Ishan Nadkarni is a young entrepreneur from Bombay. He is also a fellow IITB graduate.

Ishan stopped by other day at our office in San Mateo. He surprised me presenting me with a pencil sketch of me he had done several years ago as a student during one of my periodic visit to my alma mater. Very nicely done, I must say.

After an hour of session with me, he again surprised me with an email a day later. He had summarized the thoughts expressed by me during the meeting. It is very satisfying to see simple thoughts/ideas have such an impact. I think Ishan is going places!!!

Here is his email:

== Gospels of Truth – From Kanwal to Ishan ==
Keep your head down and keep working.
Expect no respect. Work hard and earn it.
Shift out of your comfort zone to leading, managing, selling to customers, running the company.
Grow faster as a person that the rate of your company’s growth.
Use spirituality to detach. And to manage yourself.
Talk to, listen and learn from consumers. Then iterate your vision and product according to market needs.
Business is mathematics. All said and done, the numbers have to make sense.
No army can walk on an empty stomach for long.

Thanks again for your time. I hope you liked the sketch 🙂


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Excelan had hit a full stride by early 1989. We finished a very strong year in 1988 with almost $60 million in revenue. I can’t recall the exact profits, but we were very profitable. Our LAN Workplace product for PCs had caught fire. For the first time users could use their local server and be on the corporate network at the same time. We helped Microsoft with Windows where we taught them to preserve the “state of network connection” when the user switched to different window. Until then, Windows was strictly a local machine or a single window network workstation.

This is the second Quarterly earning report for Excelan after it had gone public. Back then, companies printed and mailed quarterly reports to all share holders.



1995 was the year of the Internet – the start of the Internet as we know it now. By the end of 1994, Mosaic (later to be renamed as NetScape) browser was available and DNS service had simplified the URLs. Until then it was mostly used by companies and universities to do email and file transfers. It was a crude but very useful tool – although not ready for prime time. Most people used Internet at the office or dialed office to get on the Internet from home. Incidentally modems of that vintage were lightning fast: 9600 baud (roughly bit per seconds). I had started with modems at 300 bauds way back when. Most of the eighties they were 1200 baud. Most communication was textual. 9600 bauds meant that 800 characters transferred per second. Today’s home connections are easily 1000X. My home connection now downloads at 50 MBS (million bits per second)!