Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Transition to Startup Life

I find more people dreaming to be enterpreneurs not taking the plunge as they are worried about the transition.

I had worked in large companies for 10 years before my first startup, Coola. I believe I was enterprenurial in my jobs as I worked to bring in web technology and created web organizations in companies I worked. Still it was a job with its own structure and it requires a different competency to evangelize and get buy-ins across different groups working with a team of corporate people hired into a company. I was worried if I could survive on my own as an enterprenuer.

I got a great advice from my best mentor when I was fretting about it, almost ready but not sure whether I could do it. He said "Take a week of vacation, pretend you are already on your own, get up in the morning and do what you would as an enteprenuer, see if you like it, otherwise, forget about it and get back to work in a week". I did just that.

I started planning for this week, began thinking about what I would do during the week and scheduled my time to attend some networking events (ok ok, I thought it was all about networking only and didn't know about the rest of execution), then I took the week off. By the end of the week, I had a taste for what life would be to be on my own.

During the course, I have learnt that you need discipline and planning to manage your time.

All this applies to the very early stages. Once you have your team in place and are building your startup, its a fast pace ride. To quote Jerry Kaplan from Startup "Its like a fast ride on a car down the hill without any brakes on your car".

Its funny, I have driven up I93 into Boston or 101 in CA, rushing to meeting investors and clients and always remember this quote, and can validate the feeling is true whether things are looking up or down.

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