First came the brashness. Then came the much-publicized fight with his board members. And finally, it’s LSD. The Steve Jobs trifecta is complete, and the legend of Rahul Yadav is born.
Rahul Yadav, erstwhile CEO of Housing.com, and enfant terrible of Indian startup community, just posted this on his Facebook page.
LSD, or Lysergic acid diethylamide, is a psychedelic drug that Steve Jobs had experimented with during his trip to India when he was 21. Jobs had had later gone on to say that the LSD experience was “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.” Its consumption is illegal in India.
Rahul Yadav has been licking his wounds in relative media obscurity since his ouster from the company he’d founded. However in the months leading up to his removal, he had ensured that he turned himself from a mere entrepreneur into a marketable brand.
It started off with a declaration that he would distribute his entire shareholding in Housing.com – rumoured to be worth 150 crores – among his employees. The move won him a legion of fawning admirers among the general public, though it wasn’t looked at too kindly by industry experts, who believed that having no equity would disincentivize a CEO towards working towards the good of his company. If this declaration of personal magnanimity wasn’t enough, he went on to challenge the CEOs of Ola and Zomato to do likewise with their stockholdings. This time, the announcement was on Facebook, and drew thousands of likes and comments.
With reams being written about him, Yadav relished in the limelight, doing Reddit AMAs and making outlandish comments on this Facebook page. With the media hanging on to his every word, his posts became more erratic, his tone more brazen. Since his dismissal, he has called himself a “genius billionaire philanthropist”, showed off the pictures of his plush Hiranandani apartment that he could no longer afford, claimed that he had 45 days of survival money in his account, tried to find a girlfriend, lamented how it’s hard to understand girls, slept through an interview, and called his upcoming startup “bigger than all Indian internet companies put together.”
And it has worked. From having virtually no followers 2 months ago, Rahul Yadav’s personal Facebook page currently has 48,000 followers.
Whether this publicity blitz is a means to promote his upcoming venture, or simply an instance of Rahul opening up to the world on social media, time will tell. There have been rumblings about his similarities with Jobs – both were college dropouts, both had frosty relationships with their investors, and both were ousted from the companies they founded. Rahul would do well to milk this comparison.
And this latest LSD post seems to be doing just that.