I remember another incident in late 1996. The company hosting our IndiaWorld website suddenly decided to shut down our servers. Some demands were made, which I could not obviously meet. I was stunned. I could see my entire business collapsing in front of me. Without our flagship website, what would we do? For an entire day, I sat still and nearly motionless. All I could see was Failure written all over. Given that this was not the first time I was failing in a business, I began to question myself and my abilities. I descended into a spiral of negative thinking.
It was then that my wife suggested that I do what many others do when they are in trouble: Pray. Until that time, I was not much of a believer in God. I would do the periodic obligatory visits to temples without much feeling. Not seeing much of a choice in the situation (and being one of those who believe that the Wife is Always Right), I went and prayed. A rational mind still refuses to believe what happened thereafter. But within a day, things started looking up. While we lost our domain, it was not all dark and bleak. VSNL helped me host our servers in India. NCST (yes, the same institution which had terminated my Internet connection just over a year ago) moved quickly to give us the indiaworld.co.in domain. And we were up and running again in a matter of 24 hours. We had to rebuild our customer base from scratch, but at least we had the website running now.
There are a couple of lessons to be drawn from this. Faith in God is one of them. To this day, I make it a point to visit the temple daily. I cannot and do not want to make a causal link, but there are some things best left unanswered. The other lesson I learnt is that an entrepreneurs Passion can create Friends. As I sat in front of the GM at VSNL, all I could convey is my vision and passion. He believed in what I was doing and ensured that we would get all the help we needed to get our service operational. At that time, VSNL did not even have a formal policy on hosting and pricing. Different people helped us en route as we tried to rebuild the business click by click.
Tomorrow: Seeing The Good
TECH TALK When Bad Things Happen+T