The start of something nice

In this blog post I talk about my team and how/why I want to start up in ~7 minutes



With all the stories the media does about startups these days it is hard to not feel the FOMO. I am literally in my second year of college studying computer science and I feel like I am late in the start-up game even though I have my whole life left to do this.

I honestly believe that starting up is not a one-time thing, it is a mindset, a way of living, always thinking about something that could make people's lives better, observing the problems that I am facing and thinking if this is scalable, taking responsibility and not complaining, etc, etc I know this all sound bullshit and you may be thinking that I am a freaking kid what do I know of the world, well I don't but don't you think that this is a very efficient way of learning about the world we live in? I certainly believe so.

It used to be that entrepreneurship was born out of necessity, but nowadays it has become a hyped-up thing to choose. People actively choose that we don't wanna do a job, instead, we want to start up because it is the cool thing in the market.

So, I have chosen to be an entrepreneur, even though I still can't fucking spell it.

Why tho?

This actually is a pretty interesting story, it was during the MLH Fellowship that I and my team member Ritesh built a nice website that allows the user's to track their learning on YouTube, and minimized distraction. It is called YouTemy, it allowed us to win the hackathon for which we were building the project. But after the fellowship, I shared that project with my friends and their reaction was "tune banaya hai" which translates to "you made it?!", It honestly gave goosebumps to me.

Then one day I visited one of my friends and noticed that they were using it when doing a DSA playlist on YouTube saying that it truly does shift the learning experience and that his concentration increased. I can't express in words how good I felt seeing that, a shitty website that I built in a fucking hackathon being used as a solution to the problem that we were trying to solve.

Fast forward to today, I am using it myself too. I was thinking of learning trees and our boy striver has a playlist just for that, so I have been using YouTemy for a month now, and it is a piece of shit. A useful piece of shit at that.

My work being useful to real human beings, was a feeling that I can never forget. It gives meaning to my otherwise pointless life. I love building stuff that real humans with real lives will use, and that is the reason I want to build a good product this time instead of a shitty hackathon project.

Building leverage

This dates back to my JEE mains examination in which I scored a whopping 64th percentile so was naturally selected in a shit college, where TCS and Wipro visit that too sometimes.

But, I had watched some videos on YouTube that this is not the end. I can still get a good placement if work hard for the next 4 years. So that's what I decided to do, obviously, it was extremely hard, especially for someone in the 64th percentile. Not that I was dumb or anything, I had never in my life worked hard before, and going from a lazy piece of shit to a hard-working piece of shit is a challenge in itself.

At the same time, I was consuming videos about starting up, making big money, and providing extreme value to society. One of my friends Aman Gangwar had gotten into an IIIT and was extremely passionate about starting up, so much so that he don't even want to do a job. But I was not like this, and thank you old Rose for not being like this. The reason I am saying this is because as I mentioned I couldn't get a good job through my college, I had to go off-campus. Off-Campus is hard.

So this is what I decided to do, build leverage in the first two years of my college so that I can get a good internship in my the third year, and since I have a good internship in my third year and I will have a full 2 years left I can spend that time starting up. And if I am not able to build the leverage in two years then well take three years, or four but getting a job should be my first priority.

That is what I did in my last 2 years, build leverage. And I am proud to say that I have built it, I did MLH Fellowship in my first year then an internship with good pay at a small startup, and now, I have been selected as an open-source contributor through the Google Summer of Code program. This is all good but DSA is important, so I have also been doing DSA consistently and by the time interview arrive I will be ready.

Guess what this means? I can start up without worrying about getting a job.


Nowadays the reality of Indian startups is coming out, and I am very thankful that I am starting up at this time. I am not going to fall trap of the "Funding" route, in which start-up founders' only goal is to secure the next round of funding when they run out of the current round of funding.

I am not saying that all startups that do this are bad, but like everything most of them are. So my goals for the next two years are pretty straightforward. I am 18 years old and I have a full life ahead of me, keeping this in my mind I have decided to not go for Angel Investment and instead focus on organic growth with possible negative CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) and a positive LTV (Customer Lifetime Value)

I am not obsessed with the headlines that say a "20-year-old raises X for Y valuation", I am only going to be focussing on the value that my team and my product can give to the users. As I mentioned earlier, this is what gives me meaning.

Value creation is more important than Valuation

(some random podcast)

One of my inspirations is the story of Zerodha, how they were profitable from year one, the way the founders talk, and their way of thinking about business, all of it makes a lot of sense to me. And that's where I wanna be, I mean honestly, it looks healthy. I bet you can't say anything other than toxic for the current startup scene in India. This is what we aspire to be, profitable from year one


"If you expect nothing you are never disappointed."

I have actually seen this a lot in my life, big unrealistic expectations do fuck things up so I have consciously decided to make the expectations as achievable as possibly and increment them only when the previous ones are met

If a startup becomes big, founders think that they made it big and when the startup fails it is the timing; In reality the opposite is true.

Anupam Mittal (Founder

Then, what do I expect?

Here's the thing, I am 18 and I don't know shit. So the ultimate goal for me is to learn as much as I can. About what you may ask, I want to learn about managing people, selling a product, and building a product that people will happily pay for.

As a software engineer, engineering is also one thing that is of high priority when building this, how I am gonna scale things, how will I make the code manageable, and all that good stuff.

So, even if I fail in this venture I would be a hugely improved software engineer than I would've otherwise been


According to successful startup founders, the team is the most crucial part of a startup. And I started out alone because this startup for me was a cool project initially that I can probably monetize but my plan was to first build a good product then morph it according to the feedback of the users, and then only if I found potential in it I will try to build a team and take to the moon.

The timeline was that I would work slowly this year so that by the end of the year I will have a proof of concept which I can later get feedback on next year and update it as per the feedback. The monetization wasn't even planned until the middle of next year.

I wasn't even sure if I want to do this, but my mindset changed when I had a 2 hours long conversation with Hargun Didi which changed it all. And I was sure that I want to do this and I will do this.

Fast forward to a week ago, my friend Aman told me that his co-founder for an idea that they were planning to work on has left. And he is considering a new co-founder so we decided to meet and discuss his as well as mine idea. And we both will work on the one that we both agree on.

I have gotta say, his idea was excellent. I was seriously considering working on his until I thought of my priority of monetization and "profitability in year one". And then slowly my idea grew on him and he decided on working on mine.

Then we started iterating over the ideas, setting milestones, and coming up with newer ideas. But then I realized that I am the only engineer on the team and the product is very engineering heavy. Also, the product has to have an amazing UI&UX so I approached Yuvraj who has amazing UI and UX skills.

The problem with him is that he is a pussy and is not at all want the grit that is required for building a startup, this was also the reason that I didn't consider him as a co-founder. So I called him up and pitched a small part of the startup and he was in. But the next day he called me that he is out (wtf).

I started getting anxious about building the whole product alone, so I discussed with Aman an amazing offer, an offer Yuvraj can't refuse, and as expected he couldn't refuse it. So he is in.

Why is our team good?

I have realized that I am a pretty good leader, I can not only lift other people up but I can lift myself up which in a startup situation is going to be very helpful. I can also manage people, (I think I got this from my dad). I on top of this am an engineer.

Yuvraj is an amazing UI and UX designer and has some really good engineering skills, even though he lacks the "big picture" which I and Aman can more than make up for.

Aman, on the other hand, is obsessed with startup stuff, and pitches, he can dig out amazing startup programs, and is really good at market research. And I think he can easily handle more than himself when things are not going so well. He is going to be responsible for all the finance and legal stuff, and I and Aman are essentially going to make all the deciesions. It has only been a week or so and he has already improved the idea, and has pushed the team to deliver fast and deliver good.

This is it, thanks for reading this far (even if you have skipped to the ending). We are actually planning on building in public so I will be posting blogs about whatever we do, you can stay tuned if you like.

There is a feedback button on the bottom if you wanna bash out your thoughts, I will reply if I think the feedback is good 😊