Friday, October 23, 2015

#Startups: What we learnt in 2015 Part 1

Finally, we at Cherunathury Tech Ventures have met about 100 startups. Interesting experience. We shall share this as a live blog till December end. 

Learning # 1 :  Leverage and Delegate

We found that there is only one thing that separates from the more successful ones than the others. It is delegation and leverage. The ones that are better are the ones who delegate and leverage. The ones who are good, but can be better don't. Founders who carry the cross on their own, are limited by time and tactics. Founders who leverage and delegate have more value and respect for their own time, which is the greatest investment in any startup, and spend that time for core and top notch activities.

Learning # 2: Glamour and Gamble

Most startups have founders who know the risks.They know that they have 3% or abouts chance of success. They know they are going to loose other opportunities and many, the prime of their lives. It is called wagering. Both bootstrapping or fund raising are risky affairs, and as they say 'building the parachute as one goes down'. The glamor of being an entrepreneur and founder is a great offset factor - and that intoxication is key for the high adrenaline of foundership.

Learning # 3: Respecting Relationships 
A big difference between Enterprise and Startups is this. In Enterprise business, we return calls and manage relationships - remember, we run on quarterly numbers, especially in sales. Relationships matter. If you don't talk, your competition talks. What we found that founders talk to others only when they need, and expect instant results - other stakeholders are not on your beck and call. You might be busy, but never leave a thread loose. You are part of an ecosystem that does business with you or supports you.

Learning # 4: Trust but verify 
We saw that founders expected investors to place high degree of trust. Questions about investor skepticism - and assuming that the idea and the venture is a 'go', is a given among founders. But the same people don't trust other stakeholders - consultants, outsourced developers, mentors, digital marketing companies and other service providers of the startup ecosystem. Trust, but verify is the best approach, rather than making statements that 'based on my past experiences...' means that you are starting a relationship with distrust.


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