Current Status & Brief History

I started dAppStudio in 2014. It took off fairly quickly. I really wanted it to become a full stack development house for software products and wanted to help other startups achieve their technical goals using our products and services.

So as the money came in I hired people. (Actually I had to settle down with training my staff from ground up and once they were trained, I started paying them.)

Unfortunately, our main products that I partnered with, never went profitable. It was a bad decision on my part — i just wanted to build stuff without thinking about the money, but software wasn’t what people wanted at that time, since i was the technical partner and wasn’t really calling the shots for strategy, I think I was kept in the dark about the prospects and the nitty grit-ties of the market situations. But since we had been getting really good at software development, we started allocating our energies at getting some new work from other clients which was a tough market to survive in. When the deliveries took time, the payments were delayed as well. It got to a point where it wasn’t manageable at all. It got de-motivating for all of us. 

I spent my life savings trying to keep the team on payroll. It just still couldn’t work out.

So I had to let everyone go.

Now, dAppStudio is just me. I’m trying to strip away all of the junk / waste and things that were not profitable.

We still have clients, partners who are interested in getting even more stuff done. But right now it is just me.

So, I’m just trying to figure everything out. dAppStudio took a BIG financial blow, but it’s not dead and doesn’t have to be.

I just wish for once that I should have relied on myself instead of relying on others. I didn’t take things in my own hands, took time fo getting rid of lethargic team members and kept on motivating people to perform who were simply incapable. Instead I should have worked alone.

So one takeaway will be, always trust your gut more than you trust anyone else.

Addressing the elephant

I think being an entrepreneur, you will be facing tough decisions often than not.

Escaping them or going around them is not advisable at all. You should take them head on, after all you’re in control now. Didn’t you always want this to be true, to be able to take your own destiny in your hands.

Take your most important decision first, make it your top priority. Address the elephant in the room. It might be painful or embarrassing or may put you in a bad mood, but its important and must be done.

Procrastination is not the way forward at all, delaying on crucial matters may cause all hell to break down. Its happened to me and trust me I had to pay a heavy price.

Once bitten, twice shy, they say. Now I try not procrastinate on important matters. Even if you do delay something, put a deadline on it. Write down the number of hours or days you’re comfortable with.

I came across something called an importance and priority matrix.

Draw a 2 x 2 matrix on a sheet of paper, so you have 4 squares to write on.

The first square is the important and urgent tasks, those that must be done by you only and urgently.

The second square deals with the less urgent but important tasks that can be scheduled for a later time.

The third square deals with most urgent but not that important tasks, the ones that you can be delegated to someone so you can continue working on the important and urgent ones.

The fourth square has those tasks that are neither important or urgent, I call them the power suckers, they just take the energy out of you.

Well these tasks can be avoided for sometime. So don’t worry about them.

Addressing the elephant is so important yet we try to avoid it for months and sometimes years.

I’ve been reprimanded severely for my mistakes of delaying things/decisions.
Practise makes perfect. So you must practise this habit daily to achieve success.

Previous Ventures

So, just before I decided to do something on my own, I had spent sometime working for 3-4 startups as an employee, consultant and handling clients for other companies.

These companies reposed faith in me as a developer, a manager and operations guy.

I’m a trained programmer, and I still work as a software developer in my day job but I’m more of a solutions architect guy.

Even back then I enjoyed the role of managing projects on my own, the technical side of things apart from actual coding and some designing in bits and pieces.

Like I said, in my first job itself I found myself working on projects right from scratch to launch. I wanted to be involved in whatever way possible throughout the SDLC. (Software Development Lifecycle)

As a trainee software developer, not even getting $1/hour, I was so enthusiastic about the sheer joy of learning and the whole process of delivering a solution was fascinating to me. If I come to think of it, I still am fascinated about it.

I thought that’s what kept me going back then as many of friends felt de-motivated, lethargic and didn’t just want to do things on time. They had fallen into the trap I call, “What am I gonna get out of it trap”.

My colleagues never actually understood the reason for my curiosity in getting involved in other aspects of the projects until I had my own startup going which took around 4 years. In these 4 years I had trained in a medium sized IT company providing outsourcing to US customers. I had worked for another IT company which was struggling to get going on their own and I had to mobilise some of its crucial projects to get them into profits. I had the experience of managing the whole startup myself in another one before I decided that the time was right to put my own name ahead in the world.

The learnings were simple and nothing extra ordinary, but I was willing to go that extra mile to ensure that I provide whatever I can to the project/ startup and thus getting back an abundance of learning and a few $’s to keep me going.

It was a happy time as my expenses were low and I was totally focused.

Focussed towards getting the max learnings. Did I get any of it? Well, read on to find out. 🙂

Humble Beginnings

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s India was both fun and challenging. I belong to a middle class family and like all families back then, there was a constant need to keep everything balanced.

We got everything but only when there was an absolute need for it. No one really knew what abundance meant. Not even in food or drink.

Chandigarh is a service based city and we never had any industries, businesses or entrepreneurs to seek inspiration from.

My Dad acted as a real source of inspiration for me since childhood as I saw him work hard each day without taking a break or look troubled at anytime. Even in the darker times, he held his nerve and seemed super cool. I admire and respect him for that.

I think the seed of entrepreneurship was sown by him as in my growing up years as I saw my Dad work so hard for his clients. He’s a lawyer and I never saw him skip his duties. So the diligence and dedication was kind of in my blood.

I knew that one day I will be having something of my own. A startup.

Thats how dAppStudio was born. 🙂