Friday, July 06, 2007
I have spent the last two years on a rollercoaster ride and for most part, you have all been with me. You have seen my thought process go from sniffing at Venture Capital, to being committed to VC, to getting opportunities in VC in the Bay Area, to veering off towards startups and finally getting to this point.
I am going to start working as a Product Manager at Google. I have debated this opportunity along with the others that I had for a long time. I spent time talking to VCs, entrepreneurs, people here, people in India, parents, girlfriend among others, and finally decided this is the most exciting next step for me at this point.
Why Product Management at Google
A veteran VC friend of mine once said to me, "Being a Product Manager at Google is the closest you can get to being the CEO of a small startup without being the CEO of the small startup."
And one day, I intend to be the CEO of a small startup.
Because that is the only operating role that I applied to. The only job in a large, fast growing company that could entice me from Venture Capital and other startups.
And because I do have to learn what they have to teach. For all the experience, I am still a startup myself. I have not taken a product from concept to launch till date, and this is my shot at learning it from the best.
Because the network of amazing engineers and business types that I will make, will be as useful to me as my Wharton experience has been.
And finally, because I believe in the company and the sector I will be working in. For most part, it is the one place (other than my own startup) that will make me feel excited about getting to work (at this point of my life).
What happened to Venture Capital?
I got a few offers in the space. They were all good solid firms. But I had my concerns as I didn't want a position that would:
- Lock me into a niche sector or a nice role
- Hinder my chances at being in the best place in whatever field I was (Venture Capital in this case)
- Not provide me with the relevant mentorship to grow. And by mentorship, I mean exposure to growth opportunities, and not handholding
A lot of my offers failed on one criteria or the other. Even though they were fantastic jobs and fantastic stepping-stones for a good career. At the end of the day, I had to make a call on the choices I had, and I did.
What happens to this blog?
Nothing. It is still my intention to be a VC one day. Not just in the near future. In fact, I do not fancy looking for a VC job. I think the right one will probably find me if I am good enough. Do expect the content to be a bit more operational in the near future. I am still around cutting edge products, people, entrepreneurs and of course, VCs. So I will keep penning down my thoughts as usual.
Some things, like the tagline of this blog for instance, will have to change.
The last four months have been very enlightening for me. I wanted something and wanted it badly. I got it. Then when I was faced with a real decision, I realised that I was happy to leaving them on the table. Maybe I will make a little less money in the short term, but as the say in the MasterCard ad, learning how to build and lauch a product, priceless! So I changed course midway and here I am.
The Lesson: It is important not to lock into something so hard that you forget what you really want. What I really want is to be immensely successful and immensely happy. And Venture Capital is one way to it.
For those of you who are thinking of MBA, hopefully my thought process helps you clear things about the MBA experience (and what to get out of it) a bit. For the aspiring VCs, hopefully it helps understand the process to getting a position and how to go about deciding on the opportunities. For the others, you can continue to enjoy a ringside view of my loony life.
The rollercoaster ride goes on.
The next post will be a wrap-up on my Wharton experience. Something a few of you have asked me to blog on.
Posted by Punit Soni's Adventures in VCland at 5:59 PM