I recently chanced up this excellent blog – Why founding a three-person startup with zero revenue is better than working for Goldman Sachs from Antonio Garcia-Martinez, Co-Founder of Adgrok (I thank Lalit Manral for sharing this on Facebook). The startup life which Antonio brings out so vividly is probably experienced in one way or another by most of the startups, including JantaKhoj.
It is more than four months since we went live with JantaKhoj.com. But the day of the launch, 27th April 2010, is still so very crystal clear in my memory. After shifting the public beta launch date a few times, the pressure was really intense to go ahead with it on that day. The last minute testing and checks went on through most of the day. The temperatures were rising – both within and around the team. The summer in Hyderabad is relentless and this year was no different. The legendary power-cuts during the peak summer months were back in full swing.
Generally we used to get around one hour of power cut at most but as you know, we can always rely on Murphy’s Law to bless us when it is least wanted! So, on that day, the power cut continued for around four hours non-stop. The office building backup generator supported us for around two hours. While the generator does not support the air-conditioning, we survived with the fans. When generator also breathed its last (the building supervisor mentioned something about more diesel being procured but it did not show up till next day!), we continued working with power from the UPS. But yes, the fans were silent now!
The temperatures continued to rise but our valiant warriors of Engineering kept on hammering on the code, well supported by others in the testing. After one and a half hours more, the UPS also ran out of the battery charge! While the laptops continued to work on their own battery and mobile Internet card, the desktops and LAN also fell silent; the Web connectivity too was lost as the broadband line required the power. Clearly not the best of the working situations on the day of launch!
Thankfully the dedicated server hosted on the top-tier datacenter was safely tucked away from all this mess and Suresh (our Head – Engineering) continued to move ahead with the help of laptop and mobile Internet card. Eventually the primary AC power came back (after an outage lasting more than four hours) and everything started humming again – we were back in the business with full strength. Having seen the ‘worst’, we could only go up now. The effort continued till very late evening and finally, at around 1130pm, the site was thrown open for public beta. The next day, we announced it to the world and have thoroughly enjoyed these four months since then.