The Over Judgemental Indian Startup Ecosystem

Humans cannot seem to wait for or honor the truth. Instead, we make it up based on who we believe people should or should not be

The greatest moral failing is to condemn something as a moral failing: no vice is worse than being judgmental. Julian Baggini

Flipkart is *almost* over.
InMobi is done.
Ola is losing ground.

Welcome to India’s thriving and rising Indian startup ecosystem where the pundits are easily writing off companies and the only word you’d often hear is


That is,
<company X> should have done that.
<company X> shouldn’t have done that.

Death Of Curiosity

I have learned the hard way to mind my business, without judging who people are and what they do. I am more troubled by the lack of space being provided for the truth to unfold. Humans cannot seem to wait for or honor the truth. Instead, we make it up based on who we believe people should or should not be. Iyanla Vanzant

Judging is bad. It’s easy. It comes natural to us. It comes natural to bring down people (heck! fav timepass for a lot!).

You know what’s difficult?

Asking questions.

Asking tough questions. Asking without judging.

Being on the wrong side of the wind.

Sadly, there is no glory in doing this (you will be judged as an asshole for asking too many questions).

How about?

Being curious.gyaan-na-baaten

Curious about ideas (and not people). Curious about ‘why’ and ‘what if’.

And not being right all the time. How does that sound for a change?

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. Albert Einstein

What’s your talk on the amount of ‘should/shouldn’t’ gyaawn that’s being disposed in the startup ecosystem?

Is that doing any good? Let’s judge them πŸ˜€

1 comment
  1. Good post Ashish, but I think the traditional bias of journalists/pundits/columnists and commentariat at large is to a large extent to be pro-underdog. As a hack I would always be tempted to give more airtime/space to pitches that came from founders of small setups who didn’t have a PR agency/budget. If you see episodes of Starting Up on ET NOW (of which I was features editor) between 2009 – 13, we’re pretty upbeat about all these guys in their early stages. As Anton Ego states in his brilliant epilogue in Ratatouille, the only time a critic truly risks something is in the defense of the new.

    FK, Ola and InMobi along with Unicorns can hardly be thought of as underdogs anymore, with the amount of money/power and PR muscle they’ve amassed so it’s only fair to not club them into the “startup” ecosystem anymore. Rough rule of thumb – once you’ve won ET awards, you’re no longer exempt πŸ™‚ ? This is like how the US press continued fawning over cute, ‘don’t be evil’ Google, well after IPO, until someone pointed out their lobbying budgets were WAY larger than traditional evil empires in DC.

    So yes, being judgemental is bad in a personal capacity, but hey, this is business – nothing personal. If I’m putting my money in stocks, i’m very judgy of the company’s performance!

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