2 Ways Growth Can Kill Your Startup

A popular Frank Sinatra song speaks of love and marriage going together like horse and carriage. The words startups and growth seem to be used much the same way. Recently I moderated a panel on “Why some startups grow and others don’t” at the TATA First Dot powered by NEN student startup showcase. One of the…

How much money should you raise?

The best answer to this question, as you’d probably guess is “Depends!” The most common answer I hear is, “As much as you can” – which I’m not sure is the right answer, for at least two reasons. If you raise far more than you actually require, you’ll be diluting more of your company at…

Occam’s Razor – Keeping it handy

“The VCR is not turning on!” says my wife over the phone. We often have short phone calls along these lines. At other times it’s the laser printer or the washing machine not working or turning on. My first question usually is “Honey, is it plugged in the wall?” followed by “Is the switch on…

3 Steps to Find Those First Customers

A question posted in the HeadStart Forum once again reminded me of how easy many of us find it to build the product first before figuring out how best to get customers. Having bootstrapped two startups and mentored several more, here are three tips on bagging the first (new) customer. Your ex-employer if you’ve worked…

3 Lessons I’ve Learned As a Mentor

Over the last three years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with entrepreneurs addressing a wide variety of markets – from those going after Tier 2 markets in India (music to consumers) to those selling tickets to an urban audience. One selling certificate courses on the internet to others changing how people consume online video…