It’s been two months since I last wrote and I confess, it was a bit awkward for me to get my fingers back on the keyboard again. It feels like meeting your best friend after a long time and you don’t know where to start from. I hope this meeting doesn’t end here for me.
A lot has changed since the time I last wrote and hopefully we all have sailed through the tides of our final BTech days. Now, the portkey has taken us to an altogether different world. As muggles call it, the “real world”. For me, the first few weeks were amusing. My team and I started working on our startup4Deain top gear.4Deais a virtual reality startup dealing with virtual tours and interactive media interfaces, or as we call it, a place where virtual meets reality. We started with the dream of making it big, had long discussions, made all the excel sheets with the business plan on them. We had financial predictions which showed big numbers(we still have). We were really excited. We were eager to work, given that we had no experience in this field.
We started great but slowly the reality of an altogether different world began to sink in. Reality that people behave differently, that professionals don’t care about your emotions and you also shouldn’t get your emotions mixed with business. We learnt that sales calls are always tough, that low price wins over good features in real sales deals, that whatever you do, someone somewhere will come up with something similar to what you thought was unique to you.
I am not saying that we failed and our business went down or that we perished and are extinct. No nothing of that sort. It was more like each day, we understood more about what not to do rather than what to do. And, I guess, that is the beauty of startups. We learn so much by our mistakes every day. We have team chats, ranging from topics related to “how should we go about spending our funds” to “what will Rahul Yadav do next after Housing”. Discussions are really necessary to get the better out of any idea and having difference in opinions is like a cherry on the cake.
Now when I analyse it, it strikes me that whenever an individual or a group of people decide to be entrepreneurs, they paint a very beautiful future in their mind. It is what I call “looking yourself in the mirror of Erised” situation. “The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is”. This mirror neither gives us knowledge nor truth. It only shows us what we really want to be, hiding the reality behind. And many fall prey to it. This is what I got from my two month long entrepreneurial experience. People will say that I haven’t spent enough time, that I am also a newbie in the town and I shouldn’t be advising anyone at this stage but when you do a lot of mistakes, in the process you do realize what will make things go right. As Ricardo Semler said in his TED talk,” share as you go along because if you’re giving back, you took too much”.
At the end, we have to deal with the real world. Running a company is not easy but making it from the scratch, not at all!! It needs strength, it needs stamina, it needs people. As many veterans of the Silicon Valley say- an idea is worthless, it is the team that matters the most. And fortunately I am a part of a great team. We have hired few people, got excellent ideas, some really good clients, deals and moreover, we got each other’s back. We don’t know what will happen in the future, but I am sure the world has a lot to offer to us. I sometimes get skeptical about myself, but then all we need is a leap of faith. I just want that 15-20 years from now , I will be able to look in the mirror of Erised and comb my hair neatly. That’s it!