IIT K wins the Hockey finals 2-0. IIT K wins the Soccer finals 1-0. πŸ™‚

And my throat gone soar cheering for them! The near-absence of audience when the home team was playing a final, that too on a Sunday, is I think really shameful. Someone needs to do serious thinking over it – including the Udghosh team. Its a marketing Failure. But let me not digress.

On the international cricket arena, India slams England first. (Flintoff might just be lamenting why he had to utter the few unwelcome words to Yuvraj. But that is what you get Flintoff, when you disrespect the game of a menancing player like Yuvraj.)

India beats South Africa to enter SemiFinals.

India slams Australia to enter Finals.

And today, India beats arch-rival Pakistan and lifts the 20-Twenty World Cup! πŸ™‚

No match is small. Did you live every minute of it?

Winning is an attitude. You are a winner or you are not. Thats it. Results don’t change that fact. You are a winner or not, when you played the game.

At times I am appalled at the mindset of people. Two separate incidents (small ones) but ones that tell us a lot about the mediocrity that still grips the minds of many even 60 yrs after Independence.

One day before the Australia-India semifinals I caught one line of a conversation between two students in Hall 4. “India ney galat panga ley liya.. kuch bhi hota thik tha.., par Australia sey.. ” that was all I could hear before we crossed path. I felt like calling them back and shouting, “Saalon, Sher ho. Sher ki tarah baat karo.” Losers!

You think they would have felt elated when India slammed the Aussies? I doubt. Because while Indian Team won the match on field, these two had lost the game in their minds full one day before.

Tonight’s was a breathtaking match, the field ablaze. Final over, 13 runs to win. A guy next to me says, “India haar jaayegi..” he was worried for the last few overs. And now as Pak batsmen scored some big hits in three balls, he succumbed to pressure. This time I couldn’t help myself, I had to vent. “Sher ho. Sher ki tarah lado. Kis baat mein kisi sey kum ho kya?” “Nahi.” “To fir jeetney key liye khelo.”

Youth! At one of the best engineering colleges of India! What stops? Go and slog it out. Hit and hit hard. Results matter, but winning is NOT the results. Winning is the Attitude with which you played the game.

Enough Said.

Everyone associated with me in any remote way – Engrave these 3 letters on your mental framework.


Kudos also to Chak De, even before this movie was released I had a feeling that it was going to be a success. It was. And I had only hoped that may it inspire the many among us to rise and claim what is rightfully ours. It does seem to be have an impact – Aug 29, Football. India lifts the Nehru Cup for the first time beating Syria 1-0. Ten days later, Hockey. India beats South Korea 7-2 and retains the Asia Cup. Another 20 days and we have the ICC 20-Twenty World Cup now!!

Winning is an Attitude.

You win because you refuse to lose.

We are looking for hardcore (IITLingo: Hapaix Chaapoo, Hindi: tod-fod) programmers to join us.

We are an early-stage product startup operating in the Mobile space based out of IIT Kanpur. We work in small teams where individuals assume full responsibility of their products. You decide not only the technology, but also contribute to a wider range of business functions from product conceptualization, design & implementation to client interfacing, sales and marketing strategy.

We are looking for performers who can create products they are so confident of that they can put their name behind it. We believe in a lean and tough team, and need only four people.

If ‘life in the line-of-fire‘ excites you, and your mind craves for a race against the best brains in the industrywe invite you to be a part of our team.


What we value?

  • Fire & Desire to DO something.
  • A thirst for knowledge that cannot be quenched.
  • Masters of Java, J2ME and C/C++

We are looking at people who are good at design and great at architecture. You should be able to design extensible products that serves not only the current specified audience, but can evolve to serve unintended future spaces.

If you are looking for an opportunity to work in a highly-charged high-adrenalin environment, mail your CV to animesh [at] animesh [dot] net with subject line ‘Empowered Careers’.

Experience, Education, Institute and CPI do not matter, the only criterion are the ones above. Please include a brief of any academic, professional or independent projects that you have done. Also note, We hire only the best, and we settle for nothing less than that. If you are not confident that you are the one we’re looking for – we request you to not apply, it will help us in saving your time and effort (and a bit of ours too).

Thank you for your time in reading this.

I had a small chat last night with an EE student here at IIT, who has a business idea that a bit of financing and refinement can help him launch off ground. And in there my young friend commented, “We’re IITians and we get paid well. So its easier for us to do a startup.”

While I admire his conviction in his idea, his comment sets me thinking. “We’re IITians and we get paid well. So its easier for us to do a startup.” Really?

I agree that while there may be some truth in the campus salary of IITians vis-a-vis other engineering colleges, I beg to differ on the inference derived. Higher salary => higher reserves => Easy to Quit and startup.


Human mind works in queer ways! Its less maths, its more psychology. And I have experienced it first hand.

The more paid you are, the more difficult is it to let go. I had frequent discussions about it with one of my colleagues Anshul in Bangalore; we had both landed the highest paying Indian job at our respective campuses πŸ™‚ And both of us had a strong urge to do “something”. Work at DrKW was immensly satisfying, and I believe I was lucky to be writing software for Risk and Credit Derivatives and the likes in my very first year – indeed, very few people were exposed to this kind of work way back in 2001. The guys we worked with were all brilliant, but we still missed the thrill that you only get out of “creating something”. We both wanted to “build a business”.

And we both found the salary an inhibitor, not a facilitator!

While a top-of-the-line salary ensures that we build up a comfortable reserves early off in the career, which should ideally allow us to quit and work out a dream – it often works the other way. I call it the Golden Cage. The more you get, the more difficult it becomes to let go and the more the notional loss it seems. And a more stronger leap of faith it requires. And it goes on increasing. You are smart, so you work smart and you get paid more, and you end up deeper in the Golden Cage.

Infact I have seen more people who have worked at startups, do a startup themself, rather than the masses at bigger companies. Work at startup is like living at the fronts. You are standing in the line of fire and exposing yourself to a wider range of responsibilites, technologies and business functions. From financing, sales and marketing, strategy to product conceptualisation and execution. A bigger company cannot give you the same amount of learning, because its a huge machine – the nuts and the bolts, the gear and the pulley needs to work well in their closed domains to keep the machine working.

So to all those in the Golden Cage who think they will be free ‘later’ – my humble advice to them – a later never comes. You end up deeper in the Golden Cage. Have an urge? Have an idea and does it makes business sense? Then damn the salary and take the plunge.

When I quit Bank of America, my colleague did an MBA from ISB (probably hoping that an MBA will help in startup) but the more smart you are, the deeper you end up in the Golden Cage – he is working at a leading Investment Bank in New York! Few nights back he mailed me;

“Work is great, money is wow, but yaar, the entrepreneurial itch pings a lot at times.”

Deeper in the Golden Cage.

My already boundless respect, admiration, love and awe for Steve Wozniak goes up by another unquantifiable amount yet again.

If any one person can be said to have set off the personal computer revolution, it might be Steve Wozniak. He designed the machine that crystallized what a desktop computer was: the Apple II.

He single-handedly designed all its hardware and software-an extraordinary feat even for the time. And what’s more, he did it all while working at his day job at Hewlett-Packard.

Being a technology person myself, I cannot help but wonder about the true maverick Woz is. Must read for every student. More so if you are a wannabe-entrepreneur.

India definitely needs a culture that embraces risk-takers. With so many engineers I think we can do with much more than Infosys & Wipro. Why do so many IITians and best brains across other engineering colleges have to get sucked into mind-numbless work? Your best bet to learn? Work for a startup. In a high-adrenalin atmosphere you’ll learn lots more, and are probably more likely to end up starting one yourself.

We need many more startups. Not in 100’s but in tens of thousands. And the Govt. would be better off encouraging the starters and taxing the biggies rather than the other way round – Gaurav has an excellent coverage of what recently happened but largely went unnoticed. I hope this one will be rolled back.

1. Met Alok. Discussed a lot of things. He brings clarity and sanity to my life. I am proud to have a mentor like him πŸ™‚

2. Met Nitin, AVS and Kapil. It was great again talking to Nitin, and meeting AVS the first time after IIT. We discussed the kind of talent shortage IT sector in India is facing. It makes me to rephrase Paul Graham’s “Its the best time to be an entrepreneur” to suit present day Indian environment – “Its the best time to be an employee.” Have talent? Companies will find you out.

3. Met Niraj through Ashish. Niraj is a person with an idea. A good idea.

But there is a problem with ideas – Most ideas are good. Some are brilliant. Execution makes the crucial difference. Search was a good idea even in AltaVista age. And there were scores of search engines untill Google finally came.

If you are planning a startup, one of the issues you are likely to face is finding a partner.

Before deciding upon wether a you really have found the right fit, do take up important but contentitious issues –
1. The roles are less important. Discuss responsibilities.
2. Level of comittment. Its your brainchild, its likely that the other person will not have the same passion about it. Discuss and find out what really is his motivation to get into it.
3. Exit routes – What if one year down the line, one of you loose interest, or belief in the venture? What if one of you anyway want to go?
4. As the company grows its more likely that you will need someone more professionaly qualified to move in, esp at key positions. Are you/your partner willing to step down to a less “glamourous” role, because that is where the good of the company actually lies.

I believe, taking up these issues will help you before making that very crucial decision of partnership.

Btw, if you know someone who would like to build a potentially explosive company out of nothing but an idea -> approach Niraj. Via me or Ashish. Niraj is searching for a right fit to join at co-founder level. I would have loved to, but I have my own designs πŸ™‚

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