Who is Siddharta Govindaraj?

Siddharta was suggested by Naresh. Here is what he has to say about Siddharta.

A geek at heart, Sid is a strong community leader and entrepreneur. Rare to find such gems in India. He started his product company, Silver Stripe Software in 2007 to help distributed teams improve the way they deliver software using Agile and Lean methods. He also started and leads the Agile Chennai Chapter in India. Sid is very passionate about building a startup ecosystem in India. To support the same, he co-organizes Proto.in, Chennai OpenCoffee Club, TiE Chennai Startup and many more events for startup founders to meet and exchange ideas. In 2011, Sid was nominated for the Brickell Key award, an award given by the Lean Software & Systems Consortium as a recognition for his achievement in the Lean-Agile industry.

What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?

When I was a kid, I read books on how entrepreneurs from the early days of Silicon Valley created companies that changed the way we live (and had fun doing it!). I wanted to create something like that. In eighth grade, my friends and I would type out programs, take print outs and try to sell them to others in school.

I’m a huge fan of Richard Feynman. He showed that you can be doing very serious work and having fun at the same time.

If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?

I was really into physics a lot in high school (the Feynman influence), so I might have become a physicist. I also like to do some photography as a hobby, so I might have taken it more seriously and made it a profession.

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?

While running a startup, you run into a new challenge every day 🙂 That’s what I love about startups, it forces you to be on the move, learning all the time.

What drives you ?

I have no idea. I don’t think I’m driven. I just like to work on what seems to be interesting and appropriate at that particular moment in time. Perhaps, I just like finding answers to questions.

What is your biggest achievement?

It is still a work in progress: building a successful software product company in India, and making a difference to our customers.

What is the last book you have read?

I’m reading two books currently. Dealers of Lightning, which is a book on the history of Xerox PARC, and Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes, a collection of essays on evolutionary biology.

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?

What was your most memorable moment?

Being a part of the India team at the very first World Cyber Games in 2001.

I was living in another city during the qualification tournament to select the India team. The qualifiers were scheduled in between two university exams. Something told me to forget about studying for the exams and enter the qualifiers. I finished one exam, flew out that evening and took part in the qualifiers. I got into the finals, but I had to forfeit the finals in order to catch the last flight and get back to write the next exam. Since the top 3 qualified, I made the team. [I also passed my exams :)]

Who do you think I should ask next?

I would choose Pawel Brodzinski

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