Business In Boxers 3 : The Psychological Roller Coaster

One of my favorite things about instrumental music is that the listener is encouraged to use his or her imagination. I have been a huge Owl City and Adam Young fan since forever. Lately he is releasing sets of instrumental music called as Adam Young Scores inspired by incidents that made a lasting impression on the world.  Reading about all those incidents has made a lasting impression on my mind for sure, our small failures and success doesn’t even matter to the world, we have got to make it large.

This month has been a wacky psychological roller coaster. A slow motion wave on the ocean stirring my emotion up like a rain cloud. When you are trying to start something new and you know odds are against you I guess this happens, you become very paranoid in some sense. Each blow shakes your confidence and you have to build that up again. It’s exhausting some time. Here is where a nice snack helps 😀

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At start of this month we all were very keen towards making the MVP (minimum viable product) ready but my mentor and CEO of the startup where I am working suggested to do a market research and look for idea validation. So one afternoon me and my friend visited few shops and tried to convey the idea to them . Very few got the idea and showed interest. I guess demography plays a vital role here. We all made peace with it that we will need real tangible product to make people excited about it.

But soon things got hard. Workload at intern got high and juggling both my startup and intern got really difficult. This made me think that how hard it would be to manage it with a full-time job. This was the first blow. And soon other members of team took off for exams or campus preparation or god knows what excuse.

Lately realized that to become good entrepreneur you should know the shit you are dealing with. Though I know that we learn stuff on the way, but still first we should invest in our-self. That’s why I am learning rails and other things needed to run the company. Attention to details will cause a momentarily pain in the ass. But it will be worth all the while.

As an overview all startups working on similar domain look the same. It is the one who really dig deeper and strive for great brand experience that makes all the difference. This what I believe in and want to do.

That’s why I took sales course before going to sellers for local survey. This is why I was studying business plan of Vinod Khosla to know and set my goals. This is why I am honing my technical skills. It all comes down to this, you should believe that whatever you are doing can be hard, but in the end it will be worth all the while.

I guess now we are on track now. Now that I have stopped counting on the members who were just pretending to be part of the team, I can be sure of what we can do in certain time. We are now clear to drop every operation and just build the damn product. Period. After 8 months I’ll be graduating and I want to be ready with a use-able product before that.

Meanwhile I am also trying to concrete the company goals. So that we can start moving. Breaking down to achievable goals with deadlines and metrics to measure how we are moving.

One more habit I am trying to develop is to write down my very specific goals for the day twice. In morning and at evening. It kinda helps you keep track. I have also started to workout and exercise more regularly than I used to, it’s good to do more of what makes you feel good about yourself because it reflects in all the other things that you do.

I am still not properly over of thinking whether I am making the right bets or not, I guess you can never tell. It like I am on emotional state of PMS.

But I know one thing for sure, whatever you do your job is to tell the story.

Thanks. See you next time.

 

 

Business in Boxers 2 : The Rainbow Shelf

As a 16-17 year old you try to figure out what you want to do with your life and then you just imagine yourself doing that. I am a kind of person who imagines stuff very vividly. Few years down the time river here I am, trying to work as hard as I can in the scorching summer heat on something that I always wanted to do.

Second month working on the startup I always wanted to do. Another month passed by, another month that makes you realise that time doesn’t stop for anyone. It doesn’t care if you have excuses, if you are not prepared enough. It just continues to flow. So the best strategy is to just go with the flow and moving forward, even if it’s the tiniest step possible.

This month I tried to put my full team to action. We bought the domain after many discussions on the name. We agreed to the name “Rainbow Shelf“. Personally I find this name very me. The word rainbow depicts my technicolor imagination and how I see this company grow.

After many arguments on what should be the core features that we want in our MVP, we finally got to a truce point.

Assigning roles to team members is something that you don’t want to force too much but yet you want that to be perfect so that it covers the strengths of every person. Out of hundreds of roles that you have to play in your startup, i wanted to make sure that everyone picks the one that they really love. Because if you don’t like what you are working on, what’s the point of working on a startup. I am still not sure whether I have got this right, but it seems to be moving in right direction.

While working on your startup you always have to keep on your helmet, just in case your heads caves in. Out of the blue some team member will raise concerns about the whole idea that you are betting on and you have to handle that and act optimistically no matter how scared you are inside.

During this whole month and for coming months, I am working with a startup based in Bangalore (http://healthgraph.in). The CEO is the best mentor I can ever wish for, seeing him work is what makes you push to go that extra mile and stay up that extra hours in a hope that it’ll make all the difference in the end.

One more lesson I have learned is that you just can’t expect every person on your team to work as hard and passionately as you. You have got to respect their capabilities.

At the start of the month, I created a timeline, a master schedule that we were supposed to follow. Recently I cut that into 1/3. Just so that we always remain on our toes.

Under thing that I have realised is that, don’t panic if you find out that your startup idea is already taken. Chances are that your idea is already present, if you haven’t found it yet then may be you haven’t researched that well. Afterall nothing is new under the sun.

Building a successful business depends less on uniqueness of idea and more on how you are filling the gaps in the market.

One more habit that I have developed is to read a good inspirational book the first hour and the last hour of the day. Just so that I can start and end the day with the correct mindset.

That’s all for this month. Stay Tuned!

 

Business in Boxers : 1 Month Into Running a StartUp

Why the Series? 

(Inspired by book : Business In Blue Jeans)

Hi! This is Priyank. This series is about me pen downing my start-up ride. Don’t know if it’s fast or slow, all I really know is I’m gonna enjoy the ride.

Why the name?

Boxers is what you’ll find me almost every time in and business is what’s always in my mind and thus the name “Business In Boxers”.

The Beginning

Last month on 15th Feb, me and my friend sat down seriously deciding on which business to start. The interesting thing was I did this with 3 friends. 3 awesome business ideas that are practical and scalable. Next, we 4 formed a team. A team with a vision to launch multiple businesses in a very short period of time.

Our first startup what we call as Pebbles Media deals with creating engaging applications for local business owners that can help them discover new customers in their locality. Cool idea that we all thought will get us many clients.

We approached 5 clients in different domains from food business to education to mechanical work. Two of them showed interest and we started working on their products.

15 days later one of our clients refused to pay the advance thus we dropped him. Other client wanted a custom product built for them at a very unreasonable price, again dropped him.

The Pivot

Witnessing all this, we all after 1 hour long discussion decided that it is the time for an early pivot. We never wanted to enter service based B2B sector.

The pivot that will need us to make products that will be used by multiple small businesses and their customers making us a product based company.

A pivot at this early stage raised doubts in our minds but I guess it was the red flag that we all managed to see and decided to pivot and not to run for quick money.

In Love With Business Books

lately I have been reading a lets of business books. Getting ideas and knowing how various aspects of a startup works. My favorite is The Lean Startup. A must read for everyone.

The Speed Breakers

No surprise here, first month has been filled with speed breakers. I was not expecting any smooth ride either. This month we have seen from clients saying no to all saying yes at the same time. Client giving us advance and then we turning him down because we wanted to pivot.

Wrap Up!

This month we dealt with real clients. Realized that we don’t want to go into service based sector.

For next month we are planning to get our MVP out in the market and test our leap of faiths. Too much action for next month. Let’s see what’s in the store next.

See you next time.

 

PS : It is fun to write blog when you are pretty certain that no one will read it 😀