Time flies! As if in a blink of an eye, 18 months have gone by since I wrote a blog post. So much has happened in this time, that I may have enough to write on for a while. In a nutshell, the following were important (in chronological order).
- 2009 – My plans to restart my higher education did not quite work out. In the process I realized an education like MBA would not particularly benefit me and would end up adding a financial burden that would hinder my entrepreneurial spirits.
- Early 2010 – I started formalizing my ideas towards building a product that would simplify group communication and collaboration. Discussions with friends and seniors were fruitful and early market research indicated a need for this.
- March, 2010 – I quit my job at Gridstone, to concentrate on building Samuday and its business model.
- April, 2010 – Gridstone Research shuts down and sells its assets. This was not surprising, considering the company was doing poorly as a business. I have my views on the Gridstone story and will write about it shortly. I am afraid some of what I think will not be appreciated by a section of people there, but I will neverthless. Interestingly, today completes a year of Gridstone’s closure.
- July, 2010 – Started working on an in-browser communication and collaboration product. I was still alone then. Finding a technology co-founder in Mumbai was tough, considering the strong presence of companies in Finance and the obsession of working for Investment Banks amongst Computer Science graduates.
- October, 2010 – Shadab Ahmed, my good friend and ex-colleague from Gridstone joins Samuday as a co-founder and Head of Technology. We had together built several tools and technologies for Gridstone, including the Search product, a distributed document processing environment and all the other thankless work that people shied away from. I was now able to devote some time to business development.
- November, 2010 – We decide to start with a free version that allows Facebook users do group video chat with their friends and family.
- December, 2010 – Group Video Calling on Facebook goes live. With limited advertisements, we were adding around a user every couple of minutes at peak.
- January, 2011 – The group video calling platform stabilizes. We enhance our infrastructure with a distributed architecture for handling cross geography calls.
- January, 2011 – We work with our users to draw out the requirements for an integrated communication and collaboration platform that integrates group video calling and collaboration tools (documents, whiteboarding, et al.)
- March, 2011 – We deploy an alpha version of uniRow (www.unirow.com).
- April, 2011 – Facebook disables our application in a highly undemocratic manner. We decide to shun Facebook as a platform for all future work, unless Facebook makes its policies consistent and transparent. uniRow gets ready for release. I restart my blog! 🙂
With tons of action, this surely has been a roller coaster ride – it scares you, but thrills you too!