UnPluggd 2013

Every time I attend workshops or conferences at TiE or Yourstory, I think of doing a write-up  summarizing the insights I have gained, but for some lazy reasons, I never came up with one. Last week I attended UnPluggd 2013, which attracted entrepreneurs, geeks, investors and angels and was also a launchpad for a few startups and it was this talk by Vishal Gondal, the founder of Indiagames, that instilled me to write this time. Vishal didn’t rely on powerpoint and instead conveyed his messages as stories, which were quite cool and here are his 10 commandments for entrepreneurs:
 
  1. Thou shall have balls and not business-plans
  2. Thou shall develop relationships and not transactions
  3. Thou shall focus on real pain-points
  4. Thou shall be number 1 or 2
  5. Thou shall focus on 20%
  6. Thou shall avoid MBAs and spreadsheet-makers
  7. Thou shall celebrate failures and enjoy your journey
  8. Thou shall not want to sell
  9. Thou shall stay fit
  10. Thou shall win with … passion.
Vishal also said that an entrepreneur shouldn’t get intimidated by the bullies, should learn how to achieve speed while riding on empty tank and also learn to  keep the team motivated.
 
Kailash Katkar, cofounder and chairman of Quick Heal narrated his inspirational journey from repairing calculators and radios to encouraging his brother who was studying computer science, to come up with a solution to clean the viruses from computers that came to him for servicing, to eventually starting up Quick Heal Technologies, the renowned Indian software security solutions company, which has presence in close to 50 countries around the world with an expected turnover of Rs.240 crores this year.
 
It was a very humble yet courageous talk by Radhakrishna, founder of iStream, an online video service provider, which they had to shutdown recently. Radha spoke about their problem with raising funds and the reasons like piracy and low level of acceptance for subscription based models in India but was still confident on the potential for online content/video services, the support from his team and his determination to bounce back.
 
Sachin Bansal, cofounder of Flipkart said if he were to start another company, it would definitely be on internet and in India and explained the reason for Flyte MP3 shutdown in simple math. i.e Flipkart’s music CD section gets 1/6th of users but 3x more revenue than it’s Flyte MP3 downloads which means, revenue from sale of physical CDs is 18x that of Flyte MP3. Moreover, he said, their experiment to attract customers by giving limited period of free downloads was not fruitful because customers who purchase music by means of online download do not feel that they own it as much as when they buy CDs. Then, we also have the problem of piracy, very rampant here.
 
The final inspiration came from Lalit Patel, Co-Founder, BASH Gaming, who after 18 failed experiments, zoomed from $0 to $55mn in revenue through his most successful game Bingo Bash. His message: Passion and Persistence.
 
Appreciate the bunch of entrepreneurs who launched their products and for the effort they have put in creating something wonderful. However, most of them lacked the enthusiasm while being on stage. They might have faced some hurdles backstage but as Muhammad Ali once said, “To be a great champion, you have to believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.”
 
“The perfect pitch must be powerful, potent, polished, and most importantly, practiced!” -Anonymous