Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Blogosphere And Startosphere

I had attended two events in the week gone by. The first one was Lunch with Rashmi Bansal at The Park on 09-Aug-2012 organized by blogadda. I reached ten minutes late but no worries, Rashmi herself came ten minutes after me (delayed flight). The Park is a splendid hotel and through the glass wall, one has a beautiful view of the Hussain Sagar.

There was no format or an agenda. The discussion was free flowing. Rashmi asked each blogger to introduce themselves and over lunch and the interaction went on to different interests of the bloggers. We talked to each other and asked a lot of questions to Rashmi.

Myriad things were put forth (‘people in Hyderabad lack energy and initiative’ to ‘doctors are not marketing savvy’) and it would take considerable effort and space to report everything. From my side I asked her, amongst other things, about her next book project (‘it would be on women entrepreneurs, launch in January’), her writing style (‘it is very journalistic’) and the choice of her book titles. Rashmi is a sport and very down-to-earth.

The background of the bloggers is varied - there was a doctor, an advocate, a businessman, young IT professionals and also people who had quit the IT world. Names and blogs of those who attended are: Srinivasa Rao (rousingcricket.blogspot.in & cheyuta-helpinghands.blogspot.in), Sidharth Dugar(pixxon.blogspot.com & philosidphy.blogspot.com), Dr. Vrijilesh Rai (blog.vrijilesh.com), Basant Singh (www.techno-pulse.com), K. Sumith Agarwal, K. Raghu Chaitanya(ummwowhuh.blogspot.in), Ritu Poddar (searchingsilence.blogspot.com, www.knowledgehub.co.in - guest writer), Rahul Pandey (@Rahul_P), Anuradha Goyal (anuradhagoyal.blogspot.in), Shashank Sampath (rottenview.blogspot.in), Feroze Khan (123seva.blogspot.com), and Sejal Parikh (sejswhirlpool.wordpress.com)

Blogging was something that people like doing, have fun doing it and none talked about making money from blogging. Of course, one person said that he was available to do reviews. Finally, I felt that the organizers could have made it a bit more interesting by having some fun games, giveaways or just seeking suggestions on improving the hyderabad blogging ecosystem.

The second event was SmashUP, an annual event conducted by TIE and Startup Saturday (by HeadStart) on 11-Aug-2012. Venue was the recently built Hotel Avasa, Madhapur and it was the first time here too for me.

This event was more structured, with a plenary talk by Srini Raju, one panel discussion on “How critical is mentoring for early-stage startups,” another panel discussion on “Early stage startups: how best to seed-fund the startup,” followed by lightning pitches. See the complete agenda here -> http://www.meraevents.com/event/smashup-2nd-edition

The startups that pitched - they had to be very early-stage, must have at least one customer and looking for angel funding - were: cdotz, carrotmobiles, offo, plearnit, prodigy systems, doot, and mydocadvisor. The last one, mydocadvisor looked the most reasonable and realistic.

As usual, I took copious notes. Thing is, as I jotted down, I turned to using the sms language. I’d seen discussions about sms language corrupting the English skills of our youth. But I realized its utility in taking notes. I think someone should conduct a formal course on sms language. They don’t teach shorthand at college, do they?

I could detail the entire proceedings here, like I did the previous month’s event at Lamakaan. It would need a lot of time and I wouldn’t do it, lest I become an unofficial (and an unpaid) scribe for the startup saturday events. Some more details are available in TIE’s press release -> http://www.marketpressrelease.com/Smashup-Hyderabad-organised-by-TiE-Hyderabad-Angels-IIIT-H--ITsAP-major-hit-among-startups-1344697124.html

There were a lot of interesting aspects and themes I picked up and probably I’d blog about them in due course. For now, I’d like to mention just one point.

What gets discussed at startup events is people with ideas and prototypes looking for funds. I was wondering whether we could have a reverse situation. Why don’t the investors go about showing ideas that will work plus funds they want to give and go around looking for people? I asked this question and in fact the person from TIE (Prashanth) said, they do have a lot of research done in different areas and there are interesting ideas for startups with them.

Thus, I straddled two worlds. Blogosphere, the world of bloggers in which we try to give sense to reality through our words and in which monetization is not a top priority. Startosphere, the world of startups in which people want to change the world with technology and make a lot of money.


  1. So happy to see the picture...
    Nice it is.

  2. Thanks for posting the pictures, was hoping somebody blogadda would have posted all the images