Who Am I ?

Hari Om Vashishtha
May 6, 2018 · 6 min read

The Philosopher, The Ideologist, The Problem Solver, The Inventor, The Entrepreneur in me has woken up.

To know about what changed in me, you’ll need to know who I was.

“I was literally blind but now I can see.” (from Hollywood movie.. Limitless, applies to my scenario to some extent)

My journey started back in 2012 when a friend of mine asked me if I knew web development so we could build something of our own. I had no idea, if and how could we build something of our own. My mind was not trained to look at the things like a product. To be very specific, during my graduation, everyone around was talking about getting a day job, any job.. But just a day job which would help us survive through the so called tough life. So I went into learning the logics and basics of understanding programming and puzzles, though I could just reach the best of my college level as we had no seniors.

So when we started, ofcourse we explored a lot, learnt a lot and made a lot of mistakes. The very first mistake was the biggest blunder, we started as 2 but the other guy was still in his full time job and I was full time into building the product. We could rarely interact inperson so I had to do the coding as well as sales. My learning curve was almost flat since my family had no background of a business and they had no clue what I was doing. Also, I was scared looking at my friends doing good in their day jobs & none could discuss my idea / projects with me.

Fast forward to 2015, I was somebody else. I was exhausted, I was scared for my career. I wasn’t able to look at problems in a way to figure out the solutions. I was looking for a day Job and with failures of my own startups in my bucket with bad selfsales skills, I couldn’t even get a job quickly.

Then, By the end of 2015, Mettl came into picture. My Career’s first day job at a growing startup where it took me over 3 months to figure out my what skill is required to do my job and where do I need to focus. By the end of 2016, I had figured that my current job is not taking me anywhere and Product Management is the best thing I could do since I had been through various phases of a startup. Till mid 2017, I figured my skill set, let me list them out in points: 1. To optimize things using inspiration from other things. 2. To improve existing products using inspiration from other products. 3. To find new ways of doing existing things. 4. To find technical solutions to various problems. 5. And to not give a damn about what others think.

And While searching for my ideal job opportunity, UpGrad Product Management Certification came into picture. Initially felt like a costly affair but realized that it was an investment into myself. Through Upgrad, the agenda was to get the job I am good at but it helped me straighten my thoughts to a great extent. It helped me: 1. To look at various other aspects of being a Product Manager which I had not thought of. 2. To get into depth of things where I had never been to. 3. To work with team in such a way to work with the best skills of everyone & get the most out of it. 4. I got hands on experience on various tasks that a PM does in his daily life. And out of all, the UX got my attention. The nerd inside me now looks at every situation on how to optimize the same. I Do solve various UX problems everyday (though only theoretically since I am not responsible for any such task) and I even collect them with #ProductManagementProblem hash tag.

I learn a bit about philosophy of users and products everyday and from everywhere. I take inspiration from minute things to solve big problems. Am not saying, I can solve the toughest problems on earth but most problems are not new. There is nothing original.

The problems, ideas, designs, solutions, philosophies, everything is derived from existing ones. Ofcourse, it doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel, but Yes We Can try to improve the functioning of the wheel by taking inspiration from other things like pulley or may be motor inside the wheel so the bicycling experience can be semi-automatic. Well, I saw that, this has been implemented by someone already.

So, In my theory, its a skill to find the solutions to existing problems by taking inspiration from other things and I am good at this. Allow me to try to prove it through (an example) a solution to an existing problem which I recently thought and didn’t publish it yet. Neither I see it applied nor I could find that this is being implemented somewhere & I Can Be Wrong.

Problem : The tech giants and even garage startups are trying to solve the problem of traffic and accidents, basically roads by trying to build the self-driving cars. Now, Even Sir Elon Musk also believes that it’ll take long time in future to make it a perfect world for self-driving cars so there are 0 (zero) errors.

Since In a country like INDIA where it would take alteast 20yrs to implement Self-driving cars, it totally makes sense to look for a quick and cost effective solution.

Solution: In short, we need to help the government to do the governance by using the existing technology to its maximum possibly efficiencies, in other words, we can use the technology to implement the Existing Laws.

We can use technology (IOT) to :

  1. Not let Vehicles jump the traffic lights.
  2. Not let Vehicles be driven in wrong side of the roads.
  3. Not let Vehicles be over sped.
  4. Not let Vehicles to have “High Beam On” when it hurts the other vehicles.
  5. Not let 2 wheelers be driven without helmet.
  6. Not let any vehicles be driven without license.
  7. Analyze the driver’s driving behaviors by watching their every move using IOT in CARS and penalize them for duration respective to their offense.

(This hourly penalty is inspired from OLA/UBER’s penalties to their drivers in case of little complaints from Riders.)

The over simplification of all above thoughts is: IOT can be embedded with traffic rules and then they can record their own vehicles as well as all other vehicles around itself as how they are driving, if they are following rules etc.

This ALL is certainly easily possible using the existing IOT inventions and a little WILL to implement them. The Technology Hubs needs to prove its possible through the HACKATHONS & then show it to the governing agencies to implement the same. I wonder why Bangalore always keeps cribbing about traffic problem and not ever try to solve it using the technology.

I understand the philosophy behind doing things the way they are being done and the philosophy on how to make the best out of them, basically how to optimize them. In short, the core problem needs to be identified since usually the actual problem is not being attacked but rather people keep revolving around the problem itself but not able to look at the real problem. Since, identifying the real problem and accepting it as a problem solves the half of it.

Today I am confident that making a dent is really possible. Today, I believe, every problem can be solved, taking one step at a time.

So today, I am Not looking for a job but An Opportunity to solve a problem and make the most out of my skills, To make the most out of the problem I may get to work on. Wish me luck, I am prepared.

I think, I can call this article my (long) cover letter and the twitter threads my portfolio but do let me know in comments if I am wrong, Although..

I TRY TO PROVE MYSELF WRONG EVERYDAY.

(The article is also available with another title, reposted to suit with a new title. )

PS: I am just writing my state of mind & I am just trying to inspire myself. If you are offended, am sorry but am no sorry. If you like it & find it inspiring, happy that I could help.

Hari Om Vashishtha

Written by

Just another entrepreneurial dude, for now, failed a few times already, want to fail again.. I talk product. Headstart volunteer.. #