Shruti Goli, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Trymata, was born and raised in the Bay Area. After pursuing a BS in Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Shruti went on to be a Product Manager at Microsoft — all while bootstrapping her product analytics company, Stitchology.ai, with her co-founder Karthik Ravi. They sold Stitchology.ai in 2022 to Trymata, one of the largest usability testing solutions in the market.
What does “entrepreneurship” mean to you?
SG: Entrepreneurship is an extraordinary endeavor that allows me to embrace risk-taking. The pursuit of passions against all odds is what makes it so exciting. It grants me the freedom to shape my own future and empowers me to make a meaningful impact.
What truly captivates me about entrepreneurship is its inherent drive for progress. It extends beyond mere business. It is a journey of self-discovery and personal development. Along this path, I embrace obstacles, overcome hurdles, and even embrace failure as stepping stones toward growth.
Everything is about growth as long as I embrace it! It’s a transformative journey that nurtures personal progress as much as it fosters corporate success. In essence, entrepreneurship is a remarkable blend of audacity, vision, and perseverance.
Tell us about your first experience with entrepreneurship.
SG: My first experience with entrepreneurship was an exciting breakthrough that began after graduation. At that time, I found myself working at a tech giant, Microsoft. However, the desire to create something of my own, to build a company from the ground up, was a dream I couldn’t ignore.
With that vision in mind, I co-founded a tech startup. As one of the co-founders, I took on multiple responsibilities to drive the success of our startup. One of my key roles was establishing the strategic direction of the company. I worked closely with my team to define our goals, objectives, and roadmap, ensuring we were always moving in the right direction.
As our company grew, so did our client base. We successfully scaled our product features to support not only enterprise customers but also numerous e-commerce businesses. This required constant innovation, listening to our customer’s needs, and implementing scalable solutions that catered to their unique requirements.
Looking back, my first experience with entrepreneurship was a rollercoaster ride filled with highs and lows. It taught me the importance of perseverance, adaptability, and the ability to wear multiple hats. It also reinforced the significance of building strong relationships, both with customers and strategic partners.
What is your company’s origin story? What is the biggest reason you started your business?
SG: Our venture was focused on developing a powerful product analytics tool that could help businesses gather valuable insights and make data-driven decisions. My partners and I were very determined to make a mark in the tech industry and provide immense value to our customers.
What did those early days look like and teach you?
SG: In the early stages of our company, sales and business development were crucial to our growth. I personally took charge of these efforts, reaching out to potential clients, showcasing the value of our product, and building strong relationships. I engaged in the entire sales cycle, from prospecting and lead generation to securing deals and negotiating contracts. It was a thrilling experience to witness the impact of our product on businesses and witness the growth of our customer base.
Beyond the traditional sales approach, I also recognized the importance of partnerships and collaborations. To expand our reach and penetrate new markets, I secured partnerships with local schools and universities. We designed specialized courses that incorporated our product, providing students with practical knowledge and hands-on experience. This not only benefited the educational institutions but also exposed our product to a wider audience, generating new leads and potential customers.
What do you wish you knew when you started? Is there anything you would do differently?
SG: When I embarked on my entrepreneurship journey, I wish I had known just how mentally challenging it would be. The exhilarating highs are really exciting, and the crushing lows can really crush you. So, you have to be prepared for the latter because it can take a toll on your well-being if you aren’t.
In the early stages, setbacks can feel disheartening and discouraging. But I’ve come to realize now that failure is not a reflection of my worth or potential but rather a stepping stone to growth.
I guess I would have prepared myself to embrace failure earlier as a learning opportunity through consistent, healthier habits and coping mechanisms such as journaling and exercising. These kinds of activities help push the reset button and help me see clearer. Reflection and physical activities recharge me and that’s what I have been doing consistently lately.
What does “success” look like for you? We’d love to hear your biggest, boldest dream. What do you think will help you achieve it?
SG: Success, to me, is not about avoiding failure altogether. It’s about embracing failure as a necessary part of the journey. It means learning from my mistakes, adapting my strategies, and persevering despite setbacks. I realized that success was not a linear path but a series of ups and downs, with each failure providing valuable lessons and opportunities for growth.
I can say that as a visionary, my action steps come with boldness and fortitude. My entrepreneurship journey is a profound and fulfilling way to leave a lasting impact on the world while embarking on a transformative journey of self-discovery and personal success.
As I continued on my entrepreneurial journey, I also recognized the importance of self-fulfillment. Success was not about comparing myself to others or seeking external validation. I became my biggest critic, constantly challenging myself to reach new heights and pushing the boundaries of my capabilities.
I think that being the best critic of myself allows me to achieve my boldest dreams.
What is your superpower as an entrepreneur? What is your proudest and darkest moment so far?
SG: As an entrepreneur, one of my superpowers lies in my ability to powerfully communicate and deeply understand the pain points and longings of my customers and clients. I believe that effective communication is the key to building strong relationships, driving innovation, and delivering impactful solutions.
In my journey as an entrepreneur, I have recognized the immense value of truly listening to my target audience. By actively seeking to understand their needs, desires, and challenges, I am able to empathize with their experiences and gain valuable insights into what drives them. This deep understanding allows me to tailor my approach and offerings in a way that resonates with their specific pain points.
Another aspect of my superpower is the ability to adapt my communication style to different audiences. Whether I am speaking with team members, partners, or customers, I am able to tailor my message to resonate with each group. This versatility allows me to connect with diverse stakeholders, build rapport, and effectively convey my ideas and vision.
Effective communication goes beyond just listening; it involves the art of asking the right questions, actively engaging in meaningful conversations, and creating a safe and open space for dialogue. By fostering genuine connections with my customers and clients, I am able to build trust and establish long-lasting relationships that go beyond transactional exchanges.
PROUDEST MOMENT- being able to sell my first company, Stitchology, at 24 years old.
DARKEST MOMENT- changing location, career, and relationships at the same time.
What are your personal driving principles, and your top values?
SG: My personal driving principles and top values revolve around making a positive impact, bringing efficient and technical solutions, embracing resilience, and embodying integrity.
First and foremost, I am driven by the desire to make a positive impact on people’s lives. I believe that true success lies in the ability to create value and positively influence others on a day-to-day basis. Whether it is through my products, services, or interactions, I strive to leave a lasting impression and contribute to the well-being and success of those I serve. Making a difference, no matter how small, is a guiding principle that fuels my entrepreneurial journey.
Another core value of mine is a focus on bringing efficient and technical solutions to the table. I believe in the power of innovation and leveraging technology to solve complex problems and streamline processes. By seeking out efficient and effective ways to address challenges, I aim to provide practical and impactful solutions that enhance productivity, optimize resources, and drive positive outcomes. This value drives me to continuously learn, adapt, and embrace advancements in technology to stay at the forefront of my field.
Resilience and the willingness to try again are integral to my entrepreneurial mindset. I understand that failure and setbacks are inevitable in any journey, but what truly matters is how we respond to them. I embrace the principle of “sailing fast,” which means learning from failures quickly, adapting my approach, and having the courage to try again.
I believe that setbacks are valuable learning experiences that shape growth and ultimately lead to success. This principle empowers me to persevere through challenges, maintain a positive mindset, and stay committed to my goals despite obstacles or setbacks along the way.
In addition to these driving principles, integrity, honesty, and transparency are fundamental values that guide my actions as an entrepreneur. I believe in conducting business with the utmost ethical standards, treating others with respect and fairness, and fostering trust in all my relationships. Upholding these values not only strengthens my reputation but also fosters strong connections and collaborative partnerships that contribute to long-term success.
How have your personal principles and values shaped your company’s values and principles? Give us some examples.
SG: One of the core values that guides both my personal and professional life is putting people first. I believe that establishing genuine connections and understanding the motivations and drives of individuals is crucial in fostering productive and meaningful relationships.
In my company, this value is reflected in the way we approach working with our team members and stakeholders. Before assigning work or responsibilities to someone, I take the time to establish a personal connection with them. I strive to understand their unique strengths, aspirations, and motivations. By doing so, I can create an environment that empowers them to put their best foot forward and contribute their talents effectively. This personalized approach not only helps in maximizing individual potential but also fosters a sense of trust, collaboration, and mutual respect within the team.
I firmly believe that relationships are the foundation of success in any endeavor. As a result, our company places great emphasis on fostering long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our clients, partners, and employees. We go beyond transactional interactions and aim to build enduring connections based on trust, open communication, and shared values. This approach not only helps in building a strong network of support but also leads to collaborations that drive innovation, growth, and shared success.
What’s it like to work alone or with your partners?
SG: I love working alone, but entrepreneurship teaches the immense power of collaboration. Each one of my partners brings a unique set of skills and expertise to the table.
Rit is a visionary with a knack for strategic planning and innovative ideas and Tim is the best SEO, marketing, and growth expert. I, on the other hand, feel blessed with the natural talent for building and nurturing relationships, organizational development, and people management. While I do have a keen eye for design and a deep understanding of technology, my other partner, Karthik, is the force behind the company’s technical development.
It’s not always smooth sailing. Conflicts arise. But our commitment to open and honest communication enables us to address these challenges head-on. Through respectful discussions and a willingness to compromise, we find solutions that propel us forward.
Working together is a transformative experience. It teaches us the power of collaboration, the importance of leveraging each other’s strengths, and the joy of celebrating shared success.
Together, we have proven that when passionate individuals come together with a shared vision and unwavering support, the possibilities are boundless.
Do you have a mentor? Tell us about what makes them valuable to you and your business?
SG: I do. My mentor bootstrapped his company to 30M in ARR. He influenced the idea of bootstrapping my first company, Stitchology, and taught me a lot about putting yourself out there, with low expectations, and to just keep on trying. He supports a lot of my CRAZY decisions.
What role does mentorship play in your world (as a mentor or mentee)?
SG: My mentor plays a vital role in my growth. His role is akin to that of a lighthouse, providing a beacon of light to guide and support me in my journey.
Many entrepreneurs continue to perfect their daily routines to support their work and greater vision; would you mind sharing your morning routine or a regular ritual that grounds your work each day?
SG: Definitely! I do morning engineering standup, meditation, coffee, and workout at the gym.
What are you reading or have read?
SG: 4 Hour Work Week is a great read for any aspiring founders.
Where do you go for inspiration?
SG: I love going on drives or walks to scenic viewpoints where I can zoom out and get more clarity.
What is a problem that keeps you up at night?
SG: The challenge of achieving consistent and sustainable growth does keep me up sometimes, since my partners and I are typically driven by a desire to build successful and profitable businesses.
There are times we find it challenging to scale operations effectively. I worry about expanding into new markets, managing increased complexity, maintaining consistent quality, and successfully replicating initial success. But this is a good problem to think about since looking ahead and achieving my goals are what keeps me motivated.
How do you think about helping others through your work?
SG: I love how the beauty of entrepreneurship lies in its capacity to not only fuel my own advancement but also create opportunities for the growth and enrichment of others.
Through my entrepreneurial endeavors, I think about helping others through my work with mentorship and engaging in business talks for the younger audience. I always feel fueled to inspire and empower individuals, contributing to their personal and professional journeys while making a positive difference in their lives.
What advice do you have for fellow (and aspiring) entrepreneurs building and leading teams?
SG: I’ll give the same advice that was given to me – pick a problem, any problem in your life, and start with the product life cycle (talking to customers, mocks, etc) and fail fast. This will help you obsess over the customer’s problem and iterations will help you come closer to solving your customer’s pain.
What kind of an entrepreneur do you want to be known as – as in, what do you want your legacy to be?
SG: Someone who is not afraid of failing, someone who loves supporting aspiring and current female founders and is willing to help, and someone who wants to make a long-lasting impact on their customers
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