Dare we say that age defines your creativity! Social media is a platform that is open to different and unique content. These platforms not only entertain us but also provide some insightful and inspirational content. Creators have the freedom to explore their talent. One such inspiring content creator is Varun Mayya, a young ed-tech-influencer who is killin’ it with his skill set. Here’s everything you need to know about this talented and dynamic digital creator, entrepreneur, and author Varun Mayya.
Varun spent a large amount of his childhood with computers and took an interest in coding at the age of 11. You will be shocked to know that at the age of 13 he designed a video game all by himself. Today, as an ed-tech-influencer, he advocates skill-based education with gaming. He is one of the first educational content creators in India. Avalon Meta is his step towards the vision of having a more free education system. Varun’s first encounter with entrepreneurship was in his first year of college at Manipal Institute of Technology. He started a small business to sell t-shirts, freelanced for a while, and later moved on to work with Jobspire. He is one of the youngest to raise venture capital at the age of 20, I mean isn’t this just mind-blowing? Without any doubt, we can say that Varun is a youth icon who is determined to accomplish his goals.
Varun Mayya is a digital content creator, entrepreneur, and author who has over 1 lakh followers on Instagram and over 40,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel. His content revolves around business, education, and career advice, which is quite interesting to scroll through. Not just that, he also creates content about his ed-tech-start-up Avalon Meta, virtual reality, gaming, finance, etc. He recently ventured into the world of podcasting and is exploring it. Also, he has written a #1 bestselling book called ‘Pyjama Profit‘, a guide for all the millennials out there to get started and develop their skills to succeed. Tbh, Varun is an interesting creator who is supremely positive and motivated to bring about a change and do something unique.
Bored, curious and optimistic! Primarily because a big driver of what I do is the fact that I’m constantly looking for something to do, will tinker with things that might not excite others, and optimistic that I can produce results!
It started with a gateway drug—freelancing. In my late teens, I started freelancing on websites like UpWork. I keep telling others this, but your first project will absolutely change you. A lot of people go 80, 100 years without realizing that you can make something for others and they will pay you for it!
Startups are a very high-risk way to learn that. Freelancing on the other hand?
It’s much lower risk, and it’s how I not just packed on technical skill, but also the confidence to take on bigger tasks, like starting a company. By the time I started a company and raised capital, I was absolutely prepared thanks to years of my freelance journey!
To me, it was a scary thought — to run a serious company. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the skills, it was the confidence that was lacking when I was young. I built that confidence up, drip by drip until I built up a trickle that was ready to take on bigger challenges. It’s what I find with young people I’m mentoring today too – it’s not that they can’t do it, it’s just that they think they can’t. And changing that is a lot about rewriting decades of conditioning from conservative parents. I went through that myself, so I know how it feels.
Avalon Meta was challenging because most of the progress of the company was achieved in the middle of Covid-19. And once you go out and prove something, other people will copy it. For example, when we started using Discord for our Campus, many other businesses tried copying that. Innovating isn’t enough; you need to stay at the top of your game 24/7. Our team found it hard to take a break even.
The absolute freedom to win and fail on my own terms! I see that the culture online has now become about blaming others. We don’t win = we blame others. Something goes amiss in our own lives = we blame others. People do not take responsibility for themselves and I really really dislike that! I will always put my hand up and take responsibility for everything, even if things aren’t my fault. It sounds like torture, but to be honest, the flip side is that I get complete freedom to do what I want. I am untethered and hence don’t have to complain about anybody or anything. And wherever I truly do see a problem I’m affected by, I have the freedom to go solve it, at least for myself and maybe a few more people along the way!
You know a lot of what I’ve done hasn’t been hard decisions but rather soft commits that I had to finish because I was in too deep. But in hindsight, I would probably have avoided angel investing in other companies during Avalon Labs. It’s the most boring thing I probably could have done, and since you’re a minority investor, these companies aren’t in your direct control. I prefer to be out in the trenches, taking part in the action.
I believe there will be a blended incarnation of college, where the technical skills are taught online but the soft skills are taught in person. Learners will stop being good at just one thing, and go even beyond. They’ll learn how to have that synthesis of multiple skills, and be able to interface with a search engine to answer their questions. That’s right, people in the future will be better at asking questions than answering them. That will be a college that the future of humanity will most likely go to!
In the past, we primarily used to use newswires and emails to communicate with the wider audience out there. Today, that power is in our hands. Very few people in the world used to be educators and influencers and business owners. So it is insane that we have access to that ability without third-party intervention. It also gives us the ability to send our audience an unfiltered message, so that we can treat them with love and respect. Through a third party, that is usually very difficult.
The book is a throwback to my days as a freelancer. I know that convincing people to start a company is tough, so this book was a way for people to run a low-risk version of the business. My co-author and I did not expect it to do well at all, we thought it was reserved for a niche audience. When we wrote it, only a small minority of people would wear Pyjamas during their workdays. Post-Covid though, it became the de-facto standard. To get massive, you need to take contrarian bets and be right in the long term. This book was one of those examples. The title of the book is now most white-collar workers’ everyday lives, much to our surprise.
It’s going to get crazy. I’m not sure if you’ve seen me battling my digital self, but that video took me months to make and an extraordinary degree of skill. Hopefully that sort of content will be in a class of one in India. The only drawback is that it takes a lot of time to make. So while the world is going quantity over quality, I’m going the other way round!
Many fans already know this, but I’m a really big gamer. I love playing and building games too. For example, I built this horror game based in Mumbai last year: https://thelightningemperor.itch.io/mumbai-me-ek-haadsa-demo
It was an absolute treat to make!
Stay consistent. The world can seem like it’s all about talented people, but actually the winners are those that are consistent. I learned this the hard way so that you don’t have to! :)