Vijay Sarathy

I am a middle brained entrepreneur, executive, technologist, design aficionado, UX practitioner, and amateur photographer who loves living and working in the Silicon Valley.

I put this page together to connect with like minded people with similar or adjacent interests. I invite you to conversations via my blog, email or in person - when mutually convenient.

Vijay's versatility i.e. his mix of technical, business and creative skills along with his open attitude make him a pleasure to work with.

Dr. Rao, Founder C3DNA

Vijay is one of the strongest marketing professionals I have come across in high tech. He is a born leader and understands how customer's purchase technology and how to position solutions to fit the customer's needs.

Sandra McIntosh, Founder Littleye

Vijay combines exceptional industry knowledge and great business acumen. His creativity makes him a key leader when trying to build a business on the bleeding edge of the curve..."

Scott Crenshaw, SVP, Products at VERISIGN

Expertise & Passion

Over the 20+ years of my professional career, I have discovered that my passion lies primarily at the intersection of technology, design and communication. I am at my best when I am putting this passion to work to help solve a practical business need with other like minded team members in an entrepreneurial setting.

I've worn many different hats over the course of my 20+ year technology career. I started out in various roles including engineering, product management, marketing and business development.

Through my diverse set of experiences, I have come to realize that I enjoy the creative process in general and especially as it relates to communicating ideas visually - be it conceiving and creating products, articulating business strategies via presentations and visual media, thinking through the User Experience, designing the User Interaction (and sometimes even coding the UI ) for a product or just taking photographs of things that speak to me.

All that said, I believe in creativity for a purpose. Form is useless without function. This is why I am an Entrepreneur. To me that is the best way to be creative with a purpose!

"Screw it. Let's do it!" - Richard Branson

Through my career, I have worked at both large corporations and startups - including my own. I have come to realize that what I enjoy most is the thrill of just starting and getting things going. Thankfully, even the larger companies I worked at, afforded me the opportunity to work on such projects.

Beyond the thrill of "just doing it", for me the appeal of startups is primarily in the freedom and the opportunity it offers to exercise all the different parts of my brain. Listening to people's problems, conceiving a solution and then creating a solution to help address the problem requires an entrepreneur to be agile, creative and resourceful. And then to me, its not about building and delivering just any old product. How do you create and deliver value that not only addresses the customer need, but does so in a beautiful and elegant manner all around? Now that's exciting!

I am currently working on my third startup - on an idea to help people better research important upcoming purchases.

When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful,
I know it is wrong.

- R. Buckminster Fuller

When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

- Steve Jobs

Even though I am an engineer by training, I've always been particular about how things are arranged i.e. objects, shapes, patterns and their relative colors, arrangement and sizes. In fact I obsess about such details. Perhaps it is because I innately sense some kind of dissonance when I perceive something to be off. It bothers me immensely. I am the guy who will never forgive a restaurant - especially a bad one, for its poor choice of fonts and layout on its menu. Unfortunately, as someone who worked in technology I have often had to endure poorly put together artifacts e.g. presentations by engineers - who bless their hearts haven’t a clue :-)

Things are very different today. Everyone is a design guru or expert now thanks to Apple and Steve Jobs. Its been great for me because finally I see people recognizing the importance of design. Also, it is ok to obsess now. People have been exposed to quality and recognize and desire a good product when they see it.

However, not many people know what it takes to put a well designed product together. I take pride in being able to break a design down to its elements and articulate why it works or doesn’t and what could be done to improve it. Further , being an engineer myself I usually have a pretty good sense of what it would take to put it all together. After all form without function is utterly meaningless as far as products go.

Though I've been taking photographs ever since someone gave me a box camera when I was 9, only recently did I come to the realization that photography was something I *really* enjoyed. Since then, I have invested time to study and understand photography both in terms of theory and technique.

In photography I live out my own personal quest for perfection. Consequently, I will most likely be a student eternally. Still, it allows me to constantly challenge myself even as I photograph for my own enjoyment. I just enjoy the entire process of researching and planning for a shoot, executing the shot and then spending time digitally perfecting (post-processing) the shots afterward for maximum visual appeal. Ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So it is a bonus - and certainly gratifying, if someone happens to enjoy the end product of my hobby.

My Blog

I write about my the things that I am most passionate about. Maybe you agree with what I have to say or perhaps you don't. It doesn't matter. What is more important is the conversation and the exchange of ideas.

Sunk Cost, Blindly Loyal iPhone fans and Designer's Bias

“Apple faithful admit to ‘blind loyalty’ to their iPhones in a UK survey” (link) - read the tweet from CNET that flashed by this morning. It got me thinking. As a long time iPhone owner I can certainly be considered loyal. However, I’d like to believe that I am objective even in my loyalty - so as not to be “blind." Or am I?

Startup Fears & Anxiety - How I cope

This week I’d like to address the topic of fear and anxiety – something every entrepreneur will likely deal with. I am no expert, but as an entrepreneur I have spent my share of time reflecting on my fears. These are just some observations and notes on how I have come to deal with my anxieties and fears.

The First 2 Weeks - MVP and Office Space

The two things I spent most of my time on over the past two weeks were - MVP and setting up the office space. Let me first address the significance and the importance of the office space as a few people have wondered if we were ready for it - especially since we've not raised any money yet. The common refrain has been - "You've got a home office - haven't you?"

Time to walk down a different path

I just resigned from a well-paying, mostly enjoyable job a couple of weeks ago to once again pursue the things the feed my soul - Technology Entrepreneurship, Product Design, User Experience (UX), Interaction Design (IxD), Visual communication, Photography etc. Leaving the comfort of a good regular paycheck is not easy. Read on for my thoughts.

Contact Me

As Steve Jobs famously said, life is all about connecting the "dots". Perhaps I have some dots for you. Maybe you have some for me. We'll never find out if we don't connect.





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