August 26, 2004

Importance of 20-something

Mike Moritz of Sequoia Capital on why betting on 20-something pays off in the long run -

Imagine every day in your life working with 25, 26, 27-year-olds who've got a fabulous idea, who see no boundaries, see no limits, see no obstacle that they can't hurdle—it is the most stimulating environment that you can ever be in.
And you know full well that tomorrow—or next week or a month from now, or a quarter from now, or a year from now—there'll be more exciting, incredibly exciting adventurous people. Like Steve Jobs, age 19, many, many years ago. Jerry Yang and David Filo age 25, 26. A couple of guys we backed recently, where I told somebody 'Boy, we just founded a company that's got three people in it, and the total age of the company is 64 years old.' That's what sort of gets our collective blood gushing. It is just an incredibly stimulating place to be, and the moment you think you've seen it all, or you think you've heard all the good ideas is the moment you begin to go out of business.

Google CEO has an interesting prescription -

What you want is the people who are very low paid, working themselves to death, and all the right things happen.

In a way it boils down to the age-old rule that the younger you are higher the probability of focusing all your energy in a particular area. Less dispersion of that energy.
No wonder all great physicists and scientists had their best work in the age group of 20 to 30. They simply work their ass off. Linus wrote most of the Linux Kernel in that age group.

Read the complete interview here.

August 26, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 17, 2004

Infosys guiding principles

Rediff compiles the guiding thoughts as listed in Infosys's annual shareholder report for the last four years. Infosys is still continuing to play the thought leadership role .

Annual Report 2000-01: 'The future depends on what we do in the present.' - Mahatma Gandhi

Annual Report 2001-02: 'Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.' - Horace

Annual Report 2002-03: 'I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.' - Golda Meir

Annual Report 2003-04: 'One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it.' - Peter Drucker

What's next. Innovation ?

August 17, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2004

How To Climb Everest

This old article form Observer is equally applicable to the challenges and highs of doing a startup -

Don't rush your build-up
Understand it won't be easy
Be prepared for lots of 'down-time'
Accept that you won't be mentally alert on the mountain
Be ready for hallucinations
Picture yourself on the mountain, succeeding

It has been two years since I ran marathon in Hawaii. There is a huge high in doing something physically challenging. It's more than just the joy of athleticism, its the idea of pushing the envelope.
As in the start-up life, now "pushing the envelope" is becoming a way of life. Applying this everyday in every aspect of life, be it spiritual, intellectual, physical or financial.

In a way its about conditioning and hardening the inner self. On the personal note, my next stop is New York City Triathlon in June 2005. Training starts from yesterday.

August 14, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 02, 2004

We are in the stealth mode

Heard this statement from a friend recently. On one hand it sounded so much like 1998 and on the other it surprised me that the guy wont even tell me which sector this company is in. I joked whether this is dough nut company or a chip subsystem type startup. Nopeee can't tell.

Not that I cared that much but I was going on with my curiosity to understand that why would a company tell their employees not to tell others whether they are in soap business or in the laundry business. Is this behavior another indication that the Bay Area is once again moving into an irrational zone. Where the whole eco-system gets most worked-up. Starting with the 101 traffic.

August 2, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 19, 2004

Hardball manifesto - Play to Win

Lessons from Dell, Toyota and WalMart on the art of relentlessly pursuing competitive advantage -

Focus relentlessly on competitive advantage

Strive for "extreme" competitive advantage

Avoid attacking directly

Exploit people's will to win

Know the caution zone

Read these two posts as well - Change and Fanaticism. Together they drive home the hard message of our times that the massive structural changes, extreme competitiveness and the need to exhibit higher level of obsession required on the part of entrepreuners to succeed.

July 19, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 24, 2004

International Thing

Andrew Anker adds international expansion as a must have in the list of must-haves for early stage companies.
In a recent VC Breakfast meeting , I heard one general partner associated with a top tier firm telling rather emphatically to all the attendees - two things we prefer in a pre-fund stage software company - offshoring and subscription licensing model. Companies can safely add international marketing approach to that list as well. This probably explains this subtle( but definitely new) trend where some of the Indian-origin entrepreneurs are first testing their products in Asian market before bringing that in US. It's cheap and apparently it is working.

May 24, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 05, 2004

Kindler and gentler world for entrepreneurs

I am a news-junkie and naturally subscribe to many newsletters, one of that comes from Wharton management school. I can't stop myself from laughing after reading these two articles one after the other.

May 5, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 01, 2004

Bull Market

Seth Godin's Bull Market available for dowload. Decent collection of sites and blogs. Its all about Purple Cow -

You're either a Purple Cow or you're not. You're either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice.
What do Starbucks and JetBlue and KrispyKreme and Apple and DutchBoy and Kensington and Zespri and Hard Candy have that you don't? How do they continue to confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and true brands to gasp their last?

Cows, after you've seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, that would be something. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff-a lot of brown cows-but you can bet they won't forget a Purple Cow. And it's not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service. Purple Cow is inherent. It's built right in, or it's not there. Period.

May 1, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 29, 2004

Entrepreunarial thoughts

List of good checkpoints

April 29, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2004

Prescription for business innovation

Dave Pollard on the 'Prescription for Business Innovation'.

1. Listen broadly for ideas.
2. Listen to "pathfinder" customers, competitors, and colleagues.
3. Listen to the front lines.
4. Understand who your actual and potential customers are.
5. Understand and respect what end-consumers want and need.
6. Understand what immediate customer will need.
7. Understand why these wants and needs aren't already met.
8. Organize those with a stake in solving the problem.
9. Organize the program for solving the problem.
10. Organize the resources needed to solve the problem.
11. Create an environment and capability for innovation.
12. Create lots of alternative solutions.
13. Experiment: Try many things, learn fast from failures, tinker, iterate, combine, transfer.
14. Listen to potential customers and help them imagine.
15. Listen to acceptance criteria -- the "if"s.
16. Listen to "what could go wrong."
17. Design: Consider customer-valued attributes, cost, intuitive ease of use, ease of change, ease of enhancement.
18. Make the final go/no-go decision, then implement.

April 28, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack