Ungineering - Best ideas originate from your dream
Thomas Alva Edison once said that a good idea is worth a thousand failures. When Anuj and I decided to start Ungineering back in 2012, we took his word for it.
Anuj and I go back a long way - about seven years to be precise. In college, we formed a pretty effective team in terms of executing projects for college fest or other such extra curriculars – I was Mr.Idea and he was the tech guy. Somewhat like Pinky and the Brain. After we graduated, he took up a day job at IBM Bangalore while I went for greener pastures (read: MBA). We kept in touch over the next year or so but Ungineering was far from our minds at the time.
During his stint in IBM, Anuj came across two types of software engineers – the above average one who missed out on getting a job because he didn’t make it to a good college or the above average one who made it to an IIT or an NIT but started receding to below average because of the distractions that come with a college life. Around the same time, I started networking with people as a normal MBA student should and realized that there were at least a thousand entrepreneurs out there who would give one hand and one leg for a top-notch yet affordable web developer.
We decided to test the waters and did a couple of pro bono projects as a team just like in college – I fleshed out the ideas on paper and Anuj vivified them on a computer screen. It was then Anuj came up with an idea out of the blue – to start our own company.
I wasn’t convinced. For me at that time, the whole startup thing was a fad. I had seen a lot of people going through the grind of working a 9 hour shift and coming back home to work on their idea for another 9 hours. Eventually they would give up their job, try very hard to succeed, fail and come back to their job again. I saw both of us going through the same vicious cycle – Anuj as an employee of IBM, I as a burned out MBA student.
But we still went ahead. A month later, Anuj quit his job. It was then actually I realized how serious he was about this. We had no employees and no clients to speak of and here he was – banking completely on an idea. Over the last couple of years, I have come to realize that is the best approach for anybody to actually succeed with an idea – give it your all. Ungineering has been slow – we are still not a “sexy startup” and probably never will be but it does not matter. What matters is the difference you make – to yourself and to your stakeholders.
It wasn’t easy to convince people – especially carefree college students dreaming about seven figure jobs. But we stuck at it and in the process we made some of them realize that more often than not the path to that elusive dream job went through the jungle of learning. And sometimes the path went beyond the dream job. We also made a few companies realize that outsourced IT done by college students might not be a bad idea – it just might be a very good idea.
But this is just a beginning. You don’t pay taxes to dream which is why your best ideas sometime originate from your dreams. We dream of becoming a Google one day – of making our own products, making money from them and most importantly deriving the pleasure of being useful to people and being recommended about.
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