This is a post that has been in the pipelines for a long time. Since the very day that I decided to start something new actually.
Starting something from scratch is not an easy thing to do. Especially if you have no clue on how to do it. I never had anyone close to me do something like this. All I had was the internet (and a lifetime’s worth of dreams). I did approach some founders (acquaintants/people who had already chosen the startup path) for advice. And I can tell you with utter confidence: I have never gotten more cryptic pieces of advice my entire life.
Until the very second you tell them that you are going to set up a company, they are all like, “bro, you really need to get out of your 9-5 job and do something of your own”. But once you tell them that’s what you have decided to do, something weird happens. All those inspirational stuff that they used to tell you is forgotten almost instantly and they get into a very somber mode. They start going on about how bad their life is and how it’s not a good career choice. And if you sit around through all that talk and finally ask them for advice or tips, they give you these weird cryptic shit that even da Vinci wouldn’t understand. The more popular the startup CEO is, the more disconnected and cryptic his answers get. This is one phenomenon I’ve found to be exceptionally present in the Indian Startup scene.
The more media coverage they get, the more insecure they are. Maybe it’s their own incompetence that makes them think a newcomer might take their throne. Maybe its selfishness. Maybe it’s just that they are afraid that you will know how insolvent they actually are and they are ashamed of it. I don’t know.
If any fellow founders are reading this,
Don’t be insecure. Be proud of what you have done and where you have reached. It’s not easy to be in your shoes. Everyone knows it. You have the right to be wrong sometimes. You have the right to make mistakes occasionally. It’s not about whether you made mistakes. It’s about how you overcame them. And please please please remember, helping fellow founders (or potential founders) is a very noble thing to do. The startup industry works on favors and barters. You never know. Maybe the guy(or gal) who you helped out once returns the favor at a time when you are in desperate need for help.
Maybe the guy(or gal) you helped becomes bigger than you. So what? You can be proud that you helped him(or her) be who they are now. Money and fame are never replacements for happiness and satisfaction. The people who realize that are the ones who truly live.
Now getting back to my present situation.
It’s not easy to get something set up in India. It is most definitely not. Cheaper compared to some other countries maybe but definitely more complicated. Every process from finding a name until getting the AOI is a thrilling ride.
There are hundreds of founders who dream of setting up their own firm here. Even must have thought up cool names for it. Well. Let me shatter those dreams for you. The chances of you getting the name you want
The naming guidelines in India are a bunch of crap ( Dear ROC, If by any chance you happen to read this post, I’m sorry but it’s true. Its a bunch of crap). They require a suffix and a prefix and no symbols and no using certain words and it should sound like your grandpa’s pet name and your dog should understand it and so on and so forth. There’s a lot of these guidelines. You can go over to their official page to read more about it.
I mean; Sure, it might be required to keep conflicts away but following it only occasionally is not something I agree with. Either you follow the rules you set up or you don’t. Don’t do it on a ‘sometimes-we follow-rules’ basis.
I’m someone who had a name and logo in mind since high school (told you I was crazy). And when I finally decided to register, I found out that it was taken. So, even though I was sad, I am a reasonable individual. I found another name and submitted that. It was rejected telling me it was also taken by a company that no longer exists. The same ministry that gave clearance to a company called Google Ceramics Pvt. Ltd. had the audacity to tell me it is not possible. So I went back to the drawing boards and submitted another one. And guess what?
This time the excuse was even sillier. The name I had submitted was phonetically similar to some minuscule company that stopped active operations. I mean come on. Give me a break.
Fun Fact: There are
Well, thats where our story is now. As I type out this post, I’m still wondering what to do next and what the next submission should be.
Only after the registration can I finally sign on my prospective clients who have been patient for so long. I also have to wait for the registration to complete to be able to accept down payment and fees. Until then, all I can do is start working on the client’s projects without any contracts, agreements, payments or proof. It’s not easy. It’s not something anyone should have to do. And I certainly hope it all works out soon.
Dear clients, If you are reading this, I’d like to thank you all for your patience so far. I’m sorry for all this and I request your patience for a while longer. I assure you one thing. No matter what happens, “My-so-far-nameless” company will not disappoint you.
I would have written this post a bit earlier but a very bad cold and the above-mentioned problems have been keeping me far away from the blog. I will be categorizing this post under “Startup Diaries”. The category will hold all the stories and problems I face as I try to be a good founder. Hope it helps someone else in making better decisions.
PS : If you guys have any ideas, suggestions or tips for me. Please leave it here or if you prefer to do it more privately, fill out the form on the Contact Page.