New paths; Old friends and a whole lot of learning

The things with breaks is, you can never really get the timing just right. What was supposed to be a 2-year break for me(from 2017), before starting up again, has now become 3 years. In 2016, I joined Siftery as their first community hire and built the community until their acquisition by G2. I then joined AngelList in 2018, as their first Director of Community. June this year was my last month at AngelList. Through my work at Siftery, AngelList, and Product Hunt I had the opportunity to interact with a ton of founders, and it has been an incredible learning experience. I observed and learnt how to build products, distribution strategies, communities, and remote teams. I’m grateful to every founder I interacted with over the years. Thank you for all the learnings 🙏. The last few months since I left AngelList in June, have been exciting. I was part of the fourth cohort of the On Deck Fellowship. I had the opportunity to interact with and learn from a bunch of incredibly talented individuals who were also in the formative stages of starting a company and exploring what their next challenge would be. Since early January, I have been…

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We will fail but then we will learn!

A lot of us might have lost someone, lost a job, faced suffering, faced struggles, faced depression and more last year. The first question we ask ourselves is “Why is happening to me?”. Instead, try asking “What is it trying to teach me?”. Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning. If we don’t heal what hurt us, We’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut us. Everything in life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from. Through out life, we get clues that remind us of the direction we are supposed to be headed if we stay focused, then we learn our lessons. When we learn our lessons, the pain goes away. I’m fascinated by the idea of what suffering does to people. It’s often a healing and transformative experience for people who rise above it. No matter how much it hurt us, someday we will look back and realise our struggles changed our life for the better. We will fail.We will fall.We will suffer.We will struggle.We will break. But then, We will learn.We will rise.We will heal.We will overcome.We will become better humans….

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Your family is a cult!

Think of your family as a cult. When you are young, they take your pure, clean mind and brainwash it into their way of thinking, behaving & believing. We are all cult members to some degree. We all spend time in one cult after another. That’s why its call Cult-ure. We all are part of a cult in one way or another while others start their own Cult-ure and invite others to come along. The statement would still hold true if you substituted family with any number of other terms. Religion/Friends/society/social media/educational institutions. For some, the greatest task of life is undoing all the influence and the damage of the Cult-ures they grew up in. Children are not taught to think. Any child who raises questions is usually told to shut up. Kids must be taught how to think not what to think. When you leave the cult, your task is to return your mind to the pure state it was in before you joined, retaining only anything useful. You got to frame your own modeling of the world, unlearn everything you have been taught so far and reprogram your way of thinking.

To shape minds, shape spaces in which those minds dwell!

Over the last few months, I have been to a couple of co-working spaces like WeWork, CoWrks, 91springboard, Innov8 Coworking™ and few startup offices. A while ago when Freshworks Inc opened up one of their floors, a few folks in the startup community I knew were of the opinion that they were spending too much money on their workspace. Girish Mathrubootham showed me and few folks around the same floor before they opened it up for their employees to work there when we were at Freshdesk for an event around the same time. I was fascinated by the amount of thinking, planning, and effort they had put into design their workspaces. Over this past weekend, I was in Hampi. Over the last few days, I have been reading up on the architecture and about the monuments built in the 14th and 15th century. I’m amazed at the level of planning that kings put into designing their palaces, temples, and cities in those days. Those structures were built not just as a show of their power and wealth but also for practical everyday use be it their palaces, temples or places of learning. As I look at the amount of planning, effort and money spent on co-working spaces and office spaces these days,…

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Be a student for life, Keep learning till you die!

Focus on learning more than studying. Because when you start learning, you become curious and in the process become creative. Creativity leads to imagination and thinking. When you start thinking you acquire knowledge and skill. Knowledge gives you power and helps you make a living!. Your earning ability today is largely dependent upon your knowledge and skill. And more importantly your ability to combine this knowledge & skill and put it into practice. Knowledge is like a treasure and practice is the key to it. Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice. Knowledge has a beginning but has no end. Learning and acquiring knowledge doesn’t stop after college. Be a lifelong student! The more you learn, the more successful you become and also you earn more as a result of your success. Money is just a by product of success. Success is a result of knowledge & skill put into practice day in and day out. So Learn. Become curious & Creative. Start thinking and acquire knowledge & skill. Put acquired knowledge and skill into practice day in & day out. You will become successful. Remember to be a student for life!

From fat to fit, from family packs to 6 packs in 6 months! 🏋🏻

Check out my earlier blog post on why I started this fitness transformation journey. 21 kgs (46 lbs) down in 6 months with the right diet, determination, dedication, and consistency. From 85 kgs (187 lbs) to 64 kgs (141 lbs). From 26.8 % body fat to 10% body fat. From 28.4 BMI to 22.4 BMI. From being Fat (Obese) to Fit. From 34 to 29 inch waist size. From family packs to 6 packs. All in 6 months. No fat burners used till today. No steroids or injections. I love the grind and always like to hustle for the muscle!. A 7 year dream of having a fitness model physique finally happening. Halfway there. If there is one thing that I have failed at repeatedly and wanted to accomplish the most in the last couple of years — it was this!. I don’t like being just a dreamer for long, I like to accomplish what I dream about. Been working out from 2013. A 7 year dream finally done in 6 months! The photo on the left (first pic above) was taken in August, 2017 on the first day after I joined the gym again in July. I ended up deleting…

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How I lost 6 Kgs (13 pounds) in 4 weeks

Over the last couple of years, I put on a ton of weight. Munched on anything I could lay my hands on. Tried my bit like everyone, hitting the gym once in a while but was never consistent in doing so or following the right diet. I used to watch a ton of videos on Calisthenics workouts and admire people like Frank Medrano, fitness models like Nick Bateman and even actors like Tiger Shroff and Vidyut Jammwal for their strength and physique. I would have watched this video of Frank at least a 100 times over the years — Every year during January, I would make a resolution to be more fit that year, but failed every single year. Same happened this year as well!. In November this year, I decided it was time that I stopped admiring other people’s fitness and physique and let other’s admire my physique and fitness. I decided to do men’s physique (which is lean muscular) not bodybuilding (I’m not bulking up, just shredding). I have always been training at gyms where the trainers have never accomplished what they promise to help you accomplish. I decided to train with someone who has accomplished what he promises. To accomplish anything, I believe you need…

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How we got funded by 500 Startups

Getting noticed by 500 Startups was harder before they had an application process. In 2012 without an application process, you needed to be recommended by people within the 500 network (company founders or mentors). They do have an application process now. My co-founder Ramakanth Dorai and I were 23 year old recent college grads from India who started Walletkit and didn’t know anyone from the 500 network. But this is how we hustled our way in. On Aug 24(2012), I saw a tweet by Paul Singh from Mumbai Airport. His subsequent tweets revealed that he would be in a couple of Indian cities meeting entrepreneurs and meeting him would require a referral. I cold emailed him rather than looking for a referral with an intro about our team, the product and asked if we could meet in Bangalore which is closer to our city, Chennai.I use a small trick when mailing people who get a lot of emails. I check their facebook and twitter profiles for updates and mail almost at the same time they tweet or share ( used Tweetdeck for notification of updates). He replied asking about our product, but then went radio silent. Followed up via email in the next couple of days but there was no response. Later on, his…

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