together designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and Chinese government officials from the Department of Education. In his current role as Managing Director and CFO, he hope 3D Roundhouse will be a leading, global player in the field of education for 3D printing.

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What is the Purpose of an Education?

“Every generation that asks ‘Why?’ will make improvements.  If you’re asking ‘Why?’ and you’re making improvements, then over time, each generation will have a better lifestyle. To give your children a better life.”  —David Seto

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David’s Favorite Quote

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
Thomas A. Edison

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About Teachers 

“Relying on others is one of the hardest things to do.” my dad used to tell me. As a result, I try to do as much as I can for all areas of my life. This has also taught me about my own limitations.

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 Something David has made recently:

I re-created a rook chess piece with an internal spiral staircase on 123D Design. I really lost myself for 3-4 hours. That’s fun!

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Something David has learned recently:

New 3D modeling software, like Sketchup and Tinkercad.  I’m also trying to learn Japanese and motorcycle repair.

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Additional Notes



Interesting Videos to spark your curiosity about Water.

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Full Text Transcript – Coming Soon!

3D roundhouse“I spent a lot of time skateboarding in NYC on the lower east side because that’s when skateboarding first came out.  I remember skateboarding particularly around the Wall Street area.  On weekends that was a very good place to skateboard, and I guess that sort of drew me to the whole Wall Street and finance scene.” David Seto

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