Google defines serendipity as “The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: ‘a fortunate stroke of serendipity’”. The definition implies a sense of ‘chance’ or that which is not directly in our control.
Wikipedia has this to say – “Serendipity means a ‘happy accident’ or ‘pleasant surprise’; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.” Interesting that they would use the words while not specifically searching for it.
Going by gut, I’ve found Serendipity to be one part belief and one part effort. They’re both dependent on each other and work together to,
* give you the freedom to persistently continue your effort, to improve it,
* hold off despair through self-encouragement and,
* when the opportunity finally opens up – ensure that you are ready for it.
For instance, Roby John walked the Pune Open Coffee Club through how his startup June managed to unlock the serendipity of the Silicon Valley. Roby has made it a constant effort to focus on building his product and maintaining some presence in San Francisco through the better part of 2011 and 2012. In the middle of 2011, his startup were selected to attend office hours with Paul Graham. Later June applied to YCombinator and were accepted, thus becoming the first truly native Pune Startup to have earned that distinction. This is by no measure a trivial achievement. YCombinator are the institution of repute of Startup Incubation. In hindsight, would you still be surprised? And yet, I don’t think Roby knew all along that this was a certainty. That might be a question I want to ask him, but for now I’ll accept that mystery. In order for serendipity to work for you, you will need to keep rising up again, ‘n again, ‘n again.
There are important areas in our lives where we look forward to serendipity of this kind. I guess it is important to remember both belief and effort are necessary ingredients. Take time to list them out and strengthen both.
A day later.
— Santosh Dawara (@santoshdawara) August 13, 2012
When I started the Pune Open Coffee Club in March 2008 on the suggestion of a friend, Vijay Anand (Founder, Proto.in), little did I know that in a short span of three months, the Club would attract over 200 members.
Anjali and I used to brainstorm ways of marketing POCC, and one of the ideas that really helped was coinciding our first major POCC meeting with the VC Circle conference in Pune in April. Since the conference was filled with investment bankers, the VCs who wanted to meet entrepreneurs came to the POCC event
It’s exciting for us to see new members joining the Club every week, especially with all the action they’re bringing with them.
Here are some of highlights of June and July in case you’ve missed something.
I’ve been helping the Pune OpenCoffee Club bootstrap itself here in Pune. The community is designed to help Tech. Startup Enthusiasts, Entrepreneurs, Developers, Advisors, Investors and everyone else.
Entrepreneurs are good at keeping their dream when everything about them is changing.