Leaving Microsoft – Moving to the Valley to do a startup

This post comes after a 2.5 year gap. As in college, there have been both ups and downs – if I had to draw a graph, it would be trending up for the first year, down for the 2nd year and trending a lot higher in the 3rd year and currently is at a global maxima.

I’ve made some sub-optimal choices (or at times didn’t have a clear direction), just like in college (when I ended up watching 240 episodes of a sitcom (Friends) in on semester causing my grades to tank), but you learn and hopefully make fewer similar mistakes in future.

In the last few years I’ve learnt a lot about technology, business and people in general. Most importantly, I’ve learnt to create useful IP (intellectual property) in the process of solving problems and from Sept 1 onwards, I will own the IP I create.

The plan now is to join Stanford to finish my Masters by June ’11 and then work on my own startup subsequently. This is definitely a risky move (despite having done a lot to hedge various types of business/technical/people/financial/visa risks). But then, this is my 4th major move in the the last 7 years (Muscat, Oman -> Kanpur, India -> Vancouver, Canada -> Redmond WA -> Stanford CA) – each time, I had my apprehensions and each time things eventually went quite well. This time, I don’t really feel apprehensive – not because I think I know what’s going to happen, but because I feel confident in my ability to adapt to a new environment.

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