Rishab Hegde

Builder, writer, music lover, friend! I write about my hobbies, startups, and occasionally some fiction.
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ARG Proposal

tl;dr I want to create an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) for [label name] fans. It would allow fans to participate in crafting the narrative behind the mysterious [label name], interact with other members of the community in a fun and collaborative way, and build significant hype around future label releases, tours, and merchandise.

What’s an ARG

In 2007, a fan went to the bathroom at a Nine Inch Nails concert and found a discarded USB stick in the stall. After the concert, they plugged it in and found an unreleased high quality NIN song and immediately posted it online. Soon, other community members noticed that the last few seconds of the song had strange static and someone put it through a spectrograph, revealing a phone number. The phone number told callers about the “American Bureau of Morality” and led to further puzzles that continued the narrative - the players were the...

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Trestle’s YC App

To help current & future applicants to YC, here’s what my YC app for Trestle (YC W19) looked like. This was written in late 2018.

Describe what your company does in 50 characters or less.
The internal homepage for your company.

What is your company going to make? Please describe your product and what it does or will do.
People working together is what drives companies, and Trestle is how they’ll know who they should be collaborating with, how to work with them best, and who the experts are for any given task. As organizations grow close to and past Dunbar’s number (150 people), it becomes nearly impossible for people in the organization to know who each other are. Employees are often put into situations where they don’t know the people in their next meeting, they don’t know the right person to talk to for help with a task, and they don’t even know that much about the people who work...

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Turtles All The Way Up

I’ve recently started writing fiction as a hobby. In the spirit of learning in public and also to exercise the important skill of actually publishing things, I’ve shared my first completed short story below. I want to emphasize that this is not where I want my writing to be - it lacks characterization and suffers from poor pacing among a myriad of other issues. But I’m still proud of it and know it’s all a part of going through the gap. If you still decide to read it, I would love to hear your thoughts :)

Edmund had spent his life building video games. With the latest graphics cards, the games you played seemed so realistic it was hard to believe you weren’t watching a livestream. They finally had the horsepower and rendering techniques to make a game true to life. The latest “game” that Edmund was developing was a scientific simulation - scientists wanted to use their technology to...

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Learnings from Comradery

From 2019-2020, I worked on Comradery, a community platform. After spinning down the product in 2020, I wrote a twitter thread about why it failed and my experience. I’ve copied the thread here for posterity. Comradery now lives on as an open-source project.

Comradery was a white-label community platform. It was built primarily for companies so that they could host communities of their users on a platform they had control over instead of Slack, Facebook Groups, Reddit, etc. While we technically hosted the community, our customers would be able to fully customize their community’s look and feel, put it on their own domain, control all moderation, and have access to all of the community’s information via an API.

Why companies? When you understand the power of communities, it’s hard to find a company that wouldn’t benefit from one. A prime example of this is
Glossier. A huge part of...

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Learnings from Trestle

From 2018-2019, I worked on Trestle, a company intranet product designed to help you find out who knows what inside your company. It was partly inspired by Stripe Home. After spinning down the product in 2019, I wrote a twitter thread about why it failed and my experience. I’ve copied the thread here for posterity

Trestle primarily suffered from a buyer/user mismatch. I still believe the problem I was solving is a huge opportunity - I had so many conversations with engineers, designers, salespeople, managers, etc. about how hard it is to figure out who knows what in large orgs.

As a directory, Trestle was only useful when it provided information about people across the org, so it was hard to avoid a top-down distribution strategy. HR was always a key stakeholder and unfortunately, we never solved a deep enough pain point for them.

A big lesson I learned was to focus on solving the...

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