A Talk on Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurshuip

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.

IDEOLOGY

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!

http://blogs.wsj.com/india-chief-mentor/2010/03/29/ego-and-the-indian-entrepreneur/

BUSINESS PLAN

  • 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!

ON FAILURE
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.

FEEDBACK
Have a small group of 10-15 people to provide you a candid feedback during beta phase. This helps a lot!

TEAM BUILDING

  • 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)

MARKETING

  • Try to create fan boys who in turn will market your product to others!
  • No easy way to do it, but works the best!

INTERESTING DISCUSSION

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!

Image Courtesy: http://bizlaunchblog.com/2011/11/23/five-reasons-people-become-entrepreneurs/

Advertisements

One Reply to “A Talk on Entrepreneurship”

  1. These days the mantra for startups is lean startup. Everyone recommends reaching out to customer early on. In the website developer person, new age consultants would ask – how many people did he talk to? Did he ask end user on what they want and if they like the listings?

    I really liked HBR articles promoting – get out of room and talk to customers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s