July 3, 2008

MONEY : A startup KILLER ?

Startup means a lot of things for many people and there are a variety of motivating factors for different people.It takes a lot to leave a high paying job and to join an early stage startup or to start working on your own idea.

IMHO, it is very simple to write on blogs and to review others startups but it takes a GREAT HEART to accept criticism[in the right spirit] for our own startup/idea.

As mentioned above, though motivation for a startup are different undoubtedly, one thing should be starting point - PASSION ; but when a bunch of people gather to create a startup to make quick bucks, you are sure to reach the dead end soon !!!! Let's look at what could go wrong for such organizations.

1. Not SO-GREAT Minds also think ALIKE :
All of us know about this very famous saying - Great Minds think alike but when not so-great minds meet, they also think alike.When startups have such minds and money is the SOLE intention, you can be very much sure that there would be some dirty games being played in the minds of each & every member.

2. Focus shifts from QUALITY to QUANTITY :
The most important part of any software is it's quality , without which there would be no quantity[in terms of customers, revenue, growth etc]. But if the sole aim is to earn money, you would always keep Quantity in mind without even thinking that it is quality that gives birth to Quantity and not vice-versa. So, the focus should be on Quality with a clear road map on how that would lead to tangible quantity.

In case a highly passionate person[who has the willingness to learn and to do something in life] lands up at such a place, it would lead to lot of misunderstandings with the fellow co-workers which in turn would lead to an unhealthy working environment.This Mr./Ms. 'RIGHT' would in turn stop other Mr./Ms. RIGHT(s) from joining such a startup leading to a bad reputation in the market sad

The onus of building a good/great company lies on the initial members of the company. The great thing of an initial stage startup is that it is like a BABY that has to be nurtured continuously by it's so called Father(s) [or Founders] wink It is very important for a startup that there are regular brainstorming sessions/discussions to ensure that every person is in sync and have the same & updated information.
However, when money becomes the motive, there would be very less transparency and team members would tend to hide information from each other....And if there is no information exchange between the first few people, than how do you ensure a transparent culture in the new people[many of which may belong to point(3) ] who join your company ?

5. HIERARCHY , the serial Killer :
Combination of points (1) and (4) gives rise to point (5) - Hierarchy. Gone are the days when there was a person called "BOSS" who wanted to keep an eye on everyone nowadays, people enjoy an open culture and there can never be a successful company built using the bricks of "Hierarchy". Sure, once the number of employees increase, we may need Managers[and not bosses] , but if we have Hierarchy followed from Day-1 ; you can be rest assured that it would be followed till the time the startup exists smile.....and it is needless to mention the fate of such startups !!!!

If you have any other points, please mention them in the comments section and I would be happy to add them in the article.

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At Jul 6, 2008, 10:53:00 PM , Anonymous Jessica said...

Hey cool post

Very true that any business just started to earn money will not work well and will surely get Killed.

It needs a lot of passion and dedication. It also means you have a good rapport with other colleagues.

Good post
keep writing

At Jul 6, 2008, 10:57:00 PM , Anonymous Gopi said...

"Karmanye Vadhikaraste Maa Phale Shu Kadachana"

Believe in Karma (Hard work) without expectation of Phala (Fruits)

This should be the Mantra for any successful STARTUP or say success of any person.

At Jul 7, 2008, 12:11:00 AM , Anonymous Himanshu Sheth said...

Thanks for the kind words :) Well,dedication would still be there if the end motive is Money however Passion would always be missing (:

-Himanshu Sheth

At Jul 7, 2008, 12:15:00 AM , Anonymous Himanshu Sheth said...

Thanks for the comment.Well, there should be a starting point and ending point....Passion should be the starting point and not Money, this is what I wanted to communicate.

KARMA with bad Intentions would not lead to a successful startup.

-Himanshu Sheth

At Jul 7, 2008, 6:20:00 PM , Blogger Manish Panchmatia said...

Yes Himanshu,

Once again, you did good job by explaining the challenges for startups. Growth is always painful, unless it is monitory growth :) The founder should have clear vision for orgnaisation and capability to convince this vision to all. He/She should be with full of energy to deal with all these day to day issues and bring all the people along with him/her towards his/her vision. Formal management education helps to get insight into the day to day situation/issue. Many times, the new generation get such skill as heritage in family owned business units. Probably they are unaware of OB/HR jargons. The founder sets the culture.

So yes, entrepreneurship means challenges, probably more than you listed. And it also means passion, confidence and courage to go ahead in worst situation.


At Jul 11, 2008, 4:45:00 AM , Anonymous Himanshu Sheth said...

Thanks for the comment.You mentioned a very important point : "The founder sets the culture" ....The founder is the pillar of the startup and if that pillar is weak, the entire building would collapse :)

-Himanshu Sheth


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