Coverage by Bhat Dittakavi of Variance.AI on “Seven questions every founder should answer” by Satish Sharma of Hissabi at T-HUB on 16th November 2017
The seven questions
Q1) The engineering question
Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements?
Breakthrough doesn’t mean technology only. Even process ot solution or even a newer market.
The following companies think they are breakthrough.
ChitMonks: Chits online
Variance.ai: Fitness trainer
Hissabi: We help sort small retailers their inventory and ERP troubles.
3Ding: We build 3D devices.
Q2) The timing question?
Is this the right time to be in this particular business?
XWash (we know companies before that were early in the market)
Abhilash: Frozen yogurt in 2009 made me burn 1.8 crores. Wrong time.
Bhat: If your customer needs lot of education and awareness, your timing may not be right. Think of the Gartner’s hype cycle.
Q3) The monopoly question?
Are you starting with a big share of small market.
Abhilash of ArchiveForce (We are targeting small news ad market and we believe we are big in this space)
Satish of Hissabi: Small retail shops that don’t use computers. We are the only player accounting their inventory.
Q4) The people question?
Do you have the right team?
Joginder of Pulse Active Station: I vouch for this from my prior startup that faced team challenges.
Different perspectives and unified progression.
Chakra of XWASH: Ego clashes, different priorities and other reasons.
Satish of Hissabi: Hire people smarter than you. If they disagree with you but make progress or right things, go with them. Extend small equity in lieu of delta pay. Peter Thiel says “too many tasks at one time confuse the team members.” Make every team member part of small achievements.
Q5) The distribution question
Do you have a way to not just create but to deliver your product?
This is most important one. Start working in this question first.
PayPal was looking for that small population of sellers. They found them from ebay. They has this pain of getting money or paying money instantly. Otherwise they had to wait for days.
6) The durability question
Will your market position be defensible 10 to 20 years into the future?
Satish: In today’s world, 5 to 10 years should be it.
Abhilash: Can you innovate in between.
Ravi: Fundamentals of the problem remain the same and delivery mechanism of solution could change with the technology.
7) The secret question
Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see?
ArchiveForce: QR code linking up classified ad to digital connect. It is 1200 crore market per year. Integration of all ads across the national newspapers.
Satish: Peter’s advice is not to share your secret. So I won’t.