“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.”~Nassim Taleb
Ever met people who say they used to fail at school or simply hated it? I love such folks. It means that they managed to come out with some originality and some vestige of their creativity intact. That they managed to save their innate inquisitiveness and sneak it past our conformist system of education that was laid on Eurocentric values. Also it means, the most important thing for an entrepreneur - that they've seen failure and it's not new to them !
The longer you conform, the harder it is break free. 25 and no MBA? 28 and no kids? Haw! If I had a cookie for every time I’ve been asked about my marriage plans, I'd be fat. Humongously. And while it's a noble thought to wait till you gain a little experience; make more savings; or get a masters degree before you 'start your own thing', you'd also be inadvertently raising the implicit cost of entrepreneurship for yourself. Meaning, you'd be giving up on a higher salary to start from scratch. Starting late could be your option if you can forgo the lull of a fixed office life, the vapid pleasures of living weekendtoweekend, and the transient joy of receiving a monthly salary.
But then I did it. Perhaps you could too.
After finishing my post graduation from the Industrial Design Center, IIT Bombay and landing a handsome pay package at the campus placements last year, I could still find my way into entrepreneurship. Today I’m the co-founder of DesignDodo, the first of its kind SaaS platform for Design. That feeling of people actually using and recommending something you’ve made, is the feeling that outweighs it all. That is what an entrepreneur works for. Lives for.
My startup story
Like any startup, the journey of DesignDodo hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing. But that’s what you sign up for, in entrepreneurship. In fact, the idea of DesignDodo came to my cofounder Rahul Sinha as a way of helping other entrepreneurs. Last year when Rahul, a UX designer, was running his own creative studio, he would often attend startup meetups in Delhi. Almost all his fellow entrepreneurs struggled to create or find good design content to share on social media, send as emails or print.
Knowing how difficult entrepreneurship could be, he wondered if there was an easier way to help these people. If only there was a way to automate design, take away the long human hours and reduce its cost, so that it could fit the pockets of most people. And that’s how DesignDodo.co came into being. A graphic editor, with hundreds of graphics, fonts and also readymade design templates all aiming to make the process of designing easy for everyone. Long gruelling yet satisfying hours of work went into the creation of my startup. Do I miss my complacent life? Not at all. When I read my users’ constructive feedback (or redfaced angry feedback) it feels worth the while. I’m glad I teetered over the edge and took the leap. So begin when you feel ready and if any Auntyji s or Uncleji s ask you not-so-subtly about your ‘future plans* wink *wink’ at other people’s weddings, tell them the detailed roadmap of your company !