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  • Deepak Dhanotiya

Start-ups: Let’s dare to dream followed by dare to fail. But what are quick litmus tests?

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

Indian Startup ecosystem is facing step two of entrepreneurship journey. After long time first generation entrepreneurs are daring to do but are they daring to fail positively?

Good news is youngster are daring to do , daring to fight but we have to accept the fact that "more you fight more you fail".  

Failure should be avoided by all but if once failed it should be accepted positively by individual and society at large. I would like to mention two fundamental thoughts on journey of entrepreneurship /journey of failure. They can literally help entrepreneur to avoid or accept failures while keeping their calm.

There are always filters: Check four basic filters…Customer/Supplier(Feedback/Traction)Team (Find believers…dreamers)Technology/Processes( Tech feasibility)Investors (Commercial feasibility- Returns failed)

If you have traction—Keep calm ,Develop technology if you have technology keep calm, find investors. Don’t worry much about competition, India adopts slowly no one conquered India overnight, From Mughals to British to BJP.

But if something fails in this tests it's not a problem it is just passing basic tests before you roll-out. Hence before you roll-out test them in detail.

2. What failed: Idea or you?

A). Idea—No problem….move on . Success and failure are not opposite to each other, they complement each other. There is hardly any success story without stints of failure.

 But test what is level of failure for Idea. Pass the below test…

-What’s needed: It’s very critical, understand the problem/opportunity. Sometime customer may not be able to answer till he live the product or service so feel the pain if it’s there. Sometime it’s tough to do market survey.  Products like Facebook  or Instagram can fail in market survey. Please don’t copy-cat some idea. If it's working somewhere may really not needed at all in India.

- What’s possible: It’s more about testing technology and process part. Everyone would love to have 3D replica of himself or a robot replica but check whether technology or processes can support the need or not , don’t worry about money at this stage, just ensure it’s practically doable, test and retest with several pilots.

- What’s profitable : Here come your excel sheets , ROI’s , Cash -flow statements, Salaries, Rents, Gross margins, EBITDA. Google them…find templates- fill them…find CA’s-validate them or simply putting- go to your father and talk to him (In India they can help you more clearly at least in this test).

B). You—Learn , rework …get mentored …move on

Check whether you are a: creative, Innovative or really an entrepreneur.

Some of you might be creative minds jumbling over hundreds of ideas everyday in your college or in your job. Your colleagues might be suggesting you must start your own company. I will say…keep calm. You might be a creative-mind but it has nothing to do with entrepreneurship better join some R&D team or consulting firm. Being Einstein and being Steve Jobs are two different phenomena, don’t be confused.

At the end of the day...key question should be : Are you willing to fight? Followed by…. are you willing to fail positively?

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