It’s 2016. And we live in Startup India. It is now a hot bed for new businesses. And everybody is jumping on the startup bandwagon. And with the amount of money flowing into these startups, it has to be the best time give ideas its wings. But being a startup founder is not everybody’s cup of tea. It comes with its own baggages.
Solve a problem, don’t build one
This is where most of the startups in the country go wrong. And hence the 90% failure rate. Idea is the very basic building block but that idea has to solve a real life problem. Most start follow in the footsteps of their Silicon Valley counterparts. Though it is logical in many ways, many a times the relevance to Indian market and audience is overlooked. These problems can be as basic as easing your shopping worries or restocking your groceries or as complex as healthcare analytics. But core idea should be very clear. If you can’t sum up your idea in a simple twitter message, then it’s time to hit the drawing board once again.
The Co-founder Conundrum
Choose your co-founder wisely. If you are good at something, think of someone who can complement your skills and yet share the same vision. He or she may not be your friend, but he has to have the same drive and vision. If you find an ideal co-founder and he is not your friend, it might be your perfect test pitching your idea to him. Do not hold back. This will be your acid test. If you can’t convince him, how will you convince your buyers?
It is also very important to chalk and define clear roadmaps for each other. You will fight. You will threaten to leave or he will, but at the end of the day if you and him share the same passion, you guys will come around.
Be ready to be poor
Here’s the thing about perseverance – seed funding is a luxury only few get. Hence for the rest of the founders feed of the scratches until you prove your worth and the long awaited funding. However the journey is generally rough. You will have to pay bills, your employees, essentials and hardly anything will be left for you. Well it is kind of fitting. You will have rags to riches story to tell your future generations. On a more serious note, money is a determining factor in deciding the success of your startup. Hence, even when there is plenty in the bank, be a miser if need be. Spend wisely.
Build a simple MVP, don’t go overboard
What is this doing here? This is a lesson you need to understand before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey. A MVP can be anything from a bare bone product to even a Facebook page. The idea is asses the market and generate enough traction for your full-fledged solution. If the MVP fails, it doesn’t mean the idea is at fault. It merely means that the implementation needs your attention. Go back. Build again. Launch again. Make different user groups and try different approaches.
Do the dirty work yourself
Yes you are the founder. But your head must always be above the water. Talk to as many prospective customers as you want. Do sales yourself. You have to set the benchmark for others to follow. You need to be a motivator and this certainly will go a long way in earning that respect. It is always good to do the initial research on your own and develop an understanding about the market players, market size etc. It will always keep you motivated and will help you a lot in the long run building sales pitches and hiring good candidates.