4 Minutes to read

Pritesh Kumar, Co-founder at FanPlay

Learning Inspiration 🌈 #58

Serial entrepreneur and co-founder of FanPlay Technologies, part of the YC batch YCW21, Pritesh shares with us his inspirations and his main challenges.

Pritesh Kumar, Co-founder at FanPlay

What is your main inspiration?

I’m really impressed with Elon Musk. His capacity to learn fast and his crazy focus on achieving things is really inspiring. When I see all he achieves while simultaneously running Tesla and Space X, it increasingly motivates me to be more of a really high achiever.

How do you continue to learn on a daily basis? What are your learning routines?

I love reading books. I read a lot of non-fiction, sometimes 5 books per week. When I read a successful entrepreneur’s biography, I learn from their experience and from the path they followed to meet success. In my daily life, I try to meet a maximum number of people to learn from them. When I face a difficulty in my personal or professional life, I always find inspiration and new things to learn about in books.

What pushed you to create your company?

In 2012, I was in College studying Computer Science and Entrepreneurship. 

I had always wanted to start a company and began in 2015 with Edwitty, an online educational and mentoring portal for UPSC-CSE aspirants. I also founded another company in the field of Education and have worked for a few companies.

During the first lockdown, I saw an opportunity. In fact, things were changing. Everybody tried to escape the lockdown by playing mobile games, which would massively impact the economy. I’m a Tech guy and have always been in Tech, so I was confident enough to quit my job and start a new venture. I talked with many people in the industry to have an idea of how I could do things better, and iterated my idea by talking to customers. The connection that you have with your customers is the key to building something great.

What are your favorite books and why?

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight (Nike founder) is amazing. He explains the entire process to building a huge company. He goes into detail regarding all the problems he faced. The point is to not give up.

I really loved Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss. He explains how he creates negotiation situations. The knowledge in this book is huge.

Also, it would be impossible for me to not mention Elon Musk’s biography, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.

What is your favorite podcast, and why?

I’m not really into podcasts. I try not to consume too much media. One podcast that I do like however is The science of success. It talks about how sleep is a key factor in your success. In fact, sleep deprivation has strong consequences on your ability to make decisions and be logical, on intellect and mental health. This podcast helped me a lot in improving these aspects of my life.

What would you say to 18-year-old Pritesh?

Be good in College haha! More seriously, I would tell him to focus on developing a network of people and developing his skills. College has become so expensive. It’s hard to find any return on that investment. I mean, apart from a network, what comes of it? Sure, in College you can learn new skills, but are those skills tailored to the challenges of the future? I highly doubt it. Time is precious and I don’t know if it’s a wise use of time to spend 3 or 5 years in College, learning skills that were useful in the last century.

When you are 18, you tend to do what you want and ignore trends and people. It can be a good thing because it helps you to innovate, but sometimes it can lead you down the wrong path.

What are the main challenges that you are facing?

Like almost all startups, we grapple with staying focused on user retention. It’s quite a big challenge. You build a product by yourself, and you need it to respond to your users’ needs. Then you grow, and you need to involve other people in your company to work as a team. It’s an everyday job to share your vision and make your team love your customers and product as much as you love it. It’s not that natural becoming a leader; it’s something that you have to work hard at.

If you were left alone on an island and could only bring one item, what would it be?

I would move to Mars. I don’t want to stay alone on an island. Jokes aside, it’s hard living without the internet. I’m always connected. The Internet helps you to score a situation and pushes you to be more innovative. I don’t want to be far away from this energy and this innovation. I want to be part of it.

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Romain from Clind

Romain is currently in Master 2 at Sup de Pub Paris. He is an organiser of electronic music events also passionate about human relationships, sports, UX/UI design and digital brand strategy.

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