Today's entrepreneur: Sachin Agarwal

Meliza Solan Surdi · January 18, 2011 · Short URL:

No. 1 mistake: When an entrepreneur doesn't build for "normal" people

Entrepreneurs often choose the path of innovation, without realizing the kind of lifestyle that comes with it. 

They will often live unstable lives.
But as they courageously take risks, they'll make several mistakes which become valuable lessons for the rest of us.
They have their ups and downs.
But at the end of the day, these creative daredevils are the ones who are changing the world.

Within our community you will find talented innovators.
We've just created new profiles for our Vator members to share their story.
So if you are a first-time, serial, or even an aspiring entrepreneur, we'd like to hear from you.
Today's Entrepreneur is Sachin Agarwal, a first-time entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Posterous.

Moving from New York to Silicon Valley wasn't as difficult as leaving his position of six years as Apple's product designer. "I became a fan of Apple when I was 10 years old but since my father started his own company, I've always had a desire to create something," the 30-year old entrepreneur said. "So when Posterous took off, I knew I had to follow my passion."  Sachin truly enjoyed the positive culture at Apple and now he is able to apply everything he learned from working there to his own company. He explained that he would never have his own employees sacrifice quality time from their family and friends.
"I definitely like to balance work and my free time," he explained. "You won't find me taking long vacations but it's important to at least take weekend trips or even day trips with my wife." Sachin would know about balancing life because even during some weekends, the young and busy entrepreneur finds the time to race his car.

I Am: A first-time entrepreneur

Name companies you've founded or co-founded:


Name companies you've invested in:


If you are an entrepreneur, why?

I want to invent something cool.

List your favorite startups:

Mixpanel, BackType, Groupon

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

The most rewarding part of working at a startup (especially a web startup) is how quickly you can push features out to your users. You can literally go from idea, design, implementation, and customer ship in a day. You won't get that speed at a large company.The most frustrating part is not having enough hours in the day to do everything you want to do. There are so many things you can build, so many great ideas, but you have to focus and prioritize.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Entrepreneurs make a ton of mistakes. I make mistakes every day. But that's part of what makes being at a startup so great.

One mistake I see quite often is when an entrepreneur doesn't build for "normal" people. What I mean is, they build software that makes sense to them, their friends, and the startup community.

But for non technical people, the software is way too hard to use.

Apple is the best at building very powerful products that normal people can just pick up and use. I'd love to see all entrepreneurs strive for that.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

1. You have to build software that you are personally passionate about. You should build something that you use yourself every day or tackle a problem that excites you. If you find that you are building for users that aren't you or your friends, you're in trouble.

2. Ship early. It's been said many times but I think it's the most important lesson I've ever learned. The earlier you can ship something to users, the better. Then iterate as fast as possible. It's just too easy to keep building and never ship.

3. You HAVE to have work/life balance. It's tough. You will always think, "this quarter is hard but next quarter I'll take it easy." Nothing ever changes. There's no end to the work that needs to get done. So don't sacrifice your life totally. Make sure to spend time with your family and to stay in shape.

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Today's Entrepreneur" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

Posterous is the easiest way to post rich media online. Simply compose an email to, including any text and attachments. You can attach images, video, audio, documents, and links. We'll convert everything to most web friendly format and publish it online instantly.

Sachin Agarwal

Joined Vator on