Zomato’s Founder Does Reddit AMA, But It Goes Horribly Wrong. Here Are 16 Weird Answers!
AMA or Ask Me Anything sessions on Reddit are one of the most popular features of the website; it has a rich heritage and people look forward to the replies posted by celebrities there.
In the past, US President Barrack Obama, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Hollywood heartthrob Arnold Schwarzenegger, Inventor of Internet Sir Tim Berners-Lee among others have glorified the AMA platform and wooed the readers and followers.
Typically, an AMA session is an open and transparent medium where the person doing the AMA can present himself and his vision in the most honest way. The Reddit community takes AMA sessions pretty seriously and respect the medium.
When Deepinder Goyal, founder of Zomato, announced that he is going to do an AMA session on Reddit, there was intense excitement and speculation. Considering the start-up boom which India is experiencing right now, Redditors expected some major fireworks from the founder of a startup which has expanded rapidly across all spheres.
But what actually happened was a damp squib. Deepinder’s answers were downvoted and disliked by Redditors, and by the time AMA ended, his new Reddit account had a comment score (karma) of -300, which actually speaks volume about his replied.
The replies given by Deepinder to questions posted by Redditors were ridiculous, pretentious and completely weird.
These were not the answers which was expected from the founder of a startup which is valued at $600 million (Rs 3600 crore) and has presence in 21 countries right now.
If he was trying to be funny or witty, then this AMA should be a reminder to him that he is not good at it.
Some of the horrible replies posted by Deepinder during AMA session:
1) Question: What was all that fuss about Delhi against Bangalore, earlier? In retrospect do you think it was uncalled for? especially when you have already said ITT that you don’t force people to work for you if they don’t want to.
Reply by Deepinder: How does a marketing campaign force people to work for us? IMHO, the Bangalore campaign worked very well for us. Twitter outrage is cheaper than buying media or hiring recruitment consulting firms.
(The question was related with the debacle Zomato faced when they described Delhi as better than Bangalore, and it launched a tirade of debate and comments. From the reply posted by Deepinder, it seems that it was a deliberate plot to reduce advertisement expenses. At the time of writing, this reply had received 25 down votes.)
2) Question: Few Redditors shared their views on the downvotes and ridiculous replies by Deepinder by stating this:
Reply by Deepinder: True story. I have to earn my right to be here everyday.
(This reply was downvoted 32 times at the time of writing)
3) Question: When you didn’t have a dedicated marketing team how did you and pankaj handle the marketing and social media. (got any memorable stories to share?)
Reply by Deepinder: We didn’t really do much. We used to ask a lot of our friends to change their gtalk status messages. That gave us the initial bit of users. Yes, we used to pester people close to us for marketing mileage.
(This reply received 4 downvotes at the time of writing)
4) Question: Who is your favourite superhero? and why?
Reply by Deepinder: Rahul Gandhi
5) Question: Which book are you reading now?
Reply by Deepinder: “Things not to read when you are trying to run a business.”
(28 down votes at the time of writing)
6) Question: eCom valuations – bubble or not? What do you think will be the implications if (or when) it does burst?
Reply by Deepinder: eCom valuations – everybody is overvalued right now, but only the big successful companies are getting these valuations. Investors (hopefully) are not stupid – they will make money out of these deals.
7) Question: Are real answers different from right answers? If so, why can’t real answers be right? What do you prefer real or right? #JobInterviews
Reply by Deepinder: Always the real answers. The “right” answers when not real, are often the wrong answers. And they lead to heartburn for both the employer and the candidate.
8) Question: Hi, Love the Zomato user experience and design. How important is design to a startup? Is it advisable to get things right from the beginning or can you improve in iterations?
Reply by Deepinder: design > tech.
(10 down votes at the time of writing)
9) Question: Hi DP, How does Zomato decide which country it will next move to? Till about 3 years back, it was just in India and now it’s in so many. What is the thinking that went behind the aggressive expansion strategy?
Reply by Deepinder: Dart boards.
(21 down votes till now)
10) Question: Regular Zomato user – its a pain to read long reviews on mobile – any new design/tech upcoming to solve this ?
Reply by Deepinder: Yeah, we will give you a button which will auto scroll the long reviews
(31 downvotes as of now. The reply was actually an insult to both the reviewer and the user. )
11) Question: What’s with the logo changes? The newer ones suck. The original Z was quite good. I know you clarified but still, the recent one looks like a sperm :/
Reply by Deepinder: Nobody has ever seen a sperm in real life :) I see a spoon. I am hoping that in some time, you will too.
12) Question: So, you don’t plan on expanding?
Reply by Deepinder: Not something I can spend even a single minute thinking about :)
(Down voted 17 times till now)
13) Question: How much money (investment+ money required for day to day activities ) you had when you started the company?
Reply by Deepidner: Don’t remember. That’s stone age.
(downvoted 25 times till now)
14) Question: If you started Zomato today, what would you do different?
Reply by Deepinder: You can’t start a Zomato today and succeed. How would you compete with Zomato?
(down voted 11 times as of now)
15) Question: What goes behind the scenes while zomato start thinking about an acquisition?
Reply by Deepinder: Beers
16) What does zomato run on? How difficult was it to scale the back end?
Reply by Deepinder: Zomato runs on people. They have a great back end.
17) Question: Hi Deepinder, your department as well as hostel junior from IIT-Delhi :)
1) Lot of ex as well as present employees have raised questions about working culture at Zomato? How do you feel about it?
2) Have you personally invested in any startup?
Reply by Deepinder: 1. There is always the right place for every person. Zomato doesn’t force people to work here. People have the flexibility to leave if they don’t like the culture. It isn’t everybody’s but we have enough people here who like this culture. Also, people often confuse perks with culture. We don’t have a lot of material perks at Zomato (like sleep ;-)), but we are proud of what we have built.
2. Grofers & Squadrun.
(down voted 25 times as of now)
In fact, there were several questions related with the work culture at Zomato, which were left unanswered. The top question with 167 upvotes, is still unanswered on the thread right now:
“Tech Team related. Why do you guys have to enforce 8.30am to 8pm sort of timing? Do you really expect a good developer to be able to be in the zone for 12 hours straight? I know there’s no strict stay till 8pm rule, maybe even there is. But it is clearly frowned upon if a guy regularly leaves early.
Why do you guys not use team communication tools? People in tech team do not know what all is being worked on inside zomato itself. Agreed, one guy would have his own task to deal with but awareness of what all is going on at least in the tech team helps in increasing the feeling of being connected with the team.
The culture in tech team is toxic. Contributing to open source isn’t even considered. In office hackathons, people are expected to work on zomato related things only. How do you expect great developers to want to work in such environment? Great developers almost always tend to have great side projects. With the kind of timings and environment that is being provided, this is simply not possible while being in Zomato tech team.”
Deepinder dodged such questions, and focused on giving witty, irrelevant answers.
You can check out the AMA thread here.
Do share your views on the replies provided by Deepinder by commenting right here.