How to Start a Startup note #4


Moving on to how to startup series class, I spent time watching Lecture 13: How To Be A Great Founder by Reid Hoffman


My notes for his class:

  1. Network network network.
  2. VC always tends to invest in company with co-founders as they compliment each other.
  3. Right place to start a right business like finance related startup makes more sense in Mumbai.
  4. Go talk to smart people and listen to their suggestions on your idea.
  5. You have to be both flexible and persistent.
  6. You have to be both confident as well as cautious.
  7. Listen to feedback, criticism
  8. Data as well as vision are important for your product.
  9. Be smart & take intelligent, focussed risk.
  10. Solve short term vision immediately, but do keep eye on your long term vision.
  11. Product needs to go out in the market ASAP its ready, product distribution is key.

It is good to be naked



Past few months been great.  I met few amazing people and Twitter got me  my life coach Kamal Ravikant & James Altucher.

I am writing about being naked, what do I mean by that?

1. Please be as you are.

2. Do not  pretend to be someone.

3. Feel inner peace not materialistic one.

4. Do what you love not what others want you to do.

5. Money will come and go, your identity will remain even after your death.

6. Get out of “What if” state of mind, it will kill your creativity & will make you sick.

7. Please treat humans as they are i.e waiter, drivers, maid, shopkeepers, pantryboy they are one of us.

8. Travel, eat, drink, meet people, stay happy.


How to Start a Startup note #3


Moving on to how to startup series class, I spent time watching Lecture 9: How to Raise Money and Marc AndreessenRon Conway and Parker Conrad had an  interesting take on it.

Some of my notes from the class:

  1. Build something awesome which pulls  VC to you.
  2. Most VC invest in team, past success of the founders & product.
  3. If you have a prototype of product ready, some paid customer & solid co-founders getting money is easier.
  4. Getting a VC funding is easier than acquiring customers or hiring 20th employee.
  5. Most VC has a strict policy not to invest in competing companies.
  6. Keep a valuation real for first raisisng round.
  7. Don’t dilute too much in the initial round of raises.
  8. Always take money from VC who has partners with your product line, good connections for business development and  for later stage funding.

Notes from Mysore Dussehra trip

mysore palace night

I was in Mysore for Dussehra this year. Mysore Dussehra possession is one of the famous events from India, It showcases rich culture and tradition of overall karnataka.  The event ends with elephant march especially Ambari carrying local goddess which is form of Durga for 8 km ride. The whole city gets into celebration mode & you will see light all across the streets. In simple term the city is decorated like a newlywed bride.  I was told over 6000 police were deployed to handle whole crowd. 🙂

Some advice:

1. Avoid autos and try local buses, they have good service.

2. Try to stay outside main city its more peace out there.

My thoughts about it:


The city gave me a nice feeling about the overall harmony between many religions groups, it was welcome change to see everyone visiting the palace and enjoying the celebration.


I loved eating almost available on the street next to the Mysore fort gobi manchurian, papdi chaat, chole bhature, local sweets, stylish cut watermelon, jhal mudi, dosa and many others.


I got to know more about overall culture of karnataka after attending the jhakki. We had  performers across all the districts and departments.


Govt needs to do more

It will be nice if our government does more for the upliftment of these performers, we will forget about them once the event gets over.

Some photos, most of it is taken by shiva and yogesh. I am adding these with their permission.

busy street, everyone is eating.
busy street, everyone is eating.


See the night decoration. looks awesome isn't it.
See the night decoration. looks awesome isn’t it.


Crowd eagerly waiting.
Crowd eagerly waiting.
And it starts.
And it starts.

jhakki 1


Ambari, carrying the goddess.
Ambari, carrying the goddess.
food walk.
food walk.
Clock Tower.
Clock Tower.


Last not the least 3 of us. 🙂



3 day 3 magic following James Altucher posts.

Last evening I realized the fact following James Altucher has done wonders for me. I made note of 3 things which I followed and worked well for me in span of past 3 days. I was excited and tweeted about same.


yo1. Power of asking.

I suck at writing, I make grammatical mistakes. I needed immediate help, i pinged a friend who is in media industry & got things done in hours time.

2. Connecting people without expecting anything.

On thursday a friend of mine called me saying he desperately needs a new job, i knew someone desperately looking to hire someone equivalent to his expertise. I connected them, he has a job. I am sure my karma bucket is added with +1

3. Being humble to everyone

I know being humble is difficult. It is extremely difficult especially if the cab driver is taking you for city ride without knowing your local. But a smile & extra tip made him feel sorry. He promised me he will be nicer to next passenger, i hope he was honest about it.

And the last one. 

4. 10% tip rule

Last evening i visited this coffee shop after months time, the waiter recognized me. It was crowded on a friday evening, he managed to get me a seat.

I am not trying to be a saint/god/whatever, i do mistakes & have screwed up life & all in past. What am just trying to say is these small changes can make our life more awesome, give it a try & you will feel more happy.

Who is James Altucher. 

James is life mentor/coach for me, following his post has made my life more awesome. He is a mentor/coach/writer. You can find more details about him on his homepage 

How to Start a Startup note #2


I know everyone is watching, reading, following @sama course how to start a startup. Today spent sometime watching Brian Chesky, founder Airbnb, he shared interesting story about Airbnb, how it started and all.

I am keeping this notes for myself, if it helps someone else good karma gets added on me.  🙂

  • An idea is important but so is execution.
  • Failing for 100 times does not mean your product suck, it means not everyone are going with your vision.
  • It is not easy to get funded for a crazy idea, you will fail more often but you have to keep trying.
  • Culture is like a DNA for successful company.
  • Most successful companies hire candidates who maps to their culture.
  • Sometimes its good to take bigger blow for short term rather getting decimated from roots.
  • Its really important to have co-founders who compliment what you are lacking.


Notes from barcamp, bangalore on happiness.

For a change I spoke about happiness this time during Barcamp bangalore event.  I think we had 10-12 people out in cafeteria for this session. I am a big fan of James Altucher & Kamal Ravikant, they are very successful in life. I rate them as my happiness mentor.


Since barcamp is a unconference i made no slide, I will just add entry of my notepad which has meat of the talk.


We were born naked

One of the things which a dying person says, I wish i was more happy.

So what is happiness?

— Buying clothes/jewellery during flipkart`s #bigbilloin sale.

— Planning to spend evening at microbrewery drinking IPA

— Or asking out hottest gal in your class for coffee/dinner

What if things don’t work out?

— Flipkart server crashers, your money is sent back to your account.

— The microbrewery says IPA is not on tap tonight.

—The gal says, you are cute but i have other engagements.

In all these 3 scenarios one thing is common, our need is dependent on actions which are not in our control. The end result is, we end up being un-happy. OOh we go tweet, shout at poor waiter or block the girl on whatsapp.

Is it going to change anything? I don’t think so.

James Altucher on Happiness

Only thing that matters to you is your happiness.

  • Not happy with job, change it.
  • Not happy in a relationship, break it.
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Smile
  • Don’t let external forces affect your state of happiness

Kamal Ravikant on Happiness

  • Its your life and if should be in your hand.
  • Be kind
  • Love yourself
  • Money will come & go, what matters is you, your state of well being, your mental state.

I would strongly recommend you folks to follow Kamal & James on Twitter & also read the books they have written.

James Altucher Choose Yourself 

Kamal Ravikant Love yourself like your life depends on it

Lastly you can get these 2 books for free by participating in James Altucher’s Ultimate Book Giveaway

Ibn battuta: The less known, greatest traveler world has ever known.

I am fascinated by achievement of  Ibn Battuta, his travel achievement of 7400+ miles.  Being a muslim, he traveled most part of the world where Islam was practiced. I am not sure if this was the reason for him not getting credit he deserved by the western historians.

This post is not enough about his journey details, i have added footnote with references for more detailed read.

Some notes about his life & journey I made :

  1. He was born in family of scholars and judges in .
  2. He started his first journey at age of 21 years for Mecca to become the best known traveler to the world.
  3. When he returned back home, his parents were dead and his country under threat by the christian ruler.
  4. His resolution was not to travel same route more than once but found himself in Delhi twice & mecca 4 times. 🙂
  5. He practised Sufism.
  6. During his entire journey he traveled over 40 country including India, China, Russia & most parts of Africa.
  7. He was appointed as ambassador to China by sultan of Delhi. [Never imagined this part]

I am yet to find an interesting book to read about him & his journey.  I found  From pilgrim to world traveler: Ibn battuta  really interesting. I will update the blog as I find more references.



How to Start a Startup note #1


I know everyone is watching, reading, following @sama course how to start a startup. I am keeping this notes for myself, if it helps someone else good karma gets added on me. 🙂

Lecture 1: Welcome, and Ideas, Products, Teams and Execution Part I

My notes:

  • Don’t build a startup for money, join a startup at early stage & get rewarded.
  • Most successful startups came out fixing real world problems ex- airbnb, uber.
  • Idea comes first & startup second.
  • If you have too many ideas pick one of them & give your best to it.
  • Get into mission oriented ideas.
  • Build a product, company next, PR/Press/VC will follow next.
  • Get a small group of users who love your product rather than 1000 others who just likes it.
  • At early stage spend most on word to mouth, get referenceable customers.
  • Don’t worry about competitors & all the buzz they are getting around press/VC other circuits.
  • Go for a smaller, unique market, find a problem solve it & become the market leader. The growth rate will be much higher.
  • Do not copy an existing idea unless you have some value add on it & will address a specific problem which was missed out on initial product.




Disruption in print/TV industry, who will survive?



Few days back I got mail from a colleague of  NewsX. He was one of the best journalist & prime anchor for the the news channel that time. After having conversation over Skype he told me a lot of things have changed, people are moving to online space. A lot of new online mediums like, making good wave in India. He also mentioned that at few places where he went for interview, they asked him about data journalism & basics of web development i.e html/css.

What is this happening?

If we google a bit, it will not be difficult to find out :

1. Trends show online ad revenue will overtake print  for Uk  This similar trend will follow across globe sooner or later.

2. Every other day you will find famous print edition going only online like this 

3. Mass level layoff happening at various media agencies like this 

How can we survive?

The new age media is data driven & social.  It gets to users as it comes. Some people call Twitter is the killer behind old age media, we got news  of  Bin Laden Death on Twitter before anywhere else. People are more interested & are connected to devices. It makes sense to move everything online.

What are the tools these days new media journalists are using?

Blog Blog Blog

Blog is the best way to let world know about your thoughts. Internet is full of platforms for publication WordPress, google, medium. Pick one of it, write interesting things there.

Data Driven

Todays world data plays key role & in journalism, mapping those data in more presentable way add 10X value. Check the softwares from  You can do awesome stuff with many such tools. But you will get your hands dirty with web technology as well. 🙂

Twitter/Facebook Others

These are the best medium to reach your potential audience, once you write a blog spread word about it in all these places. Create a page for yourself on Facebook, share your interesting stuff there. Follow interesting people on your domain out there on twitter, exchange your thoughts with them.

Audio/Video casts

Podcast is a best way to bring your thoughts on a topic to the word with audios. Softwares like audacity is excellent tool for same. Once you are done recording, add it to soundcloud & connect the feeds to iTunes. This will increase more audience.

Similarly using software like Google+ Hangouts on air, one can add a lot of participants in a discussion & later upload the same video for others to watch.

Build your audience, learn new technology  is the only way to survive in this disruption.