Last week, I did an interactive session on Growth Hacking at a startup workshop. First thing I mentioned was that growth is a relative term. It means different things to different people and organisations. Massive crowd pullers like Air BnB, facebook and instagram heroic stories are plenty on internet and I hear them thrown around in forums very losely. Here’s the thing, most of us, will not build an Instagram. What startups need to understand is, ten customers who will pay you is a good start. I know a company housed in World Trade Centre that has only 4 clients, but their revenue is growing year on year. I know a sillara kade ( corner grocery shop) which is surviving despite flashy super markets popping up around it. Secret is this grocery shop does not try to be a super market. They know what their customers want and offer that consistently: giving good quality food items at a cheaper price,
pic credit: Dialog After the #ngage session, after the food ran out, few young people (age 20-30) asked me questions. I could distill them to this question. ” I want to do a startup on something I love, but cannot find time with my current job. Should I quit? “ My answer is A BIG NO. I’m 37. If you have asked me the same question when I was 30, I’d have said yes. I remember, back then, when a uni undergrad pitched his prototype during a hackathon, I asked him, “are you gonna do a job, or continue this prototype after graduation?” He said he’d do a job, but would improve prototype as a side kick. I laughed saying “you are not serious. Hence you will not make it.’ I don’t know what happened to him or his side kick. But I do know, what I said to him was wrong. I am sorry. I have seen more of
‘Although the truth is not always pleasant… it offers the recipient of that information the chance to change the outcome’ ~Grace Choi Last week at Global Entrepreneurship Community , I learnt ‘startup depression’ is a common problem among startup founders and team members. We were in a circle, candid and open, our hearts swelled and poured on to the open floor. That discussion released many of us, and we gained strength from each other. Depression is not a problem. It is a mental illness that needs serious attention. I was depressed few times in my life, and I know exactly how it affects. When it happens to people in startups, it becomes ‘startup depression’. Developed countries are good at coining terms for just about everything. One good thing about this attention to detail is, it gets the attention it deserves. But of course, too much emphasis is not good either. Let’s strike a balance. Let’s get to the basics.