I must share one of the most amazing experiences I have had that proved this.
While I was building contests2win in '98, Pepsi Mumbai became a regular client of ours and we did quite a few campaigns with them. A gentleman called Ranga was the head of Pepsi Mumbai and was quite the taskmaster. He was so demanding and detailed in his requirements that my colleague Salil and I (just a 2-man team) used to literally cry. We couldn’t say no to his business and yet could just about meet his expectations. We used to dread dealing with him just because he always found something more that we should or could have done. The incredible twist to the tale was that all our services to Pepsi were free – our model was getting promoted by Pepsi in their ads, so all this torture did not even earn us any money.
Fast forward 6 months. In my first VC funding meeting with E-ventures (a VC firm), Neeraj Bhargava – one of the partners asked me why I wasn’t making money. I replied that the idea and concept of c2w was literally the first in the world, and that brands would take a lot of time to understand it to pay us. He then asked me who my team was and I said – just 2 people. Neeraj finally asked the question I dreaded the most – who was our most repetitive client and his/her contact number? (This is standard diligence in funding – the VCs will speak to your regular clients). I mumbled and answered – Pepsi Mumbai headed by Ranga. In my mind I assumed that this discussion was over. Ranga was not going to be kind about us and/or our work.
Neeraj immediately called Ranga in my presence and began an interesting conversation with him – Do you deal with c2w? How is their work? Do you like the team? He then asked – why don’t you pay them? Ranga replied something that made him get up and walk out of the room. A few minutes later he came back.
He looked point blank and said, "Alok – Ranga told me that he loves your ideas and work. On being asked why he doesn’t pay c2w, Ranga said that Alok never asks(!!) and that Pepsi was worried if there was something fraudulent about c2w… 'coz they (Pepsi) never get anything for free!! Finally Neeraj dropped the atomic bomb on me… He had asked Ranga if he would ever consider working for c2w with Alok, and Ranga said, "Of ,course! It sounds very exciting."
That’s the day I understood that value gets created without the creator even knowing about it.
Ranga’s positive feedback was one of the reasons for c2w getting funded. He became c2w's COO two months later and went on to create Mobile2win in China that was acquired by Disney.
Create with your best effort and let the world value your work – you will be pleasantly surprised!
But this should have been originally posted a decade back ;)
Shobhit... I hope you get to share a lot by that time :)
thanks for pointing the typo out shobhit - it would be my fault. we're migrating all of alok's old posts from rodinhood.com and i'm guilty of multitasking in multiple windows, since we're now 4200 members!
i've corrected the typo.
many thanks once again!
This one comes from the 'best conversations you ever had' story and though I remember most of them, this one got etched in my mind hard enough. Thanks for re-sharing it - It's a great lesson for start-ups who do great work but hesitate to ask for money just because they haven't been told that they should.
Wow, Amazing.. So inpiring and awesome life experience.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Hope to get a key partner like one Mr Neeraj Bhargava.I can relate to this working to be recognised. People like Ranga (demanding with lot of expectations) makes us perfect in our job & they are much needed in the initial stage of our business. we learn so much from them.