So I’ve heard many people at BITS Pilani tell me why they don’t want to startup now but would do it later (post an MBA/MS/work-ex), and usually it is because they feel that having an MBA/MS/work-ex would make it easier for them to get back on track if the startup were to bomb.
Not only is that a horrible thought to start a company on, I feel it’s not true either, so I have listed down 6 tangible skills which I have personally learnt and you probably will too if you end up doing an internet startup that would make you highly employable if you ever chose to be employed later.
1. Managing yourself
One of the biggest learnings from doing a startup is that I have learnt to discipline myself and manage my targets and deadlines without anyone doing that for me – I make to do lists, I set up calls with my mentors once every 15 days to discuss goals and timelines and I force myself to mail my team mates about what I do everyday to bring in self accountability and to keep them all updated on the progress. Trust me, this skill will make you invaluable to anyone else you will ever work with.
2. Managing a team
It’s a fine line between managing people and becoming down right annoying and you hit your sweet spot only with experience, doing a startup will give you that experience and this is again a skill that any sane company will value.
If you are one of those people who keep posting all over the place that you are looking for a “Tech Co-founder”, stop now and learn to code. It is NOT that hard and it is one of those magical skills that each and every organization in the coming future has to and will value. I learnt it and even though I don’t code for tunepatrol.com I can understand my CTO’s problems better and be a much better product manager. (I endorse codelearn.org for RoR and Practical Django Projects for Django Amazon.com: Practical Django Projects (Expert’s Voice in Web Development) (9781430219385): James Bennett: Books)
Oh boy, have I sold! Be it selling the idea to the investors, possible team mates, to users, to labels, to radio stations, to the press, I’ve sold it everywhere, and so many times, it is one thing trying to sell an established product, but to think of ways to sell something that no one has ever heard of is a different ball game all together. I am pretty sure startup sales guys can kick ass at regular sales jobs.
5. Saying No
At a startup, you simply don’t have the resources to do everything, so you learn to say no, this is a skill I definitely did not have before tunepatrol.com, and I can see how invaluable it is now in helping me prioritize for the company’s benefit. Now who wouldn’t want someone who knows that?
6. Networking and managing professional relationships
As a startup person, this is probably half your job, the skill to get intros to the right people and then to maintain that relationship is a priceless business development skill that you will (be forced to) learn quickly in a startup. My funda for networking is to understand how you can be of use to someone before you go ahead and ask them for something, this makes your conversion rate from an intro to what you want much higher and this is again a skill that anyone will kill for.
Makes sense? Let me know.
[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Brijesh Bharadwaj, CEO of TunePatrol.com, a social music discovery platform which aims to built the biggest community for musicians to connect with the ecosystem.]