My 4 years in the US were life-changing. I became over-ambitious and tasted the flavor of success. After pursing my Masters in Entrepreneurship, I landed a job in an early stage well funded startup in San Francisco. Here I was barely 24 years old with an income more than the appetite, living in a dream city. Life could not have gotten any better. The startup saw hockey stick growth that people talked about in entrepreneurship community. Bay area startups had a culture to involve people of all levels in investor/customer meetings. It was a great learning for me and an exposure that shaped me up pretty early in career. About 2 and half years later, I couldn’t resist the idea that if I can be part of a successful startup, why can’t I create one.
This idea led me back to India, as I felt I need to take the first step towards becoming an entrepreneur. I was new to the professional world in India so I decided to get some work experience to understand how things worked. With the experience I had, I easily scored couple of stints of high paying corporate jobs in the span of 2 years. After about 2 years, I was ready to leave all the comfort and certainty of job life and jump onto my first startup.
As you could guess, this where the dark phase begins and after series of success in life, I finally experienced what failure means. I have always seen entrepreneurs talking as if they have figured out everything and that they have a clear vision. But the reality is no one knows the future and I learnt to get very comfortable with the uncertainty of chaos. Another thing which I noticed is entrepreneurs always talked about positive things and impressive numbers, but I learnt that they are just made up. If the numbers were so favorable then 99 out 100 startups would not fail. I learnt how to show the good side but also to be honest at times when things are not working. After spending 2 years building a product, I failed miserably. I had to let go of people who came onboard with a dream I sold to them. I burnt all my savings and lot of my family money. When I think of why I failed, lot of things come in mind but the biggest reason could be my attachment to product. I ignored customer problems and only focused on building a product I thought they need. I have now learnt never to get attached with product and focus only of customer problems.
Here I am not fully recovered from the first blow. I am surrounded by people giving all sorts of free advise like move back to the US, work with a corporate and get a stable job. One thing I have learnt in entrepreneurship is to be persistent and never give up. My failure is only going to be a stepping stone to success. If I steer my direction now and leave entrepreneurship, I might regret this for my entire life.
So I had to give it another shot. With renewed spirit and amazing co-founders, I am back at the grind. I am looking forward to my time at BurnCal. Time to convert dreams into reality!