This App Never Let’s You Forget A Friend’s Birthday: An Interview With The Founder

Posted on March 18, 2013 in Entrepreneurship, Interviews, Sci-Tech

This post is part of a series of content focusing on covering inspiring work of Indian youth, brought by Youth Ki Awaaz in collaboration with Potentiaa

Have you ever forgotten a friend’s birthday, in spite of having reminders on your calendar or Facebook account? — here’s an app that will take care of this problem permanently.

AutoBudder, developed by Kartik Mandaville, Abhinit Kumar Ambastha and Saurabh Suman automatically wishes your friends on Facebook with a customized message at sharp 12.Autobudder has been used by over 1.7 million people globally


Kartik is also a Fellow at Kairos Society and had been selected for Google Code Of Summer(GSoC) in 2011- Google Summer of Code is a program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects. GSoC is considered as one of the most prestigious program’s for coders and developers. Kartik is a graduate of Manipal Institute of Technology, and is currently pursuing a MS at Carnegie Mellon.

Check out his profile on Potentiaa. Lets find out in the words of Kartik, about his innovation and the idea behind it.

Your Eureka moment. That first instance which inspired you/ motivated you to do something.

The simple idea of wishing people automatically struck me when I had 5 friends to wish :) Then, I bounced the idea on some of my friends and received a very negative, demoralizing response. Depressed by the feedback, I left the idea for a couple of months and then one fine day I decided “Enough is Enough, let’s do something”. From then, its been an amazing journey.

How did you proceed? What did you do next? Knowing the next step is so important. What was your reasoning about the next step?

Once I knew what I wanted to make, then I started gathering the knowledge to make it. ( Reading Facebook API documentation etc). I entered in a couple of competitions to keep me going and found two friends to work with me. The most important thing is to “Just do it”.


How did you seek help from external sources? Family, friends, the mentor or that video online- what was the role of the external world in helping you take the next steps?

Ironically, I did not have help except my two friends in the first few months.

What was your first break? How did you feel? What can you tell the readers about it?

The first break was when we got published in Times of India. Imagine being told “Hey, I saw you in the paper today”. Instant recognition followed and we reached to over 2 million people. My college started publicizing in the website and in the admission brochure. The feeling is just awesome and I can still picture myself back then.

What kept you inspired? Who/ What do you draw inspiration from?

Consistent increase in user base, revenues, recognition and awards kept me working. Instead of idolizing one person, I am inspired by a group of people known as “Entrepreneurs”.

What is your formula? What are your attributes and qualities that allow you to do what you do? More importantly did you inculcate any of these? How difficult is it? How did you inculcate any?

Smart hard work towards your passion is the key. The ability to believe in myself amongst all odds kept me going. The saying “There is no shortcut to success” is indeed true. I would encourage people to keep doing. You can fail many times but you need to succeed just once.

What did you learn while doing what you did. How has our thinking changed? Why do you think this process ‘of doing’ was important? If you had not done what you did, do you think you would have developed this thinking?

Constant introspection and understanding your weakness is very important. I spend around fifteen minutes daily before sleeping thinking about the day, how could it be better and why did I do what I did.

I learnt the mantra of success — “Smart Hard Work” and being “Opportunistic”.

What about your failures? How important were they? What did you learn? Why are they important? How did they make you feel?

I would say my failures probably taught me more than my success. Each new venture/project made me more mature.

How did your college and school education shape you?

The most important takeaway from my school was the desire to “be someone” and my best friend who has been one of the most important inspirations for me.

What message would you give to readers. What if someone wants to be like you? What would you tell them, and how would you ask them to proceed?

Haha, I would say don’t be like me instead become much better. On a serious note, read about successful people and try to figure out “What made them successful ?” “Why can’t I be that person ?”
My first computer in 5th class introduced Bill Gates to me and I was like “Wow ! That guy’s famous , I want to be him”.

What’s your idea of fun? What do you do for fun?

A good group of friends (preferably in opposite fields) is what keeps me going over the “edge”. I watch movies, hangout, experiment with food, swim and love to travel.

What sacrifices have you made? What is your take on them?

I made sacrifices by taking the “road less travelled”. Looking back, I would say that I may have had less “fun”. There were times when I thought — “Why am I doing this, why I can’t just get a good job and relax, why I can’t be like other people and party” but then in the end everything balances out.

How has your personal life changed? What would you prefer- do you like these changes or would you prefer to not have them?

Hmm, maybe less time with family, friends, girls, less parties and with family. I love the Western Culture of being independent and doing what you want. There is absolutely no need to talk to all your relatives, friends. You need to be selfish.

Anything else that you want to add?

Start appreciating the small things in life — like thank your parents, friends or perhaps the guard who keeps you safe. Just a simple thanks can bring a smile to their face and gain their confidence which in-turn will keep you ticking.

There are people who follow and there are people who lead. So, who do you want to be ? The choice is yours — both are equally important and play a big role.