Archive for April, 2006

Startup Failures: Blue Screen of Death – By Jawwad Farid

Here is an interesting and humourus book on startup failures and success:

Ideas for a new venture arrive with a moment of blinding insight. Some start as accidents; otheres take us years of wandering effort to gel the real concept into shape. Regardless of the cause, for most new ventures, the flash of inspiration is followed by a downhill journey that fades into insignificance. It is a rar venture whose original vision and potential are fully realized.
Why is that? Unlike parenthood, there is no parental instinct that guides us in nurturing the grwoing yound businesses. Beyond the missing paternal instinct, there is an observable pattern of repeated fatalistic behavior tat indicates failure is neither well documented nor well understood.
My facination with failure has now spanned 15 years – spent with new ventures in some shape or from, …

Here is a bit of humour from Jawwad’s own promotion e-mail:

At the business school orientation for new arrivals, a fellow student asked me why I was at Columbia. My response drew a look of confusion – “I always wanted to write a book, run the New York Marathon and do a play on Broadway, the MBA is just for cheap subsidized housing.”

This of course was January 1999. As of 22 April 2006, I am proud to report that I am too fat to run and that though there were multiple attempts to produce Harvey, a Mary Allen Chase Play about a six foot tall invisible rabbit, all were sabotaged by a six foot tall invisible rabbit.

It is worth a read for the lessons, inspiration and the humour. Everyone will be able to relate to it in some way. Be it choices we make, or the arrogance that comes to one embarked on a startup adventure or the humbling effect of startups on onself. It is pricey at $15.77 available as digital download from amazon. Here is a lesson for success I guess :)

Links:
Book: Blue Screen of Death by Jawwad Farid
The book website: http://bluescreen.alchemya.com
Reviews so far: http://bluescreen.alchemya.com/reviews.html
Cheers.

The ecosystem imperative

There has been a lot of activity and news about global venture funds targeting the Indian market. However, commitment through direct presence has been elusive by some of the largest funds.

The silicon valley venture ecosystem is very well developed, and over years there have been thousands of learnings that are engrained in minds of venture capital community. By not getting direct participation of that community, I think India is losing out that knowledge and experience. I think some successful valley venture firms setting up direct India presence and committing time of their partners to India (beyond keynote speeches) will go a long way in lending maturity to the Indian ecosystem.

No issues with getting the moolah in, though :)

Too big too soon?

Met a couple of people with very big ambitions, perhaps bigger than they can handle — makes me think that trying to build a billion dollar company from day one might not be such a good thing afterall. Wonder why huge companies “got built” when large markets and good solutions existed (rather than founders starting out with a mission to build a huge company.) Somehow the strategy seems to go haywire when you forget the first million and the next 10 million milestones. Other than the fact that the skill sets required at each stage are also different.

Even elephants are born as babies.

Pitching your business

In the process of creating a pitch for our company, i ended up checking out some great pitches on the net. Enjoy!

Watch Dick Hardt deliver a superb pitch on Identity 2.0 at OSCON. The presentation style is based on Lawrence Lessigs lecture on “Who owns culture”, which is a masterpiece!

Also check out Rajesh Jain’s presentation on Novatium at the PC Forum.

Facebook for a billion dollars

Businessweek has reported a rumoured deal for Facebook for over a billion dollars! Now thats Web 2.0 rocking

I guess we will see a few of those plans back in India pretty soon :)