The excellency of every art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeable evaporate.
~ John Keats
My work makes me travel a lot these days. I hate being on the road. But, the biggest thing that possibly drives me to be on the go, is the fact that I love meeting people. As much as my team would disagree with me on this, I am more of a listener than talker these days.
Be it meetings with prospective or current customers, partners or potential hires – people amaze me. Especially with their thought processes – ranging from dull & boring, to outright funny, to cohesive, to intense … to the very intense kinds. As a company, we have moved fastest on occasions wherever we met intense people – from our angel investor Rajan Anandan (we closed our angel round [Mar, 2011] with IAN in 3 weeks) to the team at Gumtree, eBay Group (we got them onboard WebEngage in one week flat).
As WebEngage continues to grow, a lot of its success gets attributed to me. Fellow entrepreneurs and well-wishers would go a step ahead and link it to my shameless promotions. I urge them not to forget that there’s an equally passionate team working their asses off, silently. Everyday. Add to that, the fact that we have collectively built a product that will, most likely, shape the future of on-site messaging and communication.
Coming back to the topic of this post – being passionate, self-motivated and hard working is one thing. Being intense is another.
Intensity (Image courtsey: Art.com)
A bulk of what I am today, took shape during four years of my engineering education (ISM, Dhanbad) and my work life at Burrp. With an active social-political life in the former to a mafia that I proudly built as the first hire, with two amazing co-founders Deap & Anand in the latter – last 9 years of my life have truly been phenomenal. We used to intensely debate every single product/feature at Burrp. The development team would do night-outs without even asking for. That’s intensity.
At WebEngage, I choose the people I work with. I sit in final rounds of all hiring interviews till date to make sure there’s a cultural fit. I have been disliked by my own team on occasions when I have said NO to technically awesome men and women. I am sure, on many counts, I’ll be proven an idiot as these “disapproved” souls will chart their own success stories. It is not easy to be that truck driver waiting for light at the end of the tunnel. I do my job. With intensity. I do whatever it takes to expedite decision making. Thankfully, I have a co-founder who is diametrically opposite (his name is Ankit and I can’t hyperlink him as he has NO online footprint whatsoever. Shame on you FB/Twitter!). He keeps filling me with data and sane thoughts all the time. He is my method to the madness.
We host entrepreneurs and VCs in our office quite often. Almost everyone compliments us on our nice office. I was amazed to hear it from one that it wasn’t just a compliment on the office space, but also on the energy and intensity that the workplace has. I felt proud that moment. Haven’t seen our office yet? Take a tour.
Intensity is NOT about being vocal or shameless. It is about truly believing in yourself. Intensity comes from knowledge. Intensity comes from taking charge and doing things yourself. Great programmers are the most intense breed I have come across. From Steve Jobs to Elon Musk, the world has believed in doers. While they got their own dose of criticism, the love for their intensity far outnumbers cynicism. Take my advice – be a doer, be intense.
As founders, we don’t build companies or products. We build a culture. I would consider my job done when this company and its cult spreads without me. Its a work-in-progress.
This song has been on my playlist for a few weeks now. I haven’t seen a more intense performance than this one. If you are alien to Hindi, you’d still love it for the music
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