January 2008


This post was jointly written by Sameer and Nandini

Many entrepreneurs working on new ideas, seem to live with this assumption that Idea Sharing = Idea Stealing. That is, if I as an entrepreneur share my idea with others, they will steal it and make it their own. Garnering this notion, they fail to share details of their project, about what solution they are building or which the real problem they are solving. This does not give an opportunity for the person on the other side, however competent he is, to give constructive feedback or be the devil’s advocate. Hence, entrepreneurs may land up working on their idea in vacuum.

This approach leads to a lot of lost opportunities, such as, missing out on opportunity in getting:

  • any relevant information
  • useful contacts
  • feedback, approval or criticism

or even a missed opportunity in creating a genuine relationship. All of the above are fairly important for an entrepreneur working on a new idea.

Here is another and better approach, which as entrepreneurs we believe in and propagate:

  • Just an idea is not worth any value
  • True value is derived out of the team that works on the idea, the planning, knowledge and the final execution
  • As founders and the core team, the secret lies in your strategy. However, this needs validation and refinement from various kinds of people:
    • Potential investors: They can give us feedback from the investors’ point-of-view, thus helping us refine our idea or pitch. Also, since these guys, interact with a lot of young companies and entrepreneurs with ideas; they are in a position to tell us if our idea will work or if any such thing already exists.
    • Entrepreneurs: These are the guys who are brimming with ideas and who will always have a word of wisdom or two. They are well networked and update about the startup world. These guys can help in validating the idea and refine the thoughts.
    • Potential customers: Who best to learn from than the end user?
    • Other people: People in general, who do not have the domain knowledge about what you are doing. Try selling your idea’s power to them. That experience will surely teach you a thing or two.

You can always choose not to talk about some sensitive/confidential parts of your business. Other than that, the more you talk about your idea that much more refined the concept / pitch will get, as we tend to improve our pitch with each sharing. It is a natural mending method that helps crystallize our thoughts. So, all you entrepreneurs with idea; share them!

Also would love to build the discussion, so go on comment on either of the blogs..

Couple of good posts about why “VCs don’t sign NDAs”, before entrepreneurs share the ideas:

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Every startup has a core team, consisting of the founders (or just the founder) plus other key early employees. The core team members are those who have displayed the intelligence, high learning ability, passion and appropriate skill-set required for a startup assignment. They are people with a successful track record, relevant experience and good educational background.

But, the very same successful track-record, many times comes in the way of “unlearning and re-learning” that is essential in a startup environment. And that happens when some team members play majority of their new roles with old rules.

The following rules apply to you if you are building the core team or are part of a core team, because in a new startup, different laws apply.

New rules (GO WIN THE GAME)

  • Be open to learning and influences. Build fresh perspectives.
  • Go on a journey to build things from scratch, build them block by block.
  • Think fresh and think fundamental; understand a problem in ways which was never done before and then create a novel solution.
  • You surely have a rich set of experience, knowledge, contacts and education. You must use it as source of reference to help you do a fantastic job. But its very important that you:
    • Adapt the past learning to the current context before applying it.
    • Don’t skip any steps while analyzing problems or building solutions, thinking that you have done similar stuff and don’t need to repeat.
    • Continue to take a fresh look at things with the new context in mind and not let the past cloud your vision.

Old rules (OFTEN LEAD TO FAILURES – DON’T PLAY BY THEM)

  • The methods which brought me success in past will continue to apply without any change or adapting.
  • I have enough knowledge, no more learning required for me. I will apply my existing knowledge and make the venture a success.
  • During my days as part of the middle/junior layer, I have been part of teams who have executed many challenging assignments and built things bottom up. Now that I am part of the top management and I will build things “Top down” and the junior and middle layers will worry about the middle and bottom part.

 

I just landed in chennai via a late n ight flight and the question is ringing again in my mind….WHY DO PEOPLE LEAVE THE SEATS AND STAND UP AS SOON AS THE FLIGHTS LAND STOP?

I m talking abt these people who start getting impatient as soon as the flight lands, start opening the seat belts (seat belt sign is on), switch on the mobile phones (you r supposed to wait till the doors open) and these same guys immediately get up; take their respective bags and stand in the aisle for 10 minutes or so, they have the choice to continue sitting and only get up after de-boarding starts, but due some internal insinct more than 50 percent of the people stand and waste their energies.

Whats the cause of this behavior? I can think of few reasons, would love to hear more views:

– Insecurity: they basically dont feel secure sitting down and think that by standing they can get out before others which is sadly not true
– New travellers : some of them are new and hence think doors will open as soon as the plane stops and they can get off.

UPDATE (03 March 08): My X-boss (jai kumar), send me a couple of good thoughts on this:

1. The “real” reason that people stand up immediately after the plane lands is to s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Sitting crammed in economy class for lengths of time leads to “deep vein thrombosis” (economy class syndrome) and “bruised inner thighs”.
2. Do you ever see Business or First class folks stand up immediately after the plane lands? Never. Guess why?

So, what does clrftr signify? Clear Filter! or even Color Filter.

What is it meant to do? Create a filter of sorts? Now, i hear you say “Yet another filter in the filter-o-sphere?

NO!!!

The idea is to clear that unwanted bad filter and give u a clear experience.

Experience? What sort?

Come back for more… What’s life without some curiosity!

I am right now watching “halla bol” at fun republic, bangalore. Movie seems to be fine but before coming in i experinced torture at the hands of employees of the multiplex.

We decided around 1130 to watch a movie at Fun Republic bangalore, went online booked the tickets, paid 660 – 600 ticket price end 60 convience charges. Now what exactly is this convenience? You dont have to stand in the queue at the multiplex.

But when we reached the mutliplex we were in for rude surprises. The guys at the ticket counter told us to stand in the regular queue!!! Now what was that? i told him that we have booked the ticked online and hence you just give us the ticket, if i a have to stand in the queue what is point of buying online. He told me that online you can choose ur own seats thats it but when u come to multiplex u have to stand in the queue. I told him i always book online and there should be no need to stand into the queue. But despite of this we and few other customers who had also booked online were made to wait and treated rudely. When we asked to speak to the manager the same guy who asked us to get into queue is the manager and he told us he is too busy right now to even to talk to us.

what do these guys think? Customers are fools and deserve to be treated in such an insensitive manner. What do you think?

Akhila writes a very touching and though provoking post An ode to the trees of Bengaluru

It provoked me to write about Bangalore and its unlimited limitations when it comes to roads and other infrastructure. Its sad the people in the govt/administration who have the responsibility, power and money to maintain and develop the city ‘s infrastructure dont add any value what so ever. In fact in most cases they are busy derailing the projects and initiatives in progress, popular example is Bangalore-Mysore NICE project, which has been attacked to no end by the Gowda family.

But when I think about the same subject in context of Delhi NCR, I feel extremely proud of what has been achieved during the last decade and what is being achieved even now day after day. The most inspirational part of Delhi’s story is the Delhi Metro , the team has build a world class Metro infrastructure and at an amazing pace.

Delhi has shown way to the country that yes it is possible to achieve big infrastructure wins in India and it can be done in an economically viabledelhimetro.jpg, ecofriendly, people friendly way. We have all the capability, the knowledge and the money for it – it take political will and a committed and capable leader like E Sridharan (the Metro man) and we can move mountains. As we all know there is no dearth of “capable leaders” in our country, what we dearly lack is the political will?

Now its upto us “the citizens of India” to do what ever it takes to create this political will and pressurize our political and administrative people, so write a blog, send a letter to editor, visit your councilor, MLA, MP, sign a petition and make it possible in your city/state/country.

It hurts and frustrates me to see “Namma Metro” project on MG road in a virtual stand still, where as the great Delhi Metro is moving leaps and bounds, every time I go to delhi I see amazing amount of progress done…