Dilip Chetan started his undergraduate education with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering. Shortly after he got his Engineering degree, an astrologer had predicted that he would never study any more. Either to prove the astrologer wrong, or because had nothing better to do with his time and whatever little money he had, he went on to acquire three Masters’ degrees – an MBA, a Masters in Computer Science and a Masters in Human Factors Psychology. The last two degrees came from the University of South Dakota. He was also interested in pursuing another degree in fine arts, but he had to stop studying when his wife threatened to divorce him if he enrolled in one more course.
It was during his student days at the University of South Dakota that he discovered his true calling. The field of Human Factors opened him up to the fascinating world of user research. He discovered that people are seldom able to articulate why they do what they do. That is something that was left to the researcher to deduce by using a variety of techniques. He realized that he was good at getting to the underlying motivations that led to different patterns of observable behaviors. He decided to hone these skills and pursue a career in Human Factors.
Over the course of his career, Dilip has done everything from managing design and research teams to conducting user research for all facets of product development. He has helped implement best practices, conducted workshops on decision making with top executives, and created a corporate culture where evidence based product development is valued. He has changed the entire strategy of key products by virtue of his insights in more than one large enterprise. Ever the quirky scientist, he has conducted experiments to assess the impact of loud, aggressive music on driving, studied what happens to people’s skin conductance levels when he shocked them by bursting fireworks near them when they were not looking, drove 4200 miles in 6 days across the USA just to see how far he could go in a rental minivan with his family (including two 5-month old babies), and on one odd occasion, posed as an Amish man on a dating website, all in the name of science!
Dilip Chetan is currently working as a Director of Research and Insights at Bill.com. He lives in the Bay Area of California with his wife and twin children.