“Only at IDM would this happen…How they’d find someone who's in India, totally different childhood than me, totally different background than me—she’s an engineer, I’m a designer—but she has a very similar story.
OK, so someone asked me what was so special about IDM and I told them this story. I was in college and I wanted to go to the Stanford exchange program. The program was $10,000 and my dad said, “I’ll give you $3000. If you really want to go there, you have to find the rest of the money.” My dad didn’t think there was a chance I’d get the money, and to be honest neither did I. But I really wanted to attend this summer program, so I ended up going to the governor’s office and I sat down outside his office every day for a week until he agreed to meet me. He did, and ended up giving me a scholarship, and that’s how I went to Stanford.
Later on I get to IDM and I’m listening to the story of my classmate Nidhi, about how three years ago she wanted to get into an MIT summer program but her visa was denied. So she went to the embassy and sat down outside of the embassy for days and days, I think it was a month, until she got her visa approved. And I remember in that moment it just hit me. Only at IDM would this happen…How they’d find someone who’s in India, totally different childhood than me, totally different background than me—she’s an engineer, I’m a designer–but she has a very similar story. And it’s not a story of how we went to college, it’s not a story about how we grew up, it’s a story about how we were so passionate about something that we did something that everybody else thought that was stupid. At IDM it seems everybody’s got a story like that, about passion and creative stupidity.