Why I joined a tech startup?

As much as we wish that we could say this is true, tech isn’t as glamorous as people might think. Over 90% of all tech start-ups fail. You have to be original, innovative, and relentless if you plan on diving into the arduous realm of tech – you can’t just slap another version of candy crush and hope to make it within the pages of Techcrunch. You need to realize that it is a long, convoluted and expensive road ahead.

But that didn’t stop us from deep diving into the world of tech startups and battle our hopes of having our idea become a verb in its own right, like to ‘Google’ or ‘Uber’ something. So the big question everyone keeps asking is why? What made us quit our comfy corporate jobs and start something that has created an enclosed, earth-bound tableau?

The truth is there wasn’t a well-thought out plan – I didn’t even resort to the typical MBA decision tree or a SWOT analysis – this was the first time in my life that I placed greater trust in ‘a hunch’ than spending hours analysing and discussing with anyone who would care to afford me 2 minutes. When Karl Loo, the evil mastermind behind ServisHero asked me to help kickstart a company – I was frivolously gambling on luck and banking on the last remaining idealism I had of saving the world.

So for the purpose of this entry, there were 2 main reasons:

Reason #1: Purpose

Hemingway penned “No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure, it will be good.” I think the same can be applied in the context of ServisHero – there was nothing fabricated on the outset. There was one simple truth that needed fixing – and that was the state of the service industry in South East Asia. It wasn’t exclusively altruistic in the beginning but I’d like to think that we had our hearts in the right place. We had no idea how to solve this audacious problem – but we took it to ourselves to be the heroes to save the day!

Reason #2: People

At first I thought I was joining the tribe of Fitbit-wearing, company T-shirt-donning computer people who casually threw in words like ‘disrupt’ and ‘API’ five times before I even had my 7am coffee. But then 2 weeks into moving to KL, I realised I was easily part of one of the most focused, visionary and tenacious teams, with a ‘head of computer’ who gives his retelling a sureness that keeps the story moving swiftly. True confidence is infectious and when you’re working with passionate and driven people, you start believing that the law of averages don’t apply to you anymore.

So there you have it, my 2 ‘well-calculated’ reasons for joining a tech startup. If you’re of the kind that’s ever ready to step off the treadmill and follow your anterior instincts – these are really the 2 core reasons for doing anything in life – ‘Why and with whom’

To move through this past year was to experience an unusual kind of monumentality that is synonymous with painful networking phone calls, sleepless nights and parts of my poor soul being torn apart every time I handed a promocode flyer. And although I can’t help feeling nostalgic for my dear friend Joseph Schumpeter, I can safely say that waiting for success is lame, and spectacularly unlucrative – all the fun lies in the early stages when you’re sitting across a group of daredevils reciting the company value proposition for the millionth time, and furiously swiping your social credit card hoping someone would finally say ‘ServisHero’ it.

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1 Comment

  1. Sherab November 30, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Love the “why, and with whom” reasoning, ashim! Please keep inspiring and writing 🙂


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