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The day my startup died

Source | LinkedIn : By Sahil Kini

Tuesday, 17th June 2014. I stood staring at the sign which read “MagnetWorks Engineering Pvt. Ltd.” in front of my charming little office in JP Nagar. It was about 4 in the afternoon. The sunlight streamed through the trees in that comforting fashion it tends to on lazy Tuesday afternoons. I choked back tears as I chuckled. Baz Luhrmann’s song “Sunscreen” rang in my ears.

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Stupid fucking song.

I’d spent the last few weeks desperately trying to save my startup and failed. My co-founder had told me point blank that he had no faith in my ability to be the CEO of the company. I called my dad, who’s run a business for nearly 50 years and told him what my co-founder said. He listened patiently and said the words I knew in my heart, but didn’t want to hear:

“Son, sometimes it’s just not our time in life. Cut your losses and live to fight another day.”

I opened my bank account. Bank Balance: Rs. 14,130 it read. Less than 1 months rent. I was getting married to the love of my life in 5 months. Her family had never asked me how much I made. But my minuscule bank balance weighed on me like a ton of bricks.

In that moment I knew: Our Industrial IoT business which started with an ambitious goal of helping factory machines run themselves had just folded with a whimper.

I told my employees, that since the co-founders could no longer work together, we’d have to shut shop. I asked them if they needed help finding another job, but they were all so talented that they had standing offers from several other startups which they’d declined in the past. They’d be fine they said, and I heaved a small sigh of relief.

At least my team would be OK.


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