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Say hello to TechSangam 2.0

Pic courtesy bokardo.com
Pic courtesy bokardo.com

When I moved to Bangalore in 2008, I looked around for the “Indian TechCrunch”. There wasn’t one.

Many single author blogs but no standout — either in content or writing style. PluggD.in (if it existed then) was too raw and early stage. In short, I wasn’t impressed and briefly toyed with the idea of throwing my hat in the ring. Which is probably when I acquired the current domain name.

However, I had thrown my hat into a different (corporate) ring. As that spell wore off and I started plotting my escape, my interest (as a blogger) had shifted to social enterprises. After numerous brainstorming sessions with my friend, philosopher and guide (aka “my wife”), I felt that my ‘heart’ was on social enterprises but the ‘head’ was clearly signaling that the ‘audience attention’ was squarely on startups (mostly tech). A pragmatic middle ground was to do both with a 75:25 blend (largely tech-based articles and slowly introduce the ‘world of social enterprises’ to the tech obsessed audience).

This is where theory and practice start to diverge. Having learnt my focus lessons from my Yahoo years, I realized that I’d have to pick the initial area and ‘stay the course’ for a reasonable time before adding anything. Since the social enterprise ecosystem was the one I intended to explore, research and blog about, the broader tech startups category dropped off.

Single or multiple authors

For the briefest of periods, I mulled over this question. The dominant optimist in me thought I was a natural born writer. It would only be a matter of time before I would start cranking out posts on a daily frequency and.. since there would be a ton of topics begging to be written I could co-opt excellent like-minded writers to join the party.

Turns out I was half right. There were indeed very many posts piling up by the dozen but my publishing frequency was nowhere close to daily. Barring a few guest posts and a seven-part series on commodity cooperatives by Dr. Trilochan Sastry, the future of TechSangam’s audience was apparently up to me. And me alone.

Limping at the crossroads

In Aug 2013, when I wrote a different kind of Indian city, I left TechSangam’s existential question hanging in the balance. The blog limped along.. two posts in Aug, two in Sep, one in Dec, one in Jan. In Feb, I wrote the select moments post which could easily be mistaken for a blog obituary.

During this TechSangam lean period, I had not taken a break from blogging. The mGaadi blog chugged away (it HAD to be done, right?) and I somehow found the time to blog about my other passion. Poor li’l TechSangam was being treated as an evil witch’s foster child.

TechSangam 2.0

Against this backdrop, another category of thoughts were noodling in my head. “Startup” thoughts. “Tech startup” thoughts. Learnings from two earlier startups. Learnings from friends’ startups. General technology decisions. Managing multiple tracks in lean startups. Excess capacity utilization. Fundraising stories. Founder stories. Challenges in early stage social enterprises are similar to those at “regular” startups.

I’d like to start sharing some of these stories on TechSangam, in the “Startups” category. Say hello to TechSangam 2.0.