Darpan is the Founder of Squadhelp.com, a crowdsourcing platform helping entrepreneurs engage experts for their branding projects. Previously, he co-founded a VC-backed business that was a leader in Fortune 500 companies.
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Google Optimizely – Darpan’s small business resource
10% Happier – Darpan’s Top Business Book
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3 Value Bombs
1) You can’t solve all the problems in the world, but there’s definitely one problem that you can solve remarkably.
2) Pivoting can be hard at times; don’t hesitate when you know it’s the right thing to do.
3) Innovate in your own industry.
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(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[01:08] – Darpan was born in India and moved to Chicago 20 years ago
[01:43] – He currently resides in Chicago with his family and their dog
[02:45] – JLD himself has used Squadhelp and still uses it every now and then
[03:28] – Darpan shares how he came up with Squadhelp through a contest on a marketing focused site
[03:54] – “There needs to be a resource for companies to use”
[05:03] – His expertise is in building large scale Internet applications
[05:35] – There are some known myths about branding that most companies focus on; don’t forget to:
- Pick a brand name that is productive, intriguing and connects with customers
- Pay attention with the validation of your brand name
- Trademarking is important — Go to uspto.gov for a free trademark check
- Do a sample audience check on your brand and get feedback
- Check with Google Translate to make sure that your brand name won’t become complicated in other languages
[08:30] – Darpan thinks JLD’s brand ‘Cities by Sound’ evokes positive emotions
[10:31] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Darpan co-founded an ecommerce business in fashion products for the Indian market. They raised a couple rounds of capital and built a great team, but they found themselves caught in a price war between two major players—Amazon and a different Indian company. There was no other way to become profitable so they shut the business down
[12:10] – That experience gave Darpan a lot of wisdom for his current venture
[12:29] – “You should not wait a second longer to pivot your business”
[12:56] – Part of being an entrepreneur means making tough decisions at the right time
[13:32] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Darpan ran contests on his own platform to get ideas on how they could improve engagement. They added gamification, quality squading, leaderboards, a point system, and badges. Now their audience not only continues to engage on their platform, but they also give feedback
[15:13] – It’s powerful when the feedback you’re getting is from the people inside your community
[16:13] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I think we have built a very credible alternative to a branding agency, and that is the most exciting part”
[17:30]– The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – The comfort of working in a stable paying job
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Focus on the core of the business”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “My passion around innovation and technology”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Google Optimizely
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – 10% Happier – “it’s about a journey that shows how mindfulness helps us to be more focused and happier”
[22:06] – Spend time picking a powerful business name
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