Generating Ideas - First Step To Be An Entrepreneur


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This is a presentation I gave at IT Expo 2010, Pune. I talk about starting-up & entrepreneurship in general. I also mentioned what can be done for generating ideas while starting-up.

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Generating Ideas - First Step To Be An Entrepreneur

  1. 1. Generating Ideas – The first step to be an entrepreneurKalpak
  2. 2. About Me• Kalpak Shah • Founder & CEO, Clogeny Technologies • Passionate about economics and technology evolving through cloud computing • Leading innovation on exciting projects across the cloud computing stack • Prior experience at Sun Microsystems & Symantec working on storage products @
  3. 3. Idea? Entrepreneurship?• Idea • Abstract thought or developed concept • Need not always lead to intellectual property• Entrepreneurship • Wikipedia says “one who undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods“ • I disagree – For me “Entrepreneurship is creating value for yourself and the ecosystem around you” • Its not rocket-science…
  4. 4. Hello World• All of us write the “Hello World” program while starting to learna programming language• Does that mean we have learned 50% of the language?• Similarly “idea” is the seed for entrepreneurship• A viable business cannot be built only with an idea• But idea is the inspiration for the perspiration!• Sets the ball rolling…
  5. 5. Where to start? • Entrepreneurial journeys often start with a strong desire to “do something” • It can be quite confusing at the very beginning • Keep the desire burning! • Wish this helped !
  6. 6. Launchpad• College education can be an ideal launch-pad to earlyentrepreneurship • Small projects • Internships • Leadership in events• Free uninhibited mind open for innovation• Strong analytical culture & fundamentals
  7. 7. Generating Ideas - 1• Be good at what you do or what you want to do • Knowledge in core & allied domains • Contacts and well-wishers in relevant domains • Think out-of-the-box• Read relevant publications, blogs, newsletters, authors • Document useful information• Be tech-savvy in everyday life • World is changing fast – opportunities can fly by • Subscribe for TechCrunch, GigaOM, IEEE
  8. 8. Generating Ideas - 2 •Talk to your peers and attend community events •MCCIA, CSI, PuneTech, Startup Saturday, PLUG, etc •Get inspiration from problems you are facing in your workplace • Ex: Collaboration tool that you are using is too complicated • Ex: Your customer is paying $1000 for something that you believe can be sold for $100 if done the right way
  9. 9. Generating Ideas - 3• Subscribe to relevant Twitter, LinkedIn groups• Do exhaustive research •Use tools like MindMapping, RSS, bookmarks, stored searches, etc to track your research• Start moon-lighting – nothing lost & you will continue only ifyou are having fun• Franchising can be a good option!• Team up with a person who augments your thinking • Business / Technical • Logistics / Managerial
  10. 10. Generating Ideas - 4• Innovation can be in several factors: • Intellectual property • Delivery • Pricing • Content • Performance • Niche target customer • Packaging• Ideas are all around us!
  11. 11. Exciting domains today• Convergence of cloud computing, mobile, touch, 3D, dataexplosion, analytics• Consumerism is just picking up in India – concept stores, e-commerce picking up• Service industry is growing at rapid rate – massiveopportunities in multiple domains
  12. 12. Cheaper & Easier to start-up today • Platform development – ecosystem & business channels are pre-created • Google Apps • SalesForce • iPhone / iPad • Android • Amazon AWS • Innovative & creative minds can start off quickly
  13. 13. Documenting an Idea• Problem Definition in 1 line• What problems are you trying to solve?• How do you plan to solve the problem?• Ecosystem or component diagram• Who is your target customer?• Revenue/Investment flow in the eco-system• What are you NOT trying to solve?• RisksDocumenting an idea can be illuminating!
  14. 14. Is idea really a start to entrepreneurship?• No!• You have only started when you _actually_ start• Simple ideas when implemented differently can lead toscalable & sustainable businesses • Ex: 37Signals, recruiting, logistics• Implementation matters!• Do not be afraid of rejection – some ideas fail • Fail often, fail fast!
  15. 15. Business Plan• Next step in vetting the idea. Includes: • Product positioning • Marketing & Sales plans • Revenue model • Revenue projections • Mitigation of risks• Create a presentation along with the document • You need to communicate your idea effectively• This is for yourself – can be used for pitching as well• Play devil’s advocate while writing the business plan
  16. 16. Prototyping• Great way to develop & test your idea• Unleashes your creativity• Build a proof of concept• Get early feedback from friends and peers• Helps to provide validation or pierce holes in the ideas• Puts abstract ideas to test against the real world scenarios• Early feedback always helps!• Few iterations can put you on the correct path• Often leads to new ideas!
  17. 17. Productization• Get feedback on the prototype from trusted peers• Get some advisors on board • Experience, contacts, advice is invaluable• Talk to potential customers • Get the customer feedback loop going very early in the product lifecycle• Try to get an early beta customer who is ready to try-out yourproduct/service
  18. 18. Business Ecosystem• If you can generate value, people will come forward as partners,customers or advisors• Value needs to be communicated well• Various types of capital is available: • Friends & family • Bootstrapping • Government backed funding for some specific areas • Independent angel investors • Angel investor groups – Mumbai Angels, IAN • Venture capital • Business loans
  19. 19. Ideation @ Clogeny• “Pro-Dev” team focused on product development expertise • We want to be experts at developing solid turn-key products • Not just skills – its also about mind-set• Ideation contest • Currently running a iPad application contest within the company• Help people channelize their creativity & innovation
  20. 20. Questions?