Working at Lightbox was one of the most transformative experiences I have had in my life. In a short span of 2 months, I learned things that, in more ways than one, altered my understanding of the entire startup ecosystem and VC environment. A 360 degrees shift from a B-school setting, where one mostly talks about either the Porter’s 5 forces or traditional marketing concepts from Kotler, I, at Lightbox, was exposed to a plethora of new concepts ranging from emerging business models like sharing economy to upcoming trends in digital marketing. Everything I learned at Lightbox was relevant and contextual. I had often wondered what it takes to create a world-changing business and how great companies are different from not-so-great ones. At Lightbox, I got answers to some of these, thanks to the amazing Monday morning meetings and my interactions with the great people here.
Coming to people, I must emphasize that the best part of working at Lightbox was its people. I was literally blown away by the kind of knowledge and experience everyone had. During certain discussion points in meetings, I literally said “wow” in my head. Such was the nature of the talks! Besides, everyone at Lightbox is so kind, helpful and most importantly, informal. With so much warmth and brilliance, I must say that Lightbox has the best work-cultures of all the places I worked before.
And last but not the least, I must confess that Lightbox internship was probably an experience I desperately needed. It changed my outlook towards certain broader things in life. Earlier I thought that startups and VCs are mostly about riding the wave of “market boom” and making quick money before things eventually fall apart and this way of thinking was so uninspiring. At Lightbox, I realized that startups and VCs can also be the agents for a change that could impact the future of humanity in much more positive way and this way of thinking, all of a sudden, makes things so inspiring. Great problems are being solved in sustainable energy, transportation, 3D digital technology, artificial intelligence, medical sciences and even in interstellar space travel, each one of which has potential to bring about a positive (hopefully) future. Lightbox was the environment that stimulated me to see how several startups are solving really “meaningful” problems and thus transformed me from a “skeptic” to an “optimist” towards this ecosystem. As ridiculous as it may seem, this inspiration has driven me to devote hundreds of hours studying about the great problem solvers of our age such as Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and others. I can say, with a high degree of confidence that I could have experienced this only at Lightbox and I am very thankful for this.
The advice to entrepreneurs is to experiment, fail, learn and repeat. Try things at a small scale and at a low cost, and quickly assess if they work or not and then take a call on what is worth scaling up. The experiments should either stop or continue based on consumer feedback.