Sramana Mitra: That I don’t agree with. Just like you did, while you had your job, you started researching your product and validating your idea to a large extent. This is based on research. That has a higher survival rate. If you quit your job and jump with both feet into something that is not validated at all, the chances of you not having a validated business ever is very high.
Jas Grewal: What I meant to say is that, at a certain point, you have to pull the trigger and commit.
Sramana Mitra: Yes. That point is not when you come up with the idea.
Jas Grewal: Exactly. The idea actually came in January of 2014. It was 17 months before we launched. It involved putting in a lot of foundation work while working. During that time, I actually had the chance to talk with, at least, 20 or 30 hospitals.
Sramana Mitra: That’s the real thing – talking to customers and immersing yourself in customers. That needs to happen before you quit your job, especially if you are in a tight cash situation, which most entrepreneurs are. If you’re a serial entrepreneur with success before and you have a lot of cash cushion, that’s a different story.
Jas Grewal: Even if you have the cash cushion, I would say that you should still be taking the same steps.
Sramana Mitra: I agree. Validation is absolutely the cornerstone of our methodology.
Jas Grewal: Yes. During the January to March timeframe, we had given approximately 160 presentations to potential customers. We took so much data in just from those 160 conversations. It laid out two years of the product roadmap.
Sramana Mitra: It also gave you a pipeline, right? I’m sure you went back and started converting a whole lot of them which explains why you’re even talking to me because we have a threshold below which we don’t do these conversations. It sounds like you have crossed the $5 million threshold.
Jas Grewal: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: We actually have a name for the mode that you operated on, which is Bootstrapping with a Paycheck. Just like you said, you needed 18 to 24 months of bootstrapping before you were ready to raise any kind of financing. That means that you somehow have to figure out how you’re going to navigate those months without financing.
Jas Grewal: Exactly. I had a one-year-old at home during that time. My wife was in a fellowship program. It was a huge cushion for me. I actually left the job that was consuming 60 to 70 hours a week and went to work in consulting where I was working four days. I worked as a contractor. It paid a little bit better, so the pay was comparable. At the same time, I was spending around 40 hours on work and I was spending another 40 to 50 hours on this startup.
Sramana Mitra: It was great talking to you. Thank you for your time.