Love at heart, startup in mind



Love can be incredibly difficult. So can the journey of embarking on a startup.

And whilst the four-letter word is enough to drive grown people to cavort around trees in an environmentally unsustainable manner, the latter concept, stretching across seven letters, does kindle similar insanity, though on any entirely different level.

Both, in the end, are pursuits of passion, never to be taken lightly, and seldom recommended as a quest for the faint-hearted.

However, when these two disparate worlds collide in the overcrowded area of a Venn diagram (perhaps on enquiring ‘Venn is the right time to start up something or fall in love?'), interesting things are bound to happen. This intertwining of neural signals can result in some truly amusing cross connections, though it’s best to be a distant onlooker rather than an involved party at such times.

Related readLove, sex or mauka: how dating apps are cutting to the chase

Words that wound

Being an entrepreneur is a full-time obsession, and it is not easy to instantly switch off that mentality. One’s mind is always juggling terms one urgently needs to find answers to. This is fine usually but can cause some grief when one is with the better half in the midst of some ‘together time’.

Constantly referring to the money you both have put aside for a romantic getaway as ‘venture capital,’ does put a dampener on thingstoo. Replying to her query as to whether the mother-in-law can come over, with ‘not yet ready for a hostile takeover’ could dilute the merger. But nothing is worse than speculating whether the newborn should be christened as ‘the first public offering’. Expect much more than the Sensex to crash on your head after that.

Actions that annoy

Founders have a rather unique set of rituals ensconced in their functioning. Startups involve an inclination for early and rapid experimentation, followed by incessant learning from failures and quickly moving on. They also demand the ability to research and test prototypes, rapidly gather market feedback and act.

This does not help when one starts flitting from restaurant to restaurant on a dinner date, after sampling only the starters and making hasty judgments based on that. Spending time over food is the centerpiece of most social occasions, and this constant testing of the palate and patience makes for unappetising behaviour.

Then there is the ultimate sartorial faux pas. When tentatively queried about how she looks in a dress, quickly taking some pictures off your smartphone and then uploading the same on social media to get a true, unbiased and ‘quantitatively sound’ opinion of the same is not what she was expecting, and that’s putting it mildly. Be prepared for a dressing down.

Also read: Love bytes hurt and how

Mindsets that madden

Eventually, success is a creaturethat feeds on entrenched mindsets nurturing winning habits. Entrepreneurs, whose favourite black-and-white picture is their company’s balance sheet, get there because of a behaviour pattern that becomes almost automatic as the days go by.

They display the trait of putting the customer-first at all times. They inevitably focus on the bigger picture. They compulsively rebel against the status quo, and so on.

But if you hand over the ticket for a play she has wanted to see all month to a client,at the last minute, while the customer came first here you are likely to be second choice for a long time. Telling her to look at the bigger picture when she has been denied a much overdue promotion at her office could result in temporary blindness-for you. Deliberately disrupting a quiet moment by switching on a raucously noisy news debate could involve you making the news, only if of the ‘breaking’ sort.


To be fair, love can also be a lubricant in the drive towards greater things. Behind every successful entrepreneur there is often a silent and devoted partner prodding them ahead, sometimes with a pitchfork. Love is a leap of faith and so is any startup venture. It is only in the absolute suspension of logic and in the unabashed pursuit of our passions does happiness of any kind make an appearance.