Gaurav Mantri's Personal Blog.

Reflections on 2013 & Looking Forward to 2014

First, A Very Happy New Year to all of you.

Spoiler Alert: This post is a self-gloating blog post in which I will talk about some of my accomplishments in the past year (or in other words “Tooting my own horn”) so please feel free to stop reading if you’re not into such things :).

Looking Back at 2013

Community Participation

Last year I went all nuclear on Stack Overflow :). I don’t know very many things so I focused only on answering questions about Windows Azure and it was quite a rewarding experience. I managed to score close to 10,000 (9,463 to be precise) points just by answering Windows Azure questions. In fact now I think I’m addicted to it. Every morning when I get up, after I check my emails the first website I visit now is Stack Overflow just to see how many points I got and are there any questions that I can answer :). Apart from Stack Overflow, I also participated on MSDN forums but the participation was much lesser than Stack Overflow. There also I was able to cross 10000 points mark but it took me almost 6 years to get to that mark.


I did a good amount of blogging last year. All in all I wrote 26 blog posts (on an average 1 blog post every 2 weeks) which is not bad. Most of the content was technical but some of them were personal as well sharing my experience about Cerebrata.


Last year, I finally parted with Cerebrata. It was not an easy decision for me to take but given that I sold the company, it did not make sense for me to prolong the inevitable. Commercially speaking, it was a tough decision to make as I was walking away from a little over $300,000 in annual revenue (and US Dollar trading at all time high against Indian Rupee didn’t help either 🙂 but thankfully that happened much after we parted ways).

However desire to start something new from scratch was strong enough to make me that this decision.

I really enjoyed a lot working (and learned a lot) with the team and I’m really glad that I parted ways with Cerebrata on a good note and I still share very good relationship with Cerebrata/Red Gate team.


Last year I started a new company – Cynapta. Everything was new here from office to team members to the technology we are using at Cynapta, so it was a good learning experience for me. We are making good progress with the products we are making at Cynapta. At the time of writing this post, our 1st product is in closed private beta and we’re getting some good feedback on that. Hopefully in the next few weeks, we will go in public beta and very soon after that we intend to go live.

To be honest, I’m a bit scared with Cynapta as there are some expectations. Folks are expecting me to repeat the same “magic” as we did with Cerebrata and at times that scares me. The way I see it is that it’s the users who made Cerebrata a success and I hope they make Cynapta a success too. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.


On technology front, I learnt a lot of new things last year. With Cerebrata, the focus was on building desktop applications so my focus was on WPF and other related technologies. With Cynapta, the focus is on building SaaS applications so I ended up learning a lot of web technologies/framework – ASP.Net MVC, JQuery, Knockout.js. Focused a lot on building scalable cloud applications. Apart from that, I messed around with other technologies like PHP, Node.Js, and Java just to help some folks out on community forums.

Looking Forward to 2014

Well, 2014 already started on a good note. Microsoft recognized my contributions to the community and renewed my MVP for 4th year. This has definitely given me encouragement to continue. Some of the things I am really looking forward to in 2014:

  • More Community Participation: Let’s hope I keep the same pace and energy (or may be even more) this year when it comes to community participation.
  • Blog: Time permitting, I would like to blog more than I did last year. Let’s hope I’m able to do so.
  • Cynapta: As I said, we released our 1st product in beta. I’m hoping that the product will be successful so that we can build more products and services this year.
  • Technology: From technology perspective, my primary focus will still be Windows Azure. There are many things in Windows Azure which I have not looked at yet (Mobile Services, Virtual Machines to name a few) so hopefully I get around those this year. Apart from that, I need to learn somewhat more about other cloud platforms. I also need to focus on some other technologies as well. I’m mainly interested in learning more about building mobile applications and big data. Let’s hope I’m able to do that.

Closing Thoughts

All in all I am quite satisfied with what I have done in the past year and I hope I’m able to keep the same momentum this year as well. I would also like to wish you all the best for your endeavors you’re planning to take this year. Let 2014 be the best year you have professionally and personally speaking.

So long!!!

[This is the latest product I'm working on]