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In today’s episode, Steli recounts last week’s experience of losing his 3 year old son for a brief amount of time. While at a playground with his two sons, Steli lost sight of his younger son. Steli shares how he carried himself in that incredibly stressful situation and how he found himself going into problem solving mode. You’ll hear the value of being able to compartmentalize your emotions and why enlisting the help of other people can have both positive and negative implications in your dilemma. Tune-in to discover some key insights that will help you better manage the crises that come along your way.  

Time Stamped Show Notes:


00:03 – In today’s Startup Chat, Steli talks about how he lost his kid at a playground last week


00:36 – In the past, Hiten and Steli have talked about some personal topics such as religion in startups and the death of their parents


01:20 – Steli shares his frightening experience


01:20 – Steli has two boys aged 5 and 3; he took his kids to a huge playground with multiple play areas, a school and a pond

02:02 – He lost sight of his younger son while attending to his older son for a short span of 20 seconds

02:28 – Started screaming out the younger son’s name but to no avail

03:21 – Realizing that he had lost his brother, Steli’s older son begins to cry

03:54 – Stationed his older son on a bench and went looking for his younger son

04:40 – Requests another parent to look after his older son so that he can continue looking for his younger son

05:02 – Another parent informs Steli that he has seen a kid of his son’s age walk towards the street

05:38 – Still unable to find his son, Steli starts involving more and more parents in his search

06:21 – Twenty minutes into the search, Steli decides to call the police; provides the description, address and other details

06:56 – While still on the call, a parent informs Steli that they found him!

07:12 – Steli runs back to find his 3 year old looking incredulously at the group of people around him

07:55 – Steli’s son was actually in the direction opposite to where Steli was looking for him; eyewitnesses can be totally off in moments of stress


08:25 – When Steli finally told his kids it was time to leave, his youngest son started running back towards the car—he gave him a flower and was completely chill

09:14 – Steli was incredibly calm while searching frantically for his younger son; was wondering if he was compartmentalizing his emotions or if he could sense that there was no danger

09:54 – Finally felt a rush of emotions while driving back; went on a long walk to regain control of his emotions

10:41 – Hiten shares that he has never experienced anything like this with his kids; he has two kids aged 7 and 3


11:02 – Makes sure that his older kid helps him out when he is out alone with them

11:21 – Hiten’s 3 year old daughter is more adventurous compared to his son

11:48 – Since they are always telling on each other, they are easier to manage


12:20 – When faced with an emergency such as Steli’s, human beings are built to get into a problem solving mode rather than get overwhelmed by the situation

13:10 – The fact that Steli enlisted so many people proves that he realized how critical the situation was

13:33 – Dealing with business issues is way easier than dealing with emergency situations that involve your child

14:00 – Involving people brings down the possibility of anything untoward happening

14:40 – Looking back, Steli feels he should have asked for help earlier; he would have found his son earlier had he started asking for help immediately

16:02 – Asking for data points from people in a panicky situation is not a very good idea

17:12 – Share your unique experience with Steli and Hiten


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