Hitbik Story – Lessons Learned from a Failed Startup

As I’ve mentioned earlier that I started writing back in 2015.

But I had no goals or plans about it. At the time, I was in the 2nd year of engineering college and I wanted to be a simple engineer after that.

And, it’s not that I was good at writing. I just used to write poorly constructed articles with numerous grammatical mistakes and kept doing the same for months. I would send the articles’ links to my friends and will just feel good about it.

Life was good back then. 😁

One evening, I was at home and a friend Arunanshu called me and asked if I would join a startup that a college senior Bikash Kampo is doing.

“Of course yes”, I said.

I talked to Bikash over call and we fixed a meeting the very next day.

Meeting at some fancy restaurant? Nah! He came in trousers and slippers and so did I. We walked talking and went to eat Dahivada near ITER College, Bhubaneswar.

The meeting was super exciting, as it should be. We exchanged ideas on how to improve HitBik.

Oh! By the way, HitBik was a rooms-for-rent searching startup based in Bhubaneswar. Like, for hotels you go online and search; HitBik was the same but for private hostels and rooms for rent.

I remember Bikash told me, “you don’t have to work for us; if you join HitBik, you will work with us”. And, the same day he invited me to his place (it was just 100 meters away from my place).

After returning from college, I went there with my laptop. There were about 5-6 people in a single room doing something with their laptops open. Everyone was sitting on the floor and there were sticky notes everywhere on the wall. And, on the wall behind my back, there was a huge chart paper with some kind of revenue model drawn on it.

I had never seen so many people involved in such a beautiful way. You won’t believe, but it was kind of mesmerizing for me. 😍

I don’t remember the names of all the people but to name a few Hitesh, Satyabrata, Raju (sorry to the people I left). And, all were my seniors; I was in the 3rd year and they had just gotten out of college.

And, they all briefed me about the vision and mission of Hitbik and the targets that they were trying to achieve. They already had a WordPress site and when I said that I had good knowledge about WordPress, they asked me to manage and do some tweaks to the site.

They asked me to update my photo in the about section of the website as a co-founder. I was on top of the sky.

Work was divided among all. Some had to go outside to find the to-let sign and contact the owner of the property, some had to go click the photos. Since I was still in college, I was given to put all the photos on the website along with other necessary details.

Everything was exciting for me. On weekdays, I would add listings after my college, and on weekends, I would go to Bikash’s place to discuss various ideas.

Like, all beautiful things come to an end – it came down within a year. Maybe because the revenue model was not good, or maybe because we were not dedicated enough, or maybe it needed funding, and we were not patient enough.

But… whatever happened, it taught me and probably everyone else some great lessons about doing business. It was not like a proper shiny startup, but it was something to remember for my lifetime.

It was the reason I met Bikash and some other interesting people, it was the reason I generated so much interest in business, and it was the reason that created a kind of spark in my mind to see everything around me as a business.

Yes, I call the failed startup a teacher – an unforgettable one.

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