Published: 12/16/2020

Good morning, it's Wednesday and I'm glad this week has been a little more chill news wise as we move into Christmas and New Years week. The one piece of news I say yesterday that intrigued me was the report that Peter Thiel's SPAC is considering a merger with the Indonesian eCommerce company Tokopedia. And as promised yesterday, here's my thoughts on the startup ecosystem's crab mentality & somewhat related thoughts on Gen Z founders and building in public. Apologies if this just sounds like a rant, but it has just been on my mind recently.

➡️ I think the thing that annoys me most about the Indian startup ecosystem is the fact that we don't celebrate founders and entrepreneurs enough- it seems like the only time we congratulate founders is when they raise capital and the congratulations are for raising the capital, not building the company.

➡️ On top of this founders who've been at it for years and have built great businesses are often met with a lot of hate. I'm not saying I've not done it myself at all- I'm just as if not guiltier than a lot of other folks but know that it's much easier to talk shit on a company or founder than do what they do. But the main difference I see in the American and Indian ecosystems is that in the US we have founders we celebrate and the general vibe of the ecosystem is much more positive.

➡️ But on that front, the next generation of founders are building in public and building a community and movement around their companies. This makes folks feel like a part of their companies' itself and thus it is easier to celebrate and cheer them on. Raj, the founder of Stoa School, puts it best, "We're not building in public, we're building with the public. We're here to give a face and a voice to a movement that's long overdue. People are frustrated with how educational institutions have failed to keep up with the times." ➡️ Building in public also has other benefits especially when done in a genuine manner- "It has allowed us to create communities with whom we learn from everyday - folks are generous with their time because we are authentic in the public domain" says Rahul (Founder of BimaPe).

➡️ Both Raj and Rahul have taken a unique approach in running and building their companies in a very public matter and it certainly helps that they are largely building consumer companies and are able to engage with potential users, investors (and even haters) very directly.

➡️ Besides just building in public, I'm very bullish on the next generation of founders coming out of India especially from what I've seen in 2020. We have college dropouts, new graduates and even founders in college thoughtfully starting and running their companies much earlier who are doing phenomenal things- Hell we even have a company founded by two 22 year olds building a satellite imagery company called Pixxel Space!!

➡️ Another Gen Z founder, Shiv (Kaching) has a slightly different take on things- "Irrespective of the access, information, and capital that the internet has unlocked for young founders — the wave of newly minted young founders with no experience is dicey. Founders would be better off with a couple years experience in the real/startup world either via skipping college to work somewhere, or hands-on internships during college" but also acknowledges massive change since 2015 where Gen Z founders feel confident in starting companies.

➡️ Young founders have done phenomenal things in US previously- Stripe, Brex and Scale are just a couple of the companies founded by founders in their teens or early twenties and I'm excited to see how the current crop of Gen Z founders shape the future of India.

Also want to give a quick shoutout to Raj, Rahul and Shiv- I'm a huge fan of them and the companies they're building :) ➡️ Raj - https://twitter.com/kunksed - https://stoaschool.com/

➡️ Rahul - https://twitter.com/Rahul_J_Mathur - https://bimape.com/

➡️ Shiv - https://twitter.com/shivsg97 - https://kaching.co.in/

Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/anmolm_/status/1339058829040865281

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