1. Failure is an option: Yezdi’s second startup happened around the 2008 financial meltdown and it had to close down. Like many of us, Yezdi grew up in the “failure is not an option” culture in India. Until that point, he had not seen any failure. So this startup failure came as a big shock and disappointment. This is when he got good advice from his angel investors. They said, “You can’t blame yourself for this. The entire world is going down. Take a break. Come back and we will give you money for the next startup”. He realized that that was an amazing attitude. After more such experiences, Yezdi is convinced, “If you are not failing, you are not trying enough.”
2. Listen from all directions: Satya Nadella was Yezdi’s first boss at Microsoft. He was not the most aggressive boss around unlike the Microsoft culture prevalent at that time. However, he was very good at listening and synthesizing different points of view. Over the years, Yezdi began to appreciate the importance of listening from all directions. Juniors are quite hesitant to speak up when the boss is around. And unless one cultivates the culture that anyone can speak up, ideas get blocked. In the hitech world, young people are likely to be in touch with the latest technology trends. And if one doesn’t listen to them, one may not catch these signals.
Have fun: Corporate world today is
extremely fast-paced. One needs to work hard and it also involves sacrifices.
However, if you just focus on your career, you are likely to lose out on a lot
of joy. Yezdi’s move back from Silicon Valley to India was motivated by his
desire to spend more time with his parents. He feels it is important to take
breaks and spend time with friends, family, and parents. And Yezdi walks the