Marketing Insanity, Until The Investors Come Calling

Have you noticed that whenever there’s a downturn, the first casualty in a startup is marketing. With the current state of economy and investor money become scarce, the marketing teams and spends are the first to go.

Why I wonder, do we spend like crazy in the first place? Who are we pleasing but our egos, because the audience doesn’t give a sh*t about your shiny ads or celebs.. it’s the storytelling they crave.

I saw a post by this ‘unicorn’ about their super expensive celebrity video shoot, and in two weeks they announced massive layoffs. The money they wasted in that hollywood style production could have saved jobs.

Marketing is not a function of money, but creativity. You cannot spend and buy engagement. But, everywhere you see, it’s fancy expensive campaigns, celeb endorsements and templated ads, until the investors come calling.

Spend like it’s your money, and you’re always frugal, creative in scarcity, and focus to increase per person efficiency.. ask any bootstrapped startup.

But when it’s big bucks from investors, then it’s like Bachmanity Insanity (Silicon Valley – S3E6)

Posted on LinkedIn

The first video – Gurgaon Toll Surprise

This day eight years back, I released my first ever video. It was the happiest and the scariest moment of my life, happiest coz it was my first ‘viral’ experience and scariest coz if I did not build on that, if I did not figure out, learn, deep dive, obsess about why it worked.. then I’d be back to the rat race, nothing but a one hit wonder.

The journey and the obsession since then has resulted in 76 videos which went viral, 470M views and a best-selling book.. which for a college drop out, written off as a failure.. was beyond my wildest imagination. Results are never in our hands, but our action and performance is, and one brick at a time, compound effect works like magic. Life always gives you signs, shows you doors, but what matters is if you run through them.

And when that tiny door opened on Feb 18, eight years back.. I ran through it like my life depended on it.


Super Grateful for everything that came after :)

The only thing which matters for viral videos – podcast preview

Few months back, Vani Gupta Dandia and I recorded the first episode of her podcast series, power packed ten minutes about videos, virality and branding.

Full episode here..

Viral Video Marketing Session @ IIM Rohtak

“You know the difference between a manager and a leader? Managers manage from the back, leaders lead from the front. Be willing to get your hands dirty, be uncompromising about doing the right thing, keep user experience close to your heart, and your head deep in experimentation and execution to make that happen. Aspire to become the best goddamn leaders this country deserves!” Amazing energy with an amazing audience, the future leaders of tomorrow! Viral Video Session @ IIM Rohtak

Viral Videos Masterclass at JoshTalks

Viral video masterclass at JoshTalks. Incredible team on a solid mission. Creating and sharing inspirational stories from the heartland, in regional languages. More power to you guys. #LetsMakeIndiaGreatAgain