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RodinStar / Startup

HOW I MET MY CO-FOUNDER – a new series on TRH!

 

Everyone has a story. Perhaps not a startup story. Perhaps just a friendship story. A partnership story. But an intriguing story…

 

The more rodinhooders I interact with, the more I keep hearing how they could’ve NEVER SURVIVED the typical startup roller-coaster ride had it not been for their co-founder’s unconditional support.

 

Rituraj (in his famous Paratha Post) has described this bond very well:

 

“Close down your business the day you realize that you have gone wrong in this area. Your co-founder is your Parent-Sibling-Spouse-Offspring-Enemy-Guru… All in One package.

 

We laughed, cried, shouted, traveled, ate, celebrated together. In fact, except for beating each-other and having sex, Mukesh and I did everything 2 human beings can do together! This bond kept us going when chips were down. And trust me that it will be the case most of the times.

 

Also, if you are not there for each other when struggling, you would certainly not be together when success comes your way. And there is no fun raising a bright kid without the spouse, is there?”

 

image source

 

 

Your co-founder is your work spouse. The ONLY person who will truly share your dream and vision of building something relevant that makes the world a better place. Only co-founders will completely believe in the idea they are working on (most times your family won’t).  Your co-founder “gets” you, understands the crazy side of you and accepts you for what you are capable of doing. He/she is the ONLY person who will bleed when you are hurt because your struggle doesn’t belong to just you – it belongs to BOTH OF YOU!

 

 

So when you finally come across someone you can trust so much that you agree to jump into something together, to build something valuable together… trust me, it becomes something beautiful and magical.

 

There will be tough times too. Oh yeah! When you disagree. When you bicker. When you run out of money. When you are both seem to be on different tangents. When all you want to say to each other is GET LOST!!!

 

Give each other space. Take a break. Chuck your ego from a mountain. Let the storm pass. When you are thinking clearly again, you will realize you were just being a moron :). You will come out of each storm stronger than before, ‘coz that’s what being co-founders is all about! 

 

I could go on. But you already have your own story, remember?!

 

So pls do share your incredible story – how you met your partner/co-founder/team member in crime! It will be a small tribute to the person who matters in your startup life the most :). And we can then start a series!!

 

 

 

I’m sharing an abridged part of my #goodluck story here which I wrote on how I met Alok.

 

Alok and TheRodinhoods happened to me. I wasn’t a startup person. I don’t live in Mumbai. I’m not a rich Marwari 🙂 I never bumped into Alok at a startup event, or sat next to him in a flight.  And I had no rhyme or reason to be a part of TheRodinhoods. Yet, TRH is what I’ve been growing for 4 years now 🙂

 

 

This is just a very small part of my story. Looking forward to reading yours’…

 

The best story will win both of you a Rodinhood tee each!! [in case we get an roaring response we’ll have more winners!]

 

#HowIMetMyCofounder

 

 

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A lot of people ask me one question: How did you meet Alok?!

 

It’s a funny story; ‘coz we never met for the longest time ever – like for 14 months after becoming good friends. [For those who don’t know, I’m not based in Mumbai.] In the meanwhile, I had already become his editor and started helping him run trhs.

 

 

 

Flashback. Circa late November 2010.

 

One morning, while I was going through afaqs! – a website all advertising professionals go through every single day; I came across their blog section. This dude in a blue suit and a colourful shirt was staring at me. His name didn’t sound familiar to me (I was away from the country for 3-4 years, plus had a baby in between so wasn’t quite cued on the Indian startup scenario, even though “starting up” was the new sexy).

 

I quickly read ‘The Purple Well’ and noticed two things – the lingo was very north American (something that I could relate to) and there was a mention of Fleetwood Mac.

 

“The Lyrics from ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac enveloped the air:

 

Thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing

 

….

 

Have you any dreams you’d like to sell”

 

 

 

Now, having grown up in a small town, not many people I had met in India had heard of Fleetwood Mac – a popular rock band of the 70’s. My elder sister (and only sibling) was a teen in the late 70’s and her music choices influenced me a great deal. Fleetwood Mac was a cassette she used to play very often.

 

This guy got me curious. I went to his blog rodinhood.com and started reading more.

 

 

 

Please tell me who I am…. (from the ‘Logical Song’)

 

‘The Ride’ caught my eye and sure enough, when I read it I came across these 2 paras that stunned me!

 

“Goraf seemed unperturbed. Comfortably Numb had ended and ‘Don’t Stop’ by Fleetwood Mac has started playing:

 

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow, Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,

It’ll be, better than before,

Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.”

 

 

 

“There was a meditative quiet in the Cab. Supertramp’s ‘Logical Song’ was playing…

 

 

 

 

I blinked a couple of times in disbelief.

 

‘Comfortably Numb’ happens to be my fav Pink Floyd song. 

 

‘Don’t’ stop thinking about tomorrow’ has been played and sung in my house thousands of times.

 

BUT what really freaked me out, was Supertramp’s ‘Logical Song’. Their superhit album, ‘Breakfast in America’ was their ONLY album my sister had. And I knew every lyric of every song!!

 

 

How did this dude know all of my old fav songs??!!

 

I googled him and when I read contests2win – a bell rang immediately!! I distinctly remember telling my husband, “Hey remember that guy who started contests2win? Well he blogs on afaqs. Check him out (knowing that afaqs would be one of the windows open on his laptop too!). Cool stuff.”

 

I had no idea what Venture Capital was. The dude kept referring to moneybags. And I sorta just went with the flow.

 

I subscribed to his blogs. They started coming in my inbox and I got hooked.

 

 

 

Facebook Friends!

 

Somewhere on the site I noticed “Like my Business Page to get updates via Facebook”. In those days I used FB for two main reasons: To share my toddler’s pix with my friends. And to co-ordinate my school reunion.

 

So I liked Alok’s Business Page (doesn’t exist anymore) on Jan 1, 2011. I remember telling myself a nice day to like someone’s page! Imagine!!

 

In a week or so I received a facebook friend request from Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal….!

 

Now, I honestly thought he had some app to do that. Till then, I had only very very close friends, school friends and family connected with me on fb. No strangers. Let alone a startup celeb!

 

I thought about it for a couple of days (silly me!) and then I said, what the heck?! And accepted his friend request.

 

 

 

 

People who know me, know that I still don’t add strangers on my fb :). That day, I virtually befriended my first stranger and had absolutely no idea how that would change my professional life!

 

 

 

The Hyderabad Connection…

 

For the next few months I never bothered reading Alok’s status updates. I just read his blogs. Even shared a few. Till one day there was this mention of one Vijay Marur. Surely enough I had heard of him since I had worked in Hyderabad for a year.

 

Vijay Marur had apparently written something as a sequel/deja vu moment to one of Alok’s blogs – Just Jump. And Alok had posted about it.

 

 

 

 

That was the first time I commented on one of Alok’s statuses. And that was the beginning of our friendship… !

 

After that we would talk about all the music we listened to while growing up – Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Blondie, Donna Summer, Barry Manilow. [Even now, when I catch a ride with Alok in Mumbai, he plays this game in the car (while Yadav his driver is driving, of course), “Let’s see which song comes up for you on my playlist…!” or “Bet you don’t know who’s sung this song!” 🙂 ]

 

Over the months, we’d talk about the movies we’d like or about wines – Sauvignon Blanc in particular. He’d write and post something and I’d give him my instant candid feedback.

 

But never in my wildest dreams had I thought becoming fb friends with Alok would ever make me look at each tomorrow differently. I mean, since Dec 2011, the first thing I think of each morning is, what’s happening on therodinhoods….?!

 

 

 

 

 

logo courtesy : Tarun

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. Hi Asha –

    What an article!! Reading this I am sad about the fact that I don’t have any co-founder and would definitely want to get one now :))

    Two of you have built TRH into a community that’s so vibrant and engaging. The way every single discussion is being driven towards positive exchange of ideas and view-points is just amazing here and it benefits everyone in the forum.

    I am so intrigued to know about Alok’s side of the story and how did it happen for him, I am sure even that will be one great story!! 🙂

  2. This is so awesome!! read your story twice. 🙂 would be glad to share my co-founder story! #ComingSoon

  3. wow. that will be very interesting to read! looking fwd anamika!

  4. thanks abhinav 🙂

    am sure when the time is right, the right person will just come along. 

    abhik had once written something very beautiful….

    http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/do-you-have-an-asha-in-your-team

  5. awesome post asha!  

  6. :)))))

    thanks shiba!

    ps: a very very warm & official welcome to trh! 

    may you prosper & grow!!

  7. Oh yes! You’re right…

    I read this one – awesome article and completely true!

    Had you been in Gujarat – I would have loved to get a co-founder like you :))

  8. this will be an awesome series and of course your story just shows how some things are destined…

    nothing intrigues me like real life stories & so just a fortnight or so back I was thinking about interviewing co-founders and starting a series called #CFF co founder friends.. saw this new series and was left with a smile, felt happy for kinda being in sync 🙂

    btw, in case any founders have worked together for at least a good 4-5 years together & want their story to be shared, pl reply in back here.. thanks.

  9. It is very nice story about you and Alok sir, amazing

  10. yes, some friendships and partnerships just happen….

    glad you liked it manish 🙂

  11. Me and my Co-founder Keerthi Kadam also have amazing friendship story, we met for an Business meeting and got together as a Partner and now we  are best friends

    Pamfy App a free Android App for Business for their Advertisement

     http://bit.ly/1TyXnQk

  12. feel free to share your story manish.

    ps: nice plug :))))

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