Archive for start-ups

Customer feedback vs Product vision

there are two guiding principles that founders should use when considering over-riding their users.  First, when the feedback is in violation of a coherent set of product principles.  In the case of Dropbox, this was a unwavering focus on simplicity.  In the case of Aardvardk, a focus on social search being a conversation.  Second, founders should only have the confidence to develop these principles and  over-ride their users when they possess very strong domain knowledge.  When product-centric founders deeply understand their customer’s viewpoint and have tremendous customer emapathy, they have the right to make hunch-based product decisions rather than data-driven.

Source: Steve blank  vs Steve Jobs

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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

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Going to Startup Sat @Bangalore

This year  I have decided to attend  as many startup events and meet as many people as possible.  May be this will help me to find fresh ideas for my startup and  give me opportunity to  meet some really smart hackers and geeks  to work with.  I will starting with Startup Saturday which is happening tomorrow.

So what is a Startup Saturday?

Let me quote what organizers have to say  about it :

Startup Saturday is an initiative by Headstart to provide entrepreneurs in each city with a monthly community driven forum that is structured in agenda but open in discussions. A Startup Saturday provides a forum for entrepreneurs to discuss, present, network and learn from peers, prospective customers, adopters, partners and investors.

The fundamental idea is to have all parts of the innovation ecosystem interact with each other with high frequency and through rich conversation. We strongly believe that this would lead to faster evolution of the entire ecosystem.

Very interesting indeed.  So what should one expect at Startup Saturday?

Expect a Startup Saturday once a month on the second Saturday. Spend approx three hours spread across at least two interactive sessions and networking.

The first session is usually a demo. If you are an entrepreneur giving the demo, expect this session to be very interactive. Expect a lot of “whys” and “why nots” – a great way to refine the product and to figure out the areas which need more work and also the areas that are well covered. If you’re a participant, expect a window into another business that can give you ideas about your own business or insights into how to design your product. Expect a lot of debate where your question to the speaker may actually get answered/countered by another participant! In short, look out for a brain tickling discussion.

The second session is usually a talk. This is usually on a skill that is needed by an entrepreneur – sales, marketing, product management, VC pitch, VC management, PR, hiring people etc. It can even be a talk about a product/services that cannot be demoed. This is usually done by someone who has hands on experience and insights. Again expect this to be highly interactive.

Lastly, you’ve an opportunity to meet everyone else over snacks and tea/coffee and network.

Absolutely awesome. Right? So basic ideas is if your are a

a. Startup enthusiast looking for a platform  to meet similar minds

b. Early stage startup  interested in giving demo of your geeky new product

c.  A angel investor looking for new innovative business to fund

d.  Single founder of a startup  hunting for co-founder and team

e.  Successful entrepreneur/VC/Angel interested in  sharing  your experience

Startup Saturday is just the right platform for you.

I attended one meeting of Startup Saturday last year. It was a good experienced overall. Believe me, if you are into startups,  event like this make huge differences to your motivation. When you meet and talk passionate  peoples ready to change the world,  it give a huge  adrenaline rush.  Its like being part of mini revolution.

So whats agenda for tomorrows meeting

From event description it seems they are conducting a panel discussion on product vs services dilemma faced by every India startup.  I had the opportunity to listen one of the panelist, Mr. Sujai Karampuri , founder of Sloka telecom, in my last meeting. He was not only a candid speaker but also a thought leader . He is big evangelist of of product development. you can find his thoughts on this subject here. I don’t know much about other panel members. I think  this is the most beautiful part of  much meet ups. You get to know and meet so many unsung heroes  of the industry.

I think organizers  should have created a FB/Linked  group so we that we could make out who else are coming and their  motivation behind attending  meet up.  Planning for car ppoling could have been a big plus. Small session like  meet the co-founder or startup date post meetup could help startups finding talents. Surprising there is no ‘like’ button on event page . It would help in spread the words about event. Will discuss these points with team there.

In case you are planning to attend and  like to meet and discuss just give me a ping @889236683four

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Interview with Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho

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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

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Barcamp Delhi 6th Edition 28 Feb-1Mar

A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yes, barcamp is back. Today I attended Barcamp6  held at MDI Gurgoan. This is my 3rd barcamp and I would like to thank organisers for this well done event. 

Reaching MDI was not a problem (as I tought it might would be) as DTC bus droped me just in  front gate of MDI. Arrangement was good except that we had very few chairs in hall 1. 100 something people turned up for the event. As always we had assorted audience including blogger, hackers, techies, geeks, educationist, lawyers, invetors, bankers and wannbe entrepreneur.

I attended  many sessions. First one was on scaling web application by Directi guys. It was very comprehensive and and useful. Second one was on Open source software development by Mir Azim who is a runing a 8 people startup called iKraft Software  from Srinagar. He shared his experience on how to pitch your open source software company to your client. Very useful session. I do attend other sessions but I had to skip part of them to attend other session runing in parallel. I listen to Depeek Shenoy’s views on recessions. He looked very pessimistic about current financial situation.

I got opporttunty to talk with Amit Gupta product manager at Makaan.com a real state classified portal. We talked on possiblities of innovation and delivering  complete real state management services to end users.

But what impressed me most was this gal Rashmi Gupta. She is 3rd year ECE engineering student She came from Patiala to attend this event and to get inputs for her startup flyingminds. Full of enthusiasm, passion and energy she shared her startup ideas with us and we had a very interactive session on how she may  go about executing her idea.  I was companied by Avinash (mind behind Routeguru) who shared his views on same. As I said earlier in my OCC meet post this is a huge change in attitude of indian youth who no longer looking for safe harbours and fat salary and is ready to take calculated risk and  exploring  his/her own ideas. I wish her good look for her venture.

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OCC Delhi Meet Jan09

I never tried drugs but I doubt they if they could be as intoxicating as talking with  a bunch of passionate wannepreneurs ( wannabee entrepreneurs) and hackers on a lazy Saturday evening.

Ok, may be that was a   little hyperbolic analogy , but I think  it very well  sumup experience I had in  OCC  meet last Saturday, where I  joined  7 other wannepreneurs to talk on topics ranging from  busines model in startups to startup ecosystem in India.

First  thing that draw  my attention  was the  confidence and enthusiasm displayed  by first year undergraduate students  (Akhshay and Apoorv). I was  impressed with their strong understanding of web and passionate  interest in startups ( doing own stuff ,  own way) . There is a revolutionary change in the attitude  of young graduates. At my time the only objective of graduating candidate was to work as hard as possible to get straight A’ ( a honors degree to be precise) and then hunt for highest paying  ‘MNC’ job. At that time nobody even talk about doing startups. And here is these guys talking RoR and startups in the very first year of ther graduation. 

Another thing that I find rather unique and interesting  was  their agnostic attitude  toward ‘business’ part of startup. They were representing   first crop of true indian hacker who love coding amd creating  cool programs and who  are least bothered about  job or money. This  herald a sea change in Indian startup ecosystem in next couple of years.

We were join by an veteran entrepeur from Nepal , Ujwal Thapa, who is managing his web business in Nepal from past 7 years. He is looking for  partners  to expand is bussines in Delhi. Talking like a sage he kept  conversation grounded and shared some really inspiration stuff on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship.

There were three  guys who left there secured job this month (yeah you wanted to know  if this is the right time to start a venture. Now you know, it is 🙂 ) to start their venture. Ajay and  two of his friends are all set to start  a new venture in real estate domain. Atul is looking forward to do a startup in education domain.

Quotable quotes:

“Entrepreneur are crazy people. We do not do stuff just for money. We do startups becoz it  is the only thing we understand and love doing. Nobody understand this  including our  family and friends.”                                                  

Ujwal Thapa

“Life is short and we live once so lets do things we love. ”   

 Ujwal Thapa

“In internet business we first build product and then build business around this. This is how facebook got created ”

Apoorv Khatreja

“Business main thoda baoot compromise to chalta hai.”       

Atul kumar Bucha

“Indian startup community is growing at very  fast rate  specially in banglore. If you have right idea and right team you can get angel and VC money”                                                         

  Ajay Yadav.

“You can start a business with passion and idea. Money may not come into mind as motivator. But when you have 100 people working for you and who depend on you and your startup ‘s survival, ‘business’ part of startup kicks in”                                               

Manish Malik

“Why you are so much into money and business. lets create stuff we like. Business will come later”

Akshay Gupta

 

Venue : CCD  (in front of sindhia house) ,Connaught place Delhi

Date & Time :  31 Jan  4.30 – 7.30 PM  

Agenda : Indian startup community, Web (business +models)

Participants

Manish Malik   Product Manager @Mobisoc   www.mobisoc.com

Ujawal Thapa  7+ year vetern runnning web business from Nepal. Looking for alliance  in Delhi to bring some of the web  business in India.

Ajay Yadav NSIT 2007, Trilogy, FlightRaja. Left job this month to start own web startup  in real estate business domain.

Akshay Gupta   First year CS student @ MSIT  and wannabe hacker.

Apoorv Khatreja First year IT student @DCE. Web developer and wannabe  hacker.

Atul Kumar Bucha  software Engineer @ Aricent Looking forward to start own venture in education domain.

Satpal Parmar  (yeah that me).

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