Since the beginning, i have been totally open about my venture. I have openly talked about VCs, good guys and most importantly the idiotic mistakes i made.

This is just an extension of the same. It may pi** off some people, but don’t think i can write an unbiased post otherwise. Just Throw it back on me if you don’t like my statements.

Druvaa won the Indian Entrepreneurial Challenge 2008. Some mistakes i made in the journey + some suggestions  –

1. We tried to make software delta better and cheaper

This is a good  strategy, but then you should really know how to execute it well. In fact that should be your startup’s key strengths.

We made Druvaa Replicator – a ultra-cool server replication product, which was a better and cheaper alternative. We started selling it and got funded. But, we soon realized that, selling it would be a good profitable business, but not worth a startup. We debated for a while and decided that we will in future only make sales-killers not sales-enablers.

And hence we changed the business plan, and came up with the idea of second product – Druvaa inSync. (We are now pushing same tech to both the products.)

2. We played the feature game

I would get totally angry and frustrated when someone compared me on features with the competitor’s product. To “compete” better, we worked out a BIG product feature release plan. But, we soon realized that “features” are for big companies to fight and spend time/money on.

A startup should just focus on those few USPs which would just “kill” your competition’s sales pitch. One good feature which would force the competition to shut up or drop prices.

 3. Those smart looking VCs

Just like startups complain about non-existence of “startup ready” talent pool in India. I guess VCs also have same problem, but they aren’t open about it. Else, you wont see such a large pool of less experienced MBA grads working for VC firms.  They scan business plans like job resumes and ask you to get back with crazy numbers.

I guess when you approach a VC, after you have pitched your story please politely ask him about his/her background. And if it looks like a mismatch, politely move on like you do with fat blind dates 🙂

4. When they say no, You say  Next

Learn from beggars at the red-light signal, use law of averages. Don’t waste too much time on customer or VCs which make a face at you. Learn from the experience, ask him how can your improve and move on.

 5. Position your product well.

(this may sound disturbing to a few)  Learn from the hookers – They stand where the market is. Package it well. Look distinct, so that the customer notices. Make the customer come and bargain. And make a sale, even when the customer would have never budgeted for it.

Position your product well. You have limited time and money to buy acquire a new customer.

  6. Believe in your story

There was a gathering in a village to pray for the rains .. and only kid came with an umbrella.

When in trouble just trust your team and work hard.

I welcome comments and help of all kinds 🙂

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