The Difference Between Your First #Startup And Your Second One

I feel like I’m living that Luvs commercial: First kid, second kid.

Company Logo:

Startup #1:

$700 and 3 months later, we have a logo (which we change a year later)

Startup #2:

“Hey Devin, I think we need a company logo”

“Oh… yeah. Probably”

“Hey can we just use a glyphicon from the noun project?”

“Let me check..yeah.  We can”

$2 and 10 minutes later, we have a logo.

Company Website:

Startup #1:

$2000 and 2 months later we have a website (which we promptly change after 1 year)

Startup #2:

Code Academy Bootstrap Course: $7

Download Free Boostrap Template: Free99

$7 and 2 weeks later, we have a website.  

 

 

 

I Love You, But Would You Hate Me If I MIGHT Love My Maid More?

It’s true.  Any woman with a good maid will tell you that a good maid is hard to find.  First of all, I feel very Indian talking about maids.  Like very very upper class, let them eat cake sort of Indian.  Which is weird.  I feel like I try to compensate by making them tea after they clean my house.  Or offering them juice.  It’s the American in me coming out. It just feels wrong.  WHY MUST I ENCOURAGE CLASSISM?! Maybe if I was British I’d feel more ok with this whole maid thing.  But in any case, I don’t feel weird enough to NOT have a maid- lets be clear here.  I’m not that crazy.  I effing love my maid.  She’s the best.  I mean she cooks AND cleans my house.  HOW IS THIS ANYTHING BUT AMAZEBALLS?  She is probably one of the best things in my life.  No joke, if she doesn’t come for more than a day or two, I start to hyperventilate and wonder how my life will go on.  I genuinely question this.  I think about if I’ll starve, and also, where did she leave the mop/dish cleaning equipment (I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT THAT THING IS CALLED- is it a scrubber? A dish scrubber? WTF.  I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER)

What really sealed the deal is that my boyfriend is over at my house a lot.  And she hates it.  Like really really hates it.  Because well.  I mean. Lets be super gender biased here and just play out the stereotypes.  She has more to clean now.  I love that he cooks, but she hates that she has to clean his…artwork.  The kitchen definitely looks like a Jackson Pollock painting after he is done.  And she hates it.  To the point where today she kind of said look.  If this doesn’t get better, I may have to go.  She didn’t say it outright.  But there was that threat.

And my first thought was genuinely- GOD DAMNIT HE NEEDS TO BE AT MY PLACE LESS! I CANNOT LOSE MY MAID! I WILL STOP BEING LAZY AND GO OVER TO HIS PLACE! PLEASE MAID DON’T LEAVE ME! I WILL DIE WITHOUT YOUUUUUUUUUU

I feel like that makes me a terrible girlfriend. Picking my maid over my boyfriend. But there. I said it.

What can I say? Basic necessities sometimes may have to win over love.  I’m just saying.  He wouldn’t want me to starve or die would he? Really, I’m doing this for us.

When You Are Your Own Biggest Dream Crusher

Lately, my day has been starting with WTF Anu.  WHAT ARE YOU SAYING.  Is that what you really think about yourself and what you want to do with your life?  Just kidding- that’s what it SHOULD have started out with, instead of just being in a funk and accepting the heresy that my brain tells me, about myself and my life, as absolute truth.

Turns out, I’m my own biggest dream crusher. Of all time.  Kind of like Candy Crush, but much more sinister, and less fun. My problem is that now that I’m heading home, I remember all the things that everyone says about how I’m making (X,Y,Z) decision totally wrong. And I’m screwing up my life.  And I’ll regret it forever.

Also I’m probably killing puppies.  Not really, but the way they look at me, you’d think I was.

I have mostly realized that I don’t really have an absolute plan.  If I say anything otherwise, it’s mostly lies.  Apparently, this goes against nature, mankind, God, and Monday Night Football.  I’m only assuming this, because it seems to be heretic to say these things.  It is unfathomable to not have a, come hell or high water, this is what I will do plan.

And by plan, maybe because I’m a woman, or maybe because my ovaries expire soon and I can’t get a refund or whatever, my plan needs to include a man. A man plan.  Hell, at this point maybe a woman would be ok.  I’m not really sure.  It doesn’t matter.  Point is, significant others need to be involved in this plan.  Because I won’t be able to procreate and make sure our human species doesn’t die out.  Because we are close to extinction and me spreading my genes will save us from destruction.  Oh wait. That’s a different Will Smith movie.  Right.

Which begs the question, WHY AM I TRYING TO ANSWER QUESTIONS WHICH I HAVE NO ANSWERS TO?! And more importantly, why is my brain beating me up for not being able to answer these questions? It’s like those kids that just keep asking why all the time.  At first it’s cute, then it makes you think and you are happy to think about it, but after the 5th why, you’re just over it.  It’s really unproductive and annoying. I’m at the 6th Why. Now it’s just tiring.

I can’t tell you why I choose to do the things I do.  And more importantly, why do I need to? And why do I feel inadequate for not having answers? Does that make these decisions wrong? No. I think it just makes them hard to explain. Two very different things.

That’s the hard thing about hard things.  Sometimes they don’t make sense.  You just need to jump and hope you fly.  And if you don’t, know that you won’t die, and you can try again tomorrow.

After all, isn’t tomorrow another  day or something?

It’s Going to Take However Long It’s Going to Take

I’m somewhat sleep deprived, and in this personal hell hole which I create for myself, I feel the world caving in on me. Ok ok I’m being dramatic, but from going to sleeping 8 hours every day to have a day or two with 5-6 hours of sleep, I’m definitely being a sleep diva.  But you know what? I like being a sleep diva. I’m going to keep being a sleep diva because god damnit I love my sleep. I feel like the world is full of sunshine and rainbows and unicorns whenever I sleep enough.  JUST BY SLEEPING.  It doesn’t even matter what happens to me. HOW AMAZING IS THAT.

Except not today. No. Today I’m trying to prioritize 50 things which is really hard for me to prioritize in my sleep deprived brain. God damn you sleep deprived brain.  I hate you. I’m kidding. I love you. Except you’re being really rude right now. You need to stop saying all these terrible things to me. BRING BACK NICE ANU BRAIN ON 8 HOURS OF SLEEEEEP.

 

Ok yes this is rambling. But getting back to the point of all of this, I realized that shit takes as long as it’s going to take. Trying to hurry something, especially something creative, is a waste of time. If I want to produce quality, it’s going to take the time it’s going to take. Period.

And no whiney sleep deprived brain is going to do anything about it.

Le sigh. Back to trying to do my personal finances, pay bills, get a presentation done, finish a website, trying to get done in time to actually go out on a Friday night and not stay at home with television and computers, and grant applications. Oh. Clean email inbox. Oh. Bank not shutting down my bank accounts for not providing proper documentation.

Yes. All going to get done.

When Did I Become So Whiney?

One day you get up and you’re like…WTF.  Why do I complain about everything and never seem satisfied with anything?  And you kind of see yourself looking at yourself from above and you think damn.  This is a recipe for disaster.  One thing happens and then another thing happens and then when the world doesn’t act according to your plan (spoiler alert: It NEVER DOES) you get pissy and horrible and obnoxious.  WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN.  WHAT IS THE POINT OF BEING PISSY AND HORRIBLE AND OBNOXIOUS?!

I mean lets just play through this scenario.  I’m being a pain in the butt, and really, life isn’t going to change just because I’m throwing a hissy fit.  It doesn’t work that way (believe me, I’ve tried).  And then to top it off, the people who are trying to help you out and help you feel less terrible are being treated like crap, because, lets face it, you think the world owes you something and you’re being victimized by God and it’s just not fair, nobody will understand and everyone has it better.  Obviously.  (Hence the temper tantrum).  So then you alienate everyone and everything and then you’re sitting at home watching Netflix reruns of God knows what eating lots and lots of Ben and Jerry.  Besides helping out the sales targets for Netflix and Ben and Jerry’s, this really doesn’t benefit anyone else.  (Unless you pirate shit and grow your own food and make your own food, then you are literally not helping anyone, and you are literally useless.  You should really be ashamed of yourself).

Anyway.  I guess today I got up and I was like…WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?! I mean, I don’t know the answer to that question, but the more basic question is…WHY AM I JUST NOT DECIDING TO BE HAPPY?! I mean really.  WHY NOT?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! (Yes, the answer is lots of things, but for the purposes of discussion lets limit it to the fact I am not choosing to be happy otherwise you will turn into my therapist).

Life is life man.  It’s going on no matter how you choose to feel. So why the HELL would we not choose to enjoy it?

I really have no idea.

I’m going to start asking myself this every morning.

 

Every Day Is Terrifying #Startup

So I’ve realized that when describing the entrepreneurial journey, “exhilarating” is the sanitized version of “effing terrifying”.  All those “successful” entrepreneurs who are looking back on life thinking, oh yeah, it was so cute back then- remember “the struggle”?  Le sigh, the good old days.  Well I call bullshit.  Ok let me rephrase that.  I am 90% positive I will say the same thing when I look back on this growth phase (until I re-read these entries and remember, oh yeah, that was some sucky ish going on there)  because I can see where they are coming from.  Every day is terrifying but not in the ways it used to be terrifying.  It used to be nauseous terrifying – i.e. I get up every morning with pseudo morning sickness (minus the benefits of birthing an actual child into the world after it all), wondering if we will be alive in 3 months.  Basically it was hmmm…so….do I need to be getting another job or something?

And now it’s not nauseous terrifying, it’s more like…can’t breathe and painful terrifying.  Sort of like being in labour, with all the pain and anguish and screaming and jesus christ just get it over with already that it entails (again without the benefits of birthing an actual child into this world).  You know it’s worth it in the end, you know that you can do it, you know you’ve got it, but GOD DAMN is it painful.

On a completely unrelated side note, is it weird that all my analogies have now become related to birthing children?  But wow it works so well.  Morning sickness, labour, then..BIRTH.

But back to the being in labour phase.  Because we all love that mental image.  BUT IT IS SO APT.  It’s just SO MUCH PAIN.  And doing and saying things that…the second it comes out of your mouth you think…oh god.  Lets take that back.  I’ve had to apologize to employees recently for getting upset at things and being rude in ways I never was before (or ever really thought I would be).  BUT THIS PHASE BRINGS IT OUT IN YOU.

The other thing you do a lot in this phase is rely on your support network to get you through.  That’s clutch.  Otherwise it’s just a lot of pain and nobody to help you through.  Isn’t that why there’s always someone holding the pregnant woman’s hand during the screaming and crying while they sit there saying don’t worry it’ll be ok bits? (I don’t know if that’s just a Grey’s Anatomy thing, but I’m going with it because it works here and it supports my theory and I’m all about that right now with this elaborate analogy thing).  Your support system.  Hold them close.  Check.

ANYway.  Yes.  It’s all painful.  And terrible.  And growth-ifying.  Why do we all do it you ask? I don’t know. It’s the same thing I ask mothers after they just spend a bazillion hours in ridiculous amounts of pain.  And most of them (well, most of them that have children over the age of 6 at least) say it was totally and completely worth it (I think it takes a few years to look back with that warm motherly glow).

So here’s to lots of pain, and hoping to get through it all in one piece (and not kill anyone in the process).

 

 

 

Sometimes I Get Up in The Morning Thinking: OMG What If I Am Single FOREVERRRRR

Usually it’s accompanied by a bit of nausea, not the morning sickness kind, more the…I should go eat some food because I’ve been hungry for 8 hours kind.  It’s the more dull kind, in case you were wondering, and are one of those lucky people that never get sick.  (I hate you FYI. Only a little bit though).

But I digress.  The point is, yes, sometimes I think..holy shit.  What if I stay single FOREVER?! I mean seriously, what evidence is there that this will actually pan out here? (And by this, I mean relationships with, in my case, the opposite sex, of the romantic kind, just to be clear). When has this even been remotely close to happening at all EVER?!

And not in the self pity, woe is me sort of way.  More the damn, no really though, how do I even start thinking about this, can I just avoid it forever and 1984 this ish oh wait I can’t DAMN.  Oh god the terror.  The absolute and sheer terror of knowing that the ENTIRE WORLD HAS STARTED THIS PROCESS EXCEPT YOU.  Do you know how terrifying that feels? Sort of like Atlas, pre-shrug.  WHAT IS THIS THING THAT EVERYONE IS DOING THAT I HAVE NOT PARTOOK AND I PROBABLY NEED TO.  I have felt this way before.  Yes, it was in the 1st grade when everyone was playing cooties, and scientifically speaking I thought it was ridiculous because cooties don’t exist and I tried telling people that and they didn’t seem to care so I just waited it out and while EVERYONE WAS PLAYING COOTIES I..(I forgot what I was doing, I think I played on the monkey bars).  But see, my strategy was to wait it out and then everyone gets over it.  UGH.

See, the issue isn’t the actual being in a relationship with the person that you are totally and completely into.  IT’S EVERYTHING BEFORE THAT.  All of that … absolute SHIT that EVERYONE has to go through before..you know. The good stuff.  HOW DO PEOPLE DO IT?! I think I would just cry all the time. Oh wait, yes I tried it once, that is EXACTLY what happened. What is this putting yourself out there business? UGH.

Fine. FINE. Considering I can’t avoid the pain, the horror, the terror, all of the shit, that is, probably, now that I think about it, part of the human experience, I may as well get on with it. No, I won’t go kicking and screaming (although I have thought about it) I’ll start this process with grace and dignity.

Oh who am I kidding, it’s going to be awkward and painful as balls.

Le sigh.

So This One Time, I Fell In The Gap

I’m sure you’re always wondering why on public transportation public service announcements they always talk about “Mind The Gap”.  I mean the gap between the metro/subway and the platform.  And you’re thinking, WTF why would you keep saying that?

Let me tell you.  It’s because YOU CAN FALL INTO THE GAP.  I FELL INTO THE GAP.  For real. No joke.  Well, to be fair, my leg fell right through the gap in the Delhi Metro.  And it got stuck.  And I was thinking huh, that would suck if the metro started moving. And despite what Bollywood would have you believe, handsome rich men do not help you out.  Nice old fat ones do.  I mean I am thankful but it’s definitely not the best way to find a rich husband, in case you were wondering.  Just sayin.

My leg did not get amputated, and all that was really bruised was knee, thigh, and ego.  But you know, what’s new.

And now you know. That you really should mind the gap.

#TheDatingDiaries: Cute Comedians Are My Kryptonite.

So here’s the thing.  I have met my fair share of famous people.  Prince Charles? Not a problem, we even joked about the invention of the internet.  Lunch with Paul Polman? Handled it like a boss (pun intended). Bill Clinton? Played it cool.  Even my favorites in Silicon Valley. Meeting my growth hacking hero Chamath, held it together enough to get $300K from him.

But put me in front of any decent comedian and I LOSE MY SHIT.  They don’t even have to be that good.  And if they’re cute? Oh god it’s over.  And by over, I mean I turn into a psychotic, call the police and block my number this woman is crazy, person.  I seriously don’t know how or why this happens.

I figured this out my second year of college when I went with my friend to see my first stand up comedian perform.  His name was Edwin Lee, and he is so obscure that I am trying to Google him right now and I can’t find him (i.e. potentially indicative of his comedic prowess).  But after the show, for the first time in my life, I WAS TOO NERVOUS TO GO TALK TO HIM.  Me. Too nervous.  That NEVER happens.  Except with cute comedians.

I have it so bad that if Seth Rogen walked through my door right now, I would probably ask him to have my babies.  Definitely the first thing out of my mouth. Wait I take that back. the first statement out of my mouth would be: “OHMYGODYOUARESOMAMAZINGILOVEYOUPLEASEHAVEMYCHILDREN!!!!!”. So really, it’s probably really really good I don’t live in Seth Rogen’s apartment complex right now.  Because my mother may or may not really want her daughter to be throwing herself at, lets face it, not the most Indian parental friendly baby daddy.  But I digress.  Point is, comedians are definitely my kryptonite.

So enter my trip to Mumbai last week.  Oh god.  It was terrible.  And by terrible, I mean WHY ANU WHY DO YOU DO THIS, saw some of my favorite YouTube comedians in real life and SCARED THE HELL OUT OF THEM.  Now you’re thinking, huh, how does one scare a comedian.  Let me tell you.  It’s by acting like a crazy person.  The huh, do I think she will actually come to my house and steal my garbage, should I be scared for my life, crazy.

I was speaking at a conference and I had a few hours to kill, so I thought I would drop by the session on how to make YouTube videos.  Thought it would be interesting.  And when I walked in, who should I see but MY FAVORITE INDIAN COMEDIC TROUPE FROM YOUTUBE.  I went to the back of the room and, of course, you know, started to hyperventilate.  I don’t really know what they were talking about, probably something smart I don’t know, because I just remembered thinking Ok Anu. Just be cool.  BE COOL.  You can do this.  DON’T spazz out like you usually do.  This is your chance.  You can do this. Regular pep talk stuff. I may or may not have been talking to myself out loud and scaring the people around me during this time.  This tends to happen when you give yourself pep talks. While hyperventilating. During an advertising conference. Probably at any conference really.  Talking to yourself in general. Not encouraged.

Anyway, after the session, I was so nervous, I pretended to take a call at the back of the room, to you know, look important. Also to buy time to figure out what I was going to do in this situation. Because usually what I would do is just stare at them creepily from afar, hoping that…ok I never get farther than that really, but I have learned from prior experience that creepy staring is just highly inappropriate.  DO NOT OBJECTIFY THE CUTE COMEDIANS ANU, GOSH.

Anyway, my fake call was over and they were leaving and I still didn’t  have a plan so I powerwalked outside and walked up to them, hoping that inspiration would hit in the 5 seconds between the wall and the door.  The brilliant gems that came out of my mouth?

“OHMYGODILOVEYOURSTUFFIJUSTWANTEDTOTELLYOUMYNAMEISANUYOUARESOCOOOOOLLLLL.”

Luckily said comedians were nice enough to nod and smile politely.  So of COURSE I took that as a cue to keep going.

“So..you know…uhhhh….I was wondering….well….I’ve always wanted to…uhhh…so…..do you I don’t know…need an intern or something?”

Said comedian again, being the nice soul that he was, took pity on me and my tongue tied-ness and said no they do not but hey you can come to watch them shoot a sketch. And then.  HE GAVE ME HIS NUMBER. And said coordinate on Sunday.

I think I practically died. I am pretty sure I SAW my soul float up, watch the scene from above, and then come back down to re-inhabit my body.  I’m also pretty sure I was just staring vacantly while all this was happening.  That or a constipated face.  One of the two.  My face is usually in some form of contortion.

So of course, I take every opportunity to be a psycho person, I message  said comedian later asking if, you know, “OHMYGODYOUARESOCOOLIDON’TKNOWIFYOUAREBUSYDOYOUWANTTOGETCOFFEE”.

….

Again, said comedian, being the compassionate soul he was, said something about aw that’s so nice I’m busy but you should come on Sunday.

Yes, I was punched in the stomach a bit, but hey. You know. The psychotic part of me was saying oh hey. You have ample chances to be insane on Sunday.

Sunday rolls around and I message in the morning, and because he is probably Christ incarnate, he says oh hey, I think we can actually fit you into the sketch for a small part.  I may or may not have emotionally blackmailed said comedian into this as I may or may not have previously mentioned that IF I had cancer and was going to die next week, the only thing that I would be sad about was that I wasn’t in a comedic sketch.  I’m not dramatic or crazy at all.

My Emmy Award winning response to my bucket list wish being granted:

“OHMYGODILOVEYOUYOU’RETHEBESTWHYAREYOUSOAMAZINGDIDIMENTIONILOVEYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU”

Excpet…the times did not match and I had to fly out before they started shooting.  Now the psycho part of me was throwing tantrums up the wazoo, and I’m not really sure what I messaged, but I’m pretty sure it was the craziest of cray cray because…well…said Christ incarnate comedian stopped responding.  Like any normal person would. When psycho people contact them.

The end.

Like I said, I don’t know why this happens, but it does. Like any good AA meeting teaches you, acceptance is the first step.

I, Anu Sridharan, turn into a psycho around cute comedians.

So now begins the recovery. More terribly horrific situations will probably ensue before I am cured of this disease. I’m hoping it will be quicker and less painful than last week.

Chances are, probably not.

Le Sigh.

#TheMarriageChronicles : Things You Should Never Ask Your Mother

When you are of a marriageable age, there are certain things that you should never ask your poor mother. Not for any other reason other than you don’t want to induce an early onset heart attack.

If you find out your parents have saved a few gold coins for your wedding jewelry, which now equates to a small fortune that can buy me a 1 BHK condo in Utah.  Never should you ever ask if you can melt the gold, buy a place in Salt Lake City, and wear wood jewelry for your (not yet planned, not yet having a groom) wedding.  Your mother won’t dignify it with a response. Only leave the room with a more than slightly constipated face.

If you find out your family is trying to mortgage their house for your (not yet planned, not yet having a groom) wedding. Never should you ever ask if you can take that money and invest it your friends startup. Which is currently doing 3 crore in turnover. And when you try to argue that hey, at least you know that this has a chance of return, just expect your mother to look like you just stabbed her in the appendix. Or saw Jesus rise from the grave and proclaim that George W. Bush is the savior of humanity.

If you find out your family is trying to put your profile on Shaadhi.com to find you a good husband. Never should you ask if you can add a box specifying “ok with pre-nup”.  And when you try to argue that you know, you can never be too careful these days and 49% of Americans get divorced, just saying, she will look at you like you just told her you have 3 butt cheeks. Or that pork, it is decreed, is actually a vegetable.

Just a heads up. In case you were wondering.