Starting up, Part 1

Let’s Start something! The three words that are uttered so many times, oft in jest, in one’s life. The beginning of most start-ups. We decided to utter these words almost a year ago. Well, we followed up and began the journey in all earnest too!

It has been a few months since we incorporated ScoutMyTrip. But we started discovering more about the startup eco-system much before. While each day for us is a new battle, a new challenge, in hindsight we eventually do manage to cross them one at a time.

While I have seen the startup hustle it was another generation. The time now is way different, and calling oneself an entrepreneur is a fashion statement. We’ve met a fair share of people over the last many months. From investors to business leaders, who have been there, done that, to startup hustlers, entrepreneurs and the list goes on. It’s amazing to note the view points and the experience they bring to the table. And we continue doing so; it’s almost a process now.

One thing about meeting investors is – none will ever say it’s a bad idea. An entrepreneur will get to hear only the things he wants to. All good things – nice, furry, well packaged and mostly lies. So the meeting never gives you the real perspective on where you and your product stands. Very few investors told us that they are not interested. Just about everyone said they would be willing to invest in the future. So why does that not excite us? Because it’s a standard response to anyone; in the pursuit of being polite. It’s easier than saying no. So while the entrepreneurs are counting dollars in their heads which are not there, focus is lost from more pressing matters at hand.

We found it very useful to bounce off ideas with other business persons. I use the word business persons because they have built businesses ground up using the traditional principles. If you make X, save Y and re-invest Z. If Y and Z are positive, it’s a sustainable business. They trashed some of our business models, giving a thumbs up to some others. I wouldn’t call them naysayers; I’ll call them critics.

It takes me to the book, ‘Rules for revolutionaries’ by Guy Kawasaki. There is a lot he has written about naysayers. I agree with all of it, except the bit about ignoring them completely. It sounds like the ideal thing to do, but I would always listen to critique logically than dissing it completely.

So till then, keep hustling and don’t forget scouting!

Vineet

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