This is a thought that came to my mind during the talks at BarCamp Bangalore-4 which were focussed on “Business Plans”.But is it always about Business Plans?…let’s find the answer.Most of us have ideas in mind but where most of us lack is the understanding of the market penetration of the idea.Take the example of blogging, when people started blogging, no one would have thought that there was so much money in blogging.Now since we know that many bloggers are earning a handful of money , some bloggers[who get a decent traffic] may feel that “We can also go into full-time blogging” but this may not be the case.Blogging is not an easy job and it is always a tough decision “Do you go full time or work(on an idea) part time“?
Similar is the case with ideas.Each one of us have ideas but it is very important to understand the penetration of the idea in reality.Along with the penetration,there are lots of other environmental factors that you should consider:
  • What is your current status?
  • Do you have any dependents?
  • Are you married or engaged? and so on….
If you consider India , such factors are very important.I just happened to speak to one of the founders of a startup[in Bangalore] regarding a job opportunity for my friend and his first question was “Are you married?” and I understood the importance of that question.A girl may prefer a person having some average work profile(in an MNC) over a budding entrepreneur who is working on an idea that would change the world !!! When you talk about a startup , it is always in terms of stake rather in salary hence, many times you may have to settle down with a much lesser salary sad

The bottom line is “In India, though there are many startups taking shape day after day, (full time) entrepreneurship is still at a nascent stage”.Hence, along with the idea & it’s estimated growth , it is also important to understand “Why you want to take a plunge?” and “Are you ready to go full time [since, your idea would be better only if it is taken part-time , which means it may not be worth making it as a business]“.

The message is there are two sides of the coin “Business Plan” and “Life Plan“. “Life Plan” is your present and targetted future in a short plan.This is very important for any aspiring entrepreneur since, it would help him/her understand whether “(S)HE IS READY FOR A FULL TIME PLUNGE”

There is a 8 point life plan from Startup Nation comprising the following:

  1. Your Current Status
  2. Your Ideal Life
  3. Your Loves: What You Really Like Doing
  4. Your Skills & Capabilities: What You Do Well
  5. Your Track Record: What You Have Experience Doing
  6. Your Ideal Work Style
  7. Your Manifesto
  8. Key Moves to Get You Where You Want to Go
You can find a detailed explanation to points(1-5) here , points(6-8) here and a sample life-plan here. Time to review your life and than your idea; since, you have to decide whether you are ready for full time Entrepreneurship or Patro-preneurship [my terminology for part time entrepreneurship] !!!

Image Courtesy:
SG Entrepreneurs Group

Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) , Mumbai is organizing a B-Plan Competition called Eureka.This is your chance to turn your dream into reality lol. Some details about the competition below:


What Is Eureka ?

Eureka! is the biggest Business Plan Competition in India and one of the Top Five in the Asia-Oceanic region in terms of participation, prizes and resources. It is intended as a platform to encourage youth from across the globe to flesh out their ideas in business terms and form global enterprises that combine technology,vision and business acumen.

Past success stories from Eureka:
Listed below are some of the past winners(and runner-ups) from Eureka:

Winners of Eureka,1999:
Voyager Infotech Private Limited
Eisodus Networks Private Limited

Winners of Eureka,2000:
Myzus Private Limited

Winners of Eureka,2001:
eInfinitus Technologies Private Limited
Duesco Private Limited
Herald Logic Private Limited

Winners & Finalists of Eureka,2002:
Embedded Robot Technologies (Winner)
Theranova (Winner)
Phonologies Private Limited (Runner Up)

Winners of Eureka,2003:
PowaiLabs Techsoft Private Limited
Whizlabs Software Pvt. Ltd.

Winners of Eureka,2004:
Rhizo Technologies

Schedule of Eureka,2007:
You can check the schedule here

More details of Eureka,2007 can be found here

Do you have a blog or thinking of starting a blog?, than you are the one who is at least thinking of contributing to the “CHANGE ECOSYSTEM”….So, try to change the world before 31st August,2007 which is being celebrated as ‘BLOG DAY’.

Why Blog Day?
Blogs have gone leaps & bounds,and spread like fire but sometimes,we have the doubt as to whether ‘YOUR BLOG IS CROSSING BOUNDARIES’? So, go ahead and make your blog ‘Global’ by contributing to the blog day.
What will happen on the Blog Day?
As stated on “Blog Day” website:

One long moment on August 31st, bloggers from all over the world will post recommendations of 5 new Blogs, preferably Blogs that are different from their own culture, point of view and attitude. On this day, blog readers will find themselves leaping around and discovering new, unknown Blogs, celebrating the discovery of new people and new bloggers.

BlogDay posting instructions:
1. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting
2. Notify the 5 bloggers that you are recommending them as part of BlogDay 2007
3. Write a short description of the Blogs and place a link to the recommended Blogs
4. Post the BlogDay Post (on August 31st) and
5. Add the BlogDay tag using this link:
http://technorati.com/tag/BlogDay2007 and a link to the BlogDay web site

Spread the message of blogging by grabbing a badge(for your blog) from here

India is truly revolutionizing and so are the guys in the Silicon Valley of India.Two of the major advantages of the Unconferences are “Knowledge Sharing” and “Networking“.How does it feel to learn & network,every 2 weeks? Lot’s of learning and this is where I would like to start my article on “The first meetup of the Open Coffee Club,Bangalore” which was held at BrewHaha on 19th August,2007(11:00 AM).Let’s do a quick recap of the meet in a Q&A style:

What is Open Coffee Club (OCC) ?
The OpenCoffee Club was started to encourage entrepreneurs, developers and investors to organise real-world informal meetups to chat, network and grow.This is the online complement to that offline network. Meet people, find out what’s going on nearby you and then go and take part. More about OCC here

What exactly happened at the event?
Since, this was the opening chapter of OCC, the expectation was around 20+ people but thanks to the power of “Word of Mouth marketing (WOM)” and “Blogging” , the turnout was surprising and was close to around 50+ surprised The event started exactly on time at 11:00 AM and than started a brief round of introduction, which lasted for around an hour.Being the first meet, it was quite expected that there would be a mismatch in the expectations and hence, it was very important to decide the agenda for the next meet.There were a couple of suggestions:

  1. What strategies startups should follow to compete with some of the big guns in the IT industry?
  2. Apart from an excellent idea, there should be a market feasibility(and scalability) and hence,How do we bridge the gap between Technology and Marketing?
  3. How does an entrepreneur share ideas with other people in the group and how can (s)he get an HONEST feedback about the same?
  4. How much should be the VC involvement in OCC ?
  5. Discussions as to whether any particular venture requires VC funding? ie Some insights into VC funding?
  6. Some of the mistakes that Entrepreneurs should avoid.

[If I may have missed out some of the things discussed at OCC , than kindly leave a comment and I would add it to this list :)]

Phew,after lot of discussions now was the time to network and I also shared my part-time, partly Non-technical idea with a quite a few people and was appreciated by some of them.This was a quick check as to whether I am headed in the right direction? lol

Some of the key highlights of the event:
Apart from the discussions, the other key highlights of the event were “Startup Funding” and “Mentorship for Entrepreneurs“.These key issues were addressed by people from National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN)Laura Parkin(Executive Director, NEN & Wadhwani Foundation) & Sameer Kanth(Consultant, NEN Bangalore). Another notable attendee at the event was Yiting Shen from MIT Sloan school of Management. This is just a small example of a new and changed “Globalizing India” !!!

What exactly happened after the event (a Buffet Lunch Club) !!! smile?
Had a good lunch with Prateek & Nithya Dayal;the husband-wife team working on their startup Muziboo, Saurabh, Ramjee, Siva, Vaibhav.There were some interesting discussions about Business Blogging, Legal ways to increase traffic to your blog, WordPress, UI Development, Unconferences, Networking …. After the talk, I thought that I should also start “Blog Consulting” wink

Crowd present at the OCC:
[Attendees who haven’t provided information about their blogs are tagged with their email id’s. Also,if I have missed out your name,kindly add it in the comment section…]

  1. K. Aditya
  2. Saurabh Singh
  3. Kaushik Gala
  4. Deepak Shenoy, founder of MoneYoga
  5. Pooran Prasad, co-founder of Zealous Solutions
  6. Vaibhav Pandey
  7. Harish Kumar, founder of OneBigWeb
  8. Sandeep C Senan
  9. Kiran Jonnalagadda aka Jace
  10. Manasi Baranwal
  11. Shivakumar Ganesan
  12. Prashant Acharya
  13. Gunasekaran S
  14. Sameerkanth , ConsultantNEN Bangalore
  15. Venkat Ramana
  16. Anand
  17. Piyush Gupta, Co-founder of RouteGuru
  18. R. Senthil
  19. Kiran Kadekoppa
  20. Parvez Ahmed
  21. Ajit
  22. Rohit Bansal
  23. Prateek & Nithya Dayal, Co-founders of Muziboo
  24. Karthik Jain, Co-founder of PicSquare
  25. Satish TJ
  26. Anshul Gupta
  27. Meera K , Community & News media
  28. Rajan, Co-founder of Motvik
  29. PV Sundaram
  30. Vipul Gupta
  31. Bhasker Kode,Co-founder of “The Returnable Project”
  32. Laura Parkin, Executive Director, NEN & Wadhwani Foundation
  33. Yiting Shen
  34. Saurabh
  35. Paveen Kumar
  36. Parineeth Reddy
  37. Harinath Pudipeddi
  38. Siva – now an Entrepreneur
  39. Akshat Choudary, Co-founder ActivMobs
  40. Amit Singh, Co-organizer of BCB4
  41. Ashish Solanki, Co-founder Yulop
  42. Puneeth Prasad
[Photo Courtesy : Jace]

Time to wrap up the coverage of “First OCC meetup”.Last but not the least, thumbs up to the organizers of OCC – Ramjee Ganti and Vaibhav Pandey for taking this initiative and making this possible !!!

When does the next OCC happen?
OCC would be held once in 15 days and hence, the next OCC is on 2nd September,2007.For more updates , join the ‘OCC Community Group’

What other bloggers are saying about OCC?
[If you have already blogged about OCC , than kindly add your link in the comments section…]

Ramjee Ganti – Bangalore Open Coffee Kick Starts with Bang

Hope to catch you all at the next “Open Coffee Club” in Bangalore !!!

Dhirubhai Ambani is an example of one of the greatest Indian Entrepreneurs,who was responsible for a “NEW & CHANGED INDIA”.I think we can write one entire blog on Dhirubhai and still we could get new articles , day after day exclaim however, this article is about a book “Dhirubhaism by A G Krishnamurthy” , which is a must read for every Indian Entrepreneur.The book lists the 15 lessons from Dhirubhai’s life and straight from the author’s desk:”Dhirubhaism is an attempt to capture those unique insights that Dhirubhai shared with him in several interactions during their long association

Note:
The lessons listed below are taken from the book itself and the credit goes to the author and hence, “I” in the article refers to Dhirubhai Ambani.

Dhirubhaism 1Roll up your sleeves and help.You and your team share the same DNA
I believe that the success of Reliance cannot be attributed to the qualities and achievements of one individual , or even a group of individuals, but has to be viewed as a triumph of a process, and a spirit that binds the entire Reliance family together – Dhirubhai Ambani.

Dhirubhaism 2Be a safety net for your team and they will perform wonders
Reliance’s success is a reflection of India’s capabilities,the talent of her people and the potential of her entrepreneurs, engineers, managers and workers.

Dhirubhaism 3Be a silent benefactor
I live the Gita – Dhirubhai Ambani

Dhirubhaism 4DREAM BIG BUT DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN
A vision has to be within reach not in the air. It has to be achievable

Dhirubhaism 5The arm-around-the shoulder leader
We must learn to trust. For several centuries,Indians have been brainwashed to distrust other Indians. This saps national energy. Distrust kills initiative. Distrust compels people to maneuver and manipulate.Trust and transparency stimulates entrepreneurship.

Dhirubhaism 6Supply creates demand
Think big, think fast and think ahead.Idea’s are no one’s monopoly.

Dhirubhaism 7Money is not product by itself.It is a by-product, so don’t chase it
If you work with determination and with perfection, success will follow.

Dhirubhaism 8Leave the professional alone
Give (your people) the youth a proper environment. Motivate them.Extend them the support they need. Each one of them has infinite source of energy. They will deliver.

Dhirubhaism 9Change your orbit , constantly
Growth has no limit at Reliance.I keep revising my vision.Only when you dream it you can do it.

Dhirubhaism 10OPTIMISM, THE CORE OF DHIRUBHAISM
Pursue your goals even in the face of difficulties, and convert adversities into opportunities.

Dhirubhaism 11You can find a friend in every human being
I have trusted people and they have put the trust in me – Dhirubhai Ambani

Dhirubhaism 12Think Big
For those who dare to dream, there is a whole world to win….Dream and dare

Dhirubhaism 13Hold on to your dreams
Don’t give up, courage is my conviction – Dhirubhai Ambani

Dhirubhaism 14Bet on your people
People in Reliance are our core strength and it is very important to bet on them.

Dhirubhaism 15BE POSITIVE
My advice to the young Entrepreneurs is not to accept defeat in the face of the odds, and challenge negative forces with hope, self-confidence and conviction.I believe that ambition and initiative will ultimately triumph.The success of the young entrepreneur will be the key to India’s transformation in the new millennium – Dhirubhai Ambani.

My target is to complete this 100 page book by 21st August,2007(Tuesday) end of the day and put a review of the book on 22nd August,2007 (Wednesday)…Time now to take a small step to achieve this small milestone biggrin

After a series of unconferences like BarCamp, BlogCamp, PodWorks, Proto ; now comes another unconference.This time, the unconference targets two major things : “Design” and “User Experience“.

Who can attend:
It should have been “Who cannot attend?”. Since it is an unconference, it is open to each and everyone who has the urge to share & learn…In fact, I don’t have much insights into Agile Methodology and this is a nice place to learn about new things……So it is all about Collaborative effort !!!

When and where is it held:
Though the dates have been finalized , the tentative time frame for this unconference is September,2007 (10 AM-2 PM).Venue is yet to be decided.

For registration and more information , visit DCampBangalore

Next to be featured on my blog:
Second most controversial topic in the blogosphere : How do blogger’s fight plagiarism?

The first thought that comes to mind when you think of a starting up “Cutting (unwanted) Costs”

When you think about it on every small thing, you are an ideal startup material wink

Eat and Drink Startup:
In the interesting podcast,you find an delicious recipe to a Startup.They deal with cutting costs on Food & Drink in a startup where they talk about “Ideal(and economical) food for startups“.This podcast would definitely bring you smile as well as makes us understand “Every penny is important in a startup


[More about the podcast here ]
[More about the Book “Eat,Drink,Breathe like a Startup” here]

On a lighter note, wonder if some Indian entrepreneur has also cooked the recipe of his own startup wink

Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston” was one of the book’s that was highly appreciated(and recommended) by the startup guru – Guy Kawasaki.The book focusses on the Entrepreneurial journey of 32 Entrepreneurs listed below:

1. Max Levchin, Cofounder PayPal
2. Sabeer Bhatia, Cofounder Hotmail
3. Steve Wozniak , Cofounder Apple Computers
4. Joe Kraus , Cofounder Excite
5. Dan Bricklin , Cofounder Software Arts
6. Mitchell Kapor , Cofounder Lotus Development
7. Ray Ozzie ,Founder Iris Associates
8. Evan Williams ,Cofounder Pyra Labs(Blogger)
9. Tim Brady ,First Non-Founding Employee Yahoo
10. Mike Lazaridis ,Cofounder Research In Motion
11. Arthur van Hoff ,Cofounder Marimba
12. Paul Buchheit ,Creator Gmail
13. Steve Perlman ,Cofounder WebTV
14. Mike Ramsay ,Cofounder TiVo
15. Paul Graham ,Cofounder Viaweb
16. Joshua Schachter ,Founder del.icio.us
17. Mark Fletcher ,Founder Bloglines
18. Craig Newmark ,Founder craigslist
19. Caterina Fake ,Cofounder Flickr
20. Brewster Kahle ,Founder Internet Archive, Alexa Internet
21. Charles Geschke ,Cofounder Adobe Systems
22. Ann Winblad ,Cofounder Hummer Winblad
23. David Heinemeier Hansson ,Partner 37signals
24. Philip Greenspun ,Cofounder ArsDigita
25. Joel Spolsky ,Cofounder Fog Creek Software
26. Stephen Kaufer ,Cofounder TripAdvisor
27. James Hong ,Cofounder HOT or NOT
28. James Currier ,Founder Tickle
29. Blake Ross ,Creator Firefox
30. Mena Trott ,Cofounder Six Apart
31. Bob Davis ,Founder Lycos
32. Ron Gruner ,Cofounder Alliant Computer Systems

You can take a sneak peak into the book here.I managed to find a soft copy of the book and the same can be downloaded from my esnips collection, given below lol

Founders At Work
Founders At Work.z…
Hosted by eSnips