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The Graduate, Part 1: He Lands In India

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My taxi driver stops in front of a liquor store. He gives 100 rupees to his buddy, who comes back with a bottle of scotch. As my driver opens the bottle and starts drinking, I'm thinking, "What did I get myself into?"

It's June 4, 2008, and I'm 21 years old. I graduated from Georgetown three weeks ago and just landed in Hyderabad, India, to get the ball rolling on my new company, Altum Design Studios, which aims to bring low-cost design, print and web marketing services to small businesses. I'm using the theories I learned in school and building this business with no start-up capital. And I've come to India to build the technological backbone of the business.

I'd like to tell you that now, three and a half months later, everything went smoothly, business is now booming, and I'm writing this blog to explain how it all came together. Alas, the truth is that my journey has really just begun, and I'm asking you to follow me along the way as I learn from experience. I'll start by going back and detailing some of the lessons I've learned already, and then I'll tell my story in real time, as it happens.

In the time that I've been at this, I've been through great days, disappointing days, and days so bad that I started rethinking the whole project. It's not your regular post-college entry-level 9-to-5. It's not even like one of the 7 am-to-10 pm jobs my finance friends have. It's more like 24/7. But I'd rather have the freedom, the ability to learn from the ups and downs, and the sense of creating something, which best comes from entrepreneurship.

Of course, getting on the road with a drunken taxi driver was not the kind of 'entrepreneurial risk' I was looking for. But I'm starting to see that it's not a bad metaphor for the nature of the entrepreneurial experience. Please come along for the ride.

Last updated: Sep 17, 2008




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