Not Listening to, or Moving Forward Despite the word NO Thrown at You

One side effect of being an entrepreneur is that you stop hearing the word “NO“. In fact, one can say that you still hear the word but you don’t listen to it or it doesn’t stop you anymore. Where it gets interesting is when this start happening even in personal and day-to-day issues apart from just professional matters, as I have observed in the last few months.

Lately I have noticed that how I have annoyed and surprised many people as I have ignored when they said NO to a certain matter, or how I have come up and followed up with them again and again. People are not used to hear back from people after they have uttered the NO word, but it works for me as long as it gets the job done.

What's your definition of NO?

What’s your definition of NO?

I think what entrepreneurship has done is forced me to change the definition of NO to “not right now”, “not this way” or something else depending on the situation. If I look back, I can remember very clearly a few instances when I have followed up on a NO response with – “How about tomorrow?”, “How about if I do it this way?”, or “Is there another way we can work it out?” and similar such questions until I get at least a part of what I wanted in the first place.

When we are working on something we really care about, it is very easy to get discouraged. It is very normal to even assume NO as the answer if the opposite party doesn’t reply or get back to us for a few days. But the truth is that there is probably a reason unknown to us for the No or No Reply. And in most of the cases, there is an alternate to that reason which, if explored, could lead to a Yes eventually.

I guess this is almost second nature to entrepreneurs, but we must always keep persevering if we “really” want to get what we desire. And if it is meant to be, it will happen eventually. We just have to keep on it, day after day, week after week, and month after month.

And even if you get a final NO (like somebody threatening to hit you the next time you bring a certain issue up) or you decide to move on (which is always a fine line), I have also realized that setbacks are often the starting points of something else, and not an end in itself. The only question is how we approach them, and where we draw that thin line between “giving up” and “going after what you really care about“.

Back to Entrepreneurship – Circa 2012, and what is CricketRadius?

If I have not told you yet or you have not heard yet, let me tell you. Recently, I quit Yahoo and am now working on another entrepreneurial venture of mine (after SaleRaja). Like most things in my life, this happened suddenly and without notice. When I joined Yahoo!, I was very clear that I would jump back into entrepreneurship again, but always thought it was 3 to 5 years away. More than that, I had a certain set of skill-gaps which I wanted to plug in before jumping back again.

Today, as it has already been over a month since I left Yahoo!, I can say with surety that those skill-gaps have not been plugged πŸ™‚ And though I have done and learned a lot in the two years I spent at Yahoo, the gaps I wanted to plug still have a lot of holes left in them. But as I wrote in one of my previous posts (read point 9), maybe it was only a question of WHEN and not IF, that this would happen. And I am thankful to Yahoo to pushing me where I am today.

It started with the idea of a job change a few months ago and perfectly coincided with a separate cricket blog I started in November ( When the response I got in the next couple of months to mine (and others) articles on CricketRadius surprised me, I actually looked at starting this as a business, even when I had a good and exciting job offer in hand. And so here I am, a little scared, a lot unsure about the future, but certainly confident that this is the right thing to do and I will figure out the maze that awaits me in the year ahead.

CricketRadius - Because Fans Deserve Better

CricketRadius - Because Fans Deserve Better

Coming back to cricket, it has always had a very central place in my heart right from my childhood. From watching every ball of Test Matches to cutting pictures from newspapers and creating collages to the many thousands of cricket records and statistics in my head, I always knew cricket is going to take up a lot of my time, no matter what I do and where I work. And when I started writing regularly in 2010, I couldn’t stop myself from writing on a lot of topics related to the gentleman’s game. Eventually it led me to where I am today. Another benefit of my writing and proof that if you have faith in life, the dots will somehow connect in the future.

I am working on developing the first version of the CricketRadius product I have in mind, and it would go live in April first week. The central idea around CricketRadius is that fans like me are at the center of everything that happens in cricket. There would be no meaning to any cricket without fans, and as much as cricketers are sports persons, they are also entertainers performing in front of an audience. This fan base is the glue holding the cricket world together, as they generate the eye-balls, the emotions and the revenue which eventually runs cricket and pays for the salaries of everyone involved with the game.

The aim of CricketRadius is hence to provide a platform on web, mobile and other mediums where fans can express themselves and share their emotions about the game they so much love and adore. Because as fans, we deserve a lot more than just being able to read articles by journalists or hear the commentary by former players or watch the match passively on television or at the stadium. As a fan, I want the ability to express my love for my team and my favorite players in an easy and convenient way. I want to let the world know how big a cricket fan I am, and what this game means to me.

The exact details of how this will shape up as I build the product is still very unclear and evolve in the year ahead, but what I am very sure is the ‘WHY’ of doing this as a business. And the WHY is that ‘BECAUSE FANS DESERVE BETTER‘.. Much better than the options currently in the market to express their love for the game. And more than anybody else, I am the most eager person to start using the CricketRadius website once it is live.

If you are a fan, behold, as the COUNTDOWN begins…

Three Years in Bangalore – The joy, pain and where it leads?

18 Oct 2008, that was the day I landed in this beautiful garden cityΒ Bangalore as a 25 year old full with enthusiasm and energy to make it big. Now, three years hence, I can say it is exactly the same state I found myself in. Buzzing with energy, pumping in 14-16 hour days and excited about a lot of ideas sprouting in my head. Now I won’t say that it has been all rosy in these last three years, as there was a brief period of being lost, where I hardly was able to put in 6 hours a day, and I was either angry, frustrated, irritated or just tired all day along. But I am glad that this phase happened, and gladder that it is over now πŸ™‚

SaleRaja – The Joy and Pains of Entrepreneurship

The first year in Bangalore was full of experiencing what entrepreneurship is all about. There were good days, and there were not so good days. Technical discussions, night long marathon coding sessions, sales calls, and a lot of manual and boring repetitive tasks used to fill up my day. The Bangalore weather was the perfect catalyst for all this. Going to events, meeting the founders of other startups, partnering with a lots of people for different tasks and lots of brainstorming sessions made this period one of the most memorable of my life. I started as I felt working with InfoEdge that it was not too difficult to earn money ‘for ourselves‘. SaleRaja taught me it was not so easy either πŸ˜‰ Nothing could be more humbling than that, and the lessons from SaleRaja makes me what I am today. 15 months in Bangalore, and I had to make one of my toughest decisions to let go of SaleRaja, which might also be one of the wisest. For the whole SaleRaja journey, I can say that I started SaleRaja for earning money and getting rich. It didn’t make me any richer (in financial terms) but it ended my hunger for money and pushed me towards a journey for more meaningful things, and that was a big breakthrough.

New city, New games

New city, New games

Exploring New Territories

Once the burden of SaleRaja was no more, I felt really free and light compared to the heavy feeling of burden which I felt earlier. I started meeting a lot of people from the startup ecosystem in Bangalore, also had time to catch with a lot of friends in Bangalore whom I rarely met during the times of SaleRaja. I got interested in looking for new ideas for business, and saw a few very interesting ideas by entrepreneurs. I joined Yahoo during this time, and apart from work, started volunteering to teach school kids as part of a Yahoo! initiative. This step was path breaking as it helped me discover a new side of myself and opened up a lot of new doors. Not to forget are the many long rides I did on my bike which literally meant exploring new territories.

The Joy of Starting New Initiatives

Around the end of 2010, I decided it was time to do something (again). Well, once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur. I love starting new initiatives, and this time I decided to do something non-commercial, and something which was not related to internet and coding in any way. I took up a waste management initiative, organized an anti-corruption walk, and later started Pick a Fight. This journey, which still continues, got me in contact with some amazing people from the non-technical world, and it was an eye opening and view expanding experience.

Every city has its own language, customs and festivals

Every city has its own language, customs and festivals

The Future – I can sense some change soon

It has been almost two years since I gave up on SaleRaja, and I am really eager to get back to the game again. Although I am involved in the initiatives mentioned above, I am always excited by new business opportunities. In a way I can feel the winds of change coming towards me soon. I am not sure how long before I start something again, or whether I will start myself or join an already existing startup, or what idea it would be? But I am very sure that I am ready for it again now based on my learnings in the last two years. But this time I will not hurry up into it like last time (not repeating the mistakes) and do proper due diligence before jumping again (making new mistakes).