Back to Basics: A great learning for Entrepreneurs
One of the sessions that really captivated me at the Nasscom Product Conclave 2019 in Bengaluru was the experience sharing panel discussion titled “How I scaled my Business”
As an entrepreneur, in the daily humdrum of running after businesses and potential customers, trying to do one’s very best in everything, I rarely pause to take stock of what all is happening around me, even within the context of my little startup. The mindset of ever moving forward, rapidly, with minimum disruption, is the foremost on my mind.
This session helped me to pause and reflect on the learning experience of many successful entrepreneurs. For instance, if there is a part of my business that is not adding any value, and even worse, if it is a loss making activity, it is a no brainer to get rid of it. Sounds simple, but difficult to implement when you are a startup as you often go into debates of some intangible benefits, perception by customers, long term vision, etc. etc. Nevertheless, such an option, in my view, would help focus on activities that really matter on the ground, today.
Another fantastic “back to basics” kind of reminder was to always stay abreast of technology and either be part of a change or, later, in retrospect, wonder what has changed. An interesting anecdote from this panel discussion is worth recalling here. I remember the days in the early 90s when internet access wasn’t really prevalent in India.
I would use a 2400 bps modem connected to my computer, to dial into another computer which would also be attached to a phone line and modem, and which would also host a “bulletin board system” on that computer. I would dial in, leave messages, download and upload trial versions of games, etc, participate in some discussions, and then disconnect.
What I heard in this session was that one of the speaker’s father had converted this opportunity to a nice little venture that used the bulletin board mechanisms to help organizations serve their customers. Later, with the advent of the internet, email, et. al, this venture simply collapsed! Simply because that venture hadn’t kept itself up to date on technology.
Another brilliant insight was to always hire people who are better than myself. Simple yet thought provoking! If i need to make my enterprise stronger and better, I need people who can bring in newer thoughts and ways of doing things than an approach of “my way or the proverbial highway”
Overall, a great panel discussion with many such thought provoking topics