A Theory of Successful Startups: Ten Principles of Sustainable Success

Entrepreneurial ventures have been the core of new business generation, and the most visible form of not only self-employment but also generating employment for scores of people. However, over the last few years, the word startup has been in increasing circulation in business and social media. The last decade and this decade clearly belong to startup as the more profound form of entrepreneurship. Strictly from a dictionary point of view, a startup company or a startup is an entrepreneurial venture or a new business in the form of a company, partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a scalable and repeatable business model. This definition hardly provides a distinctive or differentiating colour to startups. A more practical and true-to-the-ground definition of startup provides a different and relevant perspective.

From a real life point of view, a startup is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed. This is the fundamental characteristic of a startup, as differentiated from any other venture that may be established by normal entrepreneurs or existing companies. An example or two would make the concept clear. The concept of exclusive retirement homes for senior citizens, usually located in outer suburbs as gated communities, is gaining ground. An entrepreneur may set up such a project in a new city or in the same city in a different format. A startup, however, would try to find a way in which such senior citizen services could be offered in the current mixed neighbourhoods, without moving senior citizens out of their current homes. The former, while it has its entrepreneurial risk, largely works on a proven business model. The latter, a true startup, seeks to create a new business model out of the idea of serving senior citizens creatively.

For more...http://cbrao2008.blogspot.in/2016/05/a-theory-of-successful-startups-ten.html

Theme, Thread or Passion: What drives Successful Startup Companies?

Startups are usually based on matrixes of certain core themes. Uber was started on a matrix of cabs and aggregation, Paperboat on a matrix of contemporary packaging and traditional Indian beverages, Lunch Box on a matrix of nutrition and delivery, TravelTriangle on a matrix of value addition and customization, Knowlarity on a matrix of voice application and cloud hosting, Bluegape on a matrix of customer idea and digital printing, Reportbee on a matrix of data analytics and performance mentoring, Grey Orange on a matrix of robotics and warehousing, Paytm on a matrix of customer loyalty and monetization, Zomato on a matrix of search and review, and so on. There are two aspects, however, that power almost all modern startups: software and Internet. As with all industrial activity, one thematic start-up prompts several follow-ons.

Not all startups may have a unique thematic matrix but all do have a thematic matrix, for sure. Successful start-ups use thematic matrix to look at established products or services differently. Uber applied thematic matrix for something as simple as cab services while Knowlarity applied thematic matrix for modern information technology solutions. That's where startups score over classic entrepreneurial companies which typically look at product-market spaces. Startups do not look at available product-market space for entry; rather they look at redefining or recreating the space. The intersection of the two dimensions of the thematic matrix leads to redefinition as is the case with Paperboat or Lunch Box. Certain dimensions of thematic matrixes are more universally applicable than others; for example, aggregation and analytics. So is the power of Internet and software.

For more...http://cbrao2008.blogspot.in/2015/07/theme-thread-or-passion-what-drives.html

Enigma of Entrepreneurial Energy: Defying the Laws of Entropy?

Given my association at senior levels with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial organizations, I am often asked the question "who is an entrepreneur". Typically, my answer has been that an entrepreneur is one who creates something out of nothing. I however realize fully that such a simplistic definition hardly does justice to what makes an entrepreneur or what an entrepreneur makes for the society or economy. Clearly, an entrepreneur creates wealth with his products and/or services that are innovative, exciting, outstanding or novel, that are developed, manufactured or delivered with very lean start-up resources, amounting to nothing more than his or her ideas and some savings. It is this unique characteristic that positions entrepreneurs in a class of their own, relative to others.

Entrepreneurs have great expectations of themselves and their organizations. They expect their organizations to clone them in terms of passion and energy. In doing so, they ignore the differences between passion and energy on one hand, and themselves and their organizations on the other. Passion is akin to motivation while energy is very much the motive power. It is possible for individuals to be energetic but not necessarily passionate, and vice versa. Passion provides the aspiration but energy leads one to achievement. Bereft of passion, sheer energy can drive results provided the entrepreneur sets a goal model. In sum, the energy quotient of the entrepreneurial system rather than its passion equation drives the growth and sustainability of an entrepreneurial organization.

For more...http://cbrao2008.blogspot.in/2011/02/enigma-of-entrepreneurial-energy.html