Simply Maverick! – Hungry & Foolish

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Archive for the ‘what pricks me off’ Category

Startup Guru’s vs the Startup founder!


below goes for all the self claimed startup guru bloggers who have no clue on what it takes to startup and live in a world of dreams – sorry buddy execution is a different ballgame – your shit matters to no1 in the real world

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

- Theodre Roosevelt.

Written by Abhishek

March 5th, 2010 at 9:12 am

Startups: 10 lessons your MBA didn’t Teach You


Now that 2 years have passed since I got my MBA degree (and the founding of my current startup), I think I can make fun of it a bit.

[Note: Only a moderate amount of harm was inflicted on MBAs — (and investment bankers in particular), in the making of this article

1.  No amount of strategic planning will ever substitute for managing your cash flow.  Financial statements are great.  The most important one is your bank account statement.

2.  There are always more things to do than there is time to do them.  Startups are a continuous exercise in deciding what not to do.  You can sometimes win by just not doing things faster than your competition.

3.  Sleep is that time you’re working on startup problems with your eyes closed.

4.  It helps not to call people “human resources”.  They’re people.  And, as it turns out, people like to be treated like people. Go figure.

5.  No amount of academic theories on efficient pricing will prepare you completely for what people will actuallydo.  Finding the “optimal” price is really hard.  In the meantime, remember that a sub-optimal price is a lot better than no price at all.

6.  Price discrimination (in an economic sense) is a wonderful thing.  Except that it often ignores the real costs in terms of organizational complexity.  Every time you add a new product or product option a small part of your company dies.

7.  There are an infinite number of ways to spend money on marketing.  You have no idea what’s actually going to work.  The idea is to experiment broadly and learn lessons cheaply.  On a related note, no amount of MBA marketing classes will prepare you for the day that you have to produce leads in order to close sales.  As it turns out, marketing is about more than product feature matrices and the right shade of blue for your logo.

8.  To recruit the best people, fair compensation and equity are only a start. Company culture and a demonstrated passion for your vision is hugely important.  (Oh, and your vision should be on the larger path to truth, justice and overall goodness).  Your vision should not involve harming kittens.  They’re adorable.

9.  There’s a lot of value to being likable.  Good things happen when people like you.  When people like you, bad things have less of a chance of being fatal.  I advise being likable.  That’s why I advise against being an investment banker after getting an MBA.  (I also advise against being an investment banker before getting an MBA).

10.  Advanced game theory is exceptionally useful.  Basic game theory is dangerous — because it assumes that you’re dealing with a  bunch of rational “players”.  It’s like trying to design a real car that’s going to be driven on a theoretically frictionless surface, with no air resistance and no idiots on the road.

What are your top startup lessons learned that even the top MBA schools don’t teach?

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Written by Abhishek

February 21st, 2010 at 2:41 am