Gautam Gandhi (in.linkedin.com/in/gkgandhi & @gkgandhi on Twitter, part of founding team of bluemountain.com, now Business Development Head at Google Inc.) visited IIM, Ahmedabad and gave us a short talk on entrepreneurship. Here are some key points.
Focus on solving a problem
This is much valid in an India market as there are a plenty of problems to solve. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-10-15/news/34473062_1_cool-idea-problems-domestic-workers
Solve a BIG problem
Should be big enough such that people pay for its solution.
Enjoy while solving the problem
You may not be making money while solving this problem so make sure you are at least having fun.
Follow your ideas – don’t let people influence you
Your life is a message to this world
You can’t do it alone
It’s best if you start out with another person who shares the same vision as you. May or may not be your best friend.
Be careful about egos
Treat everyone as equals!
- Should be for yourself and not for others – be true to yourself.
- 90% of the startups don’t get venture capital – don’t worry about this, focus on the feedback.
LARRY PAGE’S ATTITUDE towards PROBLEM SOLVING
- “Why not” is the keyword! Larry frequently challenges his team asking this question which in turn creates possibilities in his team’s mind.
- Larry encourages his team to think without constraints.
- Moonshots – think of solving problems which are “unthinkable” to solve!
Trying and failing is OK – if you don’t fail then you haven’t pushed yourself to the limits. Test the limits.
MONEYTIZING Existing Ideas
- Think about making things better, faster and easier.
- Don’t worry about the money to start with, money will follow.
Have a small group of 10-15 people to provide you a candid feedback during beta phase. This helps a lot!
- The first few people are the key in any company. Make sure you hire the best, even if they are expensive.
- It is sometimes okay to pay your employee more than yourself if you need to.
- Identify your gaps and then hire right people to fill those gaps.
- Misfit can be like a virus within your company and very detrimental to a startup.
- Gautam himself went through 20-30 interviews over a span of several months before Google knew he was right for the company. (Check out his resume and you would think he’d be a slam dunk)
- Try to create fan boys who in turn will market your product to others!
- No easy way to do it, but works the best!
One of the participants had a website that provided movie timings for all the multiplexes in Ahmedabad, but the traffic was way below his expectation.
Gautam analyzed this situation by pointing to the participant that he was not solving the complete problem. Gautam suggested showing not only the movie timings but also provide a means for online booking. It was amazing to understand how just solving a trivial problem will not do much justice to the efforts of budding entrepreneurs.
So, dear entrepreneurs next time remember to solve a big problem… completely! Wish you all the best!