Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

Posts Tagged ‘twitter

Its so easy to Microblog. Twibble on my Mobile. Twitter Fox on all Desktops and Laptops that I usually access. Its never been so easy to jot down your thoughts.

Unfortunately it does seem like its eating a lot into my blogging habits. Its not like I dont have stuff to write about. I have close to atleast 20 topics that I have jotted down that I want to write about and get your thoughts on… except that, it seems like some herculean task to login into wordpress and blog. I even installed Scribe to see if the barrier would seem smaller, but nope, no luck yet.

It might be that I might switch to a fullswing microblogging format soon. And this might be the longest post by that standards. I can almost hear a “Phew!” from out there.

I think I have figured something. It goes something like this.

Markets and Companies are neither created nor destroyed. They just transform from one form to the another.

I’ll give you some examples. Amazon.com when it started in 95 was a very ambitious project. A few years later, they were raking in 30million dollars as revenues. But where did that money come from? Very few people think about it, but customers are a finite set. God isn’t growing customers on trees yet. So essentially what happens is that since the need hasn’t exemplified, just found a better solution, people switch from one service to another. The year that Amazon.com announced its $30mn revenue stream, the music and bookstore industry had lost close to 2billion dollars. Disruptive? Yep, if you are a startup and on the growth curve, very much so. Scary? Absolutely. Especially if you are three days old and even have a handful of customers.

I think this is a very basic understand that we need to have. Markets are not created. All this talk on Markets, and blah is just a segmentation process that economists and entrepreneurs have to work with to figure out how to shape their product. The truth is that there are consumers and consumers or clients are essentially people. And People are finite. if you work backwards, then so are markets.
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For those who had asked about how incubation centres work, I believe the comments in the previous post would have helped.

To summarize, an incubation centre supports an entrepreneur with an active advisory panel, infrastructure and with some financial assistance to help them jumpstart the process. That’s pretty much the gist of the matter.

As a commentor in the previous post mentioned, the system has a flaw.

For one, the entrepreneurs in an incubation cell are quite shielded from any immediate danger. The protection and support, sometimes even turns a great potential company into a mediocre one. Without being hungry, and being foolish, entrepreneurship seems to die out from its essence of radical pathbreaking.

The second aspect is that the value proposition that an incubation centre brings into an entrepreneurs life is that, they have a panel of advisors to help groom these entrepreneurs. These advisors are quite some experts in very specialized verticals – say marketing, HR, Scaling, Technology, Investment etc, and provide their inputs to mold the company into a solid one.

I believe a company that comes from an incubation centre is very much limited by its mentors. Most of the time, the mentors are chosen not to experiment with radically new and different business models, but to execute a well-trodden one in the life-cycle of a new company. What usually ends up is a newer and smaller version of their own company that they might have built or have been part of.

This always seems to be the case, with most incubation centres.

The issues seem to be a few:

1. Limited by Mentors
2. Over-Protected from the necessary tribulations that an entrepreneur and team require to harden and survive
3. Isolated Infrastructure
4. Highly biased focus: Either too much technology focus, or too business oriented, since all incubation centres are academic centric
5. Lack of being grounded in the reality of what the customer wants (some Incubation centres deal with this quite well)

These are the basic ones to start with.

I do like what the Y Combinator and CRV Quickstart guys are doing. Also with the recent addition of Obvious, (the guys behind twitter) to the list, its possible that the next successful incubation model will follow suit along these lines. With Yahoo! hiring seasoned entrepreneurs to run their internal incubation centre, there is a pattern that we are starting to see emerge here.

More on that in the upcoming post…


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