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On to the next chapter

In experience, startups by satya

After 4 years of an exhilarating ride, the NextPrinciples train came to a halt last month. Our product was acquired by Insightpool and I have decided to move on to the next chapter of my professional life.

This was my first entrepreneurial attempt ever and began almost 5 years ago when I decided that, though I was fortunate to have had 15 very interesting years at SAP, I needed to do something different.

The only way I could get started was by making a clean exit from my job and figuring out what I wanted to do. So, I left a relatively ‘cushy’ job (which led to many friends calling me nuts) and started exploring ideas.

I have always been fascinated by the world of CRM and despite what some of the larger vendors claim, I believed (and still do) that there’s a lot of innovation left at the table. So, using my ‘design thinking’ skills, I spent about 8 months talking to practitioners in Sales and Marketing teams to find out the current lay of the land.

I will write more in detail later but the short form of the story is that this led to the creation of NextPrinciples to help companies make business sense of social media and integrate social channels with their traditional customer facing ones.

I was humbled by the support that I got – from customers (ranging from large multi-nationals to other startups), investors, advisors, partners, service providers and last but not least from the team of incredibly dedicated professionals who knew how to work hard and play hard. A sincere thanks to all of you – you know who you are!

For the team, it was a crazy roller-coaster ride – the highs were very high and the lows were very low and there were many days where we swung between multiple highs and lows in the course of 12 hours.

In summary, it has been an incredibly rich learning experience. I have been asked on multiple occasions whether I regret the decision to leave a large company and go through the grind of a startup – my answer is always “NO!”.

I hope to share some of my learnings over the last 5 years via future blog posts. If you are a first time entrepreneur and have a particular question you would like me to answer, please let me know.