StartupTalky is one of the strongest community in India and we have a lot of professionals who are doing great in their lives. To share their learnings and inspire as many people as we can, we are interviewing all the StartupTalkers in our "Know the StartupTalker" series.
Today, we have Mr Akshay Moorthy as our interviewee. Akshay Moorthy is a Freelance App Developer. You will learn a lot from this story of Akshay Moorthy in his own words.
Your Autograph stand for?
Mr Akshay Moorthy
If you're asked to choose three words for your autobiography, what would it be?
Digital Nomad, Maker, Technophile
Who Are You?
I am a Freelance Android Developer with 3 years of experience in App development. I architect & build custom apps that help businesses grow. My knowledge and expertise aren't limited to Mobile as I have a fair knowledge of the entire pervasive product development stack. I have created over 7 apps that tackled varied problems with challenges in design, features, and implementation. After having worked on various apps from scratch in a remote service startup environment and undertaking coordination responsibilities, I decided to start my journey as a digital nomad by choosing full-time freelancing, as I truly believe in a work-focused structure immaterial of place and time. Apart from this my primary interest includes building a low-profit brand, focused on addressing much needed India centric issues faced by the people in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.
What is Your Typical Day Like?
The interesting thing about my typical day is that it is never planned. Every day is driven by what I feel like doing at the very moment, but it does have a set of activities which are non-periodic for the reason that I am actively looking for clients to work with. Usually, it includes me checking emails for clients responses and going through product hunt, exploring the new launches and also trying it out if its an interesting product. I also read a lot of news on startups may it be launches, acquisition or restructuring. Most of my evenings are spent on my ideas that I wish to work on and adding points to my idea board, exploring apps, UX in apps, tweeting about products, learning a new topic or a lesson in a course. After I start to feel overloaded, I end my day by either binge-reading a book or binge-watching TV shows through the night till 2 AM.
What Are Your Superpowers?
I am truly obsessed with the fact that every single person has been given the same time every single day and yet the magnitude of changes they make varies. The constant want to help transform the lives of as many people as possible every single day through technology, and by help I mean to attain equality concerning accessibility of resources and avenues to improve quality of living. I strongly believe that startups today are taking the urban audience way to grant for its existence and in a way it draws a line beyond which the tech is not accessible. I want to work on affordable tech, accessible across all tiers of cities including the efforts to rural penetration. To start with I want to work on Ed-tech sector where there is a lot of work that needs to be done in terms of affordable, equal and quality education so that every single child across Tier-II, Tier-III & beyond cities gets the opportunity, exposure and resources to achieve what they intend to with as much ease as an urban kid can, I strongly believe that today with technology we can do it and I want to be instrumental in it.
Bitter fruits are a part of the journey as the Startup World is a never-ending jungle. Your experiences, if any?
Though I loved my work, spent days and night solving interesting challenges faced in projects, there was a time when I had to be idle while at work. It was a very agonising phase where I had to go to work with literally nothing to work on, it was also the time I started having an existential crisis. I chose to overcome it by spending all the work time I had in learning new topics and developing my skills rather than waiting for an update on the delayed projects, thankfully the management was very supportive of it and it helped me learn a lot of things. Another experience is, the work and the words exchanged on good faith, these are things that have no record of it and can be misused by changed hands and new people who can't be trusted, at times it takes a toll on personal life, especially in my case it happened to cause a lot of mental stress as my work was not acknowledged. For a creative developer, the only thing that matters more than money is acknowledgement & respect for the work delivered, and due to the shift in management, it was denied to me. At one point, the stress was too much that I felt it be a barrier and I decided to give it up so that I have a story to share for tomorrow. While all of it did pass, I took another risk by getting into freelancing for full-time and though I can't tell much of it as a struggle yet as it's only been 7 months since I started, I would say that finding leads in landing my first client is still a never-ending stressful process, vastly because startups are still doubtful about hiring premium freelance developers. While some of them choose to hire full-time developers to maintain integrity, some are always looking for quality results for low pay but what bothers me is the vast majority of startups who are very unsure about remote freelancing when it comes to development. They often fail to understand that development demands as much quality work, creativity and effort as design. So I feel it needs to change for the gig economy and distributed workforce to boom.
What are Your Hobbies and Interests?
I love watching TV shows, listening to podcasts and reading books on topics like the evolution of mankind, human behaviour, multiverse, time-travel, history, and theories that lead to the creation of beliefs, taboos, and superstition. I am a music enthusiast as I sing & play the guitar and also a solo traveller.
What are some tools and Gadgets that make you feel like the Doraemon of the Startup world?
Gadgets - iPad for eBooks & OTT, Macbook & iPhone for Work productivity tools - Product Hunt, Slack, AngelList / LinkedIn, Google Keep/ Apple Notes, BitBucket/Google Drive for backups, Medium/Twitter for new articles, Stitcher/Breaker/Apple Podcasts for Podcasts, Google Analytics, Shortcuts app for iOS and of course Whiteboard and Sticky Notes.
Who would you consider to be a significant influence on you professionally and can you explain why?
It's a very tough thing to say for me as I try to learn things from everyone. When asked to pick globally, very easily and it would have been Apple/Steve Jobs and Tesla/Elon Musk for their ups and downs but If I had to stick to India, The startup I admire is Byju's for marketing app-based learning on a huge scale and Entrepreneur I admire is Deepinder Goyal for building a kickass brand and an amazing startup which is good at its product, service, customer support, and marketing.
Also read: Here Are Some Best Business Ideas for Women
Any Hack You Want to Share With Us?
If you are an iOS user then make use of Shortcuts app is you can do a lot of stuff like automatically emailing yourself your daily schedule/meetings. Add Product Hunt Chrome plug-in, join Product Hunt's Maker community and update everyday to-do tasks. Follow Makers/Developers/Open Source Contributors/Founders and other Tech News publishers on Twitter (Ignore Influencers), Connect with Founders and People whose work and vision are aligned with yours on LinkedIn, Subscribe to Telegram Channels and Connect with one Tech Enthusiast who shares almost everything about Startups and Tech on Facebook.
What do you think about the future of the Indian Startup Ecosystem and how can we make it better?
I seriously feel that a vast amount of money is being directed to ideas that promise easy ROI but in a way are burning up. The Indian Startup ecosystem is currently focusing only on proven global models and is keen on making an Indian version of it, also investors are investing more on ideas from founders with tags of reputed Institutions and Startups. The whole ecosystem has to open up and welcome new ideas that solve India specific and hyper-local problems from diverse people across the country to whom the startup money is inaccessible. Also as I mentioned earlier, Indian Startup Ecosystem should start shifting its focus on R&D of new innovative ideas and products that address global problems rather than being the next Airbnb/Uber of India and also on for-profit ideas/products/services that help in transforming and uplifting the lives of people in Tier-II and below cities rather than making money out of the urban audience.
Love us or criticize, we are always happy... but we would love to know how we affected your life in any particular way? Any words for the admins, please? (suggestion/feedback/expectations)
To be frank, Initially, I thought STT wouldn't be the space where I would fit in, but eventually, it became the place that was most relevant for things I talk about. May it be talking about a product, sharing news, reaching out for help, looking for people to collaborate, ranting on tech news or marketing, it has got the right audience and network of interesting people. The only problem I faced is that a lot of good posts at times gets unnoticed and mixed up as a lot of people keep posting, STT should find a way so that interesting relevant post reaches its audience, one suggestion would be to make many more unique STT hashtags.