Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The hardest startup lessons to learn

I stumbled upon an excellent article on startup lessons. Hope it would be helpful.

1. Release Early.
2. Keep Pumping Out Features.
3. Make Users Happy.
4. Fear the Right Things.
5. Commitment Is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
6. There Is Always Room.
7. Don't Get Your Hopes Up.

I especially liked this part:

Speed, not Money

The way I've described it, starting a startup sounds pretty stressful. It is. When I talk to the founders of the companies we've funded, they all say the same thing: I knew it would be hard, but I didn't realize it would be this hard.

So why do it? It would be worth enduring a lot of pain and stress to do something grand or heroic, but just to make money? Is making money really that important?

No, not really. It seems ridiculous to me when people take business too seriously. I regard making money as a boring errand to be got out of the way as soon as possible. There is nothing grand or heroic about starting a startup per se.

So why do I spend so much time thinking about startups? I'll tell you why. Economically, a startup is best seen not as a way to get rich, but as a way to work faster. You have to make a living, and a startup is a way to get that done quickly, instead of letting it drag on through your whole life.

We take it for granted most of the time, but human life is fairly miraculous. It is also palpably short. You're given this marvellous thing, and then poof, it's taken away. You can see why people invent gods to explain it. But even to people who don't believe in gods, life commands respect. There are times in most of our lives when the days go by in a blur, and almost everyone has a sense, when this happens, of wasting something precious. As Ben Franklin said, if you love life, don't waste time, because time is what life is made of.

So no, there's nothing particularly grand about making money. That's not what makes startups worth the trouble. What's important about startups is the speed. By compressing the dull but necessary task of making a living into the smallest possible time, you show respect for life, and there is something grand about that.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What's up?

A lot of things...

It's been a long time since I updated my blog. I had intended to take some time out to blog about the things I did to transition smoothly from India to the US. I won't say that I didn't have enough time to write because that's not true; I just kept procrastinating things. So first things first...I got a visa smoothly, given the ivy brand of Cornell... I got a plane ticket to NY...I reached US safely...and now I am a student at the Johnson School!!!

The orientation started on Saturday, August 4th for the international students; Monday, August 6th for the domestic students. The city of Ithaca is really wonderful, there is a lot to explore, especially if you like natural beauty. There are a number of finger lakes, a number of wineries(Yes, the school organized a wine tasting event for us at one the wineries near Cayuga lake!), a number of beautiful waterfalls, and a number of beautiful hills around Ithaca. The campus is really beautiful, with several new school buildings.

The breadth of disciplines available to students at Cornell University is huge! You can really find courses in any discipline you can think of..there's psychology, microbiology, classical music, athletics, veterinary, medical, hotel school, nanotechnology, real estate...I can go on writing the names!!! But...you really have to think what you really want to do!

We had several welcome events from the dean, faculties, career office, admissions office etc etc..and one thing everyone emphasized was the breadth of opportunities available to us. But the Johnson School transfers the onus of finding the best career, best courses, best electives to the students; it is really the right way as we all have different goals and aspirations. The faculty, 2nd year students, and alumni are there to help us decide the right path. For the moment it is really not fully clear what way I would like to charter to reach my goal.

We had several information sessions with faculty and alumni, who came all the way from different companies and places to share their experiences; and all of them were wonderful speakers. There are lots of opportunities available, and hopefully I will soon decide my own course -- b-school seriously opens a number of career paths! For the moment I feel pretty much sure to venture into finance, but have to decide between Investment banking, Private Equity, or Venture Capital. Switching to IB seems to be easier than PE or VC, depending upon the number of job opportunities in these fields. But nothing is impossible -- there always is an easy path and a not so easy path. I hope to interact with some more people, network, and decide my course of action.

Meanwhile, I am off to the golf course (did I not tell you about the beautiful golf course in Cornell's campus?? -- http://bigred2.athletics.cornell.edu/golf/history_archives.html) to figure out my handicaps -- I didn't have any handicap before as this is the first time I am going to play golf:)

And after that, off to one of the many bars to enjoy my weekend!

I'll try to post some more pics, as I explore the campus.
See ya all...

Friday, April 06, 2007


test 1...2...3.

Nominated for the Best of Bloggings

Hey, I too was nominated for the BoB awards by ClearAdmit Thank You Clear Admit:-)

I have been little busy of late arranging my finances for the declaration of finances form to the Johnson School. Finally, all's done and I faxed the letter to the Admission's office. I hope to get the I-20 soon and then start the visa processes, which require a lot of paper work! So, the hard work is not yet over!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blogger Beta

At last, I switched to Blogger Beta, partly because of inconvenience - google used to log me off from my other gmail chat account each time I logged using the blog account Id, and partly because I had heard Blogger Beta is easy to manage. No regrets other than the fact that I lost some of the old links on the sidebar :(

Saturday, January 20, 2007


An update was long due from my side :

1. I submitted my deposit money for Cornell Johnson class of 2009 last week :-) Now I can either think that I am $1500 poorer or that I'll have to take loans worth "Tution fee - $1500". I prefer to think the later. Leaving $50, the rest $1450 will be credited towards the tution fee.

2. I have been waitlisted at Kellogg SOM as well. I don't know how to take this news. I already had one waitlist - Chicago GSB - in my kitty !! I'd prefer attending Chicago GSB than Kellogg, when I get into both the schools.

3. I am not able to decide when to leave the job! I would prefer to work until May/June atleast :) What do you guys planning??

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I did check my HBS status

Did i check my HBS status at 12:00 noon sharp, even without an interview admission?....Oh yes =))

Dear ScareCrow:

The MBA Admissions Board appreciates your interest in our MBA Program and the considerable effort evident in your application. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer you a place in the MBA Class of 2009.

The MBA Admissions Board carefully and thoughtfully assesses each application. Because of the large number of applications we receive, we are unable to admit many candidates who have excellent credentials and who demonstrate strong promise for careers in management.

Thank you for considering our MBA Program, and please accept our best wishes for future success.

Managing Director, MBA Admissions & Financial Aid

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year - 2007

Wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year :-)))) May all your wishes come true and you all go places (Yes! we all will surely go!)

I have spent about 8 days with my family - from christmas to new year. Am still at my parents' place and will board the returning flight tomorow. Last year, I had spent the new year with my girlfriend and other friends. This year, me and my girlfriend flew to my parents' place. She went to my home for the first time. I knew my mom talks a lot and my gf talks a lot but it was amazing to see when two talkative persons meet and talk a lot....:-D The time simply flew away :-)

Best of luck to all R2 applicants and those R1 applicants who are waiting for the results.

au revoir :-)