(This is a little long post i know, this is a brief about my journey till date, if you do read the whole post, thank you for reading my post:) )
You might have sensed the title a little weird but that is the weirdness that makes me complete as an Entrepreneur and as a human being of myself.
As a lot of other Entrepreneurs, for me too there are lot of aspirations like build some thing big, be identified by a lot of people, be different, unique, etc,. I have got this Entrepreneur stint when i was in Class 8th, i don’t know how i got that stint but some how it was rooted in my mind since then. I always hoped and dream t i will be famous and rich some day making a mark in public and society.
My 1st attempt to be an Entrepreneur in college:
I dint really work on this thing till i was in my engineering 3rd year, i registered a firm called Eric Infosystems and started freelancing for web and software development. Got a template from some random good internet site, then wrote “We handle software development from school level CRM’s to Industry level software’s” , but in reality i was not sure what time,energy and money it would take for me. I brought a Yellow Pages book and started calling page by page and cold called many people telling what we do, but since i couldn’t get out of the college and talk to the customers(i was studying in a little remote place(in a hostel) and the city i was calling is a little far). But some how through my connections i got some projects though small projects but was happy as some thing i got to make my hands dirty.
Very little things went in Eric Infosystems but surely good things for a student. By the end of 4th year me and other 2 of my friends though of starting some thing called Tech Sishya where it trains students in Mobile and Cloud Technologies, but before that i wanted to explore how these things work, luckily for me i got into a start up as a trainer, this startup is into Training’s (its a Microsoft partner company). I started going to colleges for training students in Windows 8 and Windows phone apps.
My attempt to be an Entrepreneur After College:
After 7 months of working there i registered my own firm called Metro Labs, we started offering technologies in Mobile and cloud but this time i started concentrating on open source technologies, working on this for 3 months i realized i cannot do a job and work on the firm so i quit my day job and dived into the awesome journey called Entrepreneurship(but Full time this time 😛 ). We were able to crack 3 colleges in the following month which is a good start for us.The month i quit my job was 28th feb 2013. But since we were doing training in colleges where the market is only for 6 months(other 6 months students will be busy with exams, holidays, festivals,etc,.). . from march to June there will be exams and holidays for colleges. So this time i decided to go for Startup Events and Network with people.
My 1st Community Initiative-Startup Talks:
Due to this obsession i have started a community in Hyderabad called (Startup Talks,www.meetup.com/startuptalks). Startup Talks is not just the obsession but when i was coming out of my job i dint find a community where i can find information related to startups which gives or keeps meetups from different domain of expertise(diff. domains i mean like marketing,finance, UI/UX etc,. which a startup would need. And yes to be frank i felt this will be some thing where i felt this will make my network strong and i will be identifiable to a lot of people.
Pics from the events https://www.facebook.com/MetroLabs/photos_stream
A random pic from the meetup:
Pic Courtesy: Sreenivas
I then went to Startup Festival Bangalore, The Goa Project and some other startup events in Hyderabad. After going to all these events i realized that what i am doing will be just for my survival and will not fetch me a lot of money( The reasons are very simple, if i work with freelance trainers i will have to pay them a lot of money, If i have to go for an office setup and then i will have to spend roughly 28-36 lakhs) to achieve this break event in 6 months i have to go to nearly 25 colleges in the worse case. 25 colleges for break even in 6 months stopped exciting me. Thanks to these events. I then went to some Mentors (where i made good connection in the events i go) and validated them, also i went to the Dreamin Camp in Bangalore which is initiated by one of the Indias known design company Idiom, even there i got my assumptions right. So i shelved Metro Labs 8 months it took birth. I don’t regret this since although the exciting thing about Entrepreneurship is its journey itself , i agree but ultimately we do this for a better money.
Then i started thinking of new ideas,brought the book “Business Model Generation” ( I strongly recommend this book for all the early stage Entrepreneurs) to make the idea to convert and validate it with a business model. But all the ideas i though of dint make a lot of sense in the end. I used to discuss these with my Mentor he used to explain why this approach might not work.
Mentor in time fetches you a lot:
One day i went to my Mentor and said what if you dont need a coupon or card to get a discount instead the customer can just send an sms like “dominos hyderabad” to some XXX55 number and he gets an coupon code in return. I though is the most awesome idea i made. My mentor asked me to come with the whole business model not just the idea, then i sat down for a couple of days made some research and finally jotted it on the Business Model Canvas and took this to him, after listening to this model he said its not gonna work, i asked why ? He explained the reason(if you are interested to know work on it, don’t like to work on it ? ping me please) i got frustrated and asked him to make a model for me(i worked and tried to make Business models on more than 10 ideas which ultimately dint make sense,yes i have gone mad this time). He said i am just your mentor to say what is correct and what is wrong.
After an hour what ever he said made sense for me.
Now i am working on some ideas which i think might work at the same time i am looking to join some one as a co-founder.For the same reason i also traveled to Mumbai for the Co Founder Search which is conducted by the Head Start Foundation also wrote mails to some accelerators I have got some offers but dint take up since i felt i might not serve the whole purpose for what they look for and i want to make more sense of myself which i work on.
As an Entrepreneur i didnt know where i could tell my story and journey, i found this community to be quite active and interesting, that’s the reason i am writing this here.
One day i know i will be known by a large population for the good i do, the money i make, the book i right, it might take an year for it or a life time but surely i will do it and be it.
I feel “i dont know, What i might do, i dont know the path i will be taking, i am not sure or cant predict a lot of things, but surely sooner or later i will hit the pots full of Gold, Diamonds and platinum”
1) Never start some thing just out of curiosity,
2) Make at least make sure of the point if it is creating a real value to customers which they dint get previously and also
3) Make sure you are not becoming a just another company by delivering the same thing your competitor is giving.
4) Find a good Mentor, there are lot of people with good experience who are ready to give back to the startup ecosystem which they know. Reason is pretty simple, they know the pain involved and surely want to help people who are crossing the same stages.
5) What so ever people speak to help you, you have to make all the things work irrespective of situations, No 1 will share your work or make their hands dirty for you. Yes, not your best pal or your bro until and unless he/she is your co-founder.
I know this is too little and very limited experience but i am sure at least i have made a little sense of at least 240 days of my life meaningful.
PS: I know this is a long post, i would like to hear what you feel about this.