Update: As of 22 June, 2011, I’m no longer with Infibeam.

Thanking the community

First and foremost, thanks to all who encouraged me, and offered support and help when I wrote about leaving my own company. Many people, without any personal benefit in mind, connected me to very interesting opportunities. And this is exactly how I got my next gig.[1]

What was specifically amazing to me was that folks were connecting me to opportunities that I would not have heard of otherwise, and enthusiastically vouching for me. Now that was really humbling. Within two weeks of my blog post, I had a job! And I didn’t even have to look for it, so thank you guys. As Seth Godin put it, who needs a resume indeed!

InfiBeam

So where am I joining? InfiBeam – which I can best describe as “Amazon of India.”[2]

infibeam 001

So why am I excited about InfiBeam?

In my previous startup, I experienced the phase of starting from scratch till creating a product. Unfortunately, I did not get to see the second part, the business side of things, including the hard part of selling, the act of knowing the customer, the logistics and operations, etc. I was still yearning for that.

At the same time, getting to see this second phase a few years later would not have made sense because I would’ve lost the enthusiasm and momentum that I have at this point in time. So, in that sense, I’m really excited about InfiBeam because I’ll get to be part of this second phase.

Second, I was specifically looking for companies in “core” areas, in the sense, someone who makes consumer products and services in India for India, and specifically, either ecommerce or mobile. And, voila, the universe conspired.

Third, I was being cautious and really looking to understand the people in the company and not only what the company makes. After all, it’s only the people aspect which makes or breaks your experience and enthusiasm. And I spent quite a bit of time interacting with the people I would potentially work with, and I came out of the discussions very happy.

Fourth, what I especially liked most about the company was their customer focus as well as the focus of building the right culture inside the company. It’s very hard for startups to focus on these soft aspects, because it easily gets sidelined compared to the hectic everyday.

InfiBeam Customer Service

InfiBeam Core Values (list)

There were quite a few opportunities that I explored, but I intuitively felt that InfiBeam was the place to be. And I went ahead with that gut instinct.

Both Business and Tech

And, as an example of a great fit for me, my job description says that I have to take up any product or strategy and deliver it end-to-end from the business model to the technical implementation.

I had thoughts of shifting back to pure coding at first, but then decided a business focus is indeed a good thing, and something I wish I had taken seriously right at the start of my career (better late than never!). For example, quoting from a recent Deccan Herald article:
> It cites Nasscom study which states that India faces IT talent shortfall of between 8,00,000 and 1.2 million workers by 2012. It observes that, though many producers continue to work with universities, government and other firms to improve the quality of technology education, and Asian countries continue to produce large numbers of IT employees, they, however, lag in comparison with North America and Europe in providing well-rounded technology education. Among Asian economies, the concern is that education systems puts too much focus on pure IT skills and not enough on IT in the business context. Likewise, top schools in the US and Europe, which do better in this area, face long-term challenges in cultivating science and technical engineering skills of its younger students. Thus, globally, the study posits that investment in skills development remains long-term imperative.

If it feels scary…

I am positive about this gig because I will be forced to become good at what I do because of the quality of people I work with, and knowing that you’re in a good environment when you consider yourself the dumbest guy in the room.

In such situations, I keep quoting Jeff Atwood:

If it feels scary, it’s the right choice.

Wish me luck!

[1] Specifically, a shout of thanks to Nimish Adani of Workosaur.

[2] Yes, this was a way of skipping the topic that, yes, InfiBeam’s current web design looks similar to that of Amazon.com design. Yes, I don’t like it too. It is a distraction which prevents potential users to proceed to the next step of appreciating the amazing services provided by InfiBeam.

Update on Jan 31, 2010: InfiBeam has launched the first Indian ebook store and the first Indian ebook reader.