As I have mentioned in the previous article, IMHO execution would always be the key; whether you are a startup guy or work for a startup.Also,when we think about Startups, the first comparison that always comes to our mind is The Silicon Valley, but many times, we tend to forget that Indian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is different from that in the US.May be it would still be many years when a college dropout like Mark Zuckerberg or a whiz-kid like Anshul Samar of Elementio would be accepted in our ecosystem.
In this article, I would like to focus on the Cobweb of Myths[termed Myth-Web] around Indian Startups , which when dusted off, may lead to a better ecosystem.
The views in this article are my personal views and it would be nice, if someone corrects me wherever required .
1. Ecosystem = IIT(s) / IIM(s)
There is no point in mentioning how much impression premier institutions like Indian Institute Of Technology[IIT] or Indian Institute of Management[IIM] bring in our minds. For sure, they bring the best of the minds together under one roof, but Startups are not only restrained to them.In fact, an attempt should be made to take the IIT culture to the normal colleges(like mine) so, that there is an entrepreneurial ecosystem developed there as well.We need to get rid of the pre-made impression that “Entrepreneurs can only come from IIT’s”. IMHO, if we limit ourselves to only premier institutions, we won’t be able to find our future Mark(s) or Anshul(s)
2. Venture Funding = Success
Funding always holds a major aspect for any startup but many times, people feel that – More the funding, more successful is the Startup.Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot has a very nice article on the same when His Startup raised $12 million in series B funding.
Money is always important in any business and each one of us understand the same but that alone does not materialize into success.This is an impression that is prevelant everywhere and hence, Hubspot[though not an Indian startup] was taken as an example.
3. Media = Success
With media not only restrained to mass media, so called Media Coverage has become somewhat simpler. Media may be coverage on blogs, websites … But there is always a downside to the coverage in the media.Many startups(may not mention the name here) try to be in the news(in Magazines and other media) and this coverage is many times wrongly treated as Success .And it becomes difficult to digest this success.
With Web 2.0, media(except print media) has completely changed so, “Being in the media at the right time may lead to wonders else things may crumble”
4. Startups can be built in isolation
Why Bangalore is so famous in India is because it has a Brand Image attached to it and the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is by far the best in India.But it is not the same elsewhere.Many of us forget that the Ecosystem is a crucial factor in any startup and to bring a change , we need to be a part of that ecosystem.
I have spoken to few entrepreneurs from other cities(apart from Mumbai / Chennai / other metros) and the importance of Ecosystem is not yet penetrated there….Startups need all the support they can and hence, they can be built in isolation for some period [after which they have to join the change to make the change].
5. Why should I attend Unconferences?
This is just from a small conversation which I had with a friend of mine who works in a startup.The founder of that startup was very active at Unconferences like BarCamp, BlogCamp, etc ….. until one day they got funded.I asked my friend that your CEO is no longer seen in unconferences and the answer was : “We got angel funded and hence, he does not feel a need to come to Unconferences”.The answer was shocking
IMHO, Unconferences is the most prospective place where you can find your cofounder/prospective employees or even a new idea for a venture.Though this incident was personal, Unconference is one place which may work wonders for your startup since, it has been instrumental in shaping up my career .
If you can think of some more points , do leave them in the comments section and I would be grateful to add them with the article.