The culture of faith

Let money not replace that faith in the founder, his grit and his vision.

Nishchal Kesarwani
May 15, 2014 · 15 min read
I am the inspired captain of the Preseed team. As a captain of this team, I can serve my duties not without the team’s complete understanding and trust in what I have indicated below.

A big part of the culture in which we do things needs to be countered, so that the way we do things can change. That will lead to more change. Hopefully for the better.

I am building a software that can bring about that change. It is explained on http://preseeded.preseed.in. But building a mere product is not enough. Building a company that lasts is more important. The company can last if it’s culture can last. I admire Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Larry Page, for the way they countered the culture, in the process, creating their own culture, that was the manifestation of their own individuality, their own unique self. That culture helped them build the most admired companies of our times, Apple, Tesla and Google. This act of countering the culture according to me was the starting ground for those companies, as we know today. To counter a culture takes a lot more than just writing some codes.

The root of the company I am building lies in the act of countering the way startups are built in India. The biggest element in that act of building a startup is faith in one another, which I see is getting replaced by funding. Bascially, everyone is wiling to take short cuts by creating a quick fix MVP, raise money to pay team to buy their faith. That is not the highest struggle for the highest kind of leadership. The highest leadership is that in which people join you for your voice not your money.

Imagine if the early teams that help build a company were willing to build that company solely for the mission of the company and not for the money that company was paying them. When companies, are built like that, the stages in which the MVP of that company is created, requires just the togetherness of the founding team, not money, not contracts, not even an office space. Soon after that realisation, every aspiring entrepreneur may find themselves rich enough.

Such is how, I am building our startup, Preseed. We are a few years old, a 12+ people team, a few startups, and no cash burnt. My company is called Preseed. It is on a mission to empower those who have the will to do out of the ordinary, regardless of the material resourcess them or I have in hand.

Preseed must get together to empower entrepreenurs and in turn take some equity in their business and I am starting preseed by giving it 10% equity in every software i am building.


If my company reaches a scale, it would have imparted this counter culture in many aspiring Indian Entrepreneurs, of no early salaries till the product succeeds, no contract, no office, only undying faith in one another.

I write and curate a lot about this mission and it’s values on Preseed Media Network. Using the ideology indicated in this note, I also attempt to co create through Preseed Web Lab and Preseed Anything Lab. I hope one day my voice is heard by many to bring about this culutural change in them, to bring them back to the roots of humanity, when one was willing to trust another. When one was willing to empower enother. When one was willing to acknowledge that we are all connected. When one knew the purpose of living is not just to get too rich by collecting monies, the purpose was higher, that could only be achieved with absolute harmony. May such be the character defining I and Preseed.

It is for this reason Preseed will not raise money. However, Preseed startups can raise money as and when they deem fit, but Preseed is a culture based on faith in the power of one another, not the money of an outsider. If we can scale Preseed into a billion dollar company without having to raise money for building it, we would have a large felt impact, that which would go beyond the startups Preseed would create. I am willing to stay odd, to see this coming true.


In your x hours a week you could execute what ever indicated to you for the purpose of building Preseed into a company with most extraordinary values of humanity and spirituality —
At that instance we would have taken another leap forward towards giving this world an incredible story of karma, dharma and sewa.

Move forward on our common goal without giving you or me any excuses. I mean it. No excuse disguised as a reason will be good enough. We don’t deserve to hear those reasons. Only your sincere x number of hours a week would have value for Preseed. Every other hour is unnecessary for us to hear about.

In short, if you have 3 more things you are doing, I would suggest do 1 and do it well. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

If your liberation is bound with the discovery of your own soul, i.e. self realization, which is beyond what this body and mind can offer, build only Preseed. Surrender yourself to Preseed like I have. For I trust we will get there only if we surrender to this organisation truly conscious of the existence of the soul and righteousness. I really don’t know of another company that is so committed to the discovery of self while building tools that have the potential to do good in the material world too.


To everyone who intends to engage with us.

Those who engage with us, we don’t put them on contract papers first before we actually move forward with them because we trust them far more than some crap written on binding papers.

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody, is to trust them” — Ernest Hemingway

Faith in one another, we believe is the fastest way of building something together.

So read www.preseed.in to its entirety to get the drift of our culture. Get back to us to tell us if you understand the values we are talking about there, and if yes, tell us in your own words, what do you see?

I mean you are going to be one of the stake holders either in the form of a partner, student, intern, volunteer, a potential startup co founder, a hacker, a designer, a vendor, an investor, merely a fellow being interested in newness, or a mere critique. So you might want to know us, through what we write here, share or post on our Facebook page or our various blogs. By now you should find yourself slightly in tune with what we do and how we do.

I would expect that kind of digging deep from everyone who makes ‘thoughtful decisions’ about who is that they want to spend their time engaging with or learning from or teaching? That is the only kind of a deep digger we welcome because -:

1. That is a bunch of people that genuinely seek. A seeker that questions is always better than a blind follower.
2. It saves us time in bringing you to a spot where you already understand our values, say, by reading up Preseed Scribbles., our tumblr blog.

Note 1 -: I would appreciate if you spare some time to read the blog posts listed here or dig Preseed Media Network on our website.
Note 2 -: Do know our team well for it is important for you to know who we are as individuals, before you make the choice of engaging with us any further.
Note 3 -: If someone from the Preseed team has spoken to you with conviction about taking you forward on the idea or opportunity suggested in such dialogues, take it very seriously. We are not here or there to waste our times. We are here to truly translate progressive dialogues into startups. You must get in touch with us further if you have any will to build.

btw -:

If you are coming to help me,
you are wasting your time.
But if you are coming because your liberation is
bound up with mine, then let us work together.
– Lila Watson


To the Preseed team

Hi Preseed Team,

Welcome here. If he has your sincere support for a substantial period of time, at least until the end of 2020, I would be in a very strong position to build the most extra-ordinary company from India, ever.

Disclaimer: I believe if we end up building upon even one big idea out of so many at Preseed, we would be atleast a 1 billion dollar company. Although I will have no regret in failing to do so, neither for me, nor for you. For, just like life, Preseed is all about the journey not the destination. I don’t know the destination. All I know is that everyone who becomes a part of Preseed would have incredible amounts of knowledge and inspiration to gain to say the least, if not the money.

Stay patient with it. Persevere hard. Keep it going. Have fun. Excercise and meditate. And always remember the following -:

  1. Your compensation — Will be in stocks. So if we are a billion dollar company and you own 1% of our stocks, you will be worth a 10 million dollars. Your stocks would be transferred to you after 1 year of our working relationship. Monthly salary is one of the worst addictions. So we don’t encourage it.
  2. Preseed Web Lab — The day Preseed becomes a billion dollar company, Preseed Web Lab would have been atleast a 75% contributor in that value for 2 reasons -:
    a. The products at Preseed Web Lab are are going to be among the best web products anywhere in the Indian startup scene. Most of our ideas have the potential to be solving problems of millions of people, per idea, in ways no other idea did in the past. Since, we don’t build that which is not novel.
    b. Most of these products will be majorly owned by Preseed. So even if one were to become a mutli billion dollar product, Preseed would then be, atleast a billion dollar company.
    Note-: The only 2 assumptions we have made in the event of atleast 1 product of ours becoming becoming a billion dollar product are -:
    1). That our ideas are kick ass in their simplicity and novelty! — See it for yourself in capturing not only what we think but also how we think, not only what we build but also how we build. You will be able to capture it if you really dig www.preseed.in well.
    2). The 1 man who will be driving that multi billion dollar worthy product of ours will be the best entrepreneur our country has seen. Now you may please go to Preseed’s team page. One of the men named there would be that man. Clearly this is an absurd assumption so far. However the truth is that we are becoming a company of some very talented people.
    (Please feel free to debate with me as to why I think more than 1 of our products have the potential to be used by 1+ million users all over the world)
  3. Team Work — So much of what we do involves collaboration that we must have team players across our business. It is good for business results and our corporate culture. Sometimes, however temporary it may be, you have to put the interest of the team before your own interest. It is in serving of this interest of the company that you will rise up to steer yourself in serving your interest. The tasks of the team come first. Period.
  4. Find answers yourself — This is a very young company that is still learning and striving to make its impact felt globally. I am not a Mr. know it all, I just don’t give up till I have solved the problems I find on my way to furthering myself towards my cause -: whether it is managing a plethora of things at Preseed or whether they are the problems of the world that I feel I have the power to solve. I want you to be that person too. So don’t wait for anyone, just find your answers yourself (internet has already empowered you), do your thing, and do it all blazing fast. Make your place among us, yourself !
  5. Focus — Focus on one mission at one time. I am hoping for you also it be Preseed’s mission and collective goals. If you keep at it with 100% commitment and hardwork, you will be big in my scheme of things or else we won’t move and shake much together. Give at least your 6 uninterrupted months to me and I will show you the results we can fetch out of our collective abilities. And at most, keep persevering with me till (and beyond) we have made the world progress because of us. So, if you are working here and working elsewhere too, I would suggest you choose 1 out of the 2 as soon as you can so that you are of greater impact at atleast 1 place. I hope you see what Preseed could mean to the world one day and I also hope you strive to make yourself be an integral part of our company.

Allow us to serve each other by keeping the following quote in mind

The greatest good you can do for another
is not just share your riches, but
reveal to them their own.
- Benjamin Disraeli

Let’s see how it goes!
Nishchal


Our value

Bootstrapping leads to simplicity

Since little to no money is infused in the making of Preseed, it has remained bootstrapped to not even have set up an office space. Our offices are the homes/offices/coworking spaces/cafes where our collaborators sit, think and do. Infact we are bootstrapped to the extent that you core team gets built not out of monthly compensations but out of inspiration to chase a common goal. We have learnt what it means to stay bootstrapped. It means to stay simple.

Our appetite to not only stay bootstrapped ourselves but also keep our startups bootstrapped allows us push ourselves to look for hack, hacks in codes, in designs, in marketing, in hiring and over all business building. That in turn keeps our operational costs to an unbelievable low. That I think is a very important attribute of Preseed as a business organisation made up of extraordinary hustle.

Basically we have begun to understand the importance of bootstrapping for ones growth as a leader. For I have found myself grow leaps and bounds since Preseed started in a moment when I was not left with not even a single penny to pay my phone bill. It lead me to become simpler and I am pretty sure it is leading my team the same path of simplicity.

What does simplicity lead to?

I will explain that with an example of a moment of thought while trying to go into a state of meditation. When you close your eyes and imagine, you imagine with greater clarity, sometimes enough clarity to experience what you are imagining near visually. So basically all the visual noise of the outside vanishes when you shut your eyes. Now you are only imagining. There is no outside noise. So when you start becoming simpler and start shedding off the extra, this is what happens. The backdrop in which you imagine becomes clean and boundless. Simplicity leads to boundlessness.

To
Our most sincere team members,

Because we are too liberal in how we work, in case you go incommunicado on our work communication, let me remind you :

Once you have been indicated your role and your next milestone, no matter how long you are away and out of action, for I trust your vibe I will not question. If I speak at all, that would be only with an intention to bring you closer to my souls vision that I want to achieve in this life time. So far I have indicated only one half of it, which is to do with Karma, the action, the other half which I haven’t even begun to manifest is Dharma.

I write here www.medium.com/@nishchal. One day after a few years, this link will serve as the inspiration for writing the blueprint of Preseed. That blueprint will help my team members to be closer to my soul’s vision. Although, to me it would be fully fit to be called a blueprint only if it serves as the vision of karma, dharma and seva.

It’s a long plan for the marriage of humanity, sciences and spirituality; and it is a boundless one. I am committed to it eternally. Please bear with it.

Anyway,

Let me tell you now, how important it is for you to keep communicating with the coordinators at Preseed on the status of your works and how important it is for you all to respond timely -

It’s through the coordinators that I come to know of the status on how far have we covered the ground on our journey forward. I ask them almost every night over the progress on tasks of all of you. Hence, you must respond timely. This is how I look back to see if the dots of my strategies connected or not. It is only then can I see forward more clearly. Please respect communication.


Preseed money wise


Distribution of stocks of a future 1 billion dollars+ value company

Dear Team,

Preseed’s billions of dollars in the future will essentially be divided into 6 parts -

  1. There is Reactor Core (RC). (50% of Preseed). The most committed unit of real achievers*. We will start building this unit from 2015 onwards.
  2. There is Preseed Labs (PL) also called Team Care Unit. (10% of Preseed). PLL is where the chaos is baked into a lab, and let out for it to run with full timers. Each lab concept remains here till it finds a really solid management team of full timers. Once that is achieved, this team switches itself off from that lab to focus on the next stronger lab. The current team here is made up of Raj, Govind, Megha, Sandip, Shivansh, Rohan, Thomas and others** who are not full time***. This is exactly how it has been so far. These people come in, keep the momentum going. Since there is no door, its up to them; if they consider themselves insiders, they will work accordingly, if they don’t they will work accordingly. Lets see what amount of ownership can they keep for themselves in PLL while doing whatever else they were doing. Raj will be the boss man at PLL. He will decide who will get what when that time has come. Most probably that time will come at the end of 2015.
  3. Preseed Web Lab™ — This is our own software building strength. (10% of Preseed) [2015]
  4. Preseed Ecommerce Lab™ — This is our supply chain strength. This will know how to distribute real products across the world. (10%)[2016]
  5. Preseed Electricals Lab™ — This is our hardware / electrical / circuitry strength. (10%)[2017]
  6. Preseed Entrepreneurs Lab™ — This is where we are strengthening the startup ecosystem in very mature ways. Not just simple conducting events and meetups kind of a play, but a very serious play from meetups to consulting to incubation to investments. (10%) [2015 onwards]
  7. Preseed Metaphysics Lab™ — This is the ultimate. We think it will take us 5 years to have a business that works on its quest to understanding and recreating the science of the vedas. Hence, we won’t talk about it here, nor are we attaching any share of this in Preseed’s possible value in 5 years.

The men and women will be counted a part of points 3 TO 7 only if they are full time.

The stock distribution of Preseed Labs Lab team is what I am concerned about with this post. Shit just g0t real.

Those who are here at PLL, must work like a team of believers from wherever they are, whatever they are doing.

If you are not full time, you better be good listeners. For you are not sweating out your entire day and night in the plan. You are just flirting with many other things, along with this. Perhaps one day you will fall totally in love with one. That is when you will truly be able to focus. We hope you fall in love with us to focus on us as a team, on it’s way to building the greatest business organsiation from India.

Most committed unit of real achievers* — Made up of people who have already proven some solid mettle and mind. Those who have something to show, not money, not words, something built brilliantly so far, with soul, by them, regardless of their situation. Something that has a team of really good minds. Anyway whatever it is they have built, they will have to trade it off with Preseed, and come in full time to build only one thing i.e. Preseed; all through the day and night. There will also be very mature and well achieved people who will advise this Reactor Core.

If you don’t fit in the above paragraph yet, you may some day, but you would have to deliver for 3 years with full commitment and tangible results before you are taken into reactor core. Over these 3 years we will closely observe our engagement and your results for us all to reward you suitably in reactor core.

not full time*** — Could be either building one of our own startup full time like Abhijoy, Saransh or could be like Avish, hustling for our priorities well, or anyone else who comes and helps us get

Note-: If you have a problem with this, and you wish to discuss this with me, you better be a full time member of the Preseed team.

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is that you one day see what you believe. Have faith.

The Preseed

If we have the ability to ask ambitious questions, one day we will have our answers. That day we will innovate, to improve the world. This is where some of Nishchal’s thoughts about www.preseed.in and his life come to words. These are tales of love and progress stitched together.

Nishchal Kesarwani

Written by

I am made up of whims. I inspire ideas, faith & action @thepreseed. On medium, I write my first quick drafts of some things that matter to me-mostly freedom.

The Preseed

If we have the ability to ask ambitious questions, one day we will have our answers. That day we will innovate, to improve the world. This is where some of Nishchal’s thoughts about www.preseed.in and his life come to words. These are tales of love and progress stitched together.

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