Small hack for your chai-time page

Many of us read newspapers daily, and many of us (including me) like to rush to the cartoon strips and puzzle page; you find those on

  1. Chai-time page of the Mumbai mirror
  2. Must see must do page of Bombay times.
Chai - Time - Puzzle

Chai – Time – Puzzle

After we solve our puzzle usually we unfold the newspaper into 2 page and turn it up-side down like this to match our answers.

Invert newspaper

Invert newspaper

This act is quite a irksome; To top it off, if you are in a crowed train then flipping newspaper page is quite a challenge.

But, there is a nice little nifty hack which we can use once we have finished puzzle all we have to do is fold the bottom of the puzzle page  as shown here to see the answer.

Fold here

Fold here

Once you do that you get to see your puzzle as well as answer on the same view.

Final hack

Final hack

Enjoy this hack and share it with you friends.

Prep for co-founder search

Gangs of Entrepreneurpur

Below are the few points which one should keep in mind when searching for co-founder

# Early on

1. Spend at least half a day on the co-founders list

Yes, if you are seriously looking out for co-founder then you would have prepared you mind to spare time required to call them and meet them. Go through the co-founder list [Fill this form from headstart to get access to the common list, alternately you can make one of your own] very slowly, since it has potential to change your future. This sheet is a concentrated effort and an opportunity list just a quick glance on it will be of no use.

Also note this is not the only source for seeking co-founders or entrepreneurs, There are few of the places where you could search for co-founder. (Wait to see them in my future blogs)

2. Don’t choose the best fit, or top 5 etc.

There are many entrepreneurs who work on stealth mode and keep secrecy. There are many who don’t like to share their profile instead they like to meet and share it in-person. There are many talented people who just leave hints or anchor on their description and when you meet them you would be amazed to find how versatile, passionate and talented they are.

Check the profiles of the co-founders on their LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter. (Rapportive can help you to get the profiles if you have the co-founders email id) The other possibly places where you can get info on entrepreneur or his/her startups is Angel list, Tech crunch, power of Ideas, Enterprising India of TIETata Hottest startups and NEN.

3. Seek partner from same city

Only in case if the business needs to expand in different cities then having a co-founder from other city helps, else for all possible and practical reasons having co-founder from other city doesn’t work.

Many times in a week you would need to get co-founders sit across the table be brutally honest and bring out the issues of business and enterprise (e.g. people issues). They need to hack solutions for the problems they face, It can be possible that best of the solutions can come while driving or even while sipping a chai together at a chai tapri (hut). Bottom line is that co-founders needs to be hand in glove.

4. Don’t judge on profile

Since many of the entrepreneurs might be or might have been working earlier as an employee in some organization their profile would be such that it reflects that he/she is a perfect job goer and that his/her profile only attract recruiters.

You should understand that being an entrepreneur in the job seeking world and in the current makeup of society is tough and not everyone supports and understand it.

5. Entrepreneurs are jugaadu so – don’t be blinded for tech guy.

There are many entrepreneurs who seek tech co-founder and but since their is scarcity of tech talent in co-founding pool they keep waiting for the right guy.

# During the co-founder meeting

1. Meet at CCD

Cafe coffee day are the best joint where you can sip coffee and have discussion at length. It’s economical, service is slow on purpose and waiter won’t disturb you anytime.

2. Pour your heart out

Don’t go with any agenda in mind, and don’t be stingy thinking that I will only share ‘this’ and not ‘that’, Instead speak your heart out, you will find that as soon as you open up there is a high-octane of energy in the conversation. Entrepreneurs are rare breed; unlike your regular friends they are the one who understand your passion.

3. Carry charts, slides, mock-up

In case if you need tools to explain your work, idea or concept carry those tools it can be as simple as a pen or a chart on paper or even laptop don’t assume that you can explain other person better without tools.

Come prepared, the potential co-founder is also your first internal customer you need to sell him your idea/concept, if he is not enrolled and excited into buying your idea/concept then in most probability even your customers won’t buy.

Discuss market and financial projections this will help you to grasp how much market and industry knowledge co-founder has and what his/her financial acumen is, Marketing white book is a good start for reference.

4. Don’t hesitate to share ideas

Many entrepreneurs hesitate to share ideas, thinking that the other person will copy it. This is a phantom fear most of the aspiring entrepreneurs have because of which they tend to stay in isolation and away from collaboration.

Entrepreneurs should understand that Ideas on its own don’t have any life; even if it is shared across, it is only the conceiver who has passion and commitment enough to bet on his idea (to take risk and bring it into reality) can convert them into gold.

5. Give and take homework

Conclude the meeting with what are the things each of you are expecting from the other, it could be login details for demo, personal profile, financial forecast, B-plan, survey feedback, market analysis, lean analysis etc. Once you receive the required details, by considering them as deliverables you can then determine, quality and expertise of work, professionalism and integrity on making the delivery and providing support.

# After you meet entrepreneur

1. Mind-map or jot down all conversations

Immediately after the conversation, write down things; as you would tend to forget once the day is gone. You will find that whatever you have written is a good fodder for further ideation and new thinking.

Drop a warm and personal email; open the channel of communication.

2. Ask for the lean analysis

Lean analysis by Eric ries is the best advance method to figure out the potential and health of business.

3. Seek adopted brother not the arranged marriage bride

If one searches for the matrimonial girl, he goes through tough time finding the right soul match.
But If  say we are asked to make a selection for an adoption of a brother at this age (20-30) it becomes very easy for us as there are plenty of friends who would fits the bill.

Co-founder search should be like adopting a brother, where you have freedom, openness and also enjoy the company of a friend.

4. Keep in touch through the week

Seek questions and answers, if needed meet to clarify and understand better.

5. Feel the vibes

Tap into your gut to come out with the answer if you should join the co-founder, just using logical mind (i.e. conscious mind) is not enough. Does your subconscious mind feel safe and secure?, Is there a vibrant energy around?

You need figure out attitude, integrity, emotions and feelings of the co-founder as well.

# While making final decision

1. Clarify, speak out your mind

Clarify what is in your mind, in case if there is any doubt ask, explain your partner what are the things you visualize, discuss what are the boundaries, limits and areas or responsibilities which you are going to handle.

2. Get inputs on your co-founder from common reference

Find out common friends or references that can provide you accurate feedback on personality traits of co-founder, his/her ability and repute.

2. Be jazzed up

Once everything is in place, engage you mind to absorb bliss, get little jiggy. Soon you will find tackling problems together is lot more fun and exciting then doing it alone.

3. Be open for more partners too.

It takes a village to grow one startup, be open and listen to what business wants, not what is your ‘personal want’.

5. Narrow down on one thing

There would be hundreds of million dollar ideas, but start with one idea at a time. Determine and specify what one SMART goal you want to achieve.

# While declining

1. Communicate

Communicate clearly that you won’t be able to join, don’t keep the other person hanging, reply in 15 days prefer using email as a channel of communication.

2. Have clear reason for INABILITY

Mention clear reason of YOUR inability to join at this time, mention why YOU won’t be able to give justice to the startup and how YOU are not the right fit, be polite and courteous. The other person would understand it because even your subconscious mind and feeling of doing right thing should come from within.

BIG RED WARNING: Never advice or say to the entrepreneur that your idea or startup is kaput, at first the other person will go shell shock and stonewalled to such an extent that he becomes blind to whatever you speak or write further, with this you also lose a good friend and there is an unnecessary scar in relationship.

3. Keep a friend

Develop and keep channels of communication open for sharing business activities and other interests. If needed you can keep seeking suggestions and advice on business in future.

4. Genuienly track progress

Keep genuine track of the co-founder how he/she is progressing in life from time to time. Speak high of him/her, appreciate and recommend your friends for product or service he/she is offering.

Open letter to ET Power of Ideas

Ying Yang of ET Power of Idea

Yin Yang

Hello Power of Ideas team,

I am writing an open letter to you as an entrepreneur. The views and opinions expressed here are mine only.

Power of Ideas program was a phenomenal success last year, kudos to the team for making it a big hit.

The winning criteria were:

  1. It’s In-tray – About 22k + Business plans were received.
  2. Heavy promotion – With major news publishing house backing, the program was able to reach in each and every house; Introducing the concept of entrepreneurship, start-ups and investor funding.
  3. Heart stirring posters – Last year’s posters had a poetic effect, they were literally the beacons of entrepreneurial calling.
  4. Directory Listing – One shot place where listing of VCs, angel investors, govt. agencies made available.
  5. Interaction of people online – For partnering, ideas and service exchange.

With so much of value and benefit being provided, it is but obvious that more; if not so, same level of value and benefits are expected from Power of Ideas every year.

Few points which have been pinching me for quite some time in this year’s program are:

  1. Users have to register every year – This is like ‘Ghajini effect’ with amnesia for a period of 1 year. (sorry for strong comment but I am really disturbed by this)
    1. Users have to register again.
    2. Users have to Set up the details of their profile & upload their image again.
    3. While following this procedure lose all the last years friends made online through ET POI and create a new one again.
  2. No engagement throughout the year on the website – This program is like ‘burning man‘ event once it is over there is no one on the website, thus the rapport which was built up goes down the drain.
  3. Restriction on registration – The window of registration is kept open only till the B-plan final submission date, what about registrations during the program. Also there would be many like me who would like to register and prepare the B-plan for next year well in advance why can’t we register in advance on site?
  4. Interaction space for co-founding / partnering is missing – This year’s Interaction space for co-founder is totally missing, It might be because of restrictive registration for the participants because of which there is less no. of forum threads; Earlier power of ideas website was hub for entrepreneurs to discuss and meet offline so that partnering can happen among them .
  5. Interaction stream for service exchange is now dried out or missing.

Big Fan of Power of Idea

Screw it, just do it

Hello World!

I am breaking my mind limiting pattern and taking up on writing blog.
I was putting the decision of writing blog on snooze for long time and was waiting for that ‘someday’ maybe moment. This is not my first blog, I had written about 3 to 4 blogs in last decade. 😀

Apart from taking the first step, i.e. The big decision on writing blog many people like me fall into various other traps of deciding.

  • Should I blog when I get inspired v/s blog as per routine schedule?
  • Should I stick to one topic and be guru v/s spread across all topics?
  • Should I adopt style of ‘all me’ (with errors and imperfection) v/s the book style (with proof reading)?
  • Should I write to gain traffic v/s write to express yourself?
  • Should I have one site v/s multiple sites for multiple me?
  • Should I bring out the new insights into the world v/s re-iterate the existing stuff?
  • Should I provide solution v/s expand the problem and its impact to world, blah, blah, blah?
  • Should I be bias and endorsing v/s independent and ready with the tall finger?
  • Should I be young and spat v/s old and classy?
  • Should I enable comments and face the long tail of discussion v/s spew out, comments disabled and have a peace of mind?
  • Should i be one who expand points like above into explanation paragraph v/s be blunt and be bang, people are intelligent and can chew there own food, they don’t need you to masticate it for them.

For all the above questions the answer is

‘Screw it, just do it’

I am sure that like me there are many others who have so many views, ideas opinions, conceptual points which are worth writing, reading which needs to be identified and appreciated.

Let’s blog

Expect one blog every month from me, but I will strive to make two every month.
Finally request for action, guys please add my blog to your RSS feed.

I will be writing only those things that you would like to read. 😉

I would be tagging on goals setting, project management, startups, landmark, life, productivity, android apps, email productivity, movies, mind map, GTD and recommendation, etc.

In the end I would like to thank Himanshu, Annkur, Yogesh and Amarendra for pushing me on writing blog.

Lesson in responsibility

I would like to narrate an incident which happened in my life, this was when I was in my junior college and I was staying at 4-bungalow in Andheri. I had good acquaintance with young junta of few of the blocks around my building, this was the time of the year when we were glued to apache Indian songs on Walkman and were already getting bored with watching and discussing WWF, we had no other choice but to stick to MTV VJ and listen to there crap.

It was a dhai handi day and since my friends from the neighborhood saw that there was lot of romp and funfare being enjoyed by all the kids from nearby locality when they were roaming on the street, we thought that we should also come down and play.

We had a Marathi chap named lalu, he was first one to pull and pester us to come down to play at that time of the year we didn’t had mobile phones we had to go at each and everyone’s house make a knock on there door plead there parents that we will play safe and be early.

Just few days ago there was a fresh new tar road laid down which was shining with sun and water, we agreed to tie up the rope from 2nd floor but even that was a big for us, the blue-eyed boys. Hailing from upper middle class, apart from carrying the bulky sag-pack with the baggy pants there were hardly few who would have been regular in lifting weights in gym, there we 12 to 15 of us we came down in suitable attire. Never did any of us tried this unusual foot of forming a human pyramid. There were one or two guys who agreed to participate provided there hair-style would not get disturb in the whole process.

Finally with lot of hesitation we gathered around to form the first layer, since I was tall I was kept at the bottom layer, I was upset because of this I weigh only 60 kg at that time and I knew that my legs were weak and I can’t hold anyone on my shoulders. I opposed as well as pleaded that I should be on first layer. But my heed went to the deaf ears, within no time there were 5 people on the 1st layer, my legs were literally shaking and looking at my chicken legs the guy guy next to my shoulder was giggling and abusing me.

Our first attempt we a failed, we could just go one layer after which everyone came down, I had to bend on my knees as there was a hefty guy with his thigh on my shoulder, hanging upside down but this nasty creep had hold my T-shirt tightly.

We tried 2nd attempt we failed again, people were now pouring water from there balcony. By this time I sensed that not just me but all the other guys at the bottom are now having sore back and shoulder and that they are breaking the chain at drop of hat without striving hard to sustain it.

So back again for 3rd time, after exchange of few abuses and curses on those who were showing less effort and whose who were weak, in spite of being tired and we tried again, this time we went for the 3rd layer I was feeling like hell because of all the weight few sec began to be look like a big  huge minute which would just not get finished, suddenly through all the chaos and noise there was a distinct “hurrah” from the 2nd layer.

One of the guy in front of me snapped out and got out of the chain, immediately I was 2nd to back out and took breath of relief. The bottom layer of was completely dismantled by now, all the guys on the 1st layer made a small 5 feet jump from there standing position.

The whole pyramid came tumbling down, It was at this time a mishap happened a kid from, 2nd layer of the pyramid came down head first hit the tar road on head and shoulder there was big thud his head and jaw was now bleeding, the spot was not spread with red thick blood on jet black tar road and within no time he went unconscious, we were dumb struck and did know what to do.

Later on he was take to hospital though nothing serious happened, we was in plaster for few month, with bruise on this shoulder and a hand fractured, recovered completely without any problem.

On the hind sight, I when I did introspection, I thought that It was the moment when I snapped out and jilted my shoulder away when this terrible thing happened even I was responsible for what happened, I shouldn’t have backed out no matter what.

Many of you would take different lesson from this incident, many of you would say it was accident and chuck it, many would think that we were not well trained and didn’t had any experience. For me its a lesson in responsibility many a times in life people will not tell you what is your responsibility, many a times in life you would not like the responsibility levied on your shoulder you might be upset on that, and even with you best of effort, being cautions and being on guards, some incidents might happen that will sweep the floor off the ground your standing and get you in trenches and that people might point fingers at you for explanation.

I believe god has gifted us shoulder to take up responsibility not as a burden but as an honor and that those who do so are true savior, they might be weak in shoulder but only after using them again and again they become strong. Last but not the least its that single nerve in our brain that keeps the pumping the virtue called ‘determination’ within us which keeps the evil-mind at the bay from snapping out or running away from the responsibility.