I attended Headstart even in Mumbai last Saturday. I was hoping to see really interesting startups but I was left pretty much wondering and thinking, why these guys start companies without even thinking about the future once. There were only couple of companies with proper business plan, rest of them lacked it. Many of the startups copied concepts from the international well established companies. I will list out some of the examples (without giving out the names obviously) of the so called startups with no plans ahead.
- There was were bunch of kids trying to start a website which will allow the users to setup websites in just few clicks. The concept was pretty good but their idea was broken, they decided to implement something social, where as a user will make template and share it with other users, so everyone can use it. I am not sure how practical it will be as the business model. Apart from this, they were not even ready for the alpha stage and they were having demo at the demo pit. In short, they were not “ready” yet.. They did not have clear picture of what they are going to do in the future. (And if they had, they could not convey it to me…)
- There was another team with the idea of making something on the basis of Getsatisfaction.com, again, no clear business plan, the voting manipulation wasn’t taken care of. The making money part wasn’t so promising at all.
- Another one was based on GetAFreelancer.com, again no proper business plan. There were no answers when I asked, there are plenty of other biggies providing same kind of services, why would people come to your site? Frankly, speaking, this guy was pretty much new to this and needed some boost, I gave him few ideas and if he works on those ideas, the things should work out for him.
- There were many others, from something like Google docs / MS live document sharing clone, to some educational portal with great idea in mind but no proper planning etc..
I am not going to list them one by one but if you notice, everyone had some kind of base idea ready, be it based on any international site or not, but none of them had proper process lined up. No business model. Infact many of these guys never thought of any business model. They were like, we will see when things work out..
From what I understand, their thinking might be like.. we will make a good product and sell it off to any company and earn some good bucks.. (Well, I might be wrong too) But I don’t think this is what business all about… You need absolutely planning and clear picture keeping the worst conditions in mind. You should have a backup plan ready.
And most importantly, the high focus should be on money, profit.. you are spending lot of time over the project.. and for what? Social service? Just to make your name? Don’t you want your daily bread and butter? Think about money.. make a proper business plan and then just into so called startup bandwagon. If you don’t have any plans ready, I don’t think you have any right to start any business..
I know I know.. there will be people with examples like Twitter, Facebook etc.. but they all have a proper business plan, it is just that it’s been kept under the wraps and they are waiting for the right time…
I think people should not simply get into the hype of “startup” and all.. they need to sit, get back to the basic and make a plan, think about the future and think about the worst conditions.
Oh Yea, I am not any so called “startup guru” or anything. I am just a businessman. I understand money, profits, loss along with the great ideas. That’s it. So these are the things which always run in my mind and thought of sharing with everyone, so atleast some of the guys planning to do something new can get tips from this topic.