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A Practical Guide to Entrepreneurship

Source | LinkedIn : By Rakesh Aaroraa

I have been involved in a few startups. These involved startups both in the U.S. (mostly silicon valley) and India. A few turned out to be successes and others failures. Being inclined to analytical decision making, I have taken time to sit down in each case and come to some general conclusions as a result of deductions at the time of leaving each company (you could call this my predictive assessment) and subsequent analysis through following each company over the years. On a more personal level, having entrepreneurship in my blood means that I do have a restless nature and I do start looking for the next challenge when things become stagnant.

I could write a whole book here on my experiences and studies. But I think it would be best to share the top 5 issues that most entrepreneurs need to think about and constantly assess to keep their business on track.

  1. Decide what type of startup you want to be:  Early on you need to decide which two of the three important constraints (time, quality and cost) you want to control for your product(s). If you want to be first to market (i.e. time bound) and want high quality also, then you need to realize that you will not have tight control over the cost. This is obvious since quality control is a highly iterative process which needs to be carried out for many cases, and the cost of correcting a quality failure increases astronomically as one gets closer to launch, whether it be software (i.e. bugs) or hardware (meaning performance failure). My experience has been that Microsoft is a time and cost company, while Apple is a quality and cost company. This is why Apple keeps a wrap on a new product, so that it can let it mature enough internally, before bringing it to market. A notable exception would be it’s first release of maps. Both companies have been very successful in what they do, i.e. there is no reason to state one approach is better than the other.
  2. Trust the reasons you hired a person: I personally have a very thorough hiring process. Its something I picked up from my days of interviewing candidates when I was working for companies. Startups thrive only when they are an innovation hub. After all, the market space consists of other more established companies one has as competition. To create an environment of innovation, one has to delegate responsibility and give considerable room for movement. This only works if the concerned person is highly responsible and highly self-driven. My approach is to initially micromanage a new hire, to give them an idea of my minimum expectations and at the same time get an idea of their work behavior. And then set them free.

Read On…

 

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