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Showing posts from September, 2012

Entrepreneurship is...

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” - Anonymous Choose a job that you like, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius, Thinker and Philosopher You must fall in love with what you do, because being an entrepreneur is a lot of hard work, and overcoming a lot of adversity. From that love will come the dedication that will get you out of bed at 4 a.m. because of a great idea you just had and get you to work till 11 p.m. and not feel tired.” – Ken Field, Real Estate Magnate Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers.

The Surprising Biggest Problem of Small Businesses: Having Too Much Money

From a post by AnnMaria of The Julia Group.

..sometimes, as Paul Hawken has said, the biggest problem with small businesses is that they have too much money. That may sound crazy, but I have always tried to keep overhead to the bare minimum. Almost everyone who works for us is a contractor, which means we pay them when we have work and when we don’t have work for them to do, we don’t pay them. I’m not too worried about being first to market – I see how well that worked out for VisiCalc and Netscape. I’ve way too much experience to think that you can do a project twice as fast with six programmers as with three. After 27 years, I still have an office in my house. When I meet people, I usually go to lunch...

Interesting and certainly worth thinking about...

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that…

"It's all About the People" - The Truism that Stays True

From a Mixergy podcast interview with Dr.Rajiv Kumar of US-based corporate wellness service ShapeUp. (Emphasis mine)
What’s the one takeaway that you have? One thing that you say, hey you know, I am better because I have this one understanding after having built this business.

Rajiv: Yeah, I think it would probably sound very obvious and maybe somewhat cliché, but at the end of the day, every single thing that a business does, successes and failures, are all about people, and can’t underestimate that. I think we know it, but we forget it sometimes. But it is the people that makes everything happen or makes thing not happen. There’s a huge opportunity cost to having a wrong person in a position, and you don’t realize that opportunity cost until that person leaves, and because either there’s a void and you realize that this person was actually dragging the company down, or someone who comes in that’s much better and you realize how much more quickly you’re accelerating. And when you have …

Why It's Important to Let Go of Non-Performers

From a post on OnStartups titled "Remembering 9/11: Leadership Lessons From Akamai Founder". (Danny Lewin, co-founder of Akamai Technologies, "a commando in the Israeli Special Forces counter-terror group, then a genius mathematics graduate student at MIT, and then a visionary billionaire entrepreneur", "was tragically killed on American Airlines Flight #11")

To Restore Trust When it Weakens: Hold People Accountable and Get Rid of Non-Performers.

Great leaders hold people accountable successfully by honoring an unspoken contract between them. The team members make commitments to each other and to the leader. Then the leader measures each of them fairly and by the same standards - by how well they did what they said they would do. The leader pays each member by how well they performed their part of the deal.

But when one member fails to execute, other teammates see it immediately. They lose confidence both in the non-performer and in the leader for failing to…

Should an Entrepreneur Bring Home the Baby or the Bacon?

Bring home the bacon
1. To earn a living, especially for a family.
2. To achieve desired results; have success.

In one of his latest posts titled 7 dark secrets of Entrepreneurs - Revealed, Alok Kejriwal (as usual) provides a lot of material for reflection at the same time making it an easy read.
2. Entrepreneurs are lonely.

Honestly, entrepreneurs are their own best friends.

Yes, family comes close and there is almost a reverse dependency on family (I feel I depend on my wife and 2 daughters more than they depend on me), but there is really no one else.

Maybe I speak for myself, but the gigantic tasks of the day leave no room for hanging out with friends or acquaintances. In most cases, it’s going out with the office crowd.

Entrepreneurs speak to themselves in their sleep. They sell proposals to themselves in the shower and negotiate term sheets in their mind while they are eating sev puri. There is little time for other friendships. Here are a couple that particularly struck a chord:

3. Entr…

"Avoid Mind Blocks & Artificial Boundaries" - Pandia Rajan & Latha Rajan of Ma Foi

Cross Posted from the Venture Intelligence Entrevista blog:


Latha Rajan & K. Pandia Rajan of Ma Foi ( Bios)

In conversation with K. Satyanarayan, Co-founder of regional language publishing firm New Horizon Media.
(Recorded on August 15, 2012 in Chennai.)

Highlights:

Takeaways for Other Entrepreneurs: (Click on the links for the video segments)
Don't add artificial constraints when it comes to entrepreneurship

KPR:
Separating home and work, politics & business - we tend to have many boundaries where none need to exist. These are Western notions and mind blocks that we can revisit.

Being a Husband-Wife Entrepreneur Combination was never a major hassle for us. In fact, as Latha says often, we would have probably fallen apart but for Ma Foi!

Latha Rajan: In the early days, he used to travel 25 days a month and I used to travel 10 days a month. But since I was there within the system, I could understand (the pressures and issues). Both of us knew what we were working towards.

Entreprene…

Tips for Technology Start Ups

From Art Reisman's post titled "Nine Tips for Technology Start Ups". (Hat tip: Terry Gold)
5) Product companies must avoid the consulting trap.

If you produce a software product and (or any product for that matter), you will always be inundated for specialty, one-off, requests from customers. These requests are well intentioned, but you can’t let your time and direction of a single customer drive your feature set. The exception to this rule is obviously if you are getting similar requests from multiple customers. If you start building special features for single customers, ultimately you will barely break even, and may go broke trying to please them. At some point (now), you have to say this is our product, and this is our price, and these are the features, and if a customer needs specialty features, you will need to politely decline. If your competition takes up your account on promises of customization, you can be sure they are spreading their resources thin.

6) Validate…

PaaSage from Cuddalore to California: The OrangeScape Story

Rediff.com has an interesting profile of the Chennai-based Platform as a Service (PaaS) software product firm and its founder Suresh Sambandam (who grew up in the small Tamilnadu town of Cuddalore).

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers.