We had the good fortune of connecting with Amit Mehta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amit, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk and reward are directly proportional. Higher the risks, higher the chances of rewards. From childhood, I took risks with the intention to prove to myself and no one else For example, as a kid I jumped from a 6 ft wall to see I could survive. Probably not my wisest risk but I wasn’t afraid to take it and guess what… I survived! My best insight over the years has been that when you are young, wild, and crazy you should take the highest number of risks since you have a lot less of responsibilities beyond yourself. However, once you get older, the appetite for risk-taking decreases as you take on responsibilities for others such as your employees, their families, your family, etc.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think the most interesting thing about my career is what sets me apart from others. First there is my curious nature. I didn’t know anyone in Silicon Valley but went there, stayed in an Airbnb, and attended countless meet ups to learn how Silicon Valley builds successful software companies. This helped me build a dominant software company in Houston, which lacks the software ecosystem like Silicon Valley. The second interesting attribute that aided in my career path was a never-give-up attitude. This attitude was developed back when I was in high school. I used to play soccer and ended up injuring my right leg. I was instructed not to play and rest for the season. Instead of simply accepting this bad news, I learnt how to play with my left foot and rejoined the team. As a professional, I have failed twice while building my company, only to rebuild it 3 times in a row. It was never easy. I am a firm believer that you must earn a PhD in failure before you can earn a Bachelor’s degree in success. In other words, failing has been a key ingredient in my career success which also sets me apart. I am never afraid to fail. I believe in failing fast and learning from it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend visiting Houston, I would love to show them local hole-in-the-wall cafes and bars with authentic vibes and great cuisine. My favorites are Agora, Cafe Brasil, Baba Yega’s (RIP), Boheme, and Better Luck Tomorrow. I would also want to share with them scenic outdoor spaces such as the Houston Arboretum and the new developments of Memorial Park.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Absolutely, in general there is no elevator to success, you must take one step at a time. In my journey, on step one I would like to thank my family who taught me to be a fighter and never give up. Step 2: I would thank Bill Gates/Steve Jobs who inspired me and made such a difference in others’ lives through their innovations. Step 3: The kids I met at the orphanage in Zambia where I volunteered during teenage years which gave me purpose to become an entrepreneur and make a difference in the world. Step 5: My critics and competition, as I believe the bigger the opposition, the more fun it is to fight! Step 5: Harvard Business Reviews which became core to my experimentations and fast fail approach as I had no guidance from mentors in the business world. Step 6: The love and encouragement of my wife as we prepare the next stage of our life and careers together.