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Published on Monday, May 20, 2024, last updated

Building Rippling and Beyond: Prasanna Sankar Insights on Tech Entrepreneurship


In our recent conversation with Prasanna Sankar, a prominent figure in the tech industry and co-founder of Rippling, we delved into his journey as a tech entrepreneur, his experience in scaling startups, and his vision for the future with 0xPPl. Sankar offers a candid glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of building innovative companies and provides valuable insights for aspiring founders and CTOs.

Here is the video with Prasanna Sankar

๐Ÿš€ 1. Prasanna Sankar: From Intern to Innovator

Prasanna Sankar's journey began with an internship at Google in 2006. He then joined Microsoft, where he eventually got fired but continued to pursue his passion for technology. At 18, he ranked number one in India Top Coder. In 2009, he founded his first company, a campus social network that achieved 20 million page views and turned down $100 million acquisition offers from Google and Facebook.

โ€œI was an average student... my dad got a computer at my house, and like most people with computers, I started off playing a lot of video games.โ€

โ€” That was my inspiration to computers.

This story illustrates how early interests and opportunities can spark a lifelong passion for technology and innovation.

๐ŸŽ“ 2. Building and Scaling Rippling

Sankar co-founded Rippling after noticing it as an outlier event in the market. He and his team spent a year building the MVP and scaled the company by hiring exceptional talent and focusing on consistency in their infrastructure.

โ€œRippling is an extreme outlier event... we knew that going in and that was the opportunity.โ€

โ€” We built multiple businesses at once, scaling the team from three co-founders to around 35.

Sankarโ€™s experience underscores the importance of identifying unique market opportunities and building a strong, scalable infrastructure to support growth.

๐Ÿ‘ฅ 3. Leadership and Team Building

Prasanna Sankar shared his insights on leadership and team building, emphasizing the importance of hiring exceptional talent and decentralizing decision-making to empower engineers.

โ€œFounders just hire people like themselves... I was trying to clone myself with the best clones being ex-YC founders.โ€

โ€” We hired exceptional people in the US and senior engineering talent in Bangalore.

This approach highlights the significance of building a team that reflects the founder's values and vision, ensuring cohesion and high performance.

๐Ÿ’ก 4. Technical Insights and Infrastructure

Sankar discussed the technical decisions and infrastructure that facilitated Rippling's ability to scale and manage multiple products simultaneously. He emphasized the importance of consistency and common models in HR software.

โ€œWe built common infrastructure early on, knowing what broke at Zenefits.โ€

โ€” It was important to avoid microservices and over-engineering, sticking to a single stack and database.

This strategy ensured that Rippling could scale efficiently without compromising on product quality or team productivity.

๐Ÿง  5. Handling Challenges and Prioritization

Prasanna Sankar touched on the challenges of handling technical debt, team dynamics, and prioritization of features. He shared his philosophy on managing technical debt and the importance of focusing on business innovation.

โ€œTechnical debt never needs to get paid... just make sure it doesn't compound.โ€

โ€” We innovate on business and market aspects, not on the technical parts.

Sankarโ€™s insights provide a practical approach to managing the inevitable challenges of rapid growth and product development.

๐ŸŒ 6. Future Vision: 0xPPl and Web3

Now fully invested in his latest venture, 0xPPl, Sankar is building the "Google for web3." The platform aims to index all blockchains and become the homepage of web3, making it easier for users to access and navigate decentralized applications.

โ€œWeb3 is going to be huge... the internet, which is the most important innovation for humanity, is going to get fundamentally rewritten.โ€

โ€” Protocols are the new companies.

Sankarโ€™s vision highlights the transformative potential of web3 and the importance of being at the forefront of technological advancements.

Did you enjoy this article? You may also like our other webinars, such as the one we hosted with David Heinemeier Hansson or the one featuring Mathias Meyer, the ex CEO of Travis CI.

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