From a vanity fueled website to a purposeful one – my short 15 year journey

From a vanity fueled website to a purposeful one – my short 15 year journey

by Ashwin | May 29, 2018 | Positivity Accelerator,

I first got enamored about having my own website in the early 2000s and luckily the domain ashwinkrishnan.com was available and I quickly paid the fees to GoDaddy and with some basic hosting, I was ready to take on the world. I added some photos in the first week featuring me - hey, the website did have my name in it right! - and more me and by the time the second week rolled around it was getting a little tiring to keep up the charade. And the world still did not come. At the end of the first month, I was about done. And when it came for the annual renewal, I could not bear the thought of giving up that prized domain so paid the fees but the site languished. And by the time year three rolled around, my ego was deflated and prudence took control and I did not renew. Fast forward to today. Another domain (that domain was taken over by my namesake), ashwinkrishnan.me, is getting prepared for launch. But there is a verve that is different this time. And when I started to think about it, I realized that there was one fundamental difference that makes this one so much more fulfilling (and enduring I hope). And that is - this time the website is a means to fulfill a mission, a statement of purpose that is bigger than me and not an ego-satisfying self-glorification agenda that I was enamored with 15 years ago. The mission statement is 6 words but took me a lot of soul searching, failures, more failures, ego-deflating moments and some amazing friends who picked me up and showed me the way when I was lost. Those six words are - People Accelerator, Tech Accelerator, Positivity Accelerator People Accelerator: Having breathed the Silicon Valley air for the last two decades, "accelerator" is in my lingua franca. Startup accelerator, CPU accelerator, funding accelerator …. So when I first thought of how I should go about naming my new mission, this seemed appropriate. But before you can accelerate, you need to find your purpose. That's where my maiden venture = #iPoP (In Pursuit of Purpose) - of working with some amazing people who were seeking some change in their life from their current preordained (or so they thought) path, gave me the courage to start chronicling my own journey and using that as a spark to stimulate discussion. Many months later, the network has started to kick in, and each member inspired and inspiring others with their courage and determination has been gratifying to watch as they accelerate towards their purpose. And now I am taking a leap from that pilot to an experimental commercial launch to have a greater impact. That's the promise. Tech Accelerator: My distaste for vendor marketing hype and meaningless buzzwords to drown the equally inane competition's senseless amplification started to bother me so much that I decided to take on a different approach and embarked upon writing with a view to educate, demystify and use everyday analogies to explain even the most complex tech topics. After repeated rejections from publications (hey, I was a vendor executive with no writing experience …), I got a break with SDxCentral - thanks Matt Palmer - and then Ed Murray from CSOOnline have not looked back since. A lot of battle scars with rejections and scathing commentary on my writing which has helped me enormously. Writing expanded to speaking and now am doing podcasting as well. But the mission remains unadulterated. No jargon, buzzwords or hyperbole. Ask the hard questions, connect with people and humanize the experience. Accelerate understanding, impact and action. Positivity Accelerator: This started out years ago with the Sparrow blog followed by the Puri experience and more recently the unforgettable United experience with the amazing Capt. Jason Lopez. The common denominator in these (and the scores of other blogs interspersed in-between) was a desire to extract positivity and inspiration from seemingly mundane incidents. It has resulted in amazing connections with people from far off lands - Indonesia, India, Thailand, Bosnia; from circles that I would have never intersected had I stayed in my straight and narrow Hi-Tech bubble I was cozied in - Writers, Podcasters, Authors, Death cheaters …- and expanded my awareness and empathy far beyond my wildest imagination. Very grateful! And this triangulation of purposes in my life has given me the audacity to talk about this on my website. I have no dearth of content compared to 15 years ago. I have no self-doubt about the 'Why'. I have gaping questions about monetization but with every passing day, the universe is clarifying the path with some unlikely and extraordinary alliances who believe in my mission and whose own journeys are inspirational for me.  And the ability to touch and impact more people with this offering makes this a worthy foray in my humble opinion. Again, none of this would have been possible without the unflinching support of my family and the amazing support of my new friends and confidants that I was so lucky to be connected with along the way who taught, rescued and reinforced my faith when I needed it the most. Is it easy? #NO. Do I feel a sense of fulfillment consistently that I never felt before? #YES. Reason enough to continue with my own #iPoP - In pursuit of purpose.