In the end, it is your customer who will define the value of your product. Those marketing and PR can get your sales, licensing done only for a limited period.
As a founder, you must be having a great vision, roadmap, and expectation. But if a customer fails to get those rewards from it, their perception will go dud.
All your design, market research, UX, and product development will go to waste. Instead of building perception about your product via social media marketing, PR focus on customer’s pain and works towards giving them a painkiller.
Founders life is different from media or news channels fundraising announcements. 90% of startups fail. No one cares about those founders. The founder’s life is about dealing with rejections gracefully. A teammate will fight and leave. A customer demo will go haywire. An investor will tell you all the wrong things you are building.
It is like fighting a war every day. In all this misery and pessimism, we remember that little encouragement. It stays for eternity. We know who got us a first cheque, who vouched for us in closing sales, or who was our evangelist. These little things stay forever.
I know we are living in a non-idealistic world where capitalism and fame act as oxygen.
Social media is a loudspeaker with an unlimited scream, a battleground for thought leadership without knowledge. It will be difficult beyond a point to distinguish between a dog or an expert shoving theirs thought leadership.
During Covid, these folks were fighting with the doctors and experts. During the India-China standoff, they were the ones throwing their tips for our soldiers.
The side effect of this is that the new generation is more interested in becoming a showman, bragger on this platform instead of building, doing the real thing.
Yesterday I giggled seeing an 18-year-old kid fighting over hiring & funding challenges with someone in the industry for a few decades. I consider myself lucky to have not been born, growing up in this social media frenzy life.
It must have been around 9 pm and, the DVG market was buzzing. There were folks busy street shopping. I saw this kid staring at the box of earrings the hawker was selling. I felt like she is imagining to be wearing one of them from the collection. The city was going for a night curfew in an hour and, I had to eat.
The curiosity and imagination she was staring at those earrings reminded me of my childhood. In my case, it was about those mangoes from Raja’s bagaan.
I asked the kid if she needs one of those earrings and, she immediately said yes. She must have been 6-7 years old. I got her the earrings, paid the hawker, and ran for my dinner.
Last week in the afternoon I went to the market again to buy some dry fruits and, while crossing the hawker, he stopped me and told me what happened after I left.
Hawker: Sir, please buy it again. Me: Why? Hawker: I had to give 100 rupees and take back the earrings from that kid’s mother. That was the only sale I made the whole day.
I paid him 100 rupees and bought it. I will give it to my sister next week, meeting her for Rakhi.
It can be the weather or, I don’t know what, sometimes I get in the zone of complete numbness when I feel like doing nothing. Just stay still, sleep more, listen to some instrumentals along with reading some fiction.
It adds more perspective, makes me think and, I end up writing a few fictions or stare, blink and disconnect from the rest of humanity. I kind of like being in my rabbit hole in short.
I wonder if sages, Jain monks, and other religious leaders practiced slice and solitude for themselves or their disciples.
We conflict within. Our actions, decisions, approach, acceptance all are fighting within. The conflict of eating healthy or eating unhealthy. The war of watching Netflix or reading some fiction. Drinking or not drinking coffee post-lunch. In every instance of our life, we are fighting with ourselves and trying to convince ourselves for our actions. That’s why our little brain consumes 60-80% of what we eat every day. Our forefathers and monks found a way to put our mind at peace with meditation, fasting, spirituality, and eating less. For a misfit with a buzzing brain, they ended up crowding it with art, science or engaging in unanswered.
The battle is constant, so is the struggle and our conflict within.
I have been following the commentary on hiring over Twitter. Most of it is a rant. As in how impossible is hiring and building, retaining a team.
I am not part of that brigade. I have been on a startup journey for over four years and running a tight ship. We have had attrition, people left us and, we hired new members. It has not been as difficult as others. Our friend circle helped, trusting freshers helped, seeing them grow has been a great pleasure.
Everyone cribs about hiring crunch, and very few hire freshers or allow college dropouts.
What has changed since 2007 is that our ecosystem has gotten flooded with cash, team members have become a resource, managers a Trello board monitor. There is cutthroat competition; everyone is instead of building together fighting a battle.
A founder is busy building Unicorn, hiring his college peers to run the team, creating a miserable culture, and expecting team members to work as a slave. How long will incentive on money keep anyone motivated?
Isn’t an organization about building together? Is success not about growing together and bearing fruits from the success of it? Is a successful team not about knowing the circle of competence among the peers, liking or dislikings?
In the end, we all live to be loved, trusted, and respected. No money can replace this.