Posts Tagged startups

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


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Ex-Googlers thoughts on working in large company like Google .

“The nature of a large company like Google is such that they reward consistent, focused performance in one area. This sounds good on the surface, but if you’re a hacker at heart like me, it’s really the death knell for your career. It means that staking out a territory and defending it is far more important than doing what it takes to get a project to its goal. It means that working on Search, APIs, UI, performance, scalability and getting each one of those pieces across the line by any means necessary is actually bad for your career.

Engineers who simply staked out one component in the codebase, and rejected patches so they could maintain complete control over design and implementation details had much greater rewards”

Goodbye to google

“If you pitch an idea or a project to Larry and Sergey, their feedback is quite easy to anticipate. They’ll tell you you have to solve the problem in a more generic way. I tried to sell them on data communities, a place where like minded people could collaborate on structured data around topics they’re interested in. The feedback was predictable: why restrict yourself to communities? And why to structured data? Come up with something that solves everything!

The problem with this for an individual engineer like me is that you can’t work with a small team on a medium sized idea, get users and expand from there anymore. You either have to pitch something as the third coming of Steve or your idea will be relegated to being a feature of something else.

Google’s mode of operation used to be best characterised as strictly opportunistic. There were certain principles and leading ideas, but any project that met those and where Google thought it could do better than what was out there, would be taken on.

No longer. Google now has strategies. Once you offer an online spreadsheet and an online word processor, strategy demands that you also offer an online solution for presentations, even if it isn’t actually much better. And you start seeing presentations with product road maps and competitive landscapes and unique selling points.

No doubt this approach suits a bigger company better. But the engineer in me wants to go back to that whiteboard; hire smart people that exploit new opportunities that become available as technology develops to build new products and services, which in turn leads to user happiness. Having a plan easily gets in the way of doing the right thing there.”

Douwe Osinga

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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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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.”


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


“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 .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  +91 98452 06443

Amarinder Singh +91 93431 71420

Satpal Parmar +91   97421 90747

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Black swans of startups and science

The result, he suggests, is that science is becoming less a “bottom-up” enterprise of free-wheeling exploration — energized by the kind of thinking that led Einstein to relativity — and more a “top-down” process strongly constrained by social conformity, with scientific funding following along fashionable lines. The publish-or-perish ethic, in particular, strongly rewards those scientists doing more or less routine technical work in established fields, and punishes more risky work exploring unproven ideas that may take a considerable period of time to reach maturity. This is especially damaging given the disproportionate benefits that come from the most important discoveries, which seem to be inherently unpredictable in both timing and nature. As Taleb argues persuasively in The Black Swan, any sensible long-term strategy in a world dominated by extreme and unpredictable events has to accept, and even embrace, that unpredictability. He illustrates the idea in the financial context. People investing in venture-capital start-ups, for example, have to expect continual losses in the short term, and bank on the fact that they will ultimately make up for those losses by hitting on a few really big winners in the long run.

Source: In search of the black swans

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Bill Coleman On Failure & Startups

“I’ve had failures, Visicorp was a failure and so was Dest Systems. At BEA Systems, when I was putting together my senior staff I wanted people that were in at least one company that had failed. You learn not just about failure and how to make things work, you learn the psychology of failure and how you react to it. If it’s the first time you are learning it you probably aren’t keeping the momentum going in your company. You are exactly right.”

“When I got out of the air force, and went to VisiCorp and we failed. And then at Dest Systems, great technology but we couldn’t get any money. I was looking at all these people, at the time there were lots of PC companies , and I started to notice that guys that failed started showing up at other companies in more senior positions. Aha, I realized, it doesn’t matter if you have some failures what matters is that you dust yourself off and learn from that failure. I used to say Sun did everything wrong that was possible, but it never did anything wrong for too long. A startup is not a technology company it is a learning machine.”

Source: Silicon Valley Watcher

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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)


Manish Malik   Product Manager @Mobisoc

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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