67 years ago, our Constitution came into force, completing the country's transition towards becoming an independent republic. The Constitution is a living document, an instrument which makes the government system work. While concluding his book \u2013 \u2018Making of India's Constitution\u2019 \u2013 Justice Hans Raj Khanna wrote, "If the Indian constitution is our heritage bequeathed to us by our founding fathers, no less are we, the people of India, the trustees and custodians of the values which pulsate within its provisions! A constitution is not a parchment of paper, it is a way of life and has to be lived up to. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty and in the final analysis, its only keepers are the people."\r\n\r\nOur startup ecosystem is growing at a rapid pace and it would certainly be great if we had a set of rules in place to keep anarchy at bay. This Republic day, we at Inc42, have compiled a set of guidelines that was not drafted by us, but compiled from the list of 10 Commandments that some of the key stakeholders of the ecosystem shared with us. They each shared a list of 10 Commandments for the ecosystem that they think, would ensure seamless operations, rapid growth and ward off unwanted and uncomfortable circumstances.\r\nAjeet Khurana, Angel Investor, Mentor & Former CEO of IIT Bombay\u2019s\u00a0SINE\r\n\r\n\r\n\tIt's easy to be stupid in the startup world. Don't.\r\n\tJust because there's a lot of buzz about something doesn't make it worthwhile.\r\n\tDon't blindly follow the gurus. The rules are still being written in this space, so there isn't really any such thing as a guru.\r\n\tThe risk of failure is quite intense. You will quite likely lose everything that you put at stake. Don't come in unless that seems acceptable to you.\r\n\tStartup equity and publicly listed equity are cousins. Just because publicly-listed equity is far more understood, it doesn't mean that public equity principles (or should I say superstitions), are any less asinine than those found in the startup equity space.\r\n\tFundamental principles of economics cannot be violated even in the startup space; but they do get temporarily suspended from time to time. Don't be fooled by that.\r\n\tEvery participant in the startup space goes through an unending emotional rollercoaster. It's important to appreciate this and make reasonable decisions nonetheless.\r\n\tThe total number of commandments need not always be 10.\r\n\tMore commandments need to be added all the time.\r\n\tMost commandments are created just to impress others of one's wisdom, and are violated all the time.\r\n\r\nNaveen Tewari, Founder & CEO, InMobi\r\n\r\n\r\n\tThink Big - Can skyscrapers be built only with a vision of the first floor? We all know the answer to that. So think big, think scale and build for the future, as what works for a million does not work for a billion.\r\n\tCulture is everything \u2013 Invest in growing the right culture in your organization from the very beginning. It unleashes the true potential of people and creates an environment of free thinking. This will lead to innovation and disruption.\r\n\tTrust your people \u2013 Remember how bad you wanted that someone (mom\/ father\/ teacher\/ superior) to believe in you? So believe in people by giving them greater responsibilities and they will often pleasantly surprise you.\r\n\tFail but do not stop \u2013 Failing helps you gain early experience of what does not work. Ups and downs are inevitable. Grit and perseverance is what it takes to succeed.\r\n\tContinue to be a startup \u2013 Too many cooks spoil the broth. Break teams to be more nimble: \u00a0aligning business, technology and engineering teams together. This helps solve for the inertia and deliver quicker and better.\r\n\tDiscover the power of iteration \u2013 Time is the only non-constant so keep moving really fast. Fail, build, break, and repeat till you succeed. Innovation is not a \u2018Eureka\u2019 moment; it's an ongoing experience.\r\n\tRule of 50-30-20 \u2013 Invest 50% of efforts into business as usual, revenue generating efforts. 30% focus should be on strategic bets which will bear the fruit of success in the short term. And finally, ensure that there is at least 10% effort on moon shots, which may or may not culminate into wins, but are necessary none the less!\r\n\tBuild IP \u2013 One mistake that most startups make is to focus only on beating the competition. If an organization has to survive in the long run, then they have to build IP.\r\n\tGo \u2018Glocal\u2019 \u2013 Don\u2019t take shortcuts while entering new parts of the world. Hire local people in these regions and trust their decisions.\r\n\tFounders Connect \u2013 We at InMobi meet formally every week for an hour to discuss, brainstorm, chat, have critical conversations and take decisions. We share, we learn from each other and question everything that any of us proposes. This helps us take informed decision. Such collaboration is needed across the ecosystem where founders from different startups can meet, share and learn from each other.\r\n\r\nSanjay Mehta, Angel & PE Investor\r\n\r\n\r\n\tBe curious, ask lot of questions\r\n\tNo text book rules to do business & do not clone other business.\r\n\tGet the customer pitching right is more important than investors pitching.\r\n\tFunding is not equal to success\r\n\tDo not innovate in finance & legal\r\n\tSo-called expert consultants are clueless, figure out yourself.\r\n\tDo not short your vision or ideas early.\r\n\tDo not hire management team till series A funding.\r\n\tBe tolerant of ambiguity\r\n\tIdeas are fragile, nurture it.\r\n\r\nK.Ganesh, Partner-Growthstory.in, Founder - Portea Medical\r\n\r\n\r\n\tKnow your reason for starting up \u2013 wrong reasons are \u2013 want to make money, want to have more work-life balance, want to be won boss\r\n\tDo or Don\u2019t \u2013 never try \u2013 In entrepreneurship , like pregnancy, you can\u2019t be half pregnant \u2013 either you are an entrepreneur or you are NOT\r\n\tAvoid Vanity Metrics & goals \u2013 Media coverage, awards, Likes and retweets are not what makes a company\r\n\tGo for the stars \u2013 be bold and attempt to change the world. Even if you fail, fail spectacularly\r\n\tFunding is a milestone, not the goal post.\r\n\tFirst deserve, then desire \u2013 put your head down and work, don\u2019t get distracted by noise around\r\n\t95 % of the startups fail but that does not make you a failure- get up and start again, again and again till you succeed.\r\n\tSpreadsheet and PPT do not make a company \u2013 on ground execution is brutal and hard \u2013 prepare for it,\r\n\tSuccess is 50% luck + 50 % timing \u2013 rest is about your smartness! But 110% work, 28 hours a day has to come from you.\r\n\tStartups rule of 3 \u2013 everything takes 3 times the effort , 3 times the capital and 3 times the time that what you plan for.\r\n\r\nAbhishek Goyal, Founder, Tracxn\r\n\r\n\r\n\tFocus on finding product-Market Fit before scaling aggressively\r\n\tTake advice from People who have done something similar before\r\n\tTake Feedback, a lot of it\r\n\tFocus on solving customer's problem, instead of competition\r\n\tAlways remember the MOAT(economic) of your business\r\n\tKeep refining how your market will look like in 5 years\r\n\tWhile getting early investors, focus on getting ones who are excited about your business as much as by the team\r\n\tHire people with right attitude, function-specific skills can be learnt\r\n\tIf you keep low-performers, your good performers will leave soon\r\n\tDon't run out of money\r\n\r\nShailesh Vikram Singh, Executive Director, Seedfund Ventures\r\n\r\n\r\n\tFundraising is the beginning of the struggle and not the end of it. So do not hype or over emphasise it.\r\n\tPR is important but not everything, and the one who is talked about maximum, also fades out fastest.\r\n\tProfitability is important and so is growth. A healthy balance is required, so build your hypothesis as you grow rather than having deterministic approach.\r\n\tExperts are in the end experts, the arm chair ones. Ignore them if you wish to build a business.\r\n\tAll startup theories are at the end theories. Build your own.\r\n\tLeadership is more important than team structure \/ co-founders.\r\n\tEntrepreneur is most important element in the ecosystem. Keep focus away from them.\r\n\tGovernment has to become enabler rather than provider. Hence friction-less business environment is more imp than tax sops.\r\n\tRespect failure but don\u2019t glorify failure as well.\r\n\tThere is life beyond startups. Live well.\r\n\tBonus Commandment - there are no rules, just play at your peak and hit hard\r\n\r\nVishal Gondal, founder and CEO, GOQii Inc\r\n\r\n\r\n\tThou shall have balls and not business-plans\r\n\tThou shall develop relationships and not transactions\r\n\tThou shall focus on real pain-points\r\n\tThou shall be number 1 or 2\r\n\tThou shall focus on top 20%\r\n\tThou shall avoid MBAs and spreadsheet-makers\r\n\tThou shall celebrate failures and enjoy your journey\r\n\tThou shall not want to sell\r\n\tThou shall stay fit\r\n\tThou shall win with\u2026passion\r\n\r\nSairee Chahal, Founder & CEO of SHEROES\r\n\r\n\r\n\tWork towards high quality free internet for all\r\n\tKeep an eye on diversity at all times\r\n\tDon't forget good corporate governance, as companies grow\r\n\tThe ecosystem will grow as ones who are not in it are welcomed in\r\n\tLearn from failures and build on them\r\n\tBe mindful of echo chambers\r\n\tRevisit the basics often\r\n\tEmployee health above all\r\n\tBe kind to the environment\r\n\tAchievers need to turn mentors\r\n\r\nRajat Tandon, Vice President, Nasscom\r\n\r\n\r\n\tHave the courage and conviction to back your ideas and face the challenges \u2013 \u00a0If you aren\u2019t confident of your own idea, there is no way you can convince investors to back you.\r\n\tDevelop relationships beyond business; those who can\u2019t help you today will prove to be valuable in time of need.\r\n\tLook at solving an everyday problem and focus on making a difference rather than making a living.\r\n\tCelebrate failures to focus on building a culture that focuses more on enjoying your entrepreneurial journey and keep moving forward \u2013 No one can teach you better as much as the failures would.\r\n\tKeep raising the bar and strive to get better every day \u2013 One should challenge himself to achieve more than his\/her targets.\r\n\tKeep learning, unlearning and relearning every day.\r\n\tPrepare, Prepare, and Prepare some more for that pitch meeting to ably impress a potential investor and be prepared to answer questions concisely\r\n\tKnow your core competencies and focus on them \u2013 No one knows your idea and approach better than you yourself.\r\n\tGrab the right opportunities at the right time \u2013 A smart entrepreneur knows when to grab the right opportunity and make the best use of it.\r\n\tLook for a right mentor and guide - Startup founders should find proficient mentors and a guide who can help evade bad decisions and provide the best advice they need in order to scale up fast. Behind every successful entrepreneur is also a great advisor. No startup can succeed completely on their own.\r\n\r\nAlthough these commandments are not set in stone (as the real ones), these certainly have the ability to help you survive in this competitive ecosystem. These valuable inputs from these key stakeholders are casted with the undying passion for entrepreneurship and forged with years of priceless experiences. Thou shalt abide by these commandments!