Two weeks back we concluded the Startup Club Demo Day in Bangalore and we had a host of great speakers come in and grace the event. They shared some truly insightful thoughts with our members and the engagement was off the chart.
I am sharing the insights that I was able to glean from one of the talks which was delivered by Ganesh Laxminarayanan. He spoke about the 10 things that you should keep in mind when you are doing your startup.
No relatives – Doing business with relatives is the best way to create untenable situations. Invariably the personal and professional boundaries begin to blur and it becomes extremely difficult to balance and manage the situation as an entrepreneur. Also, if an investor was to come into such a venture they would constantly have to guess what discussions are happening inside the house and this puts the investor in a very uncomfortable position.
No HR – In a startup work is relentless. Your team will have to spend a considerable amount of time, with whoever is recruited. Its extremely important that the entire team is at comfort with the people who are being brought in. Let the people within the organisation bring new people in. Let them undertake the process of recruitment. There is no point of having a person who is managing HR. Unless there are policy related aspects that would require an entire month’s work, don’t recruit an HR person.
No CFO – The needs of a startup is to figure out how to get the money flowing into the business. It requires business acumen. A finance person typically is concerned with keeping the numbers neat and making sure that the taxes are saved and proper structuring of accounts is done for the same. Such skills are useless at a time when survival is under question. This is just going to act as an unnecessary drag; avoid it.
No value from board – Do not expect the board to deliver any value to the business. They are a part of the board because of the investment that they have made. A typical investor is a part of at least 10 boards simultaneously. He/She is not sitting around thinking about ways by which they can further your business. It takes a tremendous amount of effort to undertake investment activities along with overlooking 10 boards. Go to the board with a specific ask if you have one, but do not expect them to be actively thinking about your business and figuring out the doors that they would open.