My wife and I started Kamakshi Media one year ago as Co-Founders. And for the past couple of months, I have been courting a third co-founder. To put it differently, I really want him to come on board as the CTO. And fate has a big role to play in the whole process that almost started by accident.
The Accidental Meeting
One day in early November, I thought of giving “G” a call. It was the day after Diwali, and I thought it was a good time to catch up with old friends and acquaintances. He did not answer my call. The next day, he called, apologized for not being able to speak, and then the two of us got talking about our respective lives. The call lasted over two hours, and we spoke about digital media, video, podcasts, and of course, how to market the content.
Something told me that day that he was the guy I should be talking to more and more as we start building our technology musclepower. This feeling was reinforced the very next day when he called again, and told me that he had been researching the market for audio, and he thought it had a lot of potential. He also gave several suggestions on the format of the podcasts, newer tools and technologies to distribute the content. More on that in a later post. Everything he said to me that day was music to my ears.
At the end of the call, I asked him if we could meet.
And meet we did, one week later. Our rezvendous point was the Cafe Coffee Day in Indiranagar. We met at ten AM and talked till one PM. Around that time, my wife also joined us for lunch. We walked across the street to California Pizza Kitchen. Over lunch, G spent over an hour explaining the impact of Unified Payment Interface (or UPI). Between his monologue and the pizzas, we had spent two more hours. It was nearing 4 PM, and it was time for my wife to go back to her office, G had to pick up his daughter from daycare, and I had to head back and take buddy for his walk.
Decision Made (one way, atleast…)
That night, my wife Minu and I had a long discussion about G. We both felt that he was the guy. A techie, with MBA smarts, and one who loves media. He was our guy. I decided to talk to him one more time and get him on board as soon as possible, that is, if he was equally interested.
We met again a couple of weeks later, at the same coffee shop. That’s when I asked him if he was interested in joining our startup. His reply,
“Let me think about it”.
And soon, it was December
G was wrapping up some of his other commitments and went incommunicado for a couple of weeks. Minu kept asking me what was happening. I, in an unusual display of calm and patience, kept my cool. Last week, we met again. This time, we discussed dates and numbers. Starting date and his equity stake, that it.
We also talked about his roles and responsibilities, office setup (fortunately, we both believe that we don’t really need an office for our business) and finally, what was his “Why”. That is, why he wanted to join us. That night, I put together a Job description for him- seven bullet points on a single sheet of paper.
On December 15th, G called me and said that he was ready to come on board on January 15th. We just need to finalize what’s his share. I sent him the link to the first season of Startup Podcast, particularly where Co-Founders of Gimlet Media (Alex Blumberg and Matt Leiber) talk about equity and share of partnership. Not that I compare myself to Alex or Kamakshi Media to Gimlet (the latter can happen in a few years, hopefully).My objective was to have him and Minu listen to the conversation that was so relevant to our present situation.
The Road Ahead
Now that we know G is inclined to join, I am bouncing off ideas with him already. For example, eMail, or Slack? What file storage system to use? He is thinking AWS, I am still using Dropboxbut toying with alternatives (Hubic and PCloud). Those are the gaps that need to be bridged, sooner than later.
So at this time, it looks like it is going to work out. And the investors like it too. G and I have known each other for over 7 years. He comes from a technology background, and I am hardly a techie. He is a media buff, but his first love is video, followed by images. I love writing, and of course audio. I’m good at the content creation and curation part, he is good in the distribution. Overall, I would say it is a good mix of skillsets and experiences. Add Minu’s strength in marketing to business and B2C sales, I think we will have a good team in place a month from now.