Quick Note: Before You Pass Any Judgement On (Housing) Founders [#StartupPorn]

Stop this because you never had the balls to buy a domain worth half a million dollar. You might want to call it marketing chutzpah , but then – it is what it is! (try convincing your investor!).

A lot is being talked about Housing’s Rahul Yadav and his (scathing) letter to the investors.
My twitter timeline is full of people making a mockery of the founder – calling him/them kids, suggesting how wrong they were/are.
Stop this.
Stop this because you don’t know what has happened between the investors and the founders.
Stop this because (most of) you haven’t built a business with this kind of exponential growth in a very short span. So you don’t know what’s at stake.
Stop this because you never had the balls to buy a domain worth half a million dollar. You might want to call it marketing chutzpah (making excuses?), but then – it is what it is! (try convincing your investor!).
Stop this because you are not the man in the arena. You don’t even know what has happened.

The Housing team has pushed the envelope – be it with product-model itself or the Lookup brand campaign. When they launched, they disrupted the entire real estate space with just one feature, the map based product. So much so that every incumbent copied the feature.

Of course, it’s sad that so much of shit is being thrown in public. That’s too bad. And like any story, there are two sides of the coin and chances are that except for 20 people in this space (founders/investors/key employees), nobody knows the *real story*.
And the worse part?
Laughing at people.
Making fun of them.
Throwing opinions without even knowing what has happened between the two entities. It’s almost as if we are watching another IPL match sipping our fav beer.
It’s time like these that shows the (im)maturity of individuals and the ecosystem/community at-large. How do you handle a news like this? Make fun of people involved (#StartupPorn, you see)? Be a little more respectful towards others (and what they have created)? There is a certain fraction that will take the easy way out (have fun/move on), but I am sad to see that a lot of startup influencers doing the same, without getting into the depth of the matter.

Last, I want to leave you with this (and again, I don’t know what really happened between the founders and investors).
This goes out to both the founders and investors of Housing who are going through a rough patch.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

TL;DR : Be the ‘man in the arena’. Avoid making judgmental calls on others. That’s fucking immaturity.
Image credit: shutterstock

  1. USD 1 million on Domain name. Maybe they should share the receipt of the Domain name transaction with the Nextbigwhat community.

  2. so you did mean page views / downloads by “exponential growth” .. WOW.. didn’t expect this from you… Just to wake you up, we are in 2015 and not in 2000 of dot com boom era, when such things were in fashion!

  3. It’s not about rahul being a friend (i have never met him/only spoke to him twice) et al – the pt. is simple. Without knowing teh details, why are people jumping to conclusion? It does happen with cricket and bollywood – but startup space is still too small for such opinions.
    In fact, it’s not about Rahul at all – this is about any founder and I am always BIASED towards founders.
    “I am assuming that with “exponential growth” you mean growth in profit or atleast in revenues (compared to other players like 99acres.com etc) and not just page views / downloads etc because if you are referring to the latter, then that will surely be an immature statement from your end!” – really? every company has its own metrics – let’s not force ours to them (i still disagree with ecommerce metrics of losing money – but then, that’s the industry metrics and we all have to live with it).

  4. Ashish,
    I have been a regular reader of nextbigwhat (since it was pluggedin) because I liked your way of reporting but this time I am surprised with this article and more so with your response.
    I expected that you would have done your homework before writing this article as you are claiming “exponential growth” therefore asked you if you have seen their numbers?
    I can understand that Rahul may be your friend but when you are writing this article at a professional level then you need to look at things in black and white, leaving personal bias behind.
    I am assuming that with “exponential growth” you mean growth in profit or atleast in revenues (compared to other players like 99acres.com etc) and not just page views / downloads etc because if you are referring to the latter, then that will surely be an immature statement from your end!
    Hope you will take the criticism from a regular reader in the right spirit!

  5. Ashish,
    Here is what I feel about this whole episode.
    See, I understand you or one can say, he is the man in the arena and you cant make comments as we are doing nothing , but my point is not about his ability or something. My point is his arrogance and most importantly acting immaturely. I am not saying what he wrote to investors was wrong. I have myself used very strong language against ppl in companies and if maybe I am running a company and some investor is giving me crap, I would blast him too. My issue with this guy is that dude, don’t get pissed off just because Sequoia guy offered one of your employee a job. That shows your insecurities. Your intolerability. Those are not mark of leader who is fearless. Secondly, I think, how are this email leaking? Either this guy is marking some ppl whom shouldn’t be marked in his emails?. Because the investors won’t leak this for sure and if I am having an email conv with someone only I am supposed to know about it. Not my neighbours. So I feel this guy now because his past actions have become a viral news on social media, is doing this openly to get more news posted about him and all. You email convo doesn’t leaks like that unless you yourself don’t care about information leak.
    And for god’s sake cmon, don’t write you figured out way back in your life you have 3L hours. Man that is childish stuff honestly. This guy needs to act like a leader and not like a wannabe leader.

  6. My thoughts exactly. Even on this post, people are complaining.
    I like what Rahul is doing. We have someone who has the balls, who does not care about the invisible hierarchy, who does not fear being open, who means business.
    We, Indians, take offense very quickly. Just use one slang in English, and all hell goes loose. Yet, they use hindi slangs “mc”, “bc”, etc in everyday language.
    I take the trash language used as anger and frustration. And one does not need to be always diplomatic about it.

  7. Ashish, it doesn’t look like you read the hilariously childish email that Yadav wrote to his investors. These are the same people who put money where his mouth was, so that he could have the “balls” (money) to buy the domain. And the part about 3L hours left in life was just too good to pass up for some jokes. A scathing email is fine, maybe justified in the right circumstances, but the words and ideas used in the email was plain stupid.
    As for how much housing as grown, who knows? Do you have the balance sheet in hand when you say that? Just having a million downloads doesn’t translate into a million dollars.

  8. “Stop this because (most of) you haven’t built a business with this kind of exponential growth in a very short span”
    What growth are you talking about? Have you even seen their revenues or profits?

  9. Not making a mockery of the founders but this is a brattish attitude and nothing else. Investors can be a pain in the ass but there are other ways to make your point and not the way he has done. This proves that when you are in your 20s and you get money, it goes to your head. Everyone needs to understand that the entrepreneur can not have the balls to buy a domain for a million dollar with out the investor’s money until you are from a rich family. It is only because of investors that you can go on shopping spree. At least be thankful for that they chose you to invest and not your competitor otherwise housing.com would still be a puny company.
    No matter how intelligent you are or skilled you are, if you have a brattish attitude, nobody would like to work with you or like you.

  10. A movie can be made on this, and trust me it will generate more revenue than Housing.com
    Having said that, I agree with Ashish. There is more to come…

  11. cool down Ashish, you seem to be getting inspired by your protagonist here, its human nature to be judgmental, the reason you give your readers opportunity to comment here invites this human nature to be judgmental and reason. You are correct in your essence but the intonation of your article does not befit. Yes I am opinionated as I got an opportunity 🙂

  12. I might have missed the ‘entreprenures are sacrosanct and above reproach’ memo. It is difficult to be in public eye and be judged, but at the very same time they chose it. General public is never going to full and authentic information, but this has not stopped them from judging politicians, entertainers, so on and so forth. Why entrepreneures should be an exception? It’s about freedom of speech and everyone is entitled to it.

  13. I am not really sure censorship and asking people to stop is the right approach. Let people say what they want.
    Also, Rahul Yadav might have blown you away with his vision, but his email certainly seems childish and the way he has handled the entire issue has much to be desired.
    You are right that we don’t know the exact details. But we do know about his posts on Quora and his emails. i am not really sure any sensible, mature, level-headed person will behave in such a manner.

  14. Okay – a lot of people are asking whether I support Rahul’s email and his ‘arrogance’. I DON”T. But the point is that I really don’t know what happened between the two.
    I interacted with Rahul 10 days back and was blown away with his vision of Housing and what they plan to do (this was more of a friendly chat) and of all the founders I interact with, he is definitely one of the most transparent and to-the-point guy. And maybe that’s why he has landed in *this* situation.
    Having said that, unless you know the details – don’t make a mockery of people involved. That’s what I am trying to say in this piece. If that doesn’t come across well, sorry – I need a lesson on articulation.

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