Archive for Business

Air wars Vs Ground wars

The second company is harder. Most people fail at their second companies because they believe they have the magic formula. They think ‘I will only fix the problems of the first company and the second company will run like it’s on autopilot.’ But the problem is that the environment is always different.

One of the takeaways from my second company is that there’s a clear distinction between what I would call air wars and ground wars. The air wars are talking to analysts going on speaking trips and so on. The ground wars are selling stuff to your customers and solving a real problem. Every company has to do both. The air wars help to build the brand. The ground wars help you win customers. Most failed startups mix those two up.They are selling air wars to their customers, they are selling big hype and big promises and customers are not interested. From a customer’s perspective, you always look at what’s the value? What do I get today and how does it help me run my business?

We have to be strong in the air wars, we have to do PR, we have to have to seek coverage, but at the end of the day it’s a good product, it’s good salespeople, it’s the features and so on that actually win.

Source: Why Most People Fail At Launching Their Second Companies

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Max Ventilla of Aardvark on Startups & User driven design

If you are going to be doing a startup for an average of four years if you are unsuccessful and eight years if you are successful, it makes sense to devote six months to deciding what to do in the first place. If you go with whatever comes to you first, unless you are very lucky, you will likely waste far more than half a year before you can pivot to success. More often, you’ll run out of money and morale and end up in the dead pool.

being user driven is a tax. I’d estimate that we moved about half as quickly as if we’d just gone with our gut consistently. In return, we dramatically reduced the chance that we would make wildly wrong bets and have to double back, abandoning large periods of work. Ultimately, investors gave money as much for our process as for our team and concept. Being truly user-driven also created a much better environment for our engineers, who got to work on features that had been vetted prior to beginning development. Finally, our process let us avoid the tantalizing product concept ratholes that could have used up years of our collective energy and time to no avail.

Source: User driven design

Leave a Comment

New York Times’s Martin Nisenholtz on the subscription pricing

Kafka:Why charge different prices depending on the screen — laptop, smartphone, iPad, etc — your subscribers use to read the Times? Netflix charges one price and that seems to work well for them.

Nisenholtz: We built the pricing architcture off of the research as well. We basically found a greater willingness to pay among iPad users. We see iPad app users spending much much more time with our brand than either Web users or smartphone users. So the more you use it, the more you value it.

This pricing research was very clear from a consumer perspective. It was not built off of what we charge for the paper, or what we think we desrve, or anything like that. It’s what our loyal users said they would be willing to pay.

Leave a Comment

Internet trends in India 2010

Wonderful presentation by Vikram. I am assuming  he collected data from multiple sources and cleaned  it well. Compiling reliable data in India is a pain due to lack of a reliable central agency and closed nature of indian businesses. Anyway, I am not expecting anyone to extrapolate stats from single source. Loved the presentation  style and format.

Comments (3)

Unpluggd: Calling all entrepreneurs

Hi all,

It gives me immense pleasure in inviting you to the UNPLUGGD event, a freshly brewed startup event focused on ‘entrepreneurs in the trenches’.

By now, you must have heard statements like:

“Consumer Internet is just not happening in India.”

OR

“You can’t build a global technology company from India without spending a fortune.”

OR

“Building a Global Brand from India is impossible.”

If you are one of those who believe all this is true then get ready for a surprise. It might change the way you think about Indian startups & entrepreneurs. We are proud to present startups and entrepreneurs doing the impossible. They are the ones who have built a profitable business in India.

We, through the Unpluggd event, are providing a platform where these unsung heroes

–    Share their insights on building profitable businesses – The Indian Way.

–    Share their journey thus inspires you, me and every other aspiring entrepreneur.

This event is a invitation to  listen & share  intimate startup stories . Some of the speakers for the event are –

  • Sanjay Swamy, Ex-CEO, mChek
  • Mukund Mohan, Founder, BuzzGain
  • K. Srikrishna, Co-Founder, Impulsesoft
  • Rudrajeet Desai, Co-founder & CEO, Ideacts
  • Yusuf Motiwala, Foudner & CEO, TringMe
  • Dr. Ashwin Naik, Co-Founder, Vaatsalya
  • Sunil Maheshwari, Co-Founder, Mango Technologies

If interested please visit   http://www.unpluggd.org .You can register directly for the event   here.

Feel free to forward this mail to your aspiring entrepreneur friend or FoF.

For any queries call/e-mail:

Ashish Sinha           ashishk.sinha@gmail.com +91 98452 06443

Amarinder Singh   amarinder.singh.76@gmail.com +91 93431 71420

Satpal Parmar       satpalparmar@gmail.com +91   97421 90747

Comments (1)

Dilemma of a Indian Software Engineer

iwanttheworld222-thumb

I am having 4 years of experience working in a software MNC, had onsite oppurtunity, earning a decent salary and had good learning in initial years of working but now i have started realising that i am not moving anwhere, there is nothing much left to learn as part of product i work upon, my work more or less resembles with the fresher that join the organisation, or its about helping/ mentoring them, I will be gradually moving to project management but there also i dont see much learning , i hardly see my manager working they are just responsible for some project schedule maintainence , people management and so.

Most of the projects don’t require much technical competence, they are mostly legacy products that continue to evolve by copying code from here/there , Job which most of the people do can be done by traning any plain graduate and that is why software companies had people from all sort of colleges doing the same type of work.

There is hardly any recognition of talent because in reality nobody needs it here . All you need is a good luck to be in right project that can fetch you a onsite for a year or two and promotions. I know i am sounding very frustrated but believe me this is the truth and story of various of my friends.

Extracted from Rashmi Bansal’s awesome blog.

My response to query (as in comment on her blog).

 zzzbambam34

Rashmi , I wish guy/gal who raised ‘Whats wrong with being mediocre and happy’ question  few weeks back is reading this post. I am sure he will find few answers in this interesting query.

I am in similar situation from quite a while. I considered many options as suggested by readers of  your blog . After years of thinking  I am still a software engineer.

The Dilemma of SW engineer is whether he should take a low-on-everything ( excitement, motivation, creativity,risk) but high on social quotient (respect + money + status + rewards + lifestyle) or adre himself to take  road less travelled.

Nobody outside industry understand that SWITCH companies are sweatshops, serving bottom of the pyramid in software industry using most abundant & cheap resource available in india : underskilled unemployed young graduates. I am not complaining. If there is some one to blamed its’s our education system and ministry of HRD. Business is about making most of what you have. In a nation with 26 % population living BPL giving a decent standard of life to lakh of janata is commendable job by all measures. And I think nobody had any issue untill last few years.

So what exactly happend in last few years that triggered this ‘ Mujhe change chahiye’ (I  want change) phenomenon ?

A lot. We had two technology boom and busts. Then reality boom. Stock market boom and  bust. With indian economy clocking at 7%  plus rate from past many years we have witnessed rise of many other sectors. There is follow of overseas money in indian market and standard of life in india has improved for many. We have seen rise of indian middle class.

Whats this change ushed for a software engineer ?

Decline in social quotient. Earlier they had class of their own much higher in hierarchy. Now slowly but surely loosing that status. SW industry is maturing and with that benefits enjoyed by sw engineers.For a software engineer  this dilemma is not just about quality of work (creativity, motivation, risk- reward equation)  but its a sort of identity crisis. He want his status back. At higher level  this crisis is a harbinger of  bigger change in society . In coming years a critical mass whose  roti-kapada-makan needs got satisfied will start  seeking for more.  They will demand even better stanadard of life. This will not only create new challenge for individuals but to society and government too. To sustain  high standard of life and make class out of middle class require much more the what SWITCH companies can provide. To meet  this need we need a revolution more powerful then agriculture revolution, white revolution and another YK2  opportunity  put together. 

Talking about MBA and startups.I think both measures  are faddish. I meet many MBAs facing same issues as discussed. Startups need different kind of people. We know most of us do not have right startup DNA and startup environment is very unforgiving . Starup expect a lot. Talent, risk appetite, belief in delayed gratification, I-do-not-give-a-damn-what-society think attitude and lot more. Having  some tags like  MBA/IIT/IIM /ISB can  only make life little easier but will not gurrentee anything.

Do I have any  suggestions?

No. I have none. General  advice serve no purpose. Everybody want different thing from life.You have to decide what you want. Make sure you do not do not compare your inside with somebody’s outside.

Leave a Comment

Put the blame on me

2318825497_040fdc496e

I moved to bangalore last Monday. My company made arragment for my stay in Diamond district. I was expected to take to cab from airport and reach there by evening. Simple right?  Well, no. I have this inate ability to mess up the simplest thing expected from me. I messed -up time too.

What happened?  I let myself tricked by travle agent. 

After collecting my luggage I came to lobby looking for pre-paid taxi counter. One gentleman approched me for assistance. I mistook him as airport authority guy and asked him for  pre-paid taxi counter. He escorted me to Akbar Travels counter. Counter guy booked be Trivera in blink of a eye leaving me no option to negotiate or check with other cab  service providers charging me Rs 1100. Later in cab I realsedIhave been tricked. I paid half of that amount when I took taxi from my company to airport  in my last visit. While chatting driver my cab confessed that this is how system works at airport and there is nothing new. He even suggested me to be ‘smart’ at airports. Nice suggestion indeed.

My question: Is it that hard to do a fair business?  I blacklisted Akbar travels and will never hire them again. Will my decision affect there business?

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »