Category Archives: Life

I have Sold My Startup

I had started InBoundio in Jan 2013. After doing lot of freelancing, services and building casual hobby products, this was my first serious attempt in building a web product and business. This also made me took a dive into core technology as earlier I only had surface knowledge of technology. It did well and got reasonable success. We did plenty of iterations with product feature and pricing and we did got good number of inquiries about white label marketing software.

Since I am building AeroLeads too, it was difficult to focus on 2 products hence after 6 months of talks with many businesses, I have sold my startup InBoundio to an Australian Media company c9.

The last 2 years were fun in terms of learning and experience and now I have both as well as some cash, so now I will be using all this to grow current product much faster.

Learning and Experience

1. It was little tiring since I did all the work of talking and communicating with people. Though it was rewarding too since now I understand complete business cycle as well as understand complete technology and marketing stack of a business. I was also able to understand what are the metrics which a buyer look for. Saying this, I am very sure I am done selling businesses for a long time since it don’t excite me. Building businesses to sell it is also not a good business model.

2. It is not easy to sell your startup sitting in India to someone in other countries. Trust is a major problem as no one know each other. This also means you will only appeal to buyers who are looking to buy in certain price range to minimize risk for them.

3. I have seen many Indian businesses who go under the radar getting sold in 1M USD range through business brokers. If you think you can sell your business in this range, you should look to engage with brokers who have the right network. Do note that you will get valuation in multipliers of 2x-5x range which is the industry standard for web businesses. It can be 10x if the buyer sees real growth potential but don’t expect 20x or such valuation which rarely happens. Being realistic is important.

4. You can get much higher valuation if you are willing to work with the new buyer for few years, do partnerships or take some money now and rest later. At the end of the day, everyone wants to mitigate risk.

I had few such proposals but for me, it wasn’t about money, I knew it could get messy as it is not easy to partner someone in different country so went with outright sale.

5. The whole process is time consuming and can take 3-6 months. Make sure you don’t rush and covers legal aspect of transferring ownership and assets.

6. Prospective buyers will always look for these 3 parameters. If your startup have them, you should be fine, if not, you will find it difficult to make the calls.

i. Growth Potential
ii. Minimum liability
iii. Existing revenue

Where to find buyers for your Startups and Businesses

1. LinkedIn – I contacted lot of businesses founders on linkedIn using inmail and got good response. Few of them showed interest but it was also the issue of “not having enough paying customers”. If you want businesses in similar vertical to acquire you, remember that most of them only look for paying customers and not for technology.

2. Business Brokers – There are plenty of business brokers and firms who help you selling businesses in 500k to 10M range. They take about 10-15% fees and for someone in India, if you think you have the above 3 (growth, minimum liability and revenue), you should talk to them as this reduces risk, cut down your time/effort and speeds up communication.

Feel free to message me If you need some advice or if you think I can help you. I can be reached at “pushkar.gaikwad at gmail dot com” or through linkedIn.

My 2014 Review and Plans for 2015

I am doing this since last 5 years now (2009, 20102011, 2012 & 2013), on every 31st of December I write a blog post reviewing the year, what I accomplished, the good and the bad that happened and what I will be doing next year with goals and plans.

I just came back after 5 day vacation from Goa spending 3 days at sunburn and the rest of time visiting various places in Goa. This was fun trip and a perfect ending for a year which has certainly shaped my life. I have certainly doubled my knowledge and have learnt and done more things then what I did in last 3 years. I also went on to build InBoundio which is my first web product as before this I was only doing services.

Personally I find myself to much more calm and present to what is happening around me, I have sorted out and got clarity on lot of things in personal life too.

For 2015, I just need to keep doing what I am doing with more force! So I will rock 2015 just like 2014, even harder :) I am certainly on my way to build a big business so will keep working on in 2015. I will also spend more time on myself, my health and family, something which I had often ignored in the past. So to 2015 – Ready, Set and GO …

Pushkar Gaikwad Goa

(a snap of mine which my teammate took at Anjuna Beach)

Landmark Forum Learning and Teaching – What I learnt in 3 Days

I did landmark forum at Sri Satya Sai Sadan in Bangalore on 4th, 5th, 6th April and evening of 9th April 2014. A really good friend got me enrolled/registered to it and I did Landmark Forum without any notion of what it is. Me not having any knowledge turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I listened to so many people, made lot of friends, found and learnt about new way of looking at life without having any preconceived notion and bias.

I was leaving at 8:30 in the morning and was coming back at 11:45 in night and somehow I never felt tired sitting for 14 hours every day which is nothing short of a miracle! During breaks and after coming back to my home every night I tried to write what I learnt so I don’t forget the teachings.

Through this post, I am sharing it with others as I know many have forgotten what they learnt and are probably searching for it on Internet :) Here are my learning of landmark forum (or should I say here are the teachings of Landmark Education).

I am putting it as word by word what I wrote on those 3 and a half day without adding or subtracting anything. 

—————

Stories vs Facts – we make stories from facts. Facts are true, stories are meaningless.

In life you want power, freedom, self expression and peace of mind.

Always be present and stop talking to yourself.

Look for context and learn to distinguish and look differently.

Acceptance and Acknowledgement of Parents.

Go to the source, what is causing the problem. Avoid blind beliefs.

Be fearless. I am the most dangerous guy. I am not scared of anything or person.

Do not put past in future, put your past where it belongs, in the past.

Learn self expression. complete things which are ended but not completed.

Do not have any rackets and complaints with anyone. Declare your rackets. They are just like monkey holding peanuts.

Nothing happens to you, you don’t get hurt, it is the meaning which we give to it. View become reality.

Opportunity and identity are conflicting.

Paradigm shift from I to nobody.

Not the talk but who spoke.

Honour the word if you can’t keep it.

Strong suit give you success. Strong suit comes from background.

What am I doing ? surviving

Constraints come from context and background.

You decide your future.

No conditions are needed to change yourself.

Life has no meaning. You are just a meaning making machine.

You never get what you want. This isn’t it. It goes on, stop chasing.

The meaning we give to life causes problem

You are unique expression on this planet.

Life is empty and meaningless and it is empty and meaningless that it is empty and meaningless.

Don’t give meaning to anything.

Declare declaration, not description

Nothing — Create – Action – Complete – Nothing

You chose your circumstances.

Keep this alive forever. More, Better and Different.

Knowing doesn’t make any difference.

Present is shaped by future we are living into, stop doing this.

Last 75 Days of my life – Journey of a lifetime

I posted this on facebook and thought to put it on my blog too.

Last 75 days have been hell of a ride! I decided to change the way I was living life and doing things. I have done more in last 75 days than what I did in last 3 years. I got a new car, upgraded life style and wardrobe and improving my fitness too, I am learning guitar and hip hop dance, danced with lot of cute girls as part of dance performance, got new dslr camera, got a new macbook too. I have talked to hundreds of people and tried to know more about their life. I have also worked heavily on my social and communication skills and trying to be more involved. I have also participated in various groups, acted as leader and listened and looked at life like I never did before.

I have also taken an office, finished building my product and have hit decent number of users and paying customers. Life is Going Great and I am just Staring to Rock … :)

I will be publishing a post about inBoundio and how I took it to 1000+ users and 80+ paying customers in next 48 hours. I will also be writing more about my startup journey and how I am bootstrapping a business as a single founder.

Animals Live, you want to be Alive

Animals Live, you want to be Alive – This was told me to be someone exactly one month back. I have read 50+ books in last 12 months on life and philosophy and for some reason, I couldn’t get it what this one line made me realize and felt.

One month back, I listened to few people who shared their problems and their struggle with life, people and their environment and it made me realize how great life I had till now.

I have got great upbringing even though I comes from middle class background, parents always gave me more that what I wanted and needed, had good education and I am doing really well professionally.

My problem was, I was just trying to over analyze life and trying to find meaning of something which was not there. It turns out, life is empty and meaningless and this is a good thing! Now it is your job to give meaning to it.

In last 30 days, I have 

  1. Joined guitar classes
  2. Joined dance classes
  3. Throw away most of the unused clothes and bought new once.
  4. been working heavily on my social and communication skills. I have made lot of friends through the network and group I am part of.
  5. been heavily working out to gain weight and be in shape
  6. Have spent heavily on personal care and hygiene.
  7. Got a new music system, new glasses and if needed, will get new DSLR and a new car too. Though I won’t buy anything, unless I am really going to use it.
  8. Become leader of Koramangala group and discuss and listen to others life
  9. Got more clarity about business and what I want to do. Most importantly, I don’t think much about work and money. I am running a one man company which is growing organically and I am already getting mails of partnership and acquisitions, I think I am doing OK.

I know this blog post won’t be read by many but if you think you need help or need someone to discuss your problems in life, feel free to mail me.

You want to live in Present

I was discussing this with a friend yesterday about why we think too much about past mistakes and why future makes us nervous and anxious. The conclusion of the discussion came as – We have to live in Present.

This is an excellent article on How to live in present which I will highly advice everyone to read. Here is the first paragraph

What does it mean to live fully in the present moment? It means that your awareness is completely centered on the here and now. You are not worrying about the future or thinking about the past. When you live in the present, you are living where life is happening. The past and future are illusions, they don’t exist. As the saying goes “tomorrow never comes”. Tomorrow is only a concept, tomorrow is always waiting to come around the corner, but around that corner are shadows, never to have light shed upon, because time is always now.

I am going back to living a minimalist life

This is not a new year resolution since I don’t believe in them (nor they make any sense to me anyway) but more of an going back to who I am, what I believe in and what was working for me.

I had spent a big part of my life living in single room, sleeping on floor or on a small cot with a working laptop and some basic stuff and I totally enjoyed that kind of life. After formally starting a company in 2011, somehow life took me to a different path and I start imitating others in terms of how they were doing things and how they were living life. So after two years I can safely say that that kind of lifestyle is not for me, I don’t enjoy having too many materialistic things around me nor want to live a very luxurious life so I have decided to go back to again living a minimalist life. In the last few days I have sold and throw away some of my stuff and will sell the rest unused/unwanted stuff in next few more days. I just want what I need to live a minimalist life, a laptop, a table, a bed, that’s it.

My 2013 Review and Plans for 2014

I do this every year, on 31st of December I write a blog post summarizing the whole year and to write plans for next year. Here are my posts for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 in case you are interested to follow my journey.

OK so I started the year on a bad note, 2012 was a disaster, I had a nightmarish experience with my startup workmonk, I made huge judgemental errors, couldn’t really understood the depth and my limitations and paid a heavy price for it. Though I don’t have any regrets, I had promised to myself that I will fix those mistakes in 2013 and will get back on track as I want to align everything in life. So I spent whole year focusing on learning rather than on buidling a business or making money. I have finished reading over 30+ books and have spent lot of time on improving my technical skill set, having better social and communication skills, working on my cognitive disorders and being a better decision maker etc. I do feel satisfied with the way I spent the year and its results and I will keep on working on these in the coming year too.

I have also built Inboundio, though the development is slow and is still in progress, I feels I am in right direction as I feel confident about it and I do have some users/paying customers for it. I will be making it more polished in coming months and do have some big plans with it, I am also offering inbound marketing services from tomorrow which will add another stream of revenue.

Unfortunately working alone from a single room do have its own set of problems, I am somewhat tired and lonely but luckily have one really close friend now in Bangalore so can hang out with him during weekends. I will be changing this way of working now and will again start interacting with old startup friends.

From tomorrow onwards (1st Jan 2014), after taking a break for one year, I will be again focussing on building a business and will get back to the way I used to work.

Wishing you a very happy new year to anyone who read the post till here. Cheers.