Don’t Fight Time

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As one that is slowly wetting my feet in the investment community here in India, I do get my chances to come across aspiring entrepeneurs wanting to talk about the ideas and how to take it further. I think its worth mentioning, and even writing about … it is not a good idea to fight time. You simply never win.

Entrepreneurs believe in a dream that only exists in their head. Thats true with me atleast and a few other entrepreneurs, and very successful ones. I believe then that it must be true. With this alternate reality in mind, a lot of us also sometimes lose focus of what is important and tend to exaggerate and lose the grip of reality as it is… time either moves too fast, or too slow for us, and we are certainly in a world of our own.

Let me lose the cryptic phrases and speak in english.

If you tell me that unless you get funded next month and start work the very next minute, you can’t get into the market and “tap” into this opportunity, I’d say forget it. It is one thing to say that there is a window of opportunity, and yet another to say that it is a small window, and even more foolish to say that we are going to race and win the attempt to get there in time.

If you know anything about development, bootstrapping, and organizing a team, the law is that, “Nothing goes as per plan”. everything that can go wrong, WILL go wrong.

Afterall, as an investor, why should anyone be interested in your venture, if the window of opportunity is such a small one, which also makes a dent on the valuation of your solution?

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Mobical: a service, when in need.

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Mobical Logo

Anyone who has a mobile phone has plenty of contacts and other crucial information that justs eventually gets loaded onto it. What if we lose it, or even worse – the phone stops working? Well, life kinda heads for a interesting spin of events after that usually.

My phone recently started giving a couple of problems, and after checking with everyone, the simplest way to fix it was to reset the phone. There was but one glitch to it all. I had a ton of contacts, reminders, tasks and notes on the phone that i couldn’t quite easily backup. The “problem” that i mentioned of, was partly an issue with the USB connectivity that was standing like a troll on the bridge, in all my efforts to connect it to the laptop and sync it.

Then came mobical. I signed up, connected on GPRS, setup the account on my mobile phone, and clicked “sync” and in a minute or so, all was done.

Fabulous service. and oh! its free.

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move! Ah! the Update

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So what’s going on with, you ask? Well, I am glad you did. Meet

Thats definitely not the british council, And definitely not a casual coffee day meet. That’s some of the core team members cracking for the event that is coming up in July. And that is me there, deep in thought taking in the suggestions and thinking out for all the different categories of people who will be attending the event and making sure that the decisions we make ensures to be beneficial to all, with the startup and the entrepreneur first. Yep, I’ll be going bald very soon at this rate, but let me not spell out my own fate, yet 🙂

I haven’t written about Proto in this blog for sometime now, partly because I have been sending updates on the mailing list, and it seems like a double post writing here as well as on the mailing list.

Well, to give you a brief:
The response from the VC Community has been phenomenal.

There are plenty of good news, which has resulted directly because of Proto for most of the participated companies

We are looking at a wider span, and looking at companies from across Asia for the upcoming event (to be in Chennai on July 21st and 22nd)

These are the key folks that we are looking to bring in: VCs, Seasoned Technologists, Entrepreneurs, Business Analysts, Industrialists, Veteran Entrepreneurs, Bloggers, Journalists and Professionals.

The Event is supported by IAMAI, TeNeT, and am also in talks with TiE which will conclude this coming week.

The Nominations should open by the beginning of this week. The website is being given a new look, so there will be an interim page which will allow for submitting nominations, taking a look at the updates and progress of VCs, Sponsors and Supporting Organizations, while the full-fledged site comes up.

Do stay in touch.

The Characters on the frame are, Kaushik, Narain, Myself, Moyeen, Aswin, Sidd, Varun, and Kiruba who is framing us all into his lens.

Credits: To Kiruba for the snap

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Incentivizing Communities

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Youtube was sold at a staggering price of $1.65billion. Skype was sold at a price of $4.1billion. These two are just the highlights of some of the deals that have been happening lately. What’s the underlying value and commonality between these two? It’s the community.

According to Metcalfe’s law, the value of a connected network is proportionate to the number of users that the community has. I am not sure the law has seen such wide citations and acknowledgement till the web2.0 frenzy kicked in.

So, the basic question comes down to this: What really is the value that Youtube has. Is the delivery channel anything phenomenal? Well, as much they did come up with very interesting ways for people to incorporate and flaunt on people’s own creativity, the delivery channel was something that was imitated quite quickly, and almost in real-time by every other player. So technically speaking, the value of the network was solely because of the users who contributed towards the system in the first place. If that is the case, then what did the users get out of it? That’s the question thats been going around, atleast in little circles lately.

There are a gazillion social networking sites out there, and all of them are heavily dependent on the valuation of their customer base. How can you attract more users, and moreso, active ones.

The answer they say, in some circles, is to incentive community involvement. Be a part of this community and actively contribute. When we get acquired or sold out, you get a chunk proportionate to your involvement in the community. How does that sound? Very interesting… and something to watch out as it gets played out, I’d say!

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