Why Do Entrepreneurs Hide Bad News ?

Entrepreneurs are responsible people , and when they raise funds from investors, they want to do their best to make sure that they can return the money back to the investor with a profit. They work hard to make this happen, but the truth is that shit happens, and life it not always predictable. Bad things do happen - especially in a startup , when there are so many moving parts. It's very hard to predict where the next problem is going to come from, which is why entrepreneurs are always is fire-fighting mode.

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Managing multiple angel investors

When you need to raise funds, you will often need to approach multiple angel investors to fund your seed stage round. Because angels usually have limited personal funds, they have to band together in order to meet your requirements. This means you will need to talk to 10 or more angels at one time , to convince them to give you the money you need, because one may not have the capacity to be able to fund you.

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Risk Management for Startups

We all know that startups are risky. There's no certainty that they will succeed and, even after putting in four or five years of hard effort and spending a lot of money--either your own, because you've bootstrapped , or money taken from investors--you may still be forced to shut down, because you've not been able to become profitable. This is the nature of the beast, and we need to accept it if we want to go down this path.

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Reinventing instructional videos

Video can be a very powerful instructional medium. It can be extremely engaging, and allows you to connect with people of all age groups. It transcends geography, and can influence those with poor literacy skills as well . https://lnkd.in/f38zCMS

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A better way of applying for a job

When employers interview you, they want to see how good a job you will do once you join them. This is why they check out your resume; and spend so much time and money interviewing you, to try to assess how well you will perform in the role which is vacant. https://lnkd.in/f5w5fX9

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The entrepreneur's ego

Entrepreneurs need to be made of a different metal from the rest of the world. You have to have the courage of your convictions; you need to be irrationally optimistic; you need to be resilient; you need to be willing to accept the fact that most people will not understand what you're trying to do; https://lnkd.in/fRngUU9

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A startup friendly Govt - moving beyond rhetoric !

The Indian Goverment accepts that we need entrepreneurs to create innovative start ups in order to propel the country into the future. This is why PM Narendra Modi mingled with founders at the Champions Of Change event organised by NITI Aayog recently. https://lnkd.in/fB7WDgS

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Story selling for entrepreneurs

Some entrepreneurs feel that it's very unfair that while some founders find it very easy to raise gobs of money, they have an extremely hard time doing so. They often attribute this to their lack of the right credentials, and believe that people who have an IIT or a IIM degree have a much better chance of raising money. https://lnkd.in/f8keAdE

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Grit or quit ?

Most entrepreneurs are taught that grit is a virtue - that you need to keep on going, no matter what obstacles you encounter. We are told that " Winners never Quit and Quitters never Win" ; and " When the Going gets Tough, the Tough get Going". https://lnkd.in/fjs2y-F

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Is your startup idea viable ?

Many young entrepreneurs have an idea which they feel is very clever and unique, and they want to create a startup in order to bring that dream to reality. However, there is a big difference between having an idea and being able to implement it ! https://lnkd.in/fB6xUBp

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Funding a Pre-Revenue Startup

One of the hardest things to do in the startup space is to estimate a fair valuation when investing in a company. This is even harder when the company is pre-revenue because there aren't any tangible metrics we can use to assess the worth of the business. https://lnkd.in/f7uGdBY

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The entrepreneur's balancing act

First time entrepreneurs often get confused because they get such conflicting advice. They talk to five different people who they tell them ten different things , which is why founders are never sure whether they are on the right track. https://lnkd.in/fJhmagz

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The VC as a salesman

Most founders think of VCs as mysterious rich fatcats who have the power to either make them or break them. They woo them; try to get into their good books; and network like crazy in order to be able to connect with them , so that they can pitch to them. The general perception is that they have all the power , because they manipulate the purse-strings. The power relationship between founders and VCs is very asymmetric, because there are such few VCs . They have so much money , that it appears that they pretty much control the startup system.

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How to succeed as a SaaS startup

B2B SaaS platforms have become extremely popular in India, and lots of startups are exploring this business model. Indian companies believe they have an edge in this space, because they can create them at a lower cost as compared to players in other parts of the world.

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How to ask for help when you are stuck

I am active on LinkedIn, and am happy to help entrepreneurs who reach out to me. It's not that I am altruistic - it's just that I think it's fun helping out youngsters ! However, I do wish they would learn how to ask for help - this would help me to help them more effectively.

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Critiquing an entrepreneur's pitch

When an entrepreneur pitches to me, I always try to play devil's advocate and explain to them why their startup is likely to fail. Now this might seem to be a very negative approach , and it may appear that I am being a wet blanket who is dampening their enthusiasm and their spirit

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Free customers are not real customers

Whenever any entrepreneur wants to prove that he has a product which people will be happy to use, he usually starts out by offering it free of charge. This could be in the form of a freemium model , or a free trial, so that he can prove that he can achieve product-market fit.

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Choosing the right co-working space

Entrepreneurs play a very important role in helping the economy to progress, and it's become much easier for Indian founders to create a startup. The ecosystem has matured, and thanks to advances in SMAC technologies ( social, mobility, analytics and cloud), it's become relatively inexpensive to launch a technology startup

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How the Government is helping Indian schoolkids to think out of the box !

Many of us are hopeful that India is going to become the next global superpower because we finally seem to have got our act together. Governance seems to be far better than it used to be in the past, and the economy seems to be turning around.

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How one angel investor looks at the world

There is a lot of confusion about what an angel investor does in the startup space, and I'd like to share my world view, to help dispel some myths.

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