Business Today

Be Yourself

Print Edition: Sep 16, 2012

The best advice I got was around September 2010. I was seated in the large conference room of Clearstone Venture Partners in their office in Santa Monica, California. Clearstone is the lead investor in my current venture, The people present were Sumant Mandal, Games2win board member and Managing Director of Clearstone; Jim Armstrong, Joint MD of Clearstone; Bill Elkus, Founder of Clearstone; and I.

I was presenting the state of the Games2win business and had drawn a large circle on the whiteboard representing the business. Within the circle I started carving out areas (think pie charts) that defined our business lines. The carve-outs showed online games, portals, social games, and virtual worlds. It quickly looked pretty crowded. Yet, I had another marker to fill in new sections representing our forthcoming iStore and Android games.

As my marker approached the circle once again, I was nervous. This was the classic 'doing too many things' syndrome. Just as another line began to appear, Jim hollered out, saying: "Alok! Don't tell me you have more offerings to explain?"

I calmly said, "Yes Jim, we have these new lines rolling out as we speak and…" Before I could complete my sentence, Jim sat upright, broke into a big smile and loudly exclaimed: "That's audacious, Alok! We love you for your audacity and we will fund you for it!!"

The advice was: Be yourself. If that means stupidly audacious, then so be it! The author runs a social network for entrepreneurs called The Rodinhoods (

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