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TePP – Technopreneur Promotion Programme July 3, 2006

Posted by rajAT in dsir, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, india, startup, technology, tepp.

The Technopreneur Promotion Programme(TePP) is a novel programme to extend financial support to individual innovators for converting their innovative ideas into working prototypes/models. Jointly operated by the Department of Scientific & Industrial research(DSIR) and Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council(TIFAC) of the Department of Science & Technology(DST), TePP endeavors to tap the vast innovative potential of the citizens of India.

I met Mr. A.S. Rao at ISB today. He told me TePP is very actively seeking for innovative ideas and is very proactive in their approach. The list of projects that have got funded by TePP are here.

Some of the salient points of TePP are –

Who can apply

Any Indian Citizen with an original idea/invention/know-how to develop working prototype/processes can apply for TePP support. Even, the proposal from the owner of a ‘start-up’ company/industry may be considered for TePP support, if the annual turnover of the company / industry doesn’t exceed Rs. 30.00 lakh per annum.

Amount given

The maximum TePP support would be up to 90% of the project cost . The remainder part of the cost i.e. 10% amount in the project would be invested by the applicant. The upper limit for TePP support for the proposal at present is Rs. 10.00 lakh.

IP ownership

The ownership of IPR generated through the TePP projects rest with the innovator/applicant. No sharing of IPR by the forwarding/sponsoring agency will be permitted. The Ministry of Science & Technology(MOST) does not own any responsibility for disputes arising out of the IPR issues, however, the rules and regulations of NRDC or PFC of TIFAC will apply for those projects supported for patents applied by DSIR and TIFAC respectively.


Is venture investing a gut business ? June 30, 2006

Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, startup, technology, vc, venture capital.

Yes, it is.

Paul Kedrosky a venture partner with Ventures West, who also writes a famous blog Infectious Greed, was moderating a VC panel where the same question was being debated – Is venture investing a gut business. And the conclusion is, that it is.

One of the main reasons is that after 4 decades of active investments the VC industry still doesnt have a formula for zeroing down on a winning company.

If you go to any conference where a VC is addressing the crowd. They will all state this statment religiously – We want “A” teams. An “A” team can save a mediocre technology, but a “B” or “C” team could screw up even the best technology. This statement is as hollow as Rakhi Savant kissing claims. In first place how you will conclude that a particular technology is mediocre or killer. In hindsight, one can always make big statments.

When the legendary VC John Doerr came down to Banglore. We asked a question to him when he repeated the same, “A” team – “B” technology statement. The questin was with a twist – Google didn’t have a management team or an “A” team when you guys invested in Google. To hell with management team they didn’t even have a plan how they are going to monetize this whole thing. Then what made you invest. John didnt offer any counter argument – infact he said Google is an outlier so its kind of pointless debating or discussing it. That really helped. Finally, he said we invested because Ram Shriram has invested. Talk about herds.

My 2 cents on it –
For a second if we look a little closer at the ideas or technology. They fall under two categories  – 
 1) Technologies that change the world. 
 2) Technologies that make things which are already present better, faster or bigger.

The ideas that fall under second category, for them the business models are already proven the entrepreneurs are trying to improve the user experience. These ventures don’t create new markets but may expand existing markets. For example – the travelling industry was always there but by taking it online, booking tickets become so easy.

The first category is the difficult one. When Apple computer started who had thought that the whole PC industry will get so big. But Steve Jobs and Steve Woz thought differently. When Google came up with their search technology noone thought that online searching will be an annual $10 Billion in revenues business. The ideas that fall under this category lead to the creation of a whole new industry.

Hence the difficult part is that there is no factual data that can prove that this new stuff will work. Anyone who is trying to prove this nothing but a fool. For such things one can only go from year to year or better quarter to quarter but you cannt have a 3 year Capex plan in place. It is just not possible. Who has dreamed that iPod will be such a hit, I doubt even Steve Jobs has dreamt that iPod will be such a killer. (iPod led to the creation of microcontent, MP3 players were always there).

The panel concluded finally that picking such trends is an art and not a science. Either you have it in you or not. No business guru or a professional service can help you in taking the decision. Only your gut can show you the way.

In the end, Spreadsheet jockeys are not needed but Dreamers. 😀

Blog Bucks June 26, 2006

Posted by rajAT in blog, bloggers, entrepreneur, startup, vc, venture capital.

contentnext.JPGAs the print media ponder the possibilities presented by blogs, some journalists are raising money to turn their own independent blogs into businesses.

The latest example is, Rafat Ali, the publisher of PaidContent.org and two other news and analysis sites, MocoNews.net and Contentsutra.com, focused on digital media and other high-tech trends, has raised money to expand his Web-publishing business from venture capitalist Alan Patricof.

The financing, though small in comparison with most Web deals, is one of several in recent weeks that indicate optimism on the part of early-stage investors in the viability of blogs as an outlet for journalism, rather than the gossip and personal opinion that characterizes much of the medium.

Mr. Ali started PaidContent.org four years ago when he couldn't find work after two publications he wrote for, Inside.com and Silicon Alley Reporter, shut down. His site has since developed a following among people interested in how the Internet and other technologies are affecting the media business.

I met Mr. Rafat at a mixer in New Delhi in December. At that time Mr. Trehan, VP Indiatimes, mentioned that Rafat is a million dollar guy. AOL purchase of Weblogs Inc. was still wet and all professional bloggers were eyeing similar deals. Rafat and team continued their good work and now this deal can go along way in building PaidContent a big money spinner.

Between did I mention that ContentSutra was the first professional blog I started reading way back in 2005 (internet years 😀 ). And it openned the doors of a whole new world. Thanks Rafat and all the best.  

University Venture Fund June 25, 2006

Posted by rajAT in DFJ, entrepreneur, startup, tim draper, vc, venture capital.
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The University Venture Fund (UVF) announced today it has achieved a final closing of $18 million in funding, an unprecedented amount of capital for a student-run education-based business program. UVF is one of only a few business school venture capital funds, which teach students entrepreneurship by investing in risky — yet potentially rewarding — startup companies rather than in safer stocks of public corporations.

UVF is collaboration between students, the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business and the professional investment community. Created in 2001, UVF broke new ground by modeling an aggressive, real-world approach to business education with a self-sustaining private equity fund in which students raise the capital, research the investments and pitch the deals. It is also the first fund to have a traditional limited partner relationship with investors who anticipate reasonable payback.

One of Silicon Valley's highest-profile venture capitalists praised the UVF concept. "I love the idea of the next generation of entrepreneurs being energized and educated by operating a true private equity fund," said Tim Draper, who was an early investor in Hotmail and was at the center of several record-breaking venture capital deals this past year, including the lucrative initial public offering of Baidu, dubbed "the Google of China," and the purchase of Skype by eBay for $4.1 billion. "I'd like to see this kind of education in entrepreneurship spread everywhere," he said. Draper put $1 million in UVF and is its largest private investor.

The student-run fund has other prestigious backers. UVF's largest institutional investor is UBS Bank USA, a subsidiary of UBS AG, one of the world's largest private banking institutions and one of the largest asset managers globally. This final closing of UVF added CapitalSource of Chevy Chase, Md., to UVF's group of investors. CapitalSource is a commercial finance company with offices in major cities across the United States.

The Salt Lake family of two successful entrepreneurs, billionaire medical device inventor James LeVoy Sorenson and son James Lee Sorenson, CEO of Sorenson Media and Sorenson Medical, contributed the founding $500,000 to UVF in 2001 and challenged students to create a self-sustaining investment fund.

Few such higher education programs exist today. Stock clubs and student-led investment funds of public corporate stocks are common, but the educational benefits of UVF derive from the big risks and rewards of investing in little-known, innovative private enterprises for which there are no public market valuations and so are tricky to bet on, even for seasoned professionals.

Twenty-five students commit 20 hours per week to performing due diligence on venture capital investments for professional private equity companies participating in the UVF program. Startup businesses the students find potentially lucrative are then pitched to volunteer investment professionals who oversee which ones are included in the UVF portfolio. A wide range of graduates and undergraduates are enrolled, including engineering students and medical students, and the program has expanded to include students from Westminster College in Salt Lake City and Brigham Young University in Provo. The University of Michigan and Cornell offer similar, student-involved private equity funds that are smaller, with $3 million and $500,000 invested respectively.

A recent graduate credits his current business success to the learning experience provided by UVF. "Everything I needed to get our new-concept business going, I learned from working with UVF," said Nate Thurgood, who graduated in 2003 and recently played a lead role in developing BelleHavens, a high-end equity destination club. Launched in 2004, BelleHavens already has properties in three countries with 11 destinations and has a member satisfaction rating of 97 percent. "From business valuation to deal-structuring to due diligence, I really couldn't have done it without participating in UVF. It's not just the entrepreneurial experience that was so helpful, but working with sophisticated investors for the first time was very important for me," he said.

Undergrads gain real-world experience through the risky business of seeding startups with money from limited investors who expect a satisfactory return on their investment.

Risk Capital in India June 20, 2006

Posted by rajAT in bangalore, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, hyderabad, IIIT, iit, india, isb, startup, tie, vc, venture capital.

Rafiq Dossani from Stanford and Asawari Desai from TiE has written a report on what is holding the growth of risk capital in India [Via Venturewoods]. Below are some of excerpts from the report and my supporting thoughts on it.

Over 90% of the money invested by VC firms is in late state ventures. And the remaining More than 90% of the money invested in VC firms in India ventures lie in the category of late stage funding. The rest of the funding also goes into the firms who are replicating proven business models. Hence, the risk capital as such is totally absent in India. There are multiple reasons for such a scenario –

1. Domestic Risk capital providers who are skilled at risk assessment and portfolio diversification lack technical skills and market awareness.

This is very true. Most of the HNI (High Networth Individuals) one will find here will be from IT/ ITES industries who will have little or no clue about what is latest in the industry. Some of them who might be able to dish out the names of hottest startups like Riya, Skype (now eBay), Flikr (now Yahoo) etc. but they won't have clear idea as in why they are hot.

2. Early-stage entrepreneurs, though skilled at cost-control and technology, lack market awareness, product development skills, global standards of professional and ethical behavior and team building skills.

a. Some of the entrepreneurs here will simply try to replicate what has been done in US without understanding the whole idea in depth.
b. Early startups will not have discipline which is essential to certain extent.
c. The ideas that they are chasing can get changed very radically because some other quick opportunity will knock their door. Mostly in services side.

3. Inadequate pipeline of angel/university/state funded seed-stage firms.

Univeristy funding or support is happenning at few IITs (Bombay, Chennai) very actively. Now IIIT-H has also started supporting startups. But a wider penetration will take a lot lot more time.
You cannot create a vibrant entrepreneur community in pockets. If Stanford students were crucial in creating Sillicon valley than students from other universities have also played a very important role. All top 100 univs in US have an active Incubation cells. This imbibes a spirit of entrepreneurship in the students right from the beginning.

4. Seed and early-stage entrepreneurs’ professional networks consist primarily of a few strong personal connections and brokers. A wider network of professional associates, incubators and prior-stage financiers, is largely absent.

TiE is the only entrepreneurship network in India. It has chapters all over India, but TiE Bangalore is the most active one. Recently it launched TiE-EAP which is great foot forward. ISB in Hyderabad is also trying to build the same along with TiE Hyderabad and IIIT-H.

At grassroots alot is happenning now days. All Tier 1 IT hubs (Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune) have successfully organized Barcamps which were hugely successful. A small step but can go a long way as it gives a platform to the like minded to come and meet.

5. Underdeveloped equity markets for listing early-stage firms.
All big internet companies in India get themselves listed at NASDAQ or NYSE. This shows that Indian investor is not ready for the new age companies.

6. Shortage of complementary capital, such as debt capital.

Organized debt markets in India doesn't exist. One can get debt from improper channels at very high rate of interest. Mr. Finance minister are you listening.

7. The business environment discourages sophisticated standards of – corporate governance.

8.University-Industry partnership was an alien concept 5 years back. Corporate India is still trying to discover how such alliances can affect its topline.  

9.Domestic consumption of IT is not very high. When labor is cheap why bother about IT. This is the mantra at most of the organizations.

10. Bureaucratic, regulatory, legal and tax hurdles affects smallers VC firms and angel investors. Need of the hour is such firms and not big ones. Read my views on it here.

Well this all means we have long way to go. And we will go 🙂 :).

VC delegation visiting IIIT Hyderabad June 19, 2006

Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, hyderabad, IIIT, india, vc, venture capital.
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A VC delegation is visiting IIIT-H campus today. few of the names I came to know are-

Mr Gordon Campbell founded and operated a number of Silicon Valley technology companies. He established Techfarm, Inc. and Techfarm Ventures as models for partnering start-ups, creating cutting-edge technologies, with seasoned managerial and financial experience.

Mr. Lauro has 25 years of engineering, operating and venture capital investing experience in the IT, electronics and semiconductor sectors. Prior to joining Techfarm in 2005, he was Managing Director at Wasserstein Venture Capital.

Laura Onopchenko joined Techfarm in July 1998 from 3Dfx Interactive where she was the director of investor relations and business development. During her tenure at 3Dfx, she positioned the company, to the institutional investment community for an initial public offering and a successful secondary.

Sateesh Andra is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive. Sateesh co-founded Euclid in 2000, a leading provider of IT Management Software that enables Global 2000 companies to align IT spending with business priorities. He has launched an India focussed Angel Fund. He is based out of Hyderabad.

Mr Campbell will also formally launch the activities of the Entrepreneurial and Venture Capital Club (EVC) at ISB.

Webaroo @ Barcamp Pune June 18, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamppune, entrepreneur, india, internet, mobile, technology.

webaroo.JPGWebaroo guys explained about their product. I have ranted about it earlier here.

Webaroo is a free software program and service that lets you search and browse real web pages without a connection. It lets you take the web with you. Webaroo stores searchable web content on your laptop, PDA or smart phone.Your content is updated every time you connect to the internet.

Well the idea of carrying a copy of internet on your laptop or pda is mind boggling. Yeah , yeah they don’t put the whole world wide web but the subset you are interested in.

I am not sure how much of a success will it be in developed societies where connectivity is not a problem. But yeah in India it does make sense.

They are trying to moentize by showing the contextual advertisements along with the content you are seeing through webaroo. Some debates have cropped up that how can you monetize by showing someones content and putting you own advertisements. Rahul from Webaroo gave the example that Google is doing the same. Hmm.

It is an interesting start. Lets see how things will go for them in future. All the best guys. 🙂

PS: Webaroo is started by IIT B alumni and is incubated at SINE – IIT Bombay.

Tips to entrepreneurs from Larry Page June 15, 2006

Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, startup, technology.

Larry Page has got some tips (You Tube Video) for the entrepreneurs.

I must say it is a very structured approach for coming up with something innovative.

Two knuggets from his presentation.

1. Understand the world
2. Find things that seem wrong. 

A cool advice he gave, in regard to Tesla – find someone who can fund your product if you want to change the world. 🙂

IITians joining startups June 13, 2006

Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, india, startup, technology.

[Via Economic Times] – After slogging it out at IITs across the country, graduate engineers are giving up jobs with the bluest of the blue chips to work at start-ups. And as a result, a Silicon Valley type start-up culture is taking roots in India. This is very different from what the earlier batches of IIT graduates did: go to the US or slog another two years at the IIMs to land a plum job.

27 graduates out of the 35-student electrical engineering batch at IIT Mumbai have opted for jobs with start-ups rather than top-tier companies.


Garage start-ups like Innoviti in Bangalore, Generic Systems in Mumbai and Kritikal in Delhi (incubated at IIT Delhi) is where IIT engineers find it more gratifying to work. Such companies could well be India Inc’s shining stars of tomorrow much like Infosys, Wipro, TCS and i-flex are today.

Sample this: 27 graduates out of the 35-student electrical engineering batch at IIT Mumbai have opted for jobs with start-ups rather than top-tier companies. Vinay Salva (IIT Mumbai) landed a job with ST Microelectronics for Rs 4.5 lakh a year through campus placement. Two of his colleagues landed jobs with the Boston Consulting Group and Appian (a software company). However, the three of them had a common interest in ‘mechatronics’ (a combination of electrical and mechanical engineering) and thus they started a company around it called Generic Systems. It has become a trend among IITians to work at such start-ups. The risks are high but then, so are the rewards.

Says Mr Salva, director, Generic Systems, “The jobs are not scarce. It’s just that our interest could not have been satiated at any of the blue-chip companies.”

Till the early 1990s, almost 90% of the IIT graduates went to the US. In the mid-1990s, marketing and finance MBAs from the IIMs were the fad. Says Rajeev Agrawal, CEO, Innoviti, (IIT-1990 batch), “In the past couple of years there has been a move back to engineering. We are able to attract recent IIT graduates. The starting salary at start-ups can be more than double of that offered in any of the top tier IT services companies.”

Vibhu Manya, batch of ’05, IIT Mumbai works at Innoviti as a system design engineer. Says Mr Manya, “As an engineer, I wanted to create something. With a big company like Intel or ST Microelectronics, I would have been just a small cog in the wheel. Here, I can suggest and see my changes take shape.” Another recent IIT graduate Gaurav Kaurang never went for campus placement interviews and instead started his own company.

Adds Ankur Lal (IIT Delhi, 1990 batch), CEO, Infozech, “IIT engineers are encouraged to be entrepreneurial. The incubation centres at the campus have helped a lot in boosting the start-up trend. Lot of the recent graduates have seen their seniors return to India from the US. They are asking why should they go abroad when opportunities are in the neighbourhood?”

Getting a funding of around $100,000 for a start-up is not too difficult for graduates with a sound business model. Says Kamal Aggarwal, vice-president, marketing and strategy with SoftJin (an electronic design automation company), “The generic software companies cannot match the compensation that some of the start-ups can offer. The incubation centres at IITs have accelerated the garage start-up trend. This is also helping to create a Silicon Valley-type entrepreneurial culture in India.”


Enterprise 2.0 June 6, 2006

Posted by rajAT in blog, entrepreneur, india, media2.0, peer production, social, startup, technology, vc, web2.0.
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Ray Lane takes a shot at an enterprise 2.0 in an interview with Businessweek. Ray Lane is a partner at KPCB and before that he was president and COO at ORACLe. Now he is working with startups like Visible Path ( MySpace for enterprises ) and SpikeSource. Now that is quite a career shift , isn't it. 🙂

Some of the key points from the interview with my thoughts on them –

1. Innovation is a six month cycle instead of a 3 year cycle. This means window of opportunity where you can cash on your idea is now 6 months. Think, Build, Sell your idea in a six months time. Not because if you fail to capitalize on it someone else would do it, but the idea will get obsolete.

2. In the enterprise 2.0 the IT decisions will not be taken by the CTOs or CIOs, but the individuals. Some might be wondering how this will happen. If people will be free to use their own software,imagine the havoc that will be caused. Ray give some examples of the technology which was adopted bottom up – Blackberryl, Good Technology and Skype. Another good example is that a small group wants to collaborate on some project and they use any wiki software that is available out there.

3. The advantage of providing software as a service is huge. Another benefit is that corporations don't have to commit big sums of money for this. A typical enterprise software implementation take couple of years and millions of dollars.

4. Data is a concern though. Executives will nt like confidential enterprise information residing elsewhere. But for a moment, think of a teen who is living on myspace today when he joins workforce tomorrow, is he going to give a damn to such concerns.

5. All software cann't be provided this way.

6. Existing giants cann't adapt to the service model because they just can't.

7. America is not China. So employees will talk about what is going in the company through podcasts, blogs and any other channels available. You can't dooce them :). Companies view this as a grave security concern but see the brighter side of it. It can take customer enagement with the products they love, to a different dimension. I now can know who has designed the Tshirt I am wearing. Voila !

Btw all this is going to be a great boon for the developing countries. If Indian people are going to leapfrog to mobiles, Indian enterprises are going to leapfrog to all these light weight enterprise solutions. :).

Any enterpreneurs out there listening ?

Are books dead? June 3, 2006

Posted by rajAT in blog, book, books, digital library, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, media2.0.

[Via J Jarvis] Richard Charkin, head of Macmillan publishers has shared these statistics.
On average across the world people spend 6.5 hours a week reading. The most of amount time spent reading is in India (10.7 hours), the least Korea (3.1 hours). UK is very near the bottom at 5.3 hours, Germany and USA a little higher at 5.7 hours.

The Chinese listen to radio less than any other nation (2.1 hours a week), Argentina the most (20.8 hours).

On average people now spend more time on the Internet for leisure (not work) than reading – 8.9 vs 6.5 hours. Mexico uses the Intenet for leisure least (6.3 hours) and Taiwan the most (12.6 hours).

Internet use reduces the time people have for reading by around 20%.

40% of Europeans do not read books.

More people use the Internet for leisure than read books in the developed world.

And people wonder why publishers are spending so much time and effort on digital development.

First of all, it is great to know that we Indians are spending maximum in devouring books. Literacy rate of India is seeing a steady rise over the last decade or so.

The most connected country in the world that is Korea is spending least time reading books. Now there lies the juice. Does this mean that internet is going to kill the books as we know. Has it become an outmoded means of communicating information.

Well Jeff Jarvis thinks so. He has pointed out many problems with the books.

  • They are frozen in time without the means of being updated and corrected.
  • They have no link to related knowledge, debates, and sources.
  • They create, at best, a one-way relationship with a reader.
  • They try to teach readers but don’t teach authors.
  • They tend to be too damned long because they have to be long enough to be books.
  • They are expensive to produce.
  • They depend on scarce shelf space.
  • They depend on blockbuster economics.
  • They can’t afford to serve the real mass of niches.
  • They are subject to gatekeepers’ whims.
  • They aren’t searchable.
  • They aren’t linkable.
  • They have no metadata.
  • They carry no conversation.
  • They are thrown out when there’s no space for them anymore.

In the end – We need to kill the book to save books.

I couldn't agree more.

PS: It is a great opportunity for the entrepreneurs. 🙂

Microsoft: Startup zone June 2, 2006

Posted by rajAT in apple, bill gates, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, google, microsoft, startup, technology.
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WSJ reports that Microsoft is looking to work with startups. Microsoft has a team dedicated for it and is know as Microsoft Emgerging Business Team.

Microsoft has marked the categories in which they will like to partnership with the startups .

  • Business Intelligence
  • Collaboration
  • Consumer
  • Healthcare
  • Infrastructure
  • Integration
  • Mobility
  • Line of Business Applications
  • Security

They have quite an array of companies working for them. I can only recognize – Newsgator, Akimbo, Sling Media, MobiTV.

Don Dodge heads the Collaboration portfolio. The Collaboration portfolio covers applications that work with Outlook, Office, Sharepoint, Messenger, Live Communications Server, and Exchange. Applications in this space include email add-on tools, document management, content management, file sharing, and other collaboration tools.

He gives reasons for why Microsoft is interested in working with startups –

  1. Partner products that compliment existing Microsoft products by adding features, filling holes, and leveraging the Microsoft platforms.
  2. Innovative partner products that take advantage of the latest Microsoft technology encourage our customers to upgrade to the latest release.
  3. Successful start-ups draw attention to the benefits of building on the Microsoft platform, and the value of partnering with Microsoft.
  4. Small start-ups often grow into big companies that need lots of software.
  5. Working with start-ups keeps us close to the cutting edge of technology. A good barometer for what is coming in the next 5 years.
  6. Start-ups are the best source for new partners, and sometimes lead to acquisitions.

WOW. Microsoft is treating startup as SME where they want to sell them their software or it is like catch them young. They can not attract true startups with this approach. By true startups I mean where a bunch of students are thinking to do the next big thing. They don't have a business plan or ivy league management team but just few ideas.

Now how can they catch such young entrepreneurs. Well for that first and foremost they have to come up with bigger goals and not short ones where they want to push their software to them.

They should sit with student entreprenuers and try to help them in arranging things for them. Any such venture lacks three things – Capital, Advice, Network. Help them in sorting these things out.

Microsoft has missed lots of things in technology, if they don't want to miss the next google they will think on these lines.
After all microsoft was also started by students and so was google, apple. And the next Katrina will also come from there.

Flickrpreneur June 1, 2006

Posted by rajAT in advertising, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, fun, marketing, media2.0, web2.0.

[Via Marketallica]Russell Davies have posted the pictures of these books on Flickr. He has come up with an ingenious way of recommending books to users. He uploads the picture of his books and then added some notes to them. This could be a great product placement idea on flickr. Marketallica is very excited about the concept so am I. 🙂


It says for entrepreneur minds, maybe it is inspiring to develop application that makes it easy to add affiliate programs' link on photos. Then, Flickr, you should encourage and constitute flickrpreneur concept and make big money.

This concept can be a key for brands as it can help a product getting snowballed in a community. Viral medium works best online :).Tomi Ahonen has stressed it quite a lot in his award winning book Communities Dominate Brands.

I hope marketing gurus are listening ?

Is VC industry decaying ? May 31, 2006

Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, startup, vc, venture capital.

We normally hear VC's saying with lots of pride that we only write big cheques. And the bigger cheque in VC parlance normally means not less than couple of million dollars. If we look at today scenario, then we will notice that startups don’t need big money. Thanks to LAMP and open source software, burn rate of startups have gone down by an order of magnitude. To top it all, because of the stellar success of technology startups the whole ecosystem has matured quite a lot. At any tech hub you can find couple of technology entrepreneurs who have tasted success and are more than willing to advice young entrepreneurs. The presence of organizations like TiE can help you to connect to right kind of people.

So the two major roles, apart from funding, that VC's used to perform are being done by other agencies. Shouldn't that sound alarm bells to VC's. If you look a little more deeply into the VC industry then you will notice that the VC's are the one who understands the change the best as they invest in it. They are the ones who walk at the bleeding edge of change in any industry (technology, pharma etc.) But while chasing things elsewhere they forgot to take a stock of the situation at their own home.

In today’s changing scenario, when the capital requirements of startups have gone down considerably and other roles of advisory and networking are being performed by other agencies, VC's should take a fresh look at their position.

I think for some of the reasons stated above we are seeing such kind of events happening quite regularly.

In coming years it would be very interesting to see the changes that will take place in VC business. Change is constant. Amen.