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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Startup Dreams_Bangs Ending up in Whimpers?!

I really am excited, I rush up to my room and bang into Sirjee’s room and found him all alone. I thrust the paper in front of his face and gleefully “Find anyone familiar?” Sirjee looks into it and say “This is good put it on the notice board.” At that moment I realize the extent of his selflessness. Not on word about when did this happen why did you not tell me. He had every right to know as he had worked on it putting in nearly as much effort as me. But, I wasn’t very sure about the outcome so I had not updated him. And to a small extent he wasn’t all that gung –ho about the entire project.

The next person I told in person was “S”. I wasn’t sure about his reaction, but one look at the paper and he was all wow and congrats. Now I am not an expert, but his wishes sounded genuine, so I told him there might be future PR events too and if he would like to join it would be possible. Respectfully “S” said,” Srikant keep me out of it, I have done nothing to deserve any kind of mention. You asked for help and I did just that.” Now that felt good, when someone helps you without any predetermined intent, it normally means they respect you, believe in you or both.

Anyway I send out the web link to the class representative and that guy is surprised as well,” You never told “, he said in a kind of accusatory tone. Now even I did not know that this was to happen and I am not in the habit of talking about things before they happen. I just shrugged and let that comment pass. However, he dropped a mail to the entire batch and predictably it created a flurry. There were some congrats, some back thumps but everybody was far more interested to know if I had made some money out of it, which I did not. However this answer was not palatable and not many actually believed it. Certain people often believe what they want to and no amount of alternate convincing would make them change their minds. On the contrary, sometimes it would just strengthen their perceptions of the same. So I again smiled and shrugged away their disbeliefs.

This episode of press PR also galvanized me into doing something for areapal. There other such events and some local channels and dailies also covered us. The hit count of the site went up and the idea which me and “S” worked out was well received and possibly one of the good ways to monetize the site. Kavi however decided to defer the design part of it. He was more interested in increasing the registration, and I suspected Rams mandate behind it. I however was more worried about activities post registration. If people don’t find anything worthwhile inside they are just bound to remain a statistic on the database and not an active user.

In the midst of all this I got a call form Joji. Just to refresh this was the guy who I met at the IE interview and who was also working on areapal. I was rather surprised to hear from him, as we did not usually interact. Joji did not bother with any preliminaries and immediately went to the point. Seems he had run the plan I recommended to a couple of his friends and had a few suggestions. That seemed ok, but is till could not understand his intentions in calling me. I was to fathom it later when he digressed into a tirade against Kavi; his style of working lack of planning and all.

Click Here
  1. Chapter 1 - It Aint So Easy !!
  2. Chapter 2 - All Angels Dont Have Wings ..
  3. Chapter 3 - Began with a Bang 
  4. Chapter  4 - It is all in Packaging :) 
  5. Chapter 5 - Bangs Ending up in Whimpers?

Startup Dreams_It is all in Packaging :)

Finally one bright and sunny day, when I was in class I thought of asking for help from “S”. This was another guy on the lines of Sirjee but not as brilliant and slightly childish as well. But then that was expected given that he was a fresher and just 20 years of age. But he was a natural diplomat and had a way of handling different temperaments and cooling things down in any argument, the hallmarks of a good leader. I pinged him and did some shadow boxing on “what’s up” and “are you busy” and all, before throwing in the dart. “S” readily agreed and we met up later and almost by a stroke of sheer luck came up with a good plan, a very good plan. 

That’s why it is preferable to work in teams, one simply can’t think beyond a certain point and a fresh viewpoint helps.

Again, as luck would have it Kavi buzzed me just after that for an interview with the Indian Express (IE) about the local startup. This sounded good and I immediately accepted. The interview was scheduled to be held the coming day and quite nearby as well, in a place called Alliance French. I met some new faces that were also associated with the project some college dropout by the name of Joji and another guy-Arun pursuing his MBA from Chennai. Their work was not very clear but that was fine as even my responsibility was not very defined to me.

The lady form the IE was an Uma Kannan, and started of with some basic questions. Kavi countered and I immediately jumped in with some jazzy business jargons and some rather esoteric examples to prove his point. Trouble with that was although the lady was duly impressed she wasn’t very clear about the basic concept. It was at that point I realized that keeping things simple is very difficult. It is possible to spit out jargons non-stop and also possibly give a rational argument for each but that sometimes is not very effective.
Anyways, the interview went passably well and we also posed for about a dozen or so snaps. I winded it off with thanks to the lady and the cameraman. Such small gestures work wonders, possibly because everybody is selfish and wants to feel good about them.

A couple of days later, Kavi pings me saying to check the local newspaper. Needless to say I am excited, it isn’t everyday that a name appears in print. I went to the library to check the newsprint; however the paper was out, some lecturer had borrowed it. I thought I could come back after lunch and with that thought gulped down whatever was made without tasting it as much. 

I rush to the library again but the paper is still not available.

Impatient and curious I decided to buy one,

I started to walk out and Raghu my roommate is also out, on a bike possibly looking for a fag. I flag him and ask him to drop me to the nearest newsstand. I open the paper almost expecting to see my face in the first page, but as I turn it I see it in full form on the lower corner of the second page with a rather flattering snap of me. I show it in one of the rare moments of self appreciation to Raghu and he is surprised as well,” When did that happen?” I smile and reply,” A couple of days back” and thump his back.

Click Here
  1. Chapter 1 - It Aint So Easy !!
  2. Chapter 2 - All Angels Dont Have Wings ..
  3. Chapter 3 - Began with a Bang 
  4. Chapter  4 - It is all in Packaging :) 
  5. Chapter 5 - Bangs Ending up in Whimpers?

Control The A ,C ,V J , P and of course the F !!

The above seemingly random letters of the queens’ language are the modern life blood of any organization and its employees.

Now you may be wondering as to what these actually do. They make life simple, and not to mention faster. If you still haven't figured out, just consider doing the following.

Open any web page and a blank document. Hit ctrl A on the web page text and then the remaining sequence of letters in the blank document.


Banking, IT, marketing ( Many times , I need fancy diagrams!), and of course research and consulting.

With information available aplenty, I believe we have become lazy. If you don’t know something Google it up, that is the instant thought. Rarely do we spend time to think, as to what the answer or the solution might be. Sirjee in fact told me this, that once your hear another thought or view your brain instantly tries to linear-ise and rationalize the thought, hence you dull your penchant for thinking

On a pessimistic note, now it seems to state that collective ignorance is better than individual wisdom.

We have conditioned ourselves to the use of these shortcuts so much that i wondered what happens if one day they disappear

Snap !!!!!!!!!! Just like that they vanish.

  1. For a change you might actually refer to a book to seek information, rather than do the Ctrl+F on an electronic version. You might even spend time flipping over the preface, reading about the author and getting connected to his thoughts as a person, putting a face over text than just a URL.
  2. Manually type out entries in an Excel sheet, and maybe linger over a bit on the values and try to relate to the feel of the numbers than just the final mean, median, mode and Stdev.
  3. Visualize a picture in your thoughts than hitting “ 3D Layout design”
  4. Go out and talk to other people seek other people’s advice in person, than just Wikipedia