IONLAB – The Next Experiment

Note: I no longer work with IonLab since Nov 12 of 2009.

It’s been nearly 5 months since I last quit my job. Five months. Wow. It’s weird because it doesn’t feel that long.

I spent most of the first few months whiling away, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did have some plans though. For one, I was hoping to go for an M.S. in the USuAl places but the American universities didn’t think well enough of me and asked me to stay back, heh.

I wasn’t disappointed though. I thought I’ll spend some time in gaining some skills and get back to another job in the computer science areas that I wanted to explore.

But as John Lennon would say “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Vikram and I were working on reviving our iPod Charger business and since I didn’t have anything in particular to do, I did some of the running around. However, we still didn’t have a big picture in mind, just that we wanted it to continue.

Suddenly one day, Vikram called from USA and said that he had a brainwave to improve one of our ideas. We had last discussed it nearly six months earlier and shelved it because we didn’t think it would work. It suddenly dawned on us that the improved idea passes all our viable business criteria, especially the parameter that it is actually useful to people, it is doable, and it belongs more in the must-have category as opposed to the nice-to-have category.

After that conversation, everything changed.

Vikram quit a nice cushy job in USA, ditched his H1 visa and is back in Bangalore. He was so sure about this that his colleague Varun also got convinced about the idea and moved back to India.

Here we are, three people who have quit their jobs and working to create a new product. I hate using the latest buzzwords, so I’ll just say, yes we have our own company now. We don’t have any salary and we have lot of work.

A domain name I had registered long ago suddenly came into use. It was going to be the name of our company – IONLAB:

The ion was our first product we created, manufactured and marketed during weekends. Excited by its success, we are now working full-time on making our own products. Hence the “ion” in our name.

We are focused on designs and ideas, and match them to our capabilities. Hence the “lab” in our name, which emphasizes that we are about taking ideas to execution.

We have been having a ball of a time working on our own ideas full-time and gaining experience in expanding our ion business.

Regarding our specific idea, there’s no point in talking about it this early but we’ve described it a bit on our products page.

FWIW, I have no idea how far we will go and what will happen in the future. You may never even hear about us or our product. But one thing’s for sure, we’re going to give this our best shot and we’ll work to make it happen.

As we wrote in our company weblog’s first entry:

We love putting in effort. After all, it’s our dreams and ideas. What can be more exciting than that? As Mark Cuban once said, “The one thing in our business lives is effort. Either you make the commitment to get results or your don’t.”

Singapore Day 05 016

IONLAB is our dream, our destination.

The next experiment has begun!

15 thoughts on “IONLAB – The Next Experiment

  1. Swaroop, congrats on taking the plunge! In fact, I too have recently quit full time work to toil away on my own software development ideas – this too after several years of a comfortable corporate salary.

    I hope both of us can pull off the big gig – I for sure have a lot to learn about managing and running a business, and will no doubt make plenty of mistakes along the way!

    Best of luck!

  2. Hehehe, it’s nice to read this blog. It’s like reading my own words. You are not alone. We have done lot of different things after quitting the job. We did some cycling along the banks of river kaveri, chamundi hills, had tons of ideas for a business. Yesterday we thought we had a market in rural electrification, after the market survey, we are back to square 1.Trying to find a right problem to solve!!!! Had taken many avatars from environmentalists to sales boys. It’s a great adventure !!! I’m loving it. Reality is lot more different than business plan, phew.
    OK now thats strange, I have an Hercules WOW too :)

  3. hey, is good to know this Swar I hope the best of success for all of you for this big step in your lives.

  4. Good luck. I am surprised that you hadn’t planned company when you quit, I always knew you would be heading that way !

  5. Hi Swaroop,
    Wishing you lots of successes, joy and accomplishments in this new

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