Working on a Start Up
Three Sides of the Triangle: Employee, Investor, Founder
Aakrit Vaish
Co-Founder & CEO, Haptik
aakri...
Who am I?
• Born, raised in Mumbai
• Moved to USA in 2004 for undergrad engineering @ UIUC
• First job out of college with...
Today
3 distinct roles at a start up and story of each side
Founder
Why?
Founder
To help better understand the dynamics of a start up
Why me?
Founder
Fortunate to have experienced all 3 sides
Some Definitions for Today*
• Start Up
Any tech company in business for <3 years, with <Rs. 10 Cr funding or <Rs. 5 Cr ann...
Employee
Least risk, least reward
Employee
But a lot of work
Employee
You work at least 50% more than a regular job
Employee
But get paid at least 20% lesser
Employee
What about stock ownership?
Unless it’s a Google or Facebook, does not mean much
Employee
So then why do it?
•Want to make a bigger impact
•Believe in the business idea
•Most important: to learn
Employee
So then why do it?
“My 3 years at a startup going from 20 people/$0
revenue to 150 people/$70m was an MBA+Phd+MS”
Employee
Do NOT do it because
•Want to make money
•Don’t like working for a “big” company
•Think you may have room for err...
Investor
High Risk, High Reward
Investor
Primary Prerequisite: Have the Money
Investor
Secondary: Can add some Value
Investor
Seems like not much work
But can be stressful, especially if company is not doing well
Investor
Hardest part is to stay out of the way of
the Founders
Investor
Why do it?
•See the potential for a successful return
•Believe in the founders
•Want to make a bigger impact
Investor
Why NOT do it?
•Because its “cool”
•To become popular and command respect
•Want to give back to society or as a “...
Founder
Highest Risk, Highest Reward
Founder
Most amount of work
Founder
Most fun type of work
But highest amount of uncertainty
Founder
You start out not at 0, but negative
Founder
You are always selling yourself
Founder
You don’t work for yourself, but for
everybody else
Customers, Employees, Investors
Founder
Hardest part is to stay motivated
At some point you will ask yourself, “Why am I
doing this?”
Founder
Things that have worked for me
•A great team to work with
•Limited focus, getting one thing at a time right
•Celeb...
Founder
Mistakes I have made
• Think I am special and standard rules don’t apply
• Tried to build an overnight success
• S...
Founder
Why do it?
• When you have an idea you can’t stop thinking about
• Have a validated business model
• Prepared to s...
Founder
Why NOT do it?
•To get rich
•To work for yourself
•Because you have a great idea
Thank You!
Three Sides of the Triangle: Employee, Investor, Founder
Aakrit Vaish
Co-Founder & CEO, Haptik
aakrit@haptik.co...
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Working on a Startup, Session at Techmeet Mumbai, 22nd March 2014

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Three sides of the Triangle: Varying perspectives of working on a startup from an employee, investor, and founder.

Opening session at Techmeet Mumbai, 22nd March 2014. Audience was a mix of students, tech enthusiasts, and young entrepreneurs. Goal of this discussion was to give a better understanding of the dynamics of a startup, based on personal experiences in the different roles.

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Working on a Startup, Session at Techmeet Mumbai, 22nd March 2014

  1. Working on a Start Up Three Sides of the Triangle: Employee, Investor, Founder Aakrit Vaish Co-Founder & CEO, Haptik aakrit@haptik.co Techmeet, 22nd March, 2014
  2. Who am I? • Born, raised in Mumbai • Moved to USA in 2004 for undergrad engineering @ UIUC • First job out of college with Deloitte Consulting in San Francisco • Hated it, loved the idea of starting up • Joined a startup Flurry in 2010 to lead biz ops, #20 overall hire • Moved back to Mumbai in 2011 to start and run Flurry India • Started investing in Indian startups, have made 6 total investments • Quit Flurry in 2013 to start Haptik, and co-founded Flat.to
  3. Today 3 distinct roles at a start up and story of each side Founder
  4. Why? Founder To help better understand the dynamics of a start up
  5. Why me? Founder Fortunate to have experienced all 3 sides
  6. Some Definitions for Today* • Start Up Any tech company in business for <3 years, with <Rs. 10 Cr funding or <Rs. 5 Cr annual revenue • Employee Amongst the first 25 people to work for the company • Investor An individual who has given any amount of money in exchange for equity • Founder Originator of the idea, there since inception of the business Only for companies started in India *only for referencing this discussion, these terms could mean different in other situations
  7. Employee Least risk, least reward
  8. Employee But a lot of work
  9. Employee You work at least 50% more than a regular job
  10. Employee But get paid at least 20% lesser
  11. Employee What about stock ownership? Unless it’s a Google or Facebook, does not mean much
  12. Employee So then why do it? •Want to make a bigger impact •Believe in the business idea •Most important: to learn
  13. Employee So then why do it? “My 3 years at a startup going from 20 people/$0 revenue to 150 people/$70m was an MBA+Phd+MS”
  14. Employee Do NOT do it because •Want to make money •Don’t like working for a “big” company •Think you may have room for error
  15. Investor High Risk, High Reward
  16. Investor Primary Prerequisite: Have the Money
  17. Investor Secondary: Can add some Value
  18. Investor Seems like not much work But can be stressful, especially if company is not doing well
  19. Investor Hardest part is to stay out of the way of the Founders
  20. Investor Why do it? •See the potential for a successful return •Believe in the founders •Want to make a bigger impact
  21. Investor Why NOT do it? •Because its “cool” •To become popular and command respect •Want to give back to society or as a “hobby”
  22. Founder Highest Risk, Highest Reward
  23. Founder Most amount of work
  24. Founder Most fun type of work But highest amount of uncertainty
  25. Founder You start out not at 0, but negative
  26. Founder You are always selling yourself
  27. Founder You don’t work for yourself, but for everybody else Customers, Employees, Investors
  28. Founder Hardest part is to stay motivated At some point you will ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”
  29. Founder Things that have worked for me •A great team to work with •Limited focus, getting one thing at a time right •Celebrating small wins
  30. Founder Mistakes I have made • Think I am special and standard rules don’t apply • Tried to build an overnight success • Scaled too fast
  31. Founder Why do it? • When you have an idea you can’t stop thinking about • Have a validated business model • Prepared to spend at least next 5-7 years working on it
  32. Founder Why NOT do it? •To get rich •To work for yourself •Because you have a great idea
  33. Thank You! Three Sides of the Triangle: Employee, Investor, Founder Aakrit Vaish Co-Founder & CEO, Haptik aakrit@haptik.co www.haptik.co Techmeet, 22nd March, 2014

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