I am continuing on the same thread upon which I wrote last week, i.e., Finding Silver Linings in this lockdown.
Yesterday we completed 40 days of working from home. Amongst several pivotal moments that define the turning points for Artha, sparking off a blogging revolution is definitely the most satisfying one.
For a very long time, I tried to convince my team to start blogging. I tried several approaches, showed them how my own blogs helped me express myself creatively and develop a robust network & following. However, the fear of getting criticized publicly made the team members shy away from expressing themselves – whether I offered them a carrot or the stick in return.
I could have got their blogs ghostwritten, but I wanted our blog to be genuine expressions that resonate. After several frustrating failed attempts, I threw in the towel. I stopped pushing the team to write because even when they wrote blogs due to the fear of disappointing me, they were half baked as the attempt to writing them was.
Then the lockdown took place. With commute times dropping to a few seconds from the hours endured earlier, a few members decided to utilize the extra time to creatively express themselves.
As the editor to our blog pages on Medium, any team member that completed a blog for publishing would assign a task to me. I had to review, make final edits, and approve their blog to publish from our Medium publications. Most of the time, it would be weeks, and even months before I would see assigned tasks in my editorial bucket. But things changed quickly.
Within the first week of working from home, I got notifications that I was assigned 2 blogs for publishing! This is interesting, I thought.
The first blog was published on Artha Venture Fund's blog page. Farhan wrote a playbook for anyone that wants a VC job, i.e., Breaking into VC. He frankly shared his personal journey of hounding my inboxes until he got me into meeting him face to face. He impressed me enough with his enthusiasm to secure an internship at Artha. With a foot in the door, Farhan converted the opportunity into a full-time role. Farhan offered his playbook as a model for others to emulate. His post received a fantastic response with 300+ views in 3 days on our otherwise dormant blog page.
Unbeknownst to me, Deepanshu wrote and published a fantastic blog while sitting on his la-z-boy chair at his home in Delhi. Deepanshu's take on the new work paradigm aptly called Corona: Ghar se Kaam KaroNa, We did it, did you? got published at the appropriate time and it lit up the Artha India Ventures blog page on the same day that the AVF blog saw a massive spike in its activity.
Farhan & Deepanshu's unrelated but perfectly timed efforts sparked off a content creation race in Artha. They (thankfully) weren't shy about the attention that their blogging debuts brought to their LinkedIn inboxes. It made others jealous and smashed the glass ceiling that kept the team from expressing themselves. All of a sudden, every person at Artha was lining up to write whether it was partners, principals, legal associates, junior analysts, even our interns!
There was so much content to review & publish that our internal PR team had to put everyone on a publishing calendar. Every team member got assigned 1 day a week to post their efforts on the company blog. I blocked out an hour a day to review the final drafts before publishing. But when I look at the list of blogs waiting for my review, even a couple of hours a day will not do justice.
In the end, I learned a valuable lesson. The thrill of competition drives a person harder than the fear of retribution. I tried igniting a creative explosion within Artha with the right intentions but the wrong strategy. Eventually, the age-old tactic of replacing my stick with a pair of binocular to keep up with the joneses got me to my long-held goal of creating a thriving blogging culture at Artha. That is a silver lining for me to cherish!
Here is the list of the 25 blogs we have published on our blog pages in the last 33 days
- Breaking into venture capital: A brief playbook - Farhan Merchant
- Corona: Ghar se Kaam KaroNa, We did it, did you? - Deepanshu Sidhanti
- From Polo to Venture Capital - Dhruv Thadani
- 21 Point Action Plan to Corona-Proof Your Startup Dream - Anirudh A Damani
- Book Review: ‘Start with Why’ by Simon Sinek - Gauri Kuchhal
- Humanity First: Hyderabad Man Distributes Free Food Outside Hospital - Sandesha Jaitapkar
- 3 Takeaways After Evaluating 200 Startups - Farhan Merchant
- Book Review: ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living’ by Dale Carnegie - Gauri Kuchhal
- Week #14: What are our investee companies doing this week? - AIV Team
- Silver lining in the dark cloud — Looking up after 22 days of home arrest - Shweta Tripathi
- From selling my startup dreams to buying into the startup dreams of many more like me - Deepanshu Sidhanti
- MERC Listens — Part 1: Impact on Industrial & Commercial consumers - Animesh Damani
- 5 things I have learned after 365 days in Venture Capital - Dhruv Thadani
- Gordon Ramsay Would’ve Been a Top Tier VC - Farhan Merchant
- Flashback Friday: My first startup investment — United Mobile Apps - AIV Team
- Week #16 Investment Update: The coming of age for Farm to Fork startups? - AIV Team
- Finding silver linings - Anirudh A Damani
- My experience of lockdown & work from home - Piyali Das
- Book Review — ‘The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership’ by John Maxwell - Gauri Kuchhal
- Drawing parallels. Similarities between parenting and investing in early-stage startups - Deepanshu Sidhanti
- Impact of the lockdown on the power sector - Animesh Damani
- Work from Home — Boon or Curse? - Aakash Javeri
- Flashback Friday: CarveNiche Technologies - Anirudh Damani
- Week #17: AIV expands funding to SEA - AIV Team
- 10 things I learned from my 5-year startup journey — Executive Assistant to COO - Sandesha Jaitapkar