Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

04 Mar 2011, 6:53 a.m.

Oh No, I Feel A Startup Coming On (*Achoo!*)

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2011 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

One of my gigs is grant research and proposal writing for I had never researched grants or written grant proposals before this job. At least one friend of mine said that the idea of doing grantwriting scared them off. And yeah, I could see where the anxiety comes from. You have to persuade someone of your value and the value of your project, prove (as my sister puts it) both the financial and the social return on investment you'll provide, submit constrained essays and complicated forms to faceless institutions, angle for personal connections, and receive a lot of rejections (possibly without ever hearing advice on how to improve, or feedback on the quality of your application).

So it's like a job application, a college application, and a project proposal to your boss's boss, plus online dating. Immediately I envision some kind of's Digest/RightSignature/SlideShare mashup.