The Underdog


A wise man once told me that “talk is cheap, it is all about your actions”. Since then I have never thought otherwise. I lived by those words. Growing up I always wanted those feelings of execution, innovation, success and hustle that I saw in that man’s eyes. Having that “never-quitting” mind-set is something that man instilled in me at a young age. He never pushed me, motivated me, pressured me, forced me to do anything, he just led by his actions.

But I never saw the BIG PICTURE. Once upon a time I was an athlete, I would always get so upset when he couldn’t show up to a game/match. I just wanted him to be proud of me. It only took till after my athletic career ended where I realized that he couldn’t be there. He had to work to provide for my family and I. He had to make these sacrifices to give me everything I had, the education, the places I have gone. It just speaks volumes. How could you ever repay someone that gave their life for you? Well, let me tell you.

When I arrived at Harvard I met my two best friends, Karthik who is a Computer Science major and Daniel who is an Economics major like myself. Now, if you know me you know I grew up on basketball, sneakers and rap music. It was my escape. So who would have ever thought my two best friends in college would be two un-athletic, geeky pure geniuses. It just wasn’t my cup of tea for 18 years. Now, no disrespect D&K, I love you boys. It was just something so different, but I liked it. All three of us were super involved in the stock market. That was definitely what kept us together. I mean, if your friends are helping you make money I strongly encourage never leaving them.

After a long summer, we started working on StockList. After some terrific progress we decided to go out and raise a seed round. Now, when you do not know a single person is VC (Venture Capital) let me tell you how you get in contact with them. COLD EMAIL. On average we sent 1500–2000 emails a week. Out of that group we would get 60–80 responses. 30–40 sounded something like this, “Thank you, but still a bit early for our firm”. Then the others we would actually hop on a phone call or schedule a meeting to meet with them in person. Then on the call or in person they would say something like “we are too early from a investment standpoint, but let’s stay in contact”. But it was fine, it is the price you pay being 20 year old entrepreneurs. The hustle, the grind and that never giving up attitude was something we all shared, we really complemented one another. Now, this is not some wanna be Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) success story. We haven’t made it…Yet.

So, back to that person I want to pay back? The man that is witnessing his son start a company at 20. I get to see the happiness in his eyes. It makes him proud and makes me realize how blessed I am to do it everyday. That man is my hero who happens to also be my father. When the world was against him he proved everyone wrong, time and time again. Now, me? Well, I am still working on it. So for now I guess I’m just the underdog. Just like I’ll always be.

Peace & Love as I listen to Meek’s new mixtape,