Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Right Solution Test

You know your on the right track when customers (with very little effort) totally get how your product solves their problems and take ownership of the process of moving to your solutions, regardless of the obstacles they need to overcome along the way.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The most important reason to do your own startup

I'll write a detailed post soon about all aspects that I considered while deciding to do my own startup, but for now, I want to talk about the most important reason of them all: Personal Growth.

For the first time in a long time, I have the feeling that I am fulfilling my potential and it is amazing the growth I have seen in myself in these past few months.

Putting yourself outside your comfort zone, sharply brings into focus your values and forces you to think hard about them and make some tough choices. You will be pleasantly surprised to find yourself doing things you never thought you could. And there will be times when you will be upset at yourself for doing things you believed you never should. But in the process, you will learn a lot about yourself.

In the end, with all the uncertainties, if nothing else, I know at least one thing for sure: I will be a better person than I started out and that is worth more than anything else you might think is important.

Are you doing a startup? Why are you doing it? Are you on the fence? What is keeping you from starting up? I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Business Guy

Update: For various reasons, we paused AceSeller and are not working on it currently.

Given the fact that ecommerce is just taking off in India and we did not have enough market knowledge, it was very clear from the beginning that considerable effort would have to be put into doing Customer Development, Vendor Partnerships, Sales and Marketing (the business side of the startup) for AceSeller.

And then there were three
A recent chance meet over coffee with Rakesh, who recently quit his job at Directi to pursue his own startup; heard about what we were working on and was interested in collaborating with us given his background working with large high-volume ecommerce websites (most recently at Cleartrip).

Doing what it takes
At this point I already had a scrappy prototype of AceSeller ready in PHP, but it was time to take a call. Now that we had Rakesh on board, who could take care of the tech, I could choose to stop focusing on developing the software and instead focus on the business side of things.

It was a tough choice to make, but in the end if you really want to make your startup work, you have to do what it takes. In our case it was clear that someone had to take care of the businessy stuff and that someone turned out to be me. 

And that's how I became the business guy at AceSeller.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Stumbling upon a problem

Update: For various reasons, we paused AceSeller and are not working on it currently.

While researching a startup idea of selling quality limited edition t-shirts online, I realized that selling online in India was not easy nor cheap and there weren't any options targeted specifically towards the Indian market and solving its problems.

Around the same time I also happened to meet a lot of fashion designers and artists (thanks to my wife) that were trying to connect with their customers online (blog, Twitter, Facebook) and over and over again I stumbled upon online conversations where their customers would ask how they could buy their products online and saw them being sent an email address instead!

It looked like I had stumbled upon an interesting problem to solve with a sizable market and it was time to validate it.


Meanwhile, Jinesh was also looking at selling t-shirts online at around the same time and had experienced firsthand the obstacles to setting up an online store in India. We got talking and he was soon on board taking care of design.

And that's how the startup journey of AceSeller began...