August 16, 2011

Is Your "EGO" Killing Your Start-up?

India has a great potential for start-up businesses, be it software, internet, e-commerce, manufacturing, R&D and others, and the world is betting high on this opportunity to gain more business. Then why is it that Indian start-ups are not gaining much momentum? The three-letter word "EGO" is responsible for this. With a general characteristic of ego in every Indian, it is carried forward by those who become an entrepreneur into their start-up. With a fragile ego, none is used to hear a "No" for their ideas and thoughts.

Most start-ups come up with ideas for products/services just by following a hype or buzz without knowing the niche market/problem they want to address. A tightly knit community, Indian start-ups when discuss their ideas among themselves, they all want to be the good guy by not hurting the ego of others and in return trying to save theirs. One would appreciate other's idea by tagging it cool and in response will get the same title. This creates a fog of false hopes about their start-up being a cool one. The real picture comes once they are exposed to sunlight. One should avoid the ego-boosting part and be open to cross-question and seek answers to them, which will benefit both the parties.

Stop being the nice guy. It is only then that the Indian start-ups will be able to withstand in the global competition. Start-ups in India have great ideas, but many are ignorant of the global trend and misguide themselves to be one of the super idea generators, which results in drastic failure. Make it an added advantage by having a counter-talk with your fraternity members and make it a platform for actually testing your product validity in the real market.

Many a times, even the experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists try to be soft-spoken and do not share their real thoughts and ideas with these start-ups. Instead, they should be ruthless and honest in your critics. With a global exposure and experience they hold, they can guide these start-ups to higher level of success and help them improvise according to global scenario.

Be familiar with the buzzwords of the market. If you do not know, ask for clarification instead of nodding your head for yes. With the competition goes from tough to tougher to toughest, start-ups need to learn a lot. Focus on the niche market for your idea. One cannot solve the global problem by addressing a domestic one. May be, a start-up has a brilliant idea for domestic market, which will work wonder for him, but this might not be one for solving the global issue. India is an emerging market, so why is it required to target the global market all the time with all the product and service idea one comes up with? Sometimes its vice-a-versa, so opt accordingly.

"Crush your ego" is the mantra for survival. Wear your boot, pump in the air and start for the race. Each lap with teach you a lot; just remember to leave your ego at home.

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