Entrepreneurship, IdeaForward, Technology

Entrepreneurship 2.0

Yesterday, I was at the NASSCOM Product Conclave 2009. This is the first time I am attending the NASSCOM Conclave and the prime reason for this is the Key Note by Guy Kawasaki. This is the first time Guy is in Bangalore and I did not want to miss a chance to hear him in person. Thanks to Kesava for getting me a pass J

He started his speech at around 9:20 AM and concluded around 10:10 AM. It was not a packed hall, but there were 1000+ delegates.

Guy shared his 10 point view of “Entrepreneurship 2.0”. Slides used in the presentation can be found here.

Here is a brief summary of his speech.

Being an Apple Fellow, Guy took on Microsoft for the laughter part and concentrated on sharing his experiences at Apple.

1. BUILD What you Want to Use

With an example of ICE, Guy demonstrated that Entrepreneurs should build what they want to use and not what others want to use.

During the early days, If anyone wanted clean ice, they would harvest Ice in a clean place and use it. Over the period of time, came the ice factory and the Ice Man. The Ice factory would make Ice and an Ice man delivers it to your home. Things changed and this was very much needed for everyone. It was a success. In the next stage came the fridge where you could make ice at home itself. This is building what you want to use. Ice was required by the person who made the fridge and also by others. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and you can build what you want to use.

2. Pay Rs.0 for Tools

Today, most of the tools required to build software are available for free. Gone are those days when you make a great PowerPoint presentation and ask for money from friends/family or Investors. If you cannot use the free tools available and build a working prototype, forget your Innovation. It will just not work. In fact, today, there is nothing you cannot build with the free tools available.

3. Pay Rs.0 for Marketing

Use online tools like Twitter/Facebook/MySpace for all your marketing needs. Let people reach you and you reach people.

4. SUCK Down/Across

I cannot recollect exactly what he showcased here..but will my best shot

You usually suck up to get your work done. You need to follow the upper hierarchy to get your product to the end user. Now, you need not concentrate on Sucking up, but you need to work on sucking down and across to get more innovations to your solutions. Speak to customers, take their feedback, and build them into the system. This is what people want.

5. Use Twitter (and TWEETMEME)

Use Twitter extensively to market or seek guidance from your followers and people whom you follow. TWEETMEME is an excellent tool for you to post your tweet and request people to re-tweet with just hit of a button. This creates a cascading effect of your message and it reaches more number of people than you can traditionally reach across the globe and also you can track for yourself.

6. Pay Rs.0 for People

This is controversial and Guy explicitly mentioned that he is not speaking about “out-sourcing” or completely using open source. Use as many Interns as possible for your project. You can get excellent work done and also Interns gain a lot of experience.

7. Put everything on the Cloud

“If you come to me with a Business Plan and have a 6 digit figure for software and infrastructure before evaluating your business plan, there are 99% chances that I will not fund”. Cloud computing helps in many ways by helping you to put your infrastructure requirements at a low and use the many tools available. Use Cloud’s as much as you can.

8. SHIP then TEST

“Don’t ship crappy code, but when your development is controlled, ship the software and then TEST it”. In this way, you can also have your customer beta test it. Reduces your headcount and helps you build stable software.

9. FORGET Venture Capital

If you going to a VC with a PowerPoint presentation without evaluating your idea in the market using any of the above tools, forget funding. VC’s do admit that they are looking for ideas which have been tested. Also, if you use the tools above, chances are that you will never go to a VC, instead, will make money yourself.

10. Niche Thyself

And there was a bonus

11. Don’t Let the Bozos Grind you Down

There is an opportunity everywhere, do not let someone’s thoughts grind you down.

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