Startup is kind of new Smoking. Its cool to be creative, its cool to be making something. Every now and then we hear a lot about many people starting up, raising money, selling off to big brands and may be some making something that is extremely reasonable and very helpful.
Most of the startup guys or aka the Entrepreneurs, are worried about the end result, where they want to go or what they want to achieve whereas they should be focussing on the journey of building that startup. Its hard not to focus on destination but what is important is that you need to understand the importance of the journey you will be going through. & No matter how many things i tell you, the best way for me to explain this to you is by telling you a story (My Story) on how focussing on end goal made us almost bankrupt and how a shift in our focus helped us come out of it.
This was by far one of the major decisions that i took in my life. To tell you pretty honestly, i’ve been an entrepreneur before even i knew what an entrepreneur was (Fact of my life).
I was 8Years old when i was eating my lunch in school, when a friend of mine asked if he can have a paratha (Indian Bread) from my lunch box, and i said sure, it will be 2Rs & that was my first sale. When i realised that my potential is Selling something, for first time in my life i was sure that this is the only thing that i can do. Thats when i teamed up with my friend Nikunj Agrawal to build mYwindow (A Startup that allows people to sell anything).
Changing the world dilemma
After Setting out to build mYwindow, enter the movie Social Network, followed by lot of success stories of great entrepreneurs, which screwed my mind and i started thinking about Great Exits, Huge valuations and big VC money.
When you course your ship to sail on the dreams of changing the world or for putting a dent in the universe, Chances are that you will fail hard. Although Failures are good, you learn from them, but it is also something that you should suggest others to avoid.
We so wanted to change the way people interact, we started building product that was only to compete with social networks and we do built some kickass stuff, but bouy was that needed in the world? Fun fact is, when you are in the changing the world dilemma, the answer to the question “If this is even needed in market” is “how will people know if need it when they haven’t even seen it?”. It is true in few cases, but not in most.
Trust me when i say, you gotta get out of this dilemma or else you will end up wasting your time/energy and money. We realised it and when we did, we built something that out-estimated our own expectations. mYwindow grew from $0 to $1Mn in sales in just 6months and is still growing.
We were able to do this by realizing our clouds and dirts (For what it means, please see the 3rd and last point.)
Realize your Clouds and Dirts
Changing the world for good is a great vision, but you have to remember your clouds and dirts. Clouds are anything that you have as the end goal of your life. Like it can be changing the world, for me it is to build a space society, but dirt is where the actual work is happening, it is where you are working your ass off to build something, and it will have its own clouds and dirts. Figure it out, set out to build something that helps you in your journey of reaching to your end goal. Remember, Starting up is just the first step towards your Clouds, you will have to climb a lot more to reach there. So just focus on taking this one step in the most amazing fashion.
I’ve been constantly working towards my clouds and dirts. I know i want to build a space society, but for that mYwindow was probably the first step and now Neuron is the 2nd. My dirt right now is to build a tool that no one else has even imagined ever (Clouds for Neuron[which is my dirt for space society]). For this, i am heads down in operations mode, building a solid team of Data scientists, Developers and Designers (If you feel like joining us, email me to [email protected]) and this is my dirt right now. What is yours?
Change the world, but first learn to walk, take one step at a time. Slow and steady will help you win the clouds.