The stories of Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Bill Gates had always been motivating. Motivating enough to think about starting up or working for a startup rather than working at an established corporate.
However the pragmatic brain instructed me to ensure an established career first and then maybe try the uncertain. But luck had its way.
A decade ago on the 4th of June 2005, I started working at Drishti-Soft. Ever-charged atmosphere, coding from day one, responsibilities beyond just technology, beautiful office, the startup way of working – all this was an infinite supply of fuel for me to convince myself, family and friends to let go of the “safer” options I had.
10 years whizzed by just too fast. Being witness to so many of Drishti’s milestones, there has always been something new in the horizon and that probably makes me feel that 2005 was just yesterday. At a startup, one spends considerable mindshare and energy thinking about whatever work is in progress – the product, the framework, a design problem, exploration, a nagging bug, hiring, mentoring, learning to manage people, take daily decisions on prioritization – think everything that happens in an office ! There are always things to do that none of us had done before. Inexperience or the lack of time are the excuses that are dropped in the bin just before entering the office – you just had to do it.
Frequently, I’m asked as to how is all that managed? What keeps you driving? To be honest, there are new challenges everyday and there are no pre-defined answers to them – you have to figure out yourself. Its like being on a mission everyday – you plan a lot, hoping for the best but being ready for the surprises. When you release an innovative product into the market, you hope that it delights its users, works without hiccups, sells well and beats the competition. When it does, it recharges your batteries. The recharge is necessary – because it is quite a possibility that you may end up making the next product that users reject, has issues, sales struggle and competition surges.
If I had to attribute the top reason that I think has helped (me) – I would say its the passion. Passion makes you dream the impossible, keeps you driving to achieve it, picks you up when you fall on the way. It has given me such a high at times that I have bored people with hours of talking about things related to work. Often, they would wonder as to how can one enjoy ‘work’ so much.
It has also helped sustain some of the qualities that Drishti carries in its culture – openness, recognition, unveiled brickbats when somethings not done well, new milestones to look up to, celebrating success, never say die, inspiring attitude all around, its difficult to put a stop on this list.
These 10 years would not have been great without the people that were part of the story. There are just too many people that I must thank to – who kept the encouragement on, who helped achieving the unachievable, those who set the expectations high and then gave a free hand. I must also apologize to many who have been repeatedly forgiving even when I had been too busy at times and missing from places where I was expected to be. With an entirely new responsibility (Texocc.com), its just the beginning and I would need you all at all times 🙂