Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Startup - The Truth - 1

When we were working on our product, people’s reactions were :
  • If you don't respect education, why even be here?
  • Why are you dropping your engineering classes to work on something new?
  • Just look at THAT guy, why cant you be like him!
  • You are damn lucky to have gotten this far, right people, right time.
  • Your parents have made lot of money, you can take risks!

You get the flow.

I hated these people and still do, but they are the ones who made me who I am and drove me to work even harder to reach where I am now, so they indirectly helped me!

Many people think that to go against a group, or to be a rebel requires a lot of strength, courage blah blah!!! NO!! You need people who discourage you, who put you down, who undermine your effort!

There is no shortage of such people around us. A lot of people fear these Bozos (as I prefer to call them)! Fear that society wouldn’t approve and fear to do something on their own. There is no point in living in fear, and living your life for others. Instead, take the opportunity and drive your energy into the work that you love to do rather than wasting it on answering them and justifying why you are doing it.

To quote a few lines from an inspiring speech I read lately, and which I believe in,
If you do what is expected of you, you will be limiting yourself. You will be living your life according to boundaries set by average people. I have nothing against average people. But no one should aspire to be them. And you don’t need years of education by the best minds to prepare you to be average.

This is what we had in mind, while we worked on our product. We strived to make a difference, nevertheless a tiny one at least. We faced a lot of difficulties during bootstrapping which I can just write briefly about. I am sure that any startup (founded by people straight out of college without getting funded by any investor) would face the same for that matter! I will share few experiences which got us going, helped us in implementing our idea effectively and finally selling the product to the targeted crowd!

First thing we learnt, was to accept uncertainty. It’s quite easy to write or just theoretically understand uncertainty. In reality, it’s a disturbing feeling which will continuously nag you 24/7. When you don't know what's going to happen in the future or even in the present. If something goes wrong, you are doomed and people who are dependant on you are doomed too. This is the feeling you have to live with, not just live, but you will have to work with day in day out.

Its always comforting to share this uncertainty with someone whom you have known for quite a long time, someone whom you can trust. When you do, get ready for a lot of debates, arguments, and mental trauma. Because there is no easier way!! At the end of the day, you will figure out what your problems are, what has to be done and cope up with it.

Time is something which cannot be undervalued. You would’ve fixed a date for the launch of your product. I am damn sure the product might not be ready even the day before the launch. So the day before the launch feels like climbing a hill and never reaching the hilltop! The feeling that you get the night before the product launch is just ultimate! I am sarcastic of course but these are the realities of a startup!! Working with the people who share your uncertainty, trying to get things done under pressure, and handling the tension in the room is something we have to get accustomed to, the night before any deadline. In the end, it’s worth the effort, all done to show your customers that your product is one of a kind!

Before you blink your eye, the deadline has been reached, the demo is over and you sigh in relief. You think you are now certain about things to an extent. A list of customers sign up to buy the product. And the feeling of “Hell yeah, we finally did it!”. But the story doesn’t end. There are a zillion questions popping in your head, a zillion more tasks to complete and It’s the beginning of yet another cycle of uncertainty..

Welcome to my world. :P


Chitra said...

Hi Srikanth,

Lovely, true, very nicely expressed....

U know what...I am really happy for you....All the best !

Lakshman Srikanth D said...

Thanks a lot Chitra :-)

Arumugham S. said...

Awesome post bro. From Now on every time these Bozos demotivate, I am gonna read this :D

Lakshman Srikanth D said...

Arumugham - Thanks Dude.. Great! Hope it motivates you.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to my world.

If you want to chat up, feel free to mail be on

Roopa Hariprasad said...

Kinda insulting calling all of us "Bozos", Cheeku. But it's not as if we wanted you to fail. And some of those "bozos" are successful in their way, isn't that true?
We are truly happy for your success. Wishing you a lot more in all you do!!


Lakshman Srikanth D said...

Hi Roopa, I wasn't referring to you guys as bozos! Someone who is jobless and doesn't encourage "out of the box" thinking is called a bozo! :-)
Anyway everyone are part of the society and we are inter dependent beings :-)

I seriously respect you and all my cousins who are contributing great things to the society in a small or big way :)

Thanks a Ton for the wishes :-)

Roopa said...

I know more than anyone else how it feels to get free advice from people all the time. I guess as you grow older, you will either change the way you think and take all criticism and bigotry with a pinch of salt.
You will learn to hate those people more.
I belong to both categories depending on my mood, so in a way I agree with you. But now I know never to judge a book by its cover:)
But I guess it is a human trait to be opiniated and argue that my way is the best way.
Not everyone has the courage to tread the untried paths, and only very few of of ones who do, succeed. And you should count yourself among the blessed few! Touchwood..
Sorry, I digressed from the topic....liking your writing a lot. Love people who can speak their mind and don't mind a few arguments along the way...

Lakshman Srikanth D said...

Well Roopa, If you look at society as a whole. Its a flawless system designed by god.

As you say, in reality things vary, we always think and preach what we do is right and that's a good thing which balances everyone and the ecosystem otherwise it will be chaos! :-)

I am optimistic, I take the good things out of criticism and leave the rest to god! ;)

No doubt, I am blessed :-)