According to Wikipedia, a startup company is a company with limited operating history. The entry goes on to add,

It may effectively cease to be a startup as it passes various milestones, such as becoming profitable, or becoming publically traded in an IPO, or ceasing to exist as an independent entity via a merger or acquisition. Most startups fail.

The catch here is that most of them fail; however, when they succeed, they do succeed spectacularly!

Y-combinator is a venture firm that specialises in funding startups:

Y Combinator is a new kind of venture firm specializing in funding early stage startups. We help startups through what is for many the hardest step, from idea to company. We invest mostly in software and web services. And because we are ourselves technology people, we prefer groups with a lot of technical depth. We care more about how smart you are than how old you are, and more about the quality of your ideas than whether you have a formal business plan.

So, it is no wonder that one of the partners of Y combinator, Paul Graham, writes about the various aspects of startups in his blog.

Paul Graham is one of the finest writers that I have come across (as is clear from the entries in his blog about good writing, and as any of the articles in his blog would vouch). In this post, I would like to collect some of the startup related posts of Graham. For the rest of the essays (and, I heartily recommend all of them), go here.

  1. Why to not not start a startup
  2. Learning from founders
  3. The 18 mistakes that kill startups
  4. A student’s guide to startups
  5. How to present to investors
  6. Why startups condense in America
  7. How to be silicon valley
  8. The hardest lessons for startups to learn
  9. How to fund a startup
  10. Ideas for startups
  11. How to start a startup

As an even casual glance of these articles would indicate, they are deep, practical and thought-provoking. So, take your time and read through them; and, in case you decide to start a startup, leave us a note here!

PS:- Here are a couple of posts of mine in response to his how to be silicon valley, wondering whether it is possible to duplicate the silicon valley experience in India.


Liz and Arun Nair’s wedding created a lot of brouhaha here in India. So much so in fact that the celebrity couple and their lavish wedding got on people nerves. The local people of Jodhpur were quite inconvenienced. There was resentment because the Mehrangarh fort was closed to the outsiders, including tourists, and also some heart burning because the couple were provided government security at the taxpayer’s expense. There was even a scuffle between the couple’s security guards and reporters and it reminded me of the time that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were here. They created quite a furore when they visited, complete with fights with the media and even the parents of the kids of the school in which they were shooting! Actually, it was their bodyguards who did the fighting, not them, but all of it created such a stink that Brad Pitt did a special interview with NDTV to try and set things right. On restrospect, that was rather sweet of him. But really, celebrities carry this security obsession to an extreme. Why did Liz and Arun need such security? They are hardly big celebrities.

Well, now the Liz and Arun wedding is over, some feel that the wedding has done India a lot of good. More of these rich celebrities might come here to get married…well, thats what they are hoping for. Maybe this will boost international tourism and put India on the ‘wedding’ map….?

And over here the fuss over Liz and Arun isn’t quite over. Vendors are selling the wedding at street corners and traffic lights.


She does look quite the Indian bride doesn’t she?


JesusI’m lost for words on this one. Seriously, this is one of those things that grabs your attention but then your don’t know if it’s bad or good.

From The Hindu:

`Aum Yeshu Christhu ye namah’: there is nothing blasphemous about it if a true Catholic wants to adore Jesus Christ through the Vedic mantra. On January 26, Bishop Stanley Roman of the Kollam diocese of the Catholic Church will inaugurate a Catholic church with a difference. He will celebrate the holy Mass seated in padmasanam posture to declare open the Jagat Jyothi Mandir, a meditation centre constructed by the Quilon Social Service Society (QSSS), at a serene location on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake at Parimanam near here.

Reminding one of Sri Buddha’s Enlightenment, Jesus sits in padmasanam under a tree in the mandir. “The sitting posture represents enlightenment and symbolises a guru.” The statue will be blessed by the Bishop. Above the padmasanam posture is a painting of the Last Supper, but with a difference. Here Jesus and the 12 Apostles sit on the floor with banana leaves spread out to be served with bread and wine. Two traditional lamps (kuthuvilakku) light up the room.

I’m truly lost for words.


IBN LIVE Report -Curtains down on Big Brother show?

The racism controversy involving Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty seems to have dealt a death knell to British television Channel4’s reality show Celebrity Big Brother, with the board of Channel 4 convening on Monday to discuss a possible termination of the seven-year-old reality TV programme.

Has Jade Goody spelt the end of BIG Brother ???

IndianOne of the reasons I ‘knee-jerked’ into setting up ‘The Great Indian Mutiny’ was my national identity. Is every brown skinned person Indian? Can you hold the nationality of a foreign country and still call yourself Indian?

Govindraj Ethiraj has made an excellent post on this topic.

Some 30,000 Indians in Britain are requesting the Indian authorities to protest a British government move that affects their status under the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme (HSMP). The UK move may be unfair but it baffles me (if I were to believe the reports) that these chaps expect our PM to request Tony Blair to give them safe haven and potentially, citizenship, in the the UK !!

I would divide my America bound acquaintances, friends and relatives into roughly two categories. First are those who seek specific opportunity, find it at a location that is not pre-determined and then `settle’ down. Their return is always open-ended, so to speak. These are a minority. The second are those for whom countries like America are fixated, pre-programmed destinations regardless of what they do in India and how.

People should think twice about changing their citizenship. You can’t be India just because of the colour of your skin, fan of bollywood movies, love Sachin, eating Punjabi food or calling yourself desi.

India is a nation. A Republic. Her citizens are Indians, nobody else.

Frankly, I was getting sick of all the weeping Shilpa Shetty was doing on the Big Brother. Why couldn’t she fight back?
Last night, I think she got my message 🙂

Good work Shilpa.

IndianI have four documents to prove that I’m an Indian. A passort, election ID, PAN card and my family ration card. Even though the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) classifies me as a non-resident (for tax purposes), these documents ensure that I can vote, pay lesser for flights, hotels and museums when in India.

Now there is one more. A national identity card. A number that’s unique to you, your photograph, your fingerprint. All will be rolled into a smart card to give you your identity wherever you are in India. That’s what an elaborate exercise, undertaken by the Registrar General of India, promises to roll out March onward in a pilot project to cover 18 lakh-plus people above the age of 18 in 12 states and a Union Territory.

In the works since 2003 — it was the brainchild of the then Union Home Minister L K Advani — the project gathered momentum in 2005 and has now reached a stage where a supervising agency is being short-listed to prepare smart cards and distribute them to 18 lakh-plus “Indians” whose identity has been officially established.

The progress of the pilot project was reviewed at a meeting convened by the Union Home Ministry last week. The cards will have the name, date of birth, place of birth, parent’s name and the citizen’s photograph and fingerprint. A network of card-reading machines across the country, including several at selected border-entry points, can scan these cards to authenticate identity.

The National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, has designed the cards. At the moment, 19 MNIC centres are scrutinizing citizenship details in areas covered by the pilot project. These centres have nearly finalized the list of “citizens” eligible for the cards. “Over 30 lakh people have been covered in these areas and about 18 lakh-plus have satisfied the norms,” a Home Ministry official said. The rest will have another year to furnish necessary papers to satisfy the rules of citizenship.

Assam was initially considered for the pilot project but was left out due to objections from the All Assam Students’ Union. But four tehsils in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir are part of the project. As are Manipur, Goa, parts of Andhra Pradesh and a cluster of villages in Pooth Kalan in north Delhi’s Narela area. Security needs apart, the need for a multipurpose national identity card has been felt for purposes as diverse as applying for a passport or government licences. The ultimate aim — to cover the entire country — is likely to take many years and the government admits as much. Current Census figures put the number of 18-year-olds in India at over 70 crore (that’s 700 million).

So by 2012, when you say, “I’m Indian”, you better have a card 🙂

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