November 7, 2012
As a fresher I let go an opportunity to work for a startup that went on to be acquired few month back. I had no way of knowing that this 3 ppl startup would get acquired 6 years from now. Had I joined them I would be a millionnaire today in $$ and not INR. After leaving vegayan I rejected an offer from another startup that just raised their Series C round. They were giving me ESOPs worth 25 lakh with vesting period of 3 years, my friend who had referred me last week walked away with 45 lakh Rupees by selling his ESOPs. Just a year back when I joined ThinkLABS again from HP, I refused an offer from a startup which I believed had a stupid idea. They did a pivot came up with a different product all together and guess what they got funded today. What I lost this time only time will tell ?.
I have to admit I am making awful choices here. There is no point sulking I guess, hopefully I will make a better choice in future. Feeling real bad for myself.
May 15, 2012
Whenever business/tech blogs write “XYZ Event happened and here’s our take” or “XYZ Event happened: Our Take” or “Our take on Blah blah”
One Vikas @ Medianama just loves to do that every now and then … Here pluggd doing it … It’s a universal problem …
It annoys/irritates me no end.
Assume tomorrow morning “Time of India” Newspapers reports on front page
“A.Raja released from prison granted bail: Our Take”
You god damm right it’s your take. Let that be implied and don’t let a moment of laziness get the better of you from coming up with a good news heading/title …
April 10, 2012
“Mario João Carlos do Rosario de Brito Miranda, ComIH (2 May 1926 – 11 December 2011), popularly known as Mario Miranda or Mario de Miranda, was an Indian cartoonist based in Loutolim in the Indian state of Goa.” Source
Mario’s is India’s most recognized illustrator besides R.K. Laxman. While the latter’s work is more or less focused on political cartoons. Miranda is in a different league all together.
I don’t understand Art nor claim to do so. However with all the manga, webcomics reading I have been doing, I have certainly developed an eye for good illustrations. Anyone who has read Tatsumi’s autobiographical Graphic Novel would realize how passionate illustrators are about their work.
It was only on my recent trip to Goa (Honeymoon) did I buy my first book on Mario Miranda on his early days of growing up (A compilation of his own illustrations, and yes I found the time to read a book on my honeymoon – go figure).
3 2 months and I am buying every book out there with his illustrations.
The best of the his work IMHO is in the book Mario Travels, the book truly showcases the Mario Indians are not aware of.
Truly a great illustrator. RIP.
March 29, 2012
Indian incubators (Choose any you like) success ratio is rather sad. Help yourself and go see their previous incubates and you will be surprised how they are still single digit manpower companies. Most seize to exist. Try doing the same exercise with incubators abroad and one parameter will stand out, Success Rate per Batch.
What plagues them are two problems,
a) Team composition of incubates sp co-founders lack Marketing experience,
b) Lack of Initial Capital results in lot of freshers or inexperienced people in the team.
I blame those who head Incubators for the same.
Indian working in the industry for 5+ years will easily command 10+ lakh CTC a year. For him 5-10 lakh is not attractive. Once you are in the industry for 5 years and counting you have decent network of you own to get access to a CA firm. Most of the incubators charge for office space and electricity ( the ones that incubate you for a long duration i.e. 1 year+ and counting ). Those who incubate for say 100 days they usually give it for free. But there is a catch with some of them. The money they claim initially i.e. 5-10 lakh is not pure money but in kind. So they offset it against your stay and against providing access to services like PR, CA, electricity etc.
I think our incubators hold less relevance/utility for those who have worked in the industry for 5+ years.
I believe if an Incubator head was to read this he or she would say they I am discounting the access to Network of Professionals i.e. VCs, Angel Investors, Experts from Industry they provide. The only way to gauge if their network has any worth is to compute these
a) Average Survival Rate of companies once they leave incubation,
b) % of companies that received Seed Funding, Series A Funding,
c) Average number of Active Paid Customer acquired per company (valid for enterprise software or physical goods based companies )
d) Feedback from founders of previous companies on how much the incubator contributed to their success,
e) % of surviving startups that are above break even.
Personally I think the solution is fairly simple. Instead of 10-20 companies incubate just 3-6. Give them more capital, more time and attention. Say if you provide access to 20-30 lakh Rs as seed fund you would get not just quantity but Quality in Applicants.
Do Less To Achieve More.
If I ever apply to such an incubator I shall look for atleast one of the two
a) A mentor who has worked for 15+ years on sales/marketing side of business and comes from the same domain in which the business belongs,
b) Access to Capital.
Without the above it holds no utility to me.
Disclaimer: When I say Incubators I don’t mean the ones like SINE, CIIE etc. The ones that incubate you for 2-6 months and fund you in money’s worth aka Y Combinator style clones.
March 26, 2012
Is it just me or in the last one year the amount of angel funding has increased in India. I wonder, I saw the reports by vccircle along with some provided by my friend at seed-fund. Have to say this is the best time to start up.
March 19, 2012
So I am now 30.
29, one of my major goals was to either get married in 2011 or put in money to buy a house.
I got married on Feb 18th 2012. It was an arranged marriage and was agreed up in Aug 2011. My wife (Deoki Gupta) is from a small town called ujjain ( one of the big 5 pilgrimage places in India). She holds a Master is Computer Science. It’s sounds shameful but I did quiz her about linked list etc when we first met. There is no way I was getting married to someone who held a comp sci degree and didn’t know the fundamentals. She does. She meanwhile choose to ask sensible and hard hitting questions like “Do you have a girl friend etc etc. I answered honestly. She was also aware of me being a celiac. She is training in classical music ( 4 years and counting), something I found very attractive. Most importantly she is a very simple person.
Yeah Yeah I have just been married and all I can see are good things.
What next ?
30 is a big number … Doesn’t feel overwhelming though.
I guess this year it’s going to be about getting adjusted to married life. Given that I stay with my parents (That’s a norm in India) there are quite some ongoing adjustments for everyone involved i.e. Parents, Me, sister and mostly my wife.
So for this year goals are
a) Do what is necessary to be an entrepreneur in next 2-3 year time-frame. It’s one thing I really want to do, and services as I have said before doesn’t count as entrepreneurship to me,
b) Stop wasting money buying electronic gadgets,
c) Follow the financial plan I have put in place for savings needed to meet family obligations that are to come and for building a decent cushion for hard times,
d) At work pick up pace and complete things faster, ship more,
e) More Networking.