I have spent a lot of time thinking about the steps that we entrepreneurs (mind you I said entrepreneurs not successful entrepreneurs) take that others don’t.
And aside of the common concepts like taking risk or being visionaries, etc – there are more real, tangle steps that we take that are the catalysts for our actions.
This post is in acknowledgement of my very dear friend Aslam Najeebdeen.
Why? — because we must acknowledge and support people in our lives — for no reason at all. Love and help others and good things will happen.
I met Aslam in early 2011 via a Ruby on Rails IRC chat room while trying to find software development help. I was one of the founders of a startup called Feedgen, which we were incubating at SF-based Angelpad. We had just raised a little money, but not enough to hire engineering help in Silicon Valley so we went offshore — Aslam was based in Sri Lanka. At first I didn’t interact much with Aslam because he was doing mostly front-end CSS, HTML, etc — and my co-founders were handling that stuff. I do remember our Skype interview and couldn’t help but feel that this guy was special.
I arrived in Silicon Valley for the first time in 2006 when trying to raise money for a social travel startup that my partner and I bootstrapped from my graduate school apartment in Tallahassee, FL. We had decided to pack up and head to the “motherland” to try to raise money and recruit engineers. I remember trying to find engineers to work on equity cause we had no money and VCs at the time were not buying our argument.
Since those days we have both learned a heck of a lot and have both gone through success acquisitions; he was at Mint.com that sold to Intuit and myself at MoPub which sold to Twitter.
For as long as I could remember, I have been obsessed with entrepreneurship and startups. Over the last 12 years, I can’t recall a day that has gone by that I have not at least thought about this topic. However, what I have also learned is that no matter how much “success” you seem to have, it’s never enough.
For me I’ve always had some startup idea to dive head first into and kinda ignore the other aspects of life. What’s crazy is that I never really understood the power of having a balanced life. And that life really is…well, has to be bigger than just business. I began to truly understand this after my startup Feedgen went under in 2011.
In the past I wanted to start a company just to start a company. To give myself meaning.