365 Days at Instamojo

It's been more than a year since I joined the gang of badasses at Instamojo. During this one year, Instamojo has come from a being a product-in-making to a product-in-evolution.

We've come from being an MVP to an evolving product used by thousands of people to collect payments online. These persons are from different worlds-they are freelancers, consultants, musicians, craftsmen, teachers, startups, local brands, film festivals, event organisers, media houses, publishers, and many more.

While most are finding online customers to be a major source of their newfound income. Some of our customers just discovered an alternate career by trying out an idea on Instamojo; realising their first entrepreneurial dream.

That's big & utterly satisfying.

But that's just the glamorous side of the startup world. Behind the scenes it's really a crazy world. When the numbers go up, everything that was just a possible edge-case, becomes a probability, and then shit hits the fan. Servers go down at middle of the night. Things needed fixing yesterday. You will cry and no one will hear you… ok I should shut-up.

That's what all entrepreneurs sign-up for.

"Certainty of death, *small* chance of success... What are we waiting for?" — Gimli, The Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkein)

One simply doesn't march on Mordor with a random bunch of people. The fellowship of startups is a rather special group of people. You will hear it echoed throughout the startupverse...

"It's the team!"

Startup people might not be the best of their lot. Other things matter more than their technical skills — ability to take a decisions, ability to handle immense mental pressure, relentlessness, ability to delegate and lead, foresight, instinctiveness and how they fit with everyone else. These traits are honed over the years, in a wide array of experiences. You will notice that most people who work with startups have a variety of interests.

At Instamojo, we have people who have interests & background in chemical industry, photography, sports, consultancy, banking, retail, marketing, gaming, etc. We even have a game watcher! (I couldn't find a better word for a person who watches video game recordings.)

A lot of experience brings a lot of opinions. We are all opinionated people here. And we care about what we build & put out. This often results in heated debates over seemingly unimportant things. But you wouldn't have that if you did't care.

This startup thing is a very personal experience. You can't have personal experiences with people you are not comfortable with. Humour, in my opinion, is the best sign of a healthy team. You can't joke much with people you're not comfortable with. There is constant humour at Instamojo. The amount of insider jokes is beyond count. It comes naturally when you're a happy lot.

I think 'team' is a very clinical word to use for what I am describing here. Family is a better word. It feels like a family. A Mad Family, that too.

"But I Don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here." — Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

There is much to say in detail about this. There is so much happening, and so much yet to happen. I hope to write about things in more details. Until then

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