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Designing Sustainable Startups
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Designing Sustainable Startups


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This is the presentation that I gave at Barcamp Delhi 4 on 17th May 2008.

This is the presentation that I gave at Barcamp Delhi 4 on 17th May 2008.

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance

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  • 1. Designing Responsible Startups Nirat Bhatnagar Co-Founder
  • 2. The Times…They Are A-Changin…
  • 3. These are really tough problems…
      • Dynamically complex
      • Generatively complex
      • Socially complex
    … and require nuanced solutions … But The Answer, I’m Afraid, Isnt Blowing In The Wind … Source: Solving Tough Problems, Adam Kahane
  • 4. Or that they are not our business. We cant pretend these problems don’t exist…
  • 5. Business Is Best Resourced To Provide Solutions Business Family Religion Government
  • 6. But … businesses can only be as healthy as the inner state of the founders… Most entrepreneurs Self Actualization Ego Social Security Physical
  • 7. … which isn’t all that great.
  • 8. It ranges from pure lunacy… Source: My Lobotomy, Piya Kochhar
  • 9. … to unadulterated greed…
  • 10. … to unlovely McFlips… I want to be eaten by Google Microsoft – have me for dinner What ??? No one wants to buy me ?
  • 11. … to the grey area of treadmill ambition. “Stuck on a monetary treadmill” “Addicted to running after more and more, and then more still, without ever stopping to ask why” “(I) will retire after he became “a real after-tax billionaire.” “I just want to have more money than Larry Ellison. I don’t know why. But once I have more money than Larry Ellison, I’ll be satisfied.” Source: The New New Thing, Michael Lewis; Built To Flip – Jim Collins
  • 12. Some “fundamental tenets” taught in b-school, enforced by the media and embraced by us … I’m a loser if I don’t appear on CNN. Quarterly Earnings Forecasts are sacrosanct. All is lost if Kleiner Perkins does not fund me. To grow, a social network must offer its services for free. Hook or crook, get the damn deal. I NEED to cash out with at least USD 5 million Startups don’t have the resources to be socially responsible. Obliterate your competition. Kill it. Hack it to death.
  • 13. … aren’t so fundamental after all … which means that we have the choice… Source: Electron: Wave Particle Duality
  • 14. … to pause and ask ourselves:
    • Why …. am I creating it ?
    • What …. am I creating ?
  • 15. … Is fear driving you ? Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to greed . Greed leads to unauthenticity. Inauthenticity leads to suffering . Water is going to run dry. I will be safe only if cocooned in a gated community. My life will come to nothing if I don’t become famous I’m scared of being poor. I want to have enough to retire 5 times over I’ve simply got to do something bigger than Ellison. Else nada. Source: Yoda, Jedi Master
  • 16. Once you face your beliefs… … and see their limitations …
  • 17. … you can start to design “good” businesses
    • Businesses that …
    • … Make value adding products / services that are not Chindogu
    • … For customers you really like and respect …
    • … Working with people you like …
    • … In a place that feels good …
    • … With ethics you can be proud of
    • And all the time contributing to the community you operate in.
    Business design as conscious decisions
  • 18. And that way … … neither you, nor your venture becomes a Frankenstein.
  • 19. Some businesses we admire (and a person)… Jeff Skoll
  • 20. Some Thoughts On The Next Steps...
    • NCR “Good Business Club”
    • “Geeks For Good” club
    • Enlisting in the “1 Percent Club”
    … Anyone Game ?
  • 21. Thanks  Nirat Bhatnagar [email_address] +91 98996.92572