Talk at VIT: Unsexifying Entrepreneurship

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Spoke to a room packed with enthusiastic students about starting up, the usual buzz that surrounds this phenomenon and how reality is different - well, a bitch.

Spoke to a room packed with enthusiastic students about starting up, the usual buzz that surrounds this phenomenon and how reality is different - well, a bitch.

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Transcript

  • 1. Hello, VIT. It’s good to be here. Thanks for the invite.
  • 2. I’m Gokul. Time for a lil’ bit of bragging.
  • 3. From Neyveli, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • 4. Student of BITS, Pilani — Hyderabad.
  • 5. Founder of Likewyss.
  • 6. Coffee addict.
  • 7. Apple fanboy.
  • 8. Minimalist.
  • 9. Why am I here? And, why I’m gonna take about 45 minutes of your time.
  • 10. Three Thoughts No, no, I’m not copying Steve Jobs’ Stanford address style. ! Who am I kidding? Of course, I am.
  • 11. Cutting the Crap About taking the leap, starting up and the CEO life.
  • 12. Over-romanticized This whole startup thingy.
  • 13. To B-School or not to B-school The million buck question.
  • 14. Trending = Cool. Damn you, Twitter.
  • 15. Happens like in The Social Network Or any other Aaron Sorkin movie for that sake.
  • 16. I need $500K for building a prototype. Are you building a Nest thermostat? Or Google Glass?
  • 17. I’m CEO, bitch. You’re not CEO. You’re a founder. A plumber. An electrician. A salesman. A designer. A developer. Do all this right, and maybe … one day you’ll be CEO.
  • 18. I’ve a $1B idea. I’m Zuck. Load of bull. Billion dollar ideas don’t exist. Billion dollar companies do.
  • 19. You thief, sign an NDA. Nobody is gonna steal your idea. Chill.
  • 20. At Ground Zero My journey with Likewyss
  • 21. March 2011 Idea conceived. How?
  • 22. March 2011 — May 2012 A wasted year. Or maybe, not so much.
  • 23. May 2012 — June 2012 We say we wrote code. Most of the time, we were cafe hopping across Chennai.
  • 24. June, 18, 2012 Featured as new generation entrepreneurs in The Hindu.
  • 25. June 24, 2012 Powered on the servers for Inu, a crappy ancestor of Likewyss.
  • 26. June 26, 2012 Site down. Over-traffic? Hehe, you wish.
  • 27. Hacked. And we realized we were technology noobs and complete idiots.
  • 28. June — August, 2012 Times of India. The Indian Express. Deccan Chronicle. And a couple of more versions of Inu.
  • 29. September 2012 No new users. Startup dead?
  • 30. October 2012 Spike in traffic. Huge, huge spike. How the hell?
  • 31. Got featured in Inc. With the co-founder of Facebook. That’s right.
  • 32. November ’12 — February ‘13 Rejuvenated by the traffic, we wrote another version. This time, we got the tech right?
  • 33. February, 9th, 2013 Shipped Inu V3.0
  • 34. Make it or break it. Physically, mentally and intellectually exhausted.
  • 35. 45,000 visits In 3 days.
  • 36. February, 13, 2013 We would like to invest in you.
  • 37. Since then. How Inu became Likewyss.
  • 38. Sensibly Starting Up A stack of do’s and don’ts based on my experience
  • 39. #1. Avoid buzzwords
  • 40. #2. No networking events
  • 41. #3. Learn basic programming.
  • 42. #4. Have a co-founder. Or two.
  • 43. #6. Pay attention to details.
  • 44. #7. Solve a real problem.
  • 45. #8. Don’t get emotionally attached.
  • 46. #9. Give it your best.
  • 47. #10. Start today.
  • 48. Would love to catch up. @_gokulsridhar on Twitter (no “Hey! See what this girl is doing http://stupid.url”) ! Gokul Nath Sridhar on Facebook (duh! But no Candy Crush invites. I’ll crush you) ! gs [at] likewyss [dot] com (unless you’re a Nigerian prince with a billion dollars) ! +91 — 99430 90073 (unless you’re a credit card agent)