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Mar. 31, 2014 12:15 pm

How I Work: Ashish Kundra, founder of social app startup myZamana

This is Technical.ly Baltimore's "How I Work" series, where we'll take a look at the tools and tips the region's startup founders and creative leaders use to get through the day.

Photos courtesy of Ashish Kundra.

This is Technical.ly Baltimore's new "How I Work" series, where we'll take a look at the tools and tips the region's startup founders and creative leaders use to get through the day. If you'd like to be a part of this series, e-mail us.

Ashish Kundra is a relative newcomer to Baltimore, having moved nine months ago from Boston. The 28-year-old Fells Point resident is the founder of myZamana, which builds social apps for people in developing countries. His startup is working on two products right now, he said:

  • Picbum.com, a photo messaging community built for low-bandwidth Internet connections that launched one month ago.
  • Myzamana.com, a dating-focused social network for people in developing countries.

This is how he works.

What’s the first thing you do every day before doing any startup-related work?

I usually work through my queue in the Pocket reading app while eating muesli at home or eggs at Joanns.

How often do you check your e-mail, and do you use any program to get to “Inbox Zero“?

Too often. I use Gmail short keys, no external software.

How do you keep track of your revenues and expenses?

A combination software we’re written and [Microsoft] Excel. We use Quickbooks for reports.

When you need to take a break, what are you turning to?

We have a Nespresso Lattissima at the office, so it’s nice for coffee breaks. I stick to decaf after noon. Our office is also a block from the harbor, so when the weather is nice I’ll go for a walk along the water — sometimes several times a day if there’s a particularly cerebral task at hand.

Ashish-Headshot

Ashish Kundra.

I’m inspired by breakthrough technologies, things that remind you of how different (and better) the future will be. There’s so much great innovation happening both in the general sciences and technology sector (lately been reading a lot about Bitcoin in particular), and it seems like the rate of innovation is only increasing. So anything related to those topics and I’m feeling better than I did when I started.

What’s your gear?

Macbook Pro, Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse, Acer monitor (great value for the money), HTC One, and Bose headphones (probably not the best value for money, but definitely the most comfortable).

What’s one time-saving tip you have?

I’ve found it helpful to be as hypothesis-driven as possible. When making a strategic decision (like what feature to test next), it can be helpful to separate assumptions from hypotheses. Being honest about what you do and don’t know can save you days, weeks, even years of working on the wrong things.

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Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City, Grist.org, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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