Startup Saturday: Got it for free, cashed in big time
Namita Shibad talks to the brightest stars lighting up the startup galaxy to find out if advice is really a free investment with substantial ROI. What insights did these entrepreneurs get for free, that today, define their businesses?Updated: Feb 24, 2018 17:08 IST
When you set out to be an entrepreneur, the whole world believes it is their moral duty to give advice; solicited or unsolicited. There is never any dearth of advice for a young entrepreneur. Mentors of course are duty bound to share their experience and so will friends, family members and peers. While all intentions are good, it is for the entrepreneur to decide what advice to follow and what to ignore.
At the end of the day, however, what is that one critical piece of advice the entrepreneur remembers, and follows? What are the words of wisdom that have defined success or helped avoid failure?
We ask some of the brightest minds on the startup scene in Pune what is the best advice they have received.
The Daftar: Provides shared working spaces for startups
The best advice I have recieved can be broken into three:
1. Build a company which is sustainable because of its cash flow and sales and not because of its valuation.
2. Build a company which people want to be a part of.
3. Build a company which will outlive your lifetime.
Host 4 Geeks: A managed web hosting provider
Early in my entrepreneurial days my dad told me this and I have never forgotten it - amidst all your fancy data and business lingo where you’re talking about your cost of acquisitions, net promoter scores, churn rates and everything else, never ever forget or lose track of your values and your morals. Morals shape you as a human being and make you the person you are. It has a very direct impact on your business and your entrepreneurial career.
Drive Buddy: Develops autonomous vehicle technology and related artificial intelligence
The most common advice an entrepreneur gets is, never give up. I agree, one should never give up; but, till when? Is there any limit to how long one should keep trying?
The answer to this question is until you stop believing in yourself, that is the moment you lose the confidence and belief in the work you’re doing, or the goal you’re trying to achieve.
The fact is never giving up also does not guarantee success, but if you don’t give up and listen to yourself, you’ll achieve success or you’ll fail, but not trying won’t take you anywhere.
Brand Studio: Creates branding and communication solutions
Don’t wait to start with a blueprint or a map with all routes, turns and directions in advance, to reach your destination.
You start with just enough information to move forward, to the next one or two turns.
You will keep getting the inputs gradually on your way to your destination. Your surroundings will give you the solutions, directions and the energy to move forward.
Utteeerna: Organisational consulting and is focused on human resources. Specialised in learning development and training
R Ravi Kumar
It is a three-pronged epigram that I live by:
1. NOTIO : It’s Not Over Tills It’s Over.
2. Stop the rhetoric and solve an inherent problem or need.
3. Taxes can be extremely taxing if you don’t tax yourself correctly.
Avyan Technologies: Core activity is related to cloud security and governance
Find out what customers want and need. You can’t be smarter than the collective intelligence of your customers. I learned this right at the beginning of my start-up journey, which was the most critical time to learn it, because that’s when you really need to understand the core problem you’re trying to solve and who your customers are.
To succeed, founders need to turn hypotheses or guesses into facts as soon as possible by getting out of the building, asking customers if the hypotheses are correct, and quickly changing those that are wrong.
Crowdfunding Ninjas: Provide services to crowdfunding campaigns as well as marketing services
My father, who is a businessman and has been running his business for over 20 years, gave me this advice: Think like a smart customer. A successful entrepreneur knows his customer and learns to understand how a smart customer will think while buying his product or service. If you learn that, you will win half the battle.
First Published: Feb 24, 2018 17:07 IST