Spurring Startups for Success; A Fireside Chat with Noosheen Hashemi

Noosheen Hashemi is a tech veteran, entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist at the helm of January AI.

Her company partners with people to understand their bodies and optimize them for longevity by leveraging technology. 

She is also the president and co-founder of HAND, a family foundation supporting people dedicated to protecting and empowering the young. 

Nosheen commands much respect in the tech world; named among the most influential women in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

It was an absolute pleasure and privilege chatting with her about a healthy lifestyle and succeeding at business. I’ll share some of what we talked about, to help you in your journey as a founder. It’s some good stuff…

1.Does passion matter to investors?

“I’d say passion is necessary but not sufficient.”

Noosheen Hashemi


I’m curious how investors decide on which start-ups to fund, and with her background in philanthropy, Noosheen had some answers to my question. 

She agrees that passion, devotion, and dedication are imperative for startup founders because “Entrepreneurship is hard!” 

Starting a business is; bringing a concept that didn’t exist before and turning it into something helpful to people. 

The founder of January.Ai underlines the importance of passion BUT quickly reminds us that it is not enough to earn good funding for your business.

The Takeaway

In addition to passion, founders must display top deck technical skills and build the right team to convince people to invest. You must take the initiative and act on your dreams otherwise they’ll become nightmares.

2.Why do startups fail?  

“You can break down execution into many things like; how fast can you get it to market? how do you change how people are behaving today to adopt your tool?”

Noosheen Hashemi

Wrong timing is why so many companies take the plunge. Nosheen says she has witnessed so many startups fail because the COOL idea was way beyond its time!

She also shares that the problem for some businesses is that they do not pivot quickly enough. If you front an idea and the feedback isn’t too good, be quick to figure out improvements rapidly before your competition does!

The Takeaway

You need more than just an idea to succeed. It is important to think about all aspects of your business that make it look more professional and less like a hobby. How do you execute your dreams? That’s the big question!

3.Do we leave or keep at it?

“There are people who can just make those dramatic decisions and most people are drowning in inertia…the yesterday theory and it’s difficult to convince such people to make dramatic decisions”

Noosheen Hashemi

Founders often wonder whether to keep up or toss the baby with the bathwater. It’s a normal feeling, especially in the face of challenges. Some people hesitate to leave, afraid of becoming the ones who gave up when the diamonds were mere inches away, while others bail at the first sign of trouble.

The decision to do something or stop solely depends on you. It doesn’t matter how much money you make or lose with a move, just that it is the right one.

Noosheen wants us and her team to become more significant risk-takers. She beamed with admiration when sharing how Steve Jobs jumped onto different things despite the previous successes. If he felt the need to switch, he did! Turning on a dime is an ideal trait for a founder who wishes more fulfillment than just cash. Like Noosheen admitted to doing, founders should never fear taking drastic action if it’s good for business.

The Founder of January emphasizes the need to make a conscious decision. It’s easy to ditch your current pursuit because you think the grass is greener on the other side, but “what if you watered the grass under your feet?’’ asks Noosheen. It would make a lot of difference!

The Takeaway

Founders are thrilled by risk and are often years into the future with ideas! From Noosheen’s perspective, patience pays! Instead of jumping ship at the first sign of trouble, try putting more effort into running the current startup. 

4.Lessons from the past

“You should talk to people who have worked in a company 7 to 10 years. You get into an almost unhealthy relationship with it. You’re so devoted to it that it takes you too long to leave”

Noosheen Hashemi

Noosheen told me that if she were to go back into the past and change something, it would have been to start a business sooner. She spent much of her time dedicated to her day job, which affected other aspects of her life.

With this in mind, she advises us not to focus too much on the job because as humans, balance is essential, and we’ve got no choice but to achieve it (or at least try to!)

The Takeaway

Your work matters, but it shouldn’t be everything to you. Make time for LIFE to experience joy from your hustle. If you work all year round, never take vacations and remain absent from your family, take a step back to reevaluate things else you might regret it!

Wrap Up

Startups can survive the waves but only with an impeccable plan and more than JUST passion. You need the ideal human resource and technology to sail through. It takes a comprehensive approach to conquer the unpredictable startup world so if you neglect one aspect, you’re in deep trouble! Ultimately; automating routine processes is the best plan of action. If you’re excited by this piece, feel free to listen to our conversation here.