Even amid chaos, there's a chance for opportunity

Calm seas never made a great sailor, and in March 2009, Ashish Toshniwal and Sumit Mehra unintentionally broached into a tsunami.

It was the bottom of the recession, and the two engineers from Purdue University decided it was an ideal time to start a company. Turns out, it was. Remember, this was the great financial recession when no one, not even the most experienced CEOs, could predict the future of business.

Sound familiar?

With the stock market tanking, there was one very small silver lining: Ashish and Sumit didn’t have much savings to lose. What they did have was a lot of faith in their vision. As tech enthusiasts, they envisioned a digitally connected world where consumers not only wanted but required information on the go and on-demand.

Ashish and Sumit's story is part bad luck, part American dream, and part perseverance. They'd go on to be denied funding 21 times in a row, despite being in the heart of Silicon Valley with, what they believed, was a powerful, progressive vision.

11 years later, that vision is YML — a digital product and design agency with six offices around the world and 300 employees, building the digital experiences for Fortune 500 brands and hyper-growth startups alike.

Ashish looks back in this story for Adweek on how he and the YML team persevered, sharing seven tips for building a business during a recession:

  1. Anticipate where the market is going
  2. Take a risk on your beliefs
  3. Live by trial and error
  4. Be people first
  5. Cherish clients
  6. Great work means more work means more great work
  7. Don't let fear rule

Read the full story in Adweek

Ashish Toshniwal, CEO and Co-founder at YML, is an expert in mobile strategy, product design, and technology. Ashish has been featured on CNBC, ABC News, Forbes, and Adweek as a leader in technology, and has his very own TED talk about finding purpose in your work. See more.