Zomato’s CEO’s Pixel Analogy applied to The Fatsmeagol Collective

On Nov 3rd, 2015 news broke of Deepinder Goyal’s e-mail sent out to the entire Zomato workforce. The e-mail was suppose to console the workforce in the aftermath of lay-offs that cost 250-300 people their jobs. It ended up doing the exact opposite.

The story soon went viral and the entire start-up generation talking about it. Other start-up CEOs were quoting the e-mail during team meetings, saying how they and their companies were different. The staff amicably nodding their heads and smiling.

We would like to bring to focus a certain part of this infamous e-mail – Mr. Goyal uses an analogy and we immediately fell in love with it. Apparently Mr. Goyal loves this analogy so much he uses it twice in the e-mail.

But before you read the excerpt, bear in mind the analogy is being used by the CEO of a start-up valued at a Billion Dollars. I.e USD 1,000,000,000 (for those of you who like to visualise things). They raised $ 60 Million in their last round and to date have raised $ 225 Million. Even though we have scourged the internet ( We looked at the second page of Google search results as well) we could not find his monthly/annual takeaway. So let’s leave that to our and your imaginations. Now read the excerpt:

“I am just a number in a spreadsheet (i.e. “I don’t know how important my job is”).”

I want to give you an analogy here. That of a picture and a pixel.

The picture we are talking about is Zomato. And the pixel we are talking about is you. Each one of us is a pixel, and all these pixels together, make up the picture. When someone fails to perform their role up to expectations, that pixel stops shining brightly, and as a result, the picture starts looking faded.

We owe it to each one of us to perform at our best, and look at it from the point of view that we are all contributing to the picture. Some of us may think that since we have grown so much, an individual pixel doesn’t matter. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Every dimly lit pixel hurts us, questions our existence, and makes the viability of our business weaker.

Also, your job is as important as you want it to be. If you try hard, there is so much opportunity at Zomato. If you don’t, you will indeed be one of the hundreds of pixels. You will still be important, but the viewer only looks at the brightest of the pixels. Everything else becomes the background. The background is important too, but well, it is the background nonetheless.
Deepinder Goyal –https://twitter.com/deepigoyal 

We understand that you hate long articles so let’s keep this one short. What could the problem be at India’s go to Start-up?

  • They raised a whole lot of money.
  • A fuck-ton of money to be precise
  • Now instead of making their employees happy and concentrating on how they could increase employee salaries the focus has shifted
  • It has now shifted to how much Zomato can earn for it’s investors and consequently how much more can Zomato raise the next time it raises capital
  • This is the story of every start-up. i.e every start-up with centralized leadership

Here are some more of Zomato problems that surfaced due to the e-mail- that are relevant to the point we are trying to make:

  • “I don’t have stock in the company. Why should I feel ownership towards my job
    or Zomato?”

    To which Mr Goyal Replied: 17% of the people at Zomato have stock at Zomato. That’s a very large number compared to a lot of startups I know of.
  • “There exists a closed group of people who have christened themselves as the ‘Crew’ and who continue to terrorize and harass people.”  – Zomato Employee
  • In regards with employee complaints about meeting targets Mr. Goyal says: Instead of saying “this is not possible“, you should say “okay cool, let’s try our best, and let’s do it for the sake of Zomato
    (While Zomato does it for the sake of it’s investors)

Having read the title of this post, you may well be wondering what The Fatsmeagol Collective is;

The Fatsmeagol Collective is a democratic collective of like minded and highly talented polymaths, who are in fact Owner-employees, who are breaking out of The Agentic State. The collective is based on the Pareto Principle. There is no centralized leadership or concentration of profits, every owner-employee has equal share in the profits of the collective. – http://bsnews.in/?p=266

Now let’s read that analogy again, the one Mr. Goyal used about pixels. But this time let’s apply it to The Fatsmeagol Collective:

“I am just a number in a spreadsheet (i.e. “I don’t know how important my job is”).”
I want to give you an analogy here. That of a picture and a pixel.

The picture we are talking about is The Collective.  And the pixel we are talking about is you. Each one of us is a pixel, and all these pixels together, make up the picture. When someone fails to perform their role up to expectations, that pixel stops shining brightly, and as a result, the picture starts looking faded.

We owe it to each one of us to perform at our best, and look at it from the point of view that we are all contributing to the picture. Some of us may think that an individual pixel doesn’t matter. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Every dimly lit pixel hurts us, questions our existence, and makes our viability weaker.

Also, your job is as important as you want it to be. If you try hard, there is so much opportunity at The collective. If you don’t, you will indeed be one of the hundreds of pixels. You will still be important – because without any one pixel the entire photograph suffers. Your takeaway from the collective is directly proportionate to your efforts.


You can’t build a company without people. People maketh the company.

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