We live in times where we have heard super seductive and exciting real time stories of rags to riches. Start-ups are started by young ones with a beedi (hand rolled Indian cigarette) in their pockets and a barsaati (matchbox dwelling) over their heads. Suddenly fairy God fathers (unfortunately most invedtors are men) and the occasional God mother lands up and voila … you are the biggest and the best-est thing going around. The walking chappals get replaced by a swanky beamer and the world starts chasing you with more money than it contains.
Every entrepreneur today dreams of this and so did I. (secretly still do even though I do not deal in Tech)
It is not our fault. We are looking for the magic bean also. The question is are you the bean stalk that grows overnight or the banyan tree that grows slowly layer by layer over many years. I attended many events revolving around funding and heard a lot about top lines, bottom lines, client acquisition lines, and all sorts of other incomprehensible lines. All this left me quite bereft and feeling rather worthless. I am sure I don’t even know the number of zeroes in the kind of numbers that are spoken about casually.
Is that the catch? How can a company be more than the sum total of value available? To elaborate this point I have always asked one question… if all the companies sold at their projected value would there be enough money… as in tangible currency? Not got a clear answer on this one. Somehow I doubt I will.
For all those who got funded all the best. And to all of us who didn’t some of my learnings are below.
- Keep your targets modest and real.
- Unless you are able to invent a flying car or the next I phone the world is not waiting for your offering with baited breath.
- Some things are organic and need the space to grow at their own pace.
- Never deviate from your own core strength.
- Unless someone is investing all advice should be taken with a pinch of salt and should be evaluated with reference to context. All advice comes from a personal perspective and needs to be curated / customized.
- Don’t talk … listen. Even then you will find that there are things you should have listened to and some things that you shouldn’t have.
- Keep your faith and never give up hope. Hope is the best strategy.
- Do not work only with the aim of getting funds. Work and build something substantial.
All the best and Tra-la-lala.
(Hoping to write from the top of a bean stalk that is as stable as a banyan tree someday. Why not ? It is the era of the impossibles.)