Sunday, March 24, 2013

Community, Not Numbers.

The problem with everything digital is that ultimately all that seems to matter is the numbers. No thoughts, No words, No feelings, No intelligence. Just numbers. Spew out stats, Reel off metrics, Measure the tapelength of your subscriber base, and voila, you have a PPT. There's relative safety in inane numbers.

Last week, we read about the State of the Indian Startup Union. We read the report, then we read feedback on the report. Then we read feedback on feedback on the report. If you want to read my take, it is here on Quora.

But there is more to life than 41% of Startups in Bangalore and 33% of Startups in eCommerce. There is a network. There is a community. There are interwebs that hold and bind and cement our friendships, our relationships and make us become safety nets for one another. There is a trust, a faith that we will ask for nothing materialistic. We will give of ourselves. We will joke and banter and make complete fools of ourselves. But we will also do our best to be there for the next founder. 
When I need help with my company or my finances, I will ask Mehul.
When I need some tech advice I will ask Tushar.
Like when I want to buy a mobile phone or meet other founders, I ask Annkur.
When I want to know whether or not to buy a Financial Product, I ask Ronak.
When I need help on cutting through the bullshit on selling a SAAS to SMBs, I ask Avlesh or Sahil. When I'll need to get a phone service, I won't go to Airtel. or Vodafone. I'll ask Vijay.
When I want to attend or plan an event and colllect money for tickets, I will ping Santosh.
When I will need feedback on what I've built, I will harass Pravin or Noel.
When I need an insight into how a VC *really* thinks, I will ask Kulin or Ajeet.
If I need to go backpacking into the Indian hinterland, I will ask SoumPaul for advice.
If I need to go SkyDiving, I will bully Talvinder into giving me a discount.
If I want to know whats going on in Mumbai, I will go visit Garima.
If I want help with studies, I'll message Samudra.  or Rajeev
If I want my home redecorated, I will visit Shubh.
If I need protection from Mafia, I will go to Kris
If I need help organising a Startup Event, I will ask Deven.
If I want to sell my songs or my articles or my time, I will bother Sampad or Akaash
If I need business cards, I will ask Milap. Or even if I want IceCream.
If I want to hustle for customers on my website, I will bargain with Sameer.
If I ever need to serenade my wife with a singing greeting card, I will ask Divyanshu.
If I need help with just anything fantastically techie, I will bug Anirudh or Siddharth or Sushrut.
When I want to sell to Mobile Companies, I will understand their mindset from Sameer Shah.
If I want to hitch a ride in Mumbai, I will ping Raxit.
If I'm hungry, I will ask Ankita to send me some food.
If I want to listen to Music, I will ask Brijesh or Aditya.
If I need stuff for my pets, I will ask Rana
When I need to get information about MBAs, I ask Kartik or Sameer 
If I need a place to work from for a few days, I will ask Shekhar or Gargi
If I want to sell stuff on the internet, I will speak to Nameet or Nitin
If I have lost my phone, I will implore Sarang to restore them.
If I want to know who followed / unfollowed me on any Social Network (soon), I will ask Nischal.
If I need to share news about me or my Startup, or I need some inputs on a sector, I can talk to Jubin or to Ashish or to Srinivas.

These guys have their hands full, running their own Startups and dealing with their demons. They mostly don't have time to think about mundane numbers and/or statistics.

But we try to make each other's lives easier. Not with numbers. But with faith, advice, connections, and honesty.


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