Business of Startups
We had the privilege of hosting over 12 international Startups under the exchange and support program today. We took a session on how to get the business right and how to pitch. As always, there'll be differences in the approaches across geographies in how a solution or a great business idea is showcased. But lately, we see that most startup founders following a pre-determined dramatic script and enacting a show of sorts while pitching. While it might be interesting for audience to get emotionally charged and aligned with the flow of the presenter, they tend to get carried away from the core purpose.
Startup founders have to take time to think before they pitch. Simple thumb rules can be as follows:
- Know the audience - check with organisers who are present and what they expect
- Be genuine and simple - don't exaggerate the problem you are trying to solve, neither spend too much time on the "market". Describe what you are trying to accomplish, why is it important (to you and others), how are you going to accomplish and most importantly - state how the audience can help
- Follow the 30-90-30 rule - work on the beginning (30 sec), middle (90 sec) and endings (30 sec) of the pitch. People will carry forward how you end. If you lost them in the beginning, it is hard to make them sit-through fully and help you somehow.
Most of us associate Startups with Innovation, Speed and Ambition to change status-quo. But now-a-days we see none of these addressed explicitly. It is fine to start a business depending on your interest, possible window of opportunity and other factors. But do not position it as a Startup. Startups replace a few key aspects of building new businesses - speed v/s scale, experiment & development v/s research & development, always beta v/s time tested product/solution. It is fine for traditional businesses to adopt some of these startup culture into their system. But with caution. Similarly while starting a traditional business, if you classify it as a Startup idea, you may be setting out for failure with investors and customers.
Time to think your business of Starting up.