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Showing posts from 2016

WTP: A Very Important Business Abbreviation

Did you know the most profitable car of sports car maker Porsche is actually its family friendly SUV Cayenne? Wait what! How? Enter building to Customer's Willingness to Pay (WTP).

In a postMadhavan Ramanujam, Simon-Kucher & Partners, shares the story of Porsche's counter-intuitive move in the mid 1990s.
In the mid 1990s Porsche's annual sales were a third of what they’d been the decade earlier when it almost died. The company badly needed a turnaround.  So Porsche "designed the car around what customers needed, valued and were willing to pay for – in short, around its price. All the items customers weren’t willing to pay for, like Porsche’s famous six-speed racing transmission, were thrown out, even if their engineers loved them." In contrast Fiat Chrysler, which was also looking for a hit, "focused its development process on engineering and design, settling on a price for the car at the very end.  Market performance was a disaster. It p…

Argh! How do I get my content to go viral?

Content marketing has been a great and effective way to acquire customers. One question that all entrepreneurs ask is how to create viral content. In this Ink Talk, Sattvik Mishra, Scoop Whoop shares his lessons and the thinking that drives stories at ScoopWhoop.

Reality - Not all content goes viral - "while we had some wins, most of them were duds" he recounts. Why do some content go viral?
While traditional media hasn't changed - newspapers, websites, apps are all just versions of what editors want readers to read, content consumption has changed. e.g. While newspapers decide what news to put up on what pages, social media feeds are deciding for consumers what to consume.
News is very subjective - for a millennial a Game of Thrones episode would be a huge thing, while there are people who don't follow it. To be relevant to your targeted audience - you need to listen to know what they are talking about and what they'd like to talk about.
The most important sauce…

How Indian Entrepreneurs can build for the Mass Indian User: Ankur Singla, Helpchat

In a ET article, Ankur Singla, CEO of Helpchat shares where Indian Entrepreneurs are failing at building for Indian masses:
"My hypothesis is that most Indian entrepreneurs and product managers build products for people like themselves - elite and westernized Indians who think and speak in English. This is also why almost all Internet companies fight it out for the first 10-20 million internet users. However, the honest truth of the Indian internet market is that to build a large Internet business, you need find a way to build for the 200 million common Indians."How can Indian Entrepreneurs build for Indian masses ?
1. Go out, talk and relate to the COMMON MAN.
"One weekend, I took all product managers in our team to Church Street in Bengaluru and we spent four hours talking to security guards, waitresses and small business owners. You need to see their phones, their home screens and understand their behaviour. All of them mooch off the Starbucks internet; a guard uses …

Making Indian Entrepreneurship More Desi

Writing in Founding Fuel, Baba Prasad, CEO of Vivekin Group who teaches entrepreneurship in B-Schools, bemoans the fact that a lot of the students would like to emulate the founders of companies like Facebook and Amazon and do not even bring up names like Narayana Murthy of Infosys or Azim Premji of Wipro, leave alone like Laxmanrao Kirloskar or Jamsetji Tata. "So, if business models for Indian entrepreneurs are fashioned in the West, and business heroes are not Indian, the question comes up: What is Indian about the Indian entrepreneur?," he asks.

According to the article, the crux of an Indian Entrepreneur is:
1. Balancing profit-making with the burdens it is imposing on society and the benefits it can deliver to society2. The entrepreneur is solving problems, that are not uniquely Indian, but the scale is Indian. Contrasting the Western/Capitalist model and a not-too-practical Gandhian/Socialist model, the author provides Aravind Eye Hospital as a balanced template for t…

Lessons from Yahoo & Jabong Exits: Suvir Sujan of Nexus Ventures

Extracts from Suvir's recent blog post on how entrepreneurs & investors should determine timing of a strategic sale.

1. People - There is fatigue or lack of passion at the founder or leadership level.  Or  it is hard to attract or retain key talent in the company. Or there is a strong disagreement amongst the various stakeholders on the way forward.

2. Approach - The approach to solving the problem is either not working or not scaling. Revenues cannot scale without scaling costs proportionately

3. Market - The market is either not large enough, or the competitive dynamics in the market puts pressure on current business model

Venture Intelligence is India's longest serving provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India.

8 Rules for building Great Products

In a Medium blog, Mitchel Harper shares his thoughts on what makes great products.

1. BFBC - Build For your Best Customers

They bring you most revenue and are willing to pay for upgrades and newer products. Give a higher weight age for their feedback.

2. Solve Tier I Problems

Tier I - One of top 3 problems of potential customers. If  you are solving a Tier I problem you will have the Customers' attention and budget spend. The rest are Vitamins - "nice to have fixed" problems.

3. Build 'simple to understand' products

Design is your most important feature. Every time the user experience is great, a startup's revenue grow like weed.

4. Make a cupcake

Most startups try to build the wedding cake (the big final product) on their first iteration instead of starting small with a cupcake, then turning it into a cake (based on customer feedback) and then finally into a wedding cake (again, based on customer feedback).

4. Prioritize Customer Feedback and make Themed releases

What is Great Design? - Illustrated in 3 Doodles

In a Medium Blog, Julie Zhou, VP - Product Design at Facebook shares (pun intended) a few doodles on what is Great Design. She calls it as the congruence of high "Positive Utility" and lotsa "Customer/User Love"

The Ambition Hierarchy of Designers

Catch the 3rd Doodle here

We've been getting our hands dirty at trying to get well designed infographics on Venture Capital & Private Equity. You can catch the stories here

Venture Intelligence is 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.

Stop Whining & Start Executing

Gary Vaynerchuk's advise to Whiner-preneurs: "Bullshit entrepreneurs cry about the way they want it to be instead of reacting to the way it actually is." & "Nobody gives a f*ck about your feelings and you need to stop crying and adjust"

Click Here for the video

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.

How to identify Rock Star employees?

Sara Tavelcompares "Good" employees with "Rock Star" employees (whom she calls as the Mitochondria of the company)

1. Both are good at their jobs

2. The difference being in the scale of adding value. For good employees, it is is linear (more pay or higher the hierarchy = more value), while rockstar employees - "they add value to the company beyond their job description and responsibilities. They ask and do what is best for the company"

The "founder’s job (is) to attract and retain mitochondria through all stages of a company. At the early stages, this rare group of individuals is the core of the company. As your startup scales, they are your leaders."

How do you spot them? - Do Value Interviews
"Don't just hire for competence, interview for values"
Typically the founding team should check if the candidate is going to be a match with the core values of the company. If you had a chart for that you'd want someone on the top right corne…

How to spec your tech project and hire a programmer

Derek Sivers has a great step-by-step guide:
Go to the following sites to open an account at each:,, ...You'll get many offers, but if they don't have your magic phrase at the top (“I AM REAL” or whatever), delete them. This is very hard to do, since you'll feel thrilled that so many people are offering to help, saying things like, “We have looked at your project and would be glad to complete it immediately,” but trust me and delete those. If they didn't read something marked as VERY IMPORTANT already, you don't want to work with them. ...Here's the real reason why you're stopping at a simple milestone: you're going to hire at least two different people to do this first step, expecting that one will go bad, one will be so-so, and one will be great. Yes it means you're paying multiple times for this first milestone, but it's worth it to find a good one.Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intellige…