It was a routine day in the office,when I got an email from my friend Hiral which made me realize that I am missing something if I have not read “iCon-Steve Jobs”.In the email,Steve Jobs has mentioned three interesting facts about his life and what he learnt from those incidents.
May be,it is because of these incidents,that has made Steve Jobs a “Change Machine”

The complete story can be found on Google Docs-“Steve Jobs Story”

Some facts which I found interesting are as below:

(Note: I in the article refers to Steve Jobs)
Story about connecting the dots:
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. …………………….. Ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. Mac was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.
Story about love and loss:
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
Story about death:
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
The complete story can be found on Google Docs-“Steve Jobs Story”

My previous post was the result of “India Shining” and this post is related to a field(where all of us would agree) ,in which we lag behind.We see lots of work getting outsourced to India 🙂 Thats good news,isnt it but,on the same note,there are few(should I say very few) product companies originating out of India.The question is very complicated but,Dharmesh Shah,Software Entrepreneur from the US has a good analysis of this problem on his blog.

Q:Why There Aren’t More Software Startups In India?
Some important excertps from a very interesting article:
1. Service Companies Have Lower Risk:
There is a lot of R&D that is required in a product based company hence,it takes time for the company to be profitable whereas the services based companies can become profitable very quickly.Business model of services companies is very simple.Hire labor from the large pool of local talent at a price that is market competitive for India. “Rent” these resources out to clients at a higher price.Hence,win-win situation for everyone.
2.Lack Of Significant Precedence:
US has produced many entrepreneurs of product companies like Microsoft,Apple,Oracle etc.As per Dharmesh’s analysis,India does not have such dynamic people whom entrepreneurs can look upto and this would take some time.
3.Early-Stage Capital Is Even Harder Than In The U.S.:
Historically, it has been difficult for startup founders of product companies to get their ideas funded in India. The reason is that investors, even private equity investors, have been reluctant to put high-risk capital to work and fund radically new ideas for software companies.This is partly because there’s been a large supply of other opportunities that seem to present a much better risk/reward (like IT services). However, this seems to be changing.
4.Recruiting Great Employees Is Challenging:
This is one of the best analysis made by Dharmesh.Along with the initial difficulties you face in starting your company,you would also face difficulties in hiring great(not good) people.Plus,startups have to compete with the high salaries of biggies in the country.Plus,If you are in a big organization,you can always tell your friend I’m working in XYZ MNC.And yes,this would help you if you are searching a girl for your marriage,working in a big company helps..Impressive Uh!!!

5.Too Much Bureaucracy:
It takes hardly few minutes for an idea to click and you have your company in the US but in India,as pointed out by Dharmesh,it takes some weeks.Plus,as per his analysis,India is not suitable for people(like him) who are not very agressive(and introverd) and thinking of starting a company and that was the main reason he reloacted to the US.
6.Product Companies Are Hard:
Dharmesh’s comments:-I’ve found Indians to be almost overly practical (in the short-term sense) and not passionate about some of the softer things (like user experience, marketing, branding and other things) which in today’s world are large contributors to future outcomes of software startups. Indians would rather work on the “harder” stuff that they can better control and predict.
Read the complete article here

It has been quite a long time since , we have been Hearing,reading & writing about the booming economy in India.This in turn has given a big boost to Entrepreneurship in India and hence,there are many Venture Capitalists(VC’s) who are keen on investing in India.

Just came across an interesting article on SmartTechie where they have mentioned “India is the best place for mobile content media”.Thats quite interesting.Some time back,I met Harinath(a budding Social Entrepreneur) in one of the unconferences in Bangalore where he had mentioned about Dr CK Prahlad’s book “Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid” which is focussing on Social Entrepreneurship.SmartTechie feels that companies are taking lessons from such books and implementing those policies in the Indian market….Keep on reading

SmartTechie was very smart in mentioning the reasons for such India out ventures:
  1. Dr CK Prahlad’s idea is catching fire in India – eg. The low cost designed phone Nokia 1100 specifically targeting the Indian audience
  2. Lot of Venture Capital is now available in India.There is a new breed of Entrepreneurs turned VCs who are very happy with the growth rate.
  3. There is a product ecosystem focussing on Product development,Product architecture that has developed in India.
Read the Complete and very interesting article here

Ever since I have heard Rohit Agarwal(the innovator) of TechTribe speak at the BarCamp,Bangalore I was very much impressed with him.I just thought “Whether TechTribe can be India’s answer to LinkedIn?”

He had a point about Indians in particular-“Indians are innovative at each point of time”.He had a very good example of Innovation(which according to him is not thought about everywhere) –“Even, when we(Indians) want to cross the road and (damn),there is lot of traffic,we try an alternate way to reach the other side of the road”.This is just a small example of innovation in each and every Indian mind[Am I being too patriotic :-)].Now,why connect on TechTribe when you have LinkedIn,keep on reading.

“A 30 year old IIT grad Avinash Agarwal not only got around Rs 10 Lakh funding for his startup RouteGuru through TechTribe(after he posted the idea on TechTribe) but he also gets guidance from some of the well established professionals from the industry.”


Visit my
Techtribe profile to connect with me and join the innovative era!!!

Check this one,this is just the start of innovation on TechTribe

Read the complete article here

Read this one from Red Herring and the news is definitely the result of the booming Indian economy.
As per the report, Google,The Mountain View, California-based search engine giant is contributing an undisclosed amount to Seedfund, a $10-million to $15-million fund that had its first closing in November 2006, according to sources.
An excerpt from the story:

The Google decision may be unusual for the company, but it’s a smart option at this point in India. Google has its own R&D team in India to offer local systems for the emerging market, but their success depends upon how rapidly and effectively they are adopted.

The reality is that India’s Internet market is not yet mature, with only 40 million users going online by the end of 2006, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India.
Seedfund managing partners Mr. Gandhi and Bharati Jacob have run Infinity Ventures, a profitable early-stage fund when the term was not fashionable in India. Another partner, Mahesh Murthy, is a successful entrepreneur and venture
capitalist.
“At the seed stage, teams with big ideas need less money and more mentoring from people who have an entrepreneurial background,” Mr. Murthy said when the fund launched just two months ago. Given the names who have invested in his fund, he seems to be on the right track.

Mobile phone subscribers now number 150 million, but average revenue per user is still low at about $5 per month. Startups targeting either market are still not quite as mature as the companies in which Google typically invests.

Excellent launchpad for Indian StartupsBefore I start,I would say “Three cheers to me!!!!”….Keep on reading to know the reason 🙂 In my previous post, I had mentioned about the contest on Startups.in where the prize is not money but something more than that since, it is a prize that is a boon to all the young entrepreneurs.Let me unfold the secret, the prize is “Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki and whats more is that the winners of the contest would get a personally signed copy by Guy himself.

I was worried that I would miss the 26th January,2007(11:59PM IST) deadline but I was bang on time or should I say ,I was just on time to submit my article.

For me , participation was more important and if I am amongst one of the winners, I would be very happy to get such a memorable prize.

Look forward for your valuable feedback on my article submitted for the contest.
(Negative feedback is also appreciated)

It is almost a week now and still Proto is fresh in my mind.Learnt lots of things from there, met lots of interesting people like Syed, Shiv and many other young entrepreneurs and innovators who are very frequent at such kind of unconferences.But I could not meet my good friend Sunil Gupta from Blog Camp.

After going to Proto,I have got a habit to check Vijay Anand’s blog since, it was a fantastic effort by him(and his other team members) to bring innovation under one roof.The end note by Atul Chitnis-“This is the start of an Innovative India” was absolutely amazing.But still, I missed somethings in Proto eg.I could not blog the event live just as I did in BarCamp and due to tight schedule could not click any photographs 🙂

But,I just got this information from Shiv’s blog that Gokul has blogged the event live and believe me, Gokul has done a fabulous job!!Now for those who have missed the fabulous event, Amit Ranjan has made life easy for them by uploading an excellent presentation of the coverage of the companies on SlideShare. SlideShare is making life easy for eveyone 🙂

Apart from this, the profiles of all the companies showcased in Proto is available here.

Being an Entrepreneur is not an easy job and to identify whether you are an entrepreneur is more tougher job.The topic is covered in three sections listed below:

Important steps towards entrepreneurship:
================================

Are you an Entrepreneur?:
This is the most important question that is to be asked.Being an Entrepreneur is not a fashion label and hence,every person is not an entrepreneur.Hence,you should know whether you are an entrepreneur or not.Entrepreneurs not only make money but they are responsible to create jobs for others as well which would lead to economy boom in the country.

When an Entrepreneur thinks he/she is ready?:
One of the main challenges for any entrepreneur is to know when is the right time for him/her to start.As far as this is concerned, it is the gut feeling that would tell that person about that time.And yes, not to forget there should always be a sense of risk taking ability to start up so, be prepared for the same.

Uniqueness of your idea:
Everyone has ideas but it is important to know whether your idea is unique.So being in the entrepreneurial stage, you should always discuss this with some of your close associates to know whether your idea will work or not.This will give an unbiased opinion for your idea.The main point is “If you cannot convince a single person with your idea, how would you convince the masses about your idea”.Also,”Do not start a company for money.In the entrepreneurial stage,it should only focus on innovation and money would automatically follow inovation at a latter point of time”.

Try to be with the right set of people:
An entrepreneur should be in the right company.What I mean is, for the execution of any idea along with the technical team, you also require good experienced people from HR/management etc.This would complete the full circle for you and your team can focus on different aspects of your company.eg. “Mindtree Consulting” was founded by Ashok Soota and co-founded by Subroto Bagchi , similar is the case with Infosys(Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani & others).

Have a proper business plan:
So once you have a UNIQUE idea and you are with the right set of people, you are ready to fire.Than comes the most important aspect of any startup is having a crystal clear “BUSINESS PLAN”.Have a very precise business plan.Your business plan should cover the following aspects:

  1. Who is you customer?
  2. Who are your competitors(if any)?
  3. Your short term and long term growth plans?
  4. Ways of cost cutting(for eg.in the entrepreneurial stage,it is important to reduce the cost on unwanted things).
  5. Market capitalization.
Brand building:
This is another important step in you product development phase.A successful management team needs support from the technical team and vice-versa.Hence, you should follow stringent steps to make your product a “Brand” since, in todays competitive market only brands can survive and not products.eg. Google is a brand in “Search Engine” market.
One of the simplest and cheapest ways to market your product is through various camps(or should I say unconferences) which happen eg BarCamp,BlogCamp and other shows like Proto.in(which I attended in Chennai recently).

When to approach a Venture Capitalist(VC):
This is also very important stage in the life of a startup company.It is very important to know at what stage of the startup,you want to approach a VC since, the main point is “Once your product has a good market cap, there would be VCs who would be surrouding you”.Also, once you approach a VC,you should know about how much fund you want from the VC,since VCs cannot give you ample amount of fund,without you providing a valid reason.

A general word on marketing:
========================

As I have specified in my “Brand Building” point, different strategies can be followed(in marketing some of which are given below:

  1. Through Ads in newspapers,pamplets etc.
  2. Free distribution of your product(evaluation version),if it is cost effective.
  3. A good way to reach a wide range of audience is through BarCamps,BlogCamps,events like Proro.in(which showcases startup companies).
Motivation towards Entrepreneurship:
===============================
Being an Entrepreneur is not a simple job.It is not like working for 8 hours a day.Hence as I had mentioned previously, “Every Techie is not an Entrepreneur”.

Passion towards your goals:
An Entrepreneur is a person who is passionate about what he/she does and goes an extra mile to achieve his/her goal.Hence,”An Entrepreneur is a self-motivated person”.

Continuous learning:
Enterpreneur is a continous learner.He/she learns from his own mistakes and also tries to learn from the lives of other entrepreneurs.Hence,”Continuous learning is the key to entrepreneurship”.

Right kind of support:
It is very important that you receive the right kind of support from your family,friends and fellow entrepreneurs.Hence, being an entrepreneur is a clear test of risk taking and facing new challenges.Hence, your family should be supportive to help you achieve your goals.

Booming economy in India:
After the dot com burst,many companies suffered a heavy loss and saw the shutters go down for many companies.But now,the time has changed and especially for India,we can say “Every cloud has a silver lining”.There is a huge economy boom in India and there are more and more people leaving their heavy pay-packet jobs to fulfil their dreams.During my visit to Proto.in there was a statement made(by a Tech Evangalist)-“No would have thought that such a show(showcasing 30 startups and 25 VCs) would have happened in India and this is a clear indication of more and more entrepreneurs being born out of India“.
Events like BarCamps, BlogCamps and Proto.in are examples of emerging globalization and entrepreneurship in India.

More information for starting your venture in India : Startup in India