The Morpheus- important piece to solve Indian Startup puzzle!

What stops you from starting up? Is it the lack of courage or the guidance or the seed capital or the combination of all? Indian startup ecosystem is seeing quite a lot of activities in various fronts- All top colleges run entrepreneurial seminars, B-Plan competitions, e-summits to allow potential startups connect to right startups/investors/mentors, there are websites with loads of free resources and also many groups like Headstart, Proto and Startup Saturdays. But after a particular stage (even after getting recognized in these events) startups get stuck! The main issue remains that of taking the risk, and that usually doesn’t happen because many of the VCs and Investors don’t show enough confidence in these startups. Investors have their own limitations but startups start thinking that their idea is not worthy enough and they quit without giving their 100% to their dream.

This is where The Morpheus is trying to come into picture. They have a 4 months intense Business Accelerator Program (BAP) where they guide startups and also invest a small but critical amount of 5 lacs per startup. Every year they call for applications from potential new companies and then choose the portfolio based on their business insights and startup’s abilities.

We have personally worked with them as friends of Morpheus and have received some real good help. Be it getting connected to right people, or asking them to review our website/services or getting help in other things like office setup, project management, social media marketing etc. They have been on their toes to help startups like us. And their enthusiasm and support keeps us going on this tough and mystic path.

If you think you’re a startup facing the issues described above, you can apply to be in “The Morpheus” portfolio here.

Startups are like “2012″!

I don’t know how many of you have watched the Movie “2012”, but I watched it 2 times and found it an extremely interesting one! It’s not just about the story, the way a person can relate to Movie is also appreciative. But somehow I thought that the movie teaches many lessons, especially from an Entrepreneur’s point of View.

There are many instances where a Startup can easily see it’s own picture on the Screen. When I watched the movie second time I could relate some dialogues with my own life. It was quite funny too. For instance there is a scene in 2nd half where they talk of selling shuttle seats for some billions of dollars to a Saudi Sheikh – They argue that it’s unfair – To this US Mayor yells “Do you think without billions of dollar aid from Private Investors this mammoth task was ever possible?”. Continue reading..

‘Starting up’ -a cool new show on ET Now for Startups!

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I’m glad that so many business news channels are coming up these days. With increasing competition the creativity in content is also visible. I accidentally watched this program while I was surfing my idiot box for something useful and AILAA I got that! Just the kind of show which I was looking for.

With increasing number of shows and channels, its like winning a lottery when one is able to find something which he/she is looking for! And that feeling is amazing. OK! now let me tell you about the show ‘Starting Up’-

In the first section, they showcased the final round of Conquest’09 which held at BITS, Pilani sometime back. There was also a short interview with founder of the winning team ‘Alchemy’ [I dont remember exactly if that was the name of the winning team :)]. In another section they featured CIIE i.e. Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship of IIM Ahemedabad. They told in every detail about the incubation center and its initiatives and also the link where we can apply for incubation, if one is interested.

After that came a very interesting section, ’empresario’. They featured one design and branding firm which is been run profitably by one person. After he showcased his expertise he was given guidance by Mr. Sanjeev Aggarwal,
Managing Director – Helion Venture Partners (which was really encouraging).

The last section featured another founder from foodaholics who managed to start the business just by using her personal savings of 50k. The section was meant for early stage ventures who are hungry for investments :).

Over all a very likeable and informative show for all the startup enthusiasts. Do enjoy next time it features (Sun at 1:30 PM)!

And yeah, keep looking for updates from iDubba as we have launched as a mini ‘iDubba’ service :). Check it out!

iDubba iVerdict- 3.5 Stars.

Interesting lessons from Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt!

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For every Internet startup, Google is GOD! And most of the entrepreneurs in this line are inspired by the Google story (and also with the book by same name). It’s amazing that how even after 10 years of existance Google has maintained its brand image as a truely innovative company.

I was recently reading this interview of McKinsey Quarterly with Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt and found it really informative. I’m sharing some very interesting points which should serve as a lesson to budding entrepreneurs like us-

1. [The real model for any Internet startup should be to have both the head and the tail]- Head is where all the money is and tail is where we have differentiation and diversity. How Schmidt describes this is- the effect of Power law (“property that a small number of things are very highly concentrated and most other things have relatively little volume”). ” So, while the tail is very interesting, the vast majority of revenue remains in the head. And this is a lesson that businesses have to learn. While you can have a long tail strategy, you better have a head, because that’s where all the revenue is.” This is a very good lesson for Indian Internet startups, as most of the time we are too much excited about the idea part without thinking much about the revenue part.

2. [Talk to your Customer]. A very valid point is- Internet levels playing fields in many ways (distribution, branding, money and access). Hence if we don’t listen to our customers, competitors will and that’s why every startup need to be on its toes to listen to their customers and responding to them.

3. [Create a Crisis]. “In a corporation the role of a leader is often not to force the outcome, but to force execution”- that’s a line I’d love to memorize :-)! Creating a crisis sends a sense of urgency among people who are implementing any idea to complete thier tasks within deadlines.

4. [How to make people dissent your opinion?]. The important term here is not “dissent” but “make”. As we know its very important to get a dissenting opinion from critics during any discussion related to a new idea. Generaly its very difficult to make people disagree Boss’s opinion in front of top managers. Eric says “What I try to do in meetings is to find the people who have not spoken, who often are the ones who are afraid to speak out, but have a dissenting opinion. I get them to say what they really think and that promotes discussion, and the right thing happens.”

5. [Slog more]. That may sound a bit harsh, but its the truth. People who are driven by a sense of speed or crisis are the one’s who are going to rise to the top. Eric gives a classic example of a Blogger in this connected world- “Bloggers, for example, can’t sleep. It’s so competitive that if they go to sleep, and a story breaks all the clicks from their blog go to the others. So bloggers end up sort of disasters on a human scale because they can’t deal with the fact that they can’t even sleep, it’s such a tense environment.”

6. [Google’s innovation tactics]. “Innovation always has been driven by a person or a small team that has the luxury of thinking of a new idea and pursuing it”. “So, in our case, we try to encourage [innovation] with things like 20 percent time, and the small technology teams, which are undirected. We try to encourage real thinking out of the box. We also try to look for small companies that we can acquire. Because, often, it’s small companies which have the great new ideas. They have gotten started with them but can’t really complete them.” Google’s objective is to be a systematic innovator at scale.

7. [How organization Structure helps Google foster innovation?]. “One of the things that we’ve tried very hard to avoid at Google is the sort of divisional structure and the business unit structure that prevents collaboration across units. It’s difficult. So, I understand why people want to build business units, and have their presidents. But by doing that you cut down the informal ties that, in an open culture, drive so much collaboration. If people in the organization understand the values of the company, they should be able to self organize to work on the most interesting problems. And if they haven’t, or are not able to do that, you haven’t talked to them about what’s important. You haven’t built a shared value culture.”

I hope this was helpful to you guys. I’d suggest you all to go through the complete interview once. It’s amazing!

iDubba now Blogs for Indian Startups too!

Hey,

Here is a great news for all iDubba fans- iDubba will also Blog for Indian Startups from now onwards!

After analyzing the traffic, major portion of which was coming through sites related to startups we thought of jumping into this category too!

Since we ourselves are a startup and our team includes only first generation entrepreneurs, we thought of this addition as a logical step.

We will put here a combination of: Startup reviews,Startup updates, investment news and other resources, links and updates which will help startup enthusiasts in taking that crucial leap, forward.

So all startup enthusiasts and founders of startups, you can subscribe our newsletter to get these latest updates!

Your feedback is also important. Please use the comment section freely to let us know your views about iDubba’s Blog.

Thanks,

iDubba Team.