How to make yourself Anti fragile ? Not the society

World has found a new interest in understanding antifragile again. With the onset of a pandemic, global survival is at risk.  Everyone is pondering how could we have built an antifragile health system, financial back bone and an economy.  Antifragile is not a theory. It is a set of heuristics at best. Antifragile is a…More

India as Product Nation, lessons of the first decade

Nation means an imagined community. It stokes a certain pride in every human who belongs in it. Prefix it with Product and that makes it even more elite. In business terms it means climbing up on the value chain. Which in turn means more margins, more visibility and more power. I heard the word Product Nation first…More

CTS engineers are better SaaS founders than Google engineers

Surprise is a rock under which lessons are hidden. Don’t throw it away. Scott Cook, when coaching product teams often asks this question: “What is your biggest surprise?”  First time I heard it, I marveled at the power of this question. Using this question is like the situation when the examining eye doctor puts that one lens…More

Friedman was wrong, World is not flat

At least for enterprise software startups. Fact, one of two enterprise startups in the valley has an Indian founder or a co-founder Fact, earlier they had back office in India now they have front office as well. Largely due to how SaaS is changing how buying & deploying is done inside an enterprise. Still pause…More

Product you are building. Is it a Pot, Potter or Potters Clay ?

What is a product? Typical answer from engineering founders is that, ‘A product is a set of features’. This mindset leads to a never-ending spiral of building ‘new features’. Over time, the number of features gets so enormous that it is not clear what the original vision of building the product was. Prasanna is very fond of calling this…More

Why meaningful founder exits are better than go big go home

Most startups die, only a few exceed expectations and become successful beyond imagination. These successful ones become the talk of the town, while the failed ones quietly fade away into the background. Nevertheless, it is the story of the moderately successful ones that get buried on the other side. In the purview of unicorn-chasing investors,…More

Best Indian Founder of the first startup decade

Best Indian founder of the entire last decade 2008–2018 Is Undoubtedly Lee Fixel of Tiger Global. Every founder attempts to create value. It is not that hard. If money is handed out for a purchase, it is bound to create a consumer surplus. As Bill Gurley, legendary VC at Benchmark Capital says To turn it…More

India is eating SaaS

Change is easy to miss, hard to get right Policymakers take pride in thinking that they create markets. Many believe that the 1992 World Bank report which called India as likely software superpower was responsible for the creation of $150bn IT services industry. In emergent systems like markets, it is hard to say which inputs…More

When you don’t play the right game

When Mario plays soccer can he become a Super Mario? Everything about the future is so clearly visible when looked through the rearview mirror. Wish I knew what influenced outcomes for a tech startup founder in India. When you look back decade-long to sketch the picture from 2007 till now, leaving out the frenzy of…More

Most important book ever written on marketing

NN Taleb, Naval & Seth Godin are top thinkers of our time. What distinguishes Seth from others is his ability to take original difficult ideas and visualize it for a commoner. He is careful to remove the overtone of intellectual sound in what he says and does not scoff at those who don’t get it…More

Before that founder CEO move to US

Indian founders that came to US very early as students or are US born contribute to more than half of Silicon Valley’s billion dollar plus IPO and M&A. But tech founder who started in India and moved as the CEO in their mid 30s or later are yet to find their feet. As I head…More

My 10000 hours in M&A and Indian startups

Many months ago I had read this wonderful tweet by Kanyi Maqubela‏, a young VC from Colloborative fund on 10,000 hours of his being a VC and I thought to myself that is good way to document one’s learning. Last 18 months my stint was as a Fellow-In-Residence (M&A) at iSPIRT (startup think tank), I…More

Naval is a honeypot for first principle thinkers

Naval is a first principle thinker, his ability to think about anything deeply and articulate them in the most lucid way is unparalleled, very rare to find an individual like this. Many have interviewed him on their respective blogs, podcasts and conference. Several of these places have curated nuggets of his thinking, here is my…More

Bhajan, Gita and Veda level thinking of CryptoAssets and Token Economics

Bhajan, Gita and Veda are hindi words when translated into english it stands for Metaphor, Mental Model & First Principles level of thinking. As I was explaining blockchain, bitcoin, ethereum to few folks interested in ICOs I found it useful to explain it through above three levels of focus. Being a new space there is…More

We wanted ‘Google from India’ instead we got …

I was meeting a classmate from college after many years who is now a senior engineer at the Mountainview office of Google. We were toasting his 10 year anniversary at Google and our conversation shifted to Indian startups. Pretty soon his exasperated question to me was – “Where are the big startups that we have…More

Story of three Indian product entrepreneurs on a beach

[posted on 8 Jan 2017, migrated from] I get to meet and hangout with many product entrepreneurs in India across a wide variety of spectrum (wannabe, early stage all the way up to category leader). I have been one and have crossed a few early stages myself, based on my experience I see 3…More

Technology has always been political

[original post date 25 Dec 2016, migrated from] Rants are not worth responding but I have known Nikhil for 10 years and have the highest respect for him, after Om Malik he is my most favourite technology journalist for his deep and incisive views. I also admire his courage to deliberate topics which are…More