Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneurship’

Is it possible to do a venture when you do not have money?

Monday, January 18th, 2010

… that was the question from a IXth grader after a talk I gave to the students of IX-XII grade at a recently held event called Disha 2010. The event is an initiative to apprise the students of the potential in alternate career streams. Engineer, MBA, MBBS, LLB are typically the first choice and “viable” (read, monetizable) options for a “normal” career.

After I did my sales pitch of becoming an entrepreneur (slides below); another student asked about finding the information related to venture funding, grants, incentives, seed capital! (Wow, I thought we already talk a lot!) So much so there is a chatter around all of these things, they are mostly targeted around the “grads” and above. We at Morpheus Venture Partners are thinking to do something about it (if you wanna join hands, drop me a note).

So what do you tell a 9th grader to do when he is eager to start and doesn’t have money? “Take the Plunge!”, I said.

Laptop to Loadbalancer: Is your LAMP hardware infrastructure growing like this?

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
Lamp Growth Plan

Lamp Growth Plan

The visual image conveys the thoughts. The data legends represent a hypothetical configuration using Webservers, Database Master and/or slave or DRBD, Memcached nodes, etc. The size of the circle represents the relative amount of money spent on monthly hardware lease.

How did your web presence grow?

Disclaimer: The above does not include security, disaster recovery, backup and other attachments which are a must.

A step by step guide to a Happy Holiday season

Saturday, December 26th, 2009
A step by step guide to a Happy Holiday season

A step by step guide to a Happy Holiday season!

Click here for High resolution 1024 x 768 image

Thank you Anish for the great design.

No remorse compensation: Bring friends to work with you, but don’t part as enemies

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Two people get together and start developing a product. You are one of the founders. Few more common friends join. Everybody starts working towards a goal. Six months out, the product is still taking shape; Few people who contributed move-on to other things. This is a usual startup story.

In the above scenario a formal agreement or a compensation is the last thing in everybody’s mind (or like-minded people) when people start working together.FriendsMoreover, working together for some time helps people gauge the ‘mutual fit’ before signing each other up for 4-5 years. It is quite possible that after sometime a few members of the team decide to mutually part way and move-on. The question pops — what/how much would be the compensation if things do not move forward into a formal agreement? How much should be the compensation for the person who has worked his ass off but now thinks that he needs to move on?

People leave because of several reasons; personal, financial, etc. 100% possible that they come back a year later when they have sorted things out.

You as a founder of the company need to worry about people joining your startup — at the same time you also need to think through of compensating people who came trusting you for shorter stints. You have to decide this upfront when the person starts working using a simple math.

No Remorse Compensation is a way of rewarding people (esp. friends) who plan to contribute in building your startup but may move on later to do something else. To keep things simple you agree on a compensation before writing things on stone say 6 months later. Here’s a simple math:

1. 2 people team, started, now looking for a seasoned techie to manage the codebase and developers while the two of you do sales/marketing/product as well.

2. The 2 founders decide that the techie would get 10% of the equity (and some salary, if any, but for now, none) — however, the techie says “lets work together before making a decision.” You don’t want to leave things hanging without making any decision on that. Assume that the techie would work 4 years (48 months). So the techie would “earn” 10% / 48 = 0.2% equity every month.

3. Most probably you are not paying any salary to him — so add 25% – 50% more equity. So the number becomes 0.3%. Assuming you have 1,000,000 shares outstanding, that becomes 3,000 shares every month.

4. The techie earns 3,000 per month until you come with a formal agreement which maybe in line with the 10% equity or maybe less. Make sure to arrive at a decision point in 3-6 months and convert this into a formal agreement.

5. If ok, you can sign a simple consulting agreement with the numbers mentioned.

The above idea is simple — You bring friends to work with you but don’t wanna part with them as enemies, if it did not work out. You may meet him again at beer in the evening!

Mine is a SaaS startup. We do…

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Scratch that. Delete that title.

Start with “Mine is a <insert product here like, finance, healthcare, etc> startup.” The only time you are a SaaS startup when you are solving a fundamental SaaS need like billing, metering, security, auditing, etc. It has become a fashion to use the latest technology to pitch your business and has been successful like, “We are <Java/Web2.0/SaaS/cloud/blah startup”.

Don’t move with fads.  India does not need fads.  India needs products.

The average consumer does not understand the technology stack. They need a solution. Whether the product uses cloud, SaaS, Java, Visual Basic — the consumer hardly cares. If it solves a need and must be on the internet then it does not matter whether it’s SaaS or BaaP or cloud.