When startups fail: what happens when the cash runs out

Octy 03, 2016
The high-tech Skully motorcycle helmet, as it appeared in product photography images on the company’s website. The helmet featured a heads-up display, GPS-tracking, a rear-view camera and enhanced audio capability, all starting at about $1,500. Skully is one of several Bay Area startups that ran out of cash and shut down in recent months. Experts say these failures prove not every entrepreneur can live the Silicon Valley dream. (Courtesy of Skully)

Silicon Valley has long lured ambitious entrepreneurs into shiny co-working spaces and startup accelerators, promising them the chance to create the next Google, Facebook or Uber.

But the reality is most startups fail, a risk that some say is growing as funding that once poured into the booming tech market begins to slow. For founders and employees, the results can be devastating.

“It sounds good on paper, but that’s not really how it is,” Dr. Michael Freeman said of the Silicon Valley dream. A psychiatrist at UC San Francisco who studies and counsels entrepreneurs, Freeman likened the tech boom to the Gold Rush. “A lot of people in 1849 came to California looking for gold. And some people found it — and most didn’t.”

Those failures can be crushing for employees — and not just because they find themselves out of a job. Carlos Rodriguez, Skully’s former vice president of sales and marketing, said the company’s demise was especially painful because he was personally invested in Skully’s mission to prevent motorcycle accidents.

He worked 80 or 90 hours a week, spending some nights in a hotel to be closer to work. His children had Skully stickers on their laptops. As the company fell apart, Rodriguez pulled himself away for a preplanned trip to France with his wife for their anniversary. On the plane, he was hit hard by what happened.

“I was looking out the window, and I just started bawling,” Rodriguez said. “I was saddened for customers … I was grieving for them. I was grieving for the work I put in for the development of this product. I was grieving for the time that I was away from my family.”

Now Rodriguez works as an adviser for a few other tech companies, but they compensate him mostly in equity, forcing him to live off his savings while he hunts for another job. Despite his experiences at Skully, he’s considering signing on with another small startup.

Read more at: www.mercurynews.com

Jim Carrey In Commencement Speech: ‘Choose Love’ And ‘Do Beautiful Things’

July 25, 2016

Published at Huffington Post

Actor Jim Carrey wishes more people could realize “all their dreams and wealth and fame,” just so they “could see that it’s not where they’re gonna find their sense of completion.”

Carrey told this to graduates last weekend at the commencement ceremony for Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. All students at the school practice Transcendental Meditation, something Carrey does as well.

“Like many of you, I was concerned about going out into the world and doing something bigger than myself, until someone smarter than myself made me realize that there is nothing bigger than myself,” Carrey said. “ My soul is not contained within the limits of my body, my body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul.”

Carrey is best known as a comedic actor starring in everything from “In Living Color,” “Ace Ventura” and “Dumb & Dumber” to more recent films like “Bruce Almighty” and “Kick Ass 2.”

Read full story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/28/jim-carrey-commencement-maharishi_n_5404156.html

आ-आफ्नै सगरमाथा

Juny 10, 2016
निशा अधिकारी, नायिका /सगरमाथा आरोही। तस्बिरः चन्द्रशेखर कार्की

‘ दुनियाँले चिन्छन् भनेर पहाड नचढ्नू। संसार हेर्न उक्लेको हो भने, कुरा अर्कै हो।’

ट्रेकिङबाट फर्केको तीन साता भयो। तर, ह्याङओभर बाँकीनै छ।

म कुनै हिमाल चढेर फर्केको होइन। मैले सक्ने कुरा पनि होइन। करिब १४ हजार फिटसम्म पुग्न सकेकोमा म आफैंलाई पटक पटक धाप मार्दै छु।

यस्तो लाग्दैछ, मानौं सगरमाथा चढेर फर्किएको हुँ। नलाग्नु पनि किन? हामी सबैको जीवनमा आ-आफ्नै निजी सगरमाथा हुन्छ। पोलिस पर्वतारोही वाण्डा रूटकिविकका शब्द हुन् ‘चढ्नको निम्ति, हामी सबैसँग आफ्नै सगरमाथा हुन्छ।’

हो त नि, गहिरिएर हेरेँ-हामी सबैसँग आफूले आरोहरण गर्नु आ-आफ्नै सगरमाथा छ। लाङटाङ ट्रेकिङ जाँदा बाटोमा एक जना भाइसँग परिचय भयो। उसका निम्ति सगरमाथा भनेको आर्मीमा भर्ना हुनु हो। सके ब्रिटिस आर्मी, नसके ईन्डियन आर्मीसम्म पुग्ने सगरमाथा। १० हजार फिटमा चिया दोकान थापेर बसेकी पेमा शेर्पाका निम्ति सगरमाथाको शिखर भनेको हिमालको चुचुरो होइन, खाडीको मरूभूमी हो। ‘अब दुई महिनामा त कतार जाने भिसा आउँछ होला, यता बसेर त बच्चा पढाउनै गाह्रो,’ दुख: छिपाउन फिस्स हासिन् पेमा। मैले वाण्डालाई सम्झेँ, ‘चढ्नको निम्ति, हामी सबैसँग आफ्नै सगरमाथा हुन्छ।’

वाण्डाको बारेमा थाहा पाएको धेरै भएको छैन। पर्वतारोहरणका पाना पल्टाउँदै जाँदा संयोगवश वाण्डासँग ठोक्किन पुगेँ। उनी बाचेकी भए, एक झलक देख्न चाहन्थेँ। एक साँझ भरी उनलाई सुन्न चाहन्थेँ... कहिलेकाही, मलाई पृथ्वीबाट हिँडिसकेकासँग पनि प्रित गास्न मन लाग्छ। उमेर र कालको सीमा नाघेर पनि मायाका गीत लेख्न मन लाग्छ। सन १९४३ मा जन्मेकी वाण्डा जम्मा ४९ वर्ष पृथ्वीमा रहिन्। विश्वमा रहेको आठ हजार फिटभन्दा अग्ला १४ शिखर मध्ये ८ शिखर आरोहरण गरेकी वाण्डा विश्व ईतिहासको महानतम् महिला पर्वतारोही हुन्। सगरमाथा चढ्ने उनी तेस्रो महिला हुन् भने आरोहरणका दृष्टिले संसारमा सबैभन्दा मुस्किल पहाड मानिने माउण्ट केटु शिखर (जो विश्वको दोस्रो अग्लो पर्वत पनि हो) चढ्ने पहिलो महिला हुन्। अन्नपूर्ण साउथ त उनले ‘सोलो’ चढिदिइन्। सन् १९९२ मा कन्चनजंघा अभियानबाट फर्कने दौरान उनले आफ्नो ज्यान गुमाइन्। बिशाल हिमालयमा उनी एक्लै पनि हिड्थिन्, सहयोगीको लावा लस्कर साथ होइन। पर्वतारोहणमा लाग्नुभन्दा पहिला वाण्डाको रूची ‘हेभी मोटरसाइकल’ कुदाउँने थियो। सन १९६१ को गर्मी महिनाको एक दिन, हाइवेमा दौडिरहेको उनको मोटरसाइकलको तेल सकियो। उनले हात हल्लाएर सहयोग मागिन्। कुनै वाहन रोकिएन। धेरै पछि एउटा मोटर साइकल रोकियो। जो रोकियो, त्यसको पछिल्लो सिटमा बसेको मानिससँग वाण्डाको मित्रता स्थापित भयो। पछाडि सिटको मान्छे पर्वतारोहरणमा रूची राख्थ्यो। त्यही मान्छेको मित्रताले वाण्डालाई पर्वतारोहरणमा तान्यो। दुबैले मिलेर फाल्कन पर्वत चढे।

त्यसपछि पहाडसँग वाण्डाको यस्तो प्रित बस्यो, जुन प्रेमका लागि वाण्डाले आफ्नो ज्यानसमेत दिइन्। सन् १९९२ मा कन्चनजंघा आरोहरणबाट फर्कदै गर्दा उनले आफ्नो अन्तिम सास लिइन्। वाण्डाको लाश आजसम्म भेटिएको छैन। हिमालयसँग उनको प्रेम थियो। आफ्नो प्रेमीकै काखमा, सदाका लागि विलिन् भइन् वाण्डा। जुन युग र प्रविधिमा वाण्डाले आठ हजार फिट माथिका त्यतिका शिखर चुमिन्, त्यो युग पर्वतारोहरणका हिसाबले आज जस्तो सरल थिएन। पर्वतारोहरण, आज पनि सजिलो छैन तर वाण्डाको समयमा कयौं गुणा दुष्कर थियो। त्यसै कारण, वाण्डा रूटकिविकको नाम बेजोड-बेमिसाल छ। अब आउने सुदूर भविष्यसम्म पनि, महिला पर्वतारोहीका रूपमा पर्वतारोहणका वाण्डा रूटविकका किर्तिमानलाई छुन सजिलो छैन।

कालजयी छ उनको अमूल्य वचन्- ‘चढ्नको निम्ति, हामी सबैसँग आफ्नै सगरमाथा हुन्छ।’

Read more at: www.setopati.com

Let’s Visit Nepal

Juny 08, 2016
Posted on welcomenepal

I had an extra-ordinary opportunity to travel across the western Nepal on a bus-trip along the dangerous roads which are made between very high mountains. Trisuli and Kaligandaki rivers flow just besides these very curvy roads. Rafters across scary waves of Trisuli are often seen while riding through these buses. Buses often stop at some of the small motels/hotels in the middle of the highway for the relaxation of travelers. Food and tea these motels provide has its own local taste.

Tourists do not go that far most of the time unless they are familiar with somebody in the area. Travel agencies often limit the tourists to these famous trekking sites like Nagarkot, Jomsom or Mt. Everest area. Most of the travelers do not realize that Nepal is much more than these few locations.

Lot of foreign travellers often come associated with some NGOs/INGOs like Care Nepal International, Red Cross Society, etc and have been observed travelling as far as Dadeldhura and Doti District of Nepal. JICA International associates from Japan are often seen contributing in the health care industries in the most remote parts of the country.

Pokhara is definitely the first destination for most of the tourists who visit Nepal. Davis Falls is one of the wonders in the world which looks as if lying in some bottomless pit. One of the visiting tourist by the name of Davis is said to have falled down the stream while visiting the spot. Phewa Lake with a temple in the middle of it is one of the most romantic destinations in Pokhara. At a very low cost, the visitors are allowed to boat around the Phewa Lake.

Posted on Nepal Tourism Board Web site Posted on Nepal Tourism Board Web site

Read more at: www.huffingtonpost.com

In Nepal, where the slavery journey begins

Mayy 31, 2016

Published at Huffington Post, By Monique Villa

One year after the earthquake, Nepal has become the poorest country in Asia, surpassing Afghanistan. Last week, I visited the Kathmandu valley for a few days as part of a fact-finding trip organised by the Freedom Fund, an organization funding NGOs fighting slavery in the frontlines.

Trafficking here is an endemic sickness in this beautiful country, where people have to migrate to find work and send money home. Often they fall prey to traffickers and slavers ready to take advantage of the most vulnerable. It is estimated that one Nepalese in 100 is subject to some form of slavery today.

I was able to see the worst and the best during this trip. The worst: the police stations where Nepalese dream to work because these are the places where you can become rich -all from corruption. The worst: children who have been sold and re-sold endlessly for the sexual gratification of people with no shred of morale.

Read full story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/monique-villa/in-nepal-where-the-slaver_b_10222088.html