5 Things A Software Startup Firm Must Not Forget

This is a back post from my contribution to the VoiCE blog. Find the original article here.

India is a land of opportunities these days. The last decade saw lot of new technology companies letting their baby cry out and then biting dust as well. Delving deep inside the ones who failed and the ones whose success sky rocketed, we come to know why some were successful while most of them bit the dust. Here are the following simple steps a new company must never forget before getting into business-

1. Plan for the future– Most companies, whether service providers or product developers try to emulate what is already there in the market. While it might earn you business immediately, you need to keep yourself abreast of what the future of your product/service is going to be. New technology becomes obsolete even before it reaches the masses in the corners of the world. Plan for future. Your services might be a hit today. But they will soon be useless if you dont improve upon them.

2. Handle your product life cycle well– Every product has a life cycle. It starts slow. With good marketing, it picks up and the consumption of your product/service increases. If you meet the expectations of the users, the value continues to grow till a time it reaches the maturity. Lot of companies fail to understand the maturity phase and when the product starts its decline. They keep on milking the cow when they should have been raising another calf. As a result, just version control doesn’t help and the product falls steeply in the gorge.

3. Standardize– Indians have a habit of customizing every thing. It leads to many bad things such as slow delivery process, difficulty in getting the right expertise, too many different versions and hampers the brand name of the service/product. Instead, your focus should be on standardization. It is good to give options to the customers. But even the options must have standard configurations and most desired features. Apply the pareto’s rule. 80% of the users are going to be satisfied by 20% of your features. So you have room to experiment with the rest.

4. Collaborate– No company achieved every thing on his own. To ensure better performance and usability of your product/service, complement it with matching products/services from other companies. Make sure it adds value. It will also help you sustain better in case of slow down or product failures.

5. Technology and People– Please note that better technology and better people are the only two things that contribute to the success of any IT firm. Respect your people and update them as well as yourself with the latest trends and game changing innovations. There will be people with brilliant ideas and very bad executions. Boeing learnt from Douglas’s mistake and went on to become the largest aircraft company in the world. Remember!

Hope this was useful.

Do Something

Manmohan spent all ears to one more instruction…

A traffic cop spent eating another 50 bucks…

Mamta Banerjee spent cribbing the left…

Ekta spent thinking of yet another stupid serial…

Rakhi spent fake blushing for the nth time…

Kaustubh spent pointing out yet another stupidity…

Dhoni spent endorsing one more brand…

Patty spent taking one more stupid quiz on Face book…

Pallavi spent framing one more client…

… and I spent typing this post.

So how have you spent your last 5 minutes? Do some thing worth while today. Its good!

What The @#%*

  • People go to restaurants, read the entire 4-5 pager menu only to order a Masala Dosa or a Pav bhaji. What the …
  • People blow their horns when the traffic signal clearly shows RED. What the…
  • People take unnecessary print outs and support the ‘save trees’ campaign at the same time. What the…
  • People curse India for the predominant corruption and still bribe the traffic cop on their way home. What the…
  • People talk loudly on the speaker phone in the small cubicles of the office. What the…
  • People watch Ekta Kapoor’s daily soaps. What the…
  • People want revolutionary changes in the Indian Political system and yet elect Congress time and again. What the…
  • People dont speak up when they love some one. What the…

Addendum: I was a part of the lunch hour conversation today at my office. Couple of intelligent and senior guys were arguing and we other were supporting different factions. The debate started from Budget 2009 and came down to why India is still a developing nation and why Mumbai cant be a Shanghai, Singapore or Manhattan. People kept blaming the government, the municipal corporation and ‘other’ people. No body won the debate. After lunch accompanied the guy I supported for a stroll down stairs while he smoked. When he was puffed enough, he pulled a sachet of a ‘Pan Masala’ ate all of it and coolly threw the empty sachet on the road. Couple of minutes later he spat on the same road. When I reminded him of the debate, he frowned.

We talk about becoming a super power nation and want some one else to be accountable for it. What the @#%*

Whats in the name?

A friend of mine wrote in her blog post about some politician (or some biggie) proposing to change the name of Delhi to Dilli. I dont know why it is required because phonetically it sounds similar. Yet Calcutta has been renamed as Kolkata, Bombay was renamed Mumbai, Bangalore was renamed Bengaluru, Madras was renamed Chennai and so on.

Nice! You (if you are the one who proposed or effected) have the purpose to call Indian cities with Indian names. Then why is India still India? Why not Bharat or Hindustaan?

Whats in the name after all 🙂

Reality Shows?

I remember reading a post on my good friend Kaustubh‘s blog few weeks back. He wrote a post condemning the reality shows, especially the ones involving children. He specifically mentioned Chhote Miyan, a show for stand up child comedians. On any day, I would have argued with him and asked him to stop being a moral police. But yesterday I happened to have a glimpse at it and reluctantly agreed to what he said. I’d certainly not expect my children to grow up watching their fellows cracking double meaning jokes on actresses and actors. I seriously felt sick after hearing a 9yr old kid cracking a joke that indirectly referred to sex toys. Even worse, he was being applauded for his performance.

May be I’m being sort of a moral police here. But we have to admit that there has to be a line drawn between good performances and cheap performances. There are host of other shows featuring youngsters grooving on sleazy numbers. It is alright to show we are an open culture now. But what the television guys (including the news guys) dont understand is that the shows are aired through out the country without much censorship applied on the user level. You never know what you are trying to show and what the youngsters perceive.

I was never a fan of reality shows myself. I did follow the likes of Sa Re Ga Ma, Boogie Woogie, KBC and Indian Idol’s part I in the initial days. But thats it. They never really managed to attract me. At least earlier the shows were and looked real. These days they are highly dramatized. The feud between the judges, the contestants, the parents and what not. It feels like the television soaps are more ‘real’ than the reality shows.

Given a chance I might probably want to ban all of them.  🙂