Link to Medium Blog 👇🏻
Original Read 👇🏻
Welcome to the Indian Silicon Valley Podcast!
It has been one entire year since I first welcomed everyone to the Podcast and wow, what a phenomenal year has this been!! It feels surreal to scroll through the 64 Episodes on Spotify knowing that I have been able to play a part in generating such valuable conversations. It feels surprisingly wonderful to know that I have persevered to release at least one episode every Sunday since the last 53 weeks. But more importantly, it feels truly satisfying to have found something that helps fuel my curiosity, passion and fascination in perhaps the best possible manner.
None of this would have ever become a reality without the phenomenal guests on the show, the awesome set of listeners, the supporters, the believers, the critics and the wonderful friends I’ve found along the way, all of whom I am eternally grateful to.
This year has been beyond eventful for me. The experiences through building the podcast have significantly transformed my personality and thoughts. Here are my most crucial learnings from this spectacular year!
- Trying is PowerfulBelieve me, trying is powerful. I have tried and tried, to eventually fail & succeed, but most importantly know. Know what the output could be post a valid attempt. This power of trying has helped me reach out to guests whom I have always longed to have a conversation with and in turn produce incredibly valuable content. Some have agreed, some have respectfully denied, while some others have not responded and that’s a part of the process. The result is inconsequential but the fact I tried, and that I know that I gave it my best shot, has been truly liberating for me.
- Consistency CompoundsWhen I set out, I told myself just this — “I’ll do this every week for the next 6 months and we’ll see where it goes.” Staying consistent is challenging, but very rewarding. It compounds in magical ways. I’ve seen the impact of consistency first hand by releasing at least an episode every week since I started. This level of consistency has not been easy for me. It has required innate focus, a lot of obsession and multiple trade-offs; all of it resulting in an absolutely satisfying feeling, the compounding effects of which I am only beginning to now see.
- Staying true to my “Why”A strong “why” is the best foundation one can hope for. I was fortunate to have it when I started and I feel even more fortunate to fall back on it, every time I go astray. My “why” was/is direct — “an innate passion to learn from in-depth conversations with the special tribe of people we call Entrepreneurs”. This is what got me started and keeps me going. As the podcast grows, I find myself going back to the “why” often and this practice helps a lot in making the journey even more wholesome.
- Finding “my” WayWhen I began, I was unsure of most things. I had never run a podcast before so I had to figure out a bunch of aspects. Seeking answers really helped, but relying on them started becoming a liability. From a purely qualitative standpoint, I believe that we can derive viewpoints externally, but we should always curate our own answer. This perspective helped me conduct things in my own way. Be it my obsessive discipline of research or my lengthy structure documents for episodes, or even my hosting style. Good or bad, will always be subjective and that time will tell, but doing things in my own different way really helped boost my confidence and discover aspects of myself that I did not know of. I still am unsure of most things, and I still love to seek direction, but now I always remember to carve my own path.
- Loving the ProcessBuilding a podcast is not just about recording the wonderful episodes. Recordings are perhaps 30% of the entire cycle. The rest includes focused research, long editing hours, preparing show notes, executing distribution mechanisms and multiple other aspects. I have to love the process in order to sublimely execute it. Because if I do not love it, I will inevitably end up getting tired of it, which will negatively impact the pod. I learnt this gradually and it really helped me add the much-required method to the madness behind the scenes. I now love editing long podcasts, writing show notes, and doing everything else that is required & some more, to build the Podcast!
- Persevere — Persevere — PerseverePerseverance is perhaps one of the few omnipresent themes I have observed across episodes on the show, and one that I have dearly come to love. This relevant yet distinct perspective struck me by osmosis. I never realised it truly until I spoke to so many Founders and witnessed how perseverant they were. This made my grasp of it easier and practice even smoother. Follow-ups did not seem burdensome anymore, task-bundling became second nature & the hustle became a part of my routine. It will always be challenging, but there is nothing that perseverance cannot solve.
These learnings have been pivotal in shaping me to become who I am today. The Podcast has provided me this beautiful avenue to experiment, learn, grow and surprise my own self in unexpected ways. I cannot express how glad I feel to have undertaken the journey to pursue my passion and manifest it via the Podcast. As one year concludes, I can safely say that it is one of the most fulfilling decisions of my life. With much hope, passion, and curiosity I move forward one episode at a time.
Stay Tuned and Keep Building!
Thank you so much to everyone around me for making this journey as eventful as it has been!
Link to the Medium Blog 👇🏻
Completing 2 Years of the ISV Podcast
120 Episodes 9000 Minutes 40 Unicorn Founders 12 Institutional VC Fund Partners 105 Straight Sundays ♾ Infinite Learnings ~ 2 Years!!
40 Unicorn Founders
12 Institutional VC Fund Partners
105 Straight Sundays
♾ Infinite Learnings
~ 2 Years!!
2 Years of the Indian Silicon Valley Podcast
For starters, thank you, thank you so very much to everyone who has contributed to making this happen. Firstly, to the incredible guests who have taken out time from their insane schedule to share their compounded learnings. Secondly, to the curious listeners who have spared time & energy to consume the content. Thirdly, to the critics who have shared their very valuable feedback with me and finally, the phenomenal set of supporters I am surrounded by, without whom the podcast would have never been possible.
These two years of building the podcast have been truly transformational for me. The podcast is not just a content repository or a passion project for me anymore, it is my manifestation of being an entrepreneur and learning along the way. Through the journey, I have had the fortune of experimenting, falling, creating, learning but most importantly, understanding the importance of showing up consistently, week after week. It’s been far from smooth but I guess that’s what makes it special.
As I reflect back on the past two years, I feel privileged to have the awareness and recognition of the brilliance brewing in India’s startup ecosystem. The disproportionate value being created by Indian startups is unparalleled, globally and I feel super lucky to be a part of this mix in some form. Further, I feel ecstatic to have first-hand witnessed the innate curiosity, eternal humility and positive sum-mindset prevalent in the ecosystem, which has helped me build some of my most cherished human bonds today.
It feels like yesterday, when I shipped my first episode and here we are today, celebrating 2 years. To mark this celebration, I have some wonderful news to share. Somewhere along the way, I realised that while content is a great enabler, capital built on top can be a game-changer. This has led to the creation of Indian Silicon Valley Capital, an angel syndicate composed of leading Unicorn Founders, Vertical Experts & Global CXOs bridging the gap of early stage angel capital in a curated, collaborative manner. While the syndicate has been actively deploying capital, it has mostly been in stealth. I am delighted to get it going and will share more on this soon, but in the meantime, immense gratitude to everyone who has supported me in getting ISV Cap off the ground.
ISV turns 2, but it remains to be Day 1 for me. There is a lot to be done, and hopefully with consistency, perseverance and curiosity we shall keep moving forward.
Thank you again for being a part of this ride. Sit tight as the best is yet to come :)
~ Stay Tuned & Keep Building.
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Link to the Medium Blog 👇🏻
Celebrating 2 Years at AngelList India!
Today, I complete 2 years at AngelList India and it has been an absolutely incredible experience. When I joined AngelListIndia back on…
Original Blog 👇🏻
Today, I complete 2 years at AngelList India and it has been an absolutely incredible experience. When I joined AngelListIndia back on January 4th 2021, I knew very little about the world of early stage startups and how our ecosystem functions. Now, I can safely claim that I have made major progress on that front and imbibed multiple long-term traits along the way.
As I reach the 2 year mark at the organization, I would love to take the opportunity to express gratitude, reflect on my learnings and share some interesting perspectives, in the hope that it is useful to some.
To begin, I feel extremely grateful to the AngelList India leadership to have given me this opportunity early on in my career. While I had gone out of my way through the process, I evidently recall how unsure I was of my application, since I did not exactly fit the experience requirement. However, the team let this not be a limiting factor and there I was, the 7th team member at AngelList India and the first Venture Operations hire.
Early days were amazingly fascinating with a steep learning curve, especially because most of it was very new to me. Steadily, I got the hang of it and soon realised the importance of responsibly executing at scale. I started enjoying the ownership driven culture and taking on more, fitting well into my role. Special mentions to Kashish, Prakhar and Shiva for making this process as smooth as it possibly could be. This early guidance and support was invaluable in establishing strong fundamentals for the journey. As months progressed, the role started becoming more rounded and we built a team for Venture Ops. Growing alongside the organisation and adapting to its pace was another interesting phase with many learnings along the way. While Year 1 was more around establishing the right fundamentals, Year 2 was filled with levelling up. This meant new projects, more responsibility and scale. Through this was phase, I was glad to have Utsav & Dhruv’s mentorship, trust and freedom to lead, and take on more.
Looking back, here are some concrete learnings along the way:
1. Execution Excellence — The Venture Ops profile is one that demands a high level of execution skill. This is usually reflected through a large number of day-to-day tasks and other ops heavy processes. This may not be the “coolest” aspect, but having a bias for completing the tasks day in, day out, goes a long way in establishing execution muscle and a long-term moat to being the person that gets it done. This is something I have appreciated, learnt and now, exercised in a variety of aspects.
2. The importance of a high-talent density environment — Like many others, I have observed successful people mention the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people, having a talent-dense peer ecosystem and many other such learnings which point to positive energy & brilliance driven environments. At AngelList India, I have truly learnt what this means. The team is full of highly talented individuals and learning by observation & via conversations with my peers has been my most important takeaway. I now make a deliberate effort to practice this in most facets of my life.
3. Learning compounds, trust the process — Sometimes not everything is evident from Day 1. This may require working without having complete context or without being able to connect the dots. However, through the last two years, I have learnt to appreciate that things take time and learning compounds rapidly, as long as the process is trusted.
4. Great Culture breeds brilliance — One of the great privileges of working at AngelList India is the phenomenal culture at the organization. The culture that promotes freedom, ownership and initiative. The culture of consumer delight and keeping the experience first. Culture that helps breed brilliance.
Two years have flown by and I could not be more excited about the future. I feel incredibly grateful to be at AngelList India and have the opportunity to build products for GPs, Founders, early stage investors alongside a phenomenal team (Thanks Team ft. Arun, Aswin, Deepanshu, Dhruv, Eshan, Jinali, Kashish, Mishika, Pooja, Ruta, Sahil, Vedanta, Utsav and Prakhar, Shiva).
Onwards & Upwards!
Link to the Medium Blog 👇🏻
3 Years of the Indian Silicon Valley Podcast
My yearly tradition of marking 16th August with a brief reflection of my podcasting journey is here again — thank you for joining! Every…
Original Blog 👇🏻
My yearly tradition of marking 16th August with a brief reflection of my podcasting journey is here again — thank you for joining! Every time I get to drafting this essay, my words tremble for there is so much to express given how transformational the podcast has been for my life. Three years is a long time, yet I clearly remember the start of the podcast like it was yesterday. Through the next couple of minutes, I try to condense what we have built, how it feels, how we got here and what lies ahead!
In the last 3 years, we have uncovered company-building learnings from 160+ Founders, 15+ VC Fund Managers & ~10 Operators. We have transitioned from an audio-only podcast to Zoom videos + audio and most recently, a video-first podcast. Our cumulative listenership crossed 100K on audio, 50K on video, 500K+ on LinkedIn, and 200K impressions on Instagram.We have further built a parallel exponential journey on top of the podcast with — Indian Silicon Valley Capital or ISV Capital, an angel syndicate championing operator-led capital. Through ISV Capital, we have partnered with ~20 Companies, investing a total of ~$ 3 Million, committed by 90+ operators & founders in the last 18 months (essay on this soon, for now, feel free to visit — https://indiansiliconvalley.in/portfolio).
Indian Silicon Valley Capital
We have built two levers — content and capital. Content is built to deliver high-quality conversations decoding the depth of company building in India, which enables public knowledge transfer for many aspiring founders and operators. We strongly believe in the power of content, especially in a maturing ecosystem. Anybody seeking this specific knowledge, from any part of the world should have it readily available. The Indian Silicon Valley Podcast makes it happen. Capital is built to curate high-quality operator capital for early-stage founders. Our belief here is in the power of meaningful capital, especially when capital is available in abundance in the ecosystem. Indian Silicon Valley Capital makes this happen! We combine the India story of strong innovation and compounded knowledge, resulting in a Content + Capital.
It’s taken us 3 years to bring this to shape — we’ve reached here slowly and steadily. When we first started, I did not have the slightest imagination that the Podcast would become what it has or even know what angel syndicates were, let alone think of leading one in the future. I just knew we had to work great and enjoy every bit of it. One thing led to another, and here we are. This trajectory has made me appreciate the true impact of consistency and compounding. If I had to share one core learning, it would be the internalisation of compounding. The magic of doing something again and again, consistently, without getting ahead of oneself is beyond words.
Looking back, I only have one feeling — gratitude. Gratitude to everyone who has played a role in making this happen and gratitude for having the opportunity to live these experiences. With every new conversation on the pod, I stand amazed by the sheer privilege of being in that room. With every new partnership, I get humbled to be a part of building journeys. Thus, to everyone who has touched ISV in some shape, thank you! Words will not do justice to the impact you have had on my life and in building ISV :)
Episode with Varun Alagh, Mamaearth to be out soon!
As we look into the future, we are heavily indexing on taking the podcast & syndicate to the next level and focusing on it full-time. With the Podcast, we hope to take amplify our video content and take company-building learnings to the world. We believe depth and breadth can be combined, and you will see us attempting to gather more significant mindshare from a larger audience in the upcoming episodes. With the Syndicate, we want to partner with great founders where we can add immense value. There is a lot to be done to align and bring together operators to meaningfully angel invest; we shall double down on our efforts to make this happen. With tangible headwinds in both content & capital, we are very excited to champion our model of content-led capital.
Thank you, everyone. There is a lot to be done, we will keep at it!
~ Stay Tuned & Keep Building.
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Do subscribe to our YouTube Channel — https://www.youtube.com/@IndianSiliconValley
If you have any feedback, suggestions or questions, feel free to reach out to me at — firstname.lastname@example.org