Sunday, June 23, 2013

One Month into the New Chapter

Cannot believe that it has been a month since I packed up my things, hop onto a plane, and move to a non-English speaking country. In the words of Michelle Tanner, "You're Nuts."

Lifestyle has been the biggest change but I have learned a lot about myself, the importance of family and being cautious about what I waste, such as food, products, and plastic bags. Definitely components that I will be bringing into the 1ME company environment one day, 1ME will not be your traditional office that I can promise you.

The past week, the team missed the deadline to introduce MeSocial to the big boys but there were dependencies that were out of our control. I was not going to push out an unfinished product update since this will be their first impression of MeSocial and those first impressions are important. However, we are looking to push it out early this week so both the development and marketing teams have my drop-dead deadline. This is it. I’m excited to share the new features, a speedier flow, and updated look to both our current beta users and to the new ones!

Another realization I came to this past week was to push what my ultimate vision of what I want to see MeSocial back until next year. It was a difficult decision since the main reason I came out to India was to work on version 2.0. There is a lot more work that needs to be done and I’m not happy until we can establish MeSocial to what it is, the ultimate social media management tool. I need to build our user base and gain their trust and respect before I can move MeSocial to the next level.

From the India perspective, we are getting acquainted here, got my first haircut and I’m not bald! The house maid still does not say anything to us, she slaps the wall a couple times to get our attention, we exchange some hand signals, and something gets done, haha. I’m going to change my diet as well, I have gorged on enough high carb foods these past couple of weeks. I was able to find some raw almonds and cashews, so that combined with an apple,I have a low carb, protein packed dinner.  Ba (Gopal’s Grandmother) has “trained” me to make her coffee in the mornings, grab the newspaper, and starting today, check her blood sugar level since she has diabetes. Yep, you can add caretaker to my resume, but kidding aside, I’m glad I can provide her some help! Thinks she likes it and is always impress with my speedy and consistent delivery, haha. At some point, I hope we can throw a trip to Bombay for a weekend, but who knows. 

This will be my last post for a while since the next couple of weeks will be busy. I need to focus on MeSocial, the company, and figure out what is next…

TT Advice: Be hard on people not because you are a complete ass but rather because you want to make them better by setting a level of expectation. Being a great professional, leader, and human being, is the ability to grow people. However, the level of expectation should be achievable, not too easy and not relentless. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

[Q&A Time] Let's Catch Up?

So... it has been almost a month now since I have left the country and it has been a crazy ride so far. I miss my friends and most importantly, bacon, ribs, and steak, basically anything with a face, haha. With the time difference, the only time I have been able to catch up with people is through Facebook.

It is about time that YOU and I chatted, post your questions (about anything) in the comments section below and I will reply back. Or just share some news with what is going on back in the States with YOU! Hope to hear from you guys.

TT Advice: Risk it all, only then you will know what you are capable of doing.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Look Forward, Push Harder

After a 15-day campaign, we have reached our goal for the 1ME Angel Fund! As I go through the list of contributors, I'm surprised by the unexpected, humbled by the past, and sad about the missing. Like I told Richard, "Support comes in various ways, always by action, so remember those people as you work on this venture." This fund is only a part of the support as we continue to LOOK FORWARD. What an exciting start to the week and I'm even more excited to welcome the following Angels into the 1ME Family (in alphabetical order):

Alayna Ryan
Alex Andrussier
Alexander G Gac
Alexander Sultan
Allison Moore
Amber Desiderio
Amy Kelley
Andrew Speese
Angel Rosa
Angela Ragan
Benjamin Fetrow
Bruce Orvis
Chris Ciraolo
Chris Pye
Derek Ku
Dev Sharma
Diana Carey
Harsh Patel
James MacDonald
Jason Weinstein
Jay Mistry
Joe Gandolfo
John LeVering
Kathryn Lapid
Kirill Gourov
Laura Ager
Liat Buchnik
Lindsey Rames
Lisa Calandriello
Maryann Kuriakose
Matthew McMaster
Megan Chiu
Melissa Scates
Michael Heer
Navjot Lachhar
Ronni Tan
Roro Chen
Stephanie Marie
Stephanie Potter
Tamisha Jackson
Todd Crespo
Tyler Robertson
Valentino Lapid
Victoria Ku
Wayne Cheng
Wilson Chow

As family members, you all will always have VIP status in our books and no matter where this company takes us, you will have front row seats! Supporters come first, that is my promise to you.

This past week, we teamed up with WebEngage, a start-up company, to make our feedback system better (which was just a Google form). With the WebEngage application, we can gather better feedback by allowing you to attach an image of the issue and notifying you of new functionality! Please share your thoughts, remember, MeSocial is a system built for everyone by everyone!

Continuing the momentum, this week is important to us as we are looking to launch MeSocial outside of our networks, by introducing our first product to the tech websites and bloggers. They are heavy hitters so I'll be a nervous wreck waiting to hear any feedback. I have warned both the development and the marketing teams that the next couple of weeks will be a roller coaster, I will not only PUSH HARDER but I will expect more. Why? Because I need to know if I should continue MeSocial or cut the cord. It scares me but I believe in the team and in MeSocial, we just have to get "there" FAST.

In India, we had our first taste of the monsoon season a couple of days ago. As I was leaving the gym with a local friend, Rahul, we saw that the streets were flooded to knee high levels, how long were we in the gym for?! So what did we do? We parked the car on high ground and tread through the water back home! It was a bit exhilarating to run through the water like a 5-year old, as long as you do not fall into it, haha. Remarkably, it was gone the next day when the sun came out, barely any sign of the night before. Going to be interesting for us as we move into this season.

TT Quote Pick: "An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it." -Roy Ash

Sunday, June 9, 2013

First Week in India - DONE

Cannot believe we have been in India for over a week now! It has been crazy hot (average of 105) since we have been here. We are expecting another week or so of this before hitting the monsoon season which means mosquitoes. Glad we have our malaria medicine!

This past week we met with our development team face-to-face and I'm really excited to be working together in one location now. Communication and translation of ideas and issues is so much better than chat or email. In addition, we have added new features, based on user feedback (so keep them coming!), to MeSocial which will set our product farther apart! Cannot wait to highlight them in the coming weeks.

With the departure of our finance guy, I have been going over our books and teaching myself Quickbooks so that we can track our expenses. I have done more company work than product development work this week which I do not like. This is what I get for trying to start a company and a product at the same time.

From the India front, the cost of living here is ridiculously cheap, what can I get with $500 a month? Well, here you go:
-Maid and cleaning service
-Food prepared fresh daily, lunch and dinner, Monday - Friday
-Gym membership

Richard and I have been slowly emerging ourselves into the food and culture. The food here is absolutely amazing, it is fresh, natural, and spicy! Since it is the hot season, mangoes are abundant so we have been eating them in different forms: fresh, lassi (blended yogurt with water), ice-cream, sauces, chutney and juice. Did I mention we have been on a vegetarian diet?! And having chai tea throughout the day has been a part of our day, it surely beats coffee! The culture here is very family oriented and everyone is treated as an extended family member. Ba (term means "Grandmother") treats us as if we are her own and both Gopal's Uncles and Aunts have been nothing but helpful and accommodating to us. They have shown us sites, help us setup the 1ME office, and fed us until we say "Bus" (pronounced "Baas") which means "no more." I am truly grateful and appreciative to be able to move into a new country and to come "home" to this family, what a start for our new venture! Could not have done this without our good friend, 1ME supporter, and AKPsi brother: Gopal Shah!

DON'T FORGET: Join and be a part of the 1ME family, contribute to our 1ME Angel Fund! It is the only fund that works to pay you back plus some and also contributes 5% of the fund collection to a charity! Campaign ends 6/15!

TT Quote Pick: “It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” - J. K Rowling

Thursday, June 6, 2013

[VIDEO] 1ME's First "Office" Tour

So I wanted to give you guys a quick tour of the space we have been working in, the ad hoc office we had set up to work with our development team. The main reason we moved to India was to collaborate with the team face-to-face.

Also, if you want join and be a part of the 1ME family, contribute to our 1ME Angel Fund! It is the only fund that works to pay you back plus some and also contributes 5% of the fund collection to a charity! Campaign ends 6/15!

Sit back, enjoy the tour, and share your thoughts!

TT Advice: "Workout, no excuses, JUST DO IT. It does not have to be lifting or running, find something and just move your body and sweat. Adrenaline reduces stress and refreshes the mind. Do not have time? Workout in the morning since you have more control over it then after work (late night projects and happy hours, ring a bell?). Plus, the gym is not crowded in the morning like it is after work. Not a morning person? Get over it, it will take about 2 weeks for your body to reset itself and get into a routine. Trust me, been there, done that. Nothing wakes up the body like some sweat! So in summary, shake that ass!"