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  • Writer's pictureAnkit Jain

Launching a Startup is an Adventure

Pathloom founder and CEO Ankit Jain takes selfie holding up the peace sign while hiking in California

Photo by Ankit Jain


Ankit, the Founder of Pathloom, shares some insights into his journey of starting a company and how he sees it as one of his adventures in the outdoors.

Launching a startup is like embarking on a journey, whether it is a lengthy road trip, a long-distance hike, a backpacking trip, or perhaps best of all, a several hundred- or thousand-mile thru-hike. The commonality is that you are embarking upon a journey with a final destination or goal in mind. However, to get there, it is really all about the journey and taking it one step at a time.

Sun setting over mountains reflecting across Lake Tahoe along the Tahoe thru-hike

Photo by Ankit Jain

There are many pieces of the puzzle involved in planning such trips, and the same applies to launching a startup. I often get excited when thinking of an extended trip, but to put it into action, I need to first figure out where I am going to stay, what trails are nearby, how much food and water I need and what gear to pack. Similarly, identifying the problem-solution space, evaluating the market and business opportunity, understanding the competitive space, creating a data-driven business plan and go-to-market strategy and forming a product roadmap are all part of the process when considering an effective way to plan for your business before diving in too deep.

A clearing of trees along a hiking trail opening the view to multiple deep blue lakes among rolling mountains below

Photo by Ankit Jain

Planning a trip

When planning a trip for which there is not much information available, I find it very useful to connect with others who might have done something similar or might have some insights into the area that I am traveling to. It is often a hit or miss situation if I just go somewhere without much knowledge or preparation as I might be putting my safety at risk. Similarly, when launching a startup, you are often in the territory of creating something new and innovating. Hence learning from others' insights and talking to your prospective customers early-on enables you to learn a lot about your business, product and market from the get-go rather than potentially launching something that might not fit the needs of the customer or even potentially jeopardizing the business.

Big agnes tent with camping gear inside setup in a forest clearing beside trout lake in Yellowstone National Park

Photo by Ankit Jain

I might start an adventure off with a few friends or on my own, but there are always amazing people that I meet along the way. They become a part of my journey and enhance my overall experience. A startup is not so different - you might start a company with a co-founder or on your own, and it is the people you meet along the way that enable greater success for your startup. Whether it is friends and family, mentors, advisors, team members, customers or investors, they all become part of the journey. Some become part of the journey more than others. These people are your 'tramily' -- a term often used in the thru-hiking community to refer to your trail family. A rockstar team is crucial to a startup, especially as things become more complex and the needs grow of the company. Let us call it our 'stramily' -- our startup family.

Sun setting breaking up gray cloudy skies along the Tahoe Rim thru hike trail in California

Photo by Ankit Jain

Often during many of my hikes, there are some adverse situations and challenges to overcome. Whether it is navigation, the terrain, long-water carries, weather, or a steep climb or descent, it is these challenges that make a hike memorable and experiential, and ultimately rewarding. Likewise, there are many uphills and downhills in the startup journey where one must navigate through adversities and challenges. These experiences certainly help with growth for both the people involved and the company itself. After a while, you will start to feel as if things are cruising, and it is then that you should stop and reflect whether you want to challenge yourself further.

As you can see, whether you are planning your next adventure or venture, it is not so different.

Let us at Pathloom help you plan your next outdoor adventure!

If you are interested in the outdoors and are looking for some more information, check out the following:

Sign up on our website for exclusive early access to Pathloom, and let us help you plan your next outdoor trip! As an early user, you will receive exclusive outdoor guides and information, created solely for you by Pathloom!

Pathloom is a Bay Area-based technology startup on a mission to get more people outdoors, more often by reimagining the way people discover the outdoors.

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