October 19, 2012

Do's & Dont's for Indian Startups

From a great post by Pravin Jadhav of social media startup Wishberg.
Don’t divulge what is not shipped yet. This is a tough one to explain. To put it simply (or wisely) – ‘You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.’ Here the context is different. Everyone is looking for ideas, you don’t give it to them. We met with one angel investor, had a detailed discussion about our product – how we intend to market / acquire consumers. Few days later, one of his invested startup came up with remarkably similar approach. On another instance, one investor met us twice in a span on 10 days, insisted we share our detailed road map ASAP. A week later his firm announced a investment in an over lapping category; he was leading the deal.

Do whats impossible, not what is easy. If you have a brilliant idea and you think its easy to execute, there probably are another 100 startups doing it already. You are operating in a crowded space.

Your health is important. ...Long working hours, erratic sleeping times is way of startup life. Managing time is myth, work manages your time. ...Advice: Amount of stress first-time founders will go through in start-up journey is unimaginable. I’ve learned to relax and have started paying good attention towards my health.

Technically, you’re unemployed. Accept that. ...You will be often reminded of that by folks you will never expect – like the customer support staff at credit card department – “Aapke pass to job hi nahi hai. 3 years ka company IT returns aap submit kijiye.” (Translates to – ‘You don’t have a job. You will have to submit 3 years income tax returns of your company to apply for one’). This is a top Indian bank, I’m their premier customer since last 10 years and it doesn’t matter. ..Advice: Plan your startup well. Talk to other startup founders before you start – understand what difficulties they went through. Startup life is not for everyone.

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. Includes the Free Deal Digest Weekly Newsletter: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.