One morning in March 2008, I wore my favorite blue shirt and khakis, and took a bus ride to Shivaji Nagar bus stop. It was a short walk to my destination from the bus stop. I was mildly excited about the possibility of landing a job at The New Indian Express as a reporter. Only mildly, because it was a long shot. I had no training in journalism and I had no idea how newspapers worked. On the bus ride to the interview, I remember thinking how big Bangalore is.
The newspaper office was every bit like I imagined. Old worn furniture. Smoke-filled rooms. And many serious people. I was 22 and overwhelmed then. By the time I walked into the editor’s office, I’d decided that I wasn’t going to get the job. But for some reason, he hired me. I like to think that the blog I used to write in those days had a part to play in it. But the chances of that are slim.
In any case, I got that job. Eventually, I wrote about technology and startups for many newspapers and blogs. The big city became part of me. Right from those early days, I figured that someday I might even write a book. So I tried a few times and failed. The shirt faded and the khaki wore out much like how my enthusiasm to commit journalism died. But I still wanted to write that book.
The book is finally happening. I took some time out during the lockdown to finish the project that I’d started some time ago. The book is titled Xiaomi: How a Startup Disrupted the Market & Created a Cult Following and it is up for preorders now. In the book, I tried to unpack the trends, people, and strategies that came together to create massive startup success.
Here’s some ❤️ for the book
Jayadevan PK takes us on a fascinating journey that covers the rise of Xiaomi — from Beijing to Bengaluru and the rest of the world. Xiaomi’s phenomenal rise is worth studying, especially for challenger brands and startups that have a good fight in them. This book is a must-read for anyone aspiring to build a startup. It unpacks elements of strategy that make modern companies different and successful even when facing fierce incumbents.
— Kunal Shah, founder, CRED
I’ve been observing Xiaomi’s role in globalizing Chinese products since the company’s early days. Lei Jun was one of a new generation of entrepreneurs who saw what was possible with the direct-to-consumer model and started to push China forward as an innovator that could show the US a thing or two. This book shines a light on one of the world’s most important consumer tech consumers with hard-to-come-by insight and perspective.
— Hamish McKinzie, co-founder, Substack
Some of you have known and supported me for many years now. I’m grateful for that and I’m looking forward to your continued support. I’m hoping my book will be useful for anyone who is associated with building companies. If that’s you, go ahead and smash that preorder button below.
If it’s been a while since we spoke, write to me. Also, give the book a shout out on social media so we sell some copies 🙂!