This article was originally published here: Saurya Velagapudi – Founder of Simhapura Pte. Ltd.
Learning to frame advice positively rather than negatively has enabled Saurya Velagapudi to enhance his clients’ opportunities.
What’s your story?
My family is the typical immigrant success story of America – we came with less than $300 to our name and 13 years later, I joined Google. I worked as a Technical Lead Manager and Software Engineer, which allowed me to identify major loopholes in company practices within the startup ecosystem. This inspired me to be a startup consultant and provide an all-round solution for all startup issues! My function as a startup therapist ranges from technical solutions to organizational restructuring.
What excites you most about your industry?
The startup industry remains fresh and robust! We have creative ideas and solutions by people from all walks of life. There’s an unmistakable energy around startups – excitement, passion. People want to pour their whole selves into it. It’s thrilling to be around.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
My actual goal isn’t business. When you’re learning boxing or any sport, they emphasize the follow through – when you punch, don’t aim for your opponent’s nose, aim to reach the back of their head. This sounds brutal, but that’s also how life is – if you want to succeed at business, you have to know what lies ahead after the business. And that allows you to come at it with a much greater momentum.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Adaptability! Everywhere you go, you need to know how to present yourself and remain relevant and approachable. It’s easier said than done, but staying afloat these crazy times is a challenge on its own.
Confidence is another aspect I hope to exude in my everyday life. Our minds are the biggest battle we face, once you win your mind, consider the battle accomplished
Finally, with all things you do, it is pivotal for it to come from your heart. In my journey, I hope to constantly give back and help others wherever possible, the main reason I even started Simhapura.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“All advice is contextual” in the sense that everyone who gives you advice is telling you something about their own lives and experience. They probably don’t have the foggiest clue what you actually need. So take it with a grain of salt.
Who inspires you?
Bret Victor and Nicky Case. They both make websites that explain concepts brilliantly, often in very fun ways. They build out their wildest creative fantasies and share them with the world.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
I watched a great video on the Collatz Conjecture – it’s a sequence of numbers like the Fibonacci sequence but no matter what number we start with it always seems to end with 4, 2, 1. We don’t really know why. It’s always amazing to hear the world’s smartest mathematicians shrug their shoulders and go “We really don’t know”.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have started writing decades ago. I only really opened the faucet on my writing a few years ago and it has already led to an incredible change in my happiness with my creative products.
How do you unwind?
I tweet a lot, I write a lot, I go on walks with friends and try to catch the sunset. Something that ties you to the natural cycle which our ancestors always had. It really helps to get out of my head and into my body at the end of a very cerebral week.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
I’m someone for whom faults are very obvious – my own and others. I realized, for better or worse, that being upfront with all your faults in a business setting isn’t the best framing. People expect to hear the good stuff only and once I focused on the bright side business became a lot easier. Instead of saying to my clients – “You’re messing up your company by doing this”, if I said “You can help your company if you change the way you do this”, it gets much better results. Same observation, delivered differently.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Taleb. We’re often tempted to look at our success as somehow exceptional and due to some quality of our own. A bit of humility is good.
Shameless plug for your business:
If you’re struggling with something in your startup – hiring, tech stack, whatever – come talk to me.
Simhapura is a product of my heart and head combined. Giving back productively is something I have always been inspired to do. I hope that through Simhapura, startups will have better guidance and support in their journey navigating the booming ecosystem. From organizational restructuring to sustainable technical solutions, Simhapura will provide you with a unique solution for YOUR startup!
How can people connect with you?
Find me on social media – I’m pretty active on Twitter and help a lot of people out there.
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.