One month at Interviewstreet.

Joined InterviewStreet a month back. We are now a fast moving Y-Combinator startup, team of 5 (Anand, Hari, Vivek and Yuvi and myself). And we were featured on Techcrunch.

Following are few of my observations.

  1. Life in a startup is fast. It might sound cliche, but it really is fast.
  2. Customer is the king. One will end up doing what the customer needs. I had tough time adjusting to this. But the truth is, if your code doesn’t sell there is no point if its the best code ever. That said, crappy code doesn’t stay. Do as best as possible and try to write it optimally in the time available. A feature that user does not need or does not understand is not worth developing.
  3. Don’t ever fail on your USP.
  4. Customer support could be your USP. I never realized this before.
  5. No matter how awesome your code is, one single wrong query can screw up your life.
  6. Testing gets a new meaning. Along with speed comes more chances of breaking in production. Make sure to test the way the customer uses your site and not how you want them to use it. Break fast but fix faster.
  7. It was tough saying no to a lot of people. You get almost no time for yourselves in a startup in its high growth phase. Emotionally its a roller coaster.
  8. Sleep is for sissies.
  9. There is definitely a big high in pushing your code to production and seeing a satisfied customer in the next five minutes
  10. The lows are as big as the high’s in a start up and some times it is too overwhelming to handle . Keep the bigger picture in mind that you are trying to change something in this world. If that does not motivate enough, then entrepreneurship is not the answer.
  11. Last but not least, with my heart in programming, its tough to be an entrepreneur. Quite simply it sucks at times. But this is a new experience and I am still getting used to it. Something says, I am going to like it very much
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23 thoughts on “One month at Interviewstreet.

    • I think this is a trade off that most startups make early and *i* personally believe it is ok for the first few months or couple of quarters. The time to market is a better thing to have than the perfect code.

      Quality of team makes a big difference here but if you are not breaking things then you proably aren’t moving fast enough :).

      Great learning’s though. Congrats to the team and i hope the good times have only just begun 🙂

      • Agree with time to market being a better thing to have than quality code. I have experienced it myself 🙂

        Having a good team initially ensures that there is awareness of the technical debt incurred in writing non-optimal code, and a chance that it will be cleaned up later. Otherwise, you are stuck with a bad, unmaintainable codebase and people who don’t care that it’s bad.

  1. Great post, thanks for putting this up. All points worth considering, besides some of these things are super-new, specially 2,4,5,8. 4 is something that has never occurred to me.

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