Why only a few survive ? July 4, 2006Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, community, entrepreneur, india, marketing, startup, vc, venture capital, web2.0.
Life as an entrepreneur is taxing, emotionally charged, extremely gratifying and very very suprising. Yesterday was one such day not because of all this but it was a day of contradictions. So it goes like this -
I had a telephonic conversation with a big Menlo park VC firm in the morning. The call went great and I am hoping for some positive things to come out of it . But the point that was bothering me was how this VC firm got my address in first place. I never contacted them. During the conversation they told me that they have “READ MY BLOG”. That they keep track of entrepreneurs blog in India. I was surprised to hear that but I really liked the proactive approach. It is very important to have a direct link with grass roots. And if you want to invest in Web 2.0 world you should be using it yourself to know the power of it. I am so impressed with them.
In the evening, I had another telephonic conversation with another big Menlo park VC firm. This was for the sponsorships of Barcamp Hyderabad. After 10 days of discussion they refused to sponsor. That is just fine that they don’t want to sponsor. But the reasons given just reflected that they don’t understand the change that is happening out there. And they want to support entrepreneurs and are great believers of Web 2.0. Duh !!
So let me just drill through some of the reasons that they have given -
1) Sponsoring T-Shirts is Micro – Well guys micro is the new macro. Isn’t it good that you get to test waters by a small investment. That is what Ray Lane, Partner KPCB, calls Enterprise 2.0. Now enterprises could test and use web services at a fraction of cost and if it works, the investment could be increased. Gone are the days when organizations have to commit a big amount upfront. Same is barcamp an ad-hoc conference oraganized and attended by geeks and entrepreneurs. All for love. Best way to know them is engage with them and if it works out. Keep on engaging with them.
2) Long term association – Barcamps are fickle who is accountable for the next barcamp. A very valid point. Well the first question that one should ask – Do you believe in the story that India is going to be hot and the people who are going to make it hot are entrepreneurs. If yes, then what is the best of doing it is nurture the community that they have built. Support that community. Yep ! it can happen that my interests can change tomorrow or of the other people who are behind Barcamp here in Hyderabad. But then community is not about couple of individuals, because it is not top down. There is no hierarchy in first place. A thriving community will give rise to lot of other passionate individuals. And that will take care of the long term relationships.
3) Marketing people are concerned about the mileage - I think there marketing people haven’t heard or read a book called – “Communities dominate Brands” by Tomi Ahonen. Or they don’t know how Riya has used blogs, communities and built such a strong brand from ground up. If not then they should. Cluetrain manifesto anyone.
Change happens right in front of our eyes. But we refuse to acknowledge it. No wonder why big organizations fall.
Some people just don’t get it.