PARISOMA Portrait: PULSE
The beauty of co-working is the products, platforms, and startups that are built right next you. Fortunately enough, we had the opportunity to sit down with Mayank Mehta and Andad Thaker, co-founders of Pulse, to learn about what they do.
PARISOMA: What is Pulse?
Pulse: Imagine you could instantly tap into the collective wisdom of thousands of professionals to power your decisions. Pulse is about growing the world’s professional knowledge and understanding in the form of Q&A to help people make better business decisions. In the process we also enable a platform for the world’s professionals to share their insights, grow their profile, and get recognized for their work.
PARISOMA: Where did the idea come from?
Pulse: Access to experts and expertise at the right time is still quite challenging. We’re big fans of LinkedIn, and wanted to take the platform one step further where it’s not just about where you’ve worked, but what you’ve done, how you think, what you’ve learned, and how you’ve applied it.
PARISOMA: What issues are you looking to solve with the bot?
Pulse: With PulseBot, the collective wisdom of thousands of professionals is just a chat away. Messaging is a natural way for our users to ask, answer, and learn from each other. The bot uses AI to route questions to the right users at the right time. The initial focus is on data-driven questions that can act as a decision engine for executives.
PARISOMA: What was the most difficult part of starting Pulse?
Pulse: For us it was to stay true to our vision. It’s really easy to get caught up in buzzwords, massaging your investor deck, reading TechCrunch articles and ooh-ing at other companies that are doing well. It’s hard to tune all of that out and focus on what you want to build. Having a cofounder and good team that is bought into the vision goes a long way here.
PARISOMA: What were you doing before Pulse?
Pulse: I was VP Product at Capriza (a16z company), prior to which I cofounded Cooliris (acqd by Yahoo!) and Ambient Technologies (acqd by Zeo ITech). Anand was the lead mobile engineer at Warner Bros. gaming studio, lead mobile engineer at Cooliris, and senior engineer at Qualcomm. Di was an artist for multiple gaming companies and then decided to take up the dark art of coding.
PARISOMA: Any tips or recommendations you can give an entrepreneur starting out?
Pulse: This is our third startup — our most recent one, Cooliris, was acquired by Yahoo! For entrepreneurs just kicking things off, it’s easy to get disillusioned and discouraged, especially after a few unsuccessful VC meetings. It’s critical not to lose focus on what got you started on the idea. The best way for me to stay pumped is to write and read/re-read stories on how users will use the product and how it will improve their lives. For b2b ideas, it also helps to have 2–3 friendly customers that can encourage you and keep you grounded.