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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Start of a Startup - How to focus and move ahead in the early days

I have a new passion called Moomli (http://www.moomli.com) meaning "My Only One Moment to Liberate India". Its a social enterpreneurship venture to help grassroot charities in India.

Moomli (http://www.moomli.com/) helps Indians abroad send charity greeting cards to their family in India and gives the proceeds to the charities. The cards are all real cards with a real story behind it.

Today I want to share a dilemma every enterpreneur faces everytime with a new startup.

It is "Where to start and what to focus on?".

The beauty of a startup is that you can run very very fast and work beyond your known limits and its so much fun. I have written many times about Team Building . So, assuming you have a great team, there are going to be lots of ideas, real good ones.

So, every startup team faces this sooner or later - what to focus on.

I believe, the same idea given to different teams with the same initial resources can lead to totally different companies because its the team that executes that is going to run faster and set directions based on the team culture.

So, it would be a good idea early on to start a process by which you decide to focus your energies collectively. It could be a discussion forum or friday get togethers whatever works for your team.

During my startup, Coola, thanks to the advice of Piyush Patel, I had a working plan with some target dates even before I raised venture capital. We kept updating this and it gave us a sense of accomlishment as we reached some goals, made us look back laugh at our own naiveté for some others. We updated them as we had major direction changes. I also got a similar plan from my different teams - CTO, Marketing, Sales etc as we grew, and this helped sync up their efforts towards a common goal.

Please note, this does not have to be a beauracratic process, but putting a plan in writing helps.

The problem is in the very early days when team boundaries are not set and everyone is full of ideas. I could't find any other way around this, you the founder have to be the bad cop and hear it out and make decisions so that in the short term you can go after the low hanging fruits and have some synergy towards where the company is headed long term.

3 comments:

Sam said...

Hi Sudha,
Happened to come across your views on 'Starting' a venture. Interesting ...

Wats the name of your company? Could i get a website or something to have a look.

Would love to talk to you more about your venture.

please visit my blog - http://sam-a.blogspot.com else mail me at sam@ccbsol.com

Thanks for your time,
Best regards,
Sameer

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