General Thinking

NewsDeck120 – Changing News

I am very happy to let you all know about NewsDeck.



During the Demo Day 2013 organised by Startups Club on 16th November, off the 5 presentations that were given to the judges, only 1 was a pure idea (Was not a fully formed business). Harsha, who was pursuing this idea was still working at the time. I had been in constant touch since, to make sure that he did progress with his idea, since I thought that he had great potential.

My pursuit of Harsha has been well-rewarded with the launch of his site

I would like to request all of you to please take some time to go over the site and provide him with your valuable feedback.


#StartupsClub #DemoDay2014

Last year around July: Startups Club was about 4 months into its journey and had reached two cities.

We thought that we needed to do a big event. Well what would be the purpose of such an event? Most startups fumble around to get proper validation, whether from prospective clients, from people with sufficient industry experience or investors. We thought we would address that through this event. Most other events look at companies that are already getting some traction we wished to be open to companies that we at early stages or even idea stages.

The event unfolded and at the end of the event; one of the well-known Angel whom we had invited to be a part of the guest panel said – “This event is like a breath of fresh air in the Startup Eco-system.”

One incubators or the other present at the event invited most of the companies that made a presentation at the Demo Day. In order to make this happen, we spent several hours mentoring each of the company that was going to be presenting at the Demo Day. We connected them to potential clients. We rehearsed presentations with them. And to date, we are in touch with all of the companies to track their progress and to help them in any way possible. From the perspective of the participant companies, it was like a mini-acceleration camp.

This year we wanted it to be still different. So, we will continue to do the things that have made us stand out; the things that encourage startups to want to be a part of our event. We have also decided to do something that will help them get some seed capital. As a part of this, we started a campaign called ‘Fund A Startup’ We are looking to raise money from our members, acquaintances, as well as people from the startup eco-system; the funds raised will be given to the one Startup the guest panel thinks really deserves the funds.

As has been the case from the beginning, Startups Club itself was a huge experiment and this is another in a long list of experiments that we are performing in order to see how we can contribute better to the startup eco-system.

The successes of the past are now a memory and with renewed vigour we set out to conquer new peaks and reach new milestones in our journey as Startups Club.


Finding your Co-founder

Last week we had a great Startups Club meet at Chennai. The topic of the meeting was ‘Finding your Co-founder’. We had a discussions about the importance of a co-founder, after which, we arrived at the customary game. As a part of the game, all of the individuals who were present in the room were divided into two groups. Each was handed a slip which contained the name of an animal.
The participants were suppose to act like the animal mentioned on the slip and find their pair in the other team. As soon as the activity began, people started finding their pairs. It all happened really fast!
Once most of the members had found their pair, we got down to understand what we had learnt from the entire exercise:
Don’t be afraid to be who you are – In the context of the game, individuals were forced to act like a monkey, a dog, etc. Those who were not afraid of being what they were, were the first to find their counterpart. In life as well it is important to be who you are to find your right match. Pretending to be a person who you are not might get you a co-founder, but in the long run it will end in disaster.
Be around the kind of people who you are looking for – If you are seeking a technical person, there is no point in going to startup meets and looking for them. Go to places which such people frequent. Go to ‘Developers Conferences’ where you are certain to find people who have a technical background. hang out where you are certain they would!
When you find an opportunity don’t judge it and embrace it – We all have a view of ourselves. The way the world views us might not be the same as the way we view ourselves. Therefore, it is important to stop judging, when seeking a co-founder. You might be mighty surprised with what you find. Don’t stereotype people on the basis of how they look, talk, walk, etc. be open to everyone, you might be surprised how smart a ragged looking guy might turn out to be.
Keep moving forward – One of the member who did not find his corresponding partner, found out at the end of the game that the person next to him was the one! An entrepreneurs life is filled with challenges and difficulties. Just because a couple of attempts do not work out for you, does not mean nothing would. If you stop moving forward, you move backwards.
Never give up as an entrepreneurs, you might just be about to strike gold!
General Thinking

Overestimation – Interesting Insights which I myself just realised!!

So last weekend, we had chosen “Overestimation” as a theme for our Startups Club meeting. We were expecting the meeting to be rather dull since the topic was not something that could generate a great deal of debate. Just as a last minute thing, we decided to throw in a game into the meet.

So the game played out like this. Two teams of 5 members were created. In each team, one member was assigned a leader. The leader from each team was asked to bid. What was on auction was a bunch of exercises: Push-Ups, Lunges, Iron-Man and Balancing on a Leg. The team with the winning bid had to perform the exercise, else, the same was passed onto the other team.

As bidding commenced, the meeting got extremely exciting! More than we could have hoped or dreamt. Each team had won two bids, and each was able to accomplish what they had bid. Hence a tie-break; Sit-Ups was introduced. Bidding went on a different gear, but again the team with the winning bid was able to accomplish the task. At this point, we raised the stakes and asked the losing team if they were willing to do 50% more to take the game away. They took up the challenge and accomplished it!

I realised; often times we over-estimate the work at hand. We really do not know the boundaries of our own capabilities and would not ever come to know unless we are pushed to reach them. People; Intelligent people like to be pushed to reach these boundaries. They may crib while they are being forced to reach these peaks but every time they discover a new peak – They are happy; they feel a sense of accomplishment. This fact alone allows leaders to find extremely talented individuals who would put in their blood, sweat and tears into a job that seems impossible to achieve. What is described by many as Steve Jobs’ “Reality Distortion Field” is just a manifestation of the process of finding this peak.

I myself was a part of a team in my first job where we were worked incredibly hard by our boss. We were expected to put in 18 hour days on weekends. (Especially on weekends) We all used to crib, but we would deliver one way or the other. To date, wherever any of us, who was a part of that team meet up, we fondly remember those days! We were performing at our peak; it may have been tiring but it felt good.

Today, my partner pushes me to achieve things that I would never think possible.

Don’t overestimate the goals which lie ahead of you. Work desperately towards it. You may surprise yourself by achieving it!