I’ve been a VC for 14 years. It was my first job out of college. I’ve been running my own VC firm full-time since I left business school in 2006. Its been an exciting and wild ride. Went to the school of hard knocks, made relationships around the world and had some amazing victories and some wonderful failures too.
As an Indian dude in a white-denominated industry, I had some natural tendencies to the Indian community. They actually listened to me! So running an India-focused fund was a natural choice. And a beautiful one too because it re-connected me to my heritage and gave me a sense of greater purpose that ignited me in so many unexpected and incredible ways. After countless business trips to India I realized that I should share my “business travel hacks” with the world.
It started as a book: “The Thrive Guide to Mumbai”. A little handbook on how to say just the right phrases and ask for just the right things to make your business trip to Mumbai perfect. I was going to get it published. That was when my friend Joe Goldshein, a great publishing executive, mentioned that I should consider going online with this content.
So then it started with a website. A big colorful website designed by my wife and populated with content I wrote. I handpicked stuff, wrote up stuff and suggested great places to stay, meet people, get a temporary office, party with clients, spa, shop, etc. It had some legs but it was way too much content and too hard to navigate.
So then we went to version 2 and tried to redesign it! The website was slightly better, again re-designed by my wonderful, patient, loving wife Sara. (Yeah, that means we had some fights during the making of). It was actually a great process in the end. But that site didnt work either. So we went to version 3 based on a site that Sara and I both loved. That one didnt work either.
It was around this time that the AGONY started to set in. The Agony of listening to smart people, knocking down and ripping out things you spent your blood and sweat to create, then re-creating and knocking it down again. Painful and frustrating but one of the greatest learning lessons of my life: never stop listening!
It wasn’t till late 2014 that it occurred that we should take all these collective learnings and go “mobile first” with this thing. And then the process of simplification happened. We were cutting down features every day. If you didnt need it, we cut it.
So thats where we are now. Bizly, the super simple mobile app for being productive when you’re on the go. Nothing extra. Its what we believe will truly help people. The kind of people we are — always on the go, jumping between co-working spots, coffee shops and hotel lobbies; hoping just to impress, get work done and have time to reflect. That’s just the kind of people we are. It took nearly 3 years to figure out who we are.