EdTech: Joe Mahavuthivanij of Go Boldly On How Their Technology Will Make An Important Positive Impact On Education

Authority Magazine Editorial Staff
Authority Magazine
Published in
8 min readApr 15, 2024


Understanding the Customer’s Needs — Without deeply understanding the problem you’re solving, it’s basically impossible to design a product that will have the impact that you intend. After all, you have no idea what you’re building, for whom, and why!

In recent years, Big Tech has gotten a bad rep. But of course, many tech companies are doing important work making monumental positive changes to society, health, and the environment. To highlight these, we started a new interview series about “Technology Making An Important Positive Social Impact”. We are interviewing leaders of tech companies who are creating or have created a tech product that is helping to make a positive change in people’s lives or the environment. In this particular installment, we are talking to leaders of Education Technology companies, who share how their tech is helping to improve our educational system. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joe Mahavuthivanij.

Joseph Mahavuthivanij is the founder & CEO of Go Boldly — a fun & effective financial literacy game, teaching young adults to develop good money habits and achieve their financial goals.

Prior to Go Boldly, Joe was the co-founder & CEO of Mythic Markets, a fractional investing platform for collectibles — acquired by Sydecar in 2021. He also spent 4 years in venture capital with Social Leverage, focusing on seed stage fintech and enterprise SaaS investments.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory and how you grew up?

I was born and raised in the Bay Area, and studied Psychology at UCSD. Professionally, my background is in product management and business development at startups, and I spent a few years in venture capital before founding my previous fintech company.

My parents were small business owners who unknowingly instilled the love of entrepreneurship in me. Although it was essential to build my startup experience with other companies learning from amazing founders, I always felt compelled to start my own business.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

COVID had a dramatic impact on the entire world, and affected each of us differently — changing all of our lives. In Mythic Markets’ case, it forced us to find innovative ways to market our product since conventions were no longer an option. In order to keep our team fit and united, we held team fitness challenges for various prizes and rewards, and filmed workout videos inspired by major influencers. We then published these videos, which were naturally shared by those larger channels, helping us to drive user growth. As a team of 7, we lost a collective 150lbs and changed our eating habits. I lost 75lbs myself!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My parents were incredibly influential in my entrepreneurial journey. They were immigrants who often remind me that they “worked hard so you don’t have to.” They didn’t mean that they didn’t expect us to work hard — but differently. Whereas they labored with their hands, they gave me the opportunity to work with my mind, and I will always be grateful of the sacrifices they made for my sister and I.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Howard Lindzon was a colleague and mentor when I worked at Social Leverage. One thing he always used to say was “Learn in your 20’s and earn in your 30’s.” The ages can be adjusted depending on where you were in your career, but the point remained that gaining early experience and exposure allowed us mitigate risk and earn more later in life.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Resilience: The startup journey ensures you’ll face numerous challenges, failures, and setbacks. Resilience enables you to withstand these difficulties, learn from the experiences, and persistently pursue goals despite obstacles.

Integrity: In business, integrity builds trust between a company and its customers, employees, and partners. It’s foundational for establishing a reputable brand and fostering relationships that are crucial for business growth and sustainability.

Vision: Having a clear and compelling vision is crucial and provides direction and purpose, both for you and your team. It is invaluable in setting goals, aligning efforts, and inspiring stakeholders to support the company’s mission.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about the tech tools that you are helping to create that can make a positive social impact on our educational systems. To begin, what problems are you aiming to solve?

With Go Boldly, we wanted to solve the problem with access to financial education. Financial literacy is only required in a handful of US states, and is otherwise learned at home — often from parents who lack the skill themselves. Just about everybody has a mobile device, which is why we decided to launch on iOS and Android.

How do you think your technology can address this?

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about education?

After Mythic Markets exited, I felt a huge void in my career. Although the new company was doing really well, I never woke up ready to jump out of bed to go to work. Ultimately this lack of professional fulfillment drove me to explore opportunities to share my love of personal finance. With the introduction of AI, I saw an opportunity to solve a perennial problem and took the plunge again.

How do you think your technology might change the world?

AI enables truly personalized learning for the very first time, which we believe is the key to making the experience fun and engaging. When learners actually enjoy the subject and find it applicable to their own lives, that’s where true mastery is achieved.

Keeping the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

AI is a major wildcard. It’s a nascent technology but its potential is unlimited. We’re at a weird crossroads where all companies are in an arms race, racing to leverage it — for good or for bad is still to be determined. While I do think it’s important to have guardrails, I don’t think its potential should be capped. However, if you’re a fan of sci-fi like myself, you can imagine the opportunities for positive and negative outcomes. I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

How do you envision the landscape of education evolving over the next decade, and how does your technology fit into that future?

I think all education will be hyper-personalized with AI. With the advent of AI agents, this may create opportunities for personalized teaching attention as well. Go Boldly is working rapidly to build technology to ultimately power these agents for any kind of learning.

Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, can you please share “Five things you need to know to successfully create technology that can make a positive social impact”? (Please share a story or an example, for each.)

1 . Understanding the Customer’s Needs — Without deeply understanding the problem you’re solving, it’s basically impossible to design a product that will have the impact that you intend. After all, you have no idea what you’re building, for whom, and why!

2 . User-Centered Design — Most edtech apps are the rote memorization variety, and that’s super boring. We wanted to make something fun and engaging, which led to the development of a game. When we enjoy learning, we tend to stick with it — especially if the content is applicable to our own lives.

3 . Collaboration Across Disciplines — Edtech goes beyond your typical software product because it has so many more stakeholders. From learners and their parents to teachers and administrators, this requires product coordination and a deep understanding of all of their needs.

4 . Leveraging Data Responsibly — AI creates unique opportunities to personalize learning, which means that language models can do some interesting things with a learner’s data. While personalization is important, it’s vital to protect personal information to prevent unintended consequences of attempting to do a good thing.

5 . Measuring Impact — If impact is the ultimate goal, measuring it accurately and effectively is incredibly important. Determining those metrics is an artform and, in Go Boldly’s case, financial success may not be measurable for years. However, if we get it right, we can change the world and enable our learners to have better financial and life outcomes for generations.

In the realm of EdTech, there’s often data collection involved. How do you ensure the ethical handling of user data, especially when it concerns students?

Well, at the moment we actually don’t collect any data except for a phone number that’s only used for authentication. We wanted to make financial literacy accessible to all, which meant that we needed to remove any and all barriers. However, if and/or when we do collect data, it would of course be encrypted and used only to provide better product experiences, learning outcomes, and financial recommendations.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

“Do good, and do well.” Making money is amazing, but doing it with purpose is better. Purpose is like an energy drink, giving you the motivation to do an extra rep, work one more hour, and have an external drive to succeed. It feels great and inspires yourself and your team to action.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

I’d love to have brunch with Pedro Pascal — he seems like the most humble, approachable guy on the planet, despite possibly being its biggest star. Please make it happen!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Please visit us at https://gobold.ly. You can always find us on Instagram, X (Twitter), Facebook, and TikTok!

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success in your important work.