Standing Invitation

I would like to offer a standing invitation for anybody who stumbles across this page -

If you want to talk about startups, technology, philosophy, books, or anything else you think I might be interested in, I would love to talk to you!

Quite a lot of people feel shy or hesitant reaching out without context and while I understand the cause for your hesitation, I really love being hit up randomly. I've met almost all of my best friend and business partners from random online interactions and looking back, I'm really happy I took a shot and reached out! I love having these people in my life and I would've had met them if I hadn't sent them an extremely goofy twitter message and random cold email...

I have never, ever felt frustrated because I've gotten a personalised email from anyone and as long as you're maintaining the basic level of curtsey (which I'm sure you will be), there's nothing you can do which can make me think poorly of you. I estimate I respond to ~90% of the personalised cold email directed towards me usually within 12 hours (however, it may take up to 48 hours if I'm busy with certain work, out of office or have other commitments).

I'm usually pretty good with my email and don't need to be followed up with, however, if it's been >1 week and you're still waiting for a response, there's a slight chance your email somehow slipped through my workflow so a polite nudge would be greatly appreciated.

Things I LOVE to be reached out for -

  1. Informational Interviews : While I'm still extremely early in my journey of life, if there's a domain/role or something which you believe I may have a unique insight on, I'd be more than happy to give my two cents on it. I've been blessed to have some extremely amazing people give me unconditional time, support, resources, advice and introductions throughout my journey, and I owe it to them, as well as everyone else who's played a role in helping me get to where I am today to pay it forward however much I can. The only thing I'd request from you in return is that when time comes, pass on the love to whoever you think you can help out. Even the smallest pieces of advice and resources can make the world of a difference. Happy to chat about venture capital, startup advisory or anything you think I might have an interesting take on.
  2. Reviewing Products : I'm a hardcore product geek - I love nothing more than finding niched softwares as playing around with them. Over the past few years, I've tested thousands of pieces of productivity tools and I'm VERY VERY excited to get my hands on whichever new app is in the market. If you're building something cool and want feedback or just get my two cents on something, please reach out - my downloads folder can always do with more .DMGs ;)
  3. Reading/ Reviewing/ Collaborating On Media Pieces : Creating media online is a beautiful way of sharing your knowledge with a large number of people easily and while I wish I write more, I do often review/collaborate on blogs, videos, talks and other pieces of media with fellow tech-nerds. In case you have something you'd like my take on, feel free to send it my way - I'd be more than happy to run an eye through it and give my two cents. I would however like to warn you that this is something which usually takes a good amount of time and while I'll try my very best to get back to you on time, it might be a while before I get down to penning my thoughts. In case you're working with a deadline, please let me know before-hand so I can either plan out when to do it in advance or let you know in case I wouldn't be able to make the deadline so you can plan accordingly.
  4. Reviewing Pitchdeck/ Startup Related Documentation : Since a good chunk of my advisory work involves dealing with documentation including balance sheets, pitchdecks, termsheets, I'd be more than happy to have a quick chat with you and give my two cents. While doing advisory is my bread-and-butter, I often spend upto 15 hours with startups pro-bono - after that, if you think you'll benefit from a more hands-on approach from me, we can explore options. However, if you'd like to just have an initial chat and get my thoughts on a deck or do a mock VC interview, hit me up and we'll figure out a time.
  5. Meeting Cool People : If you're someone who just stumbled across my profile randomly but think that we may vibe then definitely reach out. The number of friends I've made through random Twitter DMs is absolutely crazy and I'm totally down to meet cool new people any time! I love meeting people at conferences - there has been times when I look back and say "urgh, why didn't I speak to xx person when we were at the same event?" - if we're ever at the same event and you want to say hi, please don't be hesitant at all. I promise that I'm a pretty goofy (and maybe a wee-bit cool) person in real life. Also, I'll most likely put all my travel plans up either on Twitter or LinkedIn so in case I'm hitting a city you'll be in, let me know as soon as possible so that we can fix up a slot on the calendar (otherwise I get really bogged down with other things at the last minute - the sooner we coordinate something, the more likely it is that we get to meet). Also, while I love sitting and chatting in a coffeehouse, I'm a huge fan of any adventurous and goofy meetings - the best first meeting I've had so far is while helping a someone move houses. I've also taken a VC meeting at a rock-climbing gym and in the swimming pool.
  6. Reading New Books/ Blog Posts : While I wish I got the time to read more, I love reading books (of all genres!) so if you come across something and the thought of "Hmm, Jai might like this" pops into your head, send it across! I'm part of a couple of pretty amazing book clubs but I'm still very excited to jump on calls with new people and discuss what we're reading!
  7. Giving Honest Feedback : If you've come across something I've said or done either in real life or online which you disagree with, I'd be open to hearing you out. As long as the both of us speak in a civil tone to each other, I'd love to hear any and all feedback you have for me. Like all humans, I do make mistakes so I wouldn't get angry or annoyed if you give me honest (and blunt) feedback. I want to learn from my mistakes and your help in doing that would be greatly appreciated
  8. Or Just Anything Else!

If you're reaching out for a specific purpose (for example, asking me for advice on a startup or requesting an introduction, it might be useful to go through the FAQs first) but I'd still totally be down for talking once you've gotten through those. The FAQ guide is not to discourage people from reaching out or to come across as pompous, it's simply a mechanism of ensuring that the both of us are able to utilise each other's time to the fullest extent.

I also love supporting underdogs. Having been one my entire life, I'll do everything in my power to help you out and when you reach out to me, I'm guaranteeing you that I wouldn't be judging you for things like bad English, poor spellings.

Don't apologise for for contacting me or "wasting my time" or repeatedly thank me for helping you out - I'm doing this because I want to help and as much as I appreciate your acknowledgement, I'd much rather you pass it on to someone else when you get the chance.

Finally, I'd like to give credit to Patrick McKenzie's version for inspiring my personal Standing Offer.

Getting In Touch

I usually prefer to have all my communications in one hub. While I've been using Twitter DMs, Discord, iMessages, WhatsApp and other platforms with different individuals, I'm hoping to slowly start bringing everything back to one place. If you and I don't know each other yet, I'm request you not to please cold-call me.

Email is always the best place to reach me for 99% of the things.

[email protected]

Miscellaneous Advice

Many people often ask me for advice on how to reach out to others, so I just thought this would be a nice place to have a small guide on how to cold contact people.

I usually recommend people to reach out with one key thing in mind... There's a high chance that the person you're reaching out to doesn't know you/care about you. My intention behind saying this is not to come off as cocky, it's just a reminder that I wish I would have gotten back in the day.

The best way to catch the attention of an individual who's extremely high up on the ladder is to solve a problem that they (i) know they had but haven't gotten around to solving yet, (ii) know they had and have attempted to solve but can't figure out a solution to or (iii) didn't know they have but when asked if it is an actual issue, think it's an issue which they face. Helping come up with an issue they're facing is a way to get the people to notice you...

I would like you to think of it this way - everything in life is a value proposition. Behind every action of yours (and the other persons) is some value that that individual is getting from that interaction. I know this seems extremely tough to grasp but once you get it, it'll change your complete outlook to speaking to people. When you're getting in touch with these high-level individuals, it's usually you who's requesting something without offering anything in return, even a couple of minutes replying to your email is not worth it. But the second you solve a problem for them without asking for anything... that's when there's a direct value proposition that makes it worth it for them.

Optimally, keep your email as short and concise as possible with ONE clear call-to-action. Once the ball is rolling, it's much easier to dive deeper into it, however, the initial outreach should be short and sweet ;)

Asking for introductions is tricky if I don't know you. The reason introductions carry so much of weight is because I'm extending my personal equity with said person to you and if something goes wrong or if you're not able to genuinely add value to this said person, then it will deteriorate the equity between me and this person, therefore I'm usually careful about who I give introductions to. (I do however make exceptions for this rule for introductions to investor and a few other groups of people).

Oh, and lastly -

Be Disruptive