|Vijay Ram Kumar, Founder of Hoverr @ UnPluggd|
Here is the bootstrapped story of Wingify, an A/B testing company built by Paras, who learnt programming early in his life, but chose to major in biotechnology because he wanted to learn something new. Wow! that’s a cool attitude. He got inspired by Paul Graham’s essays, listed all his interests on a piece of paper, picked the top one and went on to startup.
- Focus on prototyping instead of pitching.
- Sales is a serious business and it should be sales, sales and sales in the first year.
- The first sales person is really important and one simple way to hire him is by looking at his past performance.
- Talk to potential customers. Persuade. People are always ready for a cup of coffee.
- Investors are not always right.
- Focus. You are in the drivers seat and can’t take your eyes off the road ever. There is no room for distractions.
- Laying emphasis on being very frugal, Manav reflected Warren Buffet’s quote “If you buy things you don’t need, soon you will have to sell things you need.”
- Your company is only as good as your writing. Take risks.
- Focus on cash flow. Bring in paying customers without delay.
- Create a team who can run as fast as you.
- Scale the product along with continuous improvement.
- Put all the money back into the product initially. Invest in R&D.
- Outperform on the promises. Delighted customer is a multi million dollar marketing campaign.
- Hiring across continent is a biggest leap of faith for an entrepreneur. Get the top notch sales people.
- You might not win every battle, you ll have to find the perfect fit.
Sanjay Swamy, Managing Partner at AngelPrime while talking on doing business with large companies, said:
- Research your customer well. Associate with someone who wants to be no. 1.
- Offer something that the customer can’t get anywhere else.
- Test the market early. Do not keep the idea an ultra secret. That will not help.
- One way of approaching a probable partner is to find a rising star in a large company who is ready to take risk to prove himself and proceeding through him.
- Very soon go for paid pilots, build relationships and establish processes.
- Sign an NDA as early as possible and be serious about each other.
- Have a good cop and a bad cop to tackle issues with customers.
- Maintain the exclusivity and advantage over pricing.
Aprameya said TaxiForSure was a serendipity and I later found that they have even named their company as Serendipity Infolabs. Being hands on has helped them develop the back-end system and he stressed on the importance of being frugal so as to achieve more with less. On being asked on how he had changed to suit the needs of the business, he said he learnt to speak the language of operators, with whom they collaborate with.
- Be a hustler.
- “When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say “wow, that was an adventure,” not “wow, I sure felt safe.” Tom Preston-Werner.
- Be opportunistic.
- Be tenacious.
- “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” – Steve Jobs.
- Be open to partnerships.
- Charge your customers. Charge you customers higher.
- Focus on inbound marketing & organic growth. People, Product, Culture.
Unpluggd was a platform for Pickle.io, CloudEngine, ZapStitch, Senseforth, DigiCollect, Hoverr.me and MagnetWorks to pitch their offerings and with MagnetWorks, I saw how the Internet of Things is going to evolve. The final discussion by BK Birla and Kunal Shah was on whether founders would be the best CEOs. They stressed the importance of finding a mentor who is harsh with you, who is not a cynic but who gives genuine feedback. It was a day well spent for me. Thanks to NextBigWhat 🙂