Whom to trust in the startup world

Everyone is a ninja in technology. Ninjas are silent assassins. In the tech startup world, we have loud ninjas. Those Japanese cartoons sure distorted reality for our engineers when they were children.Everyone knows someone. Or they pretend they know someone. It’s like being a producer in the music world. Everyone is a producer in the music business.


In Sanskrit there is a framework called Sach -Thit -Anand .Say something only if it is true, if it is necessary and only if it brings joy.

What does the confused kid in the tech startup world say to the grey haired enthusiastic positive energy exuding friend who is meeting him for coffee.

  • Can you help me code? No
  • Can you help me sell? Uhmm
  • Can you help me with your time and money? Sure. I will just take 7.5 % of your soul.

I see many tech startup founders. They all tell me of meetings that could have gone better if people just got up and said Fuck You. Fuck you is the abracadabra of the tech startup world.  It cuts the bullshit much faster. okay, maybe it is too rude for canada and japan.

The default instinct in humans is to survive. We survived dinosaurs and mammoths and ice ages by not trusting our environment.  Zuckerberg made it big by not trusting his advisors who told him to sell for a cool billion dollars to Yahoo. He ruined the whole trust people things for the rest of us though. Now everyone thinks they are the next Zuck even though the laws of probability give you a clear indication you are not even a Musk or Theil or a Brin.

“buyer’s remorse,” a feeling of regret after a substantial purchase, but sellers can also get cold feet. When this happens, the seller panics and decides not to sell when a prospective buyer makes an offer.  https://goo.gl/YTdpFl

Risk aversion- thats what the shrinks call it. In economics and finance, risk aversion is the behavior of humans (especially consumers and investors), when exposed to uncertainty, to attempt to reduce that uncertainty. That’s the copy and paste from Jimmy Wales startup. Artists steal. Bloggers are artists.

Seller’s remorse breaks more deals in the tech startup world. Maybe they can make a Viagra or a Prozac to normalize your paranoia to deal with seller’s remorse.

So whom should you really really trust?

Trust the data. Dont depend on the dog to do the homework. How did the previous startup founders feel about the new advisor / investor. What is the maximum HAPPINESS and ANGUISH he brings in a deal. Dont go for deal size. Go for pain size he brings.

Trust your instincts. Its your startup and Zuck said it- You are the CEO, Bitch.

Trust in the ecosystem, but lock up your stock options with research and cunning and stalling and voting and non voting shares.

Trust in God, Lock Your Algorithm. Unless you want to commit suicide like the founder of Victoria’s secret. Unless you want to be fired by your Board like Steve Jobs 1985. Unless you the money bags and the no so shy locks to walk away with your baby on their arms while you drive you car back to the sub urb of middle class mediocricity.

The paranoid survive in the tech world. BE paranoid of technology not of people. They are just doing their jobs, and everyone has a kid to feed.

When the shouting and the negotiating is over, be a gentleman, and buy people a chocolate cookie. Trust me, cookie sharing gives you a high ROI. Trust people to help you and watch the amazing magic hand of Adam Smith’s capitalism blow you away. There is no charge on awesomeness.





Author: Ajay Ohri


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: