Tech trends and business ideas

All things that motivate entrepreneurs

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Entrepreneur not quite...!

This one is for the VCs. Of late, I’ve got a lot of calls from wannabe entrepreneurs desirous of Angel / VC money with seemingly great ideas in various sectors. I would categorize them as follows :

1. Pureplay dreamers – have a great idea, but want others to risk their capital and wouldn’t risk a cent themselves – I would rate these types more as employees than entrepreneurs. My Advise - Boy, you better go hatch yourself. You just don’t make the cut.

2. Bootstrapped and broke – This is slightly better variety. They started out with own capital expecting early rollout which didn’t happen. It could also be that they believed their initial working capital estimates never to go wrong. Now they’ve run totally dry, can’t pay wages or even utility bills and completely hung. My Advise – revisit your plans, cut some staff and run it only if you can or quietly wind up. You are still entrepreneurial when you know when to cut your losses and run. Improve your financial health before venturing out again ( This time with realistic estimates ).

3. Idea lovers – These are made of stubborn stuff. They ventured out on an idea which didn’t work. But can’t get themselves to admit that they’ve made the wrong call. My Advise – Get an expert in the field to review your idea and business model. Figure out why it didn’t work. If the findings are well within your powers to execute, go ahead and make corrections.

4. Piggybacks – This is the worst type. They had no original idea to begin with. They picked on someone else’s idea hoping to improve upon it and got some Angel on board. Ended up doing a lousy job ( probably because not being an original idea, haven’t thought it thro quite ) and are busy finding excuses to put forth to investors, employees and all other stakeholders. Yet they pretend as if they've got golden balls and are in fact angling for MS or Google to acquire them…! Most of the collaborative software application developers fall into this category. Their applications are neither enterprise apps nor are they any niche. Just a mediocre somethings and being indistinguishable, almost go unnoticed in spaces which are way too crowded. My Advise – Get your act right or at least try and think up something original. If you can’t do either, there’s something you surely can. Just plain shut down.