A place for startup entrepreneurs to meet in Pune
Alert - This is a long one so pardon me if I overstretched with my words and thoughts. But idea was to to justice to the thoughts and all I had were words.
Why I should be writing this ?
May be the IDEA of the firm will be just an idea and will die a slow death with me. But an Idea can never die , may be it won't be realised in the material sense , but in my sub-conscious --- Yesit will be realised.
Maybe as I work at a Corporate where people work for a living and Ideas / Innovation / Thinking are just mere buzzwords.Best place to find them is in a drafted speech of a big shot. The meaning is lost or maybe never realised I feel.
Maybe each day when I turn up ( and this has been for teh past 1 year ) after I came back from UK , I think about it. Its always there in my subsconscious.
Maybe the sheer courage to break free and test my idea is scaring me out of my wits and I am a hypocrite deep down inside. Just dreaming !!
Maybe someday I will take a leap and finally do it.
If not I'll still cherish this very Idea of a Firm.
Bruce Lee once said " Knowing is not enough we must apply , Willing is not enough we must do "
I always have loved the very idea of democracy. India inspite oof its sheer diversity has been able to pull this
off as one of the greatest socio - political firms. Imagining the vagaries and the variables like demographic divide , uneven distribution of wealth , prejudice on caste / religion / sex / etc.. still we are labelled as one of the success stories. Retrospectively we are one !!
Hector - one of the protagonist in Homer's "Illiad" lived by a quote , which he announces to his fellow troy soldiers before heading for a fight against the Greek warriors. He says :
" The Code is simple :
1) Honour the Gods
2) Love your women
3) Fight for your country
Troy is mother to all , fight for it "
Now even during the times of turmoil the one idea that binds people of all faiths is the sense that they belong to a BROTHERHOOD or are port of a BIGGER FORCE. E.g The Jedi Warriors , The Knights from Arthur's legacy , The Samurai's from legendary Japan are few good examples.
So what is the one truth or several truth's that bind people to give it all for a cause , a cause so strong that when they thing of priorities that evades all on blink of an eye.
If we can bring out that cause in a firm the rest i.e. committment , dedication , prioritising , strive to win at all cost , relentless spirit .... will be taken care of.
My IDEA of the firm is to bring forth this very spirit of Brotherhood & Camamrderie in the fellow folks.
Now are all minds and body condusive to embibe this spirit ?
Tht's a good question . The answer is NO ...
A definite NO.
So how do identify the smart fish from the pond and once we have identified this group how do we keep the fire
Narayan Murthy says that "TRUST IS THE KEY TO ANY RELATIONSHIP" . once you foster trust you have a committment."
Lastly I'll quote John Nash's one liner game theory principle which we are aware thanks to "The Beautiful Mind" & Russel Crowe beautiful p[otrayal of Nash.
" Best Results come when people in the group do what's best for themselves and whats BEST FOR THE GROUP. "
I . The Right Reason
My grandfather used to comment frequently on things by saying " See , do it its' fine but do it for the right reasons and just not for the sake ."
I could never agree less.
But , the reason always goes through lot of self-doubt and intrpsection. Sometimes odds are so heavy that you do not know whether the reason was worth considering in the first place.
But it grows through trials and turbulations and its' ok as it should , if it still survives its worth pursuing.
I read a lot about people who did it & made it just on their sheer belief but know no one in my close quarters who have accomplished something liks this. This makes me believe that its really an audacious path to take i.e. follwo
your idea and belief and let go the rest. Very risky proposition as most people I know are pretty smart folks & accomplished too.
Also reason and idea are two different things.
You can have just one reason and many ideas can sprout underneath it. Like take an example of Facebook the reason was "Mark wanted to do something cool and worthwhile maybe to grab the attentions of the people with his brilliance. But there was something which he aspired devoid of any desire of making money or getting rich. It was just becoming someone famous and create a change that will break all rules. " Well he certainly did , we keep on hearing Facebook's popularity soaring by each day. Its growth has been exponential.
Now what are the factors on which these reason/s should be based on. There could be many but I would like to defind few here which fit according to me the best :-
1) Aspire to do something you love to.
2) Create Wealth for yourself and Others
3) Identifying the gap / oppurtunity as Schumpeter says " Identify the problem , fill the gap and treat it like an opportunity"
4) Lastly the sheer audacity to make / figure out the very meaning of your existence. ( sorry if I am being poetic here ). But Yes the runner in the Oscar winner "Chariot's of Fire" says that " I think god has put me here for a special purpose in life. That is to Run & keep on Running. "
Maybe this is not necessary , but I guess this thought is very central to the spirit of Entrepreneurship.
IT Takes time to figure it out and maybe thers's no perfect answer but we got to settle with the most convincing and plausible one. ( If we really want an answer )
II . The IDEA
Well , this is the tricky part. A close friend of mine had put it in words , he said " IDEA's are like butterflies , they keep on coming and going , its the implementation that's the real Bitch "
It all starts with a keen observation of things around you. Your environment , people , circumstances and how they all intercat and lead to one another. This creates an eclectic mix of diff scenarios which are like bits of complex / not so complex problems.
As Ras Al Gul say in the movie "Batman Begins" to Bruce Wayne... " Always pay attention to your surroundings "
Thers' always scope for improvisation and a better way either to understand the problem or maybe come up with a better solution.
You just gona observe closely and improvise.
After , we have established the problem then we look for a solution, now imp thing is to not re-invent the wheel. Look outr for existing solutions which have been thought nd things that have been written already. People are basically smart most of the times , so check out the existing slate before creating a new picture.
Once we have done this we come to the most important part - Introspection...
I believe thinking is a very underrated activity.
People in the olden times use to think " The days of Socrates / Plato / Galileo / Copernicus
are great examples of past where breakthroughs were made just out of " Pure Creative THINKING ".
tHE POWER of thinking has been many a times discussed in phliosophical circles and always annointed with great regard.
Well it is as a matter of great regard.
We need to overcome our very own pre-concieved notions in order to evaluate our own point of view and in the same lines fine tune them. Being your own critic is most difficult jobs & to do it honestly is really a challenge.
Post the Introspection we come to the Community. What do we come for -- BRAINSTORMING.
lET ME define the term "Community" here - Its not a group of peoplejust hanging around. No . Forming a Community is one of the most difficult tasks. U need people who are carzy about beliefs , ethics , their own feelings.
They are at same time receptive to others as their virtue has a key element of "Mutual Respect". In my 26 years on this planet there have been just a very very few insdtances that has made me feel I am a part of a Community.
Maybe once or twice ( I consider myself previliged !! )
( Spoiler Alert : - Beware of egoistics in your Community. They mostly spoil it at the end )
Now next step is to brainstorm like crazies. Eat / Drink / Sleep over the Idea. LOVE IT .. NURTURE IT .. HATE IT FOR IT FLAWS...COME BCK TO IT AND MAKE IT BETTER..
This involves a SOCRATIC method of careful evaluation. Your community fellow should be assiduous with his inputs , not compromise on quality and efficiency. " Keep looking for the solution untill you find an answer " should be the mantra.
Now after so many chain of processes , the pie is baked. Maybe not complete but you do have a skeleton.
It may not be complete and will undergo series of further improvements and changes , however you have something with you which needs to be documented.
Seriously Guys , it sounds like shit !! But yes Documentation is very important , coz we guys medically proven prone to short term memory loss. We tend to forget things we already have though upon and start from the pavilion.
Once documented you have the structure on which further peer community collaborations and addons can be build.
At the end of the day you need to finally talk about " THE REAL THING ".
1) Feasibility of the IDEA ?
2) Do we have a target audience ?
3) The Money Talk ? ( who's paying and hw mch reqd )
4) Finally , the People Talk ? ( who's contributing and how ? )
tHIS is an ongoing process and should be continued during the IDEA INCUBATION phase.
III. THE MONEY HONEY
Watch the "Ascent of Money " --- a BBC documentary too good. Explains teh banality of money and unravels the mystery wrapped around this riddle on which entire economy stands "
Actaully I will be the last person to even write a singl word on this matter. Never paid any heed on this.
Just a means to an end I believe.
Maybe I am wrong ? No I am wrong.
The age old philosophy of Profit / Loss ------ Buy / Sell never grows old. Its true in any case.
The idea here is to figure out a way to see this very aspect of your business , very dificult. But well again I am not an expert but u do not need to have MBA Finance to figure. But you gotta again go back to teh comminity to figure it out.
Same process of brainstorming and trying to figure out the means. Now the idea is to figure out the right Financial Model.
A very good example in this context is Google's very own - AD Sense...A revolutionary idea that created the multi million dollar empire. No one believed that a Search Engine can ever make money. But when it did even the jaws of the wall street pandits dropped in sheer awe !!
By with my very own observation I have come to terms with the fact that it should be somehere connected to your very core of Business Model.
Like Search = Ads or Keywords = Money in case of Google.
The BUCK should comes through the IDEA or one of its branches.
// Incomplete .... I need to think now....
IV. THE RISK APETITE
Scares me to the hilt but still I think more the more I realise how brave those souls have been when they took that leap of faith..
The old stalwarts Murthy , Nadar , Premji to the latest Zckerburg , Brin / Page , Agnel and many more still to come..
Now the question here is " Is the Risk worth taking ? "
By jove this is a very tricky one.
I believe its a matter of heart rather than mind.
Consider you fail , can you take the hit.
As Rocky Balboa puts it aptly "Its now how hard you hit but , how hard you can get hit "
All you need to be is in Control of the situation even if its in sheer prosperity or sheer blues !!
V. THE PEOPLE
They live the dream with you , argue on its faesibility , doubt it , damn it , love it , toil night and days with you , be honest yet value the reason and the pristine nature of the pursuit.
Most imortantly they tell you when to STOP and let go.
A Team is the core the nucleus around which all what is written and discussed revolve. They are the protagonists and the success of the enterprise lies solely in their hands.
Mutual Respect , Co-opeartion and equity are the bricks on the which the foundation of People Management shall be layed.
The IDEA of a firm is a hope , a hope is a good thing , maybe the best of things anda good thing never dies.
Long Live the Idea and cheers to those who take the road.
" Two roads diverged into the woods ,
and I took the road less travelled.
and That has made all the difference "