Die another day

Very interesting post on why “fail fast” philosophy might be ill-founded. I think partly this mantra is open to interpretation – if an idea is not working, do you wish to spend $10M on it and then realize it, or quicker? In the manner that this article refers to it, its valuable to learn and adapt, rather than to give up. In the manner perhaps originally intended, you dont want to dig too deep a hole before you realize you are in it.

Part of this mantra owes its origin to environments where staying alive is expensive – think high burn startups! One of the key levers I believe exists in the Indian market is to survive at very low burn rates, or even turn cash positive while still experimenting with the core idea. Secondly, many times, the key risk being taken is the timing risk – essentially how fast the market adopts a solution – think about all the dotcom startups that rejuvenated 10 years later. In this construct, the ability to survive and wait it out is even more important.

In the kind of opportunities described above, persistence is perhaps the biggest virtue of entrepreneurs. At the same time, the ability to adapt and improvise is the key to making progress. Like many other contradictions of entrepreneurial success, this balance between conviction and flexibility is the key.

7 Responses to “Die another day”

  1. Krish says:

    Vikas, “seasoned investors” have that title not because they don’t make bad investment calls, but they are called so alluding to their higher rate of metabolism to digest quite a few rotten apples 😉 The dynamics is that they can afford to make those mistakes so long as their winning picks makes enough money to outweigh the losses made from bad investment calls.

    But then that’s no excuse why startup entrepreneurs can start off with a lame duck venture…or can they?

  2. vikas shah says:

    Krish,
    I am an entrepreneur.
    Sequoia invested in Guruji.Afterwards the co-founder of Guruji left the company and headed to US.
    I think Sequoia made a mistake by investing there.
    Travelguru was another loss.

    So , the point is when even the seasonsed investors who have a cross border experience can make a mistake , than definitely a first time entrepreneur can be termed as immature.

    I think engagement models like Nirma Labs should take precedence in india.

    Vikas Shah

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