Confidence isn’t just a hack, it’s a superpower. In A Promised Land, President Barack Obama describes how he would use music to get himself charged up before any significant moment.

What was on his playlist? Jay-Z’s My First Song and Eminem’s Lose Yourself.

“Both were about defying the odds and putting it all on the line… how it felt to spin something out of nothing; getting by on wit, hustle, and fear disguised as bravado. The lyrics felt tailored to my early underdog status. And as I sat alone in the back of the Secret Service van on the way…

Springboard Rise Conference (Fall 2018)

After 3.5 incredible years at Springboard (now a Series B Edtech Startup!), I’ll be leaving to pursue a new adventure. This article is about one of the most important management lessons I learned at Springboard.

Okay Siya, what’s the TL;DR?

As a manager, talk to your employees about their next job. You’ll enable:

  1. Stronger company loyalty. In an era where millennials have a propensity to jump jobs, freely talking about an employee’s career goals cultivates a stronger sense of loyalty towards the company. They start seeing your company as a training ground for their life’s work.

In the past two years, Springboard has grown from a small family of ~20 people to a fast-scaling company with 150+ employees across two offices. While we’ve worked hard to maintain aspects of our culture, many of the new employees likely don’t feel the same sense of closeness that we did when we were all cramped in a WeWork space. And we definitely aren’t as open with each other about our aspirations and struggles as we were when we regularly engaged in each other’s weekend plans, family events, and dating adventures.

But more troubling: being a tech startup in the…

Source: Wizeline

“Some people build companies that become profitable, and others build companies that revitalize cities,” a Mexican entrepreneur told me. “Bismarck Lepe is putting Guadalajara on the map.”

While visiting Guadalajara (GDL) this summer, I was struck with how in between the colonial plazas, cathedrals, and historic landmarks, there’s a wave of optimism and locally grown entrepreneurship. Having spent time across a number of non-descript cities in South Asia that haven’t yet become prominent in the global economy, I wondered: what does it take for a city to become a tech hub?

To answer the question, I visited Wizeline, a large…

Adam Grant’s Originals is a terrific read — it seamlessly combines research & anecdotes to develop a framework for extraordinary nature. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to make an outsized impact on their industry or community.

Here are my 4 favorite takeaways:

1/ Everyone — including extraordinary individuals such as MLK, Wozniak, and Michelangelo— experiences insecurities and hesitations.

Adam Grant: “The drive to succeed and the accompanying fear of failure have held back some of the greatest creators and change agents in history. Concerned with maintaining stability and attaining conventional achievements, they have been reluctant to pursue originality. Instead of charging full steam ahead with assurance, they have been coaxed, convinced, or coerced…

Four counters lined the front of the bank. People scrambled to get the attention of the attendant at each, unconcerned about those beside them, and unwilling to follow the signs around the bank to form an orderly line. One fan slowly cooled the office in the middle of the scorching Rajasthan summer.

Having left India at the age of seven, I hadn’t ever experienced doing business — or even running errands by myself — there. This changed after my grandfather passed away, and I returned to help my grandmother wrap up a series of bank and government formalities.

I clutched…

Fireside Chat: Eric Ries with Ruchi Sanghvi
  • When we build startups, we shouldn’t use astrology to build them. The Lean Startup Methodology is my attempt to combine science and statistics, encouraging founders to use carefully designed experiments to test their reality-bending ideas and pivot to a new strategy if those don’t work.
  • Pivot is a change in strategy without a change in vision. How do you know whether to pivot? We all aspire for hockey stick growth — what makes the hockey stick happen is the long flat line. There have been times when I’ve felt so betrayed because we stayed in the flat part, and the…

Panelists: Sarah Smith (Bain Capital Ventures), Katherine Boyle (General Catalyst), Kirin Sinha (Illumix), Jooyeon Song (Mani.Me)

Key Takeaways:

  • It’s crucial to have a strong perspective on what you’re doing. VCs crave to look at well-reasoned theories of the future so have a sense of conviction on what the world will look like in 10 years. Know why you can’t work on anything else to build that world. You can be wrong on your perspective but be certain; VCs have been wrong before but it’s always because the founder had the conviction that they believed in.
  • You have to know your stuff better than anyone has ever known your stuff. If you have thought through every single…

This post was written for a class assignment for an education entrepreneurship class at Harvard Business School.

It is unfortunate that since the Year of the MOOCs ended, the education technology (edtech) space has stopped receiving the attention it deserves. Many people tuned out, thinking edtech already had its moment. However, the edtech space is actually just finding its feet and maturing as an industry into something meaningful and sustainable.

After our class discussion with Michael Horn, I talked to many people who still referred to Coursera and Udacity as “traditional MOOC providers.” This is a big misconception. Udacity has…

While I was in high school, my friends and I used Yahoo Answers to get support on homework questions. In college, we used Chegg and Piazza. These services empowered us to learn beyond the classroom and made us less reliant on parents and friends.

Four edtech entrepreneurs visited our HBS ETIE class last week to discuss their ventures and describe their product and business development processes. From this discussion, I learned about Brainly, a schoolwork Q&A startup that is trying to add a social element to existing solutions in the space. …

Siya Raj Purohit

Edtech Category Lead @ AWS, General Partner @ Pathway Ventures | Author, Engineering America

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