The best way to win is to show grit and bid on your strengths and intuitions. I have been trying to start my own company now for quite a some time. This course came into my mail box by edX, title looked captivating and thus I decided to take it.
It was a light course. Not much effort needed other that just watching the videos and doing some assignments.
The course was focused on making people get off with their venture from the idea phase to execution phase.
Throughout the course I was evaluating my ideas and operations using the learnings given by the course and it has been of some help at least.
The course was divided into 5 weeks :
Week 1 : The “Do” Philosophy
DO philosophy is based on “do or do not. There is no try”. There is a gap between intent and action and thus best bid is to don’t wait for halcyons days and just DO IT.
It proposed a term equifinality which means that every entrepreneur and his path is different and there are many ways to entrepreneurship.
It then provided interviews with various startups like Bums On Saddle, Hobby in a Box etc founders sharing their journey so far.
Week 2 : Opportunities, Idea Creation & Generation!
This week was focused on how entrepreneurs come up with ideas. Few of them are :
- Hobby driven ideas
- Change in some rules and regulations
Each of these points can provide you with a nice venture idea. I already had my idea prior to the course and thus just thought about it again from these view points.
Week 3 : Idea validation and Evaluation
After the idea has been selected. We have got to validate and evaluate it.
Some if the methods for this are :
- Personal feasibility
- Market feasibility
- Customer feedback
Best way to validate idea is to talk to customers. Real unknown customers. Not just people in your acquaintance. We here at Rainbow Shelf went out to talk to retail shop owners (around 10) and tried to explain them the idea. Response was not very encouraging but it was an experience that helped us.
Week 4 : Lean Canvas
This week was all about the lean methodology used in startups. I have read the book The Lean Startup and thus this all made sense to me.
The 5 principles of lean startup are :
- Entrepreneurs are everywhere
- Entrepreneurship is management
- Entrepreneurship is validated learning
- Build, Measure, Learn
- Innovation Accounting
The course also provided a lean canvas that should be used by startup to assess their idea.
Week 5 : Effectuation
Effectuation, which is defined as a “logic of thinking, discovered through scientific research, used by expert entrepreneurs to build successful ventures“.
This week was about measuring the uncertainty in the entrepreneurship.
Effectuation has these 4 principles :
Bird in Hand Principle – Start with your means. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Start taking action, based on what you have readily available: who you are, what you know, and who you know.
Affordable Loss Principle – Set affordable loss. Evaluate opportunities based on whether the downside is acceptable, rather than on the attractiveness of the predicted upside.
Lemonade Principle – Leverage contingencies. Embrace surprises that arise from uncertain situations, remaining flexible rather than tethered to existing goals.
Crazy-Quilt Principle – Form partnerships. Form partnerships with people and organizations willing to make a real commitment to jointly creating the future–product, firm, market–with you. Don’t worry so much about competitive analyses and strategic planning.
Overall. I wasn’t expecting very complex and hard material in the course just normal guidelines stuff and this was exactly what the course provided. This course was offered by IIMB. And showed many startups that are incubated there are NSRCEL.
As of now I have taken many scattered courses on entrepreneurship from University of Maryland to MIT to IIMB. Now i have decided to just take the specialization offered by Coursera and that should be enough for time being until my company scales.
I have now shifted my focus to learn more core technical and domain knowledge that will be required to build remarkable company that can stand out that bring value to its customers.