That was a time, a friend of mine & I were deeply engrossed in discussions on what to start. I was running a small Professional IT Services firm & he was employed with an IT major then.
We met during the weekends and spoke about everything under the sun. We kept our eyes and ears open & saw what was happening in the market.
Once, he had just returned back home after a short trip to the US. He asked me if we should develop a taxi hailing app. That was much before “Taxi For Sure” or Ola in India or Uber in the US. I am not sure what happened next and why we didn’t jump into that at that point in time.
I have learnt one thing in life. You have to take risks. There’s no easy route to success. And it’s never late. There’s always an opportunity. Or ways to differentiate what already exists.
If you are chasing a dream of starting up on your own, I advise you to start it as a side gig and work on it passionately outside of your 9-5 job. Rajiv Srivatsa, COO of Urban Ladder, an online furniture retailer said, in Aug 2018: “In the next 20 years, the strongest brands in any category will start purely online, reach out through the power of these marketplaces, and, as they build a sustainable brand, look at other channels to expand to.”
You don’t need to know everything to the last detail when you start off.
You don’t need to have big dreams. If you dream of a small office with 10 cabs, it is just fine.
Don’t make a pitch. It doesn’t matter. What matters is this: Your product or service. If it is useful, efficient, cheap, saves time then it will sell. Pitches don’t sell.
Customers are always looking for a better product or service at a cheaper price. They are not willing to pay more. Look at the total volume of sales and the net profit you will make instead of the % you make in every single transaction.
With so many scandals – toxic work place culture to squeezing drivers pay to delaying drivers payments, if Uber can be valued at US $ 69 Billion, think of the value one can create if those scandals are avoided. But, at the end of the day, scandals don’t matter. Service does.
We should take only the good things [focus on the +ves], leave the rest and move on.
We should adapt fast to the changing landscape.
We should be in news always, preferably for the right reasons unlike Uber.
You don’t need to invent anything new. If you solve one problem, it is just fine.
You don’t need to think 10 years ahead or be futuristic. But when the opportunity presents itself, you should be able to kick ass, grab it and scale up in no time.
Execution is of paramount importance. Idea is a given.