Here are the 10 things that I wish I knew while starting my business.
“Either do or do not, there is no try”: There is a lot of merit to what the great Yoda says.Only work on your venture if you have complete belief in it. Not quitting is half the battle won. There should be no such thing as Plan B. I want to clarify I am not talking about innovating or pivoting but you definitely can’t be thinking if this doesn’t work then I’ll go start to work with my dad or my chacha. If you’re doing this it better be your best shot.
Mind your own business:You can choose to focus on either what your competition does or what you should be doing! If we focused on our competition we would have shut our shutters long ago since a fair number of them were more funded than us.
There is merit to gyaanis:I don’t mean the random wind bags who love giving you unsolicited advice. I’m talking about the solid mentors that are so important. They are your guiding lights to stay on track. Mentors/advisors who are your champions are important. They will help you keep afloat on the days it feels like you are sinking.
Make sure you’re having fun:Your struggling days will be the ones you look back on most fondly and create the best bonds – enjoy every minute of it.
Some days you’re the pigeon and somedays the statue. This fact might change in proportion with success but it doesn’t really go away. So deal with it. Enjoy both sets of days. At mydala it became a joke that we would go out and celebrate when we got rejected by a VC and there was a time we were celebrating every week. I don’t mean 5 star hotel celebrations more like BYOB at a small dhaba celebration or at the office. God those days were fun. They helped us bond.
The right set of co-founders is the first jackpot you hit: Co-founders that you get along with and share the same vision, up the success quotient multiple times and also make the journey ridiculously fun.
Think Akshay not Shahrukh:I use this analogy because for some reason everyone thinks that the only way to be is – instant unicorn status like Flipkart – just like people think of Shahrukh or Salman. They are the Shahrukhs of ecommerce. I like to think of mydala as an Akshay or a Priyanka Chopra who deliversolid hits in their own right and are super solid and highly bankable.
If you’re building a product that’s redundant then there a problem. I know this sounds ironic coming from someone who was labeled a Groupon clone in India! But fact is within the first month we identified a real need that existed on the merchant side. It is this problem-solving focus that we built on that helped mydala beat Groupon and 52 others when they were focused on users.