A turn (Restored Draft from Nov '07)
Here goes the last draft that existed on the blog, as I restore it to continue blogging. :)
Nov 2nd week, 2007
Should I say "life changing moments".. possibly.
I resigned from my job. Oct 19th was my last day at Ugenie - the startup I had joined as one of the early employees mid 2006 even before they had started operations. It has been tremendous amount of learning and met a few amazing people. My special thanks to Harish, Founder President, Ugenie - an exceptional leader, mentor and an amazing person to work with. I was lucky to have worked directly with him and his energy and drive has always kept my spirits high . I had always heard about Bharat Vijay from college days and it is a terrific feeling to have known him so closely. Personally, it has been a highly satisfying experience for me of having created iRead which is key focus at Ugenie today. I won't be part of the journey ahead with iRead. I wish them the very best.
But what is so life changing about it you ask ? Thats the journey ahead :)
I had a strong urge to build something of my own. I took some time off, tried to find a partner to startup at Bangalore. A major learning out of the exercise: "Finding a co-founder is hard. period."
At around the same time, my old colleague from Trilogy, Nishant Soni was looking for a partner for his startup Cobaan that he had setup in early 2007 at Gurgaon. I had visited their small high energy setup at Gurgaon few weeks ago. I and Nishant had been in touch almost since he had started hiring and nothing seemed new or surprised me at Cobaan. It was as if I was part of it from the beginning. I and Nishant compliment very well and it was nothing but natural for me to join hands!
So here I am at this barren city of Gurgaon, miles away from home, with all my energy focused towards building "ReviewGist" - a product research and comparison service to help consumers make better shopping decisions.
ReviewGist is a fast, structured, accurate & authoritative approach towards product research and decision making so that the next time you buy something you can very confidently pick the best.
On what happened on iRead, it got a big exit. (oh, I didn't make any money). They renamed it as weRead to avoid a copyright tussle. WeRead continued to grow under the able efforts of the team eventually got acquired by Lulu.
ReviewGist was a big struggle. Severe financial crisis in 2008. We however got listed on techcrunch, got few offers. Technically we were superior, but then the network, support & biz dev did not happen. A followup post would partial cover this. We had to really struggle through 08 - 09, lot of conflicts, stress, low morale. If only we were not stuck in India. Luckily Nishant stood strong & is again seeing a lot of traction. I really hope it would get what it most deserves.
Around the time we ran out of cash at ReviewGist we decided I should start consulting to keep us alive. That went a bit too far and I have been consulting for 2 years now. Many a times in the interim tried starting up, but nothing saw light. Finally with all the experience the last 4-5 years brings, I am starting over again.
Thats a work life update there.