Today marks my one-month anniversary of successfully going from “student entrepreneur” to “struggling social entrepreneur.” And boy, oh boy, what a month it has been.
June 18th, 2013. A year of planning, Skype conversations and model building later, we finally arrived on ground to begin our Social Cops pilot. (I was a university student in Singapore, so I had never been to our pilot location in Delhi so far). More synced with the entrepreneurship community than most – one would have thought that the hours and hours of Stanford Startup School Videos, the hundreds of Startup books and coffee conversations with successful social entrepreneurs would have prepared me for “The Moment.” Um, yeah right.
Oh yes, there was a lot that Startup School didn’t teach me. Nothing really beats doing it on ground. And this post to meant to outline some of the important lessons we’ve learnt along the way.
Lesson 1: Bootstrapping is not just about cutting costs
Primary instincts of a bootstrapping entrepreneur are to compromise on basic things – such as the place you choose to live. Caution: Do Not Compromise on your Living Conditions. Do not downgrade your lifestyle by a great margin.
In our initial days, we lost about 15 days of productivity because we picked the wrong places to live as we tried to save a few thousand bucks… The road leading up to it was filled with flies/mosquitos/garbage; there was not enough light; there were no food options around (albeit good food options), not to mention slow Wi-Fi – to say the least.