Fake(r) News

26th Feb 17

A lot of people ask us why doesn't RedCarpet (or its founders) get featured on lots of the popular news sites or startup magazines. Does that mean we are not newsworthy ?

Given the number of resumes we receive from our competitors, I would say we dont have a risk of not being noticed! Kartik and I have been fortunate to have the respect of our peers as building products with true and core innovation.

Culturally, we are a YCombinator startup - and we are deeply influenced by our investors Aaron Harris and Justin Kan. Sam Altman wrote this incredible article "The Post YC Slump" about "faking" news for startups.

In general, startups get distracted by fake work. Fake work is both easier and more fun than real work for many founders. Two particularly bad cases are raising money and getting personal press; we’ve seen many promising founders fall in love with one or (usually) both of these, which nearly always ends badly. But the list of fake work is long.

Michael Siebel (the legendary angel investor in Airbnb and CEO of YC Accelerator) writes about "Fundraising Rounds Are Not Milestones"

A financing round is not a milestone. It is literally cash. Sometimes it goes to great companies, sometimes it goes to bad companies. Sometimes it’s given for good reasons, sometimes investors wish they could take it all back. The best early stage founders focus on staying lean, talking to their customers, iterating on their product, and discovering product-market fit.

It is tempting for us as founders to attend conferences and speak at events. Kartik and I have the deepest of respect for Indian startup media (and especially their courage under fire for reporting harassment issues). But at the same time, we think we would serve our customers, employees and investors (in that order!) best by focusing on building and iterating on a product that delivers maximum value for our customers.

Lending is a hard technology - we have to spend thousands of cycles on building the math and the technology for risk evaluation. At any given point in time, we have several different risk models that we are backtesting (Our lending backend - Primer - allows us to rewind time instantaneously and without impacting operations) while at the same time we have to constantly incorporate usability feedback into building our mobile apps as well as our product flows.

We make it mandatory for our employees to go and talk to customers - our product design and iteration cycles are tight and fast. And there is still so much to do.