My Failures

A representation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka...Image via WikipediaMy first step into tech entrepreneurship was in the late 90s. I was not the leader of the team, but I was a founding member of a team, lead by an Indian American woman out of Philadelphia, that was trying to build the top South Asian community online.

The company raised 25 million dollars round two and dutifully succumbed to the dot com bubble burst. What ensued was a nuclear winter.

She suggested I drop out of college. I should have. It is not like I was having fun in Kentucky: I hated the place after my first year. Over a year after I left promising to come back after graduation, the thing had already disappeared.

Around the same time I teamed up with a high school student who was working on a better alternative to AllAdvantage. AllAdvantage paid you money while you surfed the web as long as you had the ad bar at the bottom of your screen. I was to polish up all he had, and I was to go around pitching, online, and raise some money. The guy burned 20,000 dollars of his mother's money. He did have a basic pre-launch.

But then the nuclear winter hit and it is like suddenly people were shaken from their dreams, violently. He dropped everything and went to Duke.

Around the same time I started thinking along the lines of my IC vision. At one point I found myself interacting with this Indian Vice President of a top venture capital firm that I met in a discussion forum at the Red Herring site. That forum felt like what Quora feels today. He got excited but then realized I did not have a basic product, no prototype. He cooled off. The nuclear winter hit not long after.

Eric Schmidt's Cloud Computing And My IC Vision

When I finished college in May 2001, I was absolutely rudderless. I had no idea what I was going to do next. I did not even know what city I was going to move to until a few days before I needed to leave. I had no job plans. I had no career plans. I had no grad school plans. I was literally stunned by the nuclear winter. The whole thing fucking collapsed.

I floundered for a few years. I saw all of America. I hit the road.

Hitting The Road

Then I moved to New York City in the summer of 2005 with the express intention of working to launch my IC company. The highlight of the first few months were to meet someone who knew Bill Gates before he became Bill Gates. The guy was now working to launch an incubator.

But the motherfucking king of Nepal had pulled a coup in February 2005 and I found myself helplessly sucked into becoming the only Nepali in America to work full time for Nepal's democracy movement. What is happening across the Arab world first happened in Nepal. 2006, baby. That was followed by the Madhesi movement in Nepal. Then Obama showed up. And I am like, fuck. I felt the need to respond to 500 years of world history.

Brooklyn And Santogold/Santigold

While I was doing the Obama thing, I started to finally put some time into my IC idea. The goal was to raise 100K round one. The first 12K was ridiculously hard to raise. The final 85K happened rather swiftly. I did raise the money. The idea was to get working on it full time after Obama won the primary because the primary was the real fight, I saw he was a shoo in for the November election. He did not much need me in November. But my political enemies in the city decided to come after me. They had me disappear for six months. My investors walked away in February 2009.

For everyone else it was the Great Recession. For me it was that but primarily the Great Immigration Humiliation.

A few months back they gave me the papers. And I have been working on my microfinance startup. I am more excited about this than I was about the IC startup.

I am a political person who is not a politician. There is a reason the US presidency fascinates me. It is the ultimate executive office. I need to feel the speed of a tech entrepreneur. I am too impatient to be a legislator. I am so not a politician. Politics is to me what sailing is to Larry Ellison. I take it rather seriously, but it is not my career.

The founder of Manhattan For Obama said at an Upper East Side party in 2007 at the apartment of a Harvard Law School classmate and later law firm colleague and family friend of Barack that the US constitution should be changed so I could some day run for president. He was a little off. I am not someone who is a tech entrepreneur because he does not have the option to be president. I really am a tech entrepreneur. I feel the need for speed.

The Google/Facebook Of Microfinance

The idea is to become whole. I am a Third World Guy. My life, my career belongs to my people. I am who I am. I have to do the tech entrepreneur thing. That is the best way for me to reach out to my people.

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