Through Aug-Sep 2021, I’ve been enjoying working from CMDX.
My general mission in life is to be helpful to people building products that have a positive impact on the world. If you're building something awesome, I'd love to chat: firstname.lastname@example.org 🤖
Some time stamped thoughts on my experience with COVID-19
Thinking about COVID-19
What if under 30 people start self-quratining at home prior to even getting tested?
$5k Angel Investments: Uber Seed
Yes, $5k checks existed even on Uber’s cap table.
Potential Startup Ideas for 2020
Some thoughts on Christmas from a coffee shop. A lot of these are problems I’ve been thinking about or directly encountered. International Visa Management If you’re North American/European, this might not be as big a problem for you but if you’re not the process of getting visas is terrible.If anyone is building a plaid for…… Continue reading Potential Startup Ideas for 2020
Books read by Varadh in 2019
Thinking Critically: My Time at Opendoor
Over the last couple of months I’ve moved away from leading a cross-functional team to doing IC work remotely (will be a separate post later). As I’m a little more distant from the business (geography & nature of what I’ve been spending time on for the last month or so) I was trying to articulate…… Continue reading Thinking Critically: My Time at Opendoor
Real World Experiences: Vallea Lumina
My experience at Vallea Lumina in Whistler, BC
Challenging Oneself – Hiking 🥾
Some of you might be familiar with a monthly hiking group that I organized for most of 2018. As a part of organizing anything you tend to get a good amount of requests, comments, and questions. For the hiking group, one of the common comments / requests has always been: “this hike looks so hard,…… Continue reading Challenging Oneself – Hiking 🥾
For some time there have been Indian companies building SaaS products and selling it across the world (Zoho/Freshworks/etc.) but we’re now starting to see global companies thinking about how to sell and price their products in India. While India’s nowhere near the next top destination for selling SaaS in terms of short-term revenue opportunities, rough…… Continue reading Crossborder SaaS
Simple Advice for Good Health
The best advice is the simplest. The simplest advice is the hardest to follow. This has roughly been my take away from the last week where I’ve been in and out of the hospital 🏥 on what I need to do to deal with my situation but also most health related ones: Sleep enough Eat…… Continue reading Simple Advice for Good Health
Switching from Audible to Scribd…^ Some Links Related to Audio
When somebody mentions “audiobook” there’s a high probability you’d probably think of the Amazon-owned entity, “Audible”. I, too, did for the longest time. I didn’t even think anyone else offered audiobooks. Plus, I’ve been on an Audible annual subscription for about two years now. Tweeting on something related to this, Jackson tweeted back basically saying:…… Continue reading Switching from Audible to Scribd…^ Some Links Related to Audio
Looking Back at a Succesful Project & Team
In H2 of 2017, at Opendoor we encountered a problem with came with a small threat: it could force us to shut down a market we operated in (low probability) but not nailing it might potentially disrupt or pause operations in all other states we were “live” in should it not be solved. It had…… Continue reading Looking Back at a Succesful Project & Team
Life Update: Two Years @ Opendoor
Two years ago, I had a deadline hanging over my head to find a new job and renew my visa. Two years ago, I walked into Opendoor SF for the first time with a new job and mostly afraid of how I’d fit into a 200-person company having just wrapped up an adventure at a…… Continue reading Life Update: Two Years @ Opendoor
Looking Back: How Did I End Up at Opendoor?
It’s been almost 2 years since I joined Opendoor and what an incredible ride it’s been. Looking at my notes from Nov-Dec’16, here’s the story. Starting things is my default, whether it was thinking about how to capitalize on the fish wire craze in middle school or starting companies with friends after college. So when…… Continue reading Looking Back: How Did I End Up at Opendoor?
Transparency at Startups: My Experience at Opendoor
When on vacation a few weeks ago I was reflecting on what are some things I love about Opendoor and Transparency as a value rose to the top. Transparency has always seemed like one of those things that’s a no-brainer to follow and I’m grateful to see the steps we’ve taken at Opendoor to put…… Continue reading Transparency at Startups: My Experience at Opendoor
At Opendoor, there’s a healthy default towards transparency. While we are a Slack-heavy company, we still use email a good amount–especially for communicating with external parties. However, email and transparency aren’t something that goes hand-in-hand, unless you’re Stripe I II. Luckily, BCC can be used to build openness and keeping relevant internal parties in the…… Continue reading BCC Protection
DBX’s S-1: Bottom’s Up SaaS
The first companies that come to mind as one thinks about users as the gateway into an organization are Dropbox and Slack. While their individual mechanics are different, they’re very good at getting users to join orgs that then pay. In addition to building a 10x better product, they have the strong brand & community…… Continue reading DBX’s S-1: Bottom’s Up SaaS
Keyboard Shortcuts: The Blue Bubbles of Apps & Websites
iMessage is a default messaging service on top of SMS on the iPhone where your messages to a sender appear in blue bubbles as long as the other person has an iPhone (yes, even if you don’t sign into your iCloud). If you message a sender who doesn’t have one, DISASTER occurs–your messages are now…… Continue reading Keyboard Shortcuts: The Blue Bubbles of Apps & Websites
Catching Up Doesn’t Have To Suck
One of the hardest things for me to do is playing catch up. This doesn’t refer to something new that I am curious about or want to become good at–it’s about catching up on things that I used to be good at or something I have lost momentum on. I have always felt a…… Continue reading Catching Up Doesn’t Have To Suck
Product of the Week: Wells Fargo Card-Free ATM
A few weeks ago, I saw an interesting billboard by Wells Fargo near one of the first few exit ramps of the freeway after crossing into San Francisco via the Bay Bridge. The billboard illustrated Wells Fargo’s latest consumer experience/offering – Card Free ATM Access. I was excited because this was one of those product ideas…… Continue reading Product of the Week: Wells Fargo Card-Free ATM
What If You Had Bought $AAPL instead of Apple?
I could barely sleep last night so I decided to head to my desk and do a fun project: How much money would you have today if you had purchased the $AAPL stock instead of buying the Apple Product? I do recognize the bias of picking the company that has generated the more shareholder value…… Continue reading What If You Had Bought $AAPL instead of Apple?
Experiment: Personal Finance
Congratulations to some startup at Battery and Pine on the new round.— Parker Thompson (@pt) September 3, 2016 There were some really fun/good replies to this tweet that was referring to how recently funded startups but super expensive chairs. The one reply that stood out to me was a link to this post written by Tren Griffin…… Continue reading Experiment: Personal Finance
Not In Control
In the world of startups and entrepreneurship, we, almost religiously, believe that if we work hard, work with talented people, and get traction, then we’ll come out “victorious”. Given the general optimistic nature of being a founder, when looking forward, we tend to brush the uncertainty under the rug and assume that outcomes are fully in our…… Continue reading Not In Control
Early Stage Startup Recruiting
Last September, I had the opportunity of spending a few hours with a family friend who had been in the banking industry for over twenty years. I think I met him a once growing up but this particular trip to New York allowed me to spend quality one-on-one time with him. He shared lots of…… Continue reading Early Stage Startup Recruiting
Bruin Entrepreneurs: Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Ecosystem
Two night ago, I attended the 2nd UCLA Student + Alumni Entrepreneurs Dinner. Last time I was here, a year ago, the event was my baby at Bruin Entrepreneurs for which we had raised some money from, the ever supporting, UCLA VC Fund, to host! The only difference was this year, I was back as…… Continue reading Bruin Entrepreneurs: Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Ecosystem
Selling Textbooks at UCLA
Earlier today, I tried to sell a few textbooks that had been lying on my desk to see if I could make a few bucks for them before I move up to Mountain View. The process turned out to be harder than I expected. Given, the incentives of the system don’t encourage reselling of books…… Continue reading Selling Textbooks at UCLA
Learning From Passes
Diagram. 1 In the last year, I have been quite lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time being on the VC side and the startup side. Particularly, learning about the other side when not being in that role! However, while it is definitely too early to say that I can view things from both…… Continue reading Learning From Passes