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Challenges In Having Co-Founders With The Same Skill Sets

Source | INC42 

This post features a bunch of learnings and fuck ups shared at the event by Raghav Verma, co-founder of the very popular and rapidly growing chai retail chain, Chaayos. Chaayos was founded in November 2012 and aims to put chai back where it should be, at the forefront of our beverage cravings!

Now let’s focus more on Raghav’s fuck ups before he started his ever so successful startup, Chaayos.

First Few Learnings

  • After graduating from IIT Delhi, he was a management consultant for a whole two years till he realised how not cut out for that he was and that becoming an entrepreneur was his true calling.
  • He then learnt that the success of a startup isn’t determined purely by the amount of funding they have raised.
  • He found it hilarious that the most frequently asked question was “Funding kaise milti hai?” When he’d try and talk about a product he’d be told “Woh sab chhodo, ye batao ki funding kaise milti hai?”

He and three other friends of his (who had also realised that they wanted to be entrepreneurs) spent months figuring out what to do and what sector to get into. They analysed all the trending startups and were very interested in the model and offerings Coursera offered.

The result of that was prepsquare.com, an online education platform that helped connect students who were preparing for competitive exams and help them with whatever kind of information they’d need. However, prepsquare.com turned out to be his first major fuck up.

Problems Faced

Well, it stemmed from the fact that all three co-founders had similar skill sets and the fourth was the CTO. The results:

  • Everyone had an opinion on everything. This usually isn’t a bad thing but if those opinions start prolonging decisions and get in the way of productivity, it can prove to be quite detrimental to your business.
  • It’s important for co-founders to have varied skill sets so that it’s easier to assign areas of ownership to each respective co-founder.
  • There will be many a time when you think your startup is going to be the next big thing. However, you need to realise that sometimes it’s all about timing. Your idea may be the next big thing but if you put it out ahead of its time, it will probably fall flat on its face.
  • The only way out is to stay informed and the best way to do this is by reading books, meeting people and learning from their experiences and also gathering learnings from other industry experts.
  • There’s no need to reinvent what’s already out there. Seldom does that ever end up working out.

Read On…

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